Posts Tagged ‘Pi Brewing Co.’

Behold the champion in all its glory! All hail Project Dank! Again!

We realize that not all of you who follow us do so on social media, so of late, there were some newsy tidbits on good old Facebook that some of you might have missed. Think of this as a little social media news roundup while we get the jam-packed Week Ahead in Beer and a feature on Three Rivers ready for the next weeks.

La Cumbre claims National IPA Challenge again

Back in 2014, La Cumbre brought some serious bragging rights to New Mexico when its Project Dank won it all at the Brewing News National IPA Challenge. Over the next two years, it was Bosque and Scale Tipper taking the crown, all while keeping New Mexico in the spotlight. After Scale Tipper was dethroned back in the Round of 32 this year, it seemed as if the title could end up leaving New Mexico. Thankfully, Project Dank was back at full power.

La Cumbre’s hop bomb of hop bombs defeated Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ Hopcelot IPL in the Final Four before overcoming Lynwood Brewing’s Hop Sauce in the championship match on Monday, making it four straight titles for the state of New Mexico.

How impressive is this? Well, prior to this little run of dominance, no state had ever won back to back, no brewery had ever won back to back, and no brewery had won more than one challenge. New Mexico now has four straight titles, with two of its breweries winning two apiece.

To heck with the West Coast IPA style. It’s time to just call it the New Mexico IPA style. It’s the best damn style in America, and it doesn’t need to be from a coast.

Pi Brewing will be closed indefinitely

Now to the bad news of the week, which comes from the West Side brewery. We will just let them tell the story directly from their Facebook page:

As you know, a car crashed into our building on January 1st causing our space to be red tagged by city officials citing safety concerns. After over 10 weeks our landlord has not approved the contractor for the work or have yet to retain a contractor to execute repairs. Once authorized, repairs are quoted to be an additional 10 weeks. The landlord’s blatant disregard for the severity of the forced closure has cost our employees their livelihood and your continued patronage. It seems the big California based property management company and the big Florida based landlord have little concern for our small New Mexico business. That being said, we have made the difficult decision to close and look for a new home.

It has been a pleasure to have been a part of your neighborhood, but the time has come for us to call another place home. In the last 7 years we have seen your children grow up, we have been a part of your first dates and later included in the weddings, even our own children have learned how to ride a bike in the dining room and throw dough in the pizza pit. You have trusted us with your field trips, birthdays and anniversaries. We have met some of the most amazing people through the years, including some of our closest friends today. Thank you for your stories, memories and incredible support!

We have a couple of locations in mind, but if you have suggestions, feel free to PM us. As soon as a new lease is signed, we will let you all know where the party will continue.

Thank you again for the last 7 years,

Greg & Nicole Villareal

Yeah, this is a major bummer. Pi was just seemingly hitting its stride and finding its niche. We wish Greg and Nicole all the luck they will need in finding a new location. It will certainly not be an easy thing to pull off, but we remain confident that they will make every effort to bring their brewery back. It will probably be quite a while, though, before they are making beer again.

New breweries update

Not much has changed since our last edition of Beer Notes, but there are a couple items that we needed to pass along.

First up, add another newcomer to the list, as Switchback Brewery in Cloudcroft has a pending small brewer license. We could not find any additional info on the new operation, not via a Google search or on social media, so at best this one is probably a long, long way off. We just have to wonder if it will really come to fruition with that name, as there is already a Switchback Brewing Co. in Burlington, Vermont. If you think “but that’s so far away, surely they won’t object,” then please go visit Mike Campbell over at Drafty Kilt and ask him what happened with the original Off Kilter name for his brewery. (Yeah, there is always a chance the Vermonters will give it an OK, but don’t hold your collective breath or anything.)

Meanwhile, in similar news to Pi, the not-yet-open Bare Bones Brewing in Cedar Crest is already looking for a new home. We will also let them explain what happened via their Facebook post:

As some of you may have already heard, Bare Bones Brewing has hit a little speed bump with our progress. Our anticipated April 2017 opening date will be pushed further down the road as we explore some new location options. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement with the new property owners in regards to how we would run our business. We were not given the same lease terms and other businesses within the same complex seemed to have more say over what we could and couldn’t do, which led us to make the very hard decision to cut our losses and move on, to find a location that would be better suited to the friendly, family, community atmosphere we are looking for. We appreciate the many hours that volunteers put into cleaning and renovating the space. It hurts to leave all that hard work behind, but as with everything in life, we live, we learn, and we come out a little better in the end. Stay tuned for updates as we move forward. Cheers!

Let this all be a lesson to anyone who thinks it’s easy to open a brewery in this day and age. We will keep an eye on any future announcements from Bare Bones about a new location.

Anyway, that is all for now. If anyone needs me, I will be at one of the Marble taprooms later to indulge in the new Woodshed Double Red, which is basically a barrel-aged Imperial Red blended with regular Red Ale. That is just the kind of beer to help us all survive a Tuesday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The full re-branding of Nicky V's into Pi Brewing is now complete. (Photo courtesy of Pi Brewing)

The biggest change of the year was re-branding Nicky V’s into Pi Brewing. (Photo courtesy of Pi Brewing)

Editor’s note: We sent Andrew to Pi Brewing for its Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry a while back. Pardon the delay. Let him know how he did in his first Brew Crew Bullpen story in the comments. — S

Tuesday, November 8 was a day that will likely go down in history as the Election Day that marked the end of one of the most divisive presidential campaign seasons …. not to mention one of the most unprecedented election results in American history. I confess that it was also a day where I was glad to have a distraction from the political process (after voting earlier in the day, of course). That distraction was Pi Brewing on Albuquerque’s West Side. I had suggested the date to Greg Villareal, head brewer and co-owner with his wife, Nicole, a week or two prior. At the time, it hadn’t occurred to me that we had picked Election Day. If Election Day 2016 becomes one of those days that you will always remember what you were doing, even years later. I will remember hanging out with Greg and Stoutmeister at a table just far enough away from the TVs in the bar area that the “Trump this, Trump that” and “Hillary this, Hillary that” blended together into a spectacular white noise.

Greg was gracious enough to host me on my first interview since becoming a contributor to the NMDSBC, and I was also fortunate to have Stoutmeister providing moral support. As it turned out, distracting me really wasn’t difficult at all. Apparently, the trick is feeding me pizza and pouring various delicious beers down my throat. Somebody must have tipped off Greg, because this is exactly what he did. He also discussed this past year’s challenges and successes at Pi and provided some insight as to what the future might hold.

Regular readers might recall that Greg and Nicole’s business started as Nicky V’s Pizzeria before adding the brewery next door a couple years ago, followed by a complete re-branding and combination of the two under the name Pi Brewing. Greg explained the further evolution of the business over the past year since the re-branding in February of this year.

“I think we’ve kind of become a brewpub over time,” Greg said. “Breweries are very dynamic and they tend to kind of change to meet demand, whatever that demand might be, and that’s kind of what we’re seeing as well. Over time our demographics have just changed a little bit, and we’re just kind of changing with the people that are coming through the door. This year’s been a year of just kind of putting the feelers out there and trying some new things. I want to try something new, so I have been doing, as you know, a lot of sours this year … and, we’re getting some decent traction with the sours. … That’s kind of what we seem to be having decent success with right now.”

The beer board at Pi greets you right as you walk in the front door.

The beer board at Pi greets you right as you walk in the front door.

Greg jumped right into describing some of the sour beers that he has been passionate about this past year.

“The first one we did was a gose, a key lime gose, and that was more of a kettle sour then like a traditional multiple bacteria yeast fermentation, so that was just a really clean kettle sour and it was popular,” Greg said. “After that I was like, ‘You know what? This is kind of cool, why don’t we try actually doing some barrel aging and see what happens?’ That’s when we kind of went down the path of doing a more, you know, traditional sour in barrels.

“Time frames obviously went up. They take forever. So, we started filling barrels, and we just harvested everything out of those barrels over the last few weeks to a month, and refilled the barrels and put them down for the winter, and that’s kind of where we’re at right now.”

The Pi customer base has been receptive to the sours.

“So, some of the sours you have tried … Manhattan Project already is gone,” Greg said. “That was on for a month and it’s out of here. Right now we’ve got Sleepy Hollow on, which is not necessarily a sour, more of a pumpkin farmhouse is what we’re calling it. We also have the Trinity on, that’s kind of a cool one, it’s got some fruity qualities to it that’s organic white peaches and apricots. Zinister Dichotomy … it was a red sour. It spent about 40 days on raspberries.”

Greg’s passion for brewing was palpable early in our conversation and it was equally balanced with his awareness of the challenges that are inherent in running a small brewery.

“Breweries take up a lot of room… it’s just the nature of the beast,” Greg said. “You need room. I just need space just to brew, to bring in additional fermenters. We’re kind of stuck in this little space next door. So, I need to figure something out in the coming year.”

While space might be a limitation for any small brewery (or even a big brewery, just ask Marble), it seems that sour beer further amplifies the challenge by introducing additional considerations related to cross-contamination and barrel storage. Greg suggested that, while he has no intent of focusing solely on sour beer, he is considering the possibility of isolating the sour brewing in a separate facility.

“Something comes down the pipe that works perfect, like maybe somewhere down in an industrial area where we could just do nothing but our sour beers, that would be really cool,” Greg said. “Plus it would maybe also give us the taproom potential.”

Taproom potential, all right, now we are talking. That’s right, Pi Brewing is not shying away from expansion. Why not take it a step further and get Pi’s beer in bottles this upcoming year?

“We’re looking at, especially with the sour beers, I’m trying to figure out now how to do some limited bottling runs because that beer just ages so well,” Greg said. “It really ages well. Just to let it bottle condition for time, I think, would really be a benefit to the product.”

There is a second beer board above the taps.

There is a second beer board above the taps.

Sour beers are still being produced only in limited quantities around Albuquerque. They remain a sort of final frontier for local brewers.

“This year I’ve spent a lot of time working on sour beers,” Greg said. “I had to talk to a lot of people about sour beer … a lot. Not a lot of guys here in this state are doing sours. There’s not a big pool of reference here in this state when it comes to sour beers. It takes travel. You gotta travel and you gotta go hit places like San Diego, Portland, (and) San Francisco. You gotta move.”

Greg made it very clear that, in spite of the challenges, he does not intend to put anything on tap that is not up to snuff. He also has a lot of respect for the quality of brewing in ABQ, which seems to further elevate his standards.

“If we make bad beer I’m going to dump it,” Greg said. “I’m not going to try and butter it up with like blueberries or something and try and make it palatable for somebody. If it’s bad, it’s bad. If it’s not palatable, it’s not going to get served, obviously.”

Greg’s standards and expectations were also evident in his comments about working this past year to ensure that Pi was putting out enough beer.

“One of the things I wanted to commit to, coming into the brewhouse, is keeping eight beers on our handles and that took a lot of time,” Greg said. “At one point we were down to one handle of our beer and seven guest taps, and it drove me insane. Having a brewery that doesn’t have beer of its own (was unacceptable). So, we fixed the glitch. Obviously, we have eight handles on now and we’ve got beer behind it.”

Furthermore, it’s good to see that Greg isn’t just a passionate brewer but a passionate supporter of our local craft brew scene.

“If there is one bright spot out of like just the sheer number of breweries that are out there right now, I think the quality … it’s just … it’s getting really good in this city,” Greg said. “You know I’ve been drinking beer in this town for a long long time. These days, man, just about everybody’s got pretty decent beer. It’s cool to see that we’re kinda getting some national traction. I think it’s good. It’s good for the state.”

So ... many ... samples ...

So … many … samples …

During our conversation, a couple specific goals were mentioned for this coming year. The first was a result of my prodding about the possibility of an in-house Pi Brewing beer dinner. Greg’s wife Nicole is a step ahead of both of us on this one.

“Nicole and I have spoke about trying to put together a beer dinner now that we have like a really broad range of beers on our draft handles,” Greg said. “I think now would be a good time to kind of go into that as we get through the holiday season. And, it’s something were trying to … Nicole just had this idea like two or three weeks ago. For us it’s something new. We’ve done a lot of wine dinners out of this space. We’ve never really done a beer dinner, per se, and I think it’s about time to kind of do one. Kind of see what the kitchen can do, and kind of see what they can do to match up with some of the beers on draft. So, I think it’s something that’s going to be happening … my guess would be in January or February.”

The other specific goal, which Greg brought up himself, is the effort to enter Pi’s beer into more competitions.

“If there’s one thing I want to do more of going forward, it’s actually getting our beer entered into competitions,” Greg said. “I miss dates all the time because I’m stuck dealing with stuff. Life happens and I turn around like I have forgot all these different dates. I need to start getting our beer into more competitions. That’s one goal I have for this year.”

Last, but not least, a significant Pi success from this past year that demonstrated their effort to be involved in the community, and a source of pride for Greg, was the founding of a meetup group.

“Actually one thing we did put together this year is we put together a meetup group called Albuquerque gears and beers,” Greg said. “It’s been big. We’ve got like 325 people in our meetup now. We took a number of our riders to Santa Fe century this year. A number of our other riders did Enchanted Circle, which is a really hard century. It’s no joke. It’s 100 miles and it’s at like 8,000 (to) 9,000 feet. It’s hard.”

Those of you who have not had a chance to make it out to Pi Brewery, make it happen and give Greg some feedback on his beer. He will appreciate any constructive criticism. If you are a sour lover, then you might find a new favorite. If you have yet to find a sour that you liked, this might be the place where your luck changes.

Either way, you are bound to find something you like from the eight house beers on tap, plus do not forget about the selection of Italian entrees. We didn’t have much time to discuss the food, but I would be surprised to find someone who couldn’t pick out a pizza or pasta dish on the menu that fails to satisfy, or doesn’t match up well with a beer.

Thanks again to Greg for being a great host and we wish him, his wife Nicole, and Pi Brewing the best of luck in this upcoming year.

Cheers!

— Deezbeers

Alibi on Tap is the newest beer festival to pop up in Albuquerque.

Alibi on Tap is the newest beer festival to pop up in Albuquerque.

Beer festival “season” is in full swing, and it is easy to get overwhelmed and suffer from fest overload. And yet, Albuquerque welcomed another festival to the late summer/fall lineup back on Saturday. The new Alibi on Tap at the Albuquerque Rail Yards featured some new breweries in attendance, so I really didn’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Plus, although I know there is much contention surrounding brew fests held at the Rail Yards, I personally love the venue as an event space.

Because we took the noon Rail Runner train from Los Ranchos, we had about four hours of time to kill before the festival started. First, we trekked over to the open house for the New Mexico Steam Locomotive and Railroad Historical Society. This event was conveniently located near Bow & Arrow, so of course we stopped in for a pint. We had one of their seasonal beers, and it was fantastic, perhaps my favorite of all the beers I have tried at Bow & Arrow. It was Bury My Heart Belgian Pale Ale, number four in a four-part pale ale series. This day was already starting off well.

We still had some time before the event, so prior to walking over to the Rail Yards, we headed over to Duel on Central. While enjoying a goblet of Fantin (apparently there was an unintentional Belgian Pale Ale theme for the day), we were approached by a visitor from Las Vegas, Nevada. It was his first trip to Albuquerque and he was in town for a week-long convention at the Hyatt. He asked for advice about things to do nearby. We told him about Alibi on Tap and he seemed interested.

It was one of the more relaxed festivals in recent memory.

It was one of the more relaxed festivals in recent memory.

The weather was absolutely perfect, so there was no overheating (this can be an issue in that space). I enjoyed the reasonable entry fee and the limited amount of sampling tickets with a longer time to sample. The older I get, the more I tend to shy away from the free-for-all mentality at some beer fests. If attendees were so inclined it was possible to purchase additional samples as well as full pints of their favorite beers.

Because it was a new event, and I think perhaps because there are so many festivals this time of year, the crowd was particularly manageable. We arrived near the beginning and did not have to wait in any lines for entry or sampling. I was most interested in sampling the offerings from the two newest vendors, Palmer and Dialogue. It was both surprising and promising that Dialogue was in attendance on their opening weekend.

Sure enough, about 30 minutes after we arrived at the festival, we spotted “Vegas Bill.” We spent our entire remaining time there showing him around the different vendors and explaining the breweries and beers to him. It was actually quite a refreshing experience, because he had no prior knowledge, so there was no, “Them again? Been there, done that” attitude or preconceived notions. We were able to gain new perspective, as well, through his eyes and he really seemed to appreciate the experience. We left feeling quite proud of our stint as unofficial beer ambassadors.

Those of us lucky enough to be part of the first 100 tickets sold received a 32-ounce growler to “fill with your favorite beer.” You did have to purchase the actual beer to fill it, which was not explained in the promos, but it was sold at a reasonable price. If the indicator for our favorites was what we chose for our two growler fills, here were our choices — Pumpkin Pi from Pi Brewing, and Motorbrreath Smoked Porter from Starr Brothers.

Enjoy fest season, everyone! And, please, remember to take advantage of alternative transportation.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Just embrace the beer and the metal and everything will be just fine during your stay in Albuquerque.

Due to work commitments, most of the Crew will not be at Hopfest this year. Raise a glass and the horns in our honor while you are there.

Ah, late August, when the hints of cooler weather arrive, the kids go back to school, football (both American and international) revs up, and Hopfest takes over Isleta Casino. Hey, at nine years old, we can pretty much declare Hopfest an annual tradition.

The largest beer festival in New Mexico returns this Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. If you not bought your tickets yet, get them now, particularly if you want VIP or extra hoppy hour, which we highly recommend. For tickets and info, click on the event website.

There are 18 breweries from our state that will send beers to the event this year. We did our best to get you the beer lists, or at least confirm if the event program has the right beers listed. We will update this post if we get any late corrections/additions.

  • Albuquerque Brewing: Imperial Red Ale, Duke’s Pale Ale
  • B2B: Coconut Porter, Raspberry Wheat
  • Bathtub Row: Red Hammer Ale, Hoppenheimer IPA, Wit Rock, Green Chile Pilsner
  • Cazuela’s: Agave (American Wheat), Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Papacabra DIPA
  • Duel: TBA
  • Enchanted Circle: Hells Bells Lager, ESB, Red River Red Ale, Session IPA, Glory Hole IPA
  • Eske’s: Rat Queen DIPA, Wheat IPA
  • Kellys: Amber, Session IPA, Apricot Ale
  • Marble: Double White, Imperial Red, Dang Pale Ale, Stout Americano
  • Oso Loco Brewery (Sandia Chile Grill): Irish Red, Chocolate Brown
  • Pi: Discordia IPA, Scotty Doesn’t Know, Pineapple Express, Cardinal Sin
  • Ponderosa: Berliner Weisse, Cascadian Pilsner, Wry Ale, Crosscut Kolsch
  • Quarter Celtic: Pedro O’Flangan, Dusk’s Early Night, MacLomas Stout, #GFF
  • Red Door: Trapdoor Belgian Wit, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint It Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Vanilla Cream Ale, Blackberry Hefeweizen, Nieuwe Bruin
  • Rio Bravo: Karl’s Krystal Weizen, Duke City Pilsner, Rio Bravo Amber, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, RoadKill Red, Old Town Porter
  • Santa Fe: Oktoberfest, Autonomous Collective IPA, Imperial Java Stout
  • Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: IPA, Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, Sun Chaser Pale Ale, Bone Chiller Brown Ale
  • Tractor: Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, Dank Johnson DIPA, Hillario DIPA, Kolsch

Definitely take the time to try Enchanted Circle, they just opened in Angel Fire back in April. Eske’s has new ownership, so it might be interesting to see what that has done to their beers. Otherwise, among the beers worth trying are Hoppenheimer IPA (Bathtub Row), Stout Americano (Marble), Scotty Doesn’t Know (Pi), MacLomas Stout (Quarter Celtic), Nieuwe Bruin (Red Door), Old Town Porter (Rio Bravo), Autonomous Collective (Santa Fe), and Dank Johnson DIPA (Tractor). Or, try as many as you safely can, and let us know what were your favorites.

Also present, of course, will be the Dukes of Ale. You need to visit their booth to try all the excellent home brews and help vote for a winner.

Broken Trail will also be there, but they are only listed as bringing their rum and vodka, no beer. If you are into ciders, Sandia Hard Cider will be present.

As for the many, many national brands, a few have some beers worth checking out. BJ’s has Hop Pact IPA, a collaboration with Green Flash. Boston Beer (Samuel Adams) has the new (?) Toasted Caramel Bock. Firestone Walker, still fairly new to our state, has the wondrous Luponic Distortion. Mother Road usually brings something extra from Flagstaff beyond the usual beers, though Tower Station IPA and Lost Highway Black IPA are worth your time if you have not had them before. If you have been remiss in checking out the Imperial IPA from Upslope, here is your chance. Also, new to the state is The Dudes Brewing Co. No beers were listed for them in the program, but I tried a DIPA at the brewery in Torrance, Calif., two months ago and it would stand up to our local hop bombs. There are many other beers to try, as well, from old favorites to seasonals to new ones, so please, sample away and let us know which are your favorites.

Above all else, have fun, try not to go overboard, and celebrate craft beer this Saturday. Do it because I cannot, since the Isotopes suddenly decided they want to win their division and I have to be out here covering them.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews in 2015 were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, and Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The biggest of the big is back at Sandia Casino this weekend as Blues & Brews returns for its sixth annual beer-a-palooza. This Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. (2 to 6 for VIP ticket holders), attendees will be able to choose beers from 70 different breweries, a mix of local, national, and international.

As we do every year, we present the key things you need to know.

  1. Uber is your friend, or a taxi, or a designated driver, or just get a room for the night.
  2. The VIP ticket is worth it, but the supply is nearly out, so buy it online ASAP. That first hour where there are only a handful of people is huge when it comes to being able to properly taste and enjoy your beers. Make a list of your “must haves” and hit those first.
  3. Load up on food beforehand, whether at home, a stop on the way, or at one of the casino restaurants.
  4. And most of all, have fun. Just about everyone in attendance always seems to be in a good mood, so keep the positive vibes flowing.

That brings us to the beers, which are always the key. As noted, there will be an awful lot, too many to simply list below. To start, here are all the local breweries with their full lists. Some are correct in the event program, others have been updated thanks to info from the breweries.

  • Abbey: Monks’ Ale, Monks’ Wit, Monks’ Dark, Monks’ Dubbel, Monks’ Tripel
  • Albuquerque Brewing: Saison, Dunkelweizen
  • Cazuela’s: Agave, Chupacabra IPA, 1859 India Porter, Lemon Drop
  • Firkin: Peach Fuzz, Jailhouse Java Stout, Ombibulous IPA
  • Isotopes: Slammin’ Amber, AAA Blonde
  • Kellys: Amber, Session IPA, Apricot Ale
  • Marble: Double IPA, Double White, IPA, Red Ale, Abricot Sour, Pilsner Anejo, Rita
  • Pi: 5 O’Hop Somewhere Session IPA, Barrel-Aged Bourbon Vanilla Porter, Prohibition Pilsner
  • Red Door: Vanilla Cream Ale, Shift Ender Golden Lager, Belgian Dubbel, Threshold IPA
  • Rio Bravo: Black Angus Stout, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Karl’s Weizen, Amber, Roadkill Red
  • Sandia Chile Grill: Red Ranger Irish Red, Legacy Mead, Honey Moon Mead
  • Santa Fe: Freestyle Pilsner, SF Gold, Western Bloc Wheat IPA
  • Sierra Blanca: Bone Chiller Brown, Sun Chaser Pale Ale, Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, Vanilla Milk Stout, Desert Pilsner, Alien Amber, Cran Sour, Alien Imperial Stout, Rio Grande IPA, Outlaw Lager, Alien Wheat
  • Tractor: Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red Ale, Milk Mustachio Stout, Cerveza New Mexican, Hard Apple Cider, and either Desert Flower IPA or Hopsplitter IPA

If we had to pick a few favorites from that list you need to try, make sure to hit up the Monks’ Tripel, ABC’s Dunkelweizen, Cazuela’s Porter, Firkin’s Jailhouse Java Stout, Marble’s Pilsner Anejo (it is the last of that beer available anywhere, ditto the Rita), Pi’s Barrel-Aged BVP, Red Door’s Vanilla Cream Ale, any mead from Sandia Chile Grill, Santa Fe’s unique Western Bloc, Sierra Blanca’s Vanilla Milk Stout, and whichever of those two specialty IPAs that Tractor brings. These are suggestions only, pick out your favorites, and then let us know what you think. Who knows, maybe you will find a great beer that we have overlooked.

Oh, and of course you need to visit The Dukes of Ale’s booth to try their beers as well. We do not know what they are bring, but odds are, it will be home brew that rivals many of the professional beers you will be tasting. Get over there during VIP hour, because the lines always get long later on.

Once you have done your solemn duty and visited as many of the local breweries as possible, then head out into the national/international landscape. Again, we cannot list every available beer or brewery or this would get longer than The Week Ahead in Beer, so these are just our picks. Of course, your palate could demand something completely different, so double check the listings in the event program.

  • Alaskan: It may seem out of season, but their Smoked Porter is good year round. (Alternative: Kicker Session IPA)
  • Avery: They did not have a list in the guide, but odds are, they will have something amazing.
  • Ballast Point: Whichever fruit you like the best between Watermelon (Dorado), Mango (Even Keel), or Pineapple (Sculpin) is the one you should go with.
  • Boston Beer Co. (Samuel Adams): Surprise! They brought some of their newer styles instead of the same old, same old. Our pick is the Heaven or Helles. (Alternative: Got to Gose)
  • Boulder Beer: At some point in your life you have probably had Hazed or Confused. They are offering up a twist on it in the form of Hazed Hoppy Session Ale. (Alternative: Shake Chocolate Porter)
  • Eddyline: The Colorado brewery has their Java Stout on tap. Try it and compare it to Firkin. (Alternative: Crank Yanker IPA)
  • Founders: The current season of choice is Mosaic Promise, which is definitely worth sampling, and the next day you can go buy a six-pack at Jubilation and be the hit of your Memorial Day party. (Alternative: Dirty Bastard)
  • Green Flash: Get in the groove with Soul Style IPA. (Alternative: Tangerine Soul Style)
  • Lagunitas: Does mine eye spy a Lil Sumpin’ Sumpin’? Why, it does! (Alternative: Lucky 13)
  • Left Hand: They listed three of their standards — Milk Stout, Polestar Pils, Good Juju — plus one TBA. Go check out what that one is and let us know.
  • Mother Road: Our friends in Flagstaff debuted Tower Station IPA here last year at Hopfest. Go see what all the buzz is about with this delicious hop bomb. (Alternative: Lost Highway Black IPA)
  • New Belgium: Oh, come on, they don’t do hoppy. Or do they? Rampant Imperial IPA is bucking the NB trend. (Alternative: Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale)
  • Oskar Blues: The Beerito Mexican Lager sounds like a summer porch beer for a lazy afternoon. (Alternative: Pinner Throwback IPA)
  • SanTan: Our friend Nicole Duke of Tractor absolutely loves Mr. Pineapple, and we are pretty sure she would never, ever steer us wrong. (Alternative: Devil’s Ale)
  • Sierra Nevada: If you have not tried Nooner Pilsner yet, you are still doing summer wrong. (Alternative: Otra Vez Gose-Style Ale)
  • Ska: To hell with the heat, grab some Bump ‘n’ Grind for that perfect coffee stout flavor. (Alternative: Modus Mandarina)
  • Upslope: Another contender for porch beer of the summer is their Craft Lager. (Alternative: Belgian Pale Ale)

Other breweries in attendance will include Adelbert’s, Bridgeport, Durango, Goose Island, Guns & Oil, Kona, Leinenkugel, Lexington, Magic Hat, North Coast, Odell, Omission, Pyramid, Redhook, Shiner, Squatters, Wasatch, and Widmer Brothers. There will also be multiple cideries and other vendors.

Remember to pace yourselves, be kind to others, don’t spill your beer, and above all else, have fun and stay safe. Send us your pictures and your comments afterwards and we will include those in our Beer Week in Review story that will run the week of June 6.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The full re-branding of Nicky V's into Pi Brewing is now complete. (Photo courtesy of Pi Brewing)

The full re-branding of Nicky V’s into Pi Brewing is now complete. (Photo courtesy of Pi Brewing)

As part of our annual Look Back/Look Ahead series, I chatted with owners Greg and Nicole Villareal of Pi Brewing/Nicky V’s restaurant on Coors north of Paseo (Nicole = Nicky V) to find out what’s happening with the brewing side of their business. In 2015, they restructured and opened up their back room for music. They also added lighting and connected the space into their A/V system. They are excited to help improve the live music situation for Albuquerque west-side residents.

Beer-wise, 2015 was a good year for Pi and head brewer Charlie Sandoval. Pi received two medals for their porter at the New Mexico State Fair Pro-Am — gold in the porter category and also best ale. They also received honorable mention for best of show. The first year of the Mountain West Brew Fest in Bernalillo proved to be a big hit for them, as well. At the festival they passed out pint cards for $3.14 pints. The amount of people who came back to the restaurant with those cards showed that the beer was very well received.

The current offerings at Pi.

The current offerings at Pi.

For what seemed like an eternity, I would drive by or stop in to Nicky V’s and wonder when Pi Brewery’s taproom would actually open next door. It looked so intimate and inviting when I would peer through the front windows, but the door was always locked. I couldn’t wait to talk to Greg and Nicole about this. Well, I now have an answer as to when that taproom will open. That answer is never.

That sounds like bad news, but in actuality, it is not.

Greg and Nicole told me there were too many issues with getting the taproom open to the public. The Health Department considers brewery space to be similar to commercial kitchen space and does not allow customers to pass through the “kitchen” area to get to a restroom, and that’s how the restroom in this space is configured.

Greg and Nicole decided maybe they could just punch through the wall and put in a door between the taproom and the restaurant – an easy solution. As it turned out, they discovered that the taproom/restaurant would then be considered conjoining space which would require that the whole site have sprinklers installed at great expense.

Eventually, at the beginning of 2016, they decided to scrap the plan and change the branding instead. They were having a hard time branding Nicky V’s and Pi Brewing together, as well as getting name recognition for the beer, so Nicky V’s has now become Pi Brewing. New signage went up in late January and the new logo is painted on the outside of the building.

A simple selection of tap handles pouring some decidedly non-simple beers.

A simple selection of tap handles pouring some decidedly non-simple beers.

Everything else remains the same, including the menu. This spring they may add a few more beer-friendly appetizers, especially since they have a new happy hour where all their pints are $3.14.

I asked Greg and Nicole if there will be any issues with capacity now that they are really moving forward with the beer side of the operation. Pi does plan to participate in more festivals, including the feBREWary fest this Saturday in Hobbs. Additionally, they plan on having four entries in this year’s World Beer Cup. Greg said that although their system is on the small side, it is a unique and efficient steam-fired system with very accurate temperature control. It is so efficient they can brew twice a day if they really need to, so there are no issues. Long-term plans may include a manufacturing facility with a larger system and perhaps a small taproom, but that is not in the near future. For now, they are focused on marrying the brand. This spring they will also refurbish the patio area.

Beer lovers will enjoy both Pi’s regular and seasonal beers. During my visit, they had a steam beer on tap — one of my favorite styles of beer — and I thought it was very, very good. Perhaps most interesting, however, was their Preacher’s Daughter Red, an homage to Holly Holm. This red ale has a “kick” (sorry, bad UFC pun) due to the addition of red chile pods that brewer Charlie roasted himself. Unlike some chile beers, the flavor was subtle, with just a little hint of warmth on the finish. Just like Pi’s tagline says, this beer was, “Irrational but Well Rounded!”

Thanks Greg and Nicole for the interview, and we all wish you good luck with the “new” Pi Brewing.

Cheers!

— AmyO

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 a pair of newcomers, 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.

As more and more breweries keep opening around this wonderful state of ours, this weekly column keeps getting bigger and bigger. On average, it now has more than 5,000 words per week. In an effort to get things back under control for a bit, I am going to streamline it all to a degree. Fear not, the most important thing below — what is on tap at each brewery — will not change. Rather than go into multiple mini beer descriptions, each entry will describe one highlighted beer per edition. Most of the time it will be the newest beer on tap. Beyond that, you will now see Live Music as an entry, plus Other Events for non-musical goings on, such as art competitions, poetry contests, charitable endeavors, and so on. Where applicable, we will also post a link to the most recent story on said brewery where you can get more news. Hopefully in making this all a little less cluttered, we will all benefit.

Now that we can get back to regular business, there are four special beer release parties over the next four days. Rejoice. Or repent. Your choice. First up, tonight (Wednesday) marks the return of Marble’s awesome Imperial Stout. They only bottled 1,000 of ’em, plus what’s on tap, so it will go fast. Enjoy a special, secret pairing from Rustic Food Truck downtown from 5 p.m. until supplies run out. Then on Thursday, head to Red Door for the return of the Strong Scotch Ale. All pours are $3.50 all day. Friday marks the debut of Brass Monkey, a chocolate orange stout, at Tractor Wells Park (Beer Farmer Co-op members can get a sneak preview tasting Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Wells Park if they RSVP to jeremy@getplowed.com). Then on Saturday, Boese Brothers unveils Double Dead Red, which comes with a special food pairing from Gold Street Caffe of red chile-rubbed chicken tenders and sweet potato fries.

On the new beer front this week, beyond those, Albuquerque Brewing has a Dunkelweizen. Pank Dank!, a fruit-infused American wheat, is at Bosque. Rye PA and Dark American Lager are back at Canteen. An epic Imperial Stout, Zach’s parting gift to Chama River, is available. Winterfest Marzen debuts at Rio Bravo.

Up in Santa Fe, Second Street has a fresh batch of Railrunner Pale Ale. Over in Los Alamos, Bathtub Row sent us their first update in a while. Needless to say, there are many new beers on tap, including Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Juniper Pale Ale, Hindsight Doppelbock, Asian White IPA, and two old returning favorites in the Red Hammer Ale and Big House Belgo.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of January 11.

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

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.

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: High Plains Drafter Blonde, Duke’s Pale Ale, Handlebars Stout, Dunkelweizen. The Handlebars is available on CO2 and nitro.

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

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Honey Common, Latir Pale Lager, Berliner Weisse, Braggot, Lando’s Lager. Lando’s Lager honors the great Billy Dee Williams as a proper malt liquor.

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: House IPA, Cherry Stout, Coconut Porter, Raz Wheat, Red Rye, Brown Ale, Rye Noon, Very Chai Christmas, Cerveza Chile Verde (B2B only), Galaxy Pale Ale (Lobo only), Pepper Saison (Lobo only).

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Call the brewpub for an updated listing.

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. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) offers up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops.

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: Scale Tipper IPL, Dry Stout, Citra S.M.A.S.H., Pank Dank!, Railyard Rust California Common. All three Bosque locations are now up to date. The new Pank Dank! (6.2% ABV, 12 IBU) is a fruit-infused American wheat ale.

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.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, Bear-El Aged Stout, Crystal S.M.A.S.H., Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Sucker Punch DIPA. The Sucker Punch (8.5% ABV, 110 IBU) is back for another run on tap and this time in bombers. You can buy them at the brewery or at fine establishments such as Jubilation.

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 will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Cherry Blossom Wheat, Sweet Sandarine Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Hops IPA, Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Rye PA, Dark American Lager. The Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Hops, and Panama Joe are all part of this year’s edition of Solstice Blackout. Get a sample tray of all five for $5 or you can purchase individual pints, while supplies last.

Live Music: Sunday—Dusty Low, 3 to 6 p.m.; Tuesday—Alex Maryol, 6 to 9 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), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), Festival (Oktoberfest).

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Imperial Stout, Sun Dog Kolsch, Bambina Milk Stout, Juniper Berry Braggot. The big, beautiful Imperial Stout was the final beer brewed by Zach Guilmette before he left to take over as head brewer at Canteen.

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, Lone Pine Pilsner, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale, Happenstance All-Day Blonde. The All-Day is the first in a new series of beers created by Distillery 365’s new brewing partners.

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

This Friday, Distillery 365 will host Arts, Blues, Spirits, featuring an art show and live music by D’Santi Nava from 7 to 10 p.m.

Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

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: Dunkel, 1492 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter, ESB, Coffee-roasted Schwarz Bier, Helles Lager, Peppermint Stout, Red Ale, Imperial Stout. The behemoth Imperial Stout (11% ABV) is only available at the brewery in Bernalillo. When it arrives at the Nob Hill taproom, we will let everyone know. But hurry, because we might drink it all up.

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

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday in Bernalillo. 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.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Ryeot on Rye, La Roja Grande, Gracias Por Fumar (on nitro), Grange’s Session IPA, It’s Not EVEN Brown. The Ryeot on Rye is an amped-up, barrel-aged version of their popular Red Ryeot. It will not last long, so get over and try some before it’s gone.

Live Music: Saturday—The Bus Tapes, 7 to 10 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: Call 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.

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 — Reserve Ale, White Out, Double IPA, El Mysterio, Imperial Stout; Downtown only — Imperial Red; Westside only — none. El Mysterio is back on tap at both locations. It is a blended, barrel-aged mix of Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Red, and Barleywine.

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

Live Music: Tonight (Wednesday)—Aaron Stephens, 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturday—Elwood, 6 to 9 p.m.

News: There is no music at the Westside Taproom while they undergo renovation and expansion. Look for the new stage to be ready in March.

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: Equinox, Hoppy Wheat, U.S.S. Simcoe, Salted Caramel Stout. The recent release party for the Salted Caramel Stout was packed to the rafters; trust us, the beer was worth it. There is less than half the original 7.2 barrels remaining, so hurry over ASAP.

News: Note Nexus’ new hours listed above.

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

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

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

Beers: Cardinal Sin Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Kama Citra IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Winter is Coming. No, Winter is Coming is not just to make you all yearn for the return of Game of Thrones, is a peppermint porter that will keep you into the holiday mood.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Zaftig, Stage One IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Spanglish. We are working on getting contact info for Ponderosa’s new brewer, and thus an updated list.

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: Cosmos Porter, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red, Dark Side DIPA. No, they did not name the Dark Side DIPA (10.3% ABV, 100+ IBU) after us, but we still went and drank some of this mosh pit of piney hops.

Live Music: Tonight (Wednesday)—AG-3 Live, 7 to 9 p.m.; Monday—The Draft Sessions Open Mic, 7 to 9 p.m.

Other Events: Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! 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, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Road Runner Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Barley Wine (regular and barrel aged), Winterfest Marzen. A fresh batch of the hugely popular Old Town Porter (7.6% ABV, 55 IBU) is in the works.

Live Music: Tonight (Wednesday)—Mishmash Miscellany Assortment Open Mic, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Joe Teichman, 6 p.m.; Friday—Clark Andrew Libbey, 4 p.m., and The Bus Tapes, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—The Surf Lords, 6:30 p.m.

Other Events: Rio Bravo will now have karaoke every Tuesday from 6 to 10 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–Tues closed, Weds–Thurs 4–8 p.m., Fri 4–10 p.m., Sat 1–10 p.m., Sun 1–6 p.m.)

Beers: Pub Ale, RailHead Red, 3:10 to Belen Brown, Dark Engine Stout, Switchgear IPA 1, Switchgear IPA 2. The Pub Ale (5.1% ABV, 30 IBU) is listed as an English mild, but has far more flavor than most examples of that style. It has a chewy, almost biscuity quality from the malts and English yeast.

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: Berliner Weisse, Dark Horse Lager, Desert Dweller IPA, Pear Berry Cider, Tupac Cali Red, Barnstorm Ale, Luna De Los Muertos, Scotcholate Scotch Ale, The Ruggles, Barn Burner Pale Ale (Wells Park only), Et Tu Brute Cider (Wells Park only), Lil Cease Session IPA (Nob Hill only). The burly Luna De Los Muertos (8.5% ABV), a thick, mean Russian Imperial Stout, is always a winter highlight for Tractor.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—pLOUD: The Silver String Band, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Tonight (Wednesday)—Solos on the Hill: Kyle Wayne Ruggles, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Setting the Tone: Jeff Jones, 5 p.m.

UPDATED >>> Other Events: Art Fusion for a Cause returns tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at Wells Park.

The In the Mix Series is back Saturday at Wells Park with DJ Wae Funx spinning at 9 p.m.

Every Monday at Wells Park you can now find Mondays on the Mic hosted by Adam Hooks starting at 7 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.

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

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: Altbier, All Peached Up, Arsenal Porter, O Tannenbaum. TMBC’s winter warmer, O Tannenbaum (5.6% ABV, 24 IBU), was brewed with fresh ginger and spruce tips.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery. Unsure if you want to buy one? Let Franz Solo tell you why you need this beer.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Bock Door Man, Stranger Than Fiction, Gulden Woelf. The most recent addition is the Gulden Woelf (8.8% ABV), a massive Belgian golden that acts more like a quad.

News: Next up on the beer docket is a coffee cream stout.

Events: Blue Corn is hosting Ingrained, a local craft beer and food fest on Saturday. For $35 per person, from noon to 2 p.m. you can try foods from six different eateries paired with beers from seven different breweries — Blue Corn, Bathtub Row, Chama River, Bosque, Duel, Second Street, and Santa Fe. Call the number above to make reservations.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour), Study Series: Session 1 (Golden Hopped Session), Study Series: Session 2 (Dark Hopped Session), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental), Goya Imperial Stout. Hair of the Wolf (7.7% ABV), a beer to benefit the local arts collective Meow Wolf, is back for a second run.

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 is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, Belgian Dubbel (ECS), Adobe Igloo 2.0 (Winter Warmer), La Bete Noire, Snowflake DIPA. The fourth entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Belgian Dubbel.

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, Rod’s Best Bitter, Railrunner Pale Ale, Vienna Country Lager, LVL Stout, Equinox IPA, Chinook Pale Ale.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Bill Hearne; Saturday—Swing Soleil

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Moscow Mules; Saturday—Les Gens Bruyants

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, Barrel-Aged Imperail Stout, Wit Rock, Hindsight Doppelbock, Juniper Pale Ale, Big House Belgo, Red Hammer Ale, Asian White IPA. The Red Hammer is a beast of a double red which we originally enjoyed back at Bathtub Row’s grand opening last summer.

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, TCBC Porter, Twisted Black IPA, McFadden’s Scotch.

* * * *

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

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 a pair of newcomers, 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.

During the winter, seasonal beer releases tend to follow rapidly one after another. A few special ones are not just on tap, but in bombers. While we are all used to places like La Cumbre, Marble, and recently Bosque having those, now Boxing Bear is joining the party. First came their award-winning Chocolate Milk Stout, this week comes their hoptastic Sucker Punch Double IPA. The last time Justin Hamilton and his staff brewed up this monster, it checked in at 8.5-percent ABV and 125 IBU. They will have it on tap and for sale at the brewery from 5 to 9 p.m. this Thursday. Champions Club members will receive a Sucker Punch logo pint glass with the purchase of a bomber or pint (one per member). Boxing Bear will also be giving away Sucker Punch T-shirts and pint glasses via Facebook. Do not fret, Franz Solo is at work until 9 that night, so you will not have to fear him bowling you over to get to the first bomber.

We would also like to welcome Sidetrack Brewing to the listings this week. I reviewed their initial lineup. For more information, scroll down below.

There a few other new beers being released this week, though all are on tap only. Bosque is feeling uncommon with the Railyard Rust California Common. Sasquatch Scotch is back at Canteen. Distillery 365 has the new Happenstance All-Day Blonde (we will have more on this beer later). Kaktus has cranked out an Imperial Stout. Speaking of big beers, La Roja Grande is on tap at La Cumbre. In case you missed it New Year’s Day, there is still some El Mysterio left at Marble West Side. In the old favorites department, Arsenal Porter is back at Turtle Mountain for a limited time.

Up in Santa Fe, Gulden Woelf is howling at Blue Corn. Second Street has tapped LVL Stout, Equinox IPA, and Chinook Pale Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of January 4.

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

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: Whiskey Stout, Imperial IPA. AmyO said these were the two specialty beers available when she made a recent visit to learn about the rebranding of ABQ Brew Pub into Alien Brew Pub (which is now complete). Check out her story for more details, and we will have a story and pictures of the completed rebranding posted soon on our site.

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: High Plains Drifter Blonde, Dukes Pale Ale, G2 IPA, Off the Richter Red, Handlebars Stout, Brett Brown, Irish Red Ale. Welcome back, ABC. Their new brewer, Carnie (formerly of Santa Fe), sent us his updated list. Off the Richter Red is an imperial. The Handlebars is available on both CO2 and nitro. The most recent additions are the Irish Red and Brett Brown.

Events: ABC has a new happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, plus Sunday will have all-day happy hour prices.

Back Alley Draft House — (505) 766-8590

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

Beers: Honey Common, Latir Pale Lager, Berliner Weisse, Braggot, Lando’s Lager. There are four recent additions to the taps. The Latir is an old favorite, while the Honey Common is a sweet twist on the Cali Common. The Braggot is a beer-cider hybrid. Lando’s Lager honors the great Billy Dee Williams as a proper malt liquor.

Events: 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: House IPA, Cherry Stout, Coconut Porter, Raz Wheat, Red Rye, Brown Ale, Rye Noon, Very Chai Christmas, Cerveza Chile Verde (B2B only), Galaxy Pale Ale (Lobo only), Pepper Saison (Lobo only). At long last, we have a list for B2B and their sister location, Lobo Beast. They rotate through beers quickly, so if you see one you have to try off this list, hurry over. As proof, the lineup shifted significantly in recent weeks. The freshest additions are the House IPA, Brown Ale, Very Chai Christmas, Cerveza Chile Verde, and Galaxy Pale Ale.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Beach Bum Pale Ale. The popular Beach Bum is back for another run. BG goes through their beers fast, so hurry out to try it. If you have not made it out there yet, the Grasshopper is located at 4500 Arrowhead Ridge Road in Rio Rancho, just off Highway 528.

News: Click the link above to check out the new Blue Grasshopper website, with updated lists of guest beers, a full menu, and a full music listing.

Events: The Grasshopper has live music from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

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, Burly Brown. The Patriot Porter (6% ABV) is a pre-Prohibition style of American porter, more brown than black with strong roasted flavors smoothed out by the nitro pour. La Onza (5.4% ABV) offers up a big, citrusy kick for a Belgian-style witbier. Old Shonie (4.5% ABV) is also available on nitro; it is lighter than most of the other Scottish beers in the ABQ area. The Dr. Strangehop XPA (6.5% ABV) offers up a wonderful mix of the piney Willamette and more floral Mosaic hops. The Duke City Lager (5% ABV) is now a permanent addition to the lineup. Ichabod’s Revenge (7.6% ABV) is a pumpkin ale made with a ton of real pumpkin baked by the staff. The Burly Brown (6.8% ABV, 72 IBU) is an India Brown/Cascadian style. They are down to the very last of their supply, so hurry over before it runs out.

Events: 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: Jared’s Belgian Quad with cherries, Eldorado Pale Ale, Imperial Coffee Brown, Scale Tipper IPL, Dry Stout (on nitro at all locations, CO2 at Las Cruces only), Jingle Bell Bock (Nob Hill only), Citra S.M.A.S.H. (Las Cruces and San Mateo), Railyard Rust California Common (San Mateo and Nob Hill). All three Bosque locations are now up to date. The new Belgian ale series is underway with the decadent Jared’s Quad with cherries (10.3% ABV, 25 IBU). The Eldorado Pale Ale (6.4% ABV, 30 IBU) is a delicious, single-hop pale. The new Jingle Bell Bock (6.9% ABV, 20 IBU) is a sweet treat. The Imperial Coffee Brown (9% ABV, 20 IBU) is also for sale in bombers; we highly, highly recommend you pick up this one before it’s gone. You can still buy bombers of the barrel-aged Jet Black Winter (10.2% ABV) until the supply runs out. The newest additions are the Dry Stout (4.5% ABV, 20 IBU) and Scale Tipper IPL (6.1% ABV, 95 IBU), which is a lager using the Scale Tipper hops. The Citra S.M.A.S.H. is also now popping up at the different locations as tap space becomes available. Railyard Rust (5.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is back for another run.

News: 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.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Body Slam Imperial Pilsner, Fist Pump Pumpkin Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout, Bear-El Aged Stout, Crystal S.M.A.S.H., Iron Lung Smoked Porter. Boxing Bear got into the barrel-aging game by taking some Standing 8 Stout and putting it in Pinot Noir barrels. Go try this rather different take on a barrel-aged offering while it lasts. The appropriately smoky Iron Lung is back for another run. The Chocolate Milk Stout (5.2% ABV, 20 IBU), a silver medal winner at GABF this fall, is still available for a limited time. You can expect it to go fast, again, so head over ASAP. Is also available on nitro while supplies last, plus now they have bottled it and bombers are for sale at the brewery and at Jubilation. Other available seasonals include the Body Slam (7.4% ABV, 60 IBU).

News: 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 will now be held every Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. at Boxing Bear.

The Sucker Punch DIPA release party is this Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. See the intro for more details.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737

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

Beers: Cherry Blossom Wheat, Galaxy IPA, Aumbers Amber, Sasquatch Scotch, Sweet Sandarine Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Hops IPA, Panama Joe Coffee Stout. The Porter, Schwarzbier, Black Hops, and Panama Joe are all part of this year’s edition of Solstice Blackout. Get a sample tray of all five for $5 or you can purchase individual pints. The Crew visited recently and we all declared this batch of Panama Joe just as good as the one that medaled at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014. The Galaxy IPA (7.2% ABV, 80 IBU) will take you out of this world. The Cherry Blossom Wheat (4% ABV, 10 IBU) was made with 100-percent tart cherry puree, and it offers a nice break from the heavier beers on tap. The Aumbers (6.5% ABV, 45 IBU) offers up more of a kick than most ambers. The Sasquatch (8% ABV, 26 IBU) is back for another run.

News: Canteen has begun filling Crowlers, 32-ounce aluminum cans that can be filled with any beer on tap. They get sealed up and can last for a lot longer than a regular growler. Then you bring back the Crowlers to be recycled and get some fresh ones.

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), Calabaza (Pumpkin Ale), Festival (Oktoberfest). The Piedra del Fuego (5% ABV) is an old favorite. According to Cazuela’s menu: “This cream ale uses red-hot stones to super caramelize the sugars, creating a nutty, toffee-like flavor.” The Inebriator (8% ABV) and the Papacabra (9.7% ABV) are the biggest beers in the lineup. Cazuela’s was the first local brewery to tap a pumpkin ale, in their case the Calabaza, which was created by new brewer Brandon Venaglia. He kept the seasonal theme going with Festival, his version of an Oktoberfest.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Radioactive IPA, Sun Dog Kolsch, Bambina Milk Stout, Juniper Berry Braggot. The most recent additions are the Kolsch and the Braggot (9% ABV), the latter of which is a hybrid of a beer and a mead. Before that came the hop-tastic Radioactive and smooth-as-silk Bambina.

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, Lone Pine Pilsner, Faulty Barrel-Aged Ale, Happenstance All-Day Blonde. Distillery 365 is located at 2921 Stanford Dr., just south of Candelaria and not far from La Cumbre and Canteen. The most recent addition is the Faulty, which was aged for several months in red wine barrels. The ESB a simple English ale. This batch offers up more flavor from the hops and malts. The Lone Pine is a dry German pilsner. The All-Day is the first in a new series of beers. We will have more details soon. They are also serving their house-made Holy Ghost Vodka and Horsethief Rum, a 100-percent molasses-based silver rum, plus guest taps from Red Door.

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., Distillery 365 has a build-your-own bloody mary bar. You can purchase three bloodies for just $20.

News: Barrel No. 1 of their Tres Pistolas Bourbon has been filled, but it’ll be another two years before anyone can drink it. Good things come to those who wait, I suppose.

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: Dunkel, 1492 IPA, Smoke and Fire Porter, ESB, Coffee-roasted Schwarz Bier, Helles Lager, Peppermint Stout, Red Ale, Imperial Stout. The most recent additions are the Imperial Stout (11% ABV), the Schwarz Bier, made with local coffee, and the annual holiday favorite, Peppermint Stout. Before that came the Red Ale, Dunkel, and ESB, a longtime Crew favorite at Kaktus. Other seasonals available are the 1492 IPA (made with Columbus hops, natch), Smoke and Fire Porter (a cherrywood smoked porter with Chipotle), and Helles Lager. Kaktus is located at 471 South Hill Road in Bernalillo, for those who have still not made the trek.

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

Events: The Desert Darlings belly dancers perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on almost every Sunday. If you’ve never seen the Desert Darlings in person, you’re missing out. For those who do not want to make the trek to Bernalillo, you are in luck, they will be performing Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. at Kaktus’ new Nob Hill taproom. In addition to the entertainment, all pizzas will be $4 off.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Ryeot on Rye, La Roja Grande, Gracias Por Fumar (on nitro), Grange’s Session IPA, It’s Not EVEN Brown. All the beers that came out for La Cumbre’s recent 5th anniversary week are still available. The most recent addition is It’s Not EVEN Brown, a brown ale that looks red and tastes like something wholly different. The Ryeot on Rye is an amped-up, barrel-aged version of their popular Red Ryeot. Gracias Por Fumar is a smoked porter that goes oh so well on nitro. Before that came the Grange’s Session IPA, with $1 from every pint sold going to the fight against ALS. For a session, this thing has a hell of a hop kick. It’s La Cumbre, though, so should we really expect any less? La Roja Grande, an imperial red in case your Spanish is worse than mine, is now on tap.

Events: Rudy Boy Experiment performs on Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. 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: Long Nosed Tripel, Legless DIPA, Frilled Irish Red, Earless English IPA. This seasonal list might be out of date, so call ahead before you head over. The Long Nosed (9.2% ABV, 30 IBU) is one of the biggest beers on the menu. The Legless (8.5% ABV, 100 IBU) offers up quite the hop kick. Earless (6.4% ABV, 50 IBU) is in the classic English tradition. The Irish Red (5.3% ABV, 24 IBU) has the perfect malt profile, not too sweet, not too dry.

News: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints. Take note that Lizard Tail now opens at noon every day.

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 — Reserve Ale, White Out, Double IPA; Downtown only — Imperial Red, Tall, Dark, and Pumpkin; Westside only — El Mysterio. The Tall, Dark, and Pumpkin (6.2% ABV) is nearly out. The TDP is a brown ale with pumpkin spice and vanilla, served on nitro. Three heavyweights, the Reserve, Double IPA, and Imperial Red, are back on tap. White Out (9% ABV), which was originally brewed for Marble’s seventh anniversary back in April, is now back on tap for a limited time. El Mysterio is down to its last drops at the Westside. It is a blended, barrel-aged mix of Oatmeal Stout, Imperial Red, and Barleywine.

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

On the live music front, Matt Jones will take the indoor stage Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

There is no music at the Westside Taproom while they undergo renovation and expansion. Look for the new stage to be ready in March.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100

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

Beers: Equinox, Hoppy Wheat, U.S.S. Simcoe, Salted Caramel Stout. The recent release party for the Salted Caramel Stout was packed to the rafters; trust us, the beer was worth it. The U.S.S. Simcoe (7% ABV, 30 IBU) is the latest pale ale in Nexus’ S.M.A.S.H. (single malt and single hop) series, and it is a tasty one. Equinox (6.5% ABV, 16 IBU) is back for another run of pumpkin-spiced brown ale goodness. This year’s version wowed us all at NM Brew Fest. The Hoppy Wheat is a seasonal hopped-up wheat beer, as if you could not guess by the name.

Events: Nexus serves up Happy Hour All Day on Tuesday featuring $3 pints. Also on Tuesday, Nexus will be hosting their comedy open mic, Young Dumb and Full of Comedy, starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Sun Room.

Pi Brewing at Nicky V’s Neighborhood Pizzeria — (505) 890-9463

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

Beers: Cardinal Sin Red, Robust Porter, Pi Vapor, Kama Citra IPA, English Summer Ale, Pre-Prohibition Pilsner, Belgian Pumpkin Ale, Winter is Coming. No, Winter is Coming is not just to make you all yearn for the return of Game of Thrones, is a peppermint porter that will get you into the holiday mood. The Robust Porter and Pi Vapor, a California Common, are other recent additions to the lineup. The Cardinal Sin Red and Kama Citra IPA look to become permanent members of the lineup. While Pi Brewing is not open to the public yet, they are able to brew and serve their beers next door at Nicky V’s. We’ll keep tabs on when Pi itself opens.

News: They are brewing up a double batch of the outstanding Bourbon Vanilla Porter.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: (Regular) Ghost Train IPA, Rip Saw Red, Crosscut Kolsch, Bellamah Brown, American Wheat; (Seasonal) Zaftig, Stage One IPA, Bohemian Pilsner, Spanglish. Ponderosa is located at 1761 Bellamah NW, which is just east of Rio Grande and due north of the NM Natural History Museum, in the bottom floor of a swanky-looking apartment/retail complex (they have a sign atop the building now that you cannot miss). Congrats to Bellamah Brown and American Wheat for joining the regular beer list, both by popular demand. The newest additions are the Bohemian (5.2% ABV, 32 IBU) and the Spanglish (4.6% ABV, 18 IBU), a Mexican-style lager. Other recent additions to taps are Zaftig (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU), a creamy smooth oatmeal stout, and Stage One IPA (8% ABV, 107 IBU) is a big, hopped-up oatmeal IPA. There is also a raspberry-infused version of the Zaftig.

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: (Regular) Gateway Blonde Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Paint it Black Milk Stout, Unhinged Cider, Trapdoor Belgian Wit. (Seasonal) Cosmos Porter, Ryeson Sun Saison, Anniversary Double Red, Dark Side DIPA. No, they did not name the Dark Side DIPA (10.3% ABV, 100+ IBU) after us, but we still went and drank some of this mosh pit of piney hops. Another recent addition is the delicious, slightly hoppy Cosmos Porter. Before that came the Anniversary Double Red  (7.7% ABV, 67 IBU), which has a deceptively low IBU count for a beer that hoppy. It’s got bite, it’s dry, it’s fierce, it’s right up there with the other best imperial reds in town. The Ryeson is still the only rye saison we have ever tasted.

Events: Live music is back tonight (Wednesday) with Next 2 the Tracks from 7 to 9 p.m. The Draft Sessions open mic is just about every Monday from 7 to 9.

Saturday morning will mark another round of Beer and Breakfast, with Barclays Premier League soccer on the telly! From 7 to 10 a.m. you can gather with friends for some food truck-supplied goodies with a pint of beer.

Red Door will no longer be hosting yoga on Sundays.

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, Karl’s Hefeweizen, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Black Angus Stout, Road Runner Red, Duke City Pils, Oktoberfest, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel aged), Barley Wine (regular and barrel aged). You can find Rio Bravo at 1912 2nd St. NW, which is just south of I-40. The most recent additions are the Old Town Porter (7.6% ABV, 55 IBU) and Barley Wine (10.5% ABV, 39 IBU), available in tasty regular format and in the more potent barrel-aged versions. Get ’em quick, because both batches will go fast. Look for another barrel-aged beer after Christmas, which the Crew might just have a hand in brewing (more on that soon, we promise). As for the regular lineup, the Amber (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) offers up a more flavorful kick than most of its genre. The Hefeweizen (4.6% ABV, 26 IBU) has a big banana aroma, but the flavor is more balanced and smooth. Dirty Rotten Bastard (6.4% ABV, 77 IBU) is a “level one” IPA. Columbus is the primary hop in the DRB. Snakebite (7.4% ABV, 99 IBU) is the bigger “level two” IPA, armed with Amarillo, Cascade, Centennial, Columbus, and Crystal hops. Another addition to the regular lineup is the burly Black Angus Stout (5.9% ABV, 25 IBU). It is not a milk stout, cream stout, chocolate stout, or coffee stout. It is just a stout, thick and strong with prominent roasted flavors, somewhat similar to Deschutes’ Obsidian Stout. Road Runner Red (5.7% ABV, 53 IBU) made a solid debut at MWBF.

Events: Live music is back this week with a pair of doubleheaders. Eryn Bent performs Thursday at 4 p.m., followed by Last Call at 6. Friday will feature Blue Chile at 5 p.m. and the Black Smoke Blues Band at 6:30. James Whiton performs “Solo Loop Bass Madness” on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

Rio Bravo will now have karaoke every Tuesday from 6 to 10 p.m.

Sandia Chile Grill — (505) 798-1970

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

Beers: Son Ranger Irish Red, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen, Rio Negro Milk Stout, Rattlesnake IPA. These are the four core beers of SCG’s lineup, though we cannot guarantee they are on tap at all times. Give them a call to check and see which beers are available. They also now offer guest taps.

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 288-6468

(Mon–Tues closed, Weds–Thurs 4–8 p.m., Fri 4–10 p.m., Sat 1–10 p.m., Sun 1–6 p.m.)

Beers: Pub Ale, RailHead Red, 3:10 to Belen Brown, Dark Engine Stout, Switchgear IPA 1, Switchgear IPA 2. Welcome to the lineup, Sidetrack! Their initial lineup is promising. The Pub Ale (5.1% ABV, 30 IBU) and Brown (5.3% ABV, 38 IBU) are both English-style ales. The Red (5.5% ABV, 33 IBU) is more malty than hoppy. The Stout (6% ABV, 33 IBU) has elements of both an oatmeal and a dry stout. Take your pick between IPA 1 (6.1% ABV, 70 IBU) and IPA (6.6% ABV, 55 IBU). As of this past weekend, the Brown with orange zest and IPA 1 dry-hopped with Ahtanum were both on cask.

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.)

UPDATED >>> Beers: Berliner Weisse, Dark Horse Lager, Desert Dweller IPA, Pear Berry Cider, Tupac Cali Red, Barnstorm Ale, Luna De Los Muertos, Scotcholate Scotch Ale, Barn Burner Pale Ale (Wells Park only), Et Tu Brute Cider (Wells Park only), Lil Cease Session IPA (Nob Hill only). The newest additions are the Et Tu Brute Cider and Scotcholate Scotch Ale (at Wells Park only) and the Luna De Los Muertos (8.5% ABV), Tupac Cali Red (6.5% ABV, 80 IBU), and Barnstorm Ale at both locations. Before that came the Desert Dweller (6% ABV), and Lil’ Cease Session IPA (4.5% ABV, 79 IBU). Still hanging around is the Dark Horse Lager (5.6% ABV). The Ruggles (4.4% ABV) is a California Common-style beer. Berliner Weisse (5.1% ABV) is still available at both locations.

Events: Poetry and Beer is back at Wells Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m.

The Thirsty Thursday music series returns this week at Wells Park at 8 p.m., featuring The Lymbs doing an acoustic set.

There will be a special art opening Friday at Nob Hill featuring Anthony Evans at 7 p.m.

The In the Mix Series is back Saturday at Wells Park with DJ Leftovers spinning at 9 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.

Also, every Monday at Nob Hill features each of Tractor’s canned beers on sale for just $2.

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: Altbier, All Peached Up, Arsenal Porter, O Tannenbaum. All Peached Up is, as you might expect, a peachy wheat ale. This beer will help you think of the warmer days ahead. TMBC’s winter warmer, O Tannenbaum (5.6% ABV, 24 IBU) is also on tap. It was brewed with fresh ginger and spruce tips. The Arsenal Porter is the latest entry in the classic beer series brought back.

News: 22-ounce bombers of Wilde Jagd, Turtle Mountain’s first bottled beer, are still for sale at the brewery. Unsure if you want to buy one? Let Franz Solo tell you why you need this beer.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Bock Door Man, Stranger Than Fiction, Gulden Woelf. The most recent addition is the Gulden Woelf (8.8% ABV), a massive Belgian beast of a beer. Before that came the Stranger Than Fiction, a Belgian-style IPA, and the Bock Door Man (6.4% ABV).

News: Brewer James Warren said he has a Barleywine coming soon.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.)

Beers: Bad Amber, Manikin (Scotch Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Fiction (IPA), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Titian (Golden Strong), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Dark Ryder (Dark Strong), Stille of the Night (Belgian Dark Sour), Cezanne Denouement (Fall Saison), Ara Pacis (Barrel-Aged Imperial Golden Sour), Study Series: Session 1 (Golden Hopped Session), Study Series: Session 2 (Dark Hopped Session), Hair of the Wolf (Experimental). The two new Study Series beers are both session ales, with the lighter Session 1 checking in at 3.4-percent ABV, while the darker Session 2 hits at 3.7 percent. Hair of the Wolf (7.7% ABV), a beer to benefit the local arts collective Meow Wolf, is back for a second run. Coming this Monday is the 2015 version of Goya Imperial Stout.

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

News: Duel is opening an Albuquerque taproom that will be more than twice the size of the mother facility in Santa Fe. We’re on the case to get you all the details about the downtown location and its projected opening date.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.)

Beers: Black IPA, Chicken Killer, Santa Fe Gold, Belgian Dubbel (ECS), Adobe Igloo 2.0 (Winter Warmer), La Bete Noire, Snowflake DIPA. The fourth entry in the ECS (Ever Changing Series) is now available on tap and in bombers in the form of Belgian Dubbel. The Santa Fe Gold is now for sale all around the state in six-packs. The Adobe Igloo 2.0, an improved, spiced winter warmer, is now available on tap. The most recent addition is La Bete Noire, a black saison. The Snowflake is a hop-tastic DIPA that still has a good malt backbone.

Events: $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, Rod’s Best Bitter, Kidder Special Bitter, Vienna Country Lager, LVL Stout, Equinox IPA, Chinook Pale Ale. The most recent addition as are the LVL Stout, Equinox IPA, and Chinook Pale Ale. Before that came the new Vienna Country Lager. The Pivotal IPA and Boneshaker Bitter are often available for purchase in four-packs of cans.

Events: Live music is back this week with The Driftman at the original location Friday and Broomdust Caravan on Saturday.

Lone Pino will perform at the Railyard location Friday, followed by Alto Street on Saturday.

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, Black Point Stout, Wit Rock, Little Bird Blonde, Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, Tom’s Green Chile Amber. We are proud to have Los Alamos’ first brewery amid our listings. The newest beers on tap are the Blackberry Saison, Trinity Tripel, Oktoberfest, and Tom’s Green Chile Amber.

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, TCBC Porter, Twisted Black IPA, McFadden’s Scotch. Located in Socorro at 115 Abeyta St. W, Twisted Chile is the first brewery there to brew on site since Socorro Springs outsourced their brewing to Eddyline in Colorado several years ago. I got to head down there recently and enjoyed all the beers I sampled. Kudos to Twisted Chile for bring quality craft beers back to a town that needed ’em. The newest beers on tap are the Black IPA and Scotch Ale.

* * * *

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

Your choice for the best beer name of 2015 was Red Door's Baby Got Bock.

Your choice for the best beer name of 2015 was Red Door’s Baby Got Bock.

Baby Got Bock!

Yes, Red Door’s homage to a “classic” song was the winner of our first poll. Since we did not add a timing element to the poll itself, we just decided all votes after 10 p.m. MST would not count. Thus, Baby Got Bock proved to be the winner. (We should add it was also quite a good beer, too.)

Here is the full list of beers, now including the breweries they represented. Considering that the usual most popular breweries are way down on this list, we would like to thank everyone for just voting for the names.

Good luck to our local breweries in topping these names in 2016. The new Sidetrack Brewing may already have their top candidate on tap in the 3:10 to Belen Brown.

  1. Baby Got Bock (Red Door) 39 votes
  2. Pink Elephants on Parade (Bosque) 32 votes
  3. Dr. Strangehop XPA (Boese Brothers) 27 votes
  4. Hoppenheimer IPA (Bathtub Row) 23 votes
  5. Kama Citra IPA (Pi) 18 votes
  6. I’m a Little Teapot Short and Stout (Kaktus) 15 votes
  7. Salute Your Schwarz (Boxing Bear) 12 votes
  8. Gourd Dammit (Turtle Mountain) 10 votes
  9. Hefen or Hell (Back Alley) 9 votes
  10. Pumpkin Butt (Ponderosa) 6 votes
  11. Brown Paper Bag (Blue Corn) 5 votes
  12. Tall, Dark, and Pumpkin (Marble) 5 votes
  13. Full Mast Kilt Scottish (Santa Fe) 5 votes
  14. Aumbers Amber (Canteen) 4 votes
  15. Night at the Roggenbury (Nexus/Turtle Mountain) 4 votes
  16. Mashing Pumpkins (B2B) 3 votes
  17. Bohemian From Burque (La Cumbre) 3 votes
  18. Off the Richter Red (Albuquerque Brewing) 2 votes
  19. Twig and Berries Sahti (Broken Bottle) 2 votes
  20. Kissy Face Cherry Chocolate Wheat (Chama River) 2 votes
  21. What WOOD Amber Do (Duel) 2 votes
  22. Q’s Omnipotent Wit (Nexus) 2 votes
  23. Lil’ Cease Session IPA (Tractor) 2 votes
  24. Beach Bum Pale Ale (Blue Grasshopper) 0 votes

Thanks again to all who voted. This was fun. We will have to do more polls like this in the future, but fear not, we will never let this site turn into a “listicle” page. That’s just lazy.

Oh, and for the record, I voted (only once) for Hoppenheimer IPA. The history buff in me could not pass up that one.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Starr Brothers Brewing is moving closer to opening early in 2016.

Starr Brothers Brewing is moving closer to opening early in 2016.

Everything old is new again.

Starr Brothers Brewing is going back to the old school, opening a true brewpub in an era where kitchens have been eschewed in favor of food trucks.

The forthcoming brewery is located on San Antonio east of I-25 in the San Antonio Commons retail center. If you reach San Pedro, you have gone too far, but the bright yellow sign is hard to miss. As I drive up and down San Antonio almost every day, I have been keeping a close eye on Starr Brothers’ progress. Based on what I saw with my own two eyes, plus some pics on Facebook, I contact the brewery about an advance tour. We matched up our schedules Wednesday afternoon.

Owner John Starr, brewer Rob Whitlock, and general manager Derek Minero were all on hand to show me the almost-but-not-quite-ready location. By all accounts, it could be ready in a month, but more likely after that. As any brewery owner can tell you, putting an exact target on opening is something best reserved for as close to that date as possible. The kitchen, in fact, figures to be ready before the brewery is done, so Rob said they will likely open the restaurant with some initial guest taps while his first brews are being prepped.

The star motif is already up on the bar.

The star motif is already up on the bar.

John, a Navy veteran, said his background is in commercial sales. He has done a lot of traveling, all of which inspired him to attempt to launch a true brewpub in a crowded craft market.

“I’ve always wanted to have a place like this,” John said. “It felt like the time was right. It’s just interesting that these things take a long, long time to plan and actually implement. When I started planning people weren’t publishing articles about are there too many (breweries). In all that time it took to make it come to life, people are out there saying that sort of things. If you’ve ever been from a very mature brewing market, you realize that we’re not anywhere near there.”

The full kitchen setup is not one that many of the other new breweries are planning to attempt, though Quarter Celtic will also be going that route.

“We want to have an interesting menu that people will come back for,” John said. “We want to be beer forward, but when you sit down to have a beer, someone will wait on your table and bring you something great to eat.”

Starr Brothers will have a restaurant license, which will also open things up to carry things like wine and champagne that is made outside of New Mexico. John reiterated, though, that they will focus heavily on the beer.

To handle the restaurant aspect and the brewing aspect, Rob and Derek were brought on board. Derek has served as the manager at the Il Vicino in the Northeast Heights for the past eight years.

“I met Derek through going in there all the time,” John said. “We have some other things in common, too. One of my really good friends, he’s kind of a mentor to me, (Derek) went to high school with his daughters. Small town stuff.”

Once that glycol chiller is up on the roof, there will be plenty of room inside the dining area.

Once that glycol chiller is up on the roof, there will be plenty of room inside the dining area.

“These two guys are the core of what’s going on here,” John added. “We do have a cook and a chef consultant who are also really good guys who came to us through another set of incredible circumstances. One is Rob’s neighbor. There’s been a lot of things that have been these big arrows pointing to certain people that we’ve followed.”

Rob is an award-winning home brewer who just retired from a 30-year career as a plumber. He has also assisted on brewing projects at Boxing Bear.

“So, Rob here, who’s our brewer, was recommended to me by a family friend who’s also a small brewer,” John said.

“Charlie Sandoval over at Pi Brewing,” Rob added.

“He’s a close friend of our family through soccer,” John said of Charlie. “His grandson played with my oldest son. Soccer was the connection there. I knew Charlie and he introduced me to Rob.”

Rob and Charlie were old friends with the Wart Hogs home brewing club in Rio Rancho. Rob said he will brew solo to start with at Starr Brothers before thinking about adding an assistant.

“To start off with, yeah,” he said. “I want to get the system dialed in and everything.

“I’ve been brewing with Justin (Hamilton) at Boxing Bear, so his methods have rubbed off on me. He makes really clean beer, really good, clean beer. He’s very meticulous about things. He’s really helped me a lot, him and Kevin (Davis). I’ve known Kevin for a long time through the home brewing store (Southwest Grape and Grain).”

The tanks are in the building and ready to be hooked up.

The tanks are in the building and ready to be hooked up. (And that’s Rob sneaking into the photo.)

Rob plans to have an IPA on tap at all times, with other classic styles available, including a few on tap that are not always available in town.

“Rob is going to have a lot of creative freedom to do what he wants,” John said. “But there are some things we’ve talked about that you know you have to have. I want him to brew stuff that he likes and he enjoys brewing. We’re not going to do some crazy thing where we’re out there to recreate and be the brewery that makes special kinds of beers. We want to make classic styles of beer that are all good. He’s won awards for Dortmunders before. I think that’s a cool style to move forward with.”

Starr Brothers has a 7-barrel Premier brewhouse that is almost ready to go. Rob has four fermenters and serving tanks at his disposal, three of each at 7 barrels and one each at 15 barrels (those will be for the IPA, he later told me). They just received their glycol chiller, which will be installed on the roof, and Rob is handling all of the installation and plumbing in the brewery, since he does have 30 years of experience in that field.

The 7-barrel brewhouse features a state-of-the-art control panel.

The 7-barrel brewhouse features a state-of-the-art control panel.

John said he also wants to have a staff that is knowledgeable about beer, or at least is willing to learn. That will in turn help out the restaurant aspect in terms of helping customers pair the right beer with the right food. That in turn can help keep the staff happy.

“Just to have an intelligent staff about food and drink, to incentivize our people to stay,” John said. “To have a longstanding group of people that work here that the clientele can get to know and feel comfortable around.”

The interior of the building will feature a spacious dining area, plus a sizable bar in the center. There will be TVs present for sports fans; expect a lot of hockey and soccer games, which the staff loves, though they will flick the channel if you ask nicely to watch football or baseball instead. There will also be an outdoor patio for the warmer months ahead.

“We just want to do the things we do and do them really well,” John said. “We want to make people feel like they’re comfortable here and we’re going to take care of them.”

Soon there will be beer here. Soon.

Soon there will be beer here. Soon.

Assuming there are no further delays with the construction or in terms of permits/licensing, Starr Brothers is aiming for a spring opening. They will keep us updated and in turn, the Crew will keep all of you updated on their progress.

We look forward to grabbing a bite to eat and a pint in the near future. I just had to promise the staff we will not let Brandon wear his Chelsea kit. They are Arsenal fans, after all.

Thank you to John, Rob, and Derek for taking time out of their busy day to chat. Good luck to Starr Brothers Brewing, and welcome to the Albuquerque craft beer scene!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister