Posts Tagged ‘Lava Rock Brewing’

The long road to opening is nearly over for Lava Rock.

The first of two finish lines is in sight at Lava Rock Brewing. After enduring many a delay, the newest brewery on the West Side will open, sans its own beers, this month. That second finish line, the one with its beers on tap, well, that is still obscured by the sluggish bureaucracy of the City of Albuquerque.

I met with brewer Aaron Walters for a quick tour of the nearly finished space last week at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW, just north of Ladera. The taproom, with guest taps installed, and kitchen are ready to go, and the doors should be open to the public before February ends. Look for an official announcement on the Lava Rock Facebook page soon.

The brewery, well, that will take longer.

“The brewhouse, which may or may not be,” Aaron said, pointing to the equipment that is set up, but not actively in use. “The whole boiler situation is what we’re having. We got close to installing a new one. Then we thought the cost to install one and to buy the equipment, it’s almost cheaper to buy a new system here in the States and have that installed. We may just risk that and bring a new one in, but it’s not 100 percent, yet.”

Issues with the control box on the brewhouse have kept Lava Rock from starting up its own brews.

It all stems from a change in how the City of Albuquerque operates. In the past, the City has allowed breweries to send over all the information on their systems before installing them, to make sure everything is up to code in advance. This time, though, the City inspectors said the system had to be installed and in place before they could inspect it.

“We wasted tons of money just waiting and waiting, not doing anything,” Aaron said. “That’s the sad thing, with stuff like this, they tell you to get your license … it changes, since last time it was just send us a picture of your equipment. This one they said, no, we want it set up, we want to see it in the physical location where it’s supposed to be. Wait a minute, now we have to order it, so what if it doesn’t pass inspection? Which it didn’t, so now we’re screwed.”

The problem, according to the City, is with the electrical system.

“This has been a thorn in our side dealing with the City and stuff,” Aaron said. “When we got this thing, I specified some things as UL (Underwriters Laboratories) listed, which is this, the main (control) cabinet. Years ago, they said you only need to have the main cabinet UL listed, we don’t care about anything else. Anything but that can be CE-listed. Now they’ve changed it, all of a sudden, nope, we want everything has to be UL-listed. Anything with electronic parts has to be UL listed.”

Eventually, beer will be made here.

With all of that still up in the air, and money going only in one direction, the ownership team at Lava Rock decided it was time to open, even without the brewery operational.

Aaron said he was still hopeful that he can brew some small batches of his own beer and have those available.

“We’re maybe, possibly doing our beers on the small batch, small scale until we get our system situated,” he said. “Of course that’s up in the air. I hope so, so I can at least get some of ours out there.”

When the beers are ready, big or small batch, Aaron has most of his recipes ready to go.

“I’m thinking right now, I’ll do what everyone is doing with the two IPAs, have one IPA that’s going to be regular and one that’s going to be rotating on a seasonal tap,” he said. “I’m thinking about doing a porter, a red, an amber, a wheat, and a variation of the stout I did before, the java stout. Eventually I’d like to get into putting a lager on tap, but I want to see how our flow is running. I don’t want to tie up a fermenter.”

The taproom/restaurant two-thirds of the building is ready to go.

Aaron and his father, Bill, who is part of the ownership team, were previously part of the short-lived Firkin Brewhouse in the Brewery District. That operation failed due to a combination of a fallout between the partners, as well as the fact the location was barely visible to the public. Lava Rock, on the other hand, sits on a busy north-south street, close to Interstate 40 and near several growing neighborhoods.

The closest craft beer establishment is the Nexus Silver taproom, 2.4 miles away to the east on Coors. The next closest breweries are Flix Brewhouse (5.3 miles) to the north and Ponderosa Brewing (5.2 miles) to the southeast, on the other side of the Rio Grande. That leaves Lava Rock on a virtual island as a potential neighborhood pub.

“We’ve had a really big response, people driving by, walking in to ask if we’re open,” Aaron said. “At minimum, we’re getting three or four phone calls a day asking if we’re open. It’s been really responsive, which is great.”

There will soon be customers to fill all these bar stools.

The building in total is nearly 6,000 square feet. It can hold 150 people inside and another 80 on the patio, which is still under construction. Considering all the desert sand outside, that should be fine while Albuquerque gets through its windiest months.

On the food side, the full menu includes brewery staples like a Bavarian pretzel, nachos, and wings for appetizers. The entrees include multiple sandwiches and hamburgers, including the option to build your own burger from a long list of ingredients.

The food and guest taps will start things off for Lava Rock this week. Then it is just a matter of being as patient as possible while the rest of the process works out with the City.

“It’s been up and down, man, like it always is,” Aaron said. “Everybody tells stories about what they’ve gone through (trying to get open). It sucks.”

We wish Aaron and the Lava Rock team nothing but good luck from here on out.

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.

UPDATE: We received word directly from the brewer at Lava Rock that his brewery is not opening this Friday, even though the Albuquerque Journal said it was. Well, darn it. Anyway, Lava Rock is planning on opening on Feb. 16, provided the final permits fall into place. We now continue with the rest of our original intro. … Then on Saturday, the grand opening will be underway at High and Dry Brewing. All five regular beers will be available for the first time, plus a seasonal. There will be food trucks and plenty of additional fun to be had. For more info on what the brewery is all about, check our preview from last week. While this new brewery making its debut, Bow & Arrow is throwing its second anniversary party on Saturday night. We will have more in our upcoming Look Back/Look Ahead Series. It will include the brewery’s first bottle release, Dark Mesa, a Belgian quad aged in red wine barrels with brettanomyces.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boese Brothers goes sour and dark with Super Kreak and Komrade Boese on tap. Bosque brings back an old favorite with Scale Tipper IPA, plus Southwest Session IPA is available for those who want less ABV with their hops. Dialogue likewise goes the lighter route with Micro Hands Session IPA, plus Moloko Plus Milk Stout is available. La Cumbre is bringing back Molinillo Stout on tap and in bottles this Friday. Marble keeps it varied with Grapefruit Tangerine Gose and Spruce Moose, a stout, plus Rouge Maverique returns. Ponderosa shines with Gold Medal Pilsner. Turtle Mountain rolls out Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale, plus Thundermouse IPA is coming on tap soon.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales channels its inner Sith with Sarlacc First Order. Second Street brings back some big hop bombs with Imperial IPA, St. George IPA, and for those who prefer it malty you can choose between Boneshaker Special Bitter and 3 C’s Porter.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of February 5.

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. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale ale.

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, Friars 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, Double Dead Red, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Komrade Boese. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, and Komrade, a Russian imperial stout, if you could not guess.

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–Fri 3 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: Short Fuse Blonde Ale, BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, High Speed Low Drag Lager, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Brisance Bitter, Bag Drag BPA, Arsenal English Amber, Proximity Pilsner, MKDeuce Pale Ale, Primer Pub Ale, Actuator IPA, Stockpile Stout, Phil’s Incendiary IPA, Long Delay RyePA, Bomb’s Shell IPL, Boom Stick Brown, Counter Charge Coffee Stout. The Phil’s Incendiary IPA was brewed up for a great cause, so head over to try it soon. Stockpile is a nice, robust beer that is perfect for the season. The Coffee Stout is the most recent addition.

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, Camp Waconda, Down in the Hollow, Old Man Jameson, Scale Tipper IPA, Southwest Session IPA. Welcome back, Scale Tipper, a two-time National IPA Championship winner (2015 and 2016). The Southwest Session and Camp Waconda, a s’mores-style stout, are the other recent additions.

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: Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Wolf Eyes (Oktoberfest), Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA, Vanilla Daze Stout. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Vanilla Daze, Savage Times, Coyote Waits, Thirsty Land, Sweetfetti, and Visionland. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive. Take note, Hoka Hey IPA has been retired from the lineup.

Live Music: Saturday—DJ Garronteed, 8 p.m.

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: Crystal Kolsch, Scotch Rocket, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Simcoe SMASH, Low Rye-der IPA. The most recent additions are the Low Rye-der, Scotch Rocket, Simcoe, and Iron Lung. There are still a few bottles left of the barrel-aged Standing 8 Stout. 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, Trailworks IPA, Dogtoberfest. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Dogtoberfest is the most recent addition.

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: Laid Back Lager, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Irish Red, Oatmeal Stout, Munich Dunkel. The Laid Back is also available in six-pack cans. Obey the Darkside Stout is still on deck, but we have to wait a little while longer. Make sure to stop by Canteen anytime to try Dark ‘n Lusty Stout, the winner of this year’s Stout Challenge.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Russell James & Eventide, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Le Chat Lunatique, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Todd Tijerina, 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

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager, Coffee Lager, World as Will IPA, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA. The most recent additions are the Moloko and Micro Hands.

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. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 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: Eater of Worlds Pale Ale, Darth Malt, Hoplo Ren, Nebulas New England IPA. The most recent addition is the Nebulas, but the two that came before it were released in conjunction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Darth Malt (Baltic Porter) and Hoplo Ren (Black IPA).

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.

Live Music: Saturday—Sloan Armitage, 8 p.m.

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

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

Beers: Blondie, Helles Lager, Winter Wheat, ESB, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, St. Paul’s Porter, Imperial Stout, C-Thru Stout, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include C-Thru, Blondie, Winter Wheat, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, and the delectable Oatmeal Raisin Stout. The Imperial Stout is now available, too.

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, 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: Weize Ass Goat Weizenbock, Mind Phoq, Siberian Silk, Chew and Swallow Oatmeal Stout, Einbeck Two Step. Make sure to pick up four-packs of Siberian Silk, a lovely Baltic porter, while they are available. The Einbeck and Chew and Swallow are the most recent additions. Molinillo Stout returns on tap and in bottles this Friday.

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: Cholo Stout, Biscochito Wheato, Citra IPA, El Gabacho Golden Ale, Grapefruit Tangerine Gose (Downtown only), Spruce Moose (Downtown only), Galactic DIPA (Downtown only), Doppelator (Downtown and Westside only), Double IPA (Downtown and Westside only), Rouge Maverique (Heights only), Cholo Smooth (Heights only), Nitro Pub Ale (Heights only), Hop Fudge Sunday (Heights and Westside only), Tropical Solution (Heights and Westside only), Robust Porter (Heights and Westside only), Downlowlander Scotch Ale (Heights and Westside only), Ginger Kid (Heights and Westside only), Ol’ Maverick Barleywine (Westside only), Nitro Negra (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 Grapefruit Tangerine Gose, Spruce Moose, and Rouge Maverique are the most recent additions. We cannot recommend the Ol’ Maverick and Cholo Stout enough. Get some! UPDATE: Cholo Stout is being canned today (Wednesday) and those should be rolling out in six-packs Thursday!

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Thursday—Gleewood, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Hub City Sound System, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Yacht Rock Hustle, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Vintage Brew, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Stan Kee & The Step In, 8-11 p.m.

Events (Westside): Sunday—Marble Mouth Off, 4 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: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

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, BRO (Double IPA). 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: Spanglish, Gold Medal Pilsner, Saphir Single-Hop Pale Ale, Hop-Mosa, Russian Imperial Stout. The most recent addition is the Pilsner, which was brewed in the German style.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

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: S’More Than a Beer, SMASH Comet Session IPA, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL, Clark IPA, Test Batch #1 IPA. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. Beag is a little brother to the Morbuck IPA. The Clark and Test Batch, made for the National IPA Challenge, 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: Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Dubbel, WyPA, Strong Scotch Ale, White AF IPA (downtown only). The WyPA was made to honor the opening of the Heights taproom. The Strong Scotch is back on tap.

Live Music (Downtown): Saturday—Alto Estilo, 7 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (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 twobarrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter (new recipe!) and Putin (new batch). The Blueberry Mint Gose is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Thursday—Melissa Rios, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Tres Pendejos, 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Saturday—Higher Ground Bluegrass, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Dos Gatos, 2-5 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays with Tony and Rachel, 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

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–10 p.m.)

Beers: Turntable Series IPA: Track 2, Guera American Blonde Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale, Single Barrel Stout, Locomotive Breath IPA. The Single Barrel Stout and Locomotive Breath are the most recent additions. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Locomotive Breath and Dark Engine are in the firkins.

Events: Friday—Cheap Thrills First Friday Art Show, 6-11 p.m.

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, Anniversary Stout, Starrphire Pilsner, Cherry Bombed, Foggy Monocle. The most recent addition is the Foggy Monocle.

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) Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Die Dunkel Seite, Oh Gs (Ginger and Grapefruit Gose), Steel Bender Lager, Skull Crusher DIPA, Manana Tropical IPA. The most recent additions are the Lager, DIPA, Oh Gs, and Manana. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, 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 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: Three-Two Amber, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, Pecan Ale, Turkey Drool, Chocolate Milk Stout, Kahlua Porter, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), Vulgar Display of Porter (Wells Park and Four Hills only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Ghost Ranch IPA (Wells Park and Four Hills only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). An archived batch of Vulgar Display of Porter is available for a limited time. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

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—Greg Butera & The Gunsels, 8 p.m.; Friday—Still Closed For Repairs Duo, 7 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Todd Tijerina, 8:30 p.m.; Friday—Julian Dossett, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Keith Sanchez, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Jacob Chavez, 7 p.m.

Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Poetry & Beer, 7 p.m.; Friday—Serigraphia Art Opening, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Art Fight 40: The Love!, 7 p.m.

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: Infinitesimus Imperial Stout, Yum Yum OG, Ahmnata Khappa Pale Ale. The Ahmnata Khapp is the most recent addition, but Thundermouse IPA will soon join it on tap.

News: Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager is now part of the main lineup and should be on tap year round.

Cask: Tuesday—Hopshell IPA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Funkalicious, La Santa Oscura, Blue Corn Mexican Lager, Witty Hop Pun IPA. The La Santa Oscura is a delicious, holiday spiced dark lager. Witty Hop Pun is Blue Corn’s entry in the upcoming National IPA Challenge.

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—Buddhafunk and Friends, 8 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): Friday—Escape on a Horse, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Poncho Delux, 7 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Friday—Vintage Nights: Be Your Love, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Drag Queen Bingo, 6 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 – Amrillo, Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison). The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Sarlacc First Order is the most recent addition to the lineup.

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: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten, Oh Helles No (ECS), Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter. With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back. The most recent additions are Lustgarten, a lager with a hint of raspberries, Oh Helles No, and the big Porter.

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, Agua Fria Pilzner, XX ESB, Low Winter Sun Sour, Summer Rain Sour, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, Cereza Negra, Chinook Pale Ale, International Style Steam, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 3 C’s Porter, St. George IPA, Imperial IPA. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Imperial IPA, St. George, 3 C’s, and Boneshaker are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Lone Pinon, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Greg Butera, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Swing Soleil, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Still Closed For Repairs, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): none this week

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, Hoppen Mother, Oatmeal Stout, Pennsylvania Swanky, Ranch School (Pale) Ale. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer and Wit Rock are joined by some fascinating newcomers, such as the Hoppen Mother, a blend of Hoppenheimer and a barrel-aged brown ale dry hopped with a ton of Mosaic.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout and Cranberry Sour are the most recent additions. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

* * * *

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

Cheers to the BA for all it does.

Yeah, it is definitely that time of year. The recaps and top 10 lists are being posted, the year-in-review stories are rolling along (like, uh, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series). When it comes to recapping the year in craft beer for the entire country, no one sums it up best quite like the Brewers Association.

It was another big year for craft beer, to say the least.

“Craft brewers continue to thrive, if at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America—on Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “Today, 83 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning that the positive impact of breweries is being felt in communities all over the country.”

OK, that is pretty cool. What other stats does the BA have for us?

  • The number of breweries nationwide has now surpassed 6,000, with 98 percent of those falling under the craft banner. By the Crew’s count, 68 of those are in New Mexico, with at least six more active licenses for places that have yet to open their doors, but should in the next couple months (more on that down below).
  • All those breweries have created 456,373 jobs, a 7.5-percent increase from 2014. In turn, that has generated $67.8 billion for the U.S. economy, a 21.7-percent increase. Craft breweries in turn donated $73.4 million to charities.
  • The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has support from both parties and will potentially pass through both houses of Congress and become law during this current session. So, yeah, I guess we will have to say that Congress will do one good thing.
  • It appears the term “beercation” is becoming more and more of a reality. The average craft beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near home and 2.5 breweries within two hours driving distance (take note: the press release did not say whether this was 3.5 per week, per month, or per year; for the Crew, it would certainly be per week, sometimes even per day, when we are feeling frisky with our Lyft/Uber accounts). A survey by the BA found that 64 percent of craft drinkers like to visit breweries to try new beers on a regular basis. We will raise one to that.
  • The New Mexico stats on the BA website are for 2016, but they still tell a positive story. By the end of that year, there 57 breweries, ranking 26th in the country. More notably, the 3.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults) ranks 11th nationwide. Breweries had an economic impact of $333 million (40th) or $226.26 per capita (35th). A total of 111,237 barrels (32nd) were produced, amounting to 2.3 gallons consumed per adult (21st).

Yeah, it is still a good era for craft beer. Here is hoping it continues into 2018 and beyond.

Embrace the darkness at beer bars, too

The quality of dark beers around town is straight fire.

Our friends over Rock & Brews wanted you all to know that the current dark beer lineup is fairly epic. As fun as it is to hit up the breweries first, don’t forget the beer bars, as they often pull in some exclusive styles from out of state that you can usually only get in bottles or cans.

Rock & Brews currently has Dogfish Head’s Vanilla Oak-Aged Worldwide Stout, which is otherwise a pricey purchase in four-pack bottles. The ubiquitous Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout lines up next to Worldwide. There is also the most recent iteration of the ultimate beer geek beer, Stone’s Imperial Farking Wootstout. The real surprise gem, though, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. No, really, it is on tap. If that hefty price tag for a bomber is scaring you off, but you really want to know if it is worth it (we think so, but we’re biased), head over to Rock & Brews to try it first before you commit to a 22-ounce bottle or two.

Down at Sister Bar, at least as of the Gatecreeper show this past Monday (gotta say, impressive crowd showing, ABQ-area metalheads), there is still some of La Cumbre’s La Negra on tap. It has been out at the brewery for a while, so get some while it lasts (if it’s even still there, we apologize if it is gone by now).

Nob Hill Bar & Grill has a strong lineup, which you can find anytime via Untappd. The current black beasts of ahhh available are Bell’s Black Note and Kalamazoo Stout, plus 2016 and 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout, and two old favorites in Oskar Blues Ten FIDY and Stone Xocoveza.

So much dark beer, so little time.

New breweries update

Hello to a new small town brewery!

Sticking with tradition in beer notes, here are the most recent updates on all the forthcoming breweries across New Mexico. As always, we only list breweries with pending or active small brewer licenses with the State.

  • BLUE (Albuquerque): Nothing new on this small brewery located somewhere near Broadway and Lead/Coal.
  • Bonito Valley Brewing (Lincoln): A newcomer to the list located in a small, historic town west of Roswell along Highway 380. There is a Facebook page that says the owners are aiming for a summer 2018 opening.
  • Brewstillery (Albuquerque): We still have no info on this combo operation in the Southeast.
  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The small town brewery has been in touch with the NM Brewers Guild about joining up in 2018, so it appears to be a go.
  • Cantero Brewing (Albuquerque): Now armed with an active license, the final parts of construction are underway.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): We have no new info on this business.
  • Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso): The license is active, but there is still no website that we can find, nor any social media. It remains a mystery.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): The license is active here, too, and beer is now being brewed. We await the announcement of opening, which could come any week now.
  • High and Dry Brewing (Albuquerque): Construction appears to be mostly complete down near Adams and Lomas. The Crew is in touch with the ownership and we are working to set up an advance tour when they are ready.
  • Hollow Spirits (Albuquerque): Construction continues on this new combo spot in the Wells Park neighborhood. It is the brainchild of former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway.
  • Lava Rock Brewing (Albuquerque): The West Side brewery is getting closer and closer to opening on Unser just north of Ladera.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing (Ruidoso): Yes, the license is active, now only a few final touches must be completed and there will be local beer in the mountains down south. Keep track of the progress on the Lost Hiker Facebook page.
  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Another newcomer to the list, we have no info beyond a name and a zip code for RR. It is unknown if this brewery is related in any way to the former 1933 Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., which closed at the end of 2016.
  • Red River Brewing: All this mild winter is not helping the ski industry up north, but it should enable RRB to finish construction and remain on track for an early 2018 opening.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): There is still no info online on this place. We would like to remind everyone, though, that there is a Switchback Brewing in Vermont, so a name change may ultimately be necessary.
  • Toltec Brewing (Albuquerque): The forthcoming West Side brewery took a big step by hiring a head brewer, but we have been asked not to reveal the identity of this individual just yet. Let us just say, however, that we are excited.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): There are lots of construction photos on Facebook, so it looks like a good bet to open sooner than later. The small brewer license is now active.
  • The pending licenses for off-site taprooms remains as follows — Little Toad Creek in Las Cruces (new!); Ponderosa at El Vado Motel redevelopment (getting close); Santa Fe Downtown Taproom; Starr Brothers Alehouse (location TBA); Tumbleroot in Santa Fe (they will not sell beer out of the production facility down the street). Also, the Milton’s taproom in Roswell has an active license, but it is not yet open as far as we know.

That is all for now. As always, if you know anything about anything, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend, and good luck with any last-minute Christmas shopping!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Get ready to raise those La Cumbre pints soon, Arizona!

It was clearly time to clear out the old notebook once again …

La Cumbre expands distribution to the west

Last year, when I sat down with owner/master brewer Jeff Erway for our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article, he said that Arizona was definitely his next target for out-of-state distribution. The only thing he was lacking at the time was a distributor. Well, it appears he found one.

La Cumbre announced on social media that it will indeed expand to the Grand Canyon state, debuting in the Phoenix area on October 9 and moving out to the rest of the state in the weeks that follow.

“The responses on our Twitter account and Facebook and things like that has been overwhelmingly from Arizona,” Jeff told the Albuquerque Journal. “Arizona seems like the state that’s most thirsty for La Cumbre beer.”

La Cumbre will become the third New Mexico brewery to distribute in Arizona, joining Marble and Santa Fe. It also distributes in Colorado.

The Roswell mystery solved

For all the growth in craft beer in New Mexico, the fifth largest municipality in the state still has not attained its own craft brewery. Roswell, smaller only than Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe, has oddly been a craft beer dessert. If nothing else, it seemed like at some point, maybe an out-of-town brewery would at least put a taproom there. Well, that day is about to arrive.

Milton’s Brewing, headquartered in Carlsbad, has officially announced on social media that it will be opening a taproom in Roswell. Milton’s Off Main is slated to open at 315 N. Main St. later this year. It will mark the first off-site taproom for Milton’s and, as noted above, the first true craft taproom in town.

Obligatory forthcoming breweries update

Yeah, we dig that logo. As local as local can be.

As per usual, here is the latest info (if we have any) on the next wave of breweries. Take note, we only list those who have a pending small brewer license with the State of New Mexico.

  • Bare Bones Brewing now has an active license with the state, but the Cedar Crest brewery has yet to open. There are no updates on the brewery Facebook page, either, but we gotta imagine it is getting close. Keep an eye out.
  • Bombs Away Brewing also has an active license. We feel confident in saying it will be the next brewery to open. Stay tuned for an update sooner than later.
  • The only new pending license since our last check is for a place calling itself the Brewstillery. It is located somewhere in the 87106 zip code in the southeast part of town. If anyone out there has information on this new addition to the list, please contact us.
  • Cantero Brewing has its equipment now in place, per its social media. Looks like it is getting close and may be able to open before the year is out.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing has also received its equipment down in Carlsbad. It should be getting close as well.
  • We solved two mysteries with one Instagram inquiry the other day. It turns out that High and Dry Brewing, which has an account, is one and the same with Volume 31 Brewing, a mystery pending license holder we spotted a few weeks back. The brewery will go by the former name, with a nice hot air balloon motif (surprisingly, a first for a local brewery, as far as we can recall). High and Dry will be located at 529 Adams St., which is just south of Lomas.
  • Lava Rock Brewing has a “coming soon” sign now posted outside the building on Unser just north of Ladera. We will take that as a good sign (pun intended).
  • Lost Hiker Brewing has a public hearing pending with Ruidoso Downs residents and officials on October 10. After that, it should be good to go to bring local craft to the mountain town.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery is also making progress in Santa Fe, per its social media pages. It is in the market for a brewer/distiller and bottle shop/market manager. If you have interest in either position, email the Crew and we can forward your info to the owners.
  • We do not have anything new on the following forthcoming breweries: BLUE (Albuquerque), Elkins Brewing (Grants), Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso), Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft), and Toltec (Albuquerque).

As always, if there are any news tidbits we have missed, please drop us a line via social media or at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Another Hopfest is in the books.

Yeah, this story should have run Monday, but Sunday featured soccer in the morning, work in the afternoon, and Isotopes coverage in the evening. Anyway, just figured the Crew could share a few of our thoughts on the latest edition of Hopfest, which was held back on Saturday at Isleta Casino.

Wherefore art thou, 377?

One of the weird little moments was the fact that The 377 Brewery had a space reserved but never showed up. No word was ever given as to why. That, plus the sudden closing of Chama River, left one corner of the main room somewhat barren. They were supposed to be right next to each other. (Before anyone panics, The 377 is still open and doing fine, by all accounts.)

A little light on the crowd

One thing that was quickly apparent was a visible drop in attendance. Two mitigating factors could have been all the people who were elsewhere, preparing for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, or more likely all the folks on the West Side of ABQ preferred to attend Summerfest in their backyard. Of course, with fewer people, things seemed to go much smoother. Most importantly, the bathroom lines were short if not non-existent. That alone is a victory.

NM weather is not your friend

The side room that used to host a lot of breweries was instead reserved for the Dukes of Ale and the NM Brewers Guild Educational Pavilion, which meant a lot of breweries had to go outside beyond the patio. Many of these were local breweries, which meant they had to endure a fair amount of wind, plenty of heat, and even some rain. It would not be the late summer in New Mexico without some wacky weather (as I type this on Monday, the Isotopes are in a rain delay, which means I may be filing this from the ballpark at some point in the weird hours).

As Crew member Shawna put it best: “Hopfest was a lot of fun! (But) it was disappointing to see so many local breweries outside. The outdoor situation seemed like a hot mess (literally).”

Hail to the Dukes

Franz Solo’s next project is to assemble a kit like this one.

AmyO got to hang out over at the Dukes of Ale display, which included the ultimate homebrew setup (pictured). She added this: “Really liked getting in to that first room early just before extra hoppy (hour) and having the Dukes of Ale over there. I enjoyed that coconut, etc., vanilla, etc., etc. beer, but there was a little too much going on — so much so I can’t even remember the name(s) of what was in there.” She also enjoyed the doppelbock, but one of her friends liked the IPA better than she did.

Shawna chimed in: “I really loved the Dukes of Ale setup. My favorite was the dopplebock.”

Our picks for best beers of the fest

I will let the ladies go first.

AmyO: “You know my favorite beer was that imperial red (Ol’ Lassy) from Enchanted Circle. My second favorite was, strangely, Lava Rock’s Hefeweizen. Now, one reason might be just plain uniqueness when you kind of get fatigued from the same old beers sometimes. I thought the Blueberry Stout at Ponderosa was nice, and not too overpowering on the blueberry.”

Shawna: “Bow and Arrow had a very good IPA (Hazillionaire). I also enjoyed Ponderosa’s Blueberry Stout! I’m proud to see Antonio (Fernandez) making so much progress! Oddly enough, considering I lean towards darker beers, I kept going back to Flix Brewhouse’s So It Gose. That was a very well rounded gose, not too sour or too sweet.”

As for me, I kept the sampling to a minimum since I had to give a seminar on the history of brewing (yes, shameless book promotion moment). The top six that I tried were:

  • Bathtub Row Krosscut Kolsch: If there was a perfect beer for the scorching temps outside, it was this one. Wonderfully sweet and refreshing. If they canned or bottled this and shipped it down to ABQ, I would buy it every summer.
  • Bow & Arrow Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red: Fairly tasty red, without the hop kick of Marble’s Imperial Red. Both sweet and yet dry. Overall, solid.
  • Bow & Arrow Desert Dynamo IPL: Fresh batch was tapped later in the session. Sweet, floral, fairly juicy. I was impressed by the B&A offerings, definitely gotta revisit the brewery as soon as baseball season ends.
  • Duel Oui Lourd: I was initially skeptical, but curious, about a sour Scottish wee heavy. I don’t know if I would drink a full pour, but it was pretty good, and this is coming from a non-sour guy. If nothing else, it was different.
  • Quarter Celtic Bruce (Black IPA): This batch was done in a hazy New England style. Yes, a hazy black IPA. Lots of flavors at play here, with the roasted malts coming through even amid the hops. It was just tapped that morning, so it will be interesting to see how it settles in at the brewpub.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales Agent Scully – Season 1, Episode 3: The latest in a series of revolving IPAs from RFA, this one is a sweet, floral delight, with berry/melon flavors. I have no idea what the hop combo was, but man, I hope they use that again.

Apologies to those local breweries that I did not visit. I will make it up to you at your actual location or an off-site taproom.

A special thanks to Marne Gaston (and her mom), John Gozigian, Angelo Orona, and Carlos Contreras.

Even if I didn’t sell many books (people had beers to drink, I understand), it was still a good festival. I only rambled on at the seminar for about 20 minutes, too, which is remarkable considering how long-winded I can get. Anyway, until the next major festival (GABF!), it is back to the regular grind. Let us hope that there will be no additional brewery obits between now and then.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It is curtains for Draft Station’s Albuquerque location. (Photo courtesy of Draft Station)

Well, it’s Friday, and the little bits of news are starting to bunch up. Here we go …

R.I.P. Draft Station, and Sandia Chile Grill, too?

It appears that two more local beer spots have closed their doors. One is now confirmed, the other seems likely but is not official.

First up, Draft Station ABQ posted on Facebook that they were closing again due to problems caused by the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project on May 5. Since then, there were no posts, and multiple people told us that the taproom appeared to be permanently closed. We were then told by another brewery that their orders for future beers have been canceled. A final confirmation then came in when we contacted an executive with parent company Santa Fe Dining, and he emailed us back to confirm that yes, Draft Station ABQ is now permanently closed.

It was always a tough sell for the local version of the big hit up in Santa Fe. While that location is in prime real estate overlooking the Plaza, the ABQ location was stuck too far from the other downtown breweries/taprooms and then just a bit too far from Old Town. Throw in the impact of A.R.T. on business (you could not turn into the parking lot from westbound Central), and it proved to be the final coup de grace. There is always the chance that Draft Station could live again (scroll down), but for now, may it rest in peace.

Meanwhile, as I posted in The Week Ahead in Beer (no worries if you missed it), by all accounts Sandia Chile Grill is closed as well. Efforts to reach them by phone have failed as the number listed has been disconnected. They have not made a social media update in some time, but then again they never were very active online. A quick drive past the location found the doors closed, but the signs were still up, including their new T-shirts in the window. The tables and chairs were still inside as well.

However, we checked the State of New Mexico website and found that their small brewer license is listed as expired. There are no applications pending for a new or renewed license under either Sandia Chile Grill or Oso Loco Brewery.

If anyone out there knows the full story with SCG, please contact us.

More new places? More new places

Meanwhile, there are three new small brewer licenses pending. The Sandbar Brewery and Grill will indeed be making its own beer in the location at 4100 San Mateo. For those thinking, “hey, that location is familiar,” it was formerly home to Sneakerz, a sports bar probably best known for having (you guessed it) sand volleyball courts on the premises.

UPDATE: We previously wrote — The prior location of the Sandbar was up near Journal Center. Many, many moons ago we reported on how they were teaming up with the long-since-defunct New Mexico Craft Brewing out of Las Vegas to serve their beer at the indoor sand volleyball facility. That partnership did not last, but we are glad to see the Sandbar owner(s) sticking with craft beer. — But, as it turns out, this Sandbar has no relationship to the previous Sandbar. Our apologies for the mistake.

The stated goal of Sandbar is to open this summer. We will keep everyone updated as to their progress.

Another new name on the list is Toltec Brewing, which has a zip code listing of 87114. That is the West Side, running from the river to Albuquerque’s western city limits. The northern boundary is Rio Rancho, the southern boundary is roughly Paseo del Norte. Currently, Marble Westside and Boxing Bear are in this zip code, so clearly Toltec could be just about anywhere out there that commercial properties exist. There is no additional information online that we could find, social media or otherwise. If anyone out there knows more about Toltec, please drop us a line.

The final newcomer is another place we knew about in advance. Guadalupe Mountain Brewing is set to become the second operational brewery in Carlsbad. We have already been in touch with their owner/brewer, so expect a story from us in the coming months. You can already follow them on Facebook.

The great mystery taproom speculation begins

A reader alerted us to the fact that the developers of the Snow Heights Promenade are planning on adding a 2,800-square-foot taproom to the complex located on the southwest corner of Eubank and Menaul.

Our friends at the Albuquerque Journal followed up on the Snow Heights Facebook post with this tasty morsel about a “soon-to-be announced ‘award-winning local brewery’ that’s looking to open a 2,800-square-foot taproom at the site.”

All right, let us play the guessing game. We can rule out just about any brewery that has opened since the start of 2016, since none of them are really in position financially to open a taproom yet. We can then throw out any brewery that has maxed out its number of taprooms (Bosque), has a taproom somewhat nearby (Marble, Canteen), or a forthcoming taproom nearby (Red Door, Tractor). Taking the award-winning comment above, we gotta figure it is a brewery that has won multiple major medals/awards, which to the general public usually starts with the Great American Beer Festival. So who does that leave?

  1. Boxing Bear: The reigning GABF Mid-Size Brewpub of the Year is a logical candidate. The taproom would certainly bring their beers to a new audience. This one almost makes too much sense, doesn’t it? Still, nothing official yet from the BBB staff.
  2. Chama River: If the Draft Station is truly closed, maybe it is due to moving here. Technically, it was always under Chama’s license, so that could work. But, then again, it would not come with the name of the award-winning brewery attached.
  3. La Cumbre: Well, now, wouldn’t that be interesting? It’s pretty far from the main brewery, though certainly not as far as Boxing Bear. Owner Jeff Erway has talked in the past about the reasons he has not opened a taproom, ranging from not wanting a location too close to a bar or restaurant that has carried LC beers since the beginning, to wanting a good landlord tenant relationship (if not outright ownership of the taproom building). We will call LC the dark horse candidate.

Could it be another brewery besides these? Sure, anything is possible, but these are the most logical candidates. Good ahead and speculate away in the comments or on social media. We will see what the final is when the developers and brewery in question are ready to announce it to the public.

More new brewery tidbits

These are all the other breweries or off-site taprooms with pending licenses with the state.

  • Bare Bones Brewing is closing in on a new location after their original space fell through in Cedar Crest. It will still be somewhere along Highway 14 in the East Mountains.
  • Bombs Away Beer Company is busy with the buildout of their space near Central and Moon. We await a chance to visit when they are ready, so yes, we are in contact with head brewer David Kimbell.
  • Drylands Brewing continues with its buildout in Lovington. Search for their Instagram page and you can keep track of their progress. It is looking good.
  • Hops Brewery in Nob Hill remains in limbo. We have no idea what the current delay is about.
  • Lava Rock Brewing continues with its buildout on Unser north of Ladera, as does Truth or Consequences Brewing down south. The latter now has an active license, but is not yet open.
  • We have nothing new to add on Glencoe Distillery and Brewery in Ruidoso (license active, but no other info), Switchback Brewery in Cloudcroft, or Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery in Santa Fe. If anyone out there has info, as always, please contact us.

That is all from us for now. Got a tip? Want to share something without announcing it to the world? Direct message us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or via email at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister