Posts Tagged ‘Quarter Celtic Brewpub’

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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, and one in Red River 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.

St. Patrick’s Day is this Sunday, so as one would expect, there are gonna be a whole lot of themed events and Irish-style beers coming out this weekend. Just try not to overdo it; people really don’t like the “jolly, drunk Irishman” as much as pop culture likes to pretend (or worse, act like a certain infamous MMA fighter who hails from Ireland). Quarter Celtic, naturally, is one of the best places to enjoy a proper NM twist on the holiday. The brewpub celebrates its anniversary party on both Saturday and Sunday. There will be a limited menu of Celtic fare only (so no nachos, folks), with lots of delicious beers available, of course. Outside there will be a tent and a separate beer station, plus live music. Get there early for the barrel-aged Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout. Marble is bringing music back to the downtown stage with a St. Paddy’s Day Festival on Saturday featuring the Squash Blossom Boys, The Riddims, The Moon Thieves, and Red Light Cameras, plus of course Paddy McNitro Stout will be back on tap at all three locations. Canteen will have a St. Paddy’s Celebration with bagpipes at 3, music by Beloved at 4, and plenty of beer and food specials. Remember, you can also take six-packs of Irish Red home. Rio Bravo will host a St. Paddy’s Brunch and Beer Pong starting at 11 a.m. Tractor has Adam Hooks playing a selection of classic hits by The Pogues at the Nob Hill Taproom on Saturday at 5 p.m. Second Street will have the Albuquerque & Four Corners Pipe ‘N Drum Band at the original location on Sunday at 4:30 p.m., with a full menu of special Irish foods available all weekend at all three locations, plus plenty of special beers on tap.

There is also the big Steel Bender second anniversary party, which we previewed in a separate story. It will include a very Irish-themed Sunday in terms of food and beers.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic has switched up quite a few taps, with Brown Bear Brown, Blonde, Trail Head DIPA, and Lone Wolf (American Light Ale) now available. Bow & Arrow has the new Coyote Cool (Red Saison) in bottles and on tap. Cantero has a new Lager and Mango Fria on tap. Dialogue drops some Munich Dunkel and Belgian Dark Strong with cherries, along with Dry Irish Stout this weekend. Flix Brewhouse is feeling Marvelous with a new oatmeal stout, plus Saison De Walt makes its annual return. La Cumbre added an Irish Red and Pogue Mahone stout. Marble recently introduced Chicansima, a Mexican dark lager brewed in collaboration with the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Ponderosa tapped the long-awaited Belgian Golden Strong, and Cocoa Puffs Baltic Porter should be on tap by this weekend. Steel Bender has Daydream Belizer, a chocolate-and-coffee Belgian ale, available on Friday, plus Los Ranchos and CE-1 Ciders on Saturday, and Mulvaney’s Irish Red on nitro on Sunday.

Up in Santa Fe, it’s quiet again, but that won’t last long. Over in Los Alamos, we got an update from Bathtub Row with plenty of seasonal brews available, including an Irish Red and an Imperial Stout.

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

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Quarter Celtic’s Ror, left, and Brady McKeown hold up their mock check for Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA. The fine print reads, “QC Resilience check … slightly smaller than Marble’s.”

Quarter Celtic Brewpub owners Brady and Ror McKeown came prepared this time around. After our Look Back/Look Ahead Series entry last year got a bit, ahem, long-winded, they had a plan to keep things from going off the rails this time around. Fear not, however, they still managed to keep things appropriately off-beat, which is the norm for the brewpub on the corner of San Mateo and Lomas.

“(2018) flew by, so it’s amazing to me that in a couple weeks here we’ve got our three-year anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day,” Ror said. “It was super fast. I think our first year seemed like it took a long time. Now things are just ramping up, which is great.”

The past year was a big one for Quarter Celtic, with more medals on the wall and customers in the seats.

“Looking back on 2018, Brady did a great job on the beer,” Ror said. “He hit the trifecta. I’ll let him talk about that, but we’re pleased how it turned out.”

So what is the trifecta?

“In our mind (it was) the three big competitions we medaled in,” Ror said. “In the Great American Beer Festival we got bronze for the Mocha Hipster Bomb with Palmer (Brewery). Brady’s brewing it again, so keep an eye out. We got a silver at World Beer Cup for Pedro (O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager). And then, North American Beer Awards, we got two, so we got a bronze for the MacLomas Stout and a silver for Pedro. In our minds, those were some of the bigger competitions where you can gauge where you brewery is at on a national level, even a world level, I guess. It’s nice, because a couple of those beers are our house beers.”

We do like the banners featuring Quarter Celtic’s many medals that now hang from the ceiling.

The good news is the one specialty beer on the list, Mocha Hipster Bomb, has just been brewed again.

“I’ll have that on more often than not,” Brady said. “A medal at GABF is always good, it doesn’t matter what it’s for. But, I mean, you look at the other winners, that’s really good company to be in.”

“On a side note, it was one of the first ones (announced), so I didn’t have to pop any antacids or anything,” Ror added.

The past year also saw a fair amount of experimentation for Brady in all of the newer styles of beer that are starting to catch the attention of the general public. Even for someone who has been brewing for almost 25 years, like Brady, there are still new styles to learn.

“It’s always fun to (try) a couple new styles,” Brady said. “The new hazy IPAs, the fruited goses, or Catalina sours, or whatever they call them now. It was fun to try new things. It’s always fun to learn something new.”

“There are some beers that people may not like, but Brady wants to try the style,” Ror added. “We’re going to throw it out there.”

“That’s the fun of a brewpub, we don’t have to put it in a can,” Brady said. “That is fun. That’s sort of the whole M.O. of Quarter Celtic — fun. It’s a fun place to be, a fun place to hang out, and it translates into the beer, too.”

Heck, there is even a sign about all of that adorning the south wall behind the bar.

Somehow we just noticed this wonderful sign.

The brothers McKeown have kept things upbeat since their days together at Canteen Brewhouse, and even long before that.

“For me, I always look forward to coming to work with Brady, because (he’s) a fun person to hang out with, keeps things light,” Ror said. “We definitely have a nice rapport going, 50 years in the making.

“Then life’s been good, because we have a great staff. Our customer base is fantastic. It really is refreshing coming to work, which is kind of a phrase that many people don’t put together.”

The beer, however, remains key to making sure the public is enjoying the pub as much as the staff. Brady said there have been a few tweaks here and there with the equipment.

“It may not make it easier to brew, but hopefully we’re making the beer better, which is always the focus,” he said. “Now we’ve got an RO (reverse osmosis) system, and a new cold liquor tank, so now we get the fermenter back that we were using for cold water.”

Those minor fixes/upgrades might not seem like much, but in the end it all comes down to the pending addition of the first offsite taproom for Quarter Celtic.

As we noted in a story last month, the sign is up for the future taproom on Juan Tabo. (Photo courtesy of Quarter Celtic)

“That kind of leads us to looking forward, because some of the things we’re doing is getting ready for doubling the number of barrels that we’re going to be selling as Quarter Celtic,” Ror said. “Early on, we got the wholesale license so we could get our name out there. We still have some capacity in this brewery, but right now we’re in the process of kind of pulling some of the wholesale back. Because we know if we keep wholesale where it was and we open the taproom, then this brewery wouldn’t keep up.”

“Somebody would be disappointed, and eventually many people (would as well),” Brady added. “Just mathematically looking at what we sold, what we sold wholesale, what we sold in house, looking at the seats we’re going to have in the new place, we figured we should give people warning that we’re pulling out so we can supply our customers.”

The taproom will be located at 1930 Juan Tabo NE, between Indian School and Menaul, on the east side of the street. It will be about 3,000 square feet, which is smaller than the main location, but odds are it will be just as busy.

As for when it will be open, Ror said he is hopeful that things will be up and running before the summer.

“Probably early May, (but) you can always throw a date out there (and hope),” Ror said. “The building, we love the location, but we’re doing a lot of infrastructure type things that needed to happen to it. It just slows the process down.”

“It saves a lot of money, though, when Ror does it all himself,” Brady added.

Essentially, the space has now been cleared out and prepared for the eventual build-up to becoming functional.

“We’ve got Lee (Wilson) coming in here this week, so things should speed up,” Ror said, referring to another of Quarter Celtic’s owners. “We’ve got all the dirty, time-consuming things out of the way. Now it’s just trying to turn it into what we think an Irish pub should be like. That’s a little stressful, because we’re going to turn a strip mall into an Irish pub.”

There will be a line out here leading into the brewery for the anniversary/St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

While Ror has been away, Brady and the staff at the main location have been busy preparing for the anniversary party that starts March 16 and continues through the infamous Irish holiday.

“On that one, we’re going to do a two-day event again,” Ror said. “So this is going to be Saturday-Sunday, and pretty much mirror itself (from last year). We’re bringing in the pipers, the dancers, the band. It will be set up pseudo-beerfest style like we’ve done the past two years, which just from a volume (standpoint) is the only way we can pull it off. Otherwise there would be three-hour waits.

“Inside will still be full service and probably a really long wait. Outside it’s fend for yourself, get your own beer, we will have food out there. You may get to sit down, you may have to stand. But, it’s worked well the last couple years. People have enjoyed it. They understand that those two days, you’re not going to be able to come in and get the nachos, because you’ve got to slim the menu, too. Anything Celtic you can do is on that limited menu for those two days.”

Brady will have a few special beers available, as he has in the past.

“We saved some of the Irish Handcuffs, (barrel) aged, as well as Kill or be Kilt,” Brady said. “We’ve only got a couple kegs of the stout, so that will go fast. But, definitely, we have more beers (ready) than we have taps right now. We’re going to try to get the Mocha Hipster on for the anniversary. … Hopefully we’ll have the Clark (Hazy IPA) back on.”

Clark should replace the popular Never Cry Wolf-Dragon DIPA, which is running low this week, so go over and help drink it up, if that is your preferred style.

In the end, everything happening now is about gearing up for the taproom opening later this year.

“Basically for us, looking forward is just the logistics of two places,” Ror said. “Before we were always here. I mean, Brady is still always here, but when it comes to the management side of it, I’m out, Lee’s out, but we’ve turned it over to capable hands with Allison (York, general manager) and Caroline (Marquez, assistant general manager) running the show here. Now we’re focused on QC 2. Once that one is up and running, we’ll be back and forth.”

We honestly have no idea what they are doing with those Go Fish (and Chips) cards.

Oh, and do not fret, once QC 2 is open, Ror and Brady and the rest of their team will get back to making those wonderful, wacky YouTube videos. Who knows, maybe the Crew will even show up in one of those at some point. Or, maybe there will be one that honors the movie Shaun of the Dead, since several of our friends frequently refer to Quarter Celtic as “The Winchester.”

For now, we just suggest everyone head over to QC for a nice cold pint, and wait for this whole thing to blow over.

A huge thanks to Ror and Brady for the interview, the laughs, and a pint of No, You’re a Dort.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Marble team presents a check to Sierra Nevada for the sales of Resilience IPA. From left, brewer John Carroll, packaging line director Nate Jackson, head brewer John Heine, and president/brewmaster Ted Rice.

The results are in from one big charitable effort on the part of several New Mexico breweries, and they are good. Marble Brewery presented a check for more than $22,000 to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Camp Fire Relief Fund on Friday, all from the sales of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.

Marble was one of six New Mexico breweries, along with 1,400 across the country, to take a Sierra Nevada recipe and make a beer where 100 percent of proceeds went to charity. It was needed to help the victims of the wildfires in Northern California that crept right up to the outskirts of Chico, where Sierra Nevada’s original brewery is still located.

“It’s so insane, and the biggest thing we wanted to do is thank everyone, because it was everyone’s consumption of this fantastic beer that helped us raise so much money,” said Marble social media director Leah Black. “It was with 1,400 other breweries around the country, so ours is just a small chunk of what will help this cause.”

Steel Bender Brewyard reported that it raised $9,500 for its batch of Resilience, while Canteen Brewhouse, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, and Cloudcroft Brewing did not have their final figures available. Rowley Farmhouse Ales still has some Resilience on draft, so if you never got to try this flavorful West Coast IPA, head up to Santa Fe and drink for a good cause. UPDATE: Cloudcroft also still has it on tap, so if you are headed south for the weekend, make sure to stop by.

A huge thank you to all the participating breweries, to Sierra Nevada for coming up with the idea, and of course, as Leah said, to all the hopheads who bought a pint or two.

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Flix Brewhouse’s Unbreakable Glass earned one of four medals at the Best of Craft Beer Awards. (Photo courtesy of Will Moorman)

Here on this blustery Friday, it feels like a good time to stay indoors and catch up on some local beer news as we empty the notebook yet again.

Flix picks up four medals at Best of Craft Beer Awards

If there is a theme early on in 2019 to some of the beer competitions going around, it is that Flix Brewhouse has come to make a statement.

The brewery/movie theater, which makes all of its beers on premises in Albuquerque, earned four medals at the recent Best of Craft Beer Awards. Three other local breweries brought home another four medals, as well.

Flix earned gold in the Baltic-style Porter category with Darth Malt, and another gold in Belgian-style Witbier for Luna Rosa, which is a year-round beer. Flix also picked up a silver for James Blond in the Belgian-style Blonde Ale or Pale Ale category, and a bronze for Unbreakable Glass in the American-style Cream Ale category.

Those medals follow up a strong performance at the Beer Army Beer Wars last month. Congrats to Flix for making New Mexico proud again!

As for the other local winners, Sierra Blanca won gold for its Green Chile Cerveza in the Chili Pepper Beer category (that was how the competition spells Chili, so please don’t yell at us), and a bronze for Cherry Wheat in the Fruit Wheat Beer category. Rio Bravo brought home a silver for its Amber/ESB in the British Bitters category, while Abbey Brewing snagged bronze for its Monks’ Dark Ale in the English-style Mild or Brown Ale category.

Congrats to one and all!

New brewery updates: Things are moving again

Another new brewery is coming to the East Central/Foothills area. (Photo courtesy of Jonathan Carlson)

The end of the partial shutdown has several of the pending breweries around town back on track. Here is the latest that we know about each.

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The first competition of the year is in the books.

The first national beer competition of the year is in the books, and once again, New Mexico breweries have pulled off a strong showing. The Beer Army Beer Wars awards were announced last week, with five local breweries bringing home 20 medals.

Flix Brewhouse came in seventh overall with one gold, four silvers, and one bronze. Quarter Celtic added one gold, two silvers, and one bronze, while Three Rivers tacked on two silvers and three bronzes. Rounding out the list were Santa Fe (one gold, one silver) and Steel Bender (three silvers).

“It felt pretty darn good, man, I’m not going to lie,” Flix head brewer Will Moorman said. “We entered six beers, too, and well, all of them got a medal. I can’t complain about that at all. We were thoroughly surprised.”

Will said he learned from Steel Bender brewmaster Bob Haggerty, who had gotten an early look at the medal winners.

“It was good to see, there were some heavy-hitting breweries in there, too,” Will said. “It wasn’t just a pay-to-play kind of thing. Even in the small categories, they didn’t award medals if there wasn’t something that was worthy. It was nice to see that lend credence to how they operated a slightly smaller competition.”

The full list of winners by category is below.

  • International Pale Lager: Quarter Celtic’s Pedro O’Flanagan’s (bronze)
  • International Dark Lager: Quarter Celtic’s Dark Pedro (silver)
  • Festbier: Quarter Celtic’s VP30 (gold), Three Rivers’ Festbier (silver)
  • German Exportbier: Quarter Celtic’s Come to the Dort Side (silver), Three Rivers’ The Hoff (bronze)
  • Baltic Porter: Flix’s Darth Malt (silver)
  • English IPA: Santa Fe’s Happy Camper (gold)
  • Dark Mild: Flix’s Brown Basilisk (bronze)
  • Wee Heavy: Three Rivers’ Chuckerout (bronze)
  • English Barleywine: Santa Fe’s Chicken Killer (bronze)
  • American Pale Ale: Three Rivers’ Merica (silver)
  • California Common: Three Rivers’ Common (bronze)
  • Belgian IPA: Steel Bender’s The Whole Shoe (silver)
  • Witbier: Flix’s Luna Rosa (silver)
  • Belgian Blond Ale: Flix’s James Blond (silver)
  • Belgian Dubbel: Flix’s H-E-Dubbel Hockey Sticks (gold)
  • Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer: Steel Bender’s Ned’s Sour Pail (silver)
  • Fruit Beer: Flix’s Oasis (silver)
  • Specialty Fruit Beer: Steel Bender’s Raspberry Dynamite (silver)

Will said smaller competitions like this one can still have a lot of value for a brewer, especially for someone who is still relatively new to a head brewer position.

“For me, personally, part of my goal in my career is to brew highly stylistically accurate beers,” he said. “Sales are obviously super important, customer popularity is a huge thing, too, but I feel this is a really great benchmark to hit. You can brew that medals on a set of commonly accepted style guidelines, then you’re doing all right.

“I’m still relatively new. This will be my third year as a head brewer. For me as a new guy, I want to make sure my base beer is solid before we make it smoked and soured and add some chocolate cake.”

For outgoing Three Rivers head brewer Brandon Beard, the medals were a fitting final salute to his time at the Farmington institution. He will be opening Lauter Haus Brewing in town in the future.

“Well, it feels great, I’m super happy that I have put together a good team that will continue to strive and grow at 3RB,” he said. “One of the beers that medaled was flagship from before me. One was a collaboration between Patrick and I, and the other three were my recipes. When I started brewing 10 years ago, I was like every beginning brewer and was all about the hops. Over the years, I grew out of that. When I started brewing at 3RB, we only did one lager a year (Oktoberfest), but I really wanted to start brewing lagers. So about four years ago, I made it a personal goal to start brewing more lagers.

“I love that three of the five beers were lagers that medaled. I don’t think I stand alone when I say a lot of brewers really want the lager to blow up like some of these other styles have in the last year. You can’t hide any flaws in a lager; that’s why I want to brew more and more of them. Now that I’m going out on my own, it shouldn’t be a surprise with the name we chose for our brewery (Lauter Haus) that we will be pushing lagers on people. But, I know that 3RB is in good hands it was just time for me to do my own thing.”

The next set of awards are the Best of Craft Beer Awards, which are set for February 11.

Congrats to all of the New Mexico winners of this event. It is good to see 2019 starting off on the right note, competition-wise.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Remember when Marble shared this photo of happy brewery representatives in Washington D.C.? Yeah, gonna guess they are not too happy with the government right now.

Most of us are aware of, yet personally unaffected by, the current partial shutdown of the federal government. Leaving the politics aside, it has nonetheless made things difficult on both federal employees and those businesses and people who rely on certain federal agencies. It did not occur to any of us in the Crew how this might affect breweries until we saw a tweet by a brewer out of town who complained about the shutdown of the TTB.

The TTB (Tax and Trade Bureau) is the government agency that handles almost everything related to breweries, and many other businesses, at the federal level. It has the greatest impact on breweries that package and forthcoming breweries, which of course means it has an impact all around New Mexico. To figure out just what that impact has been, I emailed two people who have extensive knowledge of such affairs, NM Brewers Guild executive director John Gozigian and La Cumbre president/master brewer Jeff Erway.

“The shutdown affects breweries in planning with pending brewer’s notices and existing breweries with label approval applications in the pipeline,” John explained. “Brewer’s notices (federal brewers permit) and COLAs (certificates of label approval) are both issued by the TTB, which is a federal agency.”

That is not good news for breweries in planning.

“Any federal brewers notice is in limbo right now and they will be set back by this,” Jeff wrote.

It also has a negative impact on packaging breweries such as La Cumbre.

“If a beer is to be sent out of state, it needs a COLA and those are also in limbo,” Jeff wrote. “We are having to hold on shipping a few beers to AZ and CO specifically because of this shutdown.”

To sum it up: The shutdown is bad for breweries. Just like it is for everything else.

New breweries update

Originally, we were just going to lead Beer Notes with this list, but obviously events in Washington are putting all of these places on hold, to some degree. Nonetheless, here is every brewery with either a pending state small brewer license or an active one that is not yet open. Here are the breweries projected to open in the ABQ metro area in 2019. We realize there are probably more than these, but no pending license means we will not include it yet.

  • Black Snout Brewhouse (pending): We already took a tour of this new brewery located in a shopping center on the southeast corner of Menaul and Juan Tabo. The brewery had hoped to be open by the end of the month, but that seems unlikely now.
  • BLUE/Gang of Four (pending): This very small brewery is set to open on Broadway next to the Exhibit 208 gallery, just south of Gold.
  • Brew Lab 101 (pending): The next brewery to open in Rio Rancho is moving along. Located on Southern near Unser, its owner has already contacted us and we are in the process of setting up our first visit/interview.
  • Brewstillery (active): We still have no info about this brewery/distillery combo that is set to open somewhere in the 87106 zip code (physical addresses are not provided beyond zip codes, FYI), or how it relates to the next entry.
  • Differential (pending): Listed as owned by Brewstillery, we do not know how this entry, located in the same zip code, differs from the other.
  • Colonia/San Mateo Beer Co. (pending): It appears as though this new brewery will move into the current Bosque Brewing location on San Mateo when that is relocated to the forthcoming Open Space Project. In other words, it seems to be a long ways off.
  • Ex Novo Brewing (pending): We just toured this forthcoming brewery in Corrales.
  • Looking Glass Spirits & Long Lost Brewing (pending): The newest addition to the list, we have been contacted by one of the owners and are working on setting up an interview time. It will be located somewhere in the downtown area.

Red River was not the last new brewery to open in the outskirts of New Mexico in 2018, and more are on the way in 2019.

2018 saw a lot of new breweries open up across the state, well outside the Albuquerque/Santa Fe corridor. Among the many were Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, Bonito Valley in Lincoln, Cloudcroft Brewing, Hopscotch Brewing in Artesia, Red River Brewing, and Second Alarm Brewhouse in Jemez Springs. There are still a few more coming down the pipeline.

  • B3-BBQ, Burgers and Beer (pending): This Las Vegas-based restaurant is already open. We do not know if its owners plan to actually brew beer, or if they are going to use the license to keep guest taps flowing.
  • 575 Brewing (pending): Alamogordo is getting its first brewery in many years, but we do not know the exact location or its current progress.
  • Icebox Brewing (active): The newest Las Cruces brewery will be located on Picacho Avenue, east of Picacho Peak Brewing and basically due west of High Desert. No opening date has been announced.
  • Leaf & Hive (active): The latest addition to the Santa Fe scene has a soft opening scheduled for this Saturday.
  • Public House 28 (pending): We know nothing beyond the name for this brewery in Anthony, on the Texas border.
  • Rail Brewery (pending): This Santa Fe project for the Railyards area has been pending for a long time now. We do not know its status.
  • Santa Fe Spirits (pending): The existing distillery is either going to start making beer, or it just wants to be able to sell beer.

New taprooms update

Yes, 2018 was basically the year of the off-site taproom, but there are still more on the way. Someday, every commercial space in the state will be a taproom. (Hey, we can dream, right?) All of these are pending licenses.

  • Boxing Bear on Central: We already wrote about the brewery taking over the former 5 Star Burgers space on West Central.
  • Desert Valley: There are two pending licenses for DV taprooms, one located in the 87110 zip code, and the other in 87111. It is certainly ambitious, though not unprecedented, to open two taprooms at once.
  • Enchanted Circle ABQ: The Angel Fire-based brewery is opening a taproom in the shopping center on the northwest corner of San Mateo and Osuna.
  • Nexus Blue Smokehouse and Taproom: The long-awaited BBQ version of Nexus is getting closer to finally opening on Broadway south of Cesar Chavez. We will get more details in our forthcoming Look Back/Look Ahead Series on Nexus.
  • Quarter Celtic on Juan Tabo: We already wrote about the first off-site location, which will be on the west side of the road between Indian School and Menaul.
  • Red Door Clovis: Once again, we already wrote about the first bowling alley-based taproom, which will also be the first craft beer-specific place in the eastern town.
  • Starr Brothers Alehouse: This one has been pending for quite a while now, so we do not know if it is still happening or not. If it does, it will be somewhere near UNM.
  • Tall Pines Beer and Wine Garden Alamogordo: The Ruidoso-based small brewery is opening a second location down the mountain.

Got info on any of these pending breweries or taprooms, or any we missed? Drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

A good deed note

Tractor has named the four nonprofits for its annual Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) program. The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus, New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch, Three Sisters Kitchen, and Albuquerque Area Firefighters Random Acts will be the beneficiaries for 2019. There will be special BBB nights on Tuesdays throughout the year where patrons can donate, plus special quarterly beer releases for each nonprofit sees $1 donated per pint, and other special themed events. You can donate at all four Tractor locations.

Good on ya, Tractor.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

You can also get Resilience IPA at Canteen, Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and starting Friday at Quarter Celtic!

Gonna keep this edition short on my part due to time constraints. As mentioned a while back in The Week Ahead in Beer, several of our local breweries have joined others around the country in making Resilience IPA, a Sierra Nevada recipe, to help the victims of the terrible fires in Northern California. For every participating brewery, 100 percent of all proceeds will go to the charities helping the fire victims.

I snagged a pint at Marble Heights on Monday night, and it was quite the delightful beer. It recalls a time when IPAs still had a piney element opposite the citrus fruit sweetness that now dominates the genre, whether hazy or not. It is, in a sense, an old-school IPA, but it has more than enough malt backbone to keep it from drying out completely. It should have just the right amount of hops to please the crazier hopheads, while not going overboard for those who prefer a more drinkable IPA.

Marble is far from alone in having it available locally. A batch already went on tap before that at Rowley Farmhouse Ales in Santa Fe. Cloudcroft Brewing will have a batch on in the near future. Elsewhere in the metro area, Canteen and Steel Bender have their batches going on tap today (Tuesday). Quarter Celtic’s batch should be ready Friday. We encourage everyone to visit their personal favorites among the breweries and make sure to get at least one pint of Resilience. Heck, you can even try them from brewery to brewery and see if you can pick up on any slight variations in flavor. We would be curious to know what others find.

As for the rest of the Crew, a couple of them checked in with their recent beer adventures from outside of Albuquerque (way outside, in one case).

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Get festive with merch gifts from your favorite breweries, including Marble.

As we did the last four years, the Crew has put together a brewery merchandise guide for all of you just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping. Hey, it might be nice to just buy people beer, but sometimes they need more in life, like cool shirts, hoodies, growlers, and other specialty items carrying the logos of their favorite breweries. To make all of your lives easier and save you time in terms of searching the web or driving all over the place, we compiled the local breweries’ merch lists into one place. Now you can find out what is where, what is online, what it all costs, and any other additional info you might need.

The breweries are listed in alphabetical order, starting with the ABQ metro area breweries, then the breweries from outside the metro listed below that (those from both regions that sent us info, at least). We will be updating this list throughout the holiday season, so if you do not see a brewery here, once their info arrives, we will share it. Thank you to all the brewers, owners, and other key brewery staffers who helped us put this together. Whether via email or in person, it was greatly appreciated!

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The beer fridge overflows with all the stout-y goodness.

Thanksgiving was kinda fuzzy, man. At least that seems to be the case for most of us, as the sheer number of holiday brews left the bulk of the Crew speechless (or, at least, unable to write). It was a tad overwhelming.

First up, Wednesday saw a quick trip to Tractor for a four-pack of Turkey Drool. Yeah, didn’t need the half-growler this year. It’s been my personal tradition to always make the TD the first beer of every Thanksgiving. It makes the bad Lions and Cowboys football go down so much easier.

After that little treat, Friday brought a shorter-than-usual line at Jubilation for the annual Black Friday cellar sale. The barrel-aged Expedition Stout from Bell’s topped my personal list, so I walked out with two of those, one 2016 Uncle Jacob’s from Avery, a 2015 Barrel-Aged Narwhal from Sierra Nevada, and, yeah, had to get one Bourbon County Brand Stout and see if it still holds up (Jubilation did not receive any variants, which was disappointing this year).

Since I still have a huge stout haul from a friend’s cellar sale a few months back, I limited myself to just those five bottles. Oh, but alas, the locals beckoned me back out in the afternoon.

I joined Franz Solo at Boxing Bear for the always excellent VantaBlack Russian Imperial Stout, with this year’s batch in bottles, and a 3-year-old barrel-aged version on tap only. I am sad to report that the BA is out, but you can still buy bottles at the brewery, as I made sure to do. Next time around, head brewer Justin Hamilton assured us, he will make sure to bottle some of the barrel-aged batch, too.

The good folks at Bosque were simultaneously spreading the word over social media that their Fresh Start Breakfast Stout was on tap, so I hit up the San Mateo location on my way back. It’s just as good as ever, a sweet treat that paired oh-so-well with leftover dessert. A four-pack of that accompanied me home.

It was back to work for me on Saturday, after which I really needed more beer. My original plan was to stay in, drink some of those stouts, and watch terrible movies, but friends dragged me out to Quarter Celtic. The Oat Face Killer (Oatmeal Stout) was delightful, tasting way heavier more than a 5.1-percent beer should.

As for the rest of the Crew, only AmyO was able to put her thoughts together in printed form, which is remarkable considering the Lobo-sized headache she dealt with after another dismal season of hand-egg just ended.

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This building on Tramway near Paseo del Norte will soon host a Boese Brothers taproom.

As a public service, anytime we publish a story about one new brewery or off-site taproom opening, questions appear about any additional ones coming down the pipeline. As a public service, here are some tasty beer notes with info on what is on tap for Albuquerque and beyond.

Boese Brothers head for the foothills

We have known for a while that Boese Brothers Brewing was going to open a taproom somewhere in town, but the obvious question of where went unanswered. Thankfully, a magical little moment happened on Instagram and, with some help from a good friend in the industry, we tracked down the location.

The new taproom will open soon at 7849 Tramway Blvd. NE, which puts it just south of the intersection with Paseo del Norte. While Tractor and Canteen covered the southern end of Tramway with their taprooms, Boese Brothers will be the first to move into the far northern end of the corridor.

This will be the second off-site location for Boese Brothers, which also co-owns the Desert Dogs Taproom in Santa Fe. We will be in touch with George and Sam Boese to hopefully get an advance look at the place and learn a little more about it before it opens.

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