Posts Tagged ‘Nexus Brewery’

The variety in beers is impressive this year!

As most of you should know by now, BearFest returns this Saturday, now at the Albuquerque Convention Center downtown. VIP entry is at 12:30 p.m., general admission is at 2 p.m., and it all runs until 6 p.m. General admission tickets are still available online and VIP tickets are still available at Boxing Bear.

Much like any other beer festival, the biggest question of all remains what brews will be available. Well, 15 of the 20 participating breweries sent us their lists, and if the other six get theirs to us, we will add them here right up until the doors open.

  • Ale Republic: TBA
  • Bathtub Row: TBA
  • Blue Corn: Ginger Braggot, Back to Cali Common, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Hefe, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Blonde Ale, EOP Fruited Wheat Ale, Grasping at Straws Extra Pale Ale, All the Rage IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, HairyMit Hefe, Ambear Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Apple Bear Cider, Chocolate Milk Stout, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner Wheat IPA, Guava Gose, New England IPA, plus maybe one more
  • Canteen: High Plains Pils, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Strawberry Basil Gose
  • Chama River: Kolsch, Maibock, Gose, IPA special
  • Dialogue: Biere de Mars, Berliner Weisse, BC IPA, Sour Rapsberry
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank IPA, Strwaberry Gose, Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, BEER
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, Cranberry Gose, Flower Digger Pale Ale
  • Nexus: TBA
  • Quarter Celtic: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Mangose, Blood Orange Hefe, Crimson Lass, Gondola Party Starter NE-style IPA
  • Santa Fe: Long Game IPA, Hefe’d Up, Nut Brown, Pale Ale, Freestyle Pilsner (cans), Happy Camper (cans)
  • Second Street: 2920 IPA, Eldorado IPA, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Summer Rain Raspberry Sour, 2920 Pils, Civil Rye
  • Starr Brothers: Starrgazm IPA, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Bloodshot
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, The Village Wit, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: Yum Yum Colada, Can’t Catch Me, Lil’ Shelly, Hopshell IPA, My Kolsche

That is a lot of beer to try. If you like the hazy, New England-style IPAs, you are in luck as Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic are all bring their editions. Fans of sours and goses are clearly in luck as well. We are quite excited to try some of the new beers from Blue Corn (Hella Humulus and Imperial Chocolate Porter) and Second Street (Red and Yellow Armadillo is delicious), plus we await whatever Bathtub Row and Taos Mesa will be bringing.

Now, if you are wondering where Rowley Farmhouse Ales went off to, do not fret. The difference between them and the rest is their jockey box only has two handles, so they will be rotating beers on the second handle every hour or so. The Citra dry-hopped Fields of Rye will occupy the first handle. Here is the second handle pouring schedule.

12:30-2 p.m.: Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose)
2-3 p.m.: Germophile (Berliner Weisse)
3-4 p.m.: Reinheitsgenot (Lime Kolsch)
4-5 p.m.: Ab Initio dry-hopped with Citra/Mosaic
5-6 p.m.: Ab Initio with apricot

So, yeah, pucker up, people! It is gonna be a heck of a day.

And, remember, yours truly will be signing copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, over at the NM Brewers Guild booth. It is only $20, cash preferred.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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It’s time for the third edition of BearFest, only this time no one will get sunburned!

BearFest, the annual local-only craft beer festival hosted by Boxing Bear, returns for a third go-around this Saturday. The big change this year, besides pushing it back and away from ABQ Beer Week and Blues & Brews, is moving the fest out of the brewery parking lot to the Albuquerque Convention Center. Unless you are going to walk or bike to the event, leave the sunscreen at home!

The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. for general admission, with a special 90-minute VIP period before that starting at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $25 in advance and can be purchased online here. They will be $30 at the door. VIP tickets can only be purchased in advance for $40 at Boxing Bear, going up to $45 the day of at the Convention Center.

To get the full story behind the change, I sat down with Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton and general manager John Campi on Monday afternoon.

“A good thing for us will be that this has been a rain-or-shine event the previous two years and it almost got rained out the first year, we’re going to have a good attendance and a good time, either way,” Justin said. “That’s going to be one of the first things that’s a plus for us. But, I think that as far as what we’ve done in the past that we’re going to continue, and we’re going to expand on a few different things. We have 20 breweries, we have three wineries and two distilleries.”

The breweries, in alphabetical order, are Ale Republic, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Dialogue, Flix Brewhouse, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Quarter Celtic, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, Second Street, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Taos Mesa, and Turtle Mountain. The wineries are Black Mesa, New Mexico Hard Cider, and St. Clair, while Left Turn and Santa Fe Spirits are the distilleries on hand.

As John noted, the entire event is “100 percent local to New Mexico.”

“Yes, that’s another thing we really want to push here is that this is an absolute local event,” Justin added. “There’s no outside distributors. There’s no random (anything). This will all be from New Mexico, beers and vendors. It will be nice to share some of the other breweries that a lot of folks haven’t been up to see, (like) Bathtub Row and Rowley Farmhouse Ales, a lot of these guys are definitely part of that brewing community that a lot of the Albuquerque scene doesn’t get out to get and see.”

The vendors on hand will all be local as well, ranging from New Mexico Flameworks to Metal The Brand to YogaZo to Mother Road Mobile Canning. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will have a booth, of course, and a certain local author will also be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, for $20 apiece (no, I will never stop with the shameless self promotion at this point).

Gamers Anonymous will have a booth as well, with video games for patrons to play, ranging from Street Fighter to GoldenEye to Mario Kart and more. Unlike last year, when it seemed like the chairs were half in the sun all day, it will all be inside and air conditioned. There will also be a cornhole tournament thanks to the owner of The Local Brewhouse, who donated his boards for the day.

There will be a charity that will benefit from the event as well.

“This is a benefit for the Animal Humane Society,” John said. “Animal Humane will be split into two sections. They’ll have a little adoption booth, if possible with actual, live puppies there. Then we’re going to have a booth set up with a little game (washer toss) and people will pay a dollar or so. That money will go directly to Animal Humane. They can win a prize, and I think every brewery is going to pitch in a shirt or a hat or something.”

Local bands will include Isaac Aragon during the VIP-only time (12:30-2 p.m.) and Pawn Shop Poster Boys after that. Another band is also expected to be announced soon.

“That and it will be nice that our music will have an actual audio guy this year,” Justin said. “Last year we were leaving it up to the bands, which isn’t a problem as far as the audio itself goes, but as far as the setup of the audio we hope to have seamless music throughout the event. Last year we had these breaks between our VIP and our start. We want people to be able to hear music (as they come in).”

The beer, though, is the biggest draw. The Crew should have full lists for all attending breweries no later than Thursday, but a few special beers of note have already been listed by Boxing Bear on Facebook.

  • Blue Corn, thankfully, goes to the dark side with Imperial Chocolate Porter.
  • Bosque is expected to bring a new variant in their Elephants on Parade specialty series.
  • Canteen will debut their Strawberry Basil Gose and bring back Tuttle IPA, a hazy New England-style hop bomb.
  • La Cumbre is bring Strawberry Gose and the latest batch of Project Dank.
  • Marble counters with a Cranberry Gose. Yes, there is a gose theme here.
  • Quarter Celtic has Mangose (yup, theme) and a new Blood Orange Hefeweizen.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales is bringing six beers, each of which will be served at special times (see our next story Thursday for that serving schedule).
  • Second Street will tap Summer Rain Raspberry Sour.
  • Starr Brothers is brewing a special batch of Starrgasm IPA just for the festival.
  • Turtle Mountain will have Yum Yum Colada and Lil Shelly Pale Ale.

Unlike other festivals, this is not an unlimited sampling event. VIP and general admission both get four 4-ounce samples and one full pint for free. Additional samples and/or pints can be purchased from the breweries.

“Most breweries, we kind of leave it up to them if they want people to purchase a sample or not,” Justin said. “Last year, just about every brewery was up for it, so my guess that will probably be the thing. Every now and then you’ll see a beer where if it’s a high-end beer or if it’s in a bottle, it’s just not going to be available for sample, which is understandable. I would say almost everything is going to be available for sample and purchase. We definitely don’t want to limit on what people are able to try, but what we want to do is not just turn it into a free-for-all.”

While bigger packaging breweries can often write off free samples as a marketing expense, that is almost impossible for the smaller brewpubs. This helps the breweries not feel as if they are giving away nothing but free beer.

“It’s one of those things where if we put multiple good breweries into a caravan (and) not only show them a good time, but if they get a little something back, they’re going to consistently show up every year for us,” Justin said. “That way we always get the best local breweries showing up consistently every year, which is great for the consumers. That was the original BearFest idea was going for, it’s for the patrons, it’s for the breweries, and it’s for everyone in between.”

Putting BearFest in a more convenient location is another way for Boxing Bear to give back to the patrons and attending businesses.

“It will also be in a nice central location, which is another good part about the Convention Center,” Justin said. “Other than competing with other festivals that were going on, it’s hard getting people to come across the river for anything. It will be right in downtown where people know, with quick access to (two freeways). Uber and Lyft, no matter where you are in the city, it will be probably be pretty affordable, and we always encourage that.”

For those looking to bike over, take note of your options in the area.

“Last year we did a bike valet,” John said. “We were unable to get that this year. The valet company had a prior event. However, there is still ample bike parking. Right now the Plaza is under construction and they have Third (Street) blocked off on both ends, but the Plaza is actually gated off because they’re doing the Shakespeare events with bike racks. There’s hundreds of spots over there.”

The Crew always encourages everyone to travel safely and responsibly to and from beer festivals.

We will have those full beer lists on Thursday. After that, we will see you at BearFest!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty also joining the party.

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

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

One of our favorite annual events that happens during ABQ Beer Week, but is not actually an official event, is Nexus’ anniversary party. Once again, they are pulling out all the stops on both the food and beer fronts. UPDATE: Nexus sent us a correction on the dates these items will be available. They apologize for getting anyone too excited too soon. The fun will kick off with some of the new menu items available starting Friday with Breaded Chicken Chicharrones, Fried Biscuit Bread Pudding, Cinnamon Scott Waffles, NM Dirty Rice, and NM Hot Chicken. The Red Chile BBQ Pork Ribs will be available Saturday with the Red Chile BBQ Beef Ribs following on Sunday. To wash down all that culinary goodness, Beam Me Up Scotty and Plum Imperial Cream will be returning to taps, plus Friday will mark the limited return of Beam Me Up Belgian, a special aged version of the Scotty. There will only be a half barrel (15 gallons), so it will go fast. There will be live music Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m., plus more music at Nexus Silver on Monday with the Chase Walker Band starting at 1 p.m.

Also, please take note that any official ABQ Beer Week event at a brewery will be listed with our daily previews, which start Thursday. We will not list those events here as to save on space.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few new options to check out. Of course, the 505 Collaboration Golden Strong Ale will be debuting at multiple breweries this Saturday, including at its brewery of origin, Steel Bender. Boxing Bear has a new Blood Orange Pale Ale, plus Barn Burner IWA returns. Broken Trail will have a limited supply of Sancho de la Sierra, the special rye saison brewed in collaboration with the staff of Jubilation, where most of the beer will available at the growler station. Dialogue unveils an Amber Lager. Flix Brewhouse and Bosque are teaming up for Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, a pina colada American wheat. Marble has added Cherry Brune, Viennese Pilsner, and a Golden Strong. Ponderosa’s Amber Ale is available again. Starr Brothers fires up Bloodshot, a blood orange witbier. Steel Bender also rolls out Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale. Tractor plows ahead with Half Acre Hefe and Apricot Wheat. Turtle Mountain has a new pale ale, Lil’ Shelly, and the Yum Yum Colada, a pina colada kettle sour, will be ready soon.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street has fresh batches of Rod’s Best Bitter, Foreign Extra Stout, and Red and Yellow Armadillo.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of May 22.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Pine Juice IPA, Golden, Brune, Tokyo Black, Citrus Pale Ale. The Tokyo Black (6% ABV, 24 IBU) is a black ale made with green tea for a true east-meets-west flavor. Another recent addition is the Citrus Pale Ale (5.3% ABV, 50 IBU).

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatcher, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb. The Betchin and the Cherry Bomb are the most recent additions. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers.

Live Music: Friday—Leftover Soul, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Nathan Fox, 9 p.m.

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

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Mumbai Night Sessions, Polly’s Wheaty Lager, Mandarina Gold, Challenge IPA No. 1, Crimson & Clover, Lackadaisical IPA. The Polly’s (5.4% ABV, 30 IBU) was brewed up with Polly’s Run, a charity dedicated to fighting pancreatic cancer. A dollar from every pint will go to the cause. The most recent additions are the two IPAs, Mandarina Gold, and Crimson & Clover, a cherry/honey ale that goes great with the desserts on the menu.

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

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

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

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL. The newest additions to the lineup are Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Vantablack Russian Imperial Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout, Ekuanot SMASH, Barril De Oso, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner IWA, The Red Glove (also on nitro). The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Blood Orange (5.7% ABV, 40 IBU) and Barn Burner (7.6 % ABV, 80 IBU).

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

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

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

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

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black IPA is the first hop-forward beer from Broken Trail. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

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

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

Beers: Exodus IPA, Grapefruit IPA, Sundance Kolsch, Piedra Red, Orange Creamsicle Wheat, Social Capital, Super Smalls Session IPA. The Creamsicle replaced the Raspberry Wheat. This new version of Social Capital was made with orange peel, pineapple, and coconut.

Live Music: Thursday—The Porter Draw, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Keith Sanchez, 3-6 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: The Lighter Fare (ESB), The Darker Fare (Nitro Irish Dry Stout), Seasoned Strop Belgian DIPA, Vermilion, Crema Anejo. The Lighter Fare and Darker Fare are delicious collaborations made with Nexus. The Crema Anejo (6% ABV, 26 IBU) is a cream ale aged in tequila barrels.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), SCH Scotch Lager, Biere de Mars, Amber Lager, SCH Scotch Lager, Soulless (Tart Ginger), Golden Ale, Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Dennis Hopper (Hoppy Wheat), Filth Peddler (Sour Lager), Hayes Days (Belgian Wit). The most recent additions are the Amber Lager, F yo Couch, and Hayes Days. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front.

Live Music: Saturday—Richard Mittelstet, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

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

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: January Embers English Barleywine, 50 Shades of Schwarzbier, So It Gose, Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Flora Colossus (DIPA), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain. Flora Colossus is a wine-infused double IPA. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada American wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Creme Stout, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, C-Thru Stout, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the Creme Stout, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, C-Thru Stout, and Maibock.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

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

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

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

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Dry Irish Stout (on nitro), Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Rye Pale Ale. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Fievre de Abricot, Citra SMASH IPA, Blanche de Burque, VMO #2, Pogue Mahone (on nitro). The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The Blanche de Burque is back for another run. The Fievre de Abricot is also available in bottles.

Live Music: Saturday—Blackhouse Angels, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

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

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

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

Beers: Cherry Chingon, American Porter, Rita!, Pilsner Anejo, Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale, White Out, Cherry Brune, 7 Horsemen (Downtown and Heights), Berliner Weisse (Downtown and Westside), Super Session IPA (Downtown and Westside), Viennese Pilsner (Downtown and Westside), DANG Pale Ale (Heights and Westside), Pina Pale (Heights and Westside), Bronco Blanco (Heights and Westside), Saison de Burque (Heights and Westside), Mosaic IPA (Westside only), Brown Rye (Westside only), Bacon’s Best Friend (Westside only), India Wheat Ale (Westside only), Nitro Brune (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The new additions are Cherry Brune, Viennese Pilsner, and Golden Strong.

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—The Dirty Shades, 7-10 p.m.; Thursday—Sweetwater String Band, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—The Dregz, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Elder Grown, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Haymarket Squares, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Jody V and Groove Time, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Gershom Brothers, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Jill Cohn, 8-11 p.m.

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

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

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

Beers: Milk Stout, Vienna Lager, The Darker Fare, Blood Orange Worf-a-weizen. The Worf-a-weizen is back for another run, but be warned, it went fast last time, and should be out by the end of this week. The Vienna Lager is another recent addition. Beam Me Up Scotty and Plum Imperial Cream return this weekend, along with Beam Me Up Belgian, but that batch is very limited (15 gallons).

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

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

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

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Ella Single-Hop Pale Ale, Baltic Porter, New England IPA, Vienna Lager, Amber Ale. The Baltic Porter is officially Ponderosa’s 200th distinct beer, and it’s quite the robust beast of a beer. A fresh batch of Amber Ale is on tap.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Other Events: Sunday—Defying Gravity: Cruisin’ for a Brewzin’, 1 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: Single Action Kolsch, Han’s Hoopty Pale Ale, Denali SMASH Pale Ale. The Han’s Hoopty was made with Millennium and Falconer’s Flight hops (get it?).

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Draft Session IPA, Rye Steam, Open Saison, Peach Patersbier (downtown taproom only), Bock to Basics (downtown taproom only). The Peach Patersbier is a Belgian dark ale brewed with peaches. The Draft Session IPA was brewed to honor the open mic hosts. Rye Steam is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Michael Giudeissi, 7-9 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Randy’s Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Vanilla POrter, Cereza Loco (Cherry Sour), NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Marzen, Level 3 IPA, Grab ‘Em By the Putin, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Funf de Mayo. The Level 3 (7.5% ABV, 120 IBU) should satisfy any hophead. The Putin is, in case you could not guess, a Russian imperial stout, checking in at a whopping 13-percent ABV. The Funf de Mayo is a bigger-than-normal Kolsch, checking in at 6.8-percent ABV.

Live Music: Thursday—Jill Cohn, 7 p.m.; Friday—Oscar Butler, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Passing the Torch Festival with The Big Spank, Le Chat Lunatique, Red Light Cameras, and Keith Sanchez and the Moon Thieves, 1 p.m.

Other Events: Today (Wednesday)—Most Eligible Singles Nomination Party, 5 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

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

Beers: Sidetrack Pilsner, Railhead Red, Coal Bank Stout, Switchgear IPA, Pub Ale, Strongarm Pale Ale. Strongarm was the newest addition to the lineup, at least until Railhead and Switchgear made their triumphant returns.

Cask: The Railhead and Switchgear are in the firkins.

Events: Saturday—Music on the Patio: Todd Tijerina and Dave Heidt Unplugged, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Johnny (Cashmere IPA), Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Bloodshot. The most recent additions is the Bloodshot, a blood orange witbier. The Johnny is one of the more unique single-hop IPAs out there.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

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

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) The Village Idiot (Saison), Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, Misfitter Altbier. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. It’s good to see more and more seasonals rolling off the line at the new joint.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

Beers: English Best Bitter, Session IPA, Black IPA, Robust Porter, Kolsch, Hefe, Imperial Cream, IPA, Fully Booty Oatmeal Stout, Funky Punky Swartzbier, Red Horse NM Lager, SCH Scotch Lager, Project El Cucuy. The most recent addition is the Project El Cucuy, a double IPA. Before that came the Red Horse (4.5% ABV, 14 IBU), IPA (7.2% ABV, 98 IBU), Oatmeal Stout (7.5% ABV, 62 IBU), and Funky Punky (5.5% ABV).

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

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

Beers: Vulgar Display of Porter, Goathead Hador Doppelbock, Stein Wine, Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Berliner Weisse, Cascade Pale Ale, Minute-4, Berry Cider, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Chocolate Milk Stout (Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). That there Vulgar Display of Porter (8.8% ABV) is a Baltic made in collaboration with a certain group of beer writers, but it is nearly out, so get it before it is replaced Saturday at both locations by the Altbier made in collaboration with Mother Road. Others on their way this weekend are Tupac Cali Red (on Friday), the Mother Road collaboration Double IPA (on Saturday), and the 505 Collaboration Golden Strong (on Saturday at Nob Hill only). They will replace the Goathead, Stein Wine, and Chocolate Milk Stout.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Cali Shaw, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Gato Malo, 3 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Better Call Saul Watch Party, 7 p.m. (note, no new episode this week due to Memorial Day); Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Hard Bock Life, Oaked Depravity, Consensual Sensations DIPA, Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Snakedriver (on nitro). Depravity (10% ABV) is a beast of a barleywine, and the oaked version is the last one on tap. Consensual Sensations (8.2% ABV, 125-plus IBU) is a beast of a DIPA. The Lil’ Shelly (5.2% ABV, 69 IBU) is the most recent addition, but Yum Yum Colada, a pina colada kettle sour, is up next.

Cask: Tuesday—Pineapple Stuccon Saison

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Triple IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter, Belgian Pale Ale, Back to Cali Common. The Back to Cali and the Triple IPA were the most recent additions until the Porter came along. Go light, go hoppy, or go big malty.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way. Look for a Stout and Pinche Guey IPA to debut soon.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Pulp Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Cezanne Verite, Rye Goya (Imperial Stout), Stocious (Wee Heavy), Suor Nelli (Barrel-aged Scottish Sour), Manikin (Scottish), Monomyth (Imperial IPA), Cezanne Origine. The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel.

Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia: A Night at the Movies, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Super Hero Poetry Slam, 4-9 p.m.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Solo Loop Music and DJ BuddhaFunk, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One Episode One (IPA), Good on Ya (Pale Ale), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Simcoe Dry-Hopped Germophile. The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Western Bloc IPA. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, International Steam Pale Ale, Rod’s Best Bitter, Pajarito Pale Ale, ESB, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Foreign Extra Stout. Man, we could use some Foreign Extra Stout down here right now. The Red and Yellow Armadillo is a delicious imperial red.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Busy McCarroll Band, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—The Bus Tapes, 7-10 p.m.

Other Events (Original location): Thursday—Cask N Curry, all day

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

* * * *

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

It was Nexus' turn for an interview for our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. The fried chicken arrived shortly after this picture was taken, FYI.

It was Nexus’ turn for an interview for our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. The fried chicken arrived shortly after this picture was taken, FYI.

Things are going good at Nexus Brewery. How good, one might ask? Owner Ken Carson is already planning a third location, even though he only opened his second this past June. For this edition of our Look Back/Look Ahead Series, I sat down with Ken and head brewer Kaylynn McKnight to recap the year that was and preview what all is to come this year. The biggest revelation, clearly, was the one above.

To get there, one has to recap what has happened in the prior 12 months. Nexus had another busy, bountiful year, one that even included the opening of its second location, the Nexus Silver Taproom, on the west side of town. There were many smaller, but equally important, developments going on as well.

“The World Beer Cup, that was nice,” Kaylynn said of the gold medal for Honey Chamomile Wheat, awarded back in April. “I got an assistant last year. It’s pretty nice to have some help back there. He’s doing pretty good back there, three days a week, and then he’s doing other stuff for the company. … It’s fun teaching someone else to brew, someone else that’s passionate about a craft-brewing industry job. That’s pretty exciting.”

Kaylynn said Nexus saw an increase of 200 barrels of production from 2015 to 2016, in part due to the new taproom, but demand was also up at the mothership.

“With the influx of all the breweries and everything, we still increased, just off this operation alone, we increased 15 percent,” Ken said. “I don’t mean to brag or anything, but we’re really pleased we carved out a niche in this (crowded) market.”

The hit beers in 2016 included old favorites like Beam Me Up Scotty, plus new ones such as the Bird of Prey IPA.

“As far as the beer goes, I think we talked about shifting the normal IPA that we have to the Bird of Prey IPA,” Kaylynn said. “The reason being, we can do that because I have better hop contracts this year. I have more fun, good, crazy hops to play with. The Bird of Prey sold really well.”

You had one job for this photo, Jeff. One job! At least it was safe at the brewery.

We still love this photo. That’s Kaylynn on the left with Boxing Bear’s Justin Hamilton and La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway, who forgot his award, after all three won gold at the World Beer Cup.

The introduction of Nexus Silver also meant new customers. Ken said they were a bit surprised by the different palates of folks on the west side of town.

“On the west side, those guys are not hopheads over there,” Ken said. “We’re selling a ton of Imperial Cream; high-alcohol beers are (doing) amazing over there.”

Other twists with the crowd at Silver include more 20-ounce pours being served than the standard 16-ounce, plus growler sales are higher there. In addition to the differences in how people consume the beer, the taproom also went through an interior renovation.

“We started off, no one was happy with the interior,” Ken said. “So we went back and redid the interior, changed it substantially.”

The lineup of guest beers has also evolved over time, Ken added. The goal is to bring in different and unique beers that can either complement the Nexus lineup, or fill in the gaps.

As for this year, there are plans for more events and the like at Nexus Silver. Ken said fans can expect live music on Sundays, while the house party theme will continue Saturday night. They will also bring food dishes from the main location to the taproom every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m., selling them as sort of a food hour, in lieu of a happy hour. As always, Nexus will listen to its customers and ultimately settle on what they want from the location.

The exterior of the Nexus Silver Taproom hasn't changed since opening, but the inside sure did. We just lack a picture of it. (D'oh!)

The exterior of the Nexus Silver Taproom hasn’t changed since opening, but the inside sure did. We just lack a picture of it. (D’oh!)

Of course, even with Nexus Silver so new, plans are already afoot to put a third location just south of downtown.

“I guess the big news is, and you guys get to break the news again, is I bought a building off Bridge right (south on) Broadway,” Ken said. “It’s an old nightclub. I’m working on the financing right now. We’re going to go in and we’re going to call it our smokehouse. It’s going to be barbecue, but we’re also going to have a real, live smokehouse where we actually smoke meat, the old-fashioned stuff.”

OK, more delicious food is coming, but what about the beer?

“In addition to that, in half of our building, we’re going to add another brewery to it, probably around 15 barrels,” Ken said. “We’re going to keep this brewery here. This is all subject to financing. Things do change, fortunately and unfortunately, as you go along, but I think we’re full capable of doing this. And then, at that point, we’re going to go retail and start distributing our beer. We feel like we have a couple beers to put to market that will fill a space.”

More food, more beer, beer being distributed … this is all good news. Very good.

“The building is 9,000 square feet,” Ken said. “It has a stage. We planning on having a patio. The food, we’re going to do it in such a way it’s going to kind of be a takeout restaurant with a taproom. So, you can go get your food and take it home, or you can walk it down to the taproom. We’re not going to have a full-service restaurant.”

Ken said he hopes for those who do not go for the food, they will have a more interactive experience with one another at the taproom. It is an atmosphere he has always looked for in his locations.

Food is still important, however.

“I’ll still probably serve the fried chicken down there, but we’ll probably put more emphasis on the gumbo and Cajun food,” Ken said. “I’m looking forward to it. I see us making our own sausage, or own bacon, I see us doing all of those things.”

Start exercising now, people. The pounds are coming.

The Crew has always agreed that Nexus' food is wonderful.

Aw, the Crew was so much thinner back then. Before all that chicken and all those waffles over the years. And, just our general laziness.

As for the original location, Ken said they are experimenting with some new dishes, as well as working with their customers to determine if some of the existing dishes need some tweaking here or there.

“What we have in plans for (this) year is we’re re-looking at our menu,” Ken said. “We’re going to go through a process talking with our customers to see what they like, what they’d like to see changed, any suggestion they have. I’m going to work that through a survey and then through a blog, get their opinions, see what they say.”

Go on …

“We’re working on a soul food egg roll which is collared green, green chile, and chicken,” Ken said. “We have a cinnamon waffle that’s going to be drenched with icing. Then we’ve got a lot of other things. Then I’m going to fire up the barbecue pit and we’re going to every Saturday we’re going to have barbecue starting in the spring. It’ll be a Saturday special with barbecue. Everything will be using a New Mexican twist, like the red chile ribs.”

Look for some new beers from Kaylynn this year, as well as the return of some old favorites. She also promised to be back at festivals this year after taking 2016 off.

Overall, the promise of a new location, with more food options, and more beer, is more than enough to get us excited for Nexus in 2017 and beyond. We are thankful for them carving out a niche in our brewing scene, even if we have to carve an extra notch in our belts after some of our meals there.

Thank you to Ken and Kaylynn for taking the time to chat, and to let us break the big news again.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Oh, yeah, there is another one coming.

Farewell to Firkin, we hardly knew ye.

In case anyone missed it on social media over the weekend, the long-rumored demise of The Firkin BrewHouse and Grill came to pass, as their own Facebook page communicated the following:

To all of our loyal and wonderful customers, unfortunately I must state that the Firkin BrewHouse and Grill is closed. More info will follow with an official announcement from the owners. Thank you all for your patronage.

The Crew reached out to the owners for comment, but four days later, we have not heard back, nor do we really expect anything. Hey, it’s human nature to try to move quickly past the bad and refocus on the good. We wish them all luck in their future endeavors, whatever those may be.

It is rare these days when breweries close, though it does happen from time to time. If one counts Marble’s opening in 2008 as the start of the current boom, in that span only four other breweries — Hallenbrick, Bad Ass, Stumbling Steer, Broken Bottle — have closed in the Albuquerque area. As per usual, though, any closing creates some sort of “Is the bubble finally bursting?” type of story or comment online.

No, the bubble is not bursting.

The majority of the breweries in the ABQ area are doing just fine, thank you. None of them have had the type of ugly ownership dispute like Firkin did. When four people open a brewery, and it becomes two versus two before even six months have passed, it is not a good sign, needless to say.

Of course, there are plenty who would argue that Firkin was doomed from the beginning. It seemed to have everything lined up against it.

For a new brewery to succeed, it usually needs to be A) in a heavily foot-trafficked area such as downtown or Nob Hill, B) on a major commuter thoroughfare, C) in a brewery-laden area, but offering up something different beer-wise (not just theme-wise) than the other breweries in this area, or D) in an area with no other competing breweries. Comparing it to other breweries that opened in early 2016, Sidetrack is succeeding because it is downtown. Bow & Arrow is succeeding because lots of folks drive up and down 6th Street. Dialogue is succeeding because of its unique beer lineup. Starr Brothers is succeeding quite a ways away from any other notable brewery.

Firkin, on the other hand, was on an isolated street that did not connect to either nearby Comanche or Candelaria, in an industrial area with two award-winning powerhouse breweries (Canteen and La Cumbre) while offering up nothing particularly different in terms of its beer. Conceptually, a Prohibition era-themed brewery was not a bad idea, it was just located in the wrong place. That led to money problems, which led to the ownership dispute, which ultimately led to its untimely demised.

Albuquerque is still a metro area of 900,000 people with some 30 breweries. No, it does not have a great business rating, or a high per capita income, but there are still room for more breweries, and there will be more growth from the existing breweries.

Craft beer in New Mexico is just fine. This is just another minor blip on the screen.

New breweries update

Hops Brewery now has signage up on the front of its Nob Hill location on Central just west of Carlisle. We will head over there to talk to the owner when someone (me) is done submitting the final images and pages for a certain book.

Beer and a movie, anyone? (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Beer and a movie, anyone? (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Flix Brewhouse is still under construction on the West Side, but they have begun brewing their first batches of beer. Brewer Will Moorman and I have been in touch and once other parts of the building are done in about two weeks, the Crew will take a tour of the forthcoming movie theater with its own brewery. As for the beers we could make out from the labels on the Facebook photo of the taps, Satellite Red IPA, Lupulus IPA, Luna Rosa Wit, Umbra Chocostout, 10 Day Scottish Ale, Golden Ale, and Beer of the Dead (Brown Ale) appear to be on deck.

Blue Grasshopper told us that they hope to have their new taproom, on Coors north of Montano, open before the end of the year. We will have more on this for their upcoming entry in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series, which should be kicking off soon.

Drylands Brewing is now officially under construction in Lovington. Southeast New Mexico is still devoid of craft beer outside the existing places in Artesia (Desert Water and The Wellhead), Carlsbad (Milton’s), and Portales (Roosevelt). It is a little bit surprising that Lovington, best known as the hometown of Brian Urlacher, is getting a brewery before the much larger Hobbs or Roswell, but maybe the small town realized the value of beating those bigger towns to the punch.

Quick beer reviews

Again, if you are not following us on social media, you might have missed all the new beers I was able to get to this weekend. More await, of course, but there were too many intriguing newbies, old favorites, and a special one-off to not get out on the town.

A barrel-aged Scotch ale was sighted amid the chaos at Palmer Brewery's grand opening.

A barrel-aged Scotch ale was sighted amid the chaos at Palmer Brewery’s grand opening.

As always, these are my opinions, I am fully aware others may think the exact opposite. Please share your own thoughts on these beers once you have tried them as well.

  • La Negra, La Cumbre: This is the best version of the barrel-aged imperial stout yet. Grab two bombers, one to drink, one to age. Creamy yet boozy yet smooth yet thick, it is a wonderful batch.
  • Cockness Monster, Palmer: The grand opening was a zoo on Saturday, but luckily just as I walked inside I ran into brewer Rob Palmer. He poured me a 13-ounce glass of the rum-barrel-aged version of his Scotch ale. The rum did not overpower the beer, nor the other way around. It just blended beautifully, a good sipping beer amid the chaos. Congrats to Palmer on the opening.
  • Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter, Nexus: Before dinner arrived, I made sure to sample this fresh batch. The good news is the chai does not drown out the beer. On nitro, though, the beer almost came off as a little too thin on the mouthfeel. I would love to try it on CO2 some day. (Hint!)
  • Turkey Drool, Tractor: This is an annual fall favorite, and oh lordy, it did not disappoint. It starts off subtle, then does a mini-circle pit of spices and flavors on your palate. Let it warm just a tad for full effect. As someone else said, it’s everything good about Thanksgiving dessert in a glass.
  • Vanilla Mocha Double Porter, Red Door: Coffee! So. Much. Coffee! At least at the outset, so this is another one to let warm up a bit. The vanilla and mocha flavors are there, too, but the coffee is strong as can be. If nothing else, the small pour had me wide awake in time for that freaky storm to finally reach the brewery from the Lobo football game.
  • Clark IPA, Quarter Celtic: Before venturing off to help Franz Solo brew a beer (and by help I mostly mean stand there and drink and comment on our football teams’ terrible outings), we both visited QC for their New England-style hazy IPA. Breweries like Trillium, The Alchemist, and more have made this juicier, less bitter style of IPA quite popular in the Northeast, and now QC has brought it to the Southwest. We adored this beer. If you have loved some of the sweeter, maltier IPAs that Bosque has been specializing in of late, you will love this, too.

Now, if the breweries would just slow down a bit on releasing these outstanding beers so I can catch up … they won’t, will they? A beer writer’s work is never done.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos also joining the party.

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

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

Before we all take our palates into battle at the final round of the IPA Challenge (tickets still available online) at Tractor Wells Park this Saturday, there are quite a few other special beer options and events going on this week. First up, head over today (Wednesday) to Nexus Silver on the West Side for the debut of the Wrath of Kolsch. Think of it as the beer to get you ready for the release of Star Trek Beyond in theaters this week. Then on Thursday, head over to Ponderosa for their second bottle release. This time around it’s Preacher’s Daughter, a Belgian golden strong. Buy it in the bomber or drink it on tap, your choice! Then on Saturday, for those not going to NMIPAC, head over to Broken Trail for the release of the super limited Tres Pistoles Bourbon. It’s the first bourbon ever made in New Mexico. You gotta make reservations online, so check out their Facebook page. Then, follow it all up with the annual Rock Solid Fest at Marble downtown. All day music from multiple local bands. See their entry below for all the details.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque brings back their popular Riverbank Brown, plus they added a hefty Belgian Golden Strong. Boxing Bear swings away with Centennial S.M.A.S.H. and Kerfluffle British IPA. The Double IPA is back at Marble, along with Nitro Amarillo. Quarter Celtic kicked up some Vienna Lager. Starr Brothers swings by with Planet of the Ape-rricots. Turtle Mountain has the aptly named Blueberry Yum Yum.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street is feeling funky with The Quark and Berries.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of July 18.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

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

Beers: Tilted Windmill IPA, High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Imperial Red, Session IPA, Bayou Smash Saison, American Golden Stout, Vienna Amber. The Tilted Windmill is now the permanent IPA on tap at ABC. The Vienna Amber is the newest addition.

Live Music: TBA

Other Events: Every Monday will now be game night at ABC, with everything from Pokemon to Cards Against Humanity. Also, all Blonde pints are just $2.50.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Sunday, all day

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: open every day 4 p.m. to close)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: June Bock, Kreem Ale. Well, look at that. Two new house beers on tap, both brewed especially for this scorcher of a weekend coming up.

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Zeus Juice White IPA, Lawnmower Lager, Orange Peel IPA, Cherry Bomb. The newest beer here is the Cherry Bomb. The Lawnmower Lager is an American interpretation of a German Kolsch.

Events: Every Thursday will now feature a special Small Batch Beer. This week’s entry is TBA.

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

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: In Bruges, Summer in Hallertau, Imperial Popcorn Pilsner, Hot Bosque, Riverbank Brown, Belgian Golden Strong. The Summer in Hallertau (5% ABV, 20 IBU) was brewed for a charitable endeavor, with $1 of every pint sold going to Camp Enchantment, a camp for children who have or have had cancer. Drink a pint for a good cause!

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

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

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

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Bison Eye Rye, Hefeweizen, Citrus Lager, Wildorado Unfiltered Wild Rice Pale Ale, Rustic Oak Robust Porter, Belgian Pale Ale. The most recent additions are the Wildorado, Rustic Oak, and the Belgian Pale.

Events: Saturday—Bow & Arrow Brewtique, with Spectacle Caravan and Lauren Tobey Jewelry, 3 to 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Centennial S.M.A.S.H., Kerfluffle British IPA, Black Eye-PA, Bearzen, Bare Knuckle IPA, Featherweight Session IPA, Watermelon Gose (nitro only), Chocolate Milk Stout, New Mexikolsch, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). Bear Knuckle is back after its run to the semifinals of the National IPA Challenge. The CMS is back after winning gold at the World Beer Cup, and it’s for sale in bombers around town.

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

Events: Geeks Who Drink is held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery (formerly Distillery 365) — (505) 221-6281

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

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison. New names, same (good) beers.

Live Music (main location): TBA

Live Music (Green Jeans taproom): TBA

Other Events: 10 Drink Minimum host a Cards Against Humanity night at the main location every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broken Trail has a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar at the main location. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

Paint-n-Pint Night will be at the main location Tuesday at 7 p.m. Check the Facebook page for more details.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Fete Lager, Mongrel DIPA, Solana Summer Ale, Sol Quest Saison, Gose Plum Crazy, Irish Red (on nitro). The Fete Lager (5.5% ABV, 25 IBU) is a special summer beer that has been lagered for five months. The Solana is loaded with Citra hops

Live Music: Thursday—Alex Maryol, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday—Dusty Low, 4 to 7 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

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

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Hopmonic-Convergence, Dubble-Monic, Heavy Cream. The Heavy Cream (6.3% ABV, 23 IBU) is an export rendition of a traditional American cream ale. The new Hopmonic (7.7% ABV, 100+ IBU) is a fancy-sounding IPA, with the Dubble-Monic (7.1% ABV, 90 IBU) is a mix of the IPA and the Dubbel Tap, creating a Belgian-style hoppy beer.

News: Chama now has a rotating nitro tap. As of last week, River Gose was the selection.

The Firkin Brewhouse — (505) 881-0702

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 3-9 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

We went to Firkin recently and found out they are still open. Contact the brewery for an updated beer list. Note the new hours above.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Stout, Helles Lager, Honk Ale, Maibock, Brumoso Hefe, Guy IPA, Red Card, Scotch Ale, DjinnJar Kombucha. Another recent tap turnover featured the return of the hugely popular Helles, a perfect summer beer.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on almost every Thursday at the Nob Hill taproom and then Sunday in Bernalillo from 6 to 8 p.m. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday in Bernalillo, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: VMO #2, Arrogant Bastard, No, You’re a Dort, ‘Merica, Fievre de Abricot. The ‘Merica is an American-style pale ale that debuted last summer and has returned with a fresh batch.

Live Music: TBA

Other Events: Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: New Zealand IPA, Apricot Wheat, Scottish 80, Hefeweizen, Long Nosed Tripel. There are three recent additions in the Scottish, Hefe, and Tripel. The latter is an old favorite, but beware the ABV (9.2%), for it will sneak up on you.

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

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — Wheels of Soul Pale Ale, Double IPA; Downtown only — Nitro Amarillo; Westside only — Dang Pale Ale, Saison #2. The Dang is nearly out, so head west to get the last of it.

Live Music (downtown): Thursday—Broken Rules Band, 7 to 10 p.m.; Friday—Group Therapy, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Merican Slang, 8 to 11 p.m.; Sunday—Rock Solid Fest: Gabe Tafoya, 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., Chris Raven, 3 to 4 p.m., Lilah Rose, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Kevin Herig, 6 to 7 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Friday—Hub City Sound System, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Lone Pinon, 8 to 11 p.m.

Other Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.)

Beers: E.S.A. (Extra Special Amber), Beam Me Up Scottish, Imperial Pilsner, Salted Caramel Stout, Wrath of Kolsch. Oh, rejoice, those who live on the East Side, for Salted Caramel is now on tap at the main brewery. Do not fret, West Side residents, you still have it at the Silver taproom as well.

News: If you have not gone, we got an early look at Nexus’ impressive west-side taproom, Nexus Silver.

Events: Wrath of Kolsch debuts today (Wednesday) at Nexus Silver at 4 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Friday, 3 to 5 p.m., get $5 off appetizers at the brewery.

Pi Brewing — (505) 890-9463

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

Beers: Prohibition Pilsner, Discordia IPA, 5 O’Hop Somewhere, U Down w/ BVP?, Unwindulax, Pineapple Express, Amber’s Amber, Zinister Dichotomy. The Zinister (6.3% ABV) is a potent red sour.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Enkel Biter Belgian Wheat, Azacca Pale Ale, Summer Break Blonde, Alt the Hoople, Manzano Milk Stout.

Events: The Preacher’s Daughter Bottle Release Party is Thursday starting at 11 a.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Dusk’s Early Light, You Reek of Pale Ale, Vienna Lager. The name You Reek is a joke, of sorts, but the flavor is not. It’s a single-hop pale made with Eureka.

News: Congrats to QCB for winning a silver medal at the North American Beer Awards. Not bad for a place that has only been open for three months!

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Shift Ender Golden Lager, Vanilla Cream Ale, Bad Moon Ryesing, Gluten Removed IPA, Belgian Dubbel, Downtown Pale Ale. The Bad Moon (6.3% ABV, 51 IBU) is a burly black rye pale ale. There is nothing sweet about this beer, it’s just a dark beast that is not for the weak of palate.

Live Music (main location)—TBA

Other Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast at the main brewery. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Randy’s Red Ale, Duke City Pilsner, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Barley Wine (regular and barrel aged), Winterfest Marzen, Level 3 IPA. The popular Karl’s Sommer Bier is back on tap as well.

Live Music: Thursday—The Blunns/Eileen & Cross Country, 5:30 p.m.; Friday—Eryn Bent Trio, 7 p.m.; Saturday—National Day of the Cowboy, 6 p.m.

Other Evens: Tuesday—Two Dollar Tuesdays, noon

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Call the brewery for an updated list.

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 288-6468

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

Beers: Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Switchgear IPA, Zoso SMASH, Dark Engine Stout, Shoofly Wheat. The Zoso is the most recent addition.

Cask: IPA and Shoofly will be in the firkins all week.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, Thunderr Ale, Problem Child Porter, Red Zepplin, Electric Sun Wheat, Plane of the Ape-rricots. The taps are turning over pretty frequently at Starr Brothers, but that’s because people are drinking them up at a rapid pace. So if you see a favorite listed above, head over now, before this batch runs out.

News: Next up on the beer docket is L.A. Woman California Blonde.

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

(Nob Hill is open Sunday-Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday noon to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday noon to 2 a.m.; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Berry Cider, Maibock, Grapefruit Wheat, Verano New Mexico Lager, Summer En Blanc Belgian Witbier, Berliner Weisse, Barrel-Aged Scotcholate, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, Barrel-Aged Luna De Los Muertos (Wells Park only), Et Tu Brute Cider (Wells Park only), Nitro Coffee Stout (Wells Park only), Ebony & Ivory Pale Stout (Wells Park only). All three of the barrel-aged behemoths are now on tap, plus there should still be bombers for sale. We highly recommend you try the Luna before it runs out.

Live Music (Wells Park): Saturday—In the Mix: Homegirls Records, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Solos on the Hill: Todd Tijerina, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Setting the Tone: Sloan Armitage, 5 p.m.

Other Events: Stop in at Wells Park on Thursday at 7 p.m. for the Young Creatives Panel with Jake Runestad.

Friday at Wells Park will feature a Drag Queen Review at 8 p.m.

Every Monday at Wells Park you can now find Mondays on the Mic hosted by Little Bobby Tucker starting at 6 p.m. No word if you get a stuffed animal for participating.

Kamikaze Karaoke is back at Wells Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2 classic beers and $3 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Session Red, Konventional Kolsch, Blueberry Yum Yum; One, If By Land; Two, If By Sea. So the Land and Sea are two unique beers. The former is a refreshing pale ale from a recipe by current brewer Mick Hahn. The latter is a burly, yet sweet, DIPA from former brewer Tim Woodward. Buy two beers, salute two brewers.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Coffee Imperial Stout, The Gatekeeper IPA, Blueberry Gose. The Gatekeeper is Blue Corn’s entry in the IPA Challenge. The Coffee Imperial Stout was made with coffee from a local company.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery hours: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight; Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Cezanne Origine (Spring Saison), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental), Harmonia (Barrel-Aged Sour IPA). With the release of the Cezanne Origine, Duel has brought out all of their 2015 saisons out of the cellar and is now offering a flight of five at both locations.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Live Music (ABQ): Thursday—Godzilla, 8 p.m.; Friday—Free Fall, 9 p.m.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Western Bloc Wheat IPA, Lemon Skynyrd (ECS), Sunset Limited. The Sunset Limited, a collaboration with a Louisiana brewery, debuted recently.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 IPA, Rod’s Best Bitter, 2920 Vienna Lager, The Quark and Berries, Railrunner Pale Ale, Little Blackbird IPA. Say hello to Little Blackbird, which might just be the first session black IPA ever created by a New Mexico brewery.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Patio Series: Jeez La Weez; Friday—Zoltan & The Fortune Tellers; Saturday—The Bus Tapes

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Lone Pinon; Saturday—AMP Concert: Cash’d Out (SSB will have a beer garden on the RY Plaza); Sunday—Patio Series: The Shiners Club

Other Events: Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: Hoppenheimer IPA, Organic Farmhouse, Barley Wine, Pink Panther, Big Bird Belgian Blonde, Irish Dry Stout, Barrel Project X. Another big tap turnover recently went down in Los Alamos, with the mysterious Barrel Project X (some sort of stout) standing out. Also new are the Barley Wine, Big Bird, Dry Stout, and Pink Panther, a hibiscus wheat.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, KC’s Irish Stout, McFadden’s Scotch, Quebradas Summer Amber, El Camino ReAle Summer Pale. The newest addition is the El Camino ReAle, one of the more clever names we’ve seen this year.

Live Music: Friday—Jones and Miles, 7 to 10 p.m.

Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Nexus Brewery expands to the West Side

Posted: June 8, 2016 by theshenerd in Taproom Preview
Tags:
Patio

Say hello to Nexus, West Siders!

Once breweries achieve some level of success, it seems the first thing they do is open another location. This was not the case for Ken Carson at Nexus. Even after the success of the food menu, national TV appearances, awards, and lines out the door, he was very cautious about his expansion plans. That patience has paid off with the opening of the Nexus Silver Taproom at 2641 Coors Blvd NW. It is an easy to get to location in an untapped market. This should spell success. It officially opens Thursday, but I got to poke around a bit during the soft opening Tuesday.

So, what’s different?

  1. No kitchen. People hoping for some chicken and waffles with Kaylynn’s exquisite brews are out of luck. That doesn’t mean no food, however. Ken is working to partner with eateries in the strip mall location to deliver food to patrons. There are also several restaurants that you can pick up food from and take into the taproom. Karim and I opted for Wing Stop, and I would say he was pleased …
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  2. The layout. The first thing I noticed was the ample patio (see above photo). Like the original location, the patio faces east so there is a bit less worry about roasting in the afternoon sun. Ken is sticking with later openings for now, but once the place becomes a hit (and it will be), some sort of shading option will become necessary for earlier in the day. The inside is very spacious and gives it an open and welcoming feel. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, but you will notice that it does not feel as cramped as the original location. We’ll see what happens when it’s full of people, though.
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What’s the same?

  1. The beer. It’s still delicious, and you can get all Kaylynn’s signature beers in addition to a few guest taps. Plus, they have the Salted Caramel Stout on tap. WIN!!! I was a very happy nerd and it was the perfect dessert after my wings. (Karim and I may have pestered Ken about serving it with a scoop of ice cream, or putting it on cask, or barrel aging it, or serving it on nitro … bless his patience with us as we geeked out!)
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  2. The service. Granted, it was a quiet evening there with it being a soft opening, but I was happy to see the friendly service that I love at the original location is still a priority at Nexus Silver. Every person I spoke with had genuine smiles on their faces and were eager to know what they could do to make the experience even better.

Since I had his attention, I asked Ken about the status of the Nexus Neighbor program. Regulars may have been frustrated by the system being out of commission. That’s nothing compared to the frustration Ken and the staff have been going through. What happened was this: The old payment system would not allow the two locations to communicate, meaning that points would not transfer from OG Nexus to Nexus Silver. The company hired to make the new systems communicate and upload the member database had a few glitches. This left the poor servers to manually enter each ticket. BUT, he also gave me this scoop: He will be giving bonus points to all Neighborhood members once the system is back online as a thank you for their patience and understanding. Did I mention that Nexus has good service? It starts at the top.

All in all, Ken has set himself up for success yet again. I can see Nexus Silver quickly becoming a regular hangout for the neighborhood, as well as those who happen to be passing by.

Cheers!

— Kristin

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

This is no time to kick back on a Saturday, there is beer out there, and we must drink it up!

Forget keeping up with the Joneses, it’s all about keeping up with the beerses, um, yeah, this weekend.

Saturday is another jam-packed day, with two major events for charities, a slew of beer tastings, and two big beer dinners.

Beyond what’s listed below, don’t forget, today is also Nexus’ fifth anniversary. They will have an all-day party with food specials, live music, and there are multiple new beers to try.

Oh, and if you have not gotten yourself a pint of the 505 Collaboration Rye Kellerbier yet, what are you waiting for? Carpe diem, people!

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: Harwood Art Center Fundraiser. Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No entry fee.

Details: From our preview story on all of Marble’s Beer Week events.

Marble will once again hold a fundraiser for Harwood’s scholarships to their Summer Art Camp. There will be live music and more.

“We have our Harwood Fundraiser, which is always a big hit,” marketing director Elyse Cushman said. “We support them, they support children learning the arts. That’s going to be on Saturday. They have a great lineup. They’ve got a couple of local (bands). Theirs is always really, really fun to show for.”

DJ Matt, Joanie and Darin, and the Kevin Herig Trio will provide the tunes from 1 to 7 p.m. The Supper Truck and Ay K Rico will be parked on the curb to keep everyone satiated. And, there will be live art being produced. Entry is free.

“I know there’s live music, there’s beer, and it’s all for a good cause,” Elyse said. “We’re donating a portion of our sales to them.”

Why you should go: This is one of two major charitable events on Saturday (the other is at Tractor, see below). It’s hard to say no to drinking for a cause, especially when that is keeping children involved in the arts. Throw in the music and food, and it will all be worth the sun and crowd.

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: Piatanzi, 3305 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The new Marble Saison will be available. Why you should go: Grab a new beer and check out the lunch menu.

What: Beer and Food Pairings. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The good folks at SFBC are teaming up with the restaurants at Green Jeans Farmery to provide a perfect lineup of pairings. Why you should go: The lineup will change every day, so make sure to head over and find your favorite pairing before it’s gone.

What: Beer and Cornhole Tournament. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: Noon. Cost: $5 per person. Details: Test your cornhole skills while enjoying some pints on the patio. Why you should go: Who doesn’t love a good competition as long as there is beer involved?

What: Colorado Brewery Showcase. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Boulder, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues beers will be available for sampling. Why you should go: Find out what the best beers are from these Colorado heavyweights for the summer.

What: Randy’s Shandy Day. Where: Rio Bravo. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Grab a Weizen and Sommer Shandy Flight for $5 and enjoy watermelon slices for $2 on the patio, with music at 6 p.m. from Scotty & The Atomics and Double Plow at 8 p.m. Why you should go: If shandy is your thing, this is hard to miss.

What: Bees & Seeds ANTI-GMO Festival. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: We covered this event as part of Tractor’s full list of goings on. Why you should go: Grab a pint for a good cause and listen to some live, local music.

What: Ballast Point Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Our friend Thomas DeCaro will be on hand to share some of BP’s stalwarts and seasonals, including the Calm Before the Storm, Grunion, and Homework Series #7: Session Saison. Why you should go: Grab some unique tastings and then snag some beer to take home.

What: Duke City Pedaler Beer Bike Social. Where: Albuquerque Tourism & Sightseeing Factory, 219 Central Ave. NW. When: 3 and 6 p.m. Cost: $23/$25. Details: Hop on the Duke City Pedaler and bike around for 2.5 hours, with the bike leader selecting three downtown area breweries. There will be food and drink specials for riders at each location. Why you should go: Burn off some calories and stay fit amid all of this great beer and food.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: A Blood Orange Gose and a special tequila-aged beer will be tapped. Why you should go: Grab some food and a unique beer or two.

What: Upslope Tap Takeover. Where: Sandia Saloon inside Whole Foods Academy. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Upslope takes over the taps in the new bar inside Whole Foods. Why you should go: For those of you in the Northeast Heights who have yet to try Upslope, here is your chance.

What: Beer and Food Pairing. Where: Sandia Chile Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: They will be serving up fish and shrimp tacos paired with their IPA. Why you should go: Support local beer, and grab a bite to eat.

What: Ballast Point Beer Dinner. Where: Seasons Rotisserie & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $40 per person. Details: Ready for a five-course meal paired with BP beers? Start off with Coconut Crusted Shrimp Lettuce Wraps paired with Sculpin IPA, then Basil Pesto Crusted Wild Pacific Swordfish with Grapefruit Sculpin, Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut Saltimbocca with Grunion Pale Ale, Cajun Crusted Soft-Shell Crab Po’Boy with Watermelon Dorado, and Victory at Sea will be paired with a TBD dessert. Why you should go: That menu looks ridiculous, and $40 is cheap for a beer dinner these days.

What: Founders KBS Vertical Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: They will have the 2015 and 2016 KBS on tap for you to try side by side. Why you should go: Two of the finest barrel-aged imperial stouts on the planet is all the reason you need.

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 7 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Celebrate ciders with some awesome cider cocktails while DJ Wae Fonky spins some disco favorites from way back in the day. Why you should go: We dare you to go and reenact the scene from Airplane. Just no brawling girl scouts, OK?

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: M’Tucci’s Market & Deli. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $69, call (505) 639-4819 for reservations. Details: Ready for a seven-course meal paired with LC beers? Start with a House Charcuterie Board paired with BEER, then Roasted Apple and Crab Moussaline with VMO #2, Smoked Buffalo Heart Pate with Saison d’hommel, Heritage Pork Jowl Bacon paired with Fievre de Abricot, Duck Confit with Mind Phoq, Red Ryeot-braised NM Lamb Basajo Potato Puree with Summer Barley Wine, and Basil Lemon Tart with Strawberry Gose. Why you should go: Stop drooling on your keyboards/phones and make a reservation.

* * * * *

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

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s four breweries and one down in Socorro and the other in Los Alamos also joining the party.

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

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

In case you missed it, but we are guessing you have not based on all the previews we have been running, but ABQ Beer Week starts Thursday. Amid all of the great events, all the craziness, there will be times you need a break. Thankfully, our breweries are still here for you, each an oasis of beer tranquility. Or, maybe they are just having their own parties, like Nexus. Yup, it’s anniversary party time at Nexus, as they turn 5 this Saturday. There will be festivities all day, plus live music from 2 to 5 p.m. They will be serving up delicious Red Chile Ribs and brewer Kaylynn McKnight has not one but three new beers on tap (plus the 505 Collaboration beer, of course). So, in between or before or after your Beer Week stops, make sure to swing by Nexus for some food, beer, and tunes, and wish them all a happy anniversary!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boxing Bear puts together quite a combination in the form of Blood Orange Pale Ale. Canteen hits nothing but net with Hop Baller IPA. Firkin gets in the summer groove with Peach Hefe. La Cumbre does as well with Strawberry Gose. Those aforementioned three new beers at Nexus are E.S.A. (Extra Special Amber), Bird of Prey IPA, and Beam Me Up Scottish. Turtle Mountain taps a new Session Red.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn is keeping the red theme going with New Mexico Red. Second Street has fresh batches of old favorites High Wheeler, Rod’s Best, and 2920 Pilsner.

Also, for this week and the next, please take note that we are not including Beer Week events with these listings to save time and space. Those are available with the individual previews for some of the breweries, or as part of our daily previews that will run from Thursday until Sunday, June 5.

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

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Albuquerque Brewing Co. — (505) 797-1842

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

Beers: Tilted Windmill IPA, High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Dunkelweizen, Imperial Red, Session IPA, Bayou Smash Saison, Handlebars Stout. The Tilted Windmill is now the permanent IPA on tap at ABC.

News: ABC is now serving their in-house pizza starting at 5 p.m. every day, running till 8 p.m. Sunday through Tuesday and till 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Other Events: Every Monday will now be game night at ABC, with everything from Pokemon to Cards Against Humanity. Also, all Blonde pints are just $2.50.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Saturday, 3 to 6 p.m.; Sunday, all day

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

(Sun–Weds 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs–Sat 4 p.m. to midnight)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Sundays are Service Nights at Back Alley, with $2 off all beers for service industry workers. Bring your server’s ID and you will be rewarded. All beers are $1 off on Tuesdays.

Bistronomy B2B/Lobo Beast 101 — (505) 262-2222 (B2B), (505) 247-2116 (Lobo)

(B2B: Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.; Lobo: open every day 4 p.m. to close)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Call the brewpub for an updated list.

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: Patriot Porter, La Onza White Ale, Old Shonie Scottish Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Zeus Juice White IPA. The Zeus Juice is the newest seasonal at Boese.

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

News: They are still working on building their website. You can follow them on their Facebook page.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Mosaic S.M.A.S.H., Beermosa, Team Dave, Amber Rye, Bosque Ale, Red Cs (Nob Hill and Las Cruces), Just For Fun, Tu-Bock Shakur (Nob Hill and Las Cruces). The Red Cs (6.3% ABV, 35 IBU) is a red ale made with seven different hops that all start with, you guessed it, the letter C.

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

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

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

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Tumbling Waters (Pale Wheat), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Dust Up (Pale Ale), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Bison Eye Rye, Hefeweizen. The Bison Eye Rye is an unfiltered pale ale made with rye, as if you could not guess by the name. It is the second in a series of four specialty pale ales from Bow & Arrow.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow will have a happy hour for the first time, Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Kodiak Brown, Black and Blue Sour, K.O. Kolsch, Mosaic S.M.A.S.H., Black Eye-PA, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Baltic Bear Porter (bombers only). A Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout will be on nitro by week’s end. You can all start rejoicing.

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

Events: Geeks Who Drink is held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery (formerly Distillery 365) — (505) 221-6281

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

Beers: 365 ESB, Happenstance All-Day Blonde, Happenstance Better Red Than Dead. The All-Day Blonde is the first in a new series of beers created by Broken Trail’s new brewing partners, and the Better Red Than Dead is their second.

Other Events: 10 Drink Minimum will host a Cards Against Humanity night every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broken Trail has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

Coming up on June 18, Broken Trail’s outdoor movie night will be back with Purple Rain.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Irish Red, Kira Ora New Zealand Session IPA, Sundance Kolsch, Exodus IPA, That’s How It Gose, Hop Baller IPA. There are plenty of hoppy options, such as the new Hop Baller (7.6% ABV, 99 IBU). But there is also the Gose, which was kettle-soured and brewed with orange peel, coriander, and sea salt.

Live Music: Thursday—Alex Maryol, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday—Keith Sanchez, 4 to 7 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout), Inebriator (Doppelbock), Kilt Kicker (Smoked Scottish), Festival (Oktoberfest), Primo with spruce tips (Brown Ale), Blood Brothers (Prickly Pear Berliner Weisse), Agave (American Hefe). Cazuela’s has now expanded to having 10 taps on site, so they have brought four old favorites from the cellar in the Festival, Primo, Blood Brothers, and Agave.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Vermilion, River Gose, Chamiso Mexican Lager, Caramel Kolsch. The Vermilion is a red ale that lies somewhere between the maltier Irish style and the hop-forward West Coast style.

News: Congratulations to Chama River, the winner of this year’s Stout Challenge with Sleeping Dog Stout.

The Firkin Brewhouse — (505) 881-0702

(Mon-Thu 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30 a.m.–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Ombibulous IPA, Bootleggers Vanilla Nut Brown, Jailhouse Java Stout, McFinnigan’s Ale, The Dawn of the Red, 11th Hour, What’s Up Beech, Peach Hefe. The most recent addition is the Peach Hefe, which was made with orange peel, ginger, and of course peaches, a perfect summer mix.

Live Music: Saturday—Montana, Still Closed For Repairs, Melissa Rios, 7 p.m.

Other Events: Monday—Poker Night, 7 to 10 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Cards Against Humanity, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Milk Stout, London Porter, Honk Ale, Maibock, Classic Amber, Wheat IPA, Red Card, German Pilsner, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha, Ship’s Hull Barrel-Aged IPA. The Ship’s Hull is the first barrel-aged beer that Kaktus has ever done. Head over and check out the first of they hope will be a series of barrel-aged beers.

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on almost every Thursday at the Nob Hill taproom and then Sunday in Bernalillo from 6 to 8 p.m. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out.

Every Sunday in Bernalillo, Kaktus is hosting a brunch special from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., with breakfast pizzas and drink specials.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: It’s Not EVEN Brown, Cascade Hop Back, VMO #2, Arrogant Bastard, Strawberry Gose. The Brown is nearly out, so hurry over to help finish off the last of it. The Gose is an experience unto itself, so try that as well.

Live Music: Saturday—Stanlie Lee and The Step-Ins, 6 to 9 p.m.

Other Events: Yoga is back at the taproom every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: New Zealand IPA, Apricot Wheat, Scottish 80, Hefeweizen, Long Nosed Tripel. There are three recent additions in the Scottish, Hefe, and Tripel. The latter is an old favorite, but beware the ABV (9.2%), for it will sneak up on you.

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

Events: Lizard Tail will host Geeks Who Drink every Tuesday at 8 p.m. Every Thursday will now feature karaoke from 8 to 11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739

(Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Both locations — 111 Farmhouse, Brettana Rouge, Mosaic Pale Ale; Downtown only — Double IPA; Westside only — none. The new Brettanna Rouge (6.8% ABV) is the Red Ale aged in Chardonnay barrels and spiked with brettanomyces.

Live Music (downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Markland, 6 to 9 p.m.; Thursday—Silver String Band, 7 to 11 p.m.; Friday—Funk Tractor, 8 to 11 p.m.

Live Music (West Side): Today (Wednesday)—Todd Tijerina, 6 to 9 p.m.; Friday—Entangled Dreams, 8 to 11 p.m.; Saturday—Youngsville, 7 to 10 p.m.

Other Events: Brewery tours occur at the Downtown Pub every Thursday at 5:30 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.)

Beers: Hibiscus Imperial Cream, The Darker Fare, Imperial Pilsner. Say hello to the Imperial Pilsner (8.7% ABV, 32 IBU). Nexus has always done the big malty beers well, and this beer is no different.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Monday–Friday, 3 to 5 p.m., get $5 off appetizers

Pi Brewing — (505) 890-9463

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

Beers: Prohibition Pilsner, Hoppy Ending IPA, Scotty Doesn’t Know, Red Headed Stranger, 5 O’Hop Somewhere. The most recent additions are the Red Headed Stranger (6.3% ABV, 65 IBU) and a session IPA called 5 O’Hop Somewhere (5.1% ABV, 60 IBU). Also, take note the Scotty is nearly out, so get it while you can.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Saison Chet Sauvage, Berliner Weisse, Stage One DIPA, Manzanita Milk Stout, Spanglish, Shark Bite Lager. The Manzanita is a tasty milk stout that is not overly sweet. The lactose and roasted malts exist in good balance.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: Knotted Blonde, Rye’t Side of Dublin, Mor-buck IPA, Quarter Porter, Crimson Lass, Irish Extra Stout, Cranberry Sangria Wheat, Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Saoirse Hefeweizen, Biggest Small Beer Ever. The BSBE is a collaboration beer for American Craft Beer Week. We got the full scoop on this imperial porter, which is served on nitro.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Shift Ender Golden Lager, Vanilla Cream Ale, Bad Moon Ryesing, Gluten Removed IPA, Belgian Dubbel. The Bad Moon (6.3% ABV, 51 IBU) is a burly black rye pale ale. There is nothing sweet about this beer, it’s just a dark beast that is not for the weak of palate.

Live Music: Tuesday—Aaron Plays Random Music, 7 to 9 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast. From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon–Thu noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Randy’s Red Ale, Duke City Pilsner, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Barley Wine (regular and barrel aged), Winterfest Marzen, Darkside Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout. Yes, we helped make that monstrosity of a barrel-aged imperial. It’s a decadent 11-percent ABV, so be careful when consuming.

Live Music: Thursday—Jill Cohn, 4 p.m., Grace Askew, 6:30 p.m.; Friday—Smoke on the Rio, noon, Eryn Bent, 4 p.m., Broken Rules Band, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—Double Plow with Scotty & the Atomics, 4 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

(Mon–Sat 8 a.m.–8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Call the brewery for an updated list.

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 288-6468

(Mon–Thurs 3–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–10 p.m., Sun noon–8 p.m.)

Beers: Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Switchgear IPA, Crossbuck Pale Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Shoofly Wheat. The new Shoofly replaces the 3:10 to Belen Brown in the lineup, just in time for the warmer weather.

Cask: The Switchgear and Pub Ale will be in the firkins all week.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, Thunderr Ale, Problem Child Porter, Red Zepplin. The taps are turning over pretty frequently at Starr Brothers, but that’s because people are drinking them up at a rapid pace. So if you see a favorite listed above, head over now, before this batch runs out.

News: Next up on the beer docket are Electric Sun Wheat and L.A. Woman California Blonde.

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

(Nob Hill is open Sunday-Wednesday noon to midnight, Thursday noon to 2 a.m., Friday-Saturday noon to 2 a.m.; Wells Park is open Monday-Thursday 3 p.m. to close, Friday-Sunday 1 p.m. to midnight.
 Last call 30 minutes before close. 
No package after midnight.
 Brewery tours Saturday at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Berry Cider, Stein Wine, Veruca Salt Gose, Half-Acre Hefe, Maibock, Desert Flower IPA, Hop Splitter IPA, Grapefruit Wheat, Cerveza New Mexican, Tupac Cali Red. Tractor has a double dose of hops on tap, with the Desert Flower being the more unique of the two. It is heavy in Mosaic, so if that’s your hop, go get a pint or two.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—pLoud Music presents: Lorin Madsen, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Solos on the Hill: Russell James Pyle, 8 p.m.

Other Events: Every Monday at Wells Park you can now find Mondays on the Mic hosted by Kyle Ruggles starting at 6 p.m.

Kamikaze Karaoke is back at Wells Park on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

You can grab your own musical instrument and head to Nob Hill for the ultimate jam session. Tractor Tune Up, hosted by the Virginia Creepers, is now an official event happening every Monday starting at 7:30 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2 classic beers and $3 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Session Red, Gose With The Flow, For the Bees, Hemisphere Hopper ESB. Head over for some Hemisphere Hopper quickly, as it is nearly out. This unique take on an ESB was the product of a collaboration between TMBC and Second Street.

News: When the Hopper runs out, Bien Tu Helles Bock will be ready to take its place.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Barleywine, Continual IPA, Two Lanterns ESB, New Mexico Red. Say hello to the New Mexico Red (6.1% ABV, 78 IBU), a hop-forward ale made with Chinook, Citra, and Mosaic. They blend nicely with the caramel malts.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery hours: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m. to midnight; Fri–Sun noon to midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Cezanne Printemps (Spring Saison), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental), Harmonia (Barrel-Aged Sour IPA). Say hello to the Harmonia and Cezanne Printemps. They are available at the brewery and at the ABQ taproom.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy-hour Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

News: Duel’s Albuquerque taproom has opened, and they are serving food from their European-style deli in addition to the beer. For more info, check out our recent story.

ABQ Live Music: Thursday—Silver String Band, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Alex Maryol, 7 p.m.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, La Bete Noire, Chaiway to Hell (ECS), Freestyle Pilsner, EXP-ESB, Western Bloc Wheat IPA. The EXP-ESB is named such because it features an experimental hop numbered 345. This trial batch checks in at 6.6-percent ABV and 35 IBUs and you can try it at every SFBC location.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Civil Rye, High Wheeler Pale Ale, Rod’s Best Bitter, 2920 Pilsner, Amber Ale, Otowi Pale Ale. The most recent additions are the High Wheeler, Rod’s Best, and 2920 Pilsner.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Mystic Lizard; Saturday—The Bill Hearne Trio

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Lone Pinon; Saturday—AMP Concert on the Railyard Plaza with a beer garden provided by Second Street

Other Events: Every Tuesday night, the Railyard location will have Open Mic Night hosted by Ben Wright. Every Thursday night, Geeks Who Drink will be at the Railyard at 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

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

Beers: Adam Bier, Hoppenheimer IPA, Kristy Kream, Fitz’s Cherry Quad on Rye, Rubber Ducky Red, Don’t Touch Maibock, Becquerel on Brett. Another big tap turnover just went down in Los Alamos, with some truly creative names alongside old stalwart Hoppenheimer. Kristy Kream is a vanilla cream ale.

Events: Bathtub Row hosts an Open Mic Night every Thursday at 6 p.m.

Twisted Chile Brewing — (575) 835-2949

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

Beers: Pilabo Pale Ale, Zia Pilsner, 790 IPA, Hose Co. 1 Red Lager, Venom IPA, Twisted Black IPA, KC’s Irish Stout Orgazzberry.

Live Music: Friday—Moral Turpitude, 5:30 to 7 p.m., Harmonica Mike, 7 to 10 p.m.

Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open mic, 6:30 to 9 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

You had one job for this photo, Jeff. One job! At least it was safe at the brewery.

You had one job for this photo, Jeff. One job! (At least it was safe at the brewery.)

As soon as the World Beer Cup results were announced, we decided to do the impossible and get the six Albuquerque-based winning brewers to meet at the same place at the same time. It can be the hardest thing in the world to find even a sliver of free time for some of the busiest people in the city, right before their busiest production time of the year.

Luckily, Jeff Erway of La Cumbre, Justin Hamilton of Boxing Bear, and Kaylynn McKnight of Nexus were all able to join me over at Matanza on Wednesday afternoon. They just so happened to be the three brewers who brought home gold medals, so that worked out nicely. Even if Jeff forgot to bring his for the picture. (These things happen.)

Do not worry, we will do our best to track down the other three winners from Albuquerque, as well as the Second Street brewing team up in Santa Fe, who brought home a silver.

To recap the winners:

  • Honey Beer (55 total entries): Gold — Honey Chamomile Wheat, Nexus
  • Kellerbier or Zwickelbier (59): Bronze — Pilsner, Marble
  • International-Style Lager (103): Gold — BEER, La Cumbre
  • Bohemian-Style Pilsner (65): Silver — High Plains Pils, Canteen
  • Australian- or International-Style Pale Ale (84): Bronze — Bosque IPA, Bosque
  • Sweet Stout or Cream Stout (63): Gold — Chocolate Milk Stout, Boxing Bear
  • Imperial IPA (181): Silver — Trebuchet, Second Street

As for the trio that did show up, they had a lot to say, ranging from what the awards mean for the local beer scene, what they mean to each brewery, and, of course, their appropriately wacky celebrations when their awards were announced.

“I was walking down the street in Philadelphia,” Jeff said. “I’d made the ceremony several times and I didn’t really need to eat that food anymore, so we made some reservations at a very nice steakhouse. I was listening to the ceremony and it got to my category and I stopped in the middle of the street in the rain. And I waited. I had dozens of people looking at me as I jumped up and down and shouted profanities in the middle of the street in Philadelphia as I was walking towards this rather swanky steakhouse. And then Daniel (Jaramillo) and Scot (Nelson) and I made a scene outside the restaurant.”

People in Philadelphia rarely get to celebrate much of anything these days sports-wise, so yeah, they were probably looking at Jeff rather quizzically. The audience for Kaylynn and Justin was more contained.

“So, I was invited to the dinner, but didn’t eat,” Kaylynn said. “It was awful because there were no chairs for anyone that didn’t eat. I was sitting along the back wall. I couldn’t see most of the screen, names of beers, or anything. I was sitting against the wall with Andrew (Krosche). They announced the bronze, not my beer. They announced the silver, and I’m like, ‘Shit! Well, this isn’t happening. I’m certainly not getting gold.’ Andrew looks at me and said, ‘Guess the gold is yours, then.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, right.’ So, then they’re like ‘Honey Chamomile’ —”

“Somebody else made a Honey Chamomile Wheat?!” Jeff interjected. “Who the hell’s beer is that?!”

“I stand up so I could see the screen and said, ‘Holy shit, it does say Nexus Brewery!’” Kaylynn continued without skipping a beat. “I hugged Andrew and gave him a big kiss. Then I ran to the front — well, I walked.”

Kaylynn was actually the first brewer to see her beer win. Poor Justin was actually the last, and he had quite the seat for the entire long ceremony.

“I was sitting right there at the front rail,” Justin said, “with John, Jotham, Gabe, and Jessica from Bosque —”

“You were right there, you picked me up and started squeezing me!” Kaylynn added.

“I was like right in the front row, just a terrible place to be, staring up at that huge screen the whole time,” Justin continued. “I see that go up and I jump up like it’s my brewery. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs and they’re going, ‘You’re wearing a Boxing Bear shirt.’ I started looking around for her. When I saw her I gave her a big hug. It was the first win for New Mexico that night. I was waiting for that one, too. I knew that was your category.”

Then came the wait.

“I was seeing everyone else win medals; I was Category 76 or something like that,” Justin said. “We had one just a few categories before, so I knew it was this or nothing. I was sitting next to John Bullard at the time and he was like, ‘You’re going to go.’ Same thing, bronze (nothing), the silver comes out and I was like that’s it.

“When gold goes out, they announced the name the same time it scrolls across the screen. I’m like what? I thought the same thing, somebody else made a Chocolate Milk Stout. The first syllable and I’m like, woo! I was so tired that morning, we’d been up for days. I was exhausted, so I’m just staring at the wall thinking whatever and then it happens. What? What just happened? I jumped up, grabbed Dylan (Davis), gave him a big hug. It was a great feeling to have. It was an awesome, awesome day.”

Jeff noted the connections between the various winning breweries. Justin succeeded Jeff at Chama River once upon a time. Kaylynn met Jeff at Chama, then moved to La Cumbre and learned to brew there before taking over at Nexus. Most of the other winning breweries also had varying degrees of connections.

Kaylynn insisted on the traditional thumbs up/cheesy smile picture as well. Clearly, Jeff needs to work on this pose.

Kaylynn insisted on the traditional thumbs up/cheesy smile picture as well. Clearly, Jeff needs to work on this pose.

“The past few years it’s happened a few times that, whether the World Beer Cup or the Great American Beer Festival, La Cumbre hasn’t even taken home any medals,” Jeff said. “It never feels good, but you learn to suck it up and, um, be very responsible afterwards. But, it always feels good when the people you’ve worked closely with, even if you don’t work closely with them anymore, but they’ve gone on and they are successful. But, it feels even better when a whole group of you win. When you and a whole group of them feel successful, it feels great.”

That success has helped further put New Mexico craft beer on the map.

“I think it means a lot, of course,” Justin said. “It means that we knew we had good beer in New Mexico, but it’s saying we still have good beer in New Mexico. It’s a pretty flooded market. I don’t know if flooded is the right word. It’s a very heavy flow market. Being that, it’s good to know that the guys, and girls, who have been brewing for a long time, we (still) know what we’re doing.”

That certainly seemed to be the case with silvers to Canteen and Second Street, two of the longest running breweries in the state, and bronzes to Marble and Bosque, two recent powerhouses whose brewers’ careers go back well before either place opened.

“Is anybody really surprised by the beers and breweries that won?” Jeff asked. “First off, is it just me, or is it kind of shocking that the beers in Albuquerque that medaled, four of them, have medals before in the exact same categories. That doesn’t just say we’re good one time, but these are consistently really good examples of the style.

“In addition, yes, yes, we’re really good at making IPAs (but) Albuquerque didn’t medal at all — well, Bosque, OK, it medaled in a hoppy category — but everyone else didn’t medal in a hop-forward category.”

The biggest hop-forward victory went to Second Street and brewmaster Rod Tweet, who took silver in the Imperial IPA category for Trebuchet. It was the second biggest category in terms of entries with 181.

“That was amazing,” Justin said. “Even though it’s a silver, that was the best medal won. I will put it on the table. The most competitive of those categories. It’s Rod, who’s O.G.”

Jeff credited the tight-knit community of brewers with helping each other improve over the years.

“Everybody that won medals has all worked together,” Jeff said. “Everybody from Albuquerque that has won medals all worked together, at one point or another, in one way or another. Take a note, from these medals that one, become experienced in your craft. And two, if you’re a brewer that is trying to make truly the best beer that you possibly can, don’t try to live in a bubble. You will never learn anything, you will never become better. I have been, for the last six months, begging these people to try BEER. The feedback that you can get from them, if you genuinely want it, is genuine and it’s real.”

With so many new places opening, many staffed by brewers who are not from the vast Chama River/La Cumbre/Marble family tree, Justin said the goal now is to reach out to them and bring them into the fold.

“Good beer is good for everybody,” he said. “Especially with some of the new ones. Even if you’re a newcomer to the scene, I don’t care who you are, if you have good beer, that’s the most important thing. Good beer promoted this city, this state. That’s why we’re here, to make good beer.”

Do not expect any of the winners to rest on their laurels.

“Winning a gold medal does not mean that La Cumbre BEER cannot get better,” Jeff said. “I want to continue to make it better so the next time it is a double gold.”

“I think that’s what the true New Mexico beers, what I’ve grown into for the last 10 years, it’s all about the best beer you can possibly make,” Justin added. “Everyone I know is trying to improve their beers. There’s so little (complacency).

“That’s what it comes down to, there’s always room for improvement. Yeah, my beer won gold, but there’s little things about it that I’d like to fix. There’s always room for improvement, there’s always room to get better.”

One other thing that Kaylynn pointed out was that beer drinkers and their tastes change over time as well. It is something that the breweries must be aware of and willing to adapt to as necessary.

“One thing I heard as I got more into beer is that our palates are constantly evolving, too,” Kaylynn said. “Every bit more you learn, every bit more you taste, it’s going to have an impact. Your palate is always improving or tasting something different, experiencing it in different ways.”

The final question asked at our sit-down was not from me, but from Jeff.

“The question I have for the two of you is, what do you think this is going to do for your business?” Jeff asked Justin and Kaylynn. “Besides put a nice thing on the wall.”

“Besides put a nice thing on the wall, for me what it will do for my business will bring me recognition in a very competitive market with lots of new breweries opening up,” Justin replied. “It’s been the hardest thing for me right now. We opened at the same time as several other breweries. Knowing I have good beer, and generally the general public usually knows (what is) good beer, but sometimes you just support people because you like them, sometimes it’s for different reasons.

“I think it can do things for your business, but I think more than anything it brings back (positive) recognition for your brewery. Whether or not that beer itself sells well or not, people are coming into your brewery, and I have people asking me about GABF all the time. It’s random people. People do see it. But, what I think it does is people think they know good beer, but when they see a medal, especially a gold medal, it reaffirms that.”

As for Kaylynn, she went right to the point.

“I’m really happy to win a medal because my place is almost entirely focused on food,” Kaylynn said. “And, it’s really nice to be able to point to that.”

In the end, we, brewers and beer geeks/writers alike, can only continue to hope that awards like those won at the World Beer Cup, or Great American Beer Festival, or anywhere else, can only further prove to beer drinkers everywhere that some of the best liquid in the country is being poured right here in our humble state of New Mexico.

Thank you to Jeff, Justin, and Kaylynn for meeting up to chat. It is always enlightening, and often entertaining, to share in the perspective and many, many opinions of our brewers.

Fear not, the Crew will catch up with the rest of the winners when our schedules align.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister