Posts Tagged ‘Oskar Blues’

This will be one of the many cans poured tonight at Burning Can in Santa Fe. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

This will be one of the many cans poured tonight at Burning Can in Santa Fe. (Photo courtesy of Marble)

Editor’s note: Julie attended the Friday night main event, and filed a quick bit of info of what folks can expect tonight. Remember, this is not a traditional unlimited sampling festival. I’ll let her explain the rest below.

If you go: Breweries who will have staff on-site tonight (Saturday) include Santa Fe Brewing, Marble, and NM Hard Cider. Founders, Ballast Point, and Oskar Blues are served up by reps from Whole Foods. This is not a tasting event, and you’ll be allowed three drinks (tonight that means three 12-ounce cans). Food trucks are separated from the beer, and you may have to wait quite a while if the crowd is thick. Last night, some people waited more than 45 minutes for food. As you can imagine, this cuts into your beer-drinking time, so come prepared. Dogs are not allowed within the bike expo and beer garden, but are allowed in Fort Marcy park on a leash. Overall, the Fort Marcy site is a nice upgrade from the Railyard — parking is easier and there is fresh air and space to spread out. A pump track is set up next to the playground equipment, so pack the kids’ bikes, too.

Here’s the other two that Oskar Blues will have tonight.

Old Chub (8.0% ABV, 25 IBU) Oskar Blues brings their outstanding Scottish-style ale to add to the Burning Can mix tonight at Outside Bike & Brew.

OB IPA (6.43% ABV, 70 IBU) Their unusual IPA is hopped with hand-selected Australian hops, and delivers a nice, full body with a pineapple/citrus aftertaste.

Cheers!

— Julie

Oskar Blues' New Mexico rep, Jacob Cox, shows off the goods with beer lovers Mat and Dominique.

Oskar Blues’ New Mexico rep, Jacob Cox, shows off the goods with beer lovers Mat and Dominique.

Editor’s note: Julie is going to try to hit up as many events as possible this weekend during the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe. Because she’s out and about, I’m posting all of her stories on the site to make things a little easier. The WordPress phone app is good for checking the little things, not trying to write an entire story. — Stoutmeister

Tasting notes from Oskar Blues Can Pack (a preview of the scaled-down Burning Can happening Saturday)

Location: Jean Cocteau Cinema

People got super excited about the idea of a Burning Can festival here in Santa Fe, and even though it’s not happening at full scale, we do have a mini version as part of Saturday’s Outside Bike & Brew activities. The breweries lined up for Saturday will be serving up the goods in 12-ounce cans only. We got a preview of what Oskar Blues will be slinging, and you can get it at most outlets here in New Mexico in the form of their Canundrum pack. Right now, it’s made up of the following four brews:

There's a summer brew if we've ever seen one.

There’s a summer brew if we’ve ever seen one.

1. Pinner Throwback IPA (4.9% ABV, 35 IBU) This has been one of my favorite hot-weather beers since it was introduced. It has a solid profile with a nice, hoppy edge. I like to describe it as pilsner IPA. My friend who only drinks dark beer and is not a fan of IPAs swears that this is the one of two IPAs she can handle (the other is Founders All Day IPA).

2. Momma’s Yella Pils (5.3% ABV, 35 IBU) This Czech pilsner-style brew is a good porch-sittin’ beer, and it has a nice, gentle hop profile to it.

3. Dale’s Pale Ale (6.5%, 65 IBU) I love this pale ale because it’s seriously on the hoppy side with 65 IBU. It’s a classic, and definitely the heavy hitter of the current Canundrum pack.

4. Beerito (4.0%, 21 IBU) This was the surprise hit of the pack. This Vienna lager-style beer includes both German and Colorado-sourced malts. The result is exceptionally drinkable and a fine new addition to summertime sipping.

Cheers! See you at (Mini) Burning Can tomorrow.

— Julie

The setup is underway for the main event for this weekend! (Photo courtesy of Outside Bike & Brew Festival)

The setup is underway for the main event for this weekend! (Photo courtesy of Outside Bike & Brew Festival)

The real fun with the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe begins today (Friday) and continues through the weekend. The main event will take place at Fort Marcy Park tonight and Saturday from 3:30 to 9 p.m. There will be live music, a beer garden, and a whole lot more.

On the music front, Pigment plays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. today, followed by Contraband from 5 to 7, and CON BRIO from 7 to 9. As for Saturday, the lineup is Mellow Mood from 3:30 to 4:30, Ribo Flavin from 5 to 7, and The Lonely Wild from 7 to 9.

Then, of course, there is the beer, which is the real reason you are probably reading this article. The lineup in breweries changes from today to Saturday, with the latter day focusing on canned beers as it will be a scaled-down version of Oskar Blues’ popular Burning Can Festival.

Here is the Friday cast of characters.

  • Blue Corn — Two Lanterns ESB, Road Runner IPA, Atomic Blonde, End of Trail Brown
  • Bathtub Row — Gose, Orange Blossom Belgo Pale, Organic Farmhouse, Wit Rock
  • Second Street — TBA
  • Bosque — Elephants on Parade, Bosque Lager, Riverwalker IPA, Brewer’s Boot, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Oaty McOat Face, Azacca SMASH, Red Cs
  • La Cumbre — Elevated, Slice of Hefen, BEER, Project Dank, and either VMO #2 or Mind Phoq
  • Ballast Point — Grapefruit Sculpin, Longfin Lager
  • Oskar Blues — TBA
  • Stone — Go To IPA, Pataskala Red IPA
  • Founders — Rubaeus, Mosaic Promise

Saturday’s beer list. Remember, it’s all cans.

  • Marble — IPA, Red, Double White, Pilsner
  • Santa Fe — TBA, but we gotta imagine Happy Camper, Freestyle Pilsner, Java Stout, and Santa Fe Gold will be present
  • NM Hard Cider — TBA
  • Stone — IPA
  • Oskar Blues — TBA
  • Founders — Rubaeus, Mosaic Promise
  • Ballast Point — Grapefruit Sculpin, Longfin Lager, Pineapple Sculpin

Passes for the weekend cost $25. Click that link up above to buy them online, or you can buy them in person at Fort Marcy Park.

There are also two beer dinners tonight. Santa Fe Brewing will be at Anasazi Restaurant, call (505) 988-3236 for more information. Sierra Nevada will be at Red Sage, the restaurant at Buffalo Thunder, so call (505) 819-2056.

Have fun this weekend, Santa Fe!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Susan's Fine Wine & Spirits in Santa Fe

Susan’s Fine Wine & Spirits is one of the best beer stores in Santa Fe.

In honor of IPA Day, I went in search of the best out-of-state session IPAs that can be found in Santa Fe. Susan’s Fine Wine and Spirits (1005 S. St. Francis Drive) is my go-to place, conveniently located between home and office. I found the beer manager, Matt Zehnder, who was likely afraid I’d repeat my offense when I went in search of new-to-us Evil Twin brews a couple of weeks ago. Yeah, I took all the beer out of the boxes. Two hours old and not in your system? Don’t care. Here’s some money, I’m running out of the store with my spoils.

When he realized I wasn’t going to pillage his nicely arranged shelves, I asked him to weigh in on what he thought were the top session IPAs coming in from points elsewhere. Luckily, we agreed on all of them. Here are our top three picks for non-New Mexico session IPAs.

Green Flash Mosaic Session IPA

Green Flash Mosaic Session IPA

Green Flash Mosaic Session IPA
(4.5% ABV, 65 IBU, 100% Mosaic Hops)

Green Flash has executed a near-perfect score with their Mosaic Session IPA. If you are an IPA fan, you are likely familiar with that hoppy kick and heady scent that their brews have. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it held true with their session IPA, as it doesn’t always translate. On a side note, Zehnder told me that Green Flash made their session IPA as one of their cost-conscious offerings because people were complaining their beer was too expensive (normally they are sold in four-packs for about $10). I happily paid $8.99 for a six-pack at Susan’s of Mosaic Session IPA — well done, Green Flash.

Appearance: Golden-hued with a clean body and nice head.

Scent: When you first open the bottle, you immediately are hit with a complex hop aroma. No traces of skunk or syrup, just clean hops. For scent alone, the Mosaic wins hands down among the brews reviewed here.

Taste: The hops profile is complex and dense, but not overpowering. The citrus notes are tampered by deep, earthy underpinnings. It’s balanced, crisp, and lets the hops shine. It has a bitter finish, but doesn’t overpower the hops profile when you are done swallowing.

Mouthfeel: Because it’s only 4.5-percent ABV, the feel remains light. This feels like a summer beer in your mouth.

Overall: Balanced, clean, and crisp, it doesn’t skimp on classic hops flavor. The clear winner of the group, this brew is going to be a staple in this girl’s repertoire for the remainder of the summer.

Full Sail's Session IPA

Full Sail’s Session IPA

Full Sail Session IPA
(5.1% ABV)

Admittedly, I was wary about this one. In the other Session (or Full Sail) beers, I haven’t found a personality trait that seems to help distinguish them from others. Yes, the stubby bottle is cute. What surprised me was the orange scent wafting from the bottle when I first opened it. The scent translated into taste, as I soon found out.

Appearance: Clear, deep gold body with a very low amount of head. No lacing.

Scent: The orange scent is light at first, but intensifies when you pour it. Overall, the scent is on the lighter side and not very bold, but is definitely there.

Taste: The orange remains on the back end, but it’s even-tempered and accompanied by hints of tangerine and melon. It’s a fairly modest taste — not over the top, and definitely not showy like the Mosaic.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation for a beer that weighs in at only 5.1-percent ABV. And, I believe the feel is a little on the thick and syrupy side to be called a true sessionable ale.

Overall: This could almost be classified as a citrus-inspired pale ale. With the carbonation and slightly syrupy feel, it definitely clocks in as a heavyweight compared to the others in this review.

Oskar Blues' Pinner Throwback IPA is the perfect summer beer.

Oskar Blues’ Pinner Throwback IPA is the perfect summer beer.

Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA
(4.9% ABV, 35 IBU)

I found this crushable summer ale in Durango this past spring after mountain biking there, and have been buying it regularly ever since. I love it because it’s supremely refreshing, light, and perfect for the summer heat. While not as forward on its hops profile as the other two, it reads as an interesting mix of hoppy pale ale and pilsner.

Appearance: Very light, clean, yellow-gold body. Decent amount of head and lacing after settling.

Scent: Fruity nose that includes peach, mango, and tangerine balanced by a very slight hint of hops.

Taste: It’s like your session IPA went and hooked up with your favorite pilsner. If that doesn’t do it for you, I urge you to try it anyhow. This is the go-to beer on that super hot day. It’s the beer you grab after a mountain bike ride to cool down. It’s light on hops and bitterness, but very well balanced. It finishes with a light, toasted aftertaste that is quickly washed away by your next sip.

Mouthfeel: Low to moderate carbonation with an exceptionally light feel in your mouth.

Overall: This beer is built for speed. It’s completely refreshing to find a style that seems to marry two very separate profiles into one stand-out summer brew.

Bonus from the cutting room floor:

Che has a very discerning sensibility when it comes to IPAs. He decided to check out one of the beers that didn't make our top-three cut.

Che has a very discerning sensibility when it comes to IPAs. He decided to check out one of the beers that didn’t make our top-three cut.

Honorable Mention: New Belgium’s Slow Ride Session IPA kept me hydrated while in Fort Worth this past weekend. Crisp, balanced and hoppy, it quenches your thirst when the heat index is triple digits.

Feel I left something out? Find me on Instagram: @craftwhores and ask me to follow up with more reviews.

Cheers!

— Julie

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old.

Everyone loved this beer (who could drink it) among Crew members, new and old. Go get some if you have not already.

So once upon a time I asked all of our writers, new and old, if they could please send me their picks for the best beers they had during ABQ Beer Week that were still available for purchase either on tap or in bottles/cans/bombers around the metro area. After waiting a long time for people to send in their picks … I realized I had never written up my own picks. Thank the Beer Gods for Untappd, or otherwise I would be babbling away on here with no idea of what I was talking about.

Basically it would be like any other weekday. (Can you zing yourself? Because I think I just did.)

Here is everyone else. And yeah, I guess this is a preview of who is joining our Brew Crew Bullpen (full bios/intros pending in a separate story).

Also, if you sense a theme here, people kinda liked that one certain IPA from a certain San Diego-based brewery.

Adam’s picks

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead (2014) (10.2% ABV, 44 IBU) Enjoyed this at a special taping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Like its un-oaked cousin, still a huge beer, but rounded vanilla notes calm it somewhat. Winey goodness, dangerously drinkable!

Oskar Blues Different Stiles (GUBNA Imperial IPA with Blood Orange and Passionfruit) (10% ABV, 100 IBU) Stumbled across this beer one night at Rock & Brews and enjoyed it so much I had to go back for more later in the week. The fruit combines with the massive hop profile to start it off tasting like fresh grapefruit juice, through to a large fruity hop finish. Outstanding beer, I hope it continues to be available.

Amy’s pick

Mother Road Lost Highway Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBU) Don’t let this “little” beer fool you. With those stats, it shouldn’t feel sessionable. But, to me it kind of did. That could be pretty dangerous. I could still taste the roasted malt characteristics and a bit of java. A pretty well-rounded, hoppy beer. Another reason to visit the brewery the next time I am in Flagstaff. Until then, I can be thankful Mother Road is now here in NM.

Brandon’s picks

Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Ballast Point (7% ABV, 70 IBU) We here in Albuquerque have been deprived of Ballast Point’s amazing lineup of beers long enough, but that all changed during the beginning of ABQ Beer Week. This seasonal variant of their award-winning Sculpin IPA brings all of the fresh citrus notes with a slight catty burst and floral notes, but with the tart addition of fresh grapefruit added in. The pairing results in a lupulin and fresh fruit explosion that is remarkably refreshing in the summer months. Find a six-pack at your local craft beer retailer and quench your thirst during the warm weather months.

Hoppy Birthday Pale Ale, Alpine Brewing (5.25% ABV, 60 IBU) Alpine Brewing also made their 505 debut during ABQ Beer Week, and Hoppy Birthday is not to be trifled with. This thing is dry-hopped like you would find in one of our dank modern-day IPAs, lending plenty of grapefruit, dank resiny notes, and bursts of lime and other citrus notes. However, it still possesses a solid pale malt bill to balance the beer out and keep it from being overwhelming or crossing into palate-wrecking territory. Mild ABV makes this a very tasty and sessionable beer. Although Alpine has yet to stock the shelves of our local stores yet, they are on their way very soon; for now, stop in at Nob Hill Bar & Grill for a pint!

Franz Solo’s picks

Note: He had a hell of a day Monday, so this is what he sent in one paragraph. Beers are highlighted in bold.

St. Bernardus Abt 12 from Heimat House is amazing. This version of (Chama River’s) Radioactive IPA that I had at BearFest was equally outstanding and an excellent preview of the IPA Challenge. Also, Turtle Mountain’s Wilde Jagd is just wonderfully distinct and I can’t wait to do a full review. The advent of the age of Ballast Point is stupendous. Tractor’s Maibock (Barnstorm Ale) was a wonderful accompaniment to Battle of the Beer Geeks. I adore (Boxing Bear’s) Body Czech Pilsner and am very happy that it garnered a recent medal, for good reason, I might add.

Julie’s pick

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin IPA (7% ABV, 70 IBU) I’ll admit, I’ve been stuffing my suitcase with this brew when traveling home from other states since I discovered it back in January. To have it readily available in New Mexico is nothing short of a hops miracle, and the kickoff for welcoming Ballast Point to the state launched this year’s Albuquerque Beer Week. Even if you’re not an IPA fan, give it a try. This beer’s light, crisp body walks the line between bitter hops and tart grapefruit and finishes incredibly smooth. Grapefruit Sculpin IPA’s hello is the scent of grapefruit, and the citrus kick is also the last thing lingering in your mouth. Scared? Don’t be. Friends of mine who are sworn enemies of grapefruit have embraced this beer wholeheartedly because of its balance — and collectively, we have stalked every last tap of it and drank it dry. Word is that Sister will soon have it on tap, and it’s sure to stay in rotation at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Buy it in six-packs at various locations in New Mexico.

Laura’s picks

Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin (7% ABV, 70 IBU) Tried this beauty at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. It is currently available at Jubilation and Total Wine. This could possibly be one of the best IPAs I have ever tried. Poured clear golden orange with a big white head. Big citrus nose of grapefruit, oranges and lemons. For a big ipa, the citrus flavor on top of a light caramel malt back backbone was perfectly balanced. Grapefruit aftertaste. Pretty much a perfect summer beer.

Ballast Point Indra Kunindra (7% ABV, 50 IBU) I tried this beer at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill Ballast Point Tap Takeover. India­style Export stout is a new style for me, this might be the only one. Poured a dark brown with and off-white head. Brewed with curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut, and Kaffir lime leaf! All of the spices in a coconut stout. Beers like this make this hobby so much fun. (Note: It should come back at some point, but we cannot guarantee this beer is still available anywhere in ABQ.)

Mother Road Lost Highway Imperial Black IPA (8% ABV, 100 IBUs) I tried this for the second time at ABQ Blues & Brews. Poured a dark brown, almost black, with a light tan head. Mouthfeel and roastiness of an Imperial Stout along with the resiny bitterness of a Black IPA. Heavy, but not too heavy to enjoy a couple in the same evening.

Marble Brewing Brett IPA (6.8% ABV, 93 IBUs) I tried this at the Marble Westside Taproom during the Beer, Cheese, & More event. It is available there on tap and in bottles. I have been struggling to get the hype of the brett and sour beers, but loved the blend of the flavors in this beer. Order one on tap and slowly let the temperature increase to bring out the complexities in this beer. The brett is more dominant with the increase. Great crossover beer that I highly recommend.

Uncle Jacob's will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Uncle Jacob’s will forever remain an all-time Brew Crew favorite.

Stoutmeister’s picks

Ballast Point Victory at Sea (10% ABV, 60 IBU) There were so many good beers on BP night at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, but not all of them involved a certain fruit I am allergic to put into an otherwise great IPA. Anyway, instead I indulged in this massive blast of malty goodness. Think one of the strongest coffees you have ever had, with a copious amount of vanilla cream dumped in there, then thickened up to the point of where your spoon stands straight up. Yeah, that is this beer. At last check, NHBG still had some left on tap. Whenever bombers appear at Jubilation, I fully expect the staff to warn me in advance. Otherwise I’m charging in there like Franz and Brandon into a Slayer mosh pit, elbows up, to make sure I get some.

Left Hand Oak Aged Wake Up Dead: See Adam’s entry above, he got it right.

Santa Fe Ever Changing Series #3 Highland Heath (9% ABV, 20 IBU) Fear not, the third entry in the ECS is heading our way soon on tap and in bottles. I will be buying many of them. The folks at SFBC took a Scottish ale, aged in barrels for six months, and tossed in copious amounts of heather, chamomile, and rose hips. It’s flowery and boozy and malty and that’s just what hits you right off the bat. A dominating debut at Blues & Brews. Here’s hoping I get to a festival this summer where they go even crazier and run this one through R2Beer2. Not that I’m suggesting anything here, Silas. But good ahead if you want.

Bosque/Canteen Hoppiness Envy (7.2% ABV, 100 IBU) A truly beautiful collaboration IPA, I sincerely hope some is still available at Canteen (not sure about Bosque). This is a big, mean hop bomb, the brainchild of the men who finished first and second at the National IPA Challenge this year and at the New Mexico IPA Challenge last summer. It is bitter, sharp, resinous, yet with that maltier backbone that is more common to Mr. Bullard’s big IPAs. In many ways this is the best of both worlds, but no one has to be assimilated. (Sorry, geek moment there, couldn’t resist.) Here is hoping more of our breweries have the time and energy to collaborate in the future. Anyone else want to see Bosque, Canteen, and La Cumbre make a Triple IPA together? I sure do.

Avery Uncle’s Jacob’s Stout (16.9% ABV, N/A IBU) There may still be some of this epic, barrel-aged imperial available on tap at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and in bottles at Jubilation. If there is, GO GET IT NOW. Seriously, this is one of the best beers I have ever had in my life. Yes, I am saying that. About a stout. Do you doubt its power? DO YOU?! I do not care how warm it is getting outside, you need this beer in your life if you have never had it before. Huge bourbon notes, that wonderful vanilla, massive dark malt blast, all wrapped up in one beautiful beer. Just note the ABV, please, and do not do anything stupid afterward. Like try to talk. It will leave you speechless.

Honorable mentions (a.k.a. editor’s privilege): Ballast Point Dorado DIPA, Ballast Point Black Marlin Porter, Nexus T.N.G. Porter, Deschutes Mirror Mirror Barley Wine, New Mexico Craft Brewing Rye Stout (available up in Las Vegas), Ponderosa Brunch Stout, Cazuela’s Primo Brown Ale, Duel’s amber sour of mystery (you had to be there), Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca Alien Milk Stout, Sandia Chile Grill Dirty Steve Mead, Monks’ Tripel Reserve, St. Bernardus Abt 12 (at Heimat House!), Widmer Bros. Raspberry Chocolate Russian Imperial Stout, Odell Barrel Thief Oak Aged Imperial IPA.

All right, that is all from us. Had a few favorites that we overlooked? Email us your picks at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or just send us stuff via the usual social media outlets.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Bike&BrewLogo1Right smack dab in the middle of American Craft Beer Week, Outside Magazine’s giant celebration of all things craft beer and cycling kicks off with a barrage of beer dinners, pairing culinary creations from some of Santa Fe’s finest chefs, with beers from New Mexico, California, and Colorado craft breweries. As the Crew now has me to cover the Santa Fe scene, I’ll be bringing you a taste of what’s in store for the beer dinners of the 2015 Outside Bike & Brew festival, which runs this Wednesday through Sunday.

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Wednesday (2 events)

Fire and Hops

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Fire and Hops will be partnering with Oskar Blues for a four-course dinner. Details: No reservations necessary, but this will be a first-come, first-served event. Cost: $50 per person. Why: Pairings will include a four courses with four 10-ounce beers including Pinner Throwback IPA, Blood Orange Triple Throwback IPA, Good Game Belgium Quad, and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. Bonus: Price includes Oskar Blues Logo Pint. Where: 222 N. Guadalupe St.

Cowgirl Santa Fe

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Cowgirl is pairing up with Sierra Nevada Brewing for this event. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 982-2565. Where: 319 S. Guadalupe St. Why: Sierra Nevada and Cowgirl barbecue. Mmm, barbecue.

Thursday (5 events)

Blue Corn Brewery

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Blue Corn is pairing Chef David Sundberg’s own carefully chosen plates with head brewer James Warren’s latest brews. Details: For reservations, call (505) 438-1800. Cost: $35 per guest. Where: 4056 Cerrillos Rd. Why: New local beers! From the website: “Head Brewer James Warren and Chef David Sundberg collaborate closely to develop creative, extraordinary beer and food pairings. Guests are able to interact with both the brewer and chef at the Brewer’s Table to discover their methods and philosophies behind creating outstanding brews and meals.”

Menu:

Farmhouse Saison-Corned Pork Tacos
Kaiser Farms pork “brisket” house-cured on flour tortillas with Baja sauce and 40k Honey Wheat onions
Pairing: American IPA

Southwest Chop Salad
Pickled squash stuffed with nopales, bonita beans and farmer’s market veggies, herb vinaigrette, Tucumcari Mountain feta cheese
Pairing: Barrel-Aged Black Belgian Pale Ale

Lamb Duo
Talus Wind Ranch lamb jalapeño popper, yogurt & garlic marinated lamb kebab, sweet corn beggar’s purse and grilled spring onion
Pairing: Imperial Goze

Dessert
Russian Imperial Stout chocolate cake
Prickly pear custard & lemon-spice pate brisee

Dr. Field Goods Kitchen

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Dr. Field Goods is pairing with New Belgium Brewing Company. Cost: $25 per person. Details: No reservations accepted. Get there early! Where: 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite A1. Why: Here you receive four 4-ounce pours of the following New Belgium beers, 2015 La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Lips of Faith Pear Ginger, Trippel Belgium Tripel, and 1554 Black Lager. From website: The menu will consist of a charcuterie plate highlighting Dr. Field Goods’ new butcher shop and bakery. There will be sausages and meats paired with sauces and different breads. Each item will have one of the above listed beers incorporated into it. Dr. Field Goods wants everyone to experience how a great beer pairing can bring out flavors in certain foods that one might otherwise miss. Bonus: Each beer dinner will include a commemorative New Belgium beer glass and tons of free stuff. Extra: Contact Anita Salazar (505) 670-4345 with any questions you may have on this event.

Joseph’s Culinary Pub

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Chef Joseph Wrede is pairing his world-class cuisine with La Cumbre Brewing’s world-class beers. Details: Make reservations online. Where: 428 Agua Fria St.

Rio Chama Steakhouse

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Executive Chef Tony Blankenship is pairing his bold and adventurous food with the beers of Stone Brewery and Marble Brewery.
Where: 414 Old Santa Fe Trail. Bonus: You’ll have the unique opportunity to taste beers that have been cellared for several years. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 955-0765. Cost: $50 per person.

Menu from website:

2015 BIKE AND BREW BEER DINNER

First Course
Passed Apps: Bacon wrapped shrimp with harissa aioli
Tempura asparagus, soy reduction
Goat cheese and tomato grilled cheese
Pairing: Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale Ale

Second Course
Cornmeal ale battered fried oysters, apple-jicama slaw, orange and grapefruit segments, remoulade, watercress salad
Pairing: Stone Vertical Epic 2012

Third Course
Braised beef short rib, fresh corn polenta, oven roasted baby carrots, pearl onions, fried onions, chive oil, short rib reduction
Pairing:Marble Reserve 2012

Fourth Course
Stout chocolate cake, white butter cream, macerated berries, dark beer sauce
Pairing: Marble Imperial Stout 2012

Loyal Hound

When: 6:30 p.m. What: Gastropub fare at its finest paired with some delicious choices from Bosque Brewing Company. Where: 730 St. Michaels Dr. Details: Community seating. Reservations required. Call (505) 471-0440. Cost: $45 per person plus tax and tip.

Menu from site:

First Course

Brew: Riverwalker IPA.
Pairing: Buffalo Chicken Salad, Organic Greens
Buffalo Sauced Braised Chicken, Bleu Crumbles

Second Course

Brew: Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale
Pairing: Battered House Cured Bacon BLT
Rye Bread, with Peppercorn Aioli

Third Course

Brew: Scotia Scotch Ale
Pairing: Akaushi Waygu Strip Steak
Sweet Potato Gruyere Gratin

Dessert

Brew: Wake up and Smell the Stout
Pairing: Chocolate Doughnut
Maple Bacon White Chocolate Ganache

Friday (1 event)

Anasazi Restaurant and Bar

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: A prix fixe dinner will be served where Anasazi is pairing their classic take on fine dining with carefully chosen beers. Where: 113 Washington Ave. Details: Reservations required. Call (505) 988-3030. Cost: $40 per person.

Menu from website:

Choice of Starter

Tuscan Green Leaf Salad Tango, Oak, Lolla Rosa Leaves, Sage Chama Bee Honey Vinaigrette
Duck Enchilada Mole Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Green Chile Pearls
Anasazi Crab Cake Avocado Mousse, Pepper Piperade, Frisée Leaves, Crudité Salad

Choice of Entree

Roasted Sea Bass Parsnip Purée, Wilted Lettuce, Barley-Malbec Broth
Pair with Inversion IPA

New Mexico Lamb Top Sirloin Aubergine Caviar, Parsley Purée, Artichokes, Jalapeño Croquettes, Olive Liquorice Crumbs
Pair with Left Hand Milk Stout

Chicken & Leek “Cock-a-Leekie” Pie Frisée and Watercress Salad
Pair with Santa Fe Nut Brown

Choice of Dessert

Lemon Tart Lemon Gel, Seasonal Berries, Raspberry Sorbet
Flan & Dulce de leche Vanilla Flan, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Vanilla Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Soil

Saturday (1 event)

Draft Station

When: Anytime! What: “The modern Italian cuisine including pizza and antipasti from neighboring Rooftop Pizzeria will accompany this New Mexico Brewer’s Guild Tap Takeover.” Details: No reservation required. Bike and Brew Special: two flights of beer and 12-inch pizza with choice of two great toppings, $25 for two people (available all day). Where: The Plaza!

* * * * *

That’s all the info we have for the Bike & Brew beer dinners. If we’ve missed anything, please contact us directly at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. Enjoy some great pairings here in Santa Fe, and I will have a preview of the other Bike & Brew events available later on in the week. Get those flats fixed, don’t forget to make those reservations, and always pair responsibly! See you around Santa Fe!

Cheers!

— Luke

Beer festivals are usually held at hotels, casinos, convention centers, parking lots, and a whole lot of other nondescript places. So whoever thought “we should have a festival at the ABQ BioPark Zoo” deserves a medal. One of the most unique settings we have ever heard of will host Lions, Tigers, & Beers this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Grab a brew at the zoo!

Grab a brew at the zoo!

Proceeds will benefit the ABQ BioPark Society, a non-profit group that supports the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanical Garden, and Tingley Beach. You can purchase your tickets online. For $25 you get a sampling glass, beer samples, and admission to the Zoo, plus there will be food available for separate purchase. For $45 you get Suds and Grub, which gets you both food and beer. Taking a big group? A six-pack of tickets can be had for a discounted $135. There is also a $10 designated driver ticket. This is a 21-and-over-only event, so sorry, you can’t let the kids wave at the lions while you sample IPAs.

As we do with any festival preview, we get a list of the participating breweries and a list of the beers they’re bringing. Only Ponderosa Brewing did not have a list for the event organizers, but they said on Facebook they are bringing four beers (hopefully one of those will be their new pumpkin beer).

Here’s who’s coming and what they are reportedly bringing.

Abbey Brewing: Monks’ Ale, Monks’ Tripel

Ace Ciders: Perry Cider, Joker Cider, Pumpkin Cider

Big Sky: Moose Drool Brown Ale, Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout, Scape Goat Pale Ale

Black Diamond: White Witch IPA, Mosaic IPA

Boulder: Shake Chocolate Porter, Hazed & Infused, Sweaty Betty

Breckenridge: Vanilla Porter, Lucky U IPA

Bridgeport: Kingpin Red, Trilogy #2 IPA

Deschutes: Fresh Squeezed IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Twilight Ale

Full Sail: Amber, Cascade Pils, Session Red

Lagunitas: Daytime IPA, Imperial Red

Leinenkugels: Orange Shandy, Sunshine Wheat

Magic Hat: IPL, Wilhelm Screamer

Marble: IPA, Red, Pilsner

New Belgium: beers will be from their current Folly Pack

Nuevo: Nuevo (whatever this is, we have no idea)

Oskar Blues: Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yellow Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale

Pedernales: Lobo Lager, Lobo Lito, Lobo Negro, Lobo Hefe

Ponderosa: four beers TBA

Pyramid: IPA, Oktoberfest

Radeberger: Shoefferhofer, Pilsner

Samuel Adams: Oktoberfest, Harvest Pumpkin

Santa Fe: Happy Camper IPA, State Pen Porter

Shiner: Bohemian Black Lager, Oktoberfest

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: Bonechiller Brown, Sun Chaser Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada: Pale Ale, Torpedo IPA

Squatters/Wasatch: Wee Peat Scotch Ale, Bumper Crop

Stone: Coffee Milk Stout, Hibiscusicity (Belgian-style ale), IPA

Have fun out there. Just remember, tigers don’t drink beer. But they will eat people, so don’t go stumble into their enclosure.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

So many beers, so little time. Again.

So many beers, so little time. Again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Premier Stage/Side room breweries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main room breweries

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outdoor area breweries

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

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

There will be plenty of beer goodness packed outside.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The 16th annual San Juan Brewfest took place on Saturday, August 23, in beautiful downtown Durango. Benefiting the United Way of SW Colorado, the brewfest had a great turnout, despite the rain that threatened to dampen the mood. Held at Buckley Park near the northern tip of Main Street, there couldn’t be an easier event to find, or find your way home from.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There were over 50 breweries, with 35 from Colorado, six from New Mexico, and nine were from breweries ranging from the east coast to the west coast, including a few macrobreweries. Macros always reminded me of the old guy at the college parties. “Dude are you like, a professor or something?” But I kid the big guys. With all that the San Juan Brewfest had to offer, you could sample a beer poured by a familiar face from the likes of Turtle Mountain or Taos Mesa, you could get to know your northern neighbors’ beers a bit better, or you could try a few swallows from far away lands like Boston, Juneau, or Petaluma. (A full list of breweries is below.)

As far as brewfesters go, everyone was very friendly and laid back in that Colorado kinda way. On occasion, there were those folks who were a bit over-excited to talk about their interests, like trail-riding or ciders. Where did that cider guy come from? But there’s nothing wrong with that. Passion is what fuels the craft beer industry, am I right? So keep on keepin’ on, cider guy!

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers.

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers, a band from Los Alamos.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, sampling, noshing on German sausages straight from the grill, and dancing wildly inappropriately (in front of children) to the rockin’ local bands. One of those local bands happened to be local to New Mexico. Have you guys heard the Hill Stompers from Los Alamos? Well do it, already! They’re like a circus marching band fueled by candy corn and cerveza.

Getting to the beer, there were over a hundred beers to try at the brewfest, including some breweries bringing more than the promised two. It was impossible to try them all, or maybe we didn’t try hard enough. With the free taster glass and a handy notepad, we set out to pulverize our palates. And boy did we! My Untappd App sure got a workout the next day. As for my personal favorites, Great Divide had a fantastic dark, roasted, powerful warrior of a beer called the Claymore Scotch Ale (7.7% ABV) that just knocked my hop-socks off. I also really enjoyed Upslope Brewing Co.’s Belgian Style Pale Ale (7.5% ABV), the Face Down Brown by Telluride Brewing Co. (5.7% ABV), and of course the Kriek from Santa Fe Brewing was way up there on my list.

Marble's tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

Marble’s tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

There was also a beer that I won’t name that I really liked but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it dawned on me as I finished that last swig; it REALLY reminded me of something racked from one of La Cumbre’s tanks. Was it one of Elevated IPAs long-lost sisters? I couldn’t tell! I could, however, go on and on about the beers, but there were so many different styles. Most breweries brought an IPA and a pale ale, others brought reds, Belgians, and there were a handful of saisons and sours. But why not just grab my Untappd name and take a look at my journey? LukeDukeSF. Now, I’ll try not to say too much more about this, but after sampling so many IPAs, I can definitely say I prefer New Mexico IPAs to Colorado IPAs. Nuff said.

The competition that day was as hot as the sun, when it did decide to come out. For the Judge’s Choice, Left Hand Brewing Company won third place for their Milk Stout Nitro. Our very own Marble Brewery won second place with their already-award-winning Pilsner. “505! 505!” I chanted silently in my head as I heard the news. Best beer of the fest went to Elevation Beer Company’s Avis IV. And finally, winning People’s Choice for best beer was the Brown Bear Ale from Aspen Brewing Co.

With great weather, great beers, and great company, it was a brewfest to remember, or try REALLY hard to remember. Thanks, Durango, for a great time. See you next year!

Cheers,

Luke!

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

2014 San Juan Brewfest Breweries

AC Golden (Golden, CO), Alaskan Brewing (Juneau), Aspen Brewing (CO), Avalanche Brewing (Silverton, CO), Blue Moon Brewing (Golden, CO), Boston Beer, Bottom Shelf Brewery (Bayfield, CO), Boulder Beer (CO), Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Brew Pub and Kitchen (Durango), Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs), Carver Brewing (Durango), Durango Brewing, Elevation Beer (Poncha Springs, CO), Eske’s Brew Pub & Eatery (Taos), Fort Collins Brewery (CO), Great Divide Brewery (Denver), Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing (Chippewa Falls, WI), Kannah Creek Brewing (Grand Junction, CO), Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA), Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, CO), Lumberyard Brewing (Flagstaff, AZ), Marble Brewery, Moab Brewery (UT), Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewing (Ouray, CO), New Belguim Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oak Creek Brewing (Sedona, AZ), Odell Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, CO), Ouray Brewery (CO), Pagosa Brewing and Grill (Pagosa Springs, CO), Palisade Brewing (Palisade, CO), Riff Raff Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO), Roaring Fork Beer (Carbondale, CO), Rocky Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs, CO), San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa, CO), Santa Fe Brewing, Shock Top Brewing (St. Louis), Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA), Ska Brewing (Durango), Steamworks Brewing (Durango), Strange Craft Beer (Denver), Taos Mesa Brewing, Telluride Brewing (CO), Three Barrel Brewing (Del Norte, CO), Three Rivers Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing, Two Rascals Brewing (Montrose, CO), Upslope Brewing (Boulder, CO), Wolfe Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO)

Stoutmeister here with another correspondent piece, this time from our good friend Adam Auden. He checked out two events that the rest of us missed out on for various reasons.

ABQ Beer Week, Northeast Edition

Friday of my first ABQ Beer Week saw a couple of events in my neck of the woods. Convenient and delicious, how could I refuse?

Oskar Blues' finest beers shined at Horse & Angel Tavern.

Oskar Blues’ finest beers shined at Horse & Angel Tavern.

Oskar Blues @ Horse & Angel

First up at the Horse & Angel Tavern we had Oskar Blues bringing some swag and special pours.

I began with a pint of Dale’s Pale which paired well with the fish and chips that had been recommended to me.

Of greater note was the Fat Slim. This was the Colorado-brewed version of the OB/La Cumbre collab (you may have had the locally brewed version around Winter Brew time named Full Pint). This proved to be a well-balanced, sessionable IPA. Dry, biscuity malts, fragrant but not fruity hops, very spritzy and fresh, I will have to seek it out again whilst it’s in town.

I finished up with a pint of the Old Chub on Nitro. I had commented on Twitter the other day about the range of beer styles getting put under nitro and whether they were really a good fit for it. Old Chub definitively is. Creamy, malty, smooth, like drinking a soft malt loaf in a glass. I need to try this next to the regular Chub, but I think the nitro wins for me on this one.

Also on tap was The Gubna, an Imperial IPA. I didn’t have chance to try it, but it seemed to be met with enthusiasm by the various ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers meetup members I was hanging with. I will have to swing by before they kick that keg.

Thanks to Silas at National and Victor at Oskar Blues for bringing the tasty, and Monica for bringing the Drinkers!

New Belgium had a long list of beers available for people to sample at Gecko's on Academy.

New Belgium had a long list of beers available for people to sample at Gecko’s on Academy.

New Belgium @ Gecko’s Academy

(“I’ll have the Lips of Faith please. — Which one? — Oh!”)

My second stop of the night in the hope of finding some La Folie (sadly, not to be) was Gecko’s Bar & Tapas on Academy.

Whilst waiting on his chicken wings, my fellow adventurer in beer opted for the Gruit, a spicy saison-esque beer flavored with what appeared to be whatever was growing in the meadow behind the brewery at the time. Appearances aside, it was very tasty!

I selected the Paardebloem, a much stronger take on the same style. Fresh, floral, with a little funk from the yeast, a little sour from the wood, and really quite drinkable. Where they are hiding the 9-percent alcohol I have no idea; it was dangerously easy drinking.

I finished off with the Cascara Quad. It’s an interesting beer with lots happening. Big, malty quad at the base, flavored with coffee cherries giving subtle coffee hints and more fruit, almost wine, flavors, finished with enough hops to avoid it being cloying. Not a beer for everyone, but packed with flavors which the brewers managed to wrestle into cooperating with each other, most impressively.

A top night, especially for not having to tangle with Downtown or Nob Hill. Great beers, conveniently located? More of this sort of thing!

Cheers!

— Adam A