Posts Tagged ‘Little Toad Creek Brewing’

The New Mexico Distillers Guild continues to grow alongside its brewing brethren.

Editor’s note: As we have documented many times before, real life often gets in the way of all of our stories being published in a timely manner, and sometimes breaking news like the La Cumbre taproom opening can further delay an article. That happened here (the event below was August 11), but we still felt like there was some important information to share, so away we go. — S

The weather was not looking particularly great, as Shawna and I set out for Downtown Albuquerque. What looked to be a storm front was pushing up from the south along the Rio Grande. We took a bit of solace in the idea that we were going to be inside for the second annual NM Distillers Guild Festival, but we were wrong, very wrong. As we reached the Banque Lofts along Central and Second Street, we were greeted at the door, collected our commemorative tasting glasses, and proceeded into an elevator, with the instructions simply to press the “R”. Up we went, nine floors and onto the landing for the massive rooftop patio which was to host the event.

The diffused and setting sun and the views overlooking Albuquerque quickly left a memorable impression, as by a stroke of luck the weather held off, despite some heavy gusts in the beginning. It was reminiscent in form to the beer-focused festivals, with each distillery setting up their unique tables and tents, eagerly waiting to educate and lend a sample.

With but a modest understanding of the styles and production methods at hand, this made for an exciting and eye-opening adventure in terms of flavors and possibilities with distilled spirits and liquors. Participants included Left Turn, Tractor, Broken Trail, Hollow Spirits, Little Toad Creek, Algodones Distillery, Santa Fe Spirits, and Still Spirits. There was certainly no bad, or even mediocre, cocktails or samples to be had. Each distillery had certainly brought out the big guns innovation-wise, and were ready to impress.

Hollow Spirits owner Frank Holloway, right, is a familiar face to folks in the beer scene.

Among all of this is where we met with Frank Holloway and chef Tristin Rogers with Hollow Spirits, which will soon be opening in the Wells Park neighborhood (1324 First Street NW). Frank’s name may sound familiar from his previous endeavors with Red Door Brewing. With a warm reception, and the crowd still building, we took the opportunity to talk about the festival and his current project.

“Luckily we are still small enough that we could pull off this venue, it’s a beautiful view,” Frank said. “Last year’s (Spirits Festival) was up here, too. There haven’t been too many changes. I would say we are getting better at the process. The setups are getting a little bit better, everyone is starting to bring out their tents; all the setups are a little bit better.”

The upturn in interest and founding of more distilleries definitely added to the overall participation this year, Frank said.

“There are more people than last year,” he said. “Tractor is here now, too. That has been huge to the scene, especially when you understand them from the beer side.”

The drinks were poured into the evening.

While still dwarfed by the beer community in terms of numbers, the Spirits Festival was a testament to the growing traction of the distilling side of beverage production here in New Mexico. (Stay tuned to the NMDSBC for a follow-up on the NM Distillers Guild itself.)

Taking the opportunity before the wind decided to almost take off with some tents again, we further discussed the progress of Hollow Spirits and what seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of projects.

“It seems like we’re about a month out,” Frank said. “We’re painting, about to do the floors, pretty much all the plumbing and electrical is done.”

Frank said he was cautiously optimistic, but determined to finish.

“I’ve been in the bar industry serving, distributing, opened Red Door, since I was 19,” he said. “No matter if your job is the coolest job in the world, you get tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again. So personally, I don’t want to do the same thing over for myself or my staff. So for the most part, we’re going to try and rotate (our selections) as much as possible and do seasonal drinks.”

Hollow Spirits will be working with local growers to acquire some fresh ingredients to help in bursting out of the norm.

Moving onto the topic of food, we were excited to hear there is a kitchen in the works.

“We’re not opening with food, (with the) reason being we were not sure we had the finances to initially start the kitchen, but wound up getting everything we needed for the kitchen,” Frank said. “Now we just don’t want to delay the City in terms of paperwork.”

A reasonable decision, especially when trying to keep the estimated one-month-until opening time frame.

Not all the food at Hollow Spirits will be solely for the purposes of garnishing the cocktails.

“We definitely want to do some pairing dinners, I want him (Tristin) to come to me and be like, ‘Hey, can you make this liquor, I want to do this food,’” Frank said.

While spirits are not as ‘famously’ paired with food as wine or even beer yet, they do have their place among some very satisfying dishes. Tristin added an interesting perspective to the situation.

“The idea is to kind of reprogram New Mexico diners’ minds … even if they’re not hungry, just stop by for some good drinks, enjoy, and treat it more like art,” he said. “So we want to educate you in good food.”

For those of you not as keen to spirits, Hollow Spirits will also be serving beer and wine from across the state.

As the wind finally settled down and no more human anchors were required to keep the tents from taking a 10-story plunge, it was time to try the wares. We met up with some familiar faces, downed a few excellent samples (in my humble opinion most notably Hollow Spirits’ Wheat Vodka, Little Toad Creek’s Te-Guy-La, and Algodones Distillery’s Gin). While this was certainly out of the usual for myself and Shawna, it proved to be a memorable and entertaining evening worth recommending next years Spirits Festival.

Cheers!

— Jerrad & Shawna

The last beer festival at Isleta Pavilion was the lone Blues & Brews to appear there back in 2013.

Friends of friends were happy to inform us that the upcoming Sabroso Festival, scheduled for this Sunday at the Isleta Pavilion, was a fun event in its California stops. The setup for the Albuquerque edition, however, has hit some bumps in the road, as breweries have reported major issues with getting their permits approved due to problems the event organizers are having with New Mexico laws.

Of the 18 listed breweries on the event website, three have confirmed they will not attend — Eske’s, Kaktus, and Starr Brothers — due to permitting issues. Four have yet to respond to our inquiries, so their status is unknown at this time (though Sierra Blanca did say on an Instagram post that it will be there). Here are the beer lists for those who did get back to us.

  • UPDATED—Ale Republic: Parasol, Bernalillo Weisse, Blonde, Double Trouble, Zero to Hero (Zero IBU IPA), Sombra (American Stout)
  • Bosque: Bosque Lager, Elephants on Parade, Bosque IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Bow & Arrow: Denim Tux Lager, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen, Savage Times Sour IPA, Nomadico IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Cider, Ambear, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Canteen: Flashback IPA, High Plains Pils, Dougie Style Amber, Rapsberry Wheat, Exodus IPA, Laid Back Lager
  • Little Toad Creek: Copper Ale, E9 Pale Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Marble: Passionate Gose, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Double IPA, Pilsner, Double White
  • Picacho Peak: Picacho Lite, New England IPA, Black IPA, Dunkelweizen, Chocolate Porter
  • Red Door: Vanilla Cream Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Unhinged Cider
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit, Raspberry Dynamite, Out to Pasture Brett Saison, Zest Out

The unknown breweries besides Sierra Blanca are Abbey Brewing, Santa Fe, and Tractor.

There is also something called Revolver Brewing, which is owned by Miller Coors, a subsidiary of ABInBev, so we do not consider that a craft brewery worth listing here.

All that being said, this still has the potential to be a fun event. It will run from 1 p.m. (noon for VIP ticket holders) until 10 p.m. The event is 21 and over from 1 to 3, then all ages after that. Craft beer tastings last until 4 p.m., then you have to pay by the pint. There may still be tickets online, but reports say it will be sold out by Sunday, so do not wait to try to get your tickets at the gates.

The music is headlined by 90s SoCal punk bands The Offspring and Pennywise, with Los Kung Fu Monkeys (3-3:30), Unwritten Law (3:55-4:30), Lit (5-5:45), and Street Dogs (6:15-7) in support. Pennywise follows from 7:30 to 8:30, with The Offspring finishing it all off from 9 to 10:05.

The website says there will be 24 different taco vendors on hand. There will also be Luche Libre wrestling matches for your entertainment, starting at 12:30 p.m., with the championship match at 3:30.

Hopefully this all goes off without a hitch and we all have fun this Sunday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Take a trip to Silver City this Saturday for Toad Fest at Little Toad Creek.

Last year, the Crew was heading back from our tour of the southeast breweries when we made the rather crazy decision to suddenly head over to Silver City to catch Toad Fest at Little Toad Creek. This small-but-fun festival, run by the NM Brewers Guild, is a fun way for folks in the southwest corner of the state to try some unique beers from up north.

This year is no different, as the Guild is taking 19 beers* from Albuquerque and Santa Fe breweries. Many of them are specialty and seasonal offerings, rather than just the usual packaged or house beers. Toad Fest will take place Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight at the Little Toad Creek Taproom on the corner of Broadway and Bullard Streets. The beers will be tapped inside at the main bar and outside in the courtyard/patio area on the east side of the building. There will be a beer garden in the alleyway with games, too.

The live music lineup is Amos Torres at 2 p.m., Sissy Brown at 5 p.m., and Shotgun Calliope at 8 p.m.

Now, as for those beers, here are the 19 we were informed about (hence the * above). Little Toad Creek said on the event’s Facebook page that there will be 24 available, including some from its own supply.

  • Bombs Away: Hellfire Green Chile Golden
  • Bosque: Strawberry Sabotage, The Good Place (PA)
  • Broken Trail: Pepe the Mule, Double Black Ale
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank, Slice of Hefen
  • Marble: Session IPA, El Gabacho
  • Nexus: Imperial Cream Ale, Scotch Ale
  • Red Door: Roamer Red, Vanilla Cream Ale
  • Santa Fe: 7K IPA, Twisted Root
  • Tractor: Lemon & Honey, Goathead Hador (Doppelbock)
  • Turtle Mountain: Copper Lager, Amnesia Ale

Per the event page, Sidetrack and Taos Mesa are also scheduled to be available, so if we learn the identity of those beers, we will update this list.

Luke and I had a great time at Toad Fest last year. The event was packed, but not overly crowded. The staff and crowd were friendly and helpful. It was a great way to enjoy some beers and soak in the culture of the mountain town.

If you need to get out of town for the weekend, consider Toad Fest.

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, one in Moriarty, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

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

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

After all the excitement of the past couple of weeks, things are looking pretty quiet for the next seven days. There are a couple festivals not on brewery grounds worth noting, both of which we will preview in separate stories. Saturday marks the return of Toad Fest to Little Toad Creek in Silver City, which is a great place to get away from it all for the weekend. If you want to stay here and indulge in some 90’s punk rock, tacos, and beer, the Sabroso Festival will be out at Isleta Pavilion on Sunday. We have the beer lists for the former, while the lists for the latter are starting to trickle into our inbox. If neither festival appeals, this would mark another one of those great weekends to catch up on any beers you might have missed. Or, heck, if this lack of wind holds, get thee to your favorite brewery/taproom patio and soak it up before the dust starts flying and/or the temps start soaring.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic rolls out a fresh batch of Red Mountain IPA alongside the new Double Trouble and Sombra Stout. Bombs Away mines the taps with more Claymore Scotch Ale. La Cumbre kicks back with some Lazy Hammock Hazy IPA and An Extra Slice of Hefen. Marble is feeling frisky with a fruited Belgian beer called Tickle Factory (no snickering), plus My Lil’ Jabroni offers up a sessionable alternative. Ponderosa, as promised, has Hop-Mosa 2.0 on tap. Sidetrack has more Turntable IPA Track 1, plus Pinebox Pale Ale joins the lineup on draft and cask. Steel Bender runs amok with The Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, while also feeling the season with Yogi Beera, a brett saison. Turtle Mountain unleashes Trivial Monstrosity IPA.

Up in Santa Fe, it is really quiet.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of April 23.

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, Bernalillo Weisse, Best Coast IPA, Parasol, Red Mountain, Double Trouble, Sombra Stout. The Bernalillo Weisse is a tremendous name. The most recent additions are Parasol, Red Mountain (IPA), Double Trouble, and Sombra Stout.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Cascade Grenade, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Black IPA. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak, TruBlu, Black IPA, and Cascade Grenade, the newest addition. Zeus Juice White IPA is also coming back in the next few weeks on tap and in bombers.

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

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

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

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Operation Single Hop, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, SNAFU Oatmeal Stout, Hazy Chain DIPA, Imperial Session IPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager, The RED Ale, Wild Card, Spring Lager, Arsenal Amber Ale, Claymore Scotch Ale. The most recent addition is the Claymore, with Spring Lager and Arsenal going on tap shortly before that. Make sure to enjoy some of the delicious SNAFU when you get the chance.

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, Down in the Hollow, Not Your Average Latte, Rosie the Riveter Session IPA, Dream Theory, Era of Discovery, The Good Place, Strawberry Sabotage. The Good Place, a pale ale, and Strawberry Sabotage, a strawberry rhubarb blonde ale, are the most recent additions. Era of Discovery is a pale ale infused with two types of green tea, with $1 from every pint sold going to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research.

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

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

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

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Denim Tux Lager, Nomadico IPA, Savage Times Sour IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Saison de Blanc, Roam Free DIPA, Cake Bandit, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen, Thief of Time (Barleywine). Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. Bottles of Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison are available, but it is no longer on tap. Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, is a decadent treat available for a limited time. Thief of Time Barleywine is the most recent addition.

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: Featherweight Session IPA, Sucker Punch DIPA, New Mexikolsch, Bear Knuckle IPA, Red Knuckle Irish Red, Tropic Thunder IPA, Strong Arm Strong Pale Ale. The most recent additions are Strong Arm, New Mexikolsch, Tropic Thunder, Red Knuckle, and Bear Knuckle. Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout is now on the nitro tap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beers: Irish Red, Marzen, Exodus IPA, Helles Lager, Hop Baller IPA, North 14 Pale Ale, Strawberry Basil Gose, Rosie the Riveter Session IPA. Welcome back North 14 and Strawberry Basil Gose, the most recent additions to the lineup. Rosie the Riveter was made to raise funds for the Pink Boots Society and is on tap at breweries across town.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Alex Maryol, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Dusty Low, 4-7 p.m.

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

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

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

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

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

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Coffee Lager, 505 Lager, Moloko Plus Milk Stout, Micro Hands Session IPA, Munich Dunkel, Blood Orange Gose, Stay Golden Gose, Stormy (Belgian Blonde). The most recent additions are Stormy, Stay Golden, Dunkel, and Blood Orange Gose.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Game Night, 7 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

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

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

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

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

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Nebulas New England IPA, Dr. Brownstone, Stuntman Light Lager, Say It Loud Coffee Stout, OASIS Passionfruit Belgian Blonde, Hazeas Corpus Hazy IPA. The OASIS and Hazeas Corpus are the most recent additions. Enjoy them with Avengers: Infinity War starting this Friday.

High and Dry Brewing — (505) 433-5591

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

Beers: Liberty Crate IPA, Zest Out, Humble Affair Stout, Black Hole’s Son (Porter), Constable Reggie (Tart Amber), Swipe White (Tart Wheat), Mestia #3 (Table Sour). It has been a busy month-plus for the new brewery at 529 Adams St. NE, just south of Lomas. The Zest Out is an orange coffee beer made in collaboration with Steel Bender. This batch of Humble Affair Stout is the delicious coffee stout we were promised.

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.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

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

Live Music: Friday—Kent Curley, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—Sissy Brown, 6:30 p.m.

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

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

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

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

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

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: HBC 438 SMASH, Blanche De Burque, Father Nelson DIPA, Lazy Hammock Hazy IPA, An Extra Slice of Hefen. Get the Father Nelson before it disappears back into history. The Lazy Hammock and An Extra Slice are the most recent additions.

Lava Rock Brewing — (505) 615-2802

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

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

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

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

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

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

Beers: Ringleader, Stout Americano, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, BBBerry Gose, Double IPA, Tickle Factory (Downtown only), From the Wood Saison (Downtown and Westside only), My Lil’ Jabroni (Downtown and Westside only), Passionate Gose (Downtown and Westside only), White Out (Heights and Westside only), Session White (Heights and Westside only), Session IPA (Heights and Westside only), Chillsner (Heights and Westside only), Chocolate Pinky (Heights and Westside only), Marble Pale Ale (Heights and Westside only), Smoked Helles (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. Ringleader, Marble’s 10th anniversary beer, is Double White with brettanomyces that has been bottle (and keg) conditioned. The new Tickle Factory, a fruited Belgian-style ale, and My Lil’ Jabroni are the other recent additions. Stout Americano is back at all locations, on tap and for sale in bottles. Remember, too, that Cholo Stout, Double IPA, and Imperial Red are now available in six-packs!

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Brothers Gow & Funk Knuckles, 7-10 p.m.; Thursday—Under the Native Stars, 7-11 p.m.; Friday—Cali Shaw, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Innastate, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Picoso, 3-6 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Thursday—DJ Buddhafunk, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Still Closed for Repairs, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Julian Dossett Trio, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Saturday—Kitty Jo Creek Band, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Julian Dossett Duo, 3-6 p.m.

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

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

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

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

News: The Silver taproom no longer has weekly music, but it does have an abbreviated menu to keep folks plenty happy.

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

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

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. Stop by for some Cockness Monster or Switch Stance and make sure to wish Rob Palmer himself congratulations on becoming a married man.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Hefeweizen, Triple IPA, Toasted Cinnamon Stout, Peach Wheat Ale, Hop-Mosa 2.0. Yes, the Toasted Cinnamon Stout was made with Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal made in collaboration with the local General Mills facility. Hop-Mosa 2.0, a New England-style DIPA, is the most recent additions.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Clark IPA, Dark Pedro, Test Batch #2 DIPA, Saiorse Hefe. A recent addition was the Test Batch #2, a New England-style double IPA. The popular Saoirse Hefe is back for another run.

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: New England IPA, Lager Oscuro. The New England IPA is the first recipe from new head brewer Matt Meier, and Franz Solo declares it to be a new favorite seasonal in town.

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

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

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

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

Live Music: Thursday—Silver String Band, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Dave Payne & Salt Cedar, 8-11 p.m.

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

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

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

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

Beers: Turntable Series IPA: Track 1, Railhead Red, Guera American Blonde Ale, Pilsner, Pinebox Pale Ale. The Turntable and Pinebox are the most recent additions. We will miss you, Buzz Bomb, but hopefully you will return before long.

Cask: The Pinebox is in the firkin.

Live Music: Saturday—Byland Album Release Listening Party, 7-9 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, Starrphire Pilsner, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Don’t Fear the RIPA, Peppy Redlocks, Bloodshot. The most recent additions are Don’t Fear the RIPA, Peppy Redlocks, a strawberry rhubarb ale, and Bloodshot, a blood orange wit.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

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

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Out to Pasture (Saison), Zest Out, Raspberry Dynamite, The Goose is Loose, Yogi Beera. The most recent additions are the Goose (Berliner Weisse), Yogi Beera (Brett Saison), and Zest Out, an orange coffee beer made in collaboration with Humble Coffee and High & Dry Brewing. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, along with the anniversary beers, Ingenio and Bullet Reserve, for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beers: Pete’s Porter, Blood Orange Cider, Explora G&T Cider, Tupac Cali Red Ale, Lemon & Honey, Rosie the Riveter Session IPA, Chocolate Coffee Milk Stout, Pomegranate Dry Cider (nitro version only at Wells Park), Oud Bruin (Wells Park only), 2016 Stein Wine (Wells Park only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Chocolate Milk Stout (Four Hills only), Imma Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). All proceeds from the G&T Cider go to the Explora Science Center. Blood Orange Cider and Tupac have returned, plus the new Lemon & Honey is available. Chocolate Coffee Milk Stout and Pomegranate Dry Cider debuted recently.

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): Today (Wednesday)—Return of NMLiveRocks, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Michael Moxey, 3-6 p.m.; Friday—Acoustic Happy Hour, 5-7 p.m.; Saturday—Dust City Opera, 8-10 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Garry Blackchild, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Alex Maryol, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Seth Hoffman, 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: Bocky Mountain High, Trivial Monstrosity IPA, Snakedriver Dry Irish Stout, Amnesia Ale, Triple Play Pale Ale. The Trivial Monstrosity is the latest in the series of rotating specialty IPAs. Before that, Triple Play and Bocky Mountain High hit the taps.

Cask: Tuesday—Total Malarkey IPA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Australian Pale Ale, Katabatic Kolsch, Black Thought IPA, Barrel-Aged Cosmic Darkness. Forget the warming weather, it’s time to go back to the darker days with some Barrel-Aged Cosmic Darkness, a decadent imperial stout.

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): Today (Wednesday)—Wikki Wikki Wednesday with Cloudface, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Tribal Reggae Splash, 9 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 Six (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Petit Blanche, Saison du Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Fields of Rye Spring ’18, Kaffeeklatsch. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Six is the most recent iteration. The new Kaffeeklatsch is a mixed fermentation coffee Berliner Weisse. The RFA staff has taken a Belgian-style dubbel and aged it in Saint Croix rum barrels with an addition of Santa Rosa Plums, calling it Mixed Dubbels Curling. You can purchase bottles in advance online for $28 and then pick them up Sunday, when a limited amount will also go on tap.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

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

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Eugene, 6 p.m.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 IPA, Low Winter Sun Sour, Vienna Lager, Winter Warmer, Agua Fria Pilzner, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Rod’s Best Bitter, The Last Passion IPA, LVL Stout. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Rod’s Steam, Rod’s Best, Last Passion, and LVL Stout are the most recent additions, and I am a big fan of the robust and kinda mean LVL, and by that I mean kinda mean in a good way.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Jaka, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Half Broke Horses, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Saturday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Rufina): Thursday—Brett Newski, Vonnie Kyle, Trashcat, 8 p.m.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

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

Picacho Peak Brewing — (575) 680-6394

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

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

Live Music: Friday—Line Five, 7 p.m.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

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

Live Music: Friday—Rudy Boy, 6 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

A local artist added this awesome image to the new Little Toad Creek production facility.

After visiting all four breweries in the southeastern part of the state last weekend, Luke and I decided to take the long way around from Carlsbad to Silver City. We wanted to check out Toadfest, the annual street event collaboration between Little Toad Creek and the New Mexico Brewers Guild. There was plenty of rain and wind as we actually dipped down through Texas, re-emerging into blue skies upon reaching El Paso. After a hearty lunch at the Hoppy Monk (yes, they have food in addition to an epic beer selection), we continued up Interstate 10, past Las Cruces and over to Deming, before taking Highway 180 up to Silver City.

The taproom was buzzing away during Toadfest.

Little Toad Creek is located in the heart of downtown now at the corner of Broadway and Bullard Streets. They have left behind the little mountain resort where it all started. Now they have a three-storefront location, almost like a smaller version of Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington. There is the bar area, a larger venue with a stage and a pool table, a small patio in the back, and a retail store with merchandise and bottles of their spirits for sale.

Luke did all the driving before Silver City, so Stoutmeister let him release the hounds at LTC and finished the drive later that night.

The event was a bit different in setup this year. LTC was not able to get a street permit, so instead they had an extended patio area in the alleyway out back. The beers from other New Mexico breweries were poured either at the main bar inside or via a jockey box on the patio. Despite some wind, a few drops of rain, and even a few snowflakes, it was still a lively time. There were a few tourists mixed in with the crowd of locals, who were easily identifiable by the fact they were covered in head to toe with outdoor clothing (the North Face love is strong in Silver City).

It was quite the crowd out in force for Toadfest.

There was live music, the kitchen was buzzing, and folks were crowding around Guild director John Gozigian to talk beer and buy merchandise. For many of the locals, it was a rare chance to try beers from Albuquerque, Taos, and Santa Fe that are not available in bottles or cans year-round. I tried a Kolsch from Taos Mesa (it had been a while) and then a LTC porter, which was quite toasted and tasty.

It may not look like much from the outside, but this new facility is about to start churning out some quality beers and spirits.

What it showed us more than anything was that Silver City, just like the towns in the southeast, has begun to have a thriving craft scene thank to the local brewery. With that in mind, LTC co-owner/brewer/distiller Dave Crosley and his wife and co-owner Teresa Dahl-Bredine are already working on taking things to the next level. Dave invited me, Luke, and John to take a walk a couple blocks down Bullard to Mill Road, where the second building on our left had quite the history. Once upon a time, it was the liquor depot for all of Silver City, where the trains serving the mines would back up and drop things off for the thirsty citizens. In later years, it was a roller skating rink, with some of the old interior artwork still on the interior walls. Now, it will be something quite different.

There is plenty of space to grow inside.

The new production facility for Little Toad Creek will soon be churning out even more beer and spirits. A shiny new 15-barrel brewhouse sits next to one of the biggest stills we have seen in the state (admittedly, we have only seen the ones at Broken Trail and Left Turn, so we cannot say it is the biggest overall). There are plans to eventually start canning and distributing LTC beers, though Dave said they have not decided exactly how far outward those beers will be shipped.

That is one shiny still.

Still, the very fact that a brewery/distillery combo that started at a nearby mountain resort has now been able to move into such a large facility is a good sign indeed. It shows the popularity of drinking local, both for residents and for the tourists flooding into the area to keep cool(er) in the summer months. We all know our big breweries up here along Interstate 25 are doing great, but to see expansion and ambition in the small towns warms our hearts even more.

Dave with his “son,” Earl, who guards the brewery in exchange for back scratches and belly rubs.

This summer, we are planning to take another trek to Taos and the breweries around it. We also plan to visit Las Cruces to see how things are going down there, after which I think we will be able to say we have visited every brewery in the state at least once. Until another half dozen open this year. Oh, darn, guess we will have to go back.

Craft beer culture is alive and well in all the corners of New Mexico. Let us all raise a pint to that this weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Yes, we are finally visiting Milton’s and the other breweries in Southeast New Mexico. Because we didn’t stick the NM in front of our name for nothing.

Back in the fall, the New Mexico Brewers Guild took several of its members from the Albuquerque area down to the southeastern part of the state to visit the breweries far from the metro area. Yours truly was invited, but I had to finish up a book (due out June 5, FYI) on Albuquerque’s beer history, and could not attend. All these months later, Luke and I have made plans to follow in their footsteps.

This Friday, we are intent on visiting Roosevelt Brewing in Portales, Desert Water Brewing outside Artesia, The Wellhead in downtown Artesia, and Milton’s Brewing in Carlsbad. Our goal is to take in the atmosphere at these places, try their beers, their food (if they serve), and see how they compare to our “big city” breweries. We will be kind, of course, in terms of rating the beers. Our purpose to is to introduce all of you to these places, which we know many of our primary readers have never visited before. We do not intend to be overly critical and compare these places to the much larger and better-funded breweries along I-25, but instead we will judge them on their own merits in the context of the smaller towns they inhabit.

If possible, we will have a story for each brewery that will run next week and beyond. We will be posting on all three of our social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) live as we go.

The Crew made a pledge to get out to the breweries beyond the ABQ and Santa Fe areas, and we intend to follow through. We have already run Andrew’s stories on Three Rivers Brewery and 550 Brewing in the northwest, now it is time to catch up with the breweries in the opposite corner of the state. Then, schedules permitting, we will head up to the Taos area this summer, and down to Las Cruces at some point in later summer/early fall.

Of course, weather may not be our friend this weekend, but we will endure what we can. The catch may come Saturday, when we will try to be crazy and drive all the way from Carlsbad to Silver City in time to catch Toad Fest. This street party (weather-permitting) in downtown Silver City has been on our list of “must attend” events. Plus, we have never actually visited Little Toad Creek’s location in Silver City, so we can pull off a two-for-one there.

And, if we are really lucky, we may be able to stop by Truth or Consequences Brewing and meet their owners, as they have told us they are just a month or so away from opening.

Wish us luck, and good weather.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

This year's many, many IPA entries.

This year’s many, many IPA entries.

And we are off! The preliminary round of the 2016 New Mexico IPA Challenge is complete, with 16 15 breweries advancing to the three main rounds that will begin next weekend at Santa Fe Brewing. This came out of the 28 beers that were sampled in a blind taste test Saturday afternoon at Rio Bravo.

Editor’s note: We have been updated by the Guild that Rio Bravo does not advance.

Were there surprises? Of course, both in some of the breweries that scored well and in some that did not. One of the new wrinkles in NMIPAC is that the three host breweries — Santa Fe, 3 Rivers, Tractor — were guaranteed to advance no matter their voting totals. In the end, only the first needed that bye to advance, as 3 Rivers (nine votes) and Tractor (seven votes) would have qualified regardless.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

The results of the preliminary round, with the breweries listed by their numbers on the left, voting totals on the right.

Every brewery that was eliminated garnered less than seven votes. Those are, with voting totals included, Bathtub Row (4), Cazuela’s (1), Chama River (2), Enchanted Circle (2), Kaktus (2), Little Toad Creek (4), Lizard Tail (3), Marble (6), Rio Bravo (3), Roosevelt (4), Sierra Blanca (6), Spotted Dog (1), and Turtle Mountain (2). While some of those breweries are newer or in more remote locations, seeing big names like Chama, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Turtle were all surprising.

The advancing breweries, including the hosts, are Blue Corn (10), Bosque (13), Boxing Bear (33), Canteen (33), Chili Line (10), La Cumbre (13), Quarter Celtic (24), Red Door (7), Santa Fe (3), Second Street (7), Sidetrack (7), Starr Brothers (17), Taos Mesa (13), 3 Rivers (9), and Tractor (7). In terms of the two trays, numbered 1-14 and 15-28, the leaders were Boxing Bear and Canteen for the first tray and Quarter Celtic for the second tray. It was nice to see some of the newcomers, all of whom opened this year, make the final cut in Chili Line, Quarter Celtic, Sidetrack, and Starr Brothers.

In the interest of full disclosure, Brandon had the first tray and picked Canteen. I had the second tray and picked Starr Brothers, though it was close between their offering and Quarter Celtic.

The next round of NMIPAC will be Saturday, July 16, at Santa Fe, followed by a stop at 3 Rivers in Farmington on July 20, and the grand finale at Tractor Wells Park on July 23. Luke will have the SFBC stop covered for us, and the rest of the Crew will see you all at Wells Park.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

p.s. Kudos to the staff at Rio Bravo for putting on such a smoothly-run event. All of us attendees appreciated your hard work!

One IPA to rule them all!

One IPA to rule them all!

The announcement went out on Tuesday, and hopheads across the state rejoiced, for the New Mexico IPA Challenge is returning to the land. Now 28 breweries will do battle, as all seek to remove the three-time king, John Bullard, from his iron throne.

OK, fine, it is a bit of Game of Thrones there, but that is the theme this year, said NM Brewers Guild director John Gozigian. We met for some pints and a good old information download at Bosque Brewing on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re kind of running with a Game of Thrones theme,” John said. “It all makes sense. The brewing community in New Mexico is kind of incestuous, it really is. Everybody’s worked here and there. All the houses have been mixed, kind of, so it kind of lends itself to that.

“You’ve got a guy like John Bullard who’s won it three years in a row for two different breweries. He’s the guy that everybody wants to dethrone. You’ve got all these usurpers out there that would love nothing better than to make him pay.”

Bullard has won three in a row, the last two at Bosque and two before that Blue Corn. His title defense starts on Saturday, July 9, at Rio Bravo for the preliminary round. After that, the scoring rounds will be at Santa Fe Brewing on July 16, at Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington on July 16, and the grand finale will be at Tractor Wells Park on July 23.

The other 27 combatants who will face off with Bosque are, deep breath, as follows (* = confirmed first-time participant): Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Cazuela’s, Chama River, Chili Line*, Enchanted Circle*, Kaktus, La Cumbre, Little Toad Creek, Lizard Tail, Marble, Quarter Celtic*, Red Door, Rio Bravo*, Roosevelt, Santa Fe, Second Street, Sidetrack*, Sierra Blanca, Spotted Dog, Starr Brothers*, Taos Mesa, Three Rivers, Tractor, Turtle Mountain

Last year there were 23 participants, so to get to 28 is immense in and of itself. Rather than copy the same format as the VIPA Challenge, there will instead be a new format for the opening round at Rio Bravo.

“It’s going to be a little different though it’s going to accomplish the same end,” John said. “Last year was the first time that we had to winnow the field down to a manageable amount of beers to take on the road, so attendees at the subsequent stops got all of them in one sitting.

“We capped it this year at 28 breweries. They can only enter one beer. It all goes back to the lunch lady trays that we’ve always used. You can fit 14 of those plastic tumblers on one of those trays. You can fit 2-to-3 ounces in there, a big enough sample where you can reasonably evaluate the beer. So, that limits it to 14 in a flight. Plus, given the quantity of each one, you can’t go less than 2 ounces, so that ends up (28) ounces of beer per flight, plus you get the complimentary pint. We don’t want people to over-consume.”

The format now will feature two separate trays, labeled A and B. One will have beers numbered one through 14, the other 15 through 28. Each attendee will only receive one of the two trays, and will rank the beers on his/her tray only. An equal number of the two trays will be distributed so all beers will have an equal chance, regardless of which tray they are on.

“We’re going to be smart, the ones that have done well in the past, they’re not going to all be on one flight,” John said. “They’re going to be spread out in a way that makes sense. We’re going to take the top 12 to 14 out of that first round at Rio Bravo and then take those to the next stops.”

Yes, you and your best friend/significant other/old drinking buddy can each get a different tray and sample from the other, but you can only vote for one. Basically, drink up as much as you want off your tray first for proper voting, then, if your palate can take it, try from the other tray.

“So, the first one is going to be fun,” John said. “That’s where we get the field down to where it’s supposed to be. Even with 28, there’s going to be some good IPAs that get left behind. There are a lot of good IPAs out there now. For sure, those top 12 or 14, they’re going to be some great beers.”

Tickets for all four rounds are now on sale online, and paper tickets will begin appearing at the breweries (full list TBA) in the next couple of weeks.

Get them early this year. Even as big as Rio Bravo is, and Tractor WP will be (they are going to close the front parking lot along 4th for additional capacity), there will be ticket caps. This should be the biggest NMIPAC ever, both in terms of participating breweries and attendees.

After the opening round, the remaining rounds should be what you have come to expect, 12 to 14 beers numbered on a tray for a proper blind tasting. As attendance outside of Albuquerque has always lagged behind, the folks at Three Rivers are trying something new this year to get their numbers on par with at least Santa Fe.

“Actually, those guys are going to try to get people from Durango,” John said. “They’re going to put up posters at the breweries in Durango. I hope we get some attendance from there because, I think New Mexico’s beers, especially the IPAs, are well enough known now, at least in our neighboring states, it’ll be worth the 30-mile trip for somebody from Durango to come check out. Especially when we have gold medal winners and National IPA Challenge winners all submitting beers.”

Start doing your hop homework people. Prep those palates, get your ticket(s), and the Crew will see many of you at Rio Bravo and/or Tractor sooner than later.

One IPA to rule them all! We can get behind this theme.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And festival season is a go!

And festival season is a go!

The unofficial kickoff to festival season is upon us once again as Blazin’ Brewfest returns to downtown Las Cruces on Saturday. This annual event, put on by the NM Brewers Guild, is definitely the biggest and most important festival for craft beer lovers in Southern New Mexico and surrounding areas.

The festival runs from 5 to 9 p.m. at 211 Main Street. There will be 15 breweries present, plus food trucks, and live music. The cost is $15 in advance or $20 at the gate. You can still buy tickets at High Desert, Spotted Dog, the Bosque taproom, Main Street Bistro, and of course online.

While the Crew will be otherwise occupied Saturday up here in ABQ, we will have correspondents writing about the fest and the best beers to seek out after it’s over. That, of course, leads to the question of what will be served at the festival. We only heard back from eight nine of the participating breweries, but if anyone else sends us a late list, we will update this story.

Abbey: TBA

Bosque: Riverwalker IPA, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale, Scotia Scotch Ale, Bosque Lager, Elephants on Parade, Amber Rye, Beermosa

High Desert: TBA

La Cumbre: BEER, Elevated, Red Ryeot, Malpais, Slice of Hefen, plus there will be a special tapping of Project Dank at 7 p.m.

Little Toad Creek: TBA

Marble: Double White, Pilsner, Red, IPA

Pecan Grill: TBA

Picacho Peak: Javelina Black IPA, La Bruja Porter, High Noon Hefeweizen, Sunset Summer Saison, Smooth ‘n’ Stout

Ponderosa: Ghost Train IPA, Spanglish New Mexican Lager, Manzanita Milk Stout, Saison Chat Sauvage

Red Door: Unhinged Cider, Roamer Red, Shift Ender Golden Lager, Bad Moon Ryesing

Santa Fe: Gold, Black IPA, Nut Brown, Happy Camper, Western Bloc IPA

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, Red Beer, Bone Chiller Brown, Rio Grande IPA, Rio Grande Desert Pilsner, Alien Stout, plus a limited pour of Cranberry Sour

Spotted Dog: Milk Stout, Hop Dog, Prickly Beaver Wheat, Angry Beaver Wheat, Shep Farmhouse Ale

Taos Mesa: TBA

Tractor: TBA

Remember, this is a Brewers Guild event, so it needs all the support our community of beer lovers can provide!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister