Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico Craft Brewing Co.’

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.

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Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande always wins for alien design.

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No one has Karl’s style.

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Hope you all had as much fun as we did.

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Go Xtreme or go home.

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

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Our man Patrick on the taps at Marble.

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Patrons pitch in to fight the wind.

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The calm before the literal storm.

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

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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

We cannot guarantee your level of Hopfest shenanigans will approach ours, but you can try.

We cannot guarantee your level of Hopfest shenanigans will approach ours, but you can try.

The Albuquerque Hopfest returns this weekend, featuring 70 breweries and a whole lotta beers down at the Isleta Casino. Once again, the Crew will be in attendance, as we are veterans of this annual event. So we present our picks for what beers to try and all the other advice we can think of sharing.

First up, if you do not have your tickets yet, click here and buy them. Pay extra for the Extra Hoppy Hour, which starts at 2 p.m. instead of 3. Trust us, it is worth it. You get those 60 bonus minutes to try your beers with short lines everywhere. So peg your favorites, see where they are on the map, and chart out a plan of attack. In general, we hit the side room first (west side of the main hallway), then the main ballroom, and finally outside.

While outdoor beer festivals are fun sometimes, the blazing heat plus dehydrating alcohol can be a bit much. Plan your time outside accordingly. It might be wise to go there earlier rather than later.

Take this note about the outside setup, it is a bit different this year. As event organizer Marne Gaston explained, they have moved out of that little courtyard area on the southwest corner of the building. That area will still have some tables and chairs in the shade for folks to enjoy, plus a grill serving up some tasty food, but the brewery tents are no out in the parking lot. As this is now the Xtreme Hopfest, that is also where the BMX stunt area will be, which is good because we were afraid they would be peeling riders off the walls if they set up the stage in the courtyard.

Backing up a little bit, we highly recommend folks take the Rail Runner down to Isleta (the train leaves downtown at 12:12 p.m.). There will be shuttles at the stop to take you up the hill to the casino/hotel complex. This is unless you have a designated driver, which can be good since the train out of Isleta leaves at 6:10 p.m., so you will have to clear out of the Hopfest area before the event officially ends at 6. Otherwise the next train leaves there at 8:15 p.m.

There is also the VIP area, which is in the room on the south end of the main hall. If you paid extra for that, you will be happy to know that Whole Foods will be providing food pairings to go with the available beers. We did not get a whole list of the pairings, but we do have the beer list and times they will be poured by the awesome Monica Mondragon and her staff of volunteers.

3 p.m. — Kiss Mix Cocktails

3:15 — Alaskan Imperial IPA

3:30 — Odell Trellis Garden Ale

3:45 — Widmer Bros. SXNW

4 — Santa Fe Highland Heath

4:15 — Marble Saison Brux

4:30 — Big Sky Ivan Imperial Stout

4:45 — Upslope Citra American Pale Ale

5 — Mother Road 3rd Anniversary Russian Imperial Stout

5:15 — Back Alley Ladron’s Peak

As for the beers for us non-VIPs, once again, we’ve broken it down so you don’t have to. Just remember that these picks are coming from a bunch of people who like dark beers and big-flavored hoppy beers. In the interest of time and space, we are skipping the cideries and hard liquor establishments. Please take note that will Distillery 365 does make their own beer, they are only bringing their vodka and rum to Hopfest. Also, Boese Brothers was a late scratch as they did not have enough people to staff Hopfest and their brewery. Just one of those weekends, we suppose.

We broke this down alphabetically by geography.

Side room (Premier Stage)

Adelbert’s: This Austin, Texas-based brewery specializes in Belgian-style ales, though they did not give us a list. We’ll have to see what they bring.

Big Bend: Another new brewery (to this event) from Texas (Alpine, to be specific), we’ll go with the Number 22 Porter, just to find out the significance of that number. (Also: Lager, Gold, Hefe, IPA)

BJ’s: We’ll go with the Whiskey Barrel Stout, though we are certainly not expecting anything on the level of, say, Marble Imperial Stout. (Also: Blonde, Red, IPA, Cider)

Bridgeport: Kingpin, a hoppy red ale, is our pick. (Also: Hop Czar IPA, Conviction Pale Ale)

Canteen: They brought Exodus. Enough said. (Also: Amber, Knights of the Canteen)

Cazuela’s: The Kilt Kicker, a smoked Scottish ale, is the current seasonal and our pick. (Also: Gold, Red, Stout, Piedra Del Fuego)

Santa Fe: We need more hops in our lives. Thankfully they brought Autonomous Collective IPA. (Also: Oktoberfest, Gold, Happy Camper, Nut Brown, Java Stout)

Sierra Nevada: The Harvest IPA is kinda funky this year, but worth sampling. (Also: Oktoberfest, Pilsner, Pale Ale)

Squatters/Wasatch: Polygamy Porter on nitro? Yes, please. (Also: Hop Rising, Doppelbock)

Other breweries in the room: Delirium Tremens, Guinness, Leinenkugels, Lucifer (Belgium)

Outdoor area

Big Sky: No list available, but they usually bring good stuff.

Durango: You cannot go wrong with the Dark Lager. (Also: Blueberry Wheat, IPA)

Left Hand: Good Juju wasn’t good enough, so they made Great Juju. Sounds funky. We’ll try it. (Also: Session IPA, Milk Stout, Oktoberfest)

Marble: In a shocker, we did not get a list from Marble. They like to surprise us. Yeah, that’s it.

Red Door: It’s the house beers, but we can never pass up Paint it Black Milk Stout. (Also: IPA, Red, Blonde, Cider)

Tommyknocker: We’re curious what the IPA & A Half actually is. (Others: Brown, IPA, Wheat, Amber)

Upslope: They’re only listed as bringing their IPA and Thai Style White IPA. We hope there’s more, but those are pretty decent.

Other breweries outside: Nuevo Cerveza, Pabst Blue Ribbon

Main ballroom

Abbey Brewing: You can never go wrong with the Tripel, but they have also promised a surprise beer. We love surprises, unless they are sours. Then we call them disappointments. (Also: Monks’ Ale, Dark Ale, Dubbel, Wit)

Alaskan: More hops, so we can catch Hopothermia. (Also: Pale Ale, Amber, Pumpkin)

Back Alley: Got an advance sample of the Pre-Prohibition Porter. I’ll go back for more, that’s for sure. (Also: Hefe, Red, Kentucky Common)

Ballast Point: Big Eye IPA gets lost in the shadow of Sculpin, but it is worth trying if you have not tried it. (Also: Pale Ale)

B2B: We are curious if their Oak-Aged IPA stacks up to Odell’s Barrel Thief. Option B is the always solid Coconut Porter. (Also: Red Rye, Cucumber Cream)

Dukes of Ale: The home brewers’ booth is always worth a visit. We have heard there will be a pilsner, wheat, hoppy red, and some ciders/meads available. Vote for your favorite.

Lagunitas: Pilsners are good. Imperial Pilsners are even better. (Also: IPA, Lil’ Sumpin)

Mother Road: The new Tower Station IPA will make its NM debut here. (Also: Roadside Grove)

New Mexico Craft Brewing: Sebastian Canyon Foreign Extra Stout was great at Blues & Brews, so odds are it will be great again. (Also: Session IPA, Steam, Porter, Cider)

Odell: Checked my Untappd listings, somehow I have never had their Okto. Gotta remedy that. (Also: IPA, Myrcenary)

Ponderosa: The name “Walther IPK” alone is worth trying. (Also: IPA, Wheat, Red)

Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: It’s a toss-up between the Milk Stout and Black IPA. (Also: Chile Beer, Amber, Pale Ale, Brown)

Sandia Chile Grill: Clint makes good beers, but his meads win awards. Take your pick between the Dirty Steve and Legacy. (Also: IPA)

Ska: The Rudie Session IPA is new, so we’ll try that. (Also: Modus Hoperandi, Decadent)

Tractor: The new Big Sipper Session IPA is worth checking out, or you can go with The Ruggles, a steam beer. (Also: IPA, Stout, Red, Berliner Weisse)

Other breweries in the room: Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams), Goose Island, Kellys, Kona, Omission, Radeberger, Pyramid, Third Shift, Traveler, Widmer Bros.

Remember, all beer lists are subject to change, so we could all be in for some surprises.

See you all at Isleta.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

All the tools a beer writer needs to get the lowdown on the state's newest and biggest upcoming festival.

All the tools a beer writer needs to get the lowdown on the state’s newest and biggest upcoming festival.

Festival season arrives on Aug. 29 with old favorite Hopfest back at Isleta Casino. While that event is one we know well, many have begun to ask the Crew about the next big one on the New Mexico calendar, the Mountain West Brew Fest. The event will replace the old Labor Day weekend wine festival at Loretto Park in Bernalillo, running from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, and Sunday, Sept. 6. It will feature over 50 breweries in attendance, from in-state and out-of-state, plus a whole heck of a lot more than just beer.

To get all the details, I met up with New Mexico Brewers Guild director Chris Goblet at Kaktus Brewing on Tuesday afternoon. Over a couple mugs of Berna Brown, we pretty much covered everything that you want to know, short of the specific beers available (a list that Goblet hopes to send over next week or the week after at the latest).

For now, to answer the first question most people have asked, here are the breweries scheduled to be in attendance.

New Mexico breweries: Abbey, Back Alley, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Boese Brothers, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Distillery 365, Duel, Kaktus, La Cumbre, Las Cazuela’s, Little Toad Creek, Marble, New Mexico Craft Brewing, Nexus, Pi, Ponderosa, Red Door, Rio Bravo, Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca, Santa Fe, Second Street, Tractor, Turtle Mountain

Out-of-state breweries: Anchor, Anderson Valley, Avery, Ballast Point, Big Sky, Boulder, Breckenridge, Deschutes, Full Sail, Green Flash, Lagunitas, Left Hand, New Belgium, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Ska, Stone, Upslope

That is a lot of breweries, but if MWBF comes off as expected, it might be just the right number.

“We are planning to the largest craft beer event by population, by ticket sales, by attendees, that’s ever happened (in New Mexico),” Goblet said, noting that in its 27-year history, the Bernalillo wine festival had anywhere from a peak of 28,000 visitors to 14,000 last year. “As a part of this transition into this new craft beer era, we’re going to take a wine festival and somehow replace it with a craft beer event. So we have no idea how many people to expect. It’s a first-year event. We have no idea if some of those wine drinkers will come join us or if they’re going to go to the wine festival at Isleta. It could either be a couple thousand people or it could be 10,000 people.

“And that’s the part that’s really exciting. Whenever you step into something new, you kind of have a sense of a first-year event but it’s kind of also a 28th year event. And that’s the big unknown. How many glasses do we bring? How much beer do we need? We’ve had a lot of brewers who are used to smaller, more intimate festivals. And now you’re talking about potentially four- to five-thousand people per day, descending upon a festival expecting to have a great craft beer experience. We’re trying to gear ourselves up, or ramp up, to accommodate what we think will be a pretty strong demand.”

While there are some California and Oregon breweries in attendance (Anchor, Anderson Valley, Deschutes, Full Sail, Green Flash, Lagunitas, Sierra Nevada, Stone), the hope is that the MWBF will grow into a major regional festival. New Mexico has long been a state caught between three regions — West Coast, Southwest, Rocky Mountain — but part of the thought in naming this festival Mountain West was to identify more with the latter.

“We chose the name Mountain West Brew Fest specifically because we’ve been wanting to continue to build our brand as one of the Rocky Mountain states for craft beer,” Goblet said. “Rocky Mountains, we’re the southernmost tip. The water from Colorado flows into New Mexico. We think that New Mexico has been doing an amazing job representing itself as a solid West Coast craft beer producer. So we wanted to make sure people identified New Mexico not just as a southwest (state) like Arizona, Texas, and Nevada, but really a Mountain West state.

“It also ties into the (college) sports teams and Labor Day weekend is the kickoff of athletics in the Mountain West Conference. There’s this idea that the beers coming out of the West are of the highest quality and we’re part of that brand. People say West Coast beer, but our identification is Mountain West beers.”

As one can tell from the list of in-state breweries, it is mainly those within spitting distance of the central Rio Grande Valley who are attending. Notables such as High Desert (Las Cruces), Spotted Dog (Mesilla), Roosevelt (Portales), The Wellhead (Artesia), 3 Rivers (Farmington), and Taos Mesa are absent. Well, only sort of absent, as Goblet explained.

“It’s a big holiday weekend, it’s an unknown event,” he said. “I don’t blame a few of our further-flung breweries, our frontier breweries as we call them, for calling this one in as an audible. We’ve made accommodations for our further-flung breweries to send their beers to the festival through our Premier Pass and Premier Tent. The idea being that they can’t come, but their beer can still be represented and poured by another brewery. So we’re going to try to have representation of all the breweries in the state that we can get. It’s a long haul, it’s an expensive weekend to come to Albuquerque so we understand for the first year that it was much easier for a lot of the Rio Grande corridor breweries to show up.”

That Premier Pass/Tent is the bonus setup for this event. It costs $10 extra and you can either buy it in advance or upgrade at any time while you are at the festival.

“So you’ve got your standard general admission of $20, a great price for a big, large-scale festival like this,” Goblet said. “You get your standard commemorative sampling glass with your two-ounce sampling line. It’s unlimited sampling like every other Guild festival. You can (also) purchase pints.

“But because this festival has traditionally drawn so many people, we wanted to create an upgrade for folks who wanted to get out of the sun, get a bit of space, have a bit more of an intimate experience. Each day we’ll have four or five bars inside the Premier Tent. The Premier Pass gets you access into an air-conditioned tent with 20 different beers that are not available in the rest of the festival that you can sample and purchase. We’re looking for rare, obscure, unique, interesting beer styles that aren’t (readily) available, limited edition, maybe some barrel-aged specialties.

“Plus, this is where you can go find beers from breweries not represented at the festival — Spotted Dog, High Desert, 3 Rivers, Taos Mesa, and a few others. So it’s kind of one step up, plus it’s air conditioned, so it has that creature comfort for folks who want a bit more exclusive experience.”

Considering the recent temperatures around New Mexico, something with air conditioning just screams “VISIT ME!” That it will also have unique beers available means you will probably find the Crew there.

In addition to all the beer, there will also be a farmers market on site, plus food trucks/vendors, and live music (Bottom Dollar String Band, Anthony Leon & the Chain, Detroit Lightning, Blaze the Nation, Squash Blossom Boys, The Porter Draw, and Soul Kitchen are all lined up to perform). Plus, in the spirit of Labor Day weekend, there will be beer games galore. No, not the traditional beer pong with beer (state law prohibits those, in case you were not aware), but stuff like corn hole, giant Jenga (thank Boxing Bear for that), and whatever else the breweries happen to bring along. Since it is also a giant grass field, picnicking is encouraged, and fear not, the breweries will protect you from any bears that wander in and try to steal your basket. (Right, guys? Right?)

“We all like to think about, it’s Labor Day weekend and what do you do on Labor Day weekend? You hang out with family and friends in your back yard, great beer, great food, you play games and sit in the grass and have a picnic,” Goblet said. “This festival provides that beautiful grassy landscape, (with the) Sandia Mountains in the backdrop. You have a farmers’ market on site where you can go get a picnic. You can go to one of the food vendors and grab a nice lunch. You can have a friendly competition with the games. You can go listen to a concert. The idea is that it’s one of these lounging kind of days, hanging out with friends, doing whatever everyone likes to do on Labor Day, which is kick back and enjoy.”

As for getting to and from the event, fear not, in addition to bribing that one friend/relative/spouse to be your designated driver, they are encouraging every alternative means of transportation that people can come up with for the weekend.

“We have orchestrated some special trains, so definitely check your Rail Runner schedule, there will be special trains coming to the event,” Goblet said. “So you’ve got your standard Rail Runner schedule, your special trains, whatever, by foot, by bike. If Trump will give you his helicopter you can land in the middle of the festival. The hope is that we’re centrally located, we’re between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It’s an easy 35 minutes form Santa Fe, 15 to 20 minutes from Albuquerque, depending on how fast you drive.”

For the record, I got from ABQ to Kaktus, which is not far from the main site, in 10 minutes. But I drive like a lunatic. Just ask the rest of the Crew. There is a reason they will not ride with me unless absolutely necessary.

Come Labor Day weekend, however, I think the Crew will take advantage of those special Rail Runner trains. We will see many of you there, of that I am all but certain.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, everyone. Hope you are all well-rested now. If not, get on that. ABQ Beer Week was bigger and better than ever, but after 11 days of beer events, we all have to admit we are pretty darn tired. It was an exhausting affair. At least it was fun. So much fun. So much fun it is hard to put it into words. So much as Luke did with the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe, I just assembled a bunch of our photographs and used this as a wrap-up.

Do not fret, however, we are not totally going to cop out on things. We did try a lot of beers, and while some were one-offs or specialties, we also tried a lot that you can get on tap or for sale in bottles/cans/bombers around town. The Crew will present our choices for the best beers of Beer Week. Just as soon as I get everyone to wake up and remember what they had.

Without further rambling, here are our pics from ABQ Beer Week 2015.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen's Hops-pitality IPA.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen’s Hops-pitality IPA.

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One of the many food and beer pairings over at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe, who brought their A Game to Beer Week.

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Two Fools did their fair share of tappings as well, including Hitachino Nest White Ale.

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New Mexico Craft Brewing came down from Las Vegas to stage a tap takeover at Stereo Bar downtown.

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We went bowling with the folks from Tractor. Um, we were rusty, that totally explained our scores. That and the Farmer’s Tan Red Ale.

Nexus' anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn't tell by the crowds.

Nexus’ anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn’t tell by the crowds.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door's food truck battle was one outstanding example.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door’s food truck battle was one outstanding example.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O'Niell's.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O’Niell’s.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo's Java Stout was excellent.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo’s Java Stout was excellent.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

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Another outstanding entry for Two Fools’ tappings was Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Avery's Uncle Jacob's Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

There are a lot of people to thank for all the fun of the past week-plus. I realize I will miss a few on this list, but here are the ones my tired mind could remember: Thomas DeCaro, Monica Mondragon, Silas Sims, Tony Calder, Angelo Orona, Skye Devore, Chris Goblet, Amberley Rice, Leah Black, Carlos Contreras, Zach Guilmette, Barbie Gonzalez, Ken Carson, Antal Maurer, John Bullard, Brady McKeown, Brandon Venaglia, Patrick Cavanaugh, all the bar and brewery staffs, the festival volunteers, all of you happy beer drinkers, and last and most importantly the amazing Marne Gaston. Thank you one and all!

We will see you all around the breweries and upcoming festivals. If you have any photos or stories you would love to share from Beer Week, email them to us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. And yes, we are still taking signups for the NM Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership. Just send us your name and email and we will add you to the list to give to the Guild.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Blues & Brews is back and will again feature Adam, center, though Stoutmeister will replace Franz Solo on the right. Dr. Brews Banner might sneak in there again, too.

Blues & Brews is back and will again feature Adam, center, though Stoutmeister will replace Franz Solo on the right. Dr. Brews Banner might appear there again, too.

One of the highlight events for ABQ Beer Week every year is Blues & Brews, a gigantic festival held at Sandia Casino. This year’s event is set for Sunday afternoon, starting at 2 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 3 p.m. for the general public. It is an unlimited sampling event, so make sure to be selective and careful when you are out there. It never hurts to have a designated driver or to call a taxi or Uber. You can still get your tickets online or at the Sandia box office.

There are 70-plus breweries in attendance, a mix of local, national, and international. You can also listen to plenty of live blues music, as the name Blues & Brews might imply.

So with so many places you can visit, you need to make a plan. No, seriously, make a plan, know which beers you want to sample. Some of these lists are from the guide from the B&B site, so they are subject to change.

Local breweries

The in-state breweries have some good offerings besides just their usual stuff.

Abbey Brewing: Monks’ Ale, Dubbel Reserve, Tripel Reserve, Dark Ale, Wit, Strong Pale Ale Reserve. The last beer on the list is a new one, but if that doesn’t fit what you’re looking for, the Tripel Reserve is always a delight.

Canteen: Dougie Style Amber, Wet Mountain IPA, 28M American Wheat. Three classics, so take your pick. Personally, the GABF gold medal-winning Dougie Style is the way to go, but hopheads love their Wet Mountain.

Duel: Marcel, Fiction, Bad Amber, Dark Ryder, Titian, Tantalus, Cezanne Printemp. Five classics from the Marcel (witbier) to the Titian (Belgian golden strong), plus two newer beers in the Cezanne (imperial saison) and the Tantalus, which will be making its debut. Plus, brewer Todd Yocham said he will be bringing some special beers out of the cellar again for this event.

Kellys: Amber, Session IPA. It’s just their two canned beers, as far as we know.

Marble: IPA, Red Ale, Pilsner, Double White, Brett Stout, Weizenbock, Rauchbier, Oatmeal Stout. Some classics plus a few seasonals. Everyone who has been reviewing the Brett Stout has been singing its praises. Here is your chance to do the same. Or if the Brett isn’t your thing, we highly recommend the Rauchbier.

NM Craft Brewing: Xtra Pale Ale, Session IPA, Wry Blonde, Rye Stout. The guys from Las Vegas are bringing some of their staples down. We haven’t tried them in a while, so in this case, pick your favorite genre and go with it. (So, yeah, Rye Stout for me.)

Pi Brewing: TBA

Ponderosa: Brunch Stout, Rosa’s Gose, Ghost Train IPA, Crosscut Kolsch. The Breakfast Stout was awesome. The Brunch Stout is its cousin. Yeah, sounds like a good bet.

Red Door: Gateway Blonde, Broken Arrow Pale Ale, Trappe Door Wheat, Baby Got Bock, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider. They are taking their whole lineup over, because that is how much the Red Door staff loves us. For the seasonals, hard to go wrong with Baby Got Back. The Paint it Black is our favorite among the regulars. And for the gluten-free/cider-loving crowd, Unhinged might be the best in the state.

Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: Isotopes Slammin’ Amber, Bone Chiller Brown, Sun Chaser Pale Ale, Pancho Verde, Desert Pils, IPA, Alien Milk Stout. Plenty of staples from RG/SB, but the standout here is the Milk Stout. It was one of the better beers to stand out at WinterBrew back in January.

Sandia Chile Grill: Rattlesnake IPA, Irish Red, Dirty Steve Mead. Brewer Clinton Coker has won numerous medals for his mead. So, yeah, grab a Dirty Steve. That sounds kinda wrong, but rest assured, it’s actually all right.

Santa Fe: Happy Camper IPA, Black IPA, Imperial Java Stout, Freestyle Pilsner, Ever Changing Series #3. The folks at SFBC won’t say what the new ECS is, but we have a feeling it will be excellent. Just in case it’s not to your liking, they are bring four crowd favorites along.

Tractor: Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Mustachio Milk Stout, and TBD specialty beers. Odds are, we will go with one of the specialty beers (if we get an update, we will post it). Otherwise, Mustachio is the way to go.

And …

Firkin Brewhouse: Capo’s Java Stout, Magnum IPA, Giggle Water Wheat Ale. What’s this? A new ABQ brewery is debuting their beers? It appears so. Might have to try all three, but if time is an issue, go with the Java Stout, see how it stacks up against Santa Fe.

National/international breweries

Rather than list every beer they are bringing, it will just be a one-by-one listing of our pick for the best of the bunch. Good luck out there!

Alaskan: Imperial Red

Avery: Out of Bounds Stout

Ballast Point: Sculpin IPA, though pretty much any choice would be good. We expect the line to be long here as the new guys in town typically draw well.

BJ’s: Six choices total, take your pick based on your style preference

Boston Beer/Samuel Adams: Rebel Rouser DIPA

Boulder: Shake Chocolate Porter

Brouwerij St. Bernardus/Verhaeghe: St. Bernardus Abt 12, a clone of arguably the best beer ever made

Deschutes: TBA

Durango: Durango Brewers Reserve

Goose Island: just the standards you get everywhere

Kannah Creek: Broken Oar IPA

Kona: Big Wave is the only one listed

Lagunitas: Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

Left Hand: Widdershins Barley Wine

Magic Hat: Electric Peel IPA

Mother Road: They are tapping a special firkin right at 3 p.m., whose identity has not been disclosed. Otherwise, Lost Highway Black IPA.

New Belgium: Rampant Imperial IPA

Odell: 90 Shilling

Omission: Just the IPA, but for your gluten-free friend(s), this is the one.

Oskar Blues: Old Chub Nitro

Pagosa: Chile Verde Cerveza (Franz Solo swears it’s the best green chile beer on the planet.)

Pyramid: just the standards you get everywhere

Redhook: they only plan to bring Audible Ale

Sierra Nevada: Hoptimum Whole-Cone Imperial IPA

Sour Power: A collection of foreign sour beers, take your pick if you like the genre

Southern Star: Buried Hatchet Stout

Squatters: Off Duty IPA

Tommyknocker: Maple Nut Brown

Traveler Beer Co.: three citrus-infused beers, take your pick

Upslope: IPL, though again this should be a popular destination for everyone who has never had this newcomer to NM.

Wasatch: Devastator Doppelbock

Widmer Brothers: It’s just Upheaval IPA, but it’s a decent, middle-of-the-road example of the style.

We will update this list for any TBA above. Adam and I will be both be at the event and we will have sign-up sheets for the new NM Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership. All we are taking down are the names and emails of those interested.

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

And so it begins!

And so it begins!

Hello, Albuquerque beer lovers! And everyone else coming to town. ABQ Beer Week is here, a monolithic, 11-day series of events (167 total!) that is all about expressing our love of craft beer. The entire Crew, plus some special correspondents, will be doing our best to cover as many events as we can. Are we going to be everywhere? No, but I can guarantee you that we will be previewing every single event every day. Day in and day out, we will summarize every event and give you all the info you need to know to plan your days and nights of beer-drinking fun.

From time to time, we will run separate, larger previews for key events (most notably for Blues & Brews on Sunday and Battle of the Beer Geeks II on Monday). I have all of our active Crew members (myself, Franz Solo, Brandon, AmyO, Adam) working on stories, only Luke is exempt because, damn it, he has earned some time off for all of his hard work in Santa Fe. And, also, he lives in Santa Fe, so if he is going to come down here at all, we’re just gonna let him have some fun. Oh, and Reid is exempt as well since he lives in Los Alamos and is plenty busy working at the Labs and also writing up a preview of Bathtub Row Brewing’s grand opening and the upcoming Pajarito Mountain SummerFest.

OK, so let us get down to Day One of ABQ Beer Week. Here on Thursday we have … 19 events?! Jeez, Marne Gaston, you and your awesome staff and team of volunteers are clearly trying to kill us from the get-go. (Please note, if there was such as thing as sarcasm font, that last sentence would be in said font.)

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.

So on this day of 19 events, which one stands out to us? Why, that would be the annual Beer, Cheese, and More at Marble Brewery.

“Beer and cheese pair beautifully, and we like to highlight this each year with our annual beer and cheese event,” said Amberley Rice, Marble’s director of marketing, in an email to the Crew.

This event costs $20 and reservations are highly recommended. Call Marble at (505) 243-2739, or sign up via their website.

The full beer/food pairing menu is as follows:

Holstein Uniekaas–Rauchbier
Truffle Gouda–Maibock
Cranberry–Double White
Igor Gorgonzola–Brett IPA
Vecchio–Oatmeal Stout
Castelvaltrano Olives
Marcona Spanish Almonds
Peruvian Sweet Pepper Drops
Water Crackers

Sounds like some pretty good stuff. In addition, two of the top local bands, Porter Draw and Red Light Cameras, will split time on the patio stage from 7 to 10 p.m., weather permitting (if necessary they will crowd onto the small stage inside the taproom).

Our special correspondent Kristin will have a full recap in the near future. Keep an eye out for it!

All the other great events

What: Oude Orval: Cellared Orval Limited Release. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: All day. RSVP only for cellared Orval. Others may attend and while it lasts will receive the new, but not cellared, Orval. Cost: $10. Details: As of the Monday, there are two spots left for the cellared Orval. If you RSVP, it will be set aside with your name on it. To RSVP, email shadetreecustoms.cafe@gmail.com. According to Shade Tree General Manager Josh Berry, there will be a food pairing offered at an additional cost (cost and item description unavailable at time of preview). Why you should go: Because we don’t all have a beer cellar with Oude Orval in it, do we? Plus, a Merchant du Vin representative will be there.

What: Hopspitality IPA Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual specialty IPA is back for Beer Week and will be on tap when the doors open at noon. Why you should go: Start your day off right with a pint of this and a Piggly Wiggly for lunch. At least that is my plan.

What: 505 Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Turtle Mountain. When: All of Beer Week or until supply runs out. Cost: No cover charge. Details: I got to be on hand when this year’s 505 was brewed at Chama River. They only made 10 barrels divided among eight breweries, so the supply will go fast. This is a session IPA in name only. Josh Trujillo, Zach Guilmette, and everyone else hopped the holy living hell out of this thing. You’re welcome, hopheads. Why you should go: Dear lord, you need a reason for this one? When has the 505 disappointed you, I ask? That’s right, go get some.

What: Blue Moon Summer Honey Wheat Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop by either Total Wine to try some samples of Blue Moon’s summer seasonal. Why you should go: Free beer samples. Need we say more? Plus, you can always stock up on take-home beers while you are there.

What: Thirsty Thursday Beer & Pizza Special. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $7.99. Details: You get an 8-inch pizza of your choice paired with either Acapulco Gold, Piedra del Fuego (our pick), or Panama Red. Why you should go: If you are out on the west side and looking for something to eat and drink before heading into town for the other events, how can you beat this offer?

What: Krombacher Tap Takeover and Stein Night. Where: Heimat House. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: I could type something up, but Franz Solo had all this to say:

Krombacher Stein night at Heimat House: Let’s get down to brass tax, I am most definitely a fan of Heimat House, the cuisine is splendid and the selection of rare beers on tap is outstanding as well. Tonight from 4-7 they will have a limited number of Krombacher half-liter steins to give out on a first-come, first-serve basis. In addition to Krombacher Pilsner and Dunkel we will have a chance to drink their Weizen as well. Half-liter pours will run you $4.50 apiece, which is a nice discount of one to two dollars off the regular price. These three are some solid offerings of good German brews, so head on down and enjoy the libations and outstanding cuisine! — FS

What: Brouwerij St. Bernadaus & Brouwerij Verhaeghe Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Samples of two of the finest beers from Belgium will be available for free. Why you should go: Prep your palate for the rest of the night, plus you can always pick up some beers for after hours once you have safely returned home and are done being out for the night. You know Jubilation will have plenty of awesome offerings.

What: Wild Beer Co. Somerset Wild Sour Ale Release. Where: Sister Bar. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: All the way from the U.K., Wild Beer’s Somerset Wild Sour Ale will make its ABQ debut. Why you should go: See how the English take on a sour ale and compare it to some of the more popular American versions. Take note, there are live bands performing after 9, so make sure to clear out before then to avoid paying the $7 cover (unless you want to stay and listen, of course).

UPDATED >>> What: La Cumbre Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. until the supply runs out. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Two Fools listed it as a Strawberry Cream Ale, but LC brewer Jeff Erway said it is almost certainly the Strawberry Gose that was released on Wednesday, ableit in cask form. NOPE. It’s actually a Strawberry Malpais Stout. Why you should go: It’s a special new LC beer, on cask no less, at a place that serves amazing food and has plenty of other beer on tap. Do you really need a reason?

What: Colorado Brewing Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Brace yourselves for not one but three Colorado breweries’ offerings all available for sampling at the same time. We do not have a list of the exact beers, but between Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues, there will be plenty of options. Why you should go: Dude, it’s three breweries’ wares being sampled at one location. Plus, you can stick around and fill your belly with delicious food to help soak up all the beer.

What: Second Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage & Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: $5 for sausage and cheese tray (beer not included). Please reserve tickets by calling (505) 293-1122. Details: Buy a tray of sausage and cheese, then go off the list of suggestions with which Sierra Nevada beers go best with which food items. Why you should go: Expand and educate your palate, especially for those who can’t/won’t get out of the Northeast Heights. It’s food and beer. Trust us, they go great together.

What: Left Hand/New Belgium Special Tappings. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6 to 11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Not one but two special beers will be tapped in the form of Left Hand’s Oak Aged Wake Up Dead imperial stout and New Belgium’s Cocoa Mole. Why you should go: They oak-aged some Wake Up Dead. Holy mother of … anyway, that plus a spicy kick of mole with some cocoa in the NB concoction will make us some happy drinkers.

What: ABQ Beer Week Dinner. Where: Chama River. When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Cost: $45 per person. Reservations required, call (505) 342-1800. Details: Chef Goza and Brewer Zach’s first beer dinner collaboration is a doozy. The theme here is spring itself. For your $45, you get Shoulder of Spring Pig paired with Rio Chama Amber Ale, Spring Salad with Class VI Golden Lager (2014 GABF gold medal winner), Butter Poached Black Cod with Midas Well IPA, Spring Lamb with Smoke ‘Em Out Porter, and Spring Fruit Shortcake with Lemon Jester Saison. Why you should go: Because fat (for the night), drunk (please get a DD), and smart (see the previous two) is the way to go through life.

What: Oskar Blues Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 7 to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Old favorites like Mama’s Lil’ Yella’ Pils and G’Knight will be on tap, plus Old Chub Nitro and a special, surprise beer. Why you should go: Who doesn’t like surprises? Plus, even if that isn’t to your liking, Old Chub Nitro should be to everyone’s liking.

What: Thirsty Thursday. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Local musician Keith Sanchez will perform. Why you should go: After all that fun, wouldn’t you just like to kick back at Wells Park? Enjoy some tunes, sip on your last pint of the night, and let all your worries melt away. Oh, and we recommend calling in “sick” on Friday.

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 Chicken, Rattlesnake IPA
Friday — 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
May 28 — 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

Well now, wasn’t that just a fun way to spend a Saturday? The seventh annual Hopfest went down at Isleta Casino, with a lot of beer choices (seriously, a lot) to sort through. For all four original Crew members, plus at least two from the Bullpen, and our assorted friends, we’re pretty sure we collectively tried about half the beers. The sample glasses seemed a little bigger this year, so things got kinda … fuzzy … toward the end. Luckily, Brandon’s awesome lovely super girlfriend Taylor was able to drive us home (while adding to her ever-lengthening list of beers owed to her after the baby arrives next year). Hopefully everyone else got home safely, be it via a designated driver, the RailRunner, a taxi, or just by staying overnight at Isleta.

How can you not trust faces like these when it comes to getting advice on what beers to drink?

How can you not trust faces like these when it comes to getting advice on what beers to drink?

So long after our annual post-Hopfest noshing at Two Fools, I sat down with my heavily marked-up event program and got down to the business of adding all those beers to Untappd. It took a while and the better part of my battery (hence why I waited till I got safely home). As per usual, here are the best beers of the festival, in my humble opinion, and the opinions of the others who were present (well, mostly Brandon and I; Mrs. Solo and Porter Pounder were back hard at work all week). Sorry for taking so long to get this posted.

Before the listing, a special thanks to everyone involved in Hopfest. From the tireless work of organizer Marne Gaston, her right-hand woman Monica Mondragon, and their army of volunteers, twas a nearly flawless afternoon. Thanks to all the brewery reps who were there as well. We enjoyed catching up with some of you when we had the chance.

And now the Best of the (Hop)fest beers, or what you should be seeking out at local breweries or beer stores or beer bars. We divided them between local, national, and international.

Local beers

There were a fair number of local breweries who participated, including Back Alley, Chama River, Pi, Ponderosa, Red Door, Tractor, plus NM Craft Brewing came down from Las Vegas, and stalwarts like Santa Fe Brewing, Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca, and Taos Mesa were in attendance as well.

Back Alley Draft House’s Marzen: A pleasant surprise among all of the Oktoberfests floating around. A slightly sweet malt presence with plenty of earthy hop aromas and flavors, and a burst of spices that hit the palate. Unlike a lot of marzens, this one actually retains flavor profile well if you sip it slowly, as I found when I got sidetracked with meeting some of our readers. Hopefully Addison will keep this one floating around long enough for some of us to come enjoy a pint before the weekend! — Brandon Daniel

Pi Brewing’s Vanilla Bourbon Porter: Charlie and Greg both told me about this one ages ago, so I had eagerly anticipated trying it. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. In fact, it might have been my favorite beer of the entire festival. The bourbon, porter, and vanilla flavors all exist in harmonious balance. Obviously this won’t be on tap regularly, but if you hear (via The Week Ahead in Beer) that this is available at Pi/Nicky V’s, haul ass to the west side and get some. — Stoutmeister

The first words out of my mouth after tasting this consisted of a string of four-letter expletives that aren’t suitable for anyone’s ears. That should tell you enough, but if it doesn’t then just know that this is a smooth dark mistress with loads of cocoa notes that pop from the vanilla and the bourbon notes take it over the top. Makes you want to make love to a barrel. — BD

Red Door’s Threshold IPA: Reader and friend of the Brew Crew Lonnie King wrote on Facebook, “It was deliciously hopped, bright and clean flavors up front. Also had an even malt finish. Four stars out of five. I just hope the quality remains consistent through the years.

Stumbling Steer’s Imperial Stout: Oh, Kirk, you’ve done it again. The Steer’s Imperial Stout is always pretty damn good on its own, but they threw in something a little extra, put it on cask, and served up a big ol’ coffee-flavored blast of stout-y goodness. We also chatted briefly about the progress on the Steer’s in-house brewery. It’s moving along, but Kirk didn’t want to set a date for it to be fully operational. — S

Dukes of Ale homebrew competition

The beer-centric folks of the Dukes of Ale homebrewing group were back to their usual antics at this year’s Hopfest, offering up five unique beers brewed by members of the group and served up to the public at the event to decide the favorite. Now, you will have to forgive us at this point, as we fell prey to the clutches that every beer writer does at these events … by which I mean, we were somewhere around Albuquerque when the beer began to take hold. That’s right, our memories got fuzzy and we weren’t in note-taking mode, so the collective of DSBC can’t recall ALL of the beers. The few that we can recall consisted of an Oktoberfest, an English-style Porter, and an American Pale Ale. I personally enjoyed the traditional English-style Porter for sticking to its roots in the classic ingredients that the style originated from long ago. My favorite of the lot was the American Pale Ale, which was a very well-executed example of the style. It possessed just enough pale malt bitterness, coupled with a little bit of residual sweetness, and a bright and clean hop profile that made it very well-rounded. Hats off to the Dukes of Ale for another solid year. — BD

Not sure what beer caused this reaction, but the odds are good we have it listed here.

Not sure what beer caused this reaction, but the odds are good we have it listed here.

National beers

While some of the mass-distributed beers were more of the same, there were some notable new brews (or at least new to us) that were available. And at least a few longtime Crew favorites.

Boulder’s Shake Chocolate Porter: One of the ultimate dessert beers, a giant blast of chocolate that somehow does not become overly sweet (looking at you, Odell’s Lugene). I do believe it’s on tap at Two Fools if you need to get a fix out of something other than a bottle. Though the bottles are still pretty good. — S

If you have not tasted this treat, I advise you to do so after eating, so as not to ruin your appetite. That being said, this is basically the adult equivalent of drinking a chocolate milk shake, if a milk shake had alcohol in it. That means it is a very tasty treat. Nuff said. — BD

Clown Shoes’ Crunkle Sam: Big and boozy, just the way I like a monstrous barley wine. This one offered a serious punch to the mouth. And probably contributed greatly to my general fuzziness of brain. — S

Dry hopped with citra, eh? I’ll take it. Although the citra hops don’t shine through quite as well as I personally would like, this is overall a delicious barley wine, with a smooth malt body, and plenty of oak and vanilla notes to make this a diabolically smooth drinker. Seriously, this along with Stumbling Steer can easily account for my hazy recollections of the day. — BD

Mad River’s Steelhead Extra Stout: Probably the best traditional stout I had all day. It’s big and bold, roasty yet sweet, and pretty much everything you want in a dark elixir. — S

A simply delicious beer. Creamy with enough sweetness to balance out a hefty grain bill of roasted barley and chocolate malts. It stands up with a nicely laced head and very subtle spice in the back from the hops, but they do not overtake the dark heart of this beer. If it were any smoother, they would have to use this to make NHL ice. Say, now there’s an idea … — BD

Magic Hat’s Wilhelm Screamer Pumpkin Ale: It is barely September and you are probably already sick of hearing about pumpkin beers. No? Good, because Magic Hat has an awesome one here. This is a balanced pumpkin ale, teeming with fresh pumpkin in every batch, then spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon to create that pumpkin-pie-in-a-bottle flavor. Plenty of pale malt and earthy hops are still present to let you know what you are drinking. One of my personal favorites so far this season. — BD

Mother Road’s Lost Highway Black IPA & Red Rye Ale: I already wrote a few months ago about how much I enjoyed Mother Road when I visited Flagstaff. It was definitely the class of a small but quality brewing scene. Lost Highway was my favorite of their house beers and it’s still top quality. It leans toward the maltier side of black IPAs, though there are enough hops to keep you awake. As for the Red Rye, that was a new one for me. The rye was a bit more subtle than I had expected, though they were running it through a Randall with fresh-picked Cascade hops, so that certainly altered the original flavor. I’d love to go back and compare this version to the original.

Feel free to chastise me for not making it to Flagstaff more frequently, as this was actually the first time I had tried Mother Road Brewing. Thumbs up to both of these beers, as they were both very tasty. Lost Highway is a burst of roasted malty goodness, lots of caramelized sugar notes and dark malts abound, with a resiny and slightly tangy hop punch that lingers in the finish very nicely. Sharing the name of a David Lynch film doesn’t hurt either. The Red Rye is a solid American-style red ale, with a nice punch of fresh hops (picked a week before brewing, according to Mother Road beer ambassador Dan Choiniere). The rye is subtle but present and helps add to the overall punch of this beer. Did I mention it is punchy? Good. — BD

Squatters’ Wee Peat Scottish Ale: Been wanting to try this Scottish for a while, so it had a lot to live up to, especially with the quality of other Squatters beers. It has some nice peat-smoked elements, with that sweetness on the back end from the malt bill one would expect from a quality Wee Heavy. — S

Squatter’s always offers a solid selection; the Wee Peat Scottish Ale is in that category. Although a bit thin in the mouthfeel for my taste, it packs plenty of caramel, very low hop profile and slightly smokey notes from the roasted malts. A fine Scottish if you are in the mood for one that doesn’t require a spoon to drink. — BD

International beers

There were a lot more beers brought in from around the world, including a whole slew of foreign ciders.

Thistly Cross Ginger Cider: With all of the ciders floating around that day, I figured some praise was due to a category that I usually am quite apathetic to. The Ginger Cider was delicious, boasting a slightly dry body that had plenty of spice character and was not overly sweet. I found a cider I enjoyed, go figure. — BD

Radeberger’s Braufactum Roog: This is not the name of a Star Trek villain, but instead a rauchweizen, which takes a smoky rauchbier and mixes is up with a weizen. The smoke mutes the bitter wheat flavor, while the wheat in turn keeps the smoke from being too intense. It just ends up a nicely balanced beer. — S

One last note

Bullpen member Amy O had this story to share: “We stayed at the Airport Sheraton, which was the overflow hotel after Isleta sold out. Sheraton completely dropped the ball on the shuttle service they were supposed to provide. They said they didn’t agree to it and refused to shuttle us — which made us very unhappy campers — why else would we book a hotel as a local? I refused to drive myself or pay for it, so I had to spend a long, grueling time arguing with them and they finally agreed to send us in a taxi that they paid for. I found Marne as soon as I got there and she got it straightened out in time for some of the others to shuttle in and she made sure they shuttled us back, so I give an extra big THANKS to Marne. My favorite beers of the day were The Stumbling Steer (imperial) stout and the Red Rye from Mother Road. I was surprised about the mead from Sandia Chile Grill. I didn’t think I would like it, but it was pretty darn good. Pi’s West Coast Red was another favorite in our group. We were pretty impressed with their beers. All in all, a super good time. It was so much beer I totally started to lose names of what I liked! Loved the event.”

* * * * *

Another Hopfest is in the books. We hope you all had as much fun as we did. We will see you around the breweries for the next couple weeks before we all gather again at NM Brew Fest on Oct. 11.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

So many beers, so little time. Again.

So many beers, so little time. Again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Premier Stage/Side room breweries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main room breweries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outdoor area breweries

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

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the second half of the now-divided Week Ahead in Beer. This edition covers all the breweries outside of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. From Taos to Santa Fe to Farmington to Las Vegas in the north, to Portales, Artesia, Silver City, and Las Cruces in the south, this edition will keep you up to date every week with as many breweries as we can reach.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe's breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe’s breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

This is the last time we will run a State Edition for the foreseeable future. As I explained last week, we simply haven’t gotten enough responses from breweries outside the four in Santa Fe. Those four breweries will be folded into what has been the Metro Edition, which will continue to run every Wednesday as a single edition. If the breweries outside this portion of the I-25 corridor start contacting us, or we somehow establish more reliable communication, we can always restart the State Edition at a later time. What we don’t want is to be running outdated or incorrect information for all of you. These weekly features were designed to make life easier for beer drinkers, by giving them all the information they need in one place, and for the breweries, who could focus on beer and not worry about updating their own websites or Facebook pages. When I emailed the breweries below about this being the final edition without their protest/help, none of them responded, so that tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

The four Santa Fe breweries gave us updates for this week. For the other breweries, we are giving them one last listing, noting whether the information taken from their websites or our most recent visits are old or at least somewhat up to date. High Desert and Three Rivers tend to be the best at updating their own websites. For the rest, if you need the info, we’ll always have links to their official sites on the NMDSBC front page. If you’re passing through and have a desire to know what’s on tap, call them to find out. (And if you want, subtly remind them that you used to get all your info from us until they stopped providing it.)

To further help people organize any brewing adventures, rather than list the breweries alphabetically here as we do in the Metro Edition, they’re grouped by geographic region: Northwest (Farmington), Santa Fe area, Taos area, Northeast (Las Vegas), East (Portales), Southeast (Artesia), Southwest (Las Cruces, Silver City).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 8.

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.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Berliner Weiss, Funkadelic Dunkel, Night Train (Schwarzbier), Scorched (smoked olde ale). The most recent German-style beer addition is the Night Train (5% ABV, 32 IBU), a darker lager made with two types of German malts and noble hops. The Funkadelic (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Bavarian-style brown ale, with Crystal hops added to balance the big malt bill. Scorched debuted last week. I got the chance to try both Funkadelic, which is exceptionally smooth, and Scorched, which is exactly the big old smoky blast you would expect.

News: In the works is an imperial red wet hop beer using 50 pounds (!) of Chinook hops from Colorado. An Oktoberfest and a pumpkin ale are in the works, while further down the line we are really looking forward to an imperial stout and a barley wine.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Manikin Small Scottish-style Dark Ale, Oaked Grunewald (Barrel Aged Imperial Porter). Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.” Todd also said his supply of the Oaked Grunewald is very limited, so hurry over before it runs out.

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Carne’s Peachy Camper. The Peachy Camper is this week’s entry for Small Batch Saturday, where peaches were added to some Happy Camper IPA, as the name might imply. Kriek, SFBC’s popular sour, is not on tap, but it is available in bombers around the state. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series will be a Double White IPA, which potentially will debut late next week.

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC Tasting Room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Tasting Room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 Off Growler Refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

There will be two major homebrewing events at SFBC this weekend. Luke, our Santa Fe-based Bullpen member, has all of that covered.

News: SFBC will be providing beer at the Telluride Bands and Brews festival all weekend. SFBC will also be at the Los Alamos Science, Beer, and Bands event from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. And, as they have been the last two weeks, SFBC will be at the Santa Fe Ski Basin Fall Gold sale, which will be held this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Citra Weizen, Scotch Ale, Pajarito Pale Ale, Boneshaker Bitter, IPA, Steam Bitter. The ESB, Railrunner Pale Ale, and Railyard Red have run out, but Citra Weizen and Scotch Ale are back. This year’s Scotch Ale is a cherry wood smoked aged beer, which gives it a smoky yet sweet flavor profile, without being too much of either. It’s a big, thick, tough beer that’s not for the faint of heart.

Events: SSB Thursday’s Patio series features Bill Hearne. Catahoula Curse is playing Friday. Saturday will be Rescuefest, benefiting the Atalaya Search and Rescue. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with multiple bands playing. It will also mark the seasonal debut of Atalaya Altbier, brewed in honor of the group.

Shows at the Railyard include Hot Club on Friday and Crazy 88’s on Saturday.

The Farmer’s Market Pavillion will be hosting the Green Chile Smackdown on Saturday. SSB’s Alien Burger will be among the competitors and SSB will host a beer garden for the event.

SSB will also have a beer garden for Sunday’s AHA Rally at the Railyard.

Every Wednesday night, both SSB locations host Game Night. SSB has game boards and dominoes or bring your own … oh yeah, they also have discounted pitchers!

Taos-area breweries

Blue Heron Brewery — (505) 579-9188 (original location), (505) 747-4506 (Espanola taproom)

(Original location: Sun-Tues noon–6 p.m., Wed-Sat 10 a.m.–8 p.m.)

(Espanola taproom, 100 Los Alamos Hwy: Wes-Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., happy hour Weds-Fri 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Embudo Gold Golden Ale, Lava Rock Pale Ale, Tarantula Trek Red Ale, Ladybug IPA, Prieta Real Imperial Stout. These were the beers on tap at the original location during the Crew’s visit there earlier this summer.

Comanche Creek Brewing Company — (575) 377-2337

(Wed-Sat noon–6 p.m.)

Beers: Scully Mountain IPA, Deadman Pale Ale, Homestead Amber Ale, Iron Mountain Porter, Belgian Blond. These were the last beers updated a few months ago.

Eske’s Brew Pub — (575) 758-1517

(Mon–Thurs 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon-10 p.m.)

Beers: Taos Green Chile Beer, The Chemist (Gluten-free), Blonde Betty, Artist Ale (English bitter), Millennium IPA, Red-Handed Ale, Naked Ape (Fruit beer). Reader 8BitHitman sent us this list a while back when he visited Eske’s.

Taos Ale House — (575) 758-5522

(Mon–Fri 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Mogul Imperial IPA, Simple Porter. These were the beers on tap during the Crew’s last visit.

Taos Mesa Brewing — (575) 758-1900

(Daily 11 a.m. – close)

Beers: Amarillo Rojo, Great Scot Scottish, Fall Down Brown, Superstitious Stout, Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA. These came from the last email update a few weeks ago.

Northeast breweries

New Mexico Craft Brewing Co. — (505) 426-6079 (brewery), (203) 521-7908 (pub)

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch, Dry-hopped Pale Ale, Cider, Red. We pulled these beers off their Facebook page a few weeks ago.

Northwest breweries

Three Rivers Brewery — (505) 325-6605

Beers: India Pale Ale, Sandstone Wheat, SHIPA – Citra, Papa Bear’s Golden Honey Ale, Red Mountain Wheat, Red Apple Flyer Cider, Orchard Street Raspberry Wheat, King Colona, NM Colona, 3 Rivers Scottish Ale, Arroyo Amber Ale, Thode’s Fat Dog Stuck in the Door Stout. This lineup was just updated on their website, which tends to receive bi-weekly updates from the staff. The NM Colona was the only new addition. It replaced the Longshot Light.

Eastern breweries

Roosevelt Brewing — (575) 226-2739

(Sun 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Eleanor’s Blonde Ale, Portales Pale Ale, Clovis Point IPA, Dirt Town Brown Ale, Happy Heifer Hefeweizen, Big Stick Stout, Black Water Draught Porter, Green Chile Lager, Wild Cherry Stout, Roosevelt Golden Lager, Wagon Wheel Wheat. These are the beers from their website.

Southeast breweries

Desert Water Brewing — (888) 959-9342

(Tues-Sat noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Hard Cider, Porter, Pilsner, Amber, Pale Ale. These are the beers listed on their website.

The Wellhead — (575) 746-0640

Beers: Cisco Canyon Blonde, Indian Basin Wheat, Wellhead Pale Ale, Crude Oil Stout, Roughneck Red, Wildcat IPA. These were the beers on tap when Amy O from the Bullpen visited Artesia a few months ago.

Southwest breweries

High Desert Brewing Company — (575) 525-6752

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Black IPA, Anniversary IPA, Octoberfest, Stout, Barley Wine. These are the beers currently listed on the HDBC website, which is updated pretty frequently.

Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery — (575) 956-6144

(Open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday) from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., staying open late on Friday/Saturday.)

Beers: Helles Lager, IPA, Amber Ale, Robust Porter, Oatmeal Stout. These are their regular beers, via their website.

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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