Posts Tagged ‘Kaktus Brewing’

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Halloween falls in the middle of the week this year, so many breweries are choosing to celebrate this weekend. No brewery seems to be going as all-out as Tractor Wells Park, however. It starts Thursday night at 8 with the Rocky Horror Punk Show, as Adam Hooks and His Hangups are performing music from the cult classic. The cost is just $2 and you can also pick up discounted tickets to Saturday’s big event. Before that, stop by Friday night at 8 as Tom Foe performs a live score of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on his upright bass. Then comes that aforementioned big Saturday event. Starting at 7 p.m., the Stranger Things Arcade Carnival returns, taking over the entire brewery and the front parking lot. There will be arcade games and pinball, food specials from We Love Waffles food truck, special vendor booths, live music from Flo Fader at 7, The Despots at 9, and Prism Bitch to close it out. Oh, and of course Tricklock will be there under the big tent for a special edition of the ultimate improv show, The Reptilian Lounge! That kicks off at 10 p.m. Tickets cost just $15 and can be purchased online or at the brewery.

Of course, Tractor is not alone when it comes to celebrating Halloween a few days early. Up in Santa Fe, Second Street Rufina will host Nightmare on Rufina Street at 8 p.m. There will be local bands performing covers of some of their favorites, along with a Halloween art market. That event costs just $5. Just up the road at Tumbleroot, the All Hallow’s Eve Barn Dance with The High Desert Playboys also kicks off at 8. Back down here in ABQ, just around the block from Tractor, Bow & Arrow is again hosting Gothtoberfest starting at 8. DJ Garronteed will be spinning, and there will be a costume contest for the ultimate goth(s). One night earlier on Friday, Kaktus has the Desert Darlings dancing up a storm with Monster Mash at 7 p.m. Marble will then close it out Sunday afternoon with the annual Mutt Masquerade, where patrons can bring their best friends dressed up for a canine costume contest from 1 to 3 p.m. After the weekend, Steel Bender is hosting All Hallow’s Eve Eve on Tuesday from 6 to 9. There will be costume contests every 30 minutes, picked by the staff, and anyone in costume gets 10 percent off appetizers, merchandise, and mug club memberships. J.J. Raschel and Mystic Roots will provide the proper music.

Oh, and there is also The 377 Brewery’s second anniversary party, which runs all day Saturday, with plenty of beer and food specials. There will be a limited number (18) of bottles of Barleywine.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque once again fires the Moon Cannon, its out-of-this-world double IPA, before Neo Modern, a brut IPA, debuts in four-pack cans on Friday. Bow & Arrow puckers up with some Strawberry Amigo Sour on Friday. Boxing Bear is releasing bottles of Albu-Murky Hazy IPA on Saturday. Nexus gets in the season with Equinox Pumpkin Ale on Friday. Red Door has more Citra SMASH available this Friday. Steel Bender brings back Raspberry Dynamite after a short absence, while Perry Maison (Cider) is on tap. The 377 also has a new Sour Kolsch made with peaches. Tractor has a tripleheader of new releases with Prickly Pear Cider, Ebony & Ivory, and Milton’s Red Stapler.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales has new editions of Agent Scully IPA (Season Two, Episode Four) and Fields of Rye (Fall/Winter ’18). Further north in Red River, RRBC has brought back Amarillo SMASH.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 22.

(more…)

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Hey, remember when we thought last weekend was busy? Ha! It has nothing on this weekend. No, seriously, you all need to start planning now, because there is a lot going on around town and beyond the ABQ city limits. First up, we have a double dose of brewery anniversary parties at Dialogue and Kaktus. For the former, Grasstoberfest is the name of Dialogue’s second anniversary bash, which will take place Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. There will be live music all day, plus games, food, local art, axe throwing, and Roadrunner Food Bank will have a food drive going, so please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item in any contained except glass. Up in Bernalillo, Kaktus is spreading its five-year anniversary party over Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost just $5 and get you a silver-plated anniversary pint glass. There will be live music on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., plus food and beer specials. For Sunday, the Blues Jam takes over at 3 and the Desert Darlings take the stage for a special “Dripping in Gold” performance at 6. There will be special vendors on hand both days.

That, however, is not the entirety of the big events. Santa Fe Brewing is throwing its annual OktoberFiesta from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday at The Bridge, which is next to the brewery off I-25. There will be all sorts of outdoor fun and games from noon to 6, followed by live music inside from 6 to 10. There will be giant mugs of beer, all-you-can-eat sausages, and it all benefits several area charities. Of course, not to be left out, Second Street is throwing a three-day Oktoberfest food celebration at all three of its locations. Check the Rufina Facebook page for all of the delicious dining options to go along with copious amounts of beer. Of course, some would say it is a little late for an Oktoberfest, and that we should all be switching our focus to Halloween. Well, the Desert Darlings will also be at Tractor Wells Park this Friday night at 8 for Hops & Dreams: The Addams Family Edition, so you know that will be a blast. You can also trek out to Sierra Blanca for a Halloween Party on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m., with a costume contest, games for kids and adults, food, live music, and more. All the staff asks is that you bring a non-perishable food item for donation to charity, and that will get you in the door.

Good luck getting through all of it! (And if we missed anything major, please let us know.)

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boese Brothers brings back an old favorite in Double Dead Red. Bombs Away drops more Stockpile Milk Stout, plus A.S.B., an American twist on an English ESB. Boxing Bear goes double for its new Brut Strength DIPA. Canteen has a fresh batch of Irish Red ready to go. Kaktus turns over pretty much the entire lineup with Bourbon Ginger Beer, Pumpkin Schwarz, Innkeepers Nitro Ale, Helles Lager, and Oktoberfest now on tap. La Cumbre brings back a seasonal favorite in Witch’s Tit, while also adding Gracias Por Fumar, Honey Cream Ale, and Citra SMASH IPA on tap, and El Jugo cans are back on Friday. Marble brings back Cuvee Rouge today on tap and in bottles at all three locations, with a food pairing from Oni Noodles, plus it also has This is How We Brut It! available on tap. Red Door unveils Solo Saison, made with smoked pumpkin, on Friday. Sidetrack has more 3:10 to Belen Brown available. Starr Brothers visits Planet of the Ape-rricots, with Jack Tooth Grin on deck. The 377 rolls out Whiskey Strawberry Sour and Pumpkin Porter on Thursday. Toltec also gets in on the pumpkin theme with Basic Gourd on Thursday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn finally has its Brut IPA on tap. Second Street brings back one of our personal favorites, Preacher’s Share, an epic, barrel-aged imperial stout.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 15.

(more…)

The Crew was represented at the NM Brew Fest by, from left, Andrew, Reid, and AmyO.

Well, that was quite the weekend. Of all the Crew, I may have done the least craft beer drinking, which is quite weird. Hey, I am single and do not have a kid, but I also have a screwy work schedule and missed the ninth annual New Mexico Brew Fest. Boo.

Anyway, I did get around a little bit. My quest to try all the local Oktoberfest-style beers continued with stops at Ponderosa (quite good, quite traditional) and Bow & Arrow (also quite good, but a little more bready and dry). I also found some of the last remaining cans of Steel Bender’s OktoberFiesta at Jubilation when I was sent on a beer run for a post-NMBF party.

Then the weather changed and it became stout season. That is a story for next week, however.

Here are the rest of the Crew’s weekend adventures. Let’s just say they all had a lot of fun, and a lot of beers, and everyone survived to tell the tales.

(more…)

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

There are a whole lot of unique events going down this week. It all kicks off Friday, which is of course the first Friday of the month, meaning the Downtown Art Walk is back. As in the past, the downtown breweries and taprooms will participate, including Duel and Sidetrack. That same night, the Desert Darlings are celebrating the second anniversary of Sirena World Dance Studio at Kaktus in Bernalillo. The free show kicks off at 7 p.m. There are three events going down Sunday. This Saturday, Second Street will be donating a share of every beer sold in Pints for Parkinson’s at all three locations. First up is a brewers brunch at Marble Heights starting at 11 a.m. The cost is $30 per person, which gets you plenty of food, beers to pair with it, and a chance to chat with the Marble brewers in a more intimate setting. Tickets are available at the taproom. Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales is hosting another Pulls 4 Pups, this time featuring a tap takeover by Santa Fe Brewing, starting at 11:30 a.m. Sales benefit Street Homeless Animal Project. To wrap it all up, Duel ABQ is hosting a double charity event from 4 to 7 p.m. Kids Supporting Kids NM is a charity that helps children fighting cancer, while NMDOG supports freeing chained dogs throughout the state. There will be live music and raffles with prizes in a family-friendly setting.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque hops to Standing on Giants IPA and goes sweet with Not Your Average Latte. Bow & Arrow rolls out Desert Rambler Hefeweizen on Thursday. Dialogue tells everyone to Stay Golden Gose on Friday. Kaktus has fresh batches of Pub Ale, Blond Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Irish Red. Ponderosa deals out some Triple IPA and Peach Wheat Ale. Sidetrack brings back its popular Pilsner just in time for the warmer weather. Starr Brothers resurrects Don’t Fear the RIPA while also adding Peppy Redlocks. Steel Bender teams up with High & Dry for some Zest Out. Turtle Mountain will tap some Bocky Mountain High later this week.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn goes dark with some fresh Black Thought IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of April 2.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle, Bernalillo Weisse, Best Coast IPA. The Bernalillo Weisse is the most recent addition, and a tremendous name.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Black IPA. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Black IPA.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Sat noon–10 p.m., Sun noon–8 p.m.)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Operation Single Hop, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, Boom Stick Brown, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, M1A1 ABQ Common, Imperial Session IPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager. The most recent addition is the Operation Single Hop, but get ready, Wild Card, a new saison, and The RED Ale debut this Friday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Scale Tipper IPA, IRA, Standing on Giants IPA, Down in the Hollow, Not Your Average Latte. The malt-forward beers are in charge for a while, with Down in the Hollow, a brown ale, back for another run.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Denim Tux Lager, Nomadico IPA, Savage Times Sour IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Saison de Blanc, Roam Free DIPA, Cake Bandit, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen. Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. Bottles of Cosmic Arrow will be released this week as well. Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, was the most recent addition on tap. Desert Rambler will be added to the taps Thursday.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Low Rye-der IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Sucker Punch DIPA, Bear Trap Hoppy Ale, Bear Knuckle IPA, Red Knuckle Irish Red, Tropic Thunder IPA, The Red Glove. The most recent additions are The Red Glove, Tropic Thunder, Red Knuckle, Bear Knuckle, and Bear Trap. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Irish Red, Tuttle IPA, Obey the Darkside, Marzen, Schwebock, Super Smalls Session IPA, Oat Brown, Steel Can Stout. Steel Can is a collaboration with Steel Bender, if the name was not a dead giveaway. The Oat Brown will run out Thursday, when Pop’s Pilsner returns just in time for baseball’s opening day. Get a pint of Pop’s with chips and a hot dog for just $7 while watching America’s pastime.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Dust City Opera, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—TBA, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—TBA, 5-8 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Mon closed, Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Sun noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Coffee Lager, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA, Munich Dunkel, Blood Orange Gose. The most recent additions are the Dunkel and Blood Orange Gose, at least until Stay Golden Gose joins them on tap this Friday.

Live Music: Friday—Sloan Armitage, 6 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday—We Are This City Wrap Party, 8 p.m.-midnight

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—X-Ile Open Mic and Acoustic Jam, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 6-10 p.m. (every other week); Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout. The Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman, and Say It Loud are the most are recent addition. Go try them out while watching Black Panther for the first (or 10th) time.

High and Dry Brewing — (505) 433-5591

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 2-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Ghost of a Moon Pale Ale, Hurry Sundown Wheat, Freedom Cage IPA, True Horizon Red Wheat, Freedom Cage with Mandarina Bavaria. Welcome to the listings, High and Dry! It has been a busy first few weeks for the new brewery at 529 Adams St. NE, just south of Lomas. All five of the beers listed should be available as High and Dry gets its lineup set.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—TJ the DJ, 9 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Helles Lager, Puddle Stomper IPA, Doppelbock, California Common, Pub Ale, Blond Ale, Oatmeal Stout, Irish Red, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include the Pub Ale, Blond Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Irish Red.

Live Music: Sunday—Sunday Fun Day Jam Sesh, 3 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Sirena Studios 2nd Anniversary with The Desert Darlings, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Helles Lager, Cascade SMASH, Black Berry Briar, Orange Choco Nitro Milk Stout. Make IPA Clear Again, the collaboration with Denver’s Comrade Brewing, has already come and gone. There are still cans of Helles Lager and Black Berry Briar available at the brewery.

Lava Rock Brewing — (505) 615-2802

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: All guest taps for now. Welcome to the listings, Lava Rock! We just wanted everyone to know that the kitchen is up and running and some unique guest taps from other local breweries are available now at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW. When the house beers appear, we will let everyone know.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Pinky, Stout Americano, Smoked Helles, Jarrylo Red Ale, Cholo Stout, Passionate Gose, Paddy McNitro, Session White, From the Wood Saison (Downtown and Westside only), Session IPA (Downtown and Westside only), El Gabacho (Heights and Westside only), Imperial Red (Heights and Westside only), White Out (Heights and Westside only), Double IPA (Heights and Westside only), Nitro Pub Ale (Westside only), Marble Pale Ale (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The Double IPA, From the Wood Saison, Session IPA, Nitro Pub Ale, and Marble Pale Ale are the most recent additions, plus White Out is back. You can also get a Black & Tan made from Paddy and the Amber at all locations. Stout Americano is back at all locations, on tap and for sale in bottles. Remember, too, that Cholo Stout, Double IPA, and Imperial Red are now available in six-packs!

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Eugene, 6-9 p.m.; Thursday—Big News, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Cordova with Smokin’ Blue, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Groupe Therapy, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—STIG, 3-6 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Tres Pendejos, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Jade Masque, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Underground Cadence, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Picoso, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (Heights): Sunday—Brewer’s Brunch, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: New Mexico Snow IPA, Hot Chocolate Porter, Irish Red. New brewer, new seasonals as Nexus has Snow IPA and the cayenne-infused Chocolate Porter available now, plus Irish Red is back for another run.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Hefeweizen, Gold Medal Pilsner, Triple IPA, Toasted Cinnamon Stout, Peach Wheat Ale. Yes, the Toasted Cinnamon Stout was made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal made in collaboration with the local General Mills facility. Triple IPA and Peach Wheat Ale are the most recent additions.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA, Dark Pedro, Kill or be KILT. The Clark and beastly-but-good Test Batch both advanced to the third round at the National IPA Challenge. Dark Pedro and Kill or be KILT are the most recent additions.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wyoming taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Putin on the RIS, Strong Scotch Ale. The Strong Scotch is back on tap. Putin on the RIS is a Russian Imperial Stout, in case you couldn’t guess, and it’s quite tasty.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Porter, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Mint Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Razberry Sour, Belgian IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Cherry Cuvee, Cascade Pale Ale, Porter 4 Humanity, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). There are two barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter and Putin. The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition. There are also guest taps featuring beers from around the state now available.

Live Music: Saturday—Lonn Calanca Band, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Family Funday, 2-5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–6 p.m.)

Beers: Co-Mo IPA, Railhead Red, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pilsner. The Pilsner is the most recent addition. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Pilsner and Railhead, with orange zest, are in the firkins.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, The Green Manalishi, Don’t Fear the RIPA, Peppy Redlocks. The most recent additions are Don’t Fear the RIPA and Peppy Redlocks.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Skull Crusher DIPA, Centorado XPA, Manana Tropical IPA, Out to Pasture (Saison). The most recent additions are the Out to Pasture, Steel Can, Centorado, and Manana. This Thursday will feature the arrival of Zest Out, an orange coffee beer made in collaboration with Humble Coffee and High & Dry Brewing. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, along with the anniversary beers, Ingenio and Bullet Reserve, for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps this week with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

News: Bottles of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Milk Stout aged with dark cherries and Scottish Wee Heavy aged with sweet cherries are still available.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park), (505) 243-6752 (Four Hills)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Dry Gulch IPA, Pete’s Porter, Blood Orange Cider, Explora G&T Cider, Tupac Cali Red Ale, Lemon & Honey, Nitro Milk Stout (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Nob Hill only), Spiced Cider (Wells Park and Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Chocolate Milk Stout (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Three-Two Amber (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Imma Pale Ale (Nob Hill and Four Hills only), Turkey Drool (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick, but the supply is running low. All proceeds from the G&T Cider go to the Explora Science Center. Blood Orange Cider and Tupac have returned, plus the new Lemon & Honey is available.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—The Timewreckers, 8 p.m.; Friday—A Tribute to Merle Haggard, 5 p.m.; Saturday—The Duke City Riots & Evan Woodward, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Tara Shupe, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—RJ Perez, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Nathan Fox, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Poetry & Beer, 7 p.m.; Thursday—The Great Ape-ril, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Brake Light Clinic, noon

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals. Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, Total Malarkey IPA, Marzen, Snakedriver Dry Irish Stout, Amnesia Ale. The Total Malarkey, Amnesia, and Snakedriver are the most recent additions. As the Ahmnata is nearly out, Bocky Mountain High will soon be available to replace it.

Cask: Tuesday—Peanut Butter and Chocolate Amnesia

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: SMASH Pale Ale, Katabatic Kolsch, Black Thought IPA, Peaches ‘n Cream Ale. The Black Thought Katabatic are the most recent additions.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Goya. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Jacob Chavez, 8 p.m.; Saturday—The Rudy Boy Experiment, 9 p.m.; Monday—Beats and Beers, 7 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): None this week

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Friday—Low Rez Art Exhibit with Masta Ace, 8 p.m.; Sunday—Kids Supporting Kids & NMDOG Fundraiser, 4 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amarillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Notorious BdG, Aromatherapy IPA. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Notorious BdG, aged in apple brandy barrels, is the most recent addition to the lineup and is also available for sale in bottles.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter, Twisted Root, Schneeball Imperial Pilsner. The most recent additions are Schneeball and Twisted Root, the latter a blonde ale with ginger and lemongrass. You can also find Twisted Root and Lustgarten in six-pack cans.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 IPA, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Outlier Special Bitter, Vienna Lager, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, British Mild, Bone Breaker Bitter, XX ESB, Winter Warmer, Agua Fria Pilzner. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Winter Warmer and Agua Fria Pilzner are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—The Bus Tapes, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Barbwires, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—TBA, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—TBA, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): None this week

Other Events (all locations): Saturday—Pints for Parkinson’s, all day

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Pennsylvania Swanky, Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, Little Bird Blonde, Lichtenhainer. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are joined by some fascinating newcomers in the Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap, and Lichtenhainer, a sour ale.

Picacho Peak Brewing — (575) 680-6394

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sun closed)

Beers: Picacho Lite, Keller Hefeweizen, Twisted Windmill IPA, Old Crawley, 575 Scotsman, Irish Xtra Stout, I Heart Porter, Smooth and Stout. Welcome to the listings, Picacho Peak! For the first time in a long, long time we have a Las Cruces brewery in here. Make sure to check it out the next time you are down south.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Natalie Portman. The Natalie Portman is a, well, you can probably guess. It is the newest addition to the seasonal lineup. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

Live Music: Friday—Brandon Leinen, 6 p.m.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We have no idea why Kaktus brewer Michael Waddy wanted to take a picture atop his equipment, but hey, it works, right?

For most of us residents of the Albuquerque metro area, Bernalillo has long been considered just another gas stop on the way to Santa Fe. However, if you pay close enough attention, one would quickly find that within a strange blending of commercial, residential, and industrial properties off South Hill Road is a true diamond in the rough — Kaktus Brewing Company.

A destination brewery that fully embraced the neighborhood pub ideals early in its 2013 conception, Kaktus has become a staple for many of the nearby residents. There is an air of peculiarity as you pull into the gravel driveway, where heavily southwestern and vibrant art themes run rampant throughout the property, giving the place just the right amount of quirk in itself to set the theme. Shawna and I both took the adventure (twice, to be precise) to catch up with head brewer Mike Waddy and owner-operator Dana Koller for their brewery’s entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

Kaktus owner Dana Koller keeps his brewery buzzing.

2017 seemed to be a fantastic year for Kaktus, running the 2-barrel brewhouse often at full capacity, feeling their way through an accelerated tempo, and taking big strides to keep pushing out into the community.

“It was a great year for us,” Dana said. “We had the opportunity to make a ton of improvements, made really good money, and set the tone for going into 2018, for sure.”

Michael also had great news to add.

“We finally got our distribution license, it was very exciting,” he said. “It went into effect November 1. I would say it was one of the biggest highlights.”

One of Kaktus’ first reported keg customers was the Two Fools Tavern on Central.

“One of the big goals as well was visibility, whether it was signs, or marketing, or social media we really went after it,” Michael said.

The little brewhouse got a big workout in 2017 and that will continue this year.

In terms of competing in 2017, Kaktus was far more busy on getting the work in first, as Dana explained.

“We didn’t do as many (competitions), as we added a lot of festivals and events,” he said. “We did a lot of independent pours off-site. We submitted to the (New Mexico) IPA Challenge, and that was about it. 

“Because we don’t distribute yet, it’s not a huge focus for us. We were just slammed. The focus was just keeping up with demand really.”

Looking back on some of the more memorable events, Michael recalled one that stood out. 

“The Bernalillo Blues Fest was great for us, it was really fun and reached a lot of new people,” he said. “We had two jockey boxes going, so we had a lot of beer out there.”

The patio at Kaktus remains one of the most unique spots around to enjoy a beer.

Some projects went better than others this past year, as Kaktus had begun playing with some barrel aging and bugs for sour beers.

“So we had a barrel, working on the ‘Ship’s Hull IPA’,” Michael said, “which was hanging out, and managed to get a wild brettanomyces fermentation going, which was awesome. So one day, coming in and the bung is out. So I’m not sure what happened, you know? What had got in, or was still in there? So I ended up having to dump it. Since it was a brett barrel I didn’t want to dump it in the brewery and risk an infection in there so I ended up digging a grave out by the chicken coop. I rolled the barrel out there like a mobster and dumped it all in there.”

A shame indeed, but we hope to see Michael give it another shot.

Recently, Kaktus closed its Nob Hill taproom, seemingly abruptly, though the answers seemed to point in an ongoing theme for business along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue. Dana provided some clarity on the subject.

“We were about to renew (the taproom lease), and then they announced that they were going to extend the (Albuquerque Rapid Transit) project another year, we just decided ‘forget that,’” he said. “It was a struggle at times, though for the most part the taproom was at a break-even point. We saw it just wasn’t growing as rapidly as we anticipated it would. It was the end of our three-year lease, so we let it go and have looked for bigger and better things. It was unfortunate however as we had just dumped $6000 of new improvements into the taproom.”

Kaktus bid farewell to its recently renovated Nob Hill taproom due to more problems with A.R.T.

Looking towards the remainder of 2018 and beyond, it sounds as though Kaktus will continue keeping their noses to the grindstone. 

“We’re going to put a full focus on Bernalillo, of course due to the Nob Hill closure,” Dana said. “Because we’re already going into the summer soon, we’re not going to look for a secondary spot again until 2019, but part of that also is that I believe we won’t have the production capabilities. 

“I think we’re going to be too busy in Bernalillo. We’re adding four more events this year during the summer we will be pouring at. We’re going to have large events just about every weekend.”

It has the makings of an ambitious, but worthwhile move while waiting to re-approach the prospect of real estate again.

“We’ve got a few improvements left aesthetically, but all the majors ones are finally done, so this year is the first year we won’t be having to direct a bunch of revenue,” Dana said.

With the impressive Bosque Brewing production facility going in just across the Rio Grande on 550, Dana said he is optimistic and excited for their new neighbors arrival, recalling when asked about the impacts of neighboring establishments.

“We thought that Freight House was going to affect us when they came in, (but) we didn’t feel them,” he said. “Same goes for Applebee’s; we thought we would lose a few tables to them, but they didn’t even touch us.”

Even with some new neighbors in Bernalillo, the pints will keep flowing at Kaktus.

Dana also made an interesting point.

“Honestly, they’re not much closer than they were originally,” he said. “They’re right down (Interstate 25) from us now. If anything, it’s going to improve our business, I think. They will help give Albuquerque residents a bit more of a reason to come down to Bernalillo.”

Like so many other continually growing and changing breweries, it will be interesting and exciting to see exactly where Kaktus Brewing Company will make its mark over the course of 2018 as they ‘Step On In’ to the new year. With summer approaching, Michael was happy to report the return of a crowd favorite, the Cucumber Cream Ale, along with a Basil Lager as a note to their existing fans.

Keep an eye on us here at the Dark Side Brew Crew for the latest updates on Kaktus Brewing and their recently re-branded website to follow all of their events and more.

Cheers!

— Shawna & Jerrad

Kaktus went ahead and remodeled the interior of its Nob Hill taproom.

Kaktus Brewing had the unfortunate timing of opening its Nob Hill taproom just as construction began on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project. Now, as the last of the orange cones have been removed, Kaktus is looking to finally find its niche with a taproom remodel.

“As you know, right when we opened this location, they started A.R.T.,” owner Dana Koller said. “We were just up against it hard, the challenge right there for a while. We just got motivated as they were completing A.R.T., supposedly they’re about to run any day now, we decided to recreate ourselves along with that. All of our changes would be done December 1. So, we didn’t close to make the changes, we’ve been incrementally creating them, and then December 1 is when it’s like this is where we’re at.”

The new interior is both cozy and pseudo-industrial.

Kaktus tossed out the old, almost 1960s-style mod furniture. The bar is now one solid piece with a concrete counter top. The new vibe is almost a sort of throwback style, but mixed with a little bit of the eclectic fun that the original brewery in Bernalillo has been sporting since day one.

“We’ve been trying to figure out our niche here,” Dana said. “We’ve got an incredible niche in Bernalillo. I mean a niche in the whole industry, a brewery on the way to Santa Fe, on the way back from the Jemez. So we’ve been trying to figure out our niche here. We decided to go with this really aggressive social environment. We’re pushing those social hours between 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.”

Kaktus is moving away from being seen as a restaurant with beer, Dana said.

“That’s the niche we’re trying to create, a social environment more away from the restaurant to focus more on the taps and the drinks,” Dana said. “Before you walked in and we felt like people weren’t too sure if we were going more restaurant or more taproom. Now we’ve just decided to go much more taproom, more bar oriented.”

Relax after a long day with a pint or two.

The menu is quite different from anywhere else in Nob Hill.

“Our menu is all about those fine hors devours and flatbreads, more bar menu style, but pretty nice,” Dana said. “It’s something you’re not going to find anywhere else. We’re doing duck wings, squash and goat cheese flatbreads, a unique grilled cheese.”

The changes have not been limited to the downtown taproom space. Head on upstairs for a new experience as well.

“We did the same thing with the rooftop patio,” Dana said. “We added some new lights up there. It’s all lounge furniture from one end to the other. It’s super comfortable. We’ve even got new staff coming on board this week. It’s almost a full overhaul, to a degree. We have a nice new feel, so when people walk in it’s going to be a whole new experience.”

Dana shared this photo of what the rooftop patio now looks like at night. The plant holders will be replaced soon by mini-fireplaces.

Capturing some of the Bernalillo experience, but also giving the taproom its own voice, has been the goal.

“That was the other thing, we tried to match our Bernalillo spot with its eclectic-ness, and we still did, but we’re definitely taking it up a notch at Nob Hill to identify ourselves more,” Dana said. “Bernalillo is outdoorsy, kick your feet up, chickens are running around the property. This is going to be nothing like that at all. We’re going to be the opposite of that, a real clean, fun environment, the start of your social night.”

The timing could not be better for Kaktus to make these sorts of moves. A.R.T. coming to an end is one thing, but this Saturday will feature the annual Twinkle Light Parade, and the following Saturday will feature Shop and Stroll.

“I thought we offered something different to begin with, but it wasn’t enough for people to talk about,” Dana said. “It wasn’t enough for people to be like oh, my experience was great there. We started the aggressive changes with the menu. The day after Thanksgiving, we were open that Friday and Saturday and that’s it, we already got a really good response to the style those two days. People walking in the door were so positive. I’m so excited about this week.”

All of us in the Crew wish Kaktus luck in finding that niche. We look forward to chilling out with pints like the delicious new Oatmeal Raisin Stout in the near future.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Craft beer is all about fun, at least as far as we are concerned, and thankfully the folks at Tractor agree with us. This Thursday night they are setting up a Superheroes Pub Crawl. Dress up as your favorite comic book characters, or just go as is, and kick things off at 7 p.m. at Bosque’s taproom. From there, the crawl will go to the Kaktus taproom, Zinc Cellar Bar, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and finally to Tractor’s taproom. There is no cost to join, and the idea is to help raise funds for multiple businesses that have all been affected by the Albuquerque Rapid Transit construction. There will be special prizes handed out at Tractor at the end of the crawl. We highly recommend you take an Uber/Lyft or get a designated driver to go to and fro. Even then, please, be respectful and have fun, do not overdo it. This is all in support of our local businesses.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque is still feeling the season with Summer Slammer, a super pale golden ale. Canteen shakes up its specialty lineup with Hank ESB, Raspberry Wheat, and Fill in the Blanco all back on tap. Ponderosa will roll out India Pale Lager 2.0 by the weekend. Sidetrack brings back Dark Engine Stout. Turtle Mountain will have Mr. Hoover’s Redux on tap by the end of the week, but HIPA Violation, made with 80 pounds of New Mexico honey, is on now.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street has fresh batches of Rod’s Best Bitter and Southern Passion IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 7.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Diablo del Oro, Parasol, Red Mountain. The most recent additions were the Red Mountain (7.5% ABV, 80 IBU), Parasol (4.5% ABV, 20 IBU), and Diablo (9.7% ABV, 20 IBU), which is a hefty Belgian golden strong.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Frias Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship, Sour Strangehop. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ Wae Fonkey, 9 p.m.; Saturday—SCFR Solo, 9 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Summer Slammer, Don’t Call it a Comeback IPA, Beernana Split, Center Fielder (Extra Pale Ale), Old Man Jameson (Scottish Export), Fruited All the Rage. The Comeback was Bosque’s NMIPAC entry that finished second by just three votes. Fruited All the Rage is pretty much as it sounds, a fruited hazy IPA.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Black Chandelier (Belgo Stout). The most recent additions to the lineup are the Cosmic Arrow, Hoodoo Monster, Sour Sumac, and Black Chandelier. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Tropic Thunder IPA, Eastern Standard IPA, Bear Knuckle DIPA, TKO Triple IPA, Barril de Oso, Barrel-aged Chocolate Milk Stout. The most recent additions were the TKO, Barril de Oso, and BA CMS, all of which went on tap for the third anniversary party last month. Bear Knuckle just won back-to-back NM IPA Challenge titles.

Live Music: Thursday—Russell James Pyle, 6 p.m.

Events: Saturday—Doggie Dash Kickoff Party, 1-4 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Coffee Exodus IPA, Nitro Exodus IPA, Laid Back Lager, Hank ESB, Fill in the Blanco IPA, Raspberry Wheat. All that remains of Hop Kwon Do 2017 are the regular Exodus and two variants, Coffee and Nitro. Get them fast before they also run out. The most recent additions are the Hank, Blanco, and Raspberry Wheat.

Live Music: Thursday—TBA, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—TBA, 4-7 p.m.

Events: Today (Wednesday)—Brain Gang Trivia, 6 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Deuces IPA, Ginger Braggot, Kolsch, Gose. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. The Ginger Braggot is a collaboration made with Blue Corn.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Boyz N Berry N the Hood, Dialectic DIPA, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Sour Pale, Das Palabra (Zwickelbier). The most recent additions are the Dialectic, Blood Orange BW, Sour Pale, and Das Palabra.

Live Music: Saturday—Tropical Girls, 8 p.m.; Sunday—Rev the Music, 3-5 p.m.

Events: Friday—Brewers Crew Magazine Release Party, 6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. The Covfefe Hefe is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Blues Jam with Bob Bolz with Ale-Tail Cocktails, 2-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Brewhouse Shandy, Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Killer Bee Honey Wheat, Tripel Whammy. The most recent addition is the Tripel Whammy.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale). Welcome to the listings, Hops! They have started out with these six beers on tap, but they also have 32 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. Here is our first review. The Dad Joke and Warm Scottish Nights are temporarily out, because apparently you drank them all up during Summerfest. Fresh batches are en route.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Hefeweizen, Farmhouse Apricot, Mars DIPA. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings. The summer seasonals are the Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot, replacing the Rye Pale Ale and Dry Stout, plus the Mars DIPA.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: El Jugo, VMO #2, Mosaic SMASH, All That I Need Kellerbier, An Extra Slice of Hefen, Full Nelson DIPA. The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. This batch of Full Nelson is some potent stuff, but it will not be available for long if history is any indication.

Live Music: Saturday—The Boondoggles, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Trivia or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: 111 Farmhouse, Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, Belgo Petite, Cherry Gose, Peach Gose, Mango Gose, Strawberry Gose, Raspberry Gose, 111 Farmhouse (Downtown and Heights only), Plum Gose (Westside only), Pilsner Anejo (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The 111 Farmhouse was the newest addition, but when things are this quiet, you know a whole slew of new entries are due out any day now. For the Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, a portion of the proceeds will go to charity.

Live Music (Downtown): Thursday—Brothers Gow, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Squash Blossom Boys, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Merican Slang, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Pawn Shop Poster Boys, 3-7 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Saturday—Dan Lavoie, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Underground Cadence, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Jade Masque, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Beam Me Up Scotty, Kolsch, Double Bird of Prey, Imperial Pilsner, Kaylynn’s Altbier, 505 Collab (Silver only), Darker Fare (Silver only). The most recent additions are the Altbier, Kolsch, Double Bird, and Imperial Pilsner.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Vic’s Secret Pale Ale, Hoppy Pilsner, Saison, Imperial Brown, Rapsberry Saison, D.D.U. IPA. The D.D.U. (Double Down Under) IPA, Imperial Brown, and Raspberry Saison are the most recent additions. The India Pale Lager 2.0 will join them by this weekend.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday—Last Call, 6 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Han’s Hoopty Pale Ale, Saoirse Hefe, Berliner Weisse, Mike’s Beer (American Pilsner), Clark (Juiced) IPA. The amped-up version of Clark on tap was QC’s NMIPAC entry. The Berliner and Mike’s Beer are the other recent additions, plus Han’s Hoopty, made with Millennium and Falconer hops (get it?) is back.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Blackberry Hefeweizen, Dog Days Kolsch, White AF IPA, Rye Steam (downtown only), Open Saison (downtown only). The Dog Days Kolsch and White AF IPA are the most recent additions. The latter was brewed for NMIPAC.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout (regular and barrel-aged), Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter, RIS, and Belgian Strong. Belgo IPA is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Thursday—Jon Soucy, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Michael Moxey and the Easy Sinners CD Release Party, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday—The Cowboy Way ($15 cover), 6:30 p.m., Don Allen, 8-10 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Saturday—Muscular Dystrophy Fundraiser ($1 from each Amber pint sold), all day

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night (now outside), 7 p.m. or later, weather permitting; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Downshift Pale Ale, Switchgear IPA, Golden WHEELS Ale, Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Dark Engine Stout. The most recent addition is the Dark Engine Stout. A portion of the proceeds from the Golden WHEELS Ale will go to helping the WHEELS Museum open its doors soon.

Cask: The Switchgear and Dark Engine are in the firkins.

Events: Movie Night with Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, 8:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Electric Sun American Wheat, Starrphire Pilsner, A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen), Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Thunderr Ale (IPA), Piney the Apple (Pineapple Wheat). A Roll in Ze Hay channels the best from Young Frankenstein. Thunderr Ale (IPA) and Piney the Apple are the most recent additions.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, 505 Collaboration, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA, Skull Crusher DIPA, The Village Tart Blood Orange, Hibiscus Gose, Spell Bender Pils. The Skull Crusher was SBB’s NMIPAC entry. The Spell Bender Pils, Village Tart, and Hibiscus Gose are the most recent additions.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier; (seasonals) English Best Bitter, Red Rocket (Double Red), Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour, Berliner Weisse. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Berliner Weisse is the most recent addition.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Thai Basil Mint Cider, Berry Cider, Big Sipper IPA, Scout Golden Ale, Delicious Golden Dry Cider, Ghost Ranch IPA (Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). The Thai Basil Mint Cider was the most recent addition until Scout Golden Ale debuted and a fresh batch of Big Sipper IPA joined the list. The Ghost Ranch IPA returned recently as well.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Jacob Chavez and Paul Hunton, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Russell James Pyle, 7 p.m., Quietly Kept, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 8:30 p.m.; Friday—Glenn McLaughlin, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Keith Sanchez, 5 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Politics and Pints, 5:30 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—Superheroes Nob Hill Pub Crawl, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Craft + Beer: Begin Again, 3 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Monday Night Film Club, 8 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Keller Collab, Yum Yum Colada, Yum Yum OG, HIPA Violation. The Yum Yum Colada is a pina colada kettle sour. The My Kolsche and Yum Yum OG were the most recent additions until HIPA Violation, an IPA made with 80 pounds (!) of New Mexico honey, went on tap. Up next is Mr. Hoover’s Redux, a steam beer, and another batch of SCH Scotch Lager.

Cask: Tuesday—Can’t Catch Me

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Hefeweizen, Gatekeeper IPA, Merry Prankster’s Sour Ale. The Gatekeeper was Blue Corn’s entry in NMIPAC.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the most recent additions to the lineup.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine, Ensor (Sour), Turncoat, Monomyth, Marcel, Sans Titre (Amber Sour), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit). The Origine was the spring saison. The Duchamp, Oui Lourd (Imperial Scottish), Fantin, Sans Titre, Turncoat (Sour Scotch), Monomyth (DIPA), and Marcel (Wit) are the most recent additions. The WWWMD acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—High Desert Playboys, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Reggae on Tap from the Brotherhood of Sound ($5 cover), 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Today (Wednesday)—IPA Wednesdays all August, $2 off all house and guest IPAs, all day; Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Ab Initio with Passion Fruit, Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), No BU For You (Zero IBU IPA). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA, Oktoberfest, Hefe’d Up, Cucumber Saison (ECS), Secret Society of A.L.T. (ECS). Rejoice, for Oktoberfest is back, even though it doesn’t feel much like autumn yet.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, English Summer Ale, Railyard Red, Rod’s Best Bitter, Southern Passion IPA. The most recent additions are the Rod’s Best and Southern Passion.

Live Music (Original location): TBA

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Flossy Clouds!, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Lee West, 1-4 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Michael Waddy does more than just make the beer over at Kaktus Brewing.

When we got the news that Dana Koller nominated his head brewer, Michael Waddy, as an Unsung Hero at Kaktus Brewery, I jumped at the opportunity to write his interview. I have a fondness for the particularly eccentric and creative methodology and themes the business has become known for. I drove out to Bernalillo’s neighborhood brewery, sitting quietly along South Hill Road, to sit down with Michael and try a few new beers. After settling in on the outside patio, with its intimate view of the Sandias in the evening, we began to sample the libations and start our conversation.

When asked why he thought he may have been nominated as an unsung hero, Waddy humbly replied, “I don’t know. I certainly don’t feel unsung. I feel like people appreciate what I do and they let me know. I brew beer. I guess that’s kind of a big deal. But, I also do other things. I’m the keg delivery guy. I also do random side jobs around here. I’m a bit of a handyman. Currently, I’m putting together new furniture for the brewery (new tables were being placed in the taproom dining area). I try to help out wherever I can.”

To turn the question around this time, I asked what he believed were the most valuable qualities he brings to the brewery.

“Well, I think I’m a pretty good brewer,” Waddy said with a chuckle. “But, I’m also very emotionally invested in this place. I try to help out as much as I can, and I try to do the best job that I can.”

The dedication certainly showed as we further discussed ongoing projects within the brewery, to include the expansion of their Kombucha line, and ideas hinting towards further building on a true sour-style barrel program.

Michael started brewing beer at a young age, displaying a mischievous resourcefulness and fondness for the art of brewing.

“I started brewing beer before I could legally drink beer,” he said. “I purchased a 5-gallon pilot system and started experimenting with it in high school. I mostly just started doing it to throw parties and have beer. I really started getting into the science of it when I went to UNM. I started apprenticing under Mark Matheson of (then) Turtle Mountain, and that hands-on experience taught me more than anything else I had done so far, including my own trial and errors.”

It’s clear to me why Waddy was nominated as an unsung hero. He is a man of my talents, from brewing, to cooking, to building furniture, but Waddy had a couple other nominations in mind for unsung heroes.

“While we’re talking about unsung heroes, a couple of our regulars here feel like the true unsung heroes to me,” he said. “There’s a guy named Stu. He builds stuff here. Like right now, he’s working on a stage on our patio. He’s coming in on his own time to build this stage. There’s another guy named Reid. Reid helps us book musicians. We had blues player(s) come through. He also booked a girl that was on The Voice. Both shows brought in huge crowds to the brewery. We have patrons that love this place so much that they want to help us out. Those guys are the true unsung heroes of Kaktus Brewery.”

Patrons as unsung heroes? At a neighborhood pub like Kaktus, we can see that.

A big thank you to Michael for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat, and to Dana for setting it up.

Cheers!

— Shawna

Tractor’s Nob Hill taproom is back behind those trees, away from much of the construction for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project.

The Albuquerque Draft Station shut its doors on April 3, through no fault of its own. The Albuquerque Rapid Transit project had torn up Central Avenue outside, and during the construction a water line was ruptured, forcing the craft beer bar to shut its doors. Draft Station would not reopen until April 12. Nine days of revenue were lost.

It was perhaps the most extreme example of the negative effects of the ongoing construction, which has hampered businesses not only in the stretch of Central west of downtown, but also in Nob Hill, which has been torn to pieces for months. The Crew reached out to the breweries and off-site taprooms in the affected areas. While Bosque and Draft Station never got back to us, I did have a chance to sit down with Kaktus owner Dana Koller, Kellys head brewer Dan Cavan, and Tractor marketing director Jeremy Kinter. Each of their respective Nob Hill locations has had a different experience with A.R.T.

Kaktus only opened its taproom on December 31, 2015, making it one of the more recent new additions to the neighborhood.

“We only opened a few months before we really started getting into that (construction),” Dana said. “We don’t have numbers to compare it to, but it’s definitely been an uphill battle. We feel there’s a (clear) reason for that. We’re getting our high ratings, people love what we’re doing up there, but it has been really difficult to get that walk-in traffic. We see our numbers going up slowly, really slowly, but they are going up. I think we would be about 35 to 40 percent stronger if the construction wasn’t there.”

Kellys has also had a hard time discerning the exact impact of the construction, as the longtime brewpub recently went through an ownership change. Now under Santa Fe Dining’s umbrella, Kellys has revamped its food and beer menu.

“Honestly, I think it’s just slightly less than business than usual,” Dan said. “Probably the changeover had more impact than this on our sales.”

Tractor has been the most established and stable of the three, but that has not meant it has avoided a drop in sales.

“It’s been interesting, but surprisingly enough A.R.T. hasn’t impacted us as deeply as we expected,” Jeremy said. “We’ve held our own. Sales have been down, yes. We have noticed a drop, but it has not been significant by any means. We’re one of the lucky few.”

Tractor does have a couple things in its favor. First off, it has its own established parking lot out front, and many customers over the years have learned to park on the side streets like Silver and Tulane. The taproom also has a loyal clientele from the residential neighborhood to the south.

“What’s nice about our Nob Hill location is it’s more like a Cheers (style) bar,” Jeremy said. “There’s a ton of regulars and those regulars still come, mostly from around the neighborhood.”

Parking issues are still there for everyone, however.

“We’re one of the lucky few where we have parking, unlike areas like Harvard, for instance, in the Bricklight District,” Jeremy said. “That’s a lot tougher. Getting there is really tough, getting in and out is really tough. I know Winnings (Coffee) is having a tough time. They have the Indiegogo campaign for $10,000. It’s really sad to see that it’s impacting those bigger businesses as well. I don’t want to see Off-Broadway go out of business. AstroZombies won’t go out of business, but they’ve taken a hit. Everyone has taken a hit. Nob Hill Bar & Grill, they’ve taken a hit. Even Two Fools.”

It is that drop in support for all businesses in Nob Hill that has Tractor concerned.

“All in all, it has impacted us, but not bad,” Jeremy said. “We’re more concerned with the neighborhood in general. That’s our biggest concern right now, concerned with the other businesses shutting down like Red Wing (Shoes), Hey Johnny, the furniture store. We’re worried about the impact on Nob Hill in general, because that impacts all of us.”

These sorts of signs are becoming all too common in Nob Hill, worrying the breweries and taprooms.

Kaktus has made moves to try to combat that by bringing the various businesses together.

“We’ve been trying to get involved wherever we can,” Dana said. “We did that passport program recently to encourage business and encourage the businesses to come together and build that excitement. I’m happy to see that our numbers are going up, because that means we’ll probably make it, even though it’s been a struggle. Chances are high we’ll make it, especially after the construction is done. We should see some strong numbers.”

The passport program involved 19 businesses on or near Central, where patrons could get a small booklet and receive a stamp every time they made a purchase. They could then turn them in to be part of a drawing for $700 in prizes.

“It got us some positive exposure in the media,” Dana said. “It’s the perception that people are getting more than anything else, if we kind of create events, they’ll make their way down. That was pretty successful for the first one. The biggest thing was we got positive news. It was in the Journal. KOAT covered it.”

Kaktus may look to do a second go-around with the passport program, Dana said, as construction is expected to continue through July. Those construction plans extending into summer is where the Nob Hill locations could start to see a major impact.

As Dan noted for Kellys, “we’re patio driven, so we’re also weather driven,” meaning the coming weeks and months will truly show whether or not the construction will have a tangible effect on the brewpub.

“They’ll probably finish the bulk of the construction during our slow season,” Dan said. “(But) it will be interesting to see what happens when they’re working on the sidewalk on our side of the street.”

The bulk of the sidewalk construction is currently along the north side of Central in Nob Hill. It has created headaches for locations such as Il Vicino, Two Fools, Matanza, and more. Once it reaches the south side, where it could begin to affect Tractor, Kellys, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and even close to Bosque.

The sidewalk construction is creeping closer toward Kellys.

One major casualty, events wise, has been the loss of the annual Pride Parade, which will move to Lomas this year. The uncertain end date for construction means that Route 66 Summerfest could also be in jeopardy of being relocated.

“That’s a huge loss for us, especially for Tractor and our involvement in the LGBTQR community,” Jeremy said. “That’s one of our big demographics. We have Drag Queen Bingo and we do events sometimes with the social club. At Pride we do a float and people come to Tractor (afterwards). That was a big loss for us and we weren’t too happy about it moving to Lomas, but we understood. You can’t do that on Central right now.”

Tractor still intends to be involved with the parade.

“The word as of now is next year it will move back to Central, which is good,” Jeremy said. “Also, they’re working with me to let Tractor to close down a portion of the street or block in Nob Hill and host a post-Pride Parade party. That’s a nice stipulation that they gave us. They’re working with us and Nob Hill Bar & Grill.”

The Tractor staff is thinking positive thoughts about Summerfest staying put. So far, city officials have not officially committed to keeping it in place, nor have they officially said it would be moved. That call may not come for another few weeks, so the city can better analyze the state of the construction and its progress.

“What we were concerned with, and we just had a meeting with the economic development (committee), and our biggest concern has been the loss of Summerfest,” Jeremy said. “As you know, Summerfest is a huge event in Nob Hill. It’s our number one day for sales. That’s the case for a lot of the businesses in Nob Hill. There has been some talk of Summerfest moving away from Nob Hill, but that hasn’t happened. We’re very fortunate for that.”

Kellys, likewise, will miss having the Pride Parade around and hopes that Summerfest is not going anywhere.

“Those are huge bumps,” Dan said. “Losing Pride from Central, we’re busy from 7:30 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon. That will definitely impact us. Summerfest is huge, that’s the largest event on Central. Just keep it rolling, get (the construction) done by Summerfest.”

For now, the Nob Hill breweries will keep their fingers crossed that things will keep trending in a positive direction as the construction gets closer to completion. None have been hit so hard that they are in danger of closing shop, but not every business in the district can make the same claim.

“We’re more concerned about the neighborhood in general than ourselves,” Jeremy said. “Tractor will be fine. We do things to try to drive traffic there. We have music two nights a week. We have art openings. We have those events to generate our own traffic. Scalo, I think, is bringing back music as well. It’s about that time of year. We opened our patio. Once the warmer weather is back we’ll see more traffic.”

The Crew will keep an eye on the status of all the breweries and taprooms up and down Central, as well as the ultimate fate of Summerfest.

In the meantime, get back out to the affected areas and show your support for all the businesses in Nob Hill, East Downtown, West Downtown/Old Town, and downtown itself whenever the construction finally reaches there. Let us focus on helping our local small businesses, whether they sell beer or not, keep their doors open, regardless of the status of old Route 66. Lomas and Lead/Coal are our friends!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The grand opening of the Nob Hill taproom was one of the biggest moments of 2016 for Kaktus.

The grand opening of the Nob Hill taproom was one of the biggest moments of 2016 for Kaktus.

Editor’s note: Another new Bullpen member makes her debut with the Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry on Bernalillo’s only brewery. Let her know how she did in the comments. — S

It was a big year for Kaktus Brewery, as 2016 started with the grand opening of their taproom in Nob Hill, and they don’t plan to slow down in 2017. I had the chance to sit down with owner Dana Koller and head brewer Mike Waddy to discuss the excitement of the year gone by, and what we can expect from them in the coming year.

“Opening a taproom has definitely been my proudest moment of 2016,” Koller said. “You know, we expanded to one of the busiest areas of Albuquerque. It’s been challenging in many ways. Our company is self funded, so we do everything organically. It’s really nice, but it limits us in ways because we can’t grow as fast as some of the other breweries. Moving to the new location has allowed us the opportunity to stay competitive, and prove that there’s still an opportunity for smaller companies to grow.”

The colorful interior of the Kaktus taproom.

The colorful interior of the Kaktus taproom.

The new taproom isn’t the only change that 2016 has brought Kaktus. They started experimenting more with beers, ciders, and kombucha. For those of you unaware (you’re not alone, I googled it on my way to the Bernalillo taproom), kombucha is a fermented sweet tea with an active culture of (good) bacteria and yeast. This particular brew is less than 0.5-percent ABV, but it’s more commonly consumed for the tea’s suggested health benefits. It is said to help increase your immune system, lower cholesterol, and strengthen your digestive system.

“I used to hate kombucha, but my girlfriend loves it,” Waddy said. “Actually, she drinks it like a fish. Our kombucha bill was off the charts! So, I started making it at home. That turned out so well, I decided to do it full scale at the brewery. It’s fun and it’s funky, but I’ve developed a taste for it. The public loves it! It’s actually been hard to keep it in stock.”

Waddy has also gotten to play more with his specialty beers.

“One of my favorite projects that we started this year was a small barrel-aging project,” he said. “We started it with a beer called the Ship’s Hull IPA, and that was awesome! It went really, really quickly. We originally bought these barrels because we were going to start a sour program, and we just kind of started doing IPAs into them and never really got into the sours. So, this barrel (with the Ship’s Hull) is slowly, just naturally propagating brettanomyces, so we’re gonna have a Brett IPA fairly soon. Then, eventually, we’ll start inoculating pediococcus and lactobacillus to do a true sour, but right now we’re just kind of letting it naturally sour.”

Kaktus has kept its beer menu fresh throughout the year.

Kaktus has kept its beer menu fresh throughout the year.

So, what’s in store for 2017?

“2017 is gonna be awesome,” Koller said. “We’re excited about the Bernalillo location. We’re gonna start marketing it towards weddings and special events. We have such a unique location out there. We did our first wedding there a couple months ago, and it turned out really well.

“As far as the taproom goes, we realize the diversity that Nob Hill has to offer, and we are planning to capitalize off of that. Obviously, we have opened up the (World Travel) Cafe. The Cafe is also owned by Kaktus Brewing Company. We are going to be adding a New Mexico wine bar, which will be hosted within the Nob Hill facility as well. So, that location will offer three incredibly high quality productions, which is our craft beer first and foremost, and adding organic coffee and the New Mexico wines. That’s all really exciting!”

Kaktus hopes to increase their brewing output in 2017.

Kaktus hopes to increase their brewing output in 2017.

Another notable feature coming in 2017 is that Katkus is looking to start distributing.

“We just filed for our distributors license,” Koller said. “Granted, we will be distributing on a small scale. We realize that people want our beer. We want to establish ourselves in that setting so that we can be more available to the public. We also want to show (the public) that even though we are a small brewery, we are still a strong and growing brewery.”

“We have slowly started expanding our equipment,” Waddy added. “We’ve been ordering more kegs. We’ve been upgrading our fermenter sizes. My hope for 2017 is that we basically double what our system is now. I think that would be awesome for us.”

The original brewery is becoming more of an event space.

The original brewery is becoming more of an event space.

I spoke with Waddy a little bit about the idea of collaboration. I was interested to learn that he’s really excited for the opportunity to collaborate with another local brewery.

“I’d like to collaborate! I like a lot of local breweries. Nobody’s ever asked us to collaborate, and I think collectively, maybe we’re too shy to ask,” Waddy said with a laugh. “But, it would be really fun if we are given the opportunity in the future. It’s definitely something I’d like to do.”

Overall, 2017 is poised to be an opportunistic year for Kaktus. Stay tuned for more information on the New Years/One Year Anniversary Party at the Nob Hill taproom.

Cheers!

— Shawna