Posts Tagged ‘Left Hand’

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old.

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old. Go get some if you have not already.

So once upon a time I asked all of our writers, new and old, if they could please send me their picks for the best beers they had during ABQ Beer Week that were still available for purchase either on tap or in bottles/cans/bombers around the metro area. After waiting a long time for people to send in their picks … I realized I had never written up my own picks. Thank the Beer Gods for Untappd, or otherwise I would be babbling away on here with no idea of what I was talking about.

Basically it would be like any other weekday. (Can you zing yourself? Because I think I just did.)

Here is everyone else. And yeah, I guess this is a preview of who is joining our Brew Crew Bullpen (full bios/intros pending in a separate story).

Also, if you sense a theme here, people kinda liked that one certain IPA from a certain San Diego-based brewery.

Adam’s picks

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead (2014) (10.2% ABV, 44 IBU) Enjoyed this at a special taping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Like its un-oaked cousin, still a huge beer, but rounded vanilla notes calm it somewhat. Winey goodness, dangerously drinkable!

Oskar Blues Different Stiles (GUBNA Imperial IPA with Blood Orange and Passionfruit) (10% ABV, 100 IBU) Stumbled across this beer one night at Rock & Brews and enjoyed it so much I had to go back for more later in the week. The fruit combines with the massive hop profile to start it off tasting like fresh grapefruit juice, through to a large fruity hop finish. Outstanding beer, I hope it continues to be available.

Amy’s pick

Mother Road Lost Highway Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBU) Don’t let this “little” beer fool you. With those stats, it shouldn’t feel sessionable. But, to me it kind of did. That could be pretty dangerous. I could still taste the roasted malt characteristics and a bit of java. A pretty well-rounded, hoppy beer. Another reason to visit the brewery the next time I am in Flagstaff. Until then, I can be thankful Mother Road is now here in NM.

Brandon’s picks

Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point (7% ABV, 70 IBU) We here in Albuquerque have been deprived of Ballast Point’s amazing lineup of beers long enough, but that all changed during the beginning of ABQ Beer Week. This seasonal variant of their award-winning Sculpin IPA brings all of the fresh citrus notes with a slight catty burst and floral notes, but with the tart addition of fresh grapefruit added in. The pairing results in a lupulin and fresh fruit explosion that is remarkably refreshing in the summer months. Find a six-pack at your local craft beer retailer and quench your thirst during the warm weather months.

Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale, Alpine Brewing (5.25% ABV, 60 IBU) Alpine Brewing also made their 505 debut during ABQ Beer Week, and Hoppy Birthday is not to be trifled with. This thing is dry-hopped like you would find in one of our dank modern-day IPAs, lending plenty of grapefruit, dank resiny notes, and bursts of lime and other citrus notes. However, it still possesses a solid pale malt bill to balance the beer out and keep it from being overwhelming or crossing into palate-wrecking territory. Mild ABV makes this a very tasty and sessionable beer. Although Alpine has yet to stock the shelves of our local stores yet, they are on their way very soon; for now, stop in at Nob Hill Bar & Grill for a pint!

Franz Solo’s picks

Note: He had a hell of a day Monday, so this is what he sent in one paragraph. Beers are highlighted in bold.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Heimat House is amazing. This version of (Chama River’s) Radioactive IPA that I had at BearFest was equally outstanding and an excellent preview of the IPA Challenge. Also, Turtle Mountain’s Wilde Jagd is just wonderfully distinct and I can’t wait to do a full review. The advent of the age of Ballast Point is stupendous. Tractor’s Maibock (Barnstorm Ale) was a wonderful accompaniment to Battle of the Beer Geeks. I adore (Boxing Bear’s) Body Czech Pilsner and am very happy that it garnered a recent medal, for good reason, I might add.

Julie’s pick

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBU) I’ll admit, I’ve been stuffing my suitcase with this brew when traveling home from other states since I discovered it back in January. To have it readily available in New Mexico is nothing short of a hops miracle, and the kickoff for welcoming Ballast Point to the state launched this year’s Albuquerque Beer Week. Even if you’re not an IPA fan, give it a try. This beer’s light, crisp body walks the line between bitter hops and tart grapefruit and finishes incredibly smooth. Grapefruit Sculpin IPA’s hello is the scent of grapefruit, and the citrus kick is also the last thing lingering in your mouth. Scared? Don’t be. Friends of mine who are sworn enemies of grapefruit have embraced this beer wholeheartedly because of its balance — and collectively, we have stalked every last tap of it and drank it dry. Word is that Sister will soon have it on tap, and it’s sure to stay in rotation at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Buy it in six-packs at various locations in New Mexico.

Laura’s picks

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin (7% ABV, 70 IBU) Tried this beauty at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. It is currently available at Jubilation and Total Wine. This could possibly be one of the best IPAs I have ever tried. Poured clear golden orange with a big white head. Big citrus nose of grapefruit, oranges and lemons. For a big ipa, the citrus flavor on top of a light caramel malt back backbone was perfectly balanced. Grapefruit aftertaste. Pretty much a perfect summer beer.

Ballast Point Indra Kunindra (7% ABV, 50 IBU) I tried this beer at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. India­style Export stout is a new style for me, this might be the only one. Poured a dark brown with and off-white head. Brewed with curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut, and Kaffir lime leaf! All of the spices in a coconut stout. Beers like this make this hobby so much fun. (Note: It should come back at some point, but we cannot guarantee this beer is still available anywhere in ABQ.)

Mother Road Lost Highway Imperial Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBUs) I tried this for the second time at ABQ Blues & Brews. Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a light tan head. Mouthfeel and roastiness of an Imperial Stout along with the resiny bitterness of a Black IPA. Heavy, but not too heavy to enjoy a couple in the same evening.

Marble Brewing Brett IPA (6.8% ABV, 93 IBUs) I tried this at the Marble Westside Taproom during the Beer, Cheese, & More event. It is available there on tap and in bottles. I have been struggling to get the hype of the brett and sour beers, but loved the blend of the flavors in this beer. Order one on tap and slowly let the temperature increase to bring out the complexities in this beer. The brett is more dominant with the increase. Great crossover beer that I highly recommend.

Uncle Jacob's will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Uncle Jacob’s will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Stoutmeister’s picks

Ballast Point Victory at Sea (10% ABV, 60 IBU) There were so many good beers on BP night at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, but not all of them involved a certain fruit I am allergic to put into an otherwise great IPA. Anyway, instead I indulged in this massive blast of malty goodness. Think one of the strongest coffees you have ever had, with a copious amount of vanilla cream dumped in there, then thickened up to the point of where your spoon stands straight up. Yeah, that is this beer. At last check, NHBG still had some left on tap. Whenever bombers appear at Jubilation, I fully expect the staff to warn me in advance. Otherwise I’m charging in there like Franz and Brandon into a Slayer mosh pit, elbows up, to make sure I get some.

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead: See Adam’s entry above, he got it right.

Santa Fe Ever Changing Series #3 Highland Heath (9% ABV, 20 IBU) Fear not, the third entry in the ECS is heading our way soon on tap and in bottles. I will be buying many of them. The folks at SFBC took a Scottish ale, aged in barrels for six months, and tossed in copious amounts of heather, chamomile, and rose hips. It’s flowery and boozy and malty and that’s just what hits you right off the bat. A dominating debut at Blues & Brews. Here’s hoping I get to a festival this summer where they go even crazier and run this one through R2Beer2. Not that I’m suggesting anything here, Silas. But good ahead if you want.

Bosque/Canteen Hoppiness Envy (7.2% ABV, 100 IBU) A truly beautiful collaboration IPA, I sincerely hope some is still available at Canteen (not sure about Bosque). This is a big, mean hop bomb, the brainchild of the men who finished first and second at the National IPA Challenge this year and at the New Mexico IPA Challenge last summer. It is bitter, sharp, resinous, yet with that maltier backbone that is more common to Mr. Bullard’s big IPAs. In many ways this is the best of both worlds, but no one has to be assimilated. (Sorry, geek moment there, couldn’t resist.) Here is hoping more of our breweries have the time and energy to collaborate in the future. Anyone else want to see Bosque, Canteen, and La Cumbre make a Triple IPA together? I sure do.

Avery Uncle’s Jacob’s Stout (16.9% ABV, N/A IBU) There may still be some of this epic, barrel-aged imperial available on tap at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and in bottles at Jubilation. If there is, GO GET IT NOW. Seriously, this is one of the best beers I have ever had in my life. Yes, I am saying that. About a stout. Do you doubt its power? DO YOU?! I do not care how warm it is getting outside, you need this beer in your life if you have never had it before. Huge bourbon notes, that wonderful vanilla, massive dark malt blast, all wrapped up in one beautiful beer. Just note the ABV, please, and do not do anything stupid afterward. Like try to talk. It will leave you speechless.

Honorable mentions (a.k.a. editor’s privilege): Ballast Point Dorado DIPA, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Nexus T.N.G. Porter, Deschutes Mirror Mirror Barley Wine, New Mexico Craft Brewing Rye Stout (available up in Las Vegas), Ponderosa Brunch Stout, Cazuela’s Primo Brown Ale, Duel’s amber sour of mystery (you had to be there), Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca Alien Milk Stout, Sandia Chile Grill Dirty Steve Mead, Monks’ Tripel Reserve, St. Bernardus Abt 12 (at Heimat House!), Widmer Bros. Raspberry Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, Odell Barrel Thief Oak Aged Imperial IPA.

All right, that is all from us. Had a few favorites that we overlooked? Email us your picks at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or just send us stuff via the usual social media outlets.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And so it begins!

No, things are not slowing down today. You just have to fight harder to keep up!

The rain be damned, that was a pretty damn fine start to ABQ Beer Week on Thursday. Whether you were indulging in some beer and cheese (and other foods) at Marble, or snagging a pint of the Strawberry Cream Malpais at Two Fools, or the Oak Aged Wake Up Dead at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, or hell, just doing your local duty with the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, it was a good day. Remember, they only brewed up 10 barrels total of the 505 to split between eight breweries (Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Turtle Mountain), so get over and try some ASAP. I am not exaggerating when I say it might be the best session IPA that I have ever tasted. If you are at Canteen, don’t forget to snag a pint of Hopspitality IPA while that lasts during ABW.

So anyway, onto Day Two, which features 11 events at 13 venues across the city. Let us all hope for better weather and equally good, if not better, beer. Though it will be hard to top the 505 and the Wake Up Dead. Jeebus, those were wonderful …

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Beer and Bowling with Tractor. Where: Silva Lanes. When: 7 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Start cranking out those Big Lebowski one-liners, people! The good folks at Tractor are teaming up with Silva Lanes for a night of bowling and beer. They will be serving up 20-ounce pours of Farmer’s Tan Red Ale for just $3, plus you can buy cans of Almanac IPA and Mustachio Milk Stout if you like to keep your options open. A number of bowling lanes will be reserved, but don’t panic, you do not have to bowl to participate in the fun. A whole lot of the Tractor staff will be present and participating as well, so come hang out in an even less formal atmosphere than Tractor itself. And, you know, bowl a game while always remembering, “The Dude abides.”

Why you should go: Dudes, you have to get off the bar stools at least once. So go bowl, the one “sport” that does not require much athletic skill. Bust out your tackiest clothes. Wear some ridiculous shoes. And drink beer and have fun, because that is what Beer Week is all about.

All the other great events

What: Samuel Adams Summer Ale Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free samples of the popular Summer Ale. Why you should go: Free beer (samples)!

What: Abita Special Tapping. Where: Anodyne. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Anodyne will serve up a keg of Bourbon Street Imperial Stout that was aged in Pappy Van Winkle barrels. Why you should go: If you love dark beer, and you know we do, this is one that cannot be missed.

What: Mother Road Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The good folks from Flagstaff are bringing out some of their beers for you to sample. The three main bottled beers will be available, including the excellent Lost Highway Imperial Black IPA. Why you should go: Mother Road is one of the best breweries in Arizona, so if you have never tried their beer before, this is a great way to learn about all what they have to offer.

What: New Belgium Pint Night. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 4 to 6 p.m. (North), 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Nob Hill). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Head over to either Gecko’s for a pint of New Belgium’s new “test pint,” Opening Day Golden Ale. Why you should go: Well, OK, we’re a bit far into the baseball season for it to be a true opening day beer, but nonetheless, this is a chance to try a new NB beer and also grab some great food from Gecko’s menu.

What: Left Hand Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. until the supply runs out. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A keg of Introvert Session IPA will be opened. Why you should go: It’s a new beer, it’s from Left Hand so it’s probably darned good, and as a session IPA you will be OK to go try other beers, either at Two Fools or elsewhere. Plus, we’re pretty sure it will go great with Fish & Chips.

What: Goose Island Migration. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Bar manager Thomas DeCaro is from the Chicago area, so he has called in the big guns from the Windy City in the form of Sofie, The Ogden, The Illinois, and oh, yeah, our old friend the Bourbon County Brand Coffee Stout. Why you should go: BCB Coffee Stout is all the reason you need. Oh, fine, and get something good to eat while you are there.

What: Appetizer Pairing with St. Bernardus, Verhaeghe and Belzebuth. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: 5 to 11 p.m. Cost: $17 for an appetizer tray. Details: The beers are St. Bernardus Abt 12, Verhaeghe Eckt Kriekenbier, and Belzebuth. The planned pairings are, respectively, mesquite-smoked chicken wings with red chile and cinnamon, white wine-steamed mussels, and chocolate plus marscapone cheese on a salted water cracker with a cherry on top. Why you should go: St. Bernardus Abt 12 is a clone of Westvleteren 12, considered by some to be the best beer in the world. Read about it here. Shade Tree Customs & Cafe is the first in the state to have this beer on tap. Representatives from D & V International, Inc., the U.S. importer of fine Belgian beers, will be in attendance to answer questions. — Amy O

What: Patio Invasion with NM Craft Brewing. Where: Stereo Bar. When: 5 to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Adam was able to get some info on the beers from the Las Vegas-based NMCBC. There will be a special raffle where if you buy a pint, you get a raffle ticket to win a ticket to Blues & Brews. You are limited to three pints per customer and three tickets total. The beers on tap will be IPA, Red, Wry Blonde, Oatmeal Stout, Vapor (similar to a steam beer), and Sweet Stout. Why you should go: The opportunities to try beers from elsewhere in the state, besides Santa Fe, usually require a long drive out of town. Head over to Stereo Bar and enjoy some unique beers without having to rack up the mileage.

What: La Cumbre Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: La Cumbre beers will take over the taps at the R&B location on Montgomery. Why you should go: If you are in the Northeast Heights and lacking in classic ‘80s rock, grab a pint of Elevated (we assume it will be there) and kick back with one of those giant R&B pretzels while listening to the tunes they play all night, loudly throughout the joint.

What: Stouts & Stogies. Where: Imbibe Cigar Bar. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge listed. Details: They are serving Picobrouwerij Alvinne Podge Belgian Imperial Stout and will have a professional cigar roller on site. Why you should go: A unique foreign stout and, for those who like them, cigars.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Pulled Pork, Milk Stout
Saturday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Dirty Steve Mead (9.5% ABV)
Sunday — Baby Back Ribs, Legacy Mead (9.2% ABV)
Monday — Smoked Sausage, Rattlesnake IPA
Tuesday — Potato Stuffer, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen
Wednesday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Gold Rush Pilsner
Thursday — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
May 29 — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
May 30 — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

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Got any questions, comments, complaints, send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Bike&BrewLogo1Right smack dab in the middle of American Craft Beer Week, Outside Magazine’s giant celebration of all things craft beer and cycling kicks off with a barrage of beer dinners, pairing culinary creations from some of Santa Fe’s finest chefs, with beers from New Mexico, California, and Colorado craft breweries. As the Crew now has me to cover the Santa Fe scene, I’ll be bringing you a taste of what’s in store for the beer dinners of the 2015 Outside Bike & Brew festival, which runs this Wednesday through Sunday.

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Wednesday (2 events)

Fire and Hops

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Fire and Hops will be partnering with Oskar Blues for a four-course dinner. Details: No reservations necessary, but this will be a first-come, first-served event. Cost: $50 per person. Why: Pairings will include a four courses with four 10-ounce beers including Pinner Throwback IPA, Blood Orange Triple Throwback IPA, Good Game Belgium Quad, and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. Bonus: Price includes Oskar Blues Logo Pint. Where: 222 N. Guadalupe St.

Cowgirl Santa Fe

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Cowgirl is pairing up with Sierra Nevada Brewing for this event. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 982-2565. Where: 319 S. Guadalupe St. Why: Sierra Nevada and Cowgirl barbecue. Mmm, barbecue.

Thursday (5 events)

Blue Corn Brewery

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Blue Corn is pairing Chef David Sundberg’s own carefully chosen plates with head brewer James Warren’s latest brews. Details: For reservations, call (505) 438-1800. Cost: $35 per guest. Where: 4056 Cerrillos Rd. Why: New local beers! From the website: “Head Brewer James Warren and Chef David Sundberg collaborate closely to develop creative, extraordinary beer and food pairings. Guests are able to interact with both the brewer and chef at the Brewer’s Table to discover their methods and philosophies behind creating outstanding brews and meals.”

Menu:

Farmhouse Saison-Corned Pork Tacos
Kaiser Farms pork “brisket” house-cured on flour tortillas with Baja sauce and 40k Honey Wheat onions
Pairing: American IPA

Southwest Chop Salad
Pickled squash stuffed with nopales, bonita beans and farmer’s market veggies, herb vinaigrette, Tucumcari Mountain feta cheese
Pairing: Barrel-Aged Black Belgian Pale Ale

Lamb Duo
Talus Wind Ranch lamb jalapeño popper, yogurt & garlic marinated lamb kebab, sweet corn beggar’s purse and grilled spring onion
Pairing: Imperial Goze

Dessert
Russian Imperial Stout chocolate cake
Prickly pear custard & lemon-spice pate brisee

Dr. Field Goods Kitchen

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Dr. Field Goods is pairing with New Belgium Brewing Company. Cost: $25 per person. Details: No reservations accepted. Get there early! Where: 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite A1. Why: Here you receive four 4-ounce pours of the following New Belgium beers, 2015 La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Lips of Faith Pear Ginger, Trippel Belgium Tripel, and 1554 Black Lager. From website: The menu will consist of a charcuterie plate highlighting Dr. Field Goods’ new butcher shop and bakery. There will be sausages and meats paired with sauces and different breads. Each item will have one of the above listed beers incorporated into it. Dr. Field Goods wants everyone to experience how a great beer pairing can bring out flavors in certain foods that one might otherwise miss. Bonus: Each beer dinner will include a commemorative New Belgium beer glass and tons of free stuff. Extra: Contact Anita Salazar (505) 670-4345 with any questions you may have on this event.

Joseph’s Culinary Pub

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Chef Joseph Wrede is pairing his world-class cuisine with La Cumbre Brewing’s world-class beers. Details: Make reservations online. Where: 428 Agua Fria St.

Rio Chama Steakhouse

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Executive Chef Tony Blankenship is pairing his bold and adventurous food with the beers of Stone Brewery and Marble Brewery.
Where: 414 Old Santa Fe Trail. Bonus: You’ll have the unique opportunity to taste beers that have been cellared for several years. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 955-0765. Cost: $50 per person.

Menu from website:

2015 BIKE AND BREW BEER DINNER

First Course
Passed Apps: Bacon wrapped shrimp with harissa aioli
Tempura asparagus, soy reduction
Goat cheese and tomato grilled cheese
Pairing: Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale Ale

Second Course
Cornmeal ale battered fried oysters, apple-jicama slaw, orange and grapefruit segments, remoulade, watercress salad
Pairing: Stone Vertical Epic 2012

Third Course
Braised beef short rib, fresh corn polenta, oven roasted baby carrots, pearl onions, fried onions, chive oil, short rib reduction
Pairing:Marble Reserve 2012

Fourth Course
Stout chocolate cake, white butter cream, macerated berries, dark beer sauce
Pairing: Marble Imperial Stout 2012

Loyal Hound

When: 6:30 p.m. What: Gastropub fare at its finest paired with some delicious choices from Bosque Brewing Company. Where: 730 St. Michaels Dr. Details: Community seating. Reservations required. Call (505) 471-0440. Cost: $45 per person plus tax and tip.

Menu from site:

First Course

Brew: Riverwalker IPA.
Pairing: Buffalo Chicken Salad, Organic Greens
Buffalo Sauced Braised Chicken, Bleu Crumbles

Second Course

Brew: Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale
Pairing: Battered House Cured Bacon BLT
Rye Bread, with Peppercorn Aioli

Third Course

Brew: Scotia Scotch Ale
Pairing: Akaushi Waygu Strip Steak
Sweet Potato Gruyere Gratin

Dessert

Brew: Wake up and Smell the Stout
Pairing: Chocolate Doughnut
Maple Bacon White Chocolate Ganache

Friday (1 event)

Anasazi Restaurant and Bar

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: A prix fixe dinner will be served where Anasazi is pairing their classic take on fine dining with carefully chosen beers. Where: 113 Washington Ave. Details: Reservations required. Call (505) 988-3030. Cost: $40 per person.

Menu from website:

Choice of Starter

Tuscan Green Leaf Salad Tango, Oak, Lolla Rosa Leaves, Sage Chama Bee Honey Vinaigrette
Duck Enchilada Mole Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Green Chile Pearls
Anasazi Crab Cake Avocado Mousse, Pepper Piperade, Frisée Leaves, Crudité Salad

Choice of Entree

Roasted Sea Bass Parsnip Purée, Wilted Lettuce, Barley-Malbec Broth
Pair with Inversion IPA

New Mexico Lamb Top Sirloin Aubergine Caviar, Parsley Purée, Artichokes, Jalapeño Croquettes, Olive Liquorice Crumbs
Pair with Left Hand Milk Stout

Chicken & Leek “Cock-a-Leekie” Pie Frisée and Watercress Salad
Pair with Santa Fe Nut Brown

Choice of Dessert

Lemon Tart Lemon Gel, Seasonal Berries, Raspberry Sorbet
Flan & Dulce de leche Vanilla Flan, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Vanilla Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Soil

Saturday (1 event)

Draft Station

When: Anytime! What: “The modern Italian cuisine including pizza and antipasti from neighboring Rooftop Pizzeria will accompany this New Mexico Brewer’s Guild Tap Takeover.” Details: No reservation required. Bike and Brew Special: two flights of beer and 12-inch pizza with choice of two great toppings, $25 for two people (available all day). Where: The Plaza!

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That’s all the info we have for the Bike & Brew beer dinners. If we’ve missed anything, please contact us directly at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. Enjoy some great pairings here in Santa Fe, and I will have a preview of the other Bike & Brew events available later on in the week. Get those flats fixed, don’t forget to make those reservations, and always pair responsibly! See you around Santa Fe!

Cheers!

— Luke

This past Saturday, I made the trip up to Taos Ski Valley for their 19th annual Brew Master’s Festival, and I gotta tell you it was one smooth, powder-filled ride down beer mountain, and one of my favorite brewfests in recent memory.

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 1

Taos Ski Valley is like a sleepy Swiss village in the Alps.

From the moment the doors opened and the lines got moving, brewfesters were ID’d, braceleted, and tasting within minutes. Being their 19th festival, it was clear that Taos Ski Valley had done this before. Located inside Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree, festers found themselves in a two-level, ski lodge cafeteria setting, with big windows framing picturesque mountain views, visible even after dark. The space, although cramped at times, worked very well for festing purposes. Both floors filled up quickly, yet even towards the middle of the event, there were places to sit, plenty of pouring stations to belly up to, and ample room to mix and mingle in between. I never really saw any long lines, and folks had plenty of time to get their glasses filled — several times at that — before moving on. You never felt rushed, and never felt worried that you were going to lose your buzz, either, if that’s what you were aiming for. Included in the $25 price of admission was the standard taster glass, unlimited tastings, some welcomed warmth, and some excellent food!

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 11

Things weren’t looking good at first, and then you realize it’s over and you have beer!

Getting right to it, I’ve included my own humble opinion on which beers I deemed best of the fest. Of course it’s all subjective, as everyone’s flavor profiles are different, but to be fair, there were actually many great and solid beers present, but my nods this time tended to lean more towards the seasonals, special brews, beers I haven’t had a lot of before, and beers that don’t already frequent the walls of my fridge. They are as follows, in no particular order:

Ale Sabor – an American Wild Ale – Steamworks Brewing Co., Durango, Colo.

Bootycall Barley-Wine – Taos Mesa Brewing

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 5

Two of my favorites of the fest.

Junk Punch – a Doppel-Oktoberfest – Taos Mesa Brewing

Marble’s Reserve Ale (2014) – an American Strong Ale aged in oak barrels – Marble Brewery

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 7

It was a Marbelous time!

Milk Stout – Sierra Blanca Brewing Co., Moriarty – this beer was brand new for the festival!

Smokejumper Smoked Imperial Porter – Left Hand Brewing Co., Longmont, Colo.

If only I could have tasted all of the beers! If I had, however, I would not have survived to write about them. There certainly were some real crowd pleasers on the list. And by the way, what a great crowd it was! It consisted mostly of locals that made the trip, tourists that came for the skiing and stayed for the tasting, and even folks that came down from Colorado for a favorite festival of theirs.

Taos Ski Valley liftee, Christopher Jenkins, made sure I tried Taos Mesa’s Junk Punch, as, according to him, it’s a favorite amongst the liftees. On first taste, I thought, “Damn, this is the beer of the people.” It’s a hard beer for a hard-working dude (or dudette). It’s what the Porter was to, well, porters, way back when. It was liquid proof that the working man’s beer is constantly evolving, just as his taste is. Jenkins also recommended that I try the Bootycall Barleywine, which was equally aggressive with flavor and potency. Too much of that big bad delicious brew, and you’ll need the ski patrol to bring you back to your room on a rescue toboggan.

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 9

“Beerd Wrangler,” Josh Norton and “Hop Girl,” Devon Adams

Josh Norton, “Beerd Wrangler” and Assistant Brewer at Golden City Brewery, was visiting with Devon Adams, also from Colorado. I spoke with them briefly as I couldn’t help but admire Devon’s hop earrings and Josh’s beard, the likes of which has not been seen since ZZ Top joined the Fellowship of the Ring. It was glorious! When asked, Devon’s favorite beer of the night was Sierra Blanca’s Milk Stout. Josh’s happened to be Marble’s Double IPA. This was their fifth year at the festival and according to them, they love coming down from Colorado for the great NM beers, the amazing event, and the awesome people they meet every year. Cheers to that!

I also ran into Damion Terrell, the New Mexico reporter for Southwest Brewing News. If you’ve ever picked up the publication in one of your favorite brew pubs, you’d know that it’s filled with useful information on what to drink and when. Sounds familiar! Funny thing is we talked business, not the beer, even though our business is the beer. At some point we admitted to being fans of each other’s publications, and we left it at that. Writers … go figure.

Anyway, so if you’re wondering whether you should make the trip next year, let me break it down for you old-school-like.

Reasons to go:

It only takes three hours and change to get to Taos Ski Valley from Albuquerque. The roads are immaculate, except for that one bump. If you’ve been, you know the one. You’ve been warned.

The beautiful mountain setting makes you feel like you’ve discovered a sleepy Swiss village in the Alps, somewhere between Gimmelwald and Grindelwald, with plenty of places to snooze, eat, and shop, right at the base of the mountain.

The initial line to get in to the actual festival moves like a Jamaican bobsled team—maybe five-to-seven minutes from gate to glass. If you, like me, still have nightmares about Lions, Tigers, and Beers, then you’ll appreciate this sleep-aid of a fact. Even with plenty of people, you never had to wait for beer.

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 8

It was crowded, but not too crowded.

Food! If you haven’t already eaten at one of the local restaurants like Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina or Rhoda’s Restaurant, then worry not, my famished friend! The catered conviviality has you covered, and it’s already included in the price of admission.

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 3

One of the several food stations.

Most importantly, the beer! The brewers brought some of their very best. And they didn’t just play the hits, they brought new stuff too. Sierra Blanca with their Milk Stout and Sierra Nevada with their Nooner Session Pilsner gave brewfesters a rare chance to taste these opposite-of-the-spectrum beers before almost anyone else has had a chance, making your ticket worth just that much more.

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 10

To get an idea of sample size, that glass has already been half-sipped, but I prefer to think of it as still half-filled. There were a lot of great beers at this festival!

It was a great time, with great beer and great people in a great place. Everyone was in a festive mood. No complaints on my end, except for perhaps, one brewery, whom I won’t name, that just wouldn’t believe that I write for the NM Dark Side Brew Crew, even as I handed them my card. Hmm. Maybe it’s time to petition for one of those fancy T-shirts you see gathered in the dark corners of Albuquerque’s breweries. (Editor’s note: Memo to self, get T-shirts for the Bullpen for 2015. — Stoutmeister) As far as brewfests go, however, clearly a lot of hard work and excellent execution made this one easy and smooth ride. The brewfest was an experienced German skier, nailing a perfect run on the Giant Slalom to win over the hearts of yet another crowd. Woosh, bro. Woosh. See you next year, Taos Ski Valley.

Cheers!

— Luke

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 6

Upstairs, folks are just getting the party started!

Oh, Hopfest, you lovely giant beer festival, you have returned. It’s Lucky No. 7 for Hopfest, which returns to the Isleta Casino this Saturday. Tickets are still available online today (Friday). They go up in price at the door ($35 for general admission, $45 for Extra Hoppy Hour), so we highly recommend you get them online while you still can. And if any are left (it was 85-percent sold out Thursday morning), get those Extra Hoppy Hour tickets. It’s worth it to pay a little extra to have an hour (2-3 p.m.) of shorter lines. Pick out the beers or breweries you absolutely, positively have to try and hit those first.

So many beers, so little time. Again.

So many beers, so little time. Again.

Event organizer Marne Gaston had to put together a lot of this from afar — her family actually moved to Sarasota, Florida, earlier this year — but she said no one should worry, all is well.

“Well, we started a year ago, so the long-distance part just started happening,” she said. “I mean, it’s gone really well. It’s lucky number seven, we have 70 breweries, seven bands … actually, we have 74 breweries. That’s 12 more than last year.”

Ah, but what beers are out there? There’s over 70 breweries present at Hopfest this season, so it’s a lot to sort through. Being Hopfest veterans, the Crew is here to help, as always. Hopfest is divided into two rooms and an outdoor area. We prefer to hit the smaller room on the right side as you walk down the main hall. It gets really crowded once the GA folks are let inside, so hit those breweries first. From there, pick your favorites in the huge main room on the left side. As the GA folks pour in at 3 p.m., head to the outside and enjoy the fresh air and good beers out there.

So by room, here are the breweries to visit and the beers they’re expected to bring. We realize a lot of these beers lists may change by the time the kegs are tapped.

“Part of the problem is I’m bugging them to get their information way in advance so we can get it in the event program,” Marne said. “Whatever information we can get in advance, it helps people plan their day, makes it more fun.”

We did our best to make sure we had up-to-date lists for all the New Mexico breweries present, but a few of them did not have time to get back to us. Nonetheless, this is a listing of the beers we’re targeting. It does not include every brewery present, so there are some you may wish to seek out in addition to these.

UPDATED: As I was helping Marne set things up at Hopfest on Friday, we all found out that Cazuela’s is no longer attending, but Ponderosa is. So where it shows Cazuela’s on the map inside your program, that’s now Ponderosa. Also, we got an updated list from Pi Brewing.

Premier Stage/Side room breweries

Durango Brewing: They’re bringing Durango Dark Lager. That’s all I need.

Eel River: They’re that brewery that does all organic beers. Gotta admit, kinda curious what the heck an Organic Acai Berry Wheat tastes like.

These three lunkheads will be back at Hopfest. Will you?

These three lunkheads will be back at Hopfest. Will you?

Erdinger/Krombacher: These two classic German breweries are bringing some of their wares overseas. Erdinger specializes in weissbier. Krombacher has a weizen as well, plus a pilsner and a dark lager.

Grain Hopper: The Rio Rancho-based home brewing store has concocted a trio of beers. White Knight (Belgian Wit), Over the Pond (Pale Ale), and Hoptoberfest will be available. Looking forward to the last of those three.

Mad River: Never pass up Steelhead Extra Stout. Never.

Mother Road: The Lost Highway Black IPA is some epic stuff. I’m also quite intrigued to try the Red Rye IPA. Beyond those, a Mother Road rep contacted us to say they’re also bringing something special in a Randall, something else in a cask, and a third beer that’s been barrel aged. Oh, you are much to good to us, supreme lord of the Flagstaff brewing scene. WE’RE NOT WORTHY!

Ponderosa: They just signed up Friday. We don’t know what they’re bringing, but we’ll stop by and see what they’ve got.

Total Wine collective: The jumbo beer store is bringing three unique beers — Clown Shoes’ Crunkle Sam (barleywine), Pike’s Naughty Nelly (a gold artisinal ale, whatever that means), and Laughing Dog’s Sneaky Pete, which sounds like a DIPA and checks in at 10 percent ABV.

Cider-palooza: You know that Johnny Appleseed badge on Untappd? You can start leveling up on that there’s so many cideries here. There are going to be four alone in the side room, including Green Goblin and Thistly Cross.

Main room breweries

Alaskan: We’ve always enjoyed the Amber and Freeride APA. The seasonal they’re bringing is their Pumpkin Porter.

Back Alley: Addison actually ran out of beer downtown because he was saving up for Hopfest. He didn’t get us an updated list, but we have a feeling it will be more than just the Soroche IPA and Berliner Weisse.

Black Diamond: The NorCal brewery with a brewer from ABQ (he and Franz Solo actually went to high school together … this town is so small) is bringing four of its best. If you have never tried the Fracas Imperial Red or the Peak XV Imperial Porter, you’ve been missing out.

Bridgeport: The Oregon brewery has something called Trilogy #2 Aussie Salute, an IPA made with two American hops and two Australian hops. Fair enough, we’ll give it a try.

In 2012, the crazy lines were for Boar's Nest. We expect Pi and Red Door to get huge lines this time.

In 2012, the crazy lines were for Boar’s Nest. We expect Pi and Red Door to get huge lines this time.

Chama River: The Brew Crew’s hefeweizen challenge champion, Hefe Nice Day! will be available, along with the delicious Hardscrabble ESB.

Dukes of Ale: They usually bring several top-notch home brews for us all to try, with patrons getting to vote for the favorite as best of show.

Lagunitas: An Imperial Red, you say? Why yes, I’d love to see what this hop-centric California brewery does with one of those.

Magic Hat: These guys always get points for sheer naming creativity. The scored again with Wilhelm Screamer, their seasonal pumpkin release.

NM Craft Brewing: There’s no entry in the event program, but fear not, the NMCBC folks got back to us on the five beers they have coming down from Las Vegas. On the way are a Session IPA, Rye Pale Ale, Wet and Wild IPA (made with fresh-picked hops; last year’s batch was wholly unique and awesome), Porter, and Cream Ale. Guess we’ll have to try ’em all. Shucks.

Odell: Just when I thought I had all of their beers, they go and bust out Gramps Oatmeal Stout. That sounds surly and mean. Woots.

Pagosa: Mrs. Solo and her dear husband (who’s stuck at the Apple Store during iPhone release weekend; raise a pint in his honor wherever you are) have long sworn by this lovely brewery from southern Colorado. How much do they love it? They claim Pagosa has a better Chile Verde Cerveza than any NM brewery. The good news is you can see if they’re right, because it’s on the menu.

Pi: Hey, remember a couple years ago when the lines for Boar’s Nest were crazy as everyone eagerly anticipated it was opening soon? Well, sadly, it never did, but Pi is one of two new ABQ breweries at Hopfest this year that actually is open already. They’re bringing their West Coast Red, Unchallenged IPA, Apricot Wheat, and a special Bourbon Vanilla Porter.

Red Door: The other new brewery in town is already seeing huge crowds and positive buzz, even among the most discerning of beer drinkers. The Trapdoor Wheat was listed in the event program, but as it’s not ready at the brewery, it won’t be present at Hopfest, either. Don’t fret, the excellent Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, and Unhinged Cider will still be there for your tasting enjoyment.

Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: The award-winning Nut Brown and the Alien Imperial Stout, their two best beers in our humble opinion, will be present.

Sandia Chile Grill: The Rattlesnake IPA will not be available, as listed in the program. Brew Crew Bullpen member Amy O had stopped by SCG to get a list (and a try a pint or two). They will be bringing their Smoked Stout and Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, plus two of Clint’s award-winning meads. Be forewarned, the melomel mead checks in at 14 percent ABV.

Santa Fe: It looks like they’re just bringing the usual suspects (Java Stout, Happy Camper IPA, Oktoberfest, Nut Brown), but it’s always worth stopping by to see if anything special is lurking.

Ska: It’s been a while since I had a Pinstripe Red Ale, so I suppose I can stop by. Would rather have a Steel Toe Stout, which isn’t listed.

Squatters/Wasatch: Been meaning to try the Squatters Wee Peat Scottish Ale, so here’s a good opportunity.

Stumbling Steer: Get your hop bomb on with the Hop Trough DIPA. Or remain standing and go with the Iron Horse IPA. Either way, you can’t lose.

Tractor: It’s a lot of the old favorites (all three canned varieties, plus Apple Cider and Berliner Weisse), but Tractor does list a “surprise beer,” so we’ll have to go by and be surprised and all.

Cider-palooza part two: There are another six cideries scattered around the main room, including Crispin, Strongbow, Johnny Appleseed, Woodchuck, and Angry Orchard. Seriously, if you don’t pick up at least two or three levels on that Untappd badge, you’re not even trying.

Outdoor area breweries

Big Sky: Well, hello there Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout. You sound like our kind of beer.

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

Boulder: When you need dessert, Shake Chocolate Porter should suffice.

Deschutes: Fresh Squeezed IPA will be available, but not Obsidian Stout. Boo (to the latter, not the former, which is pretty darned tasty for hop lovers).

Left Hand: Milk Stout, Oktoberfest, and Sawtooth (ESB) in one place. Thank you, Left Hand, thank you.

Marble: The list in program has changed considerably, or so Leah Black told us. The popular Double White will still be there, but it will now be joined by the Double IPA, Galaxy IPA, and Pilsner instead of the regular IPA, Red, and Barley Wine. She did not say whether those two “special brews” were still coming. Guess we’ll have to go find out. Oh, darn.

Oskar Blues: The Old Chub Scotch Ale is listed. Please be on nitro. Please, please, PLEASE.

Santa Sidra: Remember how a cider beat out all the beers at the State Fair Pro-Am? Here’s your chance to try this super cider. And further pad your Untappd stats.

Taos Mesa: They listed their tasty Kolsch 45 and Three Peaks IPA, plus the latest incarnation in their Sessions (IPA) series.

* * * * *

All right, that’s just about everything. Get those pretzel necklaces ready, don’t forget the RailRunner times if you’re taking that, and prep your palates. Come Saturday at 2 p.m., it’s go time!

And yes, you can say hello if you see us. We’ll be the bearded lunkheads in black. Plus Mrs. Solo. Hey, we gotta class up this trip at least somewhat, right?

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The 16th annual San Juan Brewfest took place on Saturday, August 23, in beautiful downtown Durango. Benefiting the United Way of SW Colorado, the brewfest had a great turnout, despite the rain that threatened to dampen the mood. Held at Buckley Park near the northern tip of Main Street, there couldn’t be an easier event to find, or find your way home from.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There were over 50 breweries, with 35 from Colorado, six from New Mexico, and nine were from breweries ranging from the east coast to the west coast, including a few macrobreweries. Macros always reminded me of the old guy at the college parties. “Dude are you like, a professor or something?” But I kid the big guys. With all that the San Juan Brewfest had to offer, you could sample a beer poured by a familiar face from the likes of Turtle Mountain or Taos Mesa, you could get to know your northern neighbors’ beers a bit better, or you could try a few swallows from far away lands like Boston, Juneau, or Petaluma. (A full list of breweries is below.)

As far as brewfesters go, everyone was very friendly and laid back in that Colorado kinda way. On occasion, there were those folks who were a bit over-excited to talk about their interests, like trail-riding or ciders. Where did that cider guy come from? But there’s nothing wrong with that. Passion is what fuels the craft beer industry, am I right? So keep on keepin’ on, cider guy!

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers.

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers, a band from Los Alamos.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, sampling, noshing on German sausages straight from the grill, and dancing wildly inappropriately (in front of children) to the rockin’ local bands. One of those local bands happened to be local to New Mexico. Have you guys heard the Hill Stompers from Los Alamos? Well do it, already! They’re like a circus marching band fueled by candy corn and cerveza.

Getting to the beer, there were over a hundred beers to try at the brewfest, including some breweries bringing more than the promised two. It was impossible to try them all, or maybe we didn’t try hard enough. With the free taster glass and a handy notepad, we set out to pulverize our palates. And boy did we! My Untappd App sure got a workout the next day. As for my personal favorites, Great Divide had a fantastic dark, roasted, powerful warrior of a beer called the Claymore Scotch Ale (7.7% ABV) that just knocked my hop-socks off. I also really enjoyed Upslope Brewing Co.’s Belgian Style Pale Ale (7.5% ABV), the Face Down Brown by Telluride Brewing Co. (5.7% ABV), and of course the Kriek from Santa Fe Brewing was way up there on my list.

Marble's tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

Marble’s tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

There was also a beer that I won’t name that I really liked but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it dawned on me as I finished that last swig; it REALLY reminded me of something racked from one of La Cumbre’s tanks. Was it one of Elevated IPAs long-lost sisters? I couldn’t tell! I could, however, go on and on about the beers, but there were so many different styles. Most breweries brought an IPA and a pale ale, others brought reds, Belgians, and there were a handful of saisons and sours. But why not just grab my Untappd name and take a look at my journey? LukeDukeSF. Now, I’ll try not to say too much more about this, but after sampling so many IPAs, I can definitely say I prefer New Mexico IPAs to Colorado IPAs. Nuff said.

The competition that day was as hot as the sun, when it did decide to come out. For the Judge’s Choice, Left Hand Brewing Company won third place for their Milk Stout Nitro. Our very own Marble Brewery won second place with their already-award-winning Pilsner. “505! 505!” I chanted silently in my head as I heard the news. Best beer of the fest went to Elevation Beer Company’s Avis IV. And finally, winning People’s Choice for best beer was the Brown Bear Ale from Aspen Brewing Co.

With great weather, great beers, and great company, it was a brewfest to remember, or try REALLY hard to remember. Thanks, Durango, for a great time. See you next year!

Cheers,

Luke!

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

2014 San Juan Brewfest Breweries

AC Golden (Golden, CO), Alaskan Brewing (Juneau), Aspen Brewing (CO), Avalanche Brewing (Silverton, CO), Blue Moon Brewing (Golden, CO), Boston Beer, Bottom Shelf Brewery (Bayfield, CO), Boulder Beer (CO), Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Brew Pub and Kitchen (Durango), Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs), Carver Brewing (Durango), Durango Brewing, Elevation Beer (Poncha Springs, CO), Eske’s Brew Pub & Eatery (Taos), Fort Collins Brewery (CO), Great Divide Brewery (Denver), Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing (Chippewa Falls, WI), Kannah Creek Brewing (Grand Junction, CO), Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA), Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, CO), Lumberyard Brewing (Flagstaff, AZ), Marble Brewery, Moab Brewery (UT), Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewing (Ouray, CO), New Belguim Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oak Creek Brewing (Sedona, AZ), Odell Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, CO), Ouray Brewery (CO), Pagosa Brewing and Grill (Pagosa Springs, CO), Palisade Brewing (Palisade, CO), Riff Raff Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO), Roaring Fork Beer (Carbondale, CO), Rocky Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs, CO), San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa, CO), Santa Fe Brewing, Shock Top Brewing (St. Louis), Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA), Ska Brewing (Durango), Steamworks Brewing (Durango), Strange Craft Beer (Denver), Taos Mesa Brewing, Telluride Brewing (CO), Three Barrel Brewing (Del Norte, CO), Three Rivers Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing, Two Rascals Brewing (Montrose, CO), Upslope Brewing (Boulder, CO), Wolfe Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO)

It’s another big day for ABQ Beer Week as there are nine total events going on Wednesday, including two beer dinners and a beer breakfast before that.

Beer breakfast, two beer dinners, and plenty of tappings and tastings. Wednesday is going to be a big day.

Beer breakfast, two beer dinners, and plenty of tappings and tastings. Wednesday is going to be a big day.

Featured event

What: Stone Beer Dinner. Where: The Stumbling Steer. When: 6 to 9 p.m. Cost: $65. Details: How does a five-course meal with lots of delicious Stone beers sound? Apparently it sounded pretty good, because this event has sold out. Just check out the beer list — Go to IPA, Saison, IPA, Smoked Porter with Chipotle, Arrogant Bastard, Imperial Russian Stout — plus some additional beers on tap, including Stone beers on cask. With all those beers you get to have special mini grilled cheeses, a new take on bangers and mash, a variation of green eggs and ham, plus a New York strip for the main course, and pudding for dessert. This dinner will leave you fat and happy. But then again, the Steer always leaves you fat and happy. Why you should go: For those who bought a ticket, good for you. For those who didn’t, Franz Solo and Mrs. Solo will be sure to make you regret it by posting a lot of pictures on Facebook and writing up a full review, too.

All the other great events

What: Breakfast & Beer. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 7 to 11 a.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: There aren’t really any details available for this event, other than there will be a full breakfast menu and house beers to go with the dishes. Call Cazuela’s at (505) 994-9364 for more information. Why you should go: We’re kinda curious what they’ve got going on. Satisfy our curiosity by going and finding out. We’d go, but, uh, that’s early. We’re mostly a nocturnal Brew Crew.

What: Boulder Beer Event. Where: The Barley Room. When: 4 to 5 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: Another event with no details. We’ll try to call The Barley Room and find out more as to what Boulder Beers will be poured, if there’s a cover charge, and if anything else special is in store for you. Why you should go: We’ll figure that part out for you later.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Boulder’s Black IPA will be the featured beer at Two Fools. Head on over to try some of this (relatively) new concoction. Why you should go: Has Two Fools disappointed anyone yet? Didn’t think so.

What: Alaskan Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be six Alaskan beers taking over the taps. Amber, White, Summer Ale, Icy Bay IPA, Freeride APA and Stout will be the night’s selections. Why you should go: If you’re up in the Northeast Heights and need a beer fix, this one is tough to beat.

What: Left Hand Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free tastings of five Left Hand beers, plus they will be on tap if you want a pint of your favorite. Longtime favorites like Polestar Pilsner and Milk Stout will be there, plus there will be Beer Week Sauce (porter with coffee), Ambidextrous, and Widdershins (barley wine). We don’t know if it’s Ambidextrous #5, a Sticke alt, or #6, a smoked dopple weizenbock. Why you should go: The Sauce, Ambidextrous, and Widdershins are pretty darned good and often hard to find. Here’s your chance to get all three. Plus, you can get the chance to meet me, since I’ll be the official Beer Week volunteer rep at this event.

What: Food Truck Beer Dinner. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 5 to 9 p.m. Cost: $35. Details: Since Stone is sold out, and you’re probably going to be hungry no matter what, head over to Marble for this special dinner. The $35 will get you plates from three food trucks — The Supper Truck, Street Food Institute, Conchitas Creations — and three 10-ounce beers paired up with each dish. For your musical entertainment, The Squash Blossom Boys will be playing from 6 to 9 p.m. Why you should go: It’s hard to pass up the chance to have great food truck meals paired up with Marble beers. Throw in some good bluegrass on Marble’s new covered patio and you’re in for a great night.

What: New Belgium Frozen T-Shirt Contest and Bike Giveaway. Where: Monte Vista Fire Station. When: 7 to 10 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: Yeah, we had to admit, this was a weird one when we first saw it. Apparently a frozen T-shirt contest goes like this — they soak a New Belgium shirt, then freeze it solid, and it’s up to folks to then untie the frozen shirt. So, yeah, that could be fun. Plus you get a chance to enter a raffle for a free New Belgium cruiser bike. Why you should go: It might be the most unique event this week. Give it a shot, and let us know how hard it is to untie a frozen shirt.

What: Beer Cocktails. Where: ArtBar by Catalyst Club, 2nd Street and Gold. When: 7 p.m. to midnight. Cost: Unknown. Details: Members and their guests can head over to try a slew of special beer cocktails. Not only that, but you can get the recipes for your favorites and take them home. The cocktails are crafted with Alaskan beers and some other styles as well. Plus, there will be an open mic for entertainment. Why you should go: For those who like to play with their beer, this is your chance.

Got any updates or additional info for the Crew? Email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy Day Seven! Just remember to pace yourselves and be responsible.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

We are eschewing our usual format, well somewhat, to give Blues & Brews some extended coverage this Sunday. The mondo festival usually concludes Beer Week, but as scheduling would have it this time around, it all goes down today. Brace (and pace) yourselves for the fun of Day Four of ABQ Beer Week 2014.

Blues & Brews is the biggest event during Beer Week and it happens on Day Four.

Blues & Brews is the biggest event during Beer Week and it happens on Day Four.

Today’s smaller, but still awesome, events

What: New Belgium Revival Beer Brunch. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: noon to 3 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: It’s the second annual pairing of various New Belgium beers, plus Snapshot Beermosas, with NHBG’s tasty food items. For more details, including cost, call (505) 266-4455. Why you should go: Fill up those bellies before you trek over to Blues & Brews.

What: Lagunitas Special Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Lagunitas’ popular Cappuccino Coffee Stout will be on tap for your drinking pleasure. Why you should go: If you can’t make it to Blues & Brews, there are worse ways to spend your Sunday afternoon than at Two Fools with a good beer and good food.

What: Stone Tap Takeover. Where: Sister Bar, downtown on Central below Anodyne. When: 4 to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be a number of Stone beers on tap at Sister all night. We do not know which styles will be present. Why you should go: Sister has a great beer selection already, so go check out what else can be added to their lineup. Plus, it’s Sunday, so the downtown brochacho/hipster numbers should be at a manageable level.

And now the Blues & Brews preview

Where: Sandia Casino. When: 2 to 8:30 p.m. Cost: General admission tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Brace yourselves for 51 different breweries (and cider-ies, is that a word?) pouring samples for your drinking pleasure. After last year’s toasty B&B at Isleta Amphitheater, this time around it’s back to the nice, cool, comfort of Sandia’s huge ballroom. Now, we know what you really want out of us: What the heck is on tap? Going off the official program, these are the beers that are supposed to be present. We’re not gonna list ’em all here, just some of the new (or newer) ones that you can’t always find on tap around ABQ. Take note, as always, that these lists are subject to change. Plenty of breweries (or distributors) say one thing, then another shows up, or a beer just disappears. Please do not kill the messenger (me, though I should be safe at the wedding in Naperville) if a beer you really, really wanted to try does not show up.

Oh, and Mad River, Marble, and Sandia Chile Grill did not provide a list of beers to the ABQ Beer Week staff. Just think of them as the cool surprise breweries!

  • Alaskan: Nothing new listed, though if you’ve never had the excellent Freeride American Pale Ale, now is your chance.
  • Angry Orchard: Go with Elderflower; if nothing else you can morph it into elderberries and talk like the Frenchmen in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
  • Back Alley: The Berliner Weisse is not a style commonly found in America.
  • Big Sky: Just the old favorites Moose Drool and Pygmy Owl, a session IPA.
  • BJ’s: A name like Hoppy Scotsman demands an investigation. That is just not a hoppy style of beer.
  • Blue Moon/Shock Top: Oh, Coors, you keep trying to fool people into thinking these are microbrews.
  • Boston Beer (Samuel Adams): Blueberry Hill Lager, Belgian Session, Porch Rocker, White Lantern, these are all the beers in the current spring seasonal pack, or so Franz Solo said. Now you can figure out if you want to actually buy the 12-pack or not.
  • Boulder Beer: Seriously, if you have not had Shake Chocolate Porter yet, you are missing out.
  • Bridgeport: Hopefully they bring their Bear Hug stout this time. It was announced for Hopfest but never showed last fall.
  • Cazuela’s: Just the regulars, and no sign of the World Beer Cup medal-winning Beer for My Horses oatmeal stout.
  • Chaucer’s Meadery: Get medieval!
  • Deschutes: If you’ve somehow never had a Black Butte Porter, try it now. Otherwise, nothing new.
  • Dukes of Ale: Don’t forget to stop by their booth to see what’s the best home brew around. You get to vote on multiple different styles.
  • Durango: Just the usual, but if you’ve never had the Dark Lager, get it.
  • Goose Island: Nothing new listed.
  • Grain Hopper: The Rio Rancho homebrew shop has brought some of its own beer, including something called Wood Chipper Ale. Give it a try.
  • Green Flash: Who can resist a beer named Hop Odyssey Black IPA?
  • Il Vicino: They’ve busted out some more of the epic Panama Joe Coffee Stout!
  • Johnny Appleseed: If you love ciders, this event will love you back this year.
  • Kellys Brewpub: They’re bring their new Session IPA and … that’s all that’s listed.
  • Kona: The new Castaway IPA will be available. No other beers listed.
  • Lagunitas: The new Nighttime (Black IPA) will be on hand.
  • Left Hand: Just the usual.
  • Magic Hat: If you are on Untappd and still haven’t gotten your Dream Machine IPL badge, here’s your chance.
  • Mother Road: Look, a new brewery for B&B! The Flagstaff institution is bringing three of its most popular styles — Lost Highway Black IPA, Roadside American Ale, and Gold Road Kolsch Style Ale.
  • New Belgium: Nothing new.
  • New Mexico Craft Brewing Co.: The guys from Las Vegas are bringing down five beers and a cider. We’ve already been told the Sebastian Canyon Foreign Extra Stout is a monster. Take it down like you’re Godzilla and it’s a MUTO.
  • Odell: If you’ve never had the unique Loose Leaf Pale Ale, made with experimental hops, now is your chance. It’s … different, but not in a bad way.
  • Omission: If your gluten-free friend is tired of ciders, hand ’em an IPA.
  • Oskar Blues: Five of the usuals, but come on, you just want to get the empty can on the necklace to wear around like all the cool kids.
  • Pagosa: Franz and Mrs. Solo seriously love this place. Hopefully they’re bringing more than just the Power Day IPA that’s listed.
  • Pyramid: That other IPL special badge on Untappd? You can earn it up here.
  • Red Hook: KCCO Black Lager is the lone beer they’ve brought down.
  • Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca/Isotopes: The Moriarty-based bunch will have their usual array of beers, including the GABF medal-winning Sierra Blanca Nut Brown.
  • Santa Fe: There will be four regulars, plus a TBA seasonal. Maybe it’ll be something unique from their Small Batch Series.
  • Santa Sidra Artisnal Hard Cider/Stella Cidre: Two more cider companies. If you have a gluten-free friend, this is definitely the festival to bring him/her to.
  • Shiner: Ruby Redbird? That’s it? Oy.
  • Sierra Nevada: Nothing new.
  • Ska: Three of their regulars, though Decadent imperial IPA is worth trying if you’ve never had it before.
  • The Stumbling Steer: They added some coffee to their Imperial Stout. You might need the pick-me-up.
  • Tractor: Five of their regulars, including the Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, winner of this year’s Brew Crew Stout Challenge.
  • Turtle Mountain: New brewer Tim Woodward is bringing his creations outside Rio Rancho for the first time. McDay’s Cream Ale, Resurrection IPA, Ryjuventation Amber Ale, and Liz and Nico’s Legacy Porter will all be on hand.
  • Widmer Bros.: Hey, Upheaval IPA. Another badge-awarding beer on Untappd.
  • Woodchuck: Two more ciders for your enjoyment. So … many … ciders. I guess they’re trendy again?

Everyone have fun at Blues & Brews, just please be responsible. Call a cab or even spend the night if you have to.

Now just hope that this wedding I’m going to has some Three Floyds. Or maybe Goose Island Bourbon County beers. Or New Glarus. Or Great Lakes. Or pretty much any awesome beers from around the region that I can’t get in ABQ. It needs to have these to make up for the fact I’m missing B&B for the first time!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go practice doing that one thing I rarely ever do: tie a tie. Stupid confounding Windsor knots!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

 

Hello, weekend! While some of us are currently flying to Chicago (well, me), there are still plenty of events (10 total) going on as ABQ Beer Week rolls into Day Three. There are a lot of different types of events Saturday, so there should be something for everyone. And by something we mean great beer.

Golf, trolley tour, live podcasting, and of course lots of great beer will be on hand for Day Three.

Golf, trolley tour, live podcasting, and of course lots of great beer will be on hand for Day Three.

Featured event

What: Fleur de Rouge Release Party. Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 2:30 to 6 p.m. Cover charge: None. Details: The Babes in Brewland created the FdR at Marble last summer, then took what was left over and aged it in special barrels. From their Facebook page: “Fleur de Rouge is a white wheat ale brewed with hibiscus, rose hips and orange peel originally released during the summer of 2013. This batch has been barrel aged for close to a year in Chardonnay barrels then blended with a barrel aged Saison. The result may have lost its pink color, but certainly gained in oaky flavors from the barrel and matured to something quite special!” There will be live music and food trucks present. There will be an official toast by the Babes at 2:30. Why you should go: A group of lovely and talented women created a wholly unique beer and want you to come drink it. You will never get to try a beer like this again in your life. Get down to Marble! No excuses!

All the other great events

What: NM Brewers Guild Golf Tournament. Where: Santa Ana Golf Course. When: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cover charge: $100 per person. Details: The format is a four-man scramble. For the $100, you get coffee, pastries, and a breakfast burrito, then 18 holes, followed by lunch and beer. The deadline for registration was May 10, so hopefully you already signed up. Why you should go: Golf, beer, and helping the Guild. Nothing wrong with that, so long as you have the money. And hopefully some semblance of golf skills. None of us in the Crew have any.

What: Belgian Beer & Cheese Pairings. Where: Shade Trade Customs & Cafe. When: noon to 6 p.m. Cover charge: $10. Details: You get a flight of rare Belgium beers and some cheese to pair with them. Shade Tree is located in Nob Hill next to the Guild Theater, near Central and Tulane. Supply will be limited, so stop by as early as possible. Why you should go: If you’ve got a hankering for Belgian beers, there are worse ways to spend the early part of your afternoon.

What: Indio Beer Tasting. Where: Total Wine, both locations. When: Noon to 3 p.m. in Uptown, 4 to 6 p.m. in Cottonwood. Cover charge: None. Details: Beers from Indio Brewing will be poured for your sampling pleasure. Why you should go: Admit it, you probably haven’t tried many Indio beers. Here’s your chance (plus, any you like, you can buy a six-pack on your way out).

What: Ale Trail Trolley Tour. Where: Board the trolley at Hotel Albuquerque near Old Town. When: 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. Cover charge: $55 to $65 per person (click here to buy tickets). Details: The annual brewpub tour is back from ABQ Trolley Company. Board at Hotel Albuquerque and then set out for Back Alley Draft House, Marble, and Tractor. You will get behind the scenes tours of each brewery, plus beer samples to taste and some pub swag to take home. Along the way, participate in beer trivia for great prizes. Why you should go: If you’re new to the brewing scene and want to learn how things work, this is a great opportunity to visit three breweries and see how they do it. Plus, you don’t have to worry about who has to drive and, the great bane of our existence, finding parking within spitting distance at each popular location.

What: Beers of Colorado Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cover charge: None. Details: Not just one but three Colorado breweries will have some of their finest beers on tap. Left Hand is bringing Beer Week Sauce, Ambidextrous, Widdershins, Milk Stout, and Good Juju. New Belgium is offering up Snapshot, Trippel, and one of their Lips of Faith series. Oskar Blues will showcase Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Dale’s Pale Ale, and Deviant Dale’s IPA. Why you should go: When else are you going to get that much good Colorado beer in one place? Seriously, when?

What: Stone Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cover charge: None. Details: No, it’s not just another run of IPA and, uh, IPA. No, instead this takeover will include Cali-Belgique (aged in red wine barrels), Tiger Cub (aged in white wine barrels), Saison, and Smoked Porter with Chipotle. These are not beers for the weak. Why you should go: Oh, come on, suck it up and go. You can handle these beers. Plus, you can tell us what the heck Tiger Cub is.

What: Kilkenny Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cover charge: None. Details: This popular Irish beer has never been available on tap in New Mexico until now. It’s an Irish cream ale from the makers of Guinness. Oh, and it’s nitro, not Co2. Why you should go: Did we mention this the first time this has been available in our state? Unless you’re following friend of the Crew Sandy Zimmerman to Ireland itself, this may be your only chance to enjoy this unique brew.

What: 10 Drink Minimum Special Brewers Edition. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7 to 9 p.m. Cover charge: None. Details: The 10 Drink Minimum podcast will be broadcast live from Wells Park, with special guests to talk about Beer Week. We’re dispatching Brandon to represent the Crew in person. Plus, even though I’ll be 1,000 miles away, I might just call in to contribute to the show. Why you should go: A live audience only makes podcasts more fun. Plus, you can drink lots of beer while you listen in, and who knows, maybe you’ll even be called upon to contribute to the show.

Got any updates or additional info for the Crew? Email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy Day Three! Just remember to pace yourselves and be responsible. Oh, and raise a glass to this here traveling comrade. My flight left at 6 a.m. for crying out loud. I hope there are a lot of coffee beers in Chicago …

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The good folks up at the Taos Ski Valley know there is more to life than just skiing and snowboarding. There is beer, and it is good, and it brings people to the valley even after the snow melts.

Down there at the bottom of that ski lift is the Taos Ski Valley, where they will be holding the Spring Beer Festival.

Down there at the bottom of that ski lift is the Taos Ski Valley, where they will be holding the Spring Beer Festival.

To celebrate the change of seasons, the Taos Ski Valley is playing host to the Spring Beer Festival this Saturday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. For $25, you get a commemorative mini-beer mug and unlimited samples from multiple in-state and out-of-state breweries. There were also be three (maybe four) eateries on hand to make sure you are not drinking too much on an empty stomach — Rhoda’s, Bavarian, Sabroso, and hopefully Stray Dog will be on hand.

The entire event will be followed by the birthday celebration for Taos Ski Valley founder Ernie Blake, with fireworks, a torch parade, and more.

As for the beer, 12 breweries will head up on their own, while Premier Distributing will bring beers from five of their clients to the event. The out-of-state breweries signed up for the event are California’s Stone Brewing, plus Colorado’s Boulder Beer, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.

The joint was jumping at the last beer festival at Taos Ski Valley. (Photo courtesy of Jim Cox)

The joint was jumping at the last beer festival at Taos Ski Valley. (Photo courtesy of Jim Cox)

Due to a time crunch caused by my sports coverage this week, I was not able to get a hold of all the in-state breweries attending the event in regards to what beers they are bringing.

Abbey Brewing — the monks will likely bring some of their top sellers, such as Monks’ Wit, Monks’ Ale, and if everyone is lucky, that wonderful Tripel Special Reserve that they showcased at WinterBrew.

Eske’s — they had not yet finalized their list, but the best guess for their lineup will include standard-bearers like Seco Stout and Green Chile Beer, plus there is the Mesa Red IPA, Dead Presidents Cherry Ale, and Naked Ape, an apricot ale. It does appear Eske’s has all points on the flavor spectrum — hoppy, malty, sweet, spicey — covered with this potential lineup.

High Desert — they currently have 10 beers on tap in Las Cruces, but it’s unknown which of those are coming north. On the lighter side they have a Wheat, Peach Wheat, Bohemian Pilsner, Steam, and an Amber. Darker/heavier beers include IPA, Anniversary IPA, Rye Beer, Imperial Stout, and a Barley Wine.

Enjoy the delectable Stout Americano, Taos patrons!

Enjoy the delectable Stout Americano, Taos patrons!

Marble — brewer Kyle Rudeen will be bringing Farmhouse 111, Stout Americano, Double IPA, and either the Reserve or the Barley Wine. Yeah, basically Marble is bringing some of its biggest, most flavorful beers to Taos to challenge the palates of locals and tourists alike.

Santa Fe — as per usual, the big guns are being brought out, including the current seasonal, Irish Red Ale. Also on hand will be Happy Camper IPA, Imperial Java Stout, Saison ’88, and Black IPA. They will also bring some bottles of Chicken Killer for the barley wine lovers.

Taos Ale House — the local guys are bringing up Mosaic Imperial IPA, Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Brook Trout Brown, and the always wonderful Simple Porter. If anyone gets a chance to try their other beers, please let us know. We need to make a Brew Crew Taos Trek III in the near future.

Taos Mesa — efforts to reach them were again unsuccessful. Among the beers currently on tap at TM, some that the Crew would like to try include the Amarillo Rojo and Imperial Honey Oat Porter. Different Crew members have enjoyed the Superstitious Stout, Notorious ESB, and Big Brown. Hopefully some of these will be on hand Saturday.

Premier Distributing’s clients are Alaskan, Goose Island, Odell, Tractor, and Woodchuck. Expect bottles from some of the beers you can currently find at Jubilation, like Alaskan ESB, Odell Runoff Red IPA, Tractor Farmer’s Almanac IPA, and more.

We hope everyone up in Northern New Mexico enjoys this event. The folks at Taos Ski Valley are already planning future events, including an Oktoberfest. Keep supporting craft beer in all corners of our state!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister