Posts Tagged ‘Mother Road Brewing’

Pregame the big event with several low-key tastings on Day Four.

Yes, it is Blues & Brews day, but there are still some other options for those either not attending or just looking for a little pre-game fun.

We posted the beer lists for Blues & Brews on Saturday, so click that link if you’re curious.

Otherwise, kick back and enjoy! You earned the break.

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: Quarter Celtic and Dialogue Collaboration Release. Where: Quarter Celtic. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: We do love the collaboration beers, and here comes another one from two of our newer breweries. The beer will be available at QC, plus it will be at the QC booth at Blues & Brews.

Why you should go: Yeah, it’s slim pickings outside the festival, but you need to fuel up on food beforehand, so do that and grab a taste of this new beer as well.

All the other great events

What: Deschutes Tap Takeover. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy many of Oregon’s finest ales all day. Why you should go: Revisit some old friends on tap.

What: Rio Bravo Pints, Planks & Pups. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop in for yoga, and maybe leave with a best friend as Animal Humane will have adorable dogs on hand for adoption. Also, $1 from all pints sold between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. will be donated to Animal Humane. Why you should go: Get some exercise and a pup and a pint.

What: Goose Island Sisters Brunch. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Chow down on delicious food while enjoying the GI Sour Sisters series of beers. Why you should go: Wake up with beer!

What: Founders Barrel-Aged Beer and Cigar Pairing. Where: Imbibe. When: 12-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Get a pour of KBS 2017 paired up with the cigar of your choice. There will also be a special pint glass giveaway. Why you should go: Barrel-aged stout goodness goes quite well with a fine cigar.

What: Mother Road Sampling and Special Tapping. Where: Whole Foods Academy/Sandia Saloon. When: 12-2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop by the market for samples of Mother Road’s packaged lineup, plus there will be a special keg tapped at Sandia Saloon with growler fills available until 9 p.m. Why you should go: It’s more than just free beer!

What: Defying Gravity — Cruisin’ for a Brewzin’. Where: Ponderosa. When: 1-4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Defying Gravity Car Club events everyone to join them at Ponderosa for a car show. The daily beer and tapas pairing will also be available during this time. Why you should go: See some awesome automobiles while enjoying a pint and a bite to eat.

* * * * *

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

Advertisements

Day Three will show you no mercy, but it will show you plenty of fun.

After Friday’s events, we can understand if some of you want to take it easy today.

Beer Week, though, has no concept of mercy, because it’s gonna be a big one. The 505 Collaboration beer is releasing all over town, O’Niell’s is throwing a Beer Olympics, Santa Fe is having a party, Rio Bravo is having a music festival, the Hash House Harriers are running amok, there’s food pairings everywhere … back on your feet, people!

There is fun to be had.

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 Olympics. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 1-5 p.m. Cost: $10 per player.

Details: I stopped by O’Niell’s a while back to ask them about this fun-looking event. Basically it involves teams of four people, each with a special skill to win one of four events. There will be trivia, so take your most knowledgeable beer geek friend. There’s cornhole, and we’re sure you have that one friend who just dominates that game. There’s an obstacle course, which will be similar to bussing tables, so take your friend with the most server experience. Finally, there will be a mini-keg toss, so take your friend who’s either from Scotland or just spends a lot of time at the gym. There will also be beer specials from four Colorado breweries — Boulder Beer, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.

Why you should go: Sure, you can just sit around and drink beer all day, but why not put your talents to use in a better way? (And still drink beer while doing it.)

All the other great events

What: Candemonium Charcuterie with Upslope. Where: M’tucci’s Italian. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop by and get cans of different Upslope beers paired with different charcuterie offerings. This is an all-day event. Why you should go: Fuel up before everything else starts.

What: Odell Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale shall be tapped and there will also be pint glass giveaways. Why you should go: Holy hops bless you to start the day.

What: Santa Fe Brewing ABQ Beer Week Bash. Where: Green Jeans Farmery. When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: All of Green Jeans will be permitted, so grab your beer and wander about, but the biggest party is on the SFBC rooftop deck where Chef Marie Yniguez of Bocadillos will be overseeing a cookout. There will be live music from Eugene (5-7 p.m.) and Garry Martin Beasley (8-10 p.m.), with lots of special tappings and giveaways. Watermelon Mountain Ranch will also be on hand looking for good homes for rescued pets. Why you should go: Feast, dance, drink, and maybe even find a new best friend.

What: 505 Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Bosque, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, La Cumbre, Marble, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Red Door, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Tractor. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual release of this Brewers Guild benefit beer is upon us! A team of ABQ brewers got together at Steel Bender last month to create a Golden Strong (8.74% ABV, 25 IBU) that will rock your world. Why you should go: Celebrate collaboration and help raise funds for the Guild.

What: Passing the Torch Festival. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 1-7 p.m. Cost: $12 for adults, $8 for ages 12 and under. Details: The RBBC patio will become a music fest as The Big Spank, Keith Sanchez and the Moon Thieves, Red Light Cameras, and Le Chat Lunatique perform. There will be food trucks, live art, craft vendors, a kids tent, and more. It all benefits the NMARB youth music program. Why you should go: Support local music, both what’s here now and the talent coming up through the pipeline.

What: Pig Roast and Marble Special Tapping. Where: Freight House. When: 1-10 p.m. Cost: $15 per person. Details: Head up to Bernalillo and enjoy a whole pig roast, with Marble providing a special keg of a one-of-a-kind beer. Why you should go: Explore the mystery of the beer and feast.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 2-4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample a slew of new Founders beers, including Doom, a barrel-aged imperial IPA. There’s also a chance to enter a giveaway for a counter-top grill. Why you should go: Free beer! Free stuff!

What: Hash House Harriers Brewery Run/Walk. Where: Canteen Brewhouse (starting point). When: 2-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Join our friends Matt and Dana (of Babes in Brewland fame) as they lead the HHH team and folks of all running/walking skill levels on a 5-kilometer trek to breweries starting at the Canteen on Aztec. Why you should go: Get some exercise with your beer today, just remember to wear lots of sunscreen.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: $7. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Family Style Dinner featuring Upslope. Where: Eclectic Urban Pizzeria and Tap House. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $25 per person. Details: Get a full meal of delicious food paired with Upslope beers. There will be live music by Anna Rudolph. Why you should go: It’s not like you actually want to make dinner tonight, right?

What: Mother Road and Tractor Collaboration tapping with Le Chat Lunatique. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The two breweries made two beers, an Altbier and a Double IPA, and now we all get to enjoy them while grooving along to some gypsy jazz. Why you should go: Great music and new beers to try.

* * * * *

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

The sour power hour runs strong across Day Two!

Did you survive? Did you make it through all of it?

No, not Day One of ABQ Beer Week, but the Penguins’ double-overtime victory over Ottawa in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Just ask anyone at Quarter Celtic last night, half the Crew almost died several times over.

But, we digress, for it is time to get back to beer while taking a needed emotional break from hockey until Monday. Day Two features fewer events, but there are still some pretty awesome ones, especially if you love sour beers.

Read on, dear, um, readers!

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: Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales and Hops & Dreams: Beer Week Edition. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. (beer), 8 p.m. (belly dancers). Cost: No cover charge.

Details: As we covered in our Tractor Beer Week preview, RFA is coming down from Santa Fe with some of their finest sours to pair up with some of Tractor’s best, including Flanders Red Ale, Berliner Weisse, and possibly a newcomer from the barrel room. It’s an awesome opportunity to taste these beers from two breweries, especially for all the folks down here who don’t make it up to Santa Fe often enough. Then, stick around as the spectacularly talented Desert Darlings shimmy up a storm.

Why you should go: Beer and belly dancers are a combination that simply cannot be defeated.

All the other great events

What: Blackberry Hefeweizen Release. Where: Red Door. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual summer favorite is back at both locations. Why you should go: It’s the perfect lighter (ABV) beer with lots of flavor to start your weekend.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 3-6 p.m. Cost: $7. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Mother Road Sampling and Special Keg Tapping. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The latest epic tasting at Jubilation features the full lineup of excellent beers from Flagstaff, plus there will be a keg of the Altbier brewed in Arizona in collaboration with Tractor. You can fill your growlers with it, too. Why you should go: Good beer, new beer, take-home beer, all for the win.

What: La Cumbre Sampling. Where: Whole Foods Carlisle. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the entire current packaged lineup while getting your grocery shopping done. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Santa Fe Sampling. Where: Kelly Liquors on Wyoming. When: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the entire current packaged lineup, buy your favorites, fill your fridge for the weekend. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Upslope presents Loteria. Where: Monroe’s on Lomas. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Play Loteria for prizes and indulge in some great New Mexican food paired with Craft Lager as the Upslope train rolls on. Why you should go: Feast and claim victory over all mortal men and women!

What: La Cumbre Tap Takeover. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be seven LC beers on tap including Gracias Por Fumar, Fievre d’Abricot, Ryeot on Bourbon (soooo good), Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, and the special Beer Week offering, Passionfruit Wit. Why you should go: Dear lord, that is an amazing lineup. Enough said.

What: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Cooper Project #1 Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy pours of BCBS ’15 and ’16, plus a barrel-aged Scotch wee heavy. Why you should go: The power of the darkness compels you to ignore who owns this brewery!

What: New Belgium Rare Beer Alert. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A special New Belgium offering will be tapped at both Gecko’s, but we don’t know what it is just yet. Why you should go: Solve the mystery and get something tasty to eat.

What: Sour Beer Flight. Where: Dialogue Brewing. When: 6-10 p.m. Cost: $8 per flight. Details: In a late addition to the events list, Dialogue is selling discounted flights of their entire lineup of sour beers. Why you should go: Pucker up, sour lovers, this is a good day for you.

What: ABQ Trolley The Hopper — Hop-on, Hop-off Brew Cruise. Where: 219 Central NW (starting point). When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: $20 in advance (buy tickets here), $25 day of. Details: The Hopper is back, visiting eight downtown-area breweries every 30 to 45 minutes. All you have to do is hop on, then hop off and enjoy a pint. The participating breweries/taprooms/beer bars are Duel, Red Door, Sidetrack, Back Alley Draft House, Boese Brothers, Marble, Rio Bravo, and Tractor Wells Park. Why you should go: If you want to visit multiple breweries, definitely let someone else do the driving, then just have Uber or Lyft pick you up at the end to take you home.

* * * * *

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

Tractor is gonna be packed with events all throughout ABQ Beer Week, but then again, what else is new?

No local brewery dives into ABQ Beer Week quite like Tractor, which once again will load up on the fun throughout the 11-day series of events. To make sure I had all the necessary information, I was able to sit down with the incredibly busy dynamic duo of Jeremy Kinter and Carla Bryant to go over all 11 events at both Tractor locations.

Thursday at Wells Park

First up is the Big Sipper IPA can release. As I recently discussed with Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, this session IPA is the official beer of the upcoming Pork & Brew in Rio Rancho. The July event is a ways off, but Tractor is already releasing the new 16-ounce cans to the public. The event kicks off at 7 p.m., with the Silver String Band providing entertainment from 8 p.m. Onward. Nomad’s BBQ will be parked outside for all your culinary needs.

Friday at Wells Park

We have said before how much we love when our breweries join forces, but we have to admit, it has been a while (if ever) that we have seen one brewery host another. Rowley Farmhouse Ales will be bringing down some of its finest creations for Sour Hour starting at 5 p.m. There will be six featured beers from Santa Fe, plus Tractor will have some of their own.

“We’re going to be featuring our Flanders Red and Berliner Weisse and then we might have a special sour that we put on tap as well,” Jeremy said. “That will go until the kegs run out.”

After the sours have left everyone plenty puckered out, sit back and enjoy the rhythmic excellence of the Desert Darlings as they present Hops & Dreams: Beer Week Edition. If we haven’t sang their praises enough in the past, let us say again that these amazingly talented dancers put on one truly amazing show.

Saturday at Wells Park

Oh, collaboration beers, how much do we love thee? Tractor and Flagstaff’s Mother Road Brewing have joined forces to create two excellent new beers that will make their debut at 7 p.m. Look for an altbier and a unique take on a double IPA on tap throughout the night.

One of our longtime favorite local bands, Le Chat Lunatique (we first saw them at Septemberfest in Marble’s old back parking lot in 2010), will provide the tunes starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday at Nob Hill

In a late addition to the schedule, Tractor will be hosting another edition of Crafternoon starting at 3 p.m. Attendees will be making special beer cozies and coasters. The Yarn Store will provide the kits, or you can buy your own at their store across the street. This is a free event and open to crafty types of all skill levels.

Sunday at Sandia Resort & Casino

Tractor will join around 70 other breweries for the annual ABQ Blues & Brews Festival. We will have an in-depth preview of who’s taking what later this week.

Monday at Nob Hill

OK, it’s shameless self-promotion time again! The Dark Side Brew Crew is hosting Beer Geeks Trivia starting at 7 p.m. The event is free to all, and there will prizes provided by Tractor. There will be five rounds total, including a special tasting round in the middle where you get to try and correctly identify which Tractor beer you are drinking. Prior to that, Round One will focus on general New Mexico craft beer knowledge, Round Two will focus on national craft beer, and then after the tasting round, Round Four gets tough with New Mexico beer history, and Round Five caps it all with questions submitted by 10 different breweries around town.

Tuesday, May 30 at Wells Park

In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Tractor and Cheesy Street are teaming up for more beer-and-fried-cheese pairings. For $13 you get a tray of six different mini-fried cheese sandwiches, each paired with a different small pour of a Tractor beer. We promise, you will have a gouda time. (OK, wait, sorry, that was a terrible pun. Terrible.) It will start at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31 at Wells Park

Tractor is teaming up with Gruet Winery and Cheese & Coffee for a special five-course dinner starting at 7 p.m. This is not a ticketed-in-advance event, so patrons can buy each pairing separately, meaning no one has to eat and drink more than they want.

“It’s no longer Beer vs. Wine, that was just a glitch,” Carla said of the renamed event, which is different than what is on the printed Beer Week fliers. “We’ll have for each course for sale individually the night of and we have them until they run out.”

Thursday, June 1 at Wells Park

The fourth annual Battle of the Beer Geeks takes center stage as the Crew (inaugural champs) tries to reclaim the title from two-time winner Babes in Brewland. Of course, you could all show up and end up voting for the Worthogs or Dukes of Ale or the other competitors, but hey, we’ll understand. (Maybe) This year we flipped it up a bit with a theme, as everyone had to brew to a style corresponding to a wheat beer. Don’t worry, the Crew still went ridiculously overboard, but I am happy to report that we did not clog the heat exchanger this year and cause head brewer Josh Campbell to lose any hair.

It costs $10 for a tray of the five beers, but you will not know who brewed what. You then get a pint of your favorite, which counts as your vote. The winner will be announced around 8 p.m.

Friday, June 2 at Wells Park

If you have never been to an Art Fight before, this is the one time to go check it out. It kicks off at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Friday, June 2 at Nob Hill

Even we had to ask what the heck Night Out Cards was all about. Basically, as Jeremy explained it, it is a special deck of cards with “truth or dare” style questions. A deck and two wristbands costs $20, and you can add up to five additional players on your team for $5 apiece. Each wristband gets $1 off beers, and there will be special prizes and contests every 30 minutes. WhichCraft will also be on hand to help you choose which beers you want to drink.

“Basically they’re brewery truth or dare cards, you get a deck and you have to do things like fake a break-up in a bar and you get so many points,” Jeremy said. “The team with the most points at the end wins a big old prize.”

Saturday, June 3 at Nob Hill

The annual Cider Day Night Fever gets kicked up a notch this year, with Tractor bringing in guest ciders from Santa Fe Cider Works, New Mexico Cider Company, Palmer Brewery and Cider House, Skarsgard Farms, and Red Door. It all starts at 5 p.m., with DJ Wae Fonkey providing the dance tunes starting at 7 p.m.

“They’re bringing some cool stuff,” Jeremy said. “Red Door is going to have a blood orange cider and their Unhinged. There will be an Enchanted Cherry Cider from Santa Fe. We’re going to have a Cranberry Ginger Cider and our Golden Dry Cider. Those two will be very limited.”

Saturday, June 3 at Wells Park

Speaking of ciders, the Triple Berry Cider will make its debut in concert with the Jodie Herrera Art Opening and Glass Release. A touring band from California, The Blank Tapes, will perform starting at 8 p.m.

* * * * *

After all of that, we just hope Jeremy gets to go home and sleep. For a week. Thanks, dude, you earned it!

Carla will soon be moving on to the next chapter, and we thank her for all her time and patience with us over the past year. Her successor gets to start up just in time for all the fun!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

 Caleigh Snyder from Mother Road Brewing with Joshua Wussow of Premier Distributing Co.

Caleigh Snyder from Mother Road Brewing, with Joshua Wussow of Premier Distributing Co.

Last summer, I stopped by Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff as they were just about to launch their product in New Mexico. I was already a fan of their Lost Highway Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBU), and was thrilled to find that I loved their seasonal Roadside Grove even more. Last summer’s experiment added grapefruit to their popular Roadside Pale Ale (5% ABV, 27 IBU), and it was absolutely the best summer brew I found last year. Caleigh Snyder, Mother Road’s brewhouse ambassador, says it’s on tap this summer as well — road trip!

Caleigh was on hand Thursday night at Total Wine’s Uptown location, along with Joshua Wussow from Premier Distributing Co. All four brews currently available in New Mexico were being poured — Lost Highway, Roadside Pale Ale, Gold Road Kölsch-style (4.3% ABV, 19 IBU), and the Tower Station IPA (7.3% ABV, 70 IBU). Staying true to their vision of naming their beers after places along the legendary Mother Road, Route 66, the name Tower Station was inspired by a spot along the New Mexico/Texas border where an old abandoned gas station sits.

motherroad-convertibletop

Arizona has “convertible top” cans; sadly, not allowed in New Mexico. (Photo: Instagram/caleigh_motherroadbeer)

I had tasted Tower Station previously, after picking it up at Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Santa Fe for post-mountain bike thirst quenching. It stands out among our excellent New Mexico IPAs because it doesn’t try to compete with their dankness. It’s smooth, mellow, and a great choice for hot summer days. Caleigh informed me it is less bitter than most IPAs because it’s brewed with 10 percent wheat and 40 percent pilsner malt. After she said that, I could immediately see this reflected in the flavor profile. You can pick up a four-pack of tallboys wherever Mother Road is stocked throughout New Mexico for about $10.

I spent some time with the Gold Road Kölsch as well, and was impressed by the dry, refreshing taste. Gold Road is named after the gold road stretch between Flagstaff and Lake Havasu. At only 4.3-percent ABV, this is another great option for the hot days ahead.

IMG_1958

Travel the Mother Road to the source this summer.

Cheers to Mother Road for adding new summer staples for all of us here in New Mexico. And, if you make it to Flagstaff, word is that they also have the Lost Highway on nitro brewed with coffee; and Cedar is still holding court behind the bar in the taproom, as if you needed another reason to visit!

— Julie

A salute to you, oh mighty Hopfest.

A salute to you, oh mighty Hopfest.

Other than a brief period of wind that amounted to all sound and fury signifying nothing, we have to say that Saturday’s Hopfest was another excellent outing for newbies and craft beer veterans alike. A big thank you to Marne Gaston and her army of volunteers for keeping it all running smoothly, even when Mother Nature did not want to cooperate.

There were many beers to be had, and for once the Crew did our best to not go overboard. Still, we found some new ones we liked, others we would rather skip, and oh dear lord that slab of smoked meat that Clinton Coker gave us from the Sandia Chile Grill booth was epic. We all need to visit SCG again as soon as we can for more smoked meats. Oh, and that Legacy Mead was pretty damn epic, too.

So the best of the local brews:

  • Canteen had some Exodus for us. It was still as wonderful as ever.
  • Cazuela’s hit a couple home runs with Kilt Kicker, a smoked Scottish that does not just taste like roasted peat. Also, the award-winning Beer For My Horses remains one of the best oatmeal stouts in town.
  • Marble’s Imperial Red is still one of the finest beers they make.
  • Ponderosa unleashed Walther IPK, which is a definite contender in the “Beer Name of the Year” contest we are going to hold before 2015 ends. What is an IPK? It is an India Pale Kolsch, so basically it is a big old blast of tropical hops on top of a Kolsch base. Nice work, Andrew.
  • Red Door and Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca both had excellent Milk Stouts available.
  • At long last, we got to try Santa Fe’s Autonomous Collective IPA. Franz Solo is convinced it would have been among the finalists at the IPA Challenge had things gone right with the keg at VIPA. Try it while it is still available (only at the brewery).
  • For a nice blast of hops without the heavy ABV, head over to Tractor for Big Sipper Session IPA. ABQ-area breweries are getting really good at sessions with actual flavor.

As for the best out-of-state brews:

  • Adelbert’s Tripel
  • BJ’s Whiskey Barrel Stout
  • Left Hand’s Great Juju
  • Mother Road’s Tower Station IPA
  • Upslope’s Imperial IPA
  • Oh, and AmyO wanted to pass along her favorite of the ‘Fest: “We all know IPAs are not my go-to beers. If I had to pick a favorite from Saturday it would be Odell’s Myrcenary Double IPA. Shocked! It was because I could appreciate how well crafted it was. Hoppy but not in your face. On the sweeter side without being syrupy or heavy. It was fruity (tropical?) and not over the top despite it’s high ABVs. The balance was superb.”

So rather than ramble on, and since I’m currently finishing this story from Denver on our way to Avery Brewing in Boulder (don’t forget, they’re having a tap takeover at Nob Hill Bar & Grill tonight with some righteous imperial-strength beers), here are some photos of Hopfest from our good friend Mario Caldwell, plus a selfie from Luke.

2015Hopfest2

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande always wins for alien design.

2015Hopfest3

No one has Karl’s style.

2015Hopfest11

Hope you all had as much fun as we did.

2015Hopfest10

Go Xtreme or go home.

2015Hopfest9

To save the beer, the tents had to be surrendered to the wind.

2015Hopfest8

Our man Patrick on the taps at Marble.

2015Hopfest7

Patrons pitch in to fight the wind.

2015Hopfest6

The calm before the literal storm.

2015Hopfest5

They brought the Autonomous Collective from Santa Fe at long last!

2015Hopfest4

Hello, Flagstaff friends!

The Crew had a most metal day at Hopfest.

The Crew had a most metal day at Hopfest.

We will see you all out at Mountain West Brew Fest this weekend. Until then, Franz Solo and I are off to Avery. Gotta fill the trunk!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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!

Get your geek-on with the Crew!

Well, everyone out there seemed to survive the two big festivals on Sunday. The crowd was big at Blues & Brews but not overwhelming. The local breweries held their own in the face of the national and international brands. And the big surprise? The soon-to-open Firkin Brewhouse, which debuted with a flourish. The Capo’s Java Stout was a creamy delight, very much its own beer and not a copy of Santa Fe’s Java Stout. Kudos to the newcomers. We will be in touch with them in the coming weeks and do a formal preview of the next to join the ABQ brewing community.

Today is both a somber day and a day of celebration. Memorial Day is a day of mixed feelings, where we honor those who sacrificed for our country, but also celebrate their legacy and the freedom they defended. Today will feature a music festival at Marble, special tappings at Gecko’s, Rock & Brews, and Two Fools, a food truck battle at Red Door, and something about the Brew Crew defending our title at Tractor Wells Park.

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: Battle of the Beer Geeks II. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 3 to 7 p.m. Cost: $10 for a tray of five beers to sample and a pint of your favorite.

Details: Last year, the Brew Crew’s Hammer Smashed Stout reigned supreme over the other beer groups’ entries. This year we doubled down with Darkside Donutbrau, a massive breakfast stout loaded with creamy malts, dark chocolate, and of course a copious amount of cold-brewed coffee. Three groups are back for a rematch with a new group in tow. All seem to have chosen the light to battle our dark. The Babes in Brewland unleash Her Sage Advice, an imperial white with sage and lemon. The Dukes of Ale have Wit Dream, a hoppy saison. The ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers went wild with Sigil Saison, a Citra dry-hopped Brett Saison aged on Chilean White Wine Soaked Oak Chips. And new to the battle are the Cerveceros de Burque, armed with a Ginger Pale Ale. Carlos the Tall will provide the music from 5 to 7, after which your votes will be tallied and a winner will be announced.

Why you should go: We know how much you all love us and what we do for you as a brewing community, providing you with all the news and insight on our amazing craft scene. So you totally want to help us keep the Rock Em Sock Em Robots trophy, don’t you? Of course you do. We will see you at Tractor. And yeah, there might be a special moment where we show off the trophy to the sounds of a certain classic rock band.

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Release. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The rather delicious Weizenbock will be released on tap outside the brewery and festivals for the first time. Why you should go: Rather enjoyed this one at Blues & Brews, plus you can get it with some delicious tapas food.

What: Brews and Food Truck Battle. Where: Red Door. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Five food trucks will compete for a “totally arbitrary title,” according to the Red Door Facebook site. OK, funny. So what does it all mean? Switch It Up, The Toasted Bean, Nosh Wagon, The LUNCH BOX, and Soo Bak Foods will each have a scaled down menu, in many cases paired with one of Red Door’s beers, often priced for multiple samplings. Why you should go: Chow down on some amazing food, drink some great beer, and yeah, you get to pick your favorite at the end.

What: Memorial Day Festival. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Five bands will provide the entertainment, two food trucks will provide the sustenance, and Marble will provide the brews. Bellemah, The Chemical West, Sad Baby Wolf, Lilah Rose, and Cactus Tractor will perform beginning at 3 p.m. Adoughbe Pizza will be outside from noon to 11, while Street Food Institute will be there from 4 to 9. Why you should go: It’s a holiday, kick back and relax.

What: Alaskan Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 3 to 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Kona, Redhook, and Widmer Brothers Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Deschutes Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The popular Oregon brewery’s beers will be on tap. Why you should go: Beer, food, sports on TV, classic rock over the sound system.

What: Mother Road Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A sweet milk stout will be tapped in a firkin. Why you should go: Delicious beer, Two Fools awesome food, there are worse ways to spend your evening.

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 — 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
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

And so it begins!

Release the beer hounds! The three-day weekend begins!

Welcome back to ABQ Beer Week, though technically it never left. After Thursday’s surge of events contrasted with the terrible weather, we expected more Friday, but the sun kept the rain at bay for a change. So we have that going for us, if nothing else.

Today’s lineup kicks off with a golf tournament and concludes with multiple tastings. In between, a major brewery celebrates their anniversary weekend.

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: Nexus 4th Anniversary Party. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Release the hounds as Nexus turns four years old today. To celebrate, they are grilling up some more red chile BBQ ribs, back by popular demand. You can also order a pint of Prosperity Works Belgian Scottish, which is the normal Beam Me Up Scottish this time with Belgian yeast. One dollar from each pint sold will go to the charity Prosperity Works. There will be live music from the Racine Kreyol Band from 1 to 4 p.m. The first 100 Nexus Members who walk in the door will get a special pint glass.

Why you should go: Even if the red chile BBQ ribs are too spicy, there will be plenty of other food, including the always awesome Chicken & Waffles. Throw in a new beer, live music, and more, and it has hard to see how you would sit this one out.

All the other great events

What: Seventh Annual NM Brewers Guild Golf Tournament. Where: Santa Ana Golf Club. When: 7 a.m. (registration), 8 a.m. (shotgun start). Cost: $100 per person. Details: From the Guild website, “Join New Mexico Brewers Guild for our 7th Annual Golf Tournament as we return to Santa Ana Golf Course for another round of beers and lost balls. Gather up a foursome of your best beer drinking buddies for this 4-Man or Woman scramble as we tee up some of the finest local beers to motivate the biggest hack to pick up some clubs.” The $100 covers your course fees, range balls, lunch, awards, and beer, of course. Why you should go: We know some of you love to play golf (looking at you, Karim), so why not throw in some beer and help the Guild at the same time?

What: Kiuchi Brewery Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hitachino Nest White Ale is the selected beer from Japan that you will enjoy. Why you should go: For those who are into the burgeoning Japanese craft scene, Kiuchi is among the trailblazers with their Hitachino Nest series. Plus, stick around for a Kilarney Grilled Chicken for lunch.

What: Oskar Blues Sampling. Where: Whole Foods on Academy and Wyoming. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Pinner Throwback IPA will be among the styles to sample. Why you should go: Free beer samples. Plus, pick up some healthy food for later when you have to cook dinner for your significant other and/or family to make up for all the time you’ve been spending at Beer Week events.

What: The Harwood’s Annual Fundraiser. Where: Marble Downtown. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Harwood Art Institute is an amazing community resource, with their Summer Art Camp teaching children in-depth lessons in various mediums. Marble hosts their annual fundraiser to raise money for art scholarships to the camp. Street Food Institute will be on the curb from noon to late, while Conchitas Creations will join them from 1 to 7 p.m. Carlos the Tall will perform from 1 to 2:30, followed by Jasper from 3 to 4:30, and Joanie and Darin from 5 to 6:30 p.m. There will also be a merch table with a button-making machine from Harwood. You can purchase raffle tickets ($1 each) for prizes ranging from local bands’ CDs to a grand prize of a $175 gift basket from Harwood that will include a membership, gift certificate to an art class, and more. Why you should go: Support a good cause, help some kids have a great summer, eat awesome food, buy some merch, enter the raffle, listen to great music, and of course indulge in Marble’s many great beers.

What: Angry Orchard Honey Cider Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample Angry Orchard’s newest cider. Why you should go: Free cider samples.

What: Woodchuck Sampling. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Uptown), 4 to 6 p.m. (Cottonwood). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample some Woodchuck ciders. Why you should go: More free cider samples.

What: Tommyknocker Event. Where: Twin Peaks. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No cover charge listed. Details: Tommyknocker will be promoting their beers for sale locally with Maple Nut Brown and Jack Whacker Wheat on tap. Why you should go: Beer, food, sports on TV. Almost everything you need in life.

What: Beer and Boards. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 1 p.m. (opening), 6 p.m. (music). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor and Kamagraph are teaming up again for another art show, this one showcasing the art of skateboards. There will be live art being made, plus skateboarding demos in the parking lot, and live music will begin at 6 with Zack Freeman, Burque Sol, and The Riddims. Why you should go: Support the local art community, support some local musicians, and of course enjoy some beer while you are there.

What: April Showers Bring May Sours. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 to 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Unleash the power of sour beers. There will be eight (!) sours available for sampling and then package sales. The lineup — St. Louis Framboise Lambic, St. Louis Peche Lambic, Petrus Aged Red, Petrus Oud Bruin, Monk’s Cafe (Flemish Red), Silly Sour (brown ale), St. Louis Fond Tradition Kriek Lambic, Petrus Aged Pale. Why you should go: If you love sour beers, this is practically nirvana.

What: Colorado Brewing Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues will have samples for sampling. Why you should go: Three good Colorado breweries in one places.

What: Mother Road, Deschutes, and Ska Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 4 p.m. (Mother Road), 5 p.m. (Deschutes), 6 p.m. (Ska). Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a tripleheader of beer greatness. First up, Mother Road will have a special sour cask at 4 p.m. Then at 5, Deschutes will have some of their awesome Mirror Mirror barley wine from 2014. Then it’s Ska Keep the Pint Night, featuring Modus Hopperandi and True Blonde, with brewery swag and giveaways. Why you should go: One location, three epic breweries.

What: Sierra Nevada Special Tapping. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A quartet of SN beers will be available in the form of Summerfest Lager, Kellerweis, Harvest Idaho 7 Single IPA, and Ovila Quad with plums. Why you should go: The Harvest and Ovila are a couple of hard-to-get beers, so reward the folks at Sister for getting them by stopping by and paying for a pint or two.

What: Belgian Beer Dinner. Where: Heimat House. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $55 per person. Details: It’s a five-course meal pairing up different dishes with different Belgian beers. Among those poured will be the St. Bernardus Abt 12. There will be brewery reps on hand to help you get through it. Why you should go: Get an education in Belgian beer and indulge in some amazing European food. Sound like a win-win.

What: Bosque Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown number of different Bosque beers will be on tap at the rock bar. Why you should go: Well, if you’re in the area, save some gas money and stop here.

What: Alaskan Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We have no idea what this beer will be, but it will be on tap at the NH location. Why you should go: Curiosity is not a bad thing. Neither is tapas food.

What: Oskar Blues Sampling. Where: Whole Foods on Carlisle. When: 5:50 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Pinner Throwback IPA will be among the beer styles sampled. Why you should go: Free beer samples!

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 — 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
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
May 30 — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

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)

* * * * *

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