Posts Tagged ‘North Coast Brewing’

That little construction project on McMahon near Unser is the forthcoming west side taproom for Tractor.

Time to clear out the old beer notebook once again …

Tap That offers up a different approach

For those who do not follow us on Facebook, you might have missed our discovery, per reader Matthew Abeyta, that there is a new taproom opening up this weekend. It is not, however, like most (or possibly) taprooms you have ever been to before.

Tap That, located on Montgomery just west of Louisiana (near the old Heimat House/Assets Grille), is hosting its grand opening starting at 5 p.m. today (Friday). The concept, as explained to us by our friend Angelo Orona, is where people come in, get a hi-tech bracelet, and use it to order the beers. There will also be a full food menu. It is not quite like one of those serve yourself taprooms that have popped up in other states (that is still against the law in this state, as far as we know), but it will be a different concept.

We would share more from the Albuquerque Business First story that ran a few weeks ago, but it is locked behind the subscriber-only paywall. Needless to say, if you can afford a subscription (we cannot), go get it, and help some fellow journalists stay employed.

Otherwise, head over to Tap That and let us know what you think. With luck, and a little free time, the Crew will head over there soon as well.

Tastings, tappings, and more

Outside the breweries, there is a fair amount going on this weekend that will keep us plenty busy. It starts today (Friday) at 4 p.m. as North Coast Brewing will be at Jubilation, presenting their most excellent Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout and other beers for tasting. Word is there will even be two bottles of the barrel-aged Rasputin, XVII and XX. It runs until 6 p.m. and is free, of course, but it is so hard to roll into Jubilation these days and not roll out with a box full of delicious beers from around the country and some delectable local offerings as well.

Once you are done there, head on down to Sister for a Bell’s tap takeover that starts at 5 p.m. In addition to the worth-the-hype Hopslam, an imperial IPA brewed with honey, there will be multiple other varieties available as well. The one we are excited about is the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cherry Stout, which many folks have told us is a much more balanced version than the regular batch.

For events at breweries, might we suggest going to Marble Westside tonight at 8 to see our friend Kristen’s band, String Dinner. Hopefully her other band, Distances, which might be the best metal band in Albuquerque, will be performing again soon somewhere.

If anyone needs to get out of town this weekend, our friends at Truth or Consequences Brewing have suggested a trip south. Take a dip in the hot springs to relax, then head over to the brewery for some fun and new beers. Big River IBA (7.5% ABV, 69 IBU) went on tap Thursday. It is an India Brown Ale, a fun take on a slightly different IPA. The brewery has live music ever Friday and Saturday night, too. Special upcoming concerts include The Pine Hill Haints on Tuesday and The Booze Bombs on Thursday, both at 7 p.m. The latter band is described as German rockabilly, which has us imagining Rammstein crossed with Reverend Horton Heat, or something like that.

The TorC staff recommends The Firewater Lodge, The Blackstone, Riverbend, Las Palomas, The Charles, Indian Springs, and The Pelican as the best places to stay the night.

New brewery/taproom updates

  • High & Dry Brewing has quietly opened in the southeast. I took a tour the other day with brewer/owner Andrew Kalemba, so look for our full story early next week. For now, there are six guest taps available, but the house beers will not be on tap until the grand opening on February 10. It is a sweet little space that they have built on Adams just south of Lomas. It also might be one of the most deceptive taprooms in town. From the outside it looks quite small, but the inside can fit up to 88 people, with even more room in the back for brewing.
  • Tractor has a pending license for its forthcoming west side taproom, plus some pictures went up on social media this week (see above). Look for that space to open in the coming months.
  • It appears the mysterious 1933 Brewing Company announced for Rio Rancho will be moving into the old Fat Squirrel Pub and Grill on Southern Boulevard. Long ago, of course, that was the original location of Turtle Mountain. It will not be owned by the folks behind Pi Brewing, who also previously owned the Fat Squirrel, but by new owners.
  • Construction continues apace at Cantero and Lava Rock, but neither appears close to opening its doors. The Ponderosa taproom at the El Vado Motel redevelopment has been delayed (more on that with the Ponderosa Look Back/Look Ahead Series article coming next week) and will probably not open until later in the spring.
  • Another new addition to the list of pending small brewer licenses is Casa Vieja LLC in Corrales. We are pretty sure we know what this one is, too, but for now we are remaining mum at the request of the owner.

That is all from us today. As always, please let us know whenever you see anything out there that you think is beer news:


— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Bullpen member Amy O recently went to Portland and found just a few things to write about. I know, big shock, lots of beer stories from Portland. Here’s the first article about a beer festival that’s being added to my personal beer bucket list. — Stoutmeister

Welcome to the Portland International Beer Festival!

Welcome to the Portland International Beer Festival!

Rose City (or City of Roses), Rip City, Stumptown, Bridgetown, P-Town, PDX … the list goes on and on. Whatever you want to call it, Portland, Oregon, really is a beer Mecca that consistently ranks in the top three beer towns in the United States. I lived there for six years and I go back and visit a few times a year, usually in conjunction with one or another of my favorite Portland beer festivals. There are many. One of my favorites was last weekend, the Portland International Beer Fest (the festival also has a “twin” Seattle International Beer Fest.)

This year the three-day festival returned to a previous, larger location in Holladay Park. The park has plenty of space and shade, and is easily accessible via a quick ride across the river from downtown Portland on the MAX light rail. Unlike other Portland beer festivals, the lines at this event are short for entry and for beer. As is common, attendees pay an entry fee for a glass, wristband, and a starter amount of tickets. Additional tickets are available for purchase. Samples start at one ticket per four-ounce serving, with a majority of the samples only requiring one or two tickets. A very limited number of beers can cost up to seven tickets, and price is based upon the amount the beer costs the organizers.

The lines were nice and short at the festival.

The lines were nice and short at the festival.

There are hundreds of beers at this event. Most of the foreign beers were from Germany, Belgium, and England, although there was representation from as far away as New Zealand. Pilsner Urquell sponsored a beer garden with $3 pints of their beer. I spoke with a very nice Pilsner Urquell representative from San Francisco who explained their new freshness initiative involving faster shipping, better packaging, and improved temperature control. The goal is to be able to offer beer that is of similar quality to the beer served at the factory in the Czech Republic. It did improve the flavor, in my opinion. Domestic craft beers were largely from western states (mostly Oregon, Washington, California, and Colorado) but there were some from the Midwest and East Coast as well.

A fairly nifty little guide to the festival.

A fairly nifty little guide to the festival.

Our group of 10 people sampled a wide variety of beers on two visits — Saturday evening and Sunday midday. Despite the fact that it is difficult to get even two people to agree on anything, we were actually able to come to a consensus on some clear favorites. The top five (no particular order) in our crowd were: “Chrome Satin,” a California Common/Steam Beer style made by Hilliard’s Beer in Seattle (5.7% ABV); “PranQster” Belgian Golden from North Coast in Fort Bragg, Calif. (7.6% ABV); “Barrel Aged Mayan Cave Bear” Belgian Strong Dark Ale from Sound Brewery in Poulsbo, Wash. (10% ABV); “Hofbrau Munchen Marzen” Marzen/Oktoberfest Style from Germany (6.3% ABV); and “Wild Turkey Barrel Stout” from Anderson Valley, Calif. (6.9% ABV). It’s also a tradition dating back many years now that we all get at least one “Black Boss” Baltic Porter from Poland (9% ABV) at every Portland International Beer Fest. (Editor’s note: I’ve seen PranQster and Hofbrau available at stores in New Mexico, and the Wild Turkey Barrel Stout may also be available as Anderson Valley does distribute here. Franz Solo will probably track it down at some point. — S)

Sadly, there were no New Mexican beers at this event. I would love to see more representation from New Mexico breweries at out of state beer festivals. We may lack volume, but certainly not the quality. All of our top breweries produce beer that can easily match up, so I believe it’s high time to show them off to the world! The International Beer Fest is a great place to start. I mean, after all, some people in this country have no idea New Mexico is even part of the United States. At least I was never asked to “show my passport.” That has happened to me once or twice in the States, though, thankfully never in Oregon.


— Amy O