Posts Tagged ‘Quarter Celtic Brewpub’

Breathe in the history at Silva’s Saloon in Bernalillo. Just don’t breathe too deep.

Well, this past weekend took quite a bit out of all of us. Hence, no Monday story, and only a couple other Crew members could put together coherent thoughts about all that happened. We can’t blame the IPA Challenge, either, since Andrew was one of four of us who was there.

As for me? Well, in addition to the hops, I spent Friday night showing an old college friend around town. Swede had never stopped in Albuquerque for anything more than a tank of gas, but after hearing me brag over and over again about our beers, he was ready to finally stop in and see what our breweries offered. Well, that and he can’t seem to get enough of La Cumbre’s distribution in Tucson.

We hit up Canteen so he could try a flight and maybe grab a bite to eat. That maybe turned into definitely as the rain hit hard the first time. After a couple pints and some food, we moved to Bosque in Nob Hill. It rained a lot more outside, pints were consumed inside, and by golly, we have a new convert to our beer scene. He said he was impressed by the sheer quality of taprooms compared to those in Tucson (though they are starting to catch up).

Though I never asked Swede which specific beer was his favorite, he did order a pint of Pecos Trail Brown at Canteen after his flight, while Elephants on Parade and The Irish Goodbye were his Bosque selections.

Meanwhile, after the NMIPAC ended on Saturday, I lost track of the rest of the Crew and ended up waiting with the brewery folks who either worked for the Guild or just ended up hanging out until the very end. Someone came up with the glorious idea of driving into the heart of Bernalillo and going to the historic dive of dives, Silva’s Saloon. The place was quite the slice of history, and worth further exploration. (It is right next to the original Range Cafe, just in case you got lost like Brandon and co. did trying to find us.)

A good time was had by all by the pool table, with cans of Marble Pilsner on hand, and a jukebox cranking out some random old tunes. I would share more details, but it was all off the record. Oh, but if you ever challenge La Cumbre’s Daniel Jaramillo at pool, you better bring your “A” game. The man is a shark. I feel that’s something that I can safely report.

On with the rest of the Crew’s adventures …

Dine out, darkness in

Love the darkness. Become the darkness.

This weekend I hit up one of my favorite local haunts, M’tucci’s Market & Pizzeria after a long morning swim. I go for the quality of the food, the charm of the place, and the eclectic selection of local beers they have on tap. Well, that and the fact that it is mere minutes from home. Of the two saison-style brews they had on tap, I went with Bosque’s Pepporfessor Honeydew, which had mellowed in spiciness over time perfectly to accompany the many delectable meats on the pizza selections we made.

Since reading Brewmaster’s Table by Garrett Oliver of Brooklyn Brewery, I’ve taken a bit more of an appreciation of just what different styles of beer can accomplish when paired — using intent and a little knowledge — with food. Good meals can become, well, transformative experiences with the right pairing of beer and dish of choice (try a weissbier with good bratwurst, kraut, and mustard to get an idea). This day was one of those for me, but then I have yet to meet an unworthy dish at any of the M’tucci’s establishments, so go and try it for yourself.

The day continued in excellence to the nightcap, which was my last bottle of my favorite beer, batch one of Avery’s Tweak from 2014. If you know anything about us in the Dark Side, there are few beers we do not consider “sessionable.” This one is, in fact, a sipper. Deep waves of darkness from malts and coffee and barrel create, to my palate, the pinnacle of what beer can be. This is not some one-trick animal, either. Layered subtle echoes, shades of the dead, tendrils of the darkest fears and … er, malts, roasted, toasted, burned at the stake … clearly, perfection! Grab a bottle and find out for yourself.

Skål!

— Franz Solo

Back to the Winchester

A man cannot live off beer alone. Brats and fries are also necessary parts of a healthy diet.

I had another overdue visit this weekend. Sunday afternoon, I stopped at Quarter Celtic after an almost two-month hiatus. Quarter Celtic may be my favorite neighborhood-pub-style vibe kind of brewery in the ABQ area. I feel regular-ish, even if I go only once every couple months.

I started with the VP30, which is a Festbier commemorating the 30th anniversary of Village Pizza of Corrales and Albuquerque. The anniversary was celebrated earlier in the month, but this clean, well-balanced, and true-to-style beer carries on. After a few refreshing gulps, my banger in a bun arrived. This sausage was properly presented on a fresh pretzel bun with whole-grain mustard and purple kraut. I didn’t plan it, but of course, it paired perfectly with the VP30.

For dessert I happily lapped up a MacLomas Stout. I tend to think of Dry Irish Stouts as the “lagers of stouts.” They are the younger cousins of the bigger, bolder stouts that we tend to champion in the NM Dark Side Brew Crew. However, I found myself content with this not-so-dry, and slightly creamy with a little bit of roastiness, 5.4-percent ABV-packing stout.

— Andrew

Aggie up, Lobo fan

Cheers to the weekend gone by!

For my weekend beer-cap, my craft connoisseur-ing was pretty much broken down into post IPA Challenge Final celebrations and the recovery stages. Much fun was had Saturday, and many beers certainly were drank in honor of another Challenge in the books, but what stood out the most was a fresh cold one straight from Bosque North’s new canning machine. In my experience, it doesn’t get much better than a can straight from the line, shared amongst beer friends, regardless of beer style and the college team on the side of the can. (Go Lobos! Haha.) Thank you Mr. Bullard for the full tour and your excellent hospitality! The Crew won’t soon forget.

— Luke

The Test Batch #3, left, and Gondola Party Starter XH are two excellent double IPAs now available at Quarter Celtic.

One of these weeks we will all get our acts together and have this feature ready for a Monday run, but alas, this is not one of those weeks. As we noted last time around, this is simply a series of short recaps of weekend beer adventures for different members of the Crew.

Hops were the order of the day for this past weekend, what with the preliminary round of the NM IPA Challenge going down and all. I was not able to attend due to work, but I still managed to set out in search of at least one of the entries that is on tap around town.

My Friday night sojourn led me to Quarter Celtic, where the Gondola Party Starter XH (Extra Hops) is now on tap alongside the Test Batch #3 DIPA. Talking to QC co-owner Ror McKeown, I found out that both had been released with the goal of asking loyal customers which one should be the NMIPAC entry. Gondola was ultimately the choice of the public, though the way he described it was interesting. Most customers actually preferred Test Batch #3, but none of them thought it could win a competition, and thus Gondola became QC’s entry.

Tasting them side-by-side, I found Test Batch #3 to be lighter and sweeter, while Gondola has a bitter back-end kick, with a little less sweetness around the mid-palate. Gondola is certainly more of a traditional West Coast hop bomb, and in the end, the customers were right, as it advanced to Wednesday’s first round of the NMIPAC alongside 15 other IPAs.

— Stoutmeister

Now for the rest of the Crew … (more…)

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, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

Some weeks, it can be hard to find a single event to highlight here in our introduction. Other weeks, like this one, there is seemingly one major event to highlight per day. Ready? Let’s go. Tonight (Wednesday), head down to Marble 111 for the latest edition of the Brews & Bites Challenge. Tickets are $30 and on sale at the taproom now. Thursday, live music is back at Boese Brothers, now out on the patio. A trio of acts will perform from 7 to 11 p.m. (see the entry below for their identities). Friday, when you see Art Fight 44: End of an Era on the calendar, you stop in shock. Yup, it is the final Art Fight for Wells Park, so make sure to support the artists one last time. Saturday, we already previewed the St. Baldrick’s Brew Fest at Broken Trail, but I wanted to remind you again to get over there and enjoy some beers, cocktails, and live music in support of the fight against childhood cancer. Sunday, you can take the dads in your life to just about any brewery, but take note that Quarter Celtic is having all-day barbecue specials. Monday, head back to Tractor Wells Park for a unique Anthony Bourdain Tribute. They will be showing some of the best episodes of his various cable TV series with some paired food items available. Tuesday, you can rest up before it all starts again next week.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Ale Republic gets out in front with Trail Head DIPA. Boese Brothers unveils its collaboration with Rock’N’Brews, Rock’N’Boese Mango IPA. Bombs Away flies in with Booster Blueberry Sour. Boxing Bear has a fresh batch of Strong Arm Pale Ale. Canteen does not sleep on Dream Esteem. Dialogue thinks up Dialectical Reasoning DIPA. La Cumbre will release Strawberry Gose in cans Friday. Marble keeps the fruited gose train rolling with Guava Berry Gose. Ponderosa pops some Czech Pilsner, plus PB&J Stout should be on tap by the weekend. Starr Brothers rocks out with some fresh Thunderr Ale, plus Bottoms Up, a Kolsch-style ale, joins the lineup. Steel Bender fulfills your wish list with more Raspberry Dynamite. Turtle Mountain kicks back with Sup’s Sesh’d.

Up in Santa Fe, it’s a quiet week for new brews.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 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

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

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

Beers: Brune, Bernalillo Weisse, Best Coast IPA, Parasol, Red Mountain, Double Trouble, Sombra Stout, Trail Head DIPA. The Bernalillo Weisse is a tremendous name. The most recent addition is the Trail Head, and before that came the Parasol, Red Mountain (IPA), Double Trouble, and Sombra Stout.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

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

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

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

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

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Super Kreak, TruBlu Pilsner, Zeus Juice White IPA, Rock’N’Boese Mango IPA. The current seasonals include the Super Kreak and TruBlu, plus the new Mango IPA. Zeus Juice White IPA has also returned on tap and in bottles.

Live Music: Thursday—Holly Durante, Alonerly, Javier Ortega, 7-11 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese has 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.

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Sat noon–10 p.m., Sun noon–8 p.m.)

Beers: BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, Operation Single Hop, Proximity Pilsner, Actuator IPA, Hazy Chain DIPA, High Speed Low Drag Lager, The RED Ale, Wild Card, Spring Lager, Arsenal Amber Ale, Claymore Scotch Ale, K98 Kolsch, Kristallweizen, Booster Blueberry Sour. The most recent additions are the Booster, K98, and Kristallweizen, plus the Hazy Chain is fresh.

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: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Spacelion IPA, Polly’s Run (Blackberry Merlot Blonde Ale), Center Fielder Pale Ale. The Spacelion is a charity beer meant to raise funds for the family of a Bosque staff member in Las Cruces, while Polly’s Run was brewed to help in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Center Fielder is the other recent addition.

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

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

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

Beers: (House) Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Denim Tux Lager, Nomadico IPA, Savage Times Sour IPA, Visionland Amber Ale; (Seasonal) Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Saison de Blanc, Roam Free DIPA, Cake Bandit, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen, Thief of Time (Barleywine), Rancho Bizarro (Sour red Ale). Bottles of Dark Mesa, a barrel-aged quad with brett, are still on sale at the brewery, but the supply is limited. Bottles of Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison are available, but it is no longer on tap. Cake Bandit, an imperial German chocolate cake stout, is a decadent treat available for a limited time. There are a limited number of bottles available of the Rancho Bizarro, the most recent addition on tap.

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

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Featherweight Session IPA, New Mexikolsch, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, Common Ground, Schwarzbier, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Black and Blue Tart, Strong Arm Pale Ale. The most recent additions are Strong Arm, Black and Blue, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Common Ground, a California common, and Schwarzbier. Chocolate Milk Stout is back on the nitro tap.

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

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

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

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

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule, Double Black, Raspberry Kolsch. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Double Black and Raspberry Kolsch are the most recent additions.

Events: Saturday—St. Baldrick’s Brew Fest, 4-9 p.m.

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

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

Beers: Exodus IPA, Falconer’s Arm Pale Ale, Peach Wheat, Laid Back Lager, Social Capital, Oompa Lupulin DIPA, Zafado Groove, Dream Esteem. This batch of Social Capital was made with pink guava and kaffir lime leaf. Zafado Groove is a passionfruit Belgian ale aged in Chardonnay barrels with brett.

Live Music (Brewery): Thursday—Silver String Band, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—Higher Ground, 4-7 p.m.

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Greg Butera, 5-8 p.m.

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

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

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

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Mon-Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds 4-11 p.m., Thurs-Sun noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, 505 Lager, Stormy (Belgian Blonde), Jeff Wenzel Fights Fires Saison, King Salmon Lager, Men Who Stare at Goats Maibock, Boysenberry Berliner, Dialectical Reasoning DIPA. The new saison is named for Jeff Wenzel, Dialogue’s assistant brewer, since it’s his first recipe. The King Salmon Lager was made with Chinook hops (get it?). Dialectical Reasoning DIPA is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Sunday—Los Sencillos, 2 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Game Night, 7 p.m.

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Hazeas Corpus Hazy IPA, Brewhouse Shandy, Schnitz N Giggle, Hoppiness is a Warm Gun (IPA), Lightspeed Vienna Lager. Schnitz N Giggle is a Dortmunder lager made with Steel Bender. Hoppiness is a West Coast-style IPA.

High and Dry Brewing — (505) 433-5591

(Mon closed, Tues-Thurs 2-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Liberty Crate IPA, Zest Out, Humble Affair Stout, Black Hole’s Son (Porter), Constable Reggie (Tart Amber), Swipe White (Tart Wheat), Mestia #3 (Table Sour). It has been a busy month-plus for the new brewery at 529 Adams St. NE, just south of Lomas. The Zest Out is an orange coffee beer made in collaboration with Steel Bender. This batch of Humble Affair Stout is the delicious coffee stout we were promised.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

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

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking.

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

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Helles Lager, Puddle Stomper IPA, Maibock, Stop Amber Time, CutBow Coffee Schwarz, Paleontology (Lager), Smoove Porter, Grandma’s Prescription Pils, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. It was another big tap turnover at Kaktus, with six new beers going on tap recently. The Stop Amber Time might be our favorite beer name to come around in a while.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—Jazz Jam Sesh, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Grace Askew, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Blues Jam Sesh, 3 p.m.

Weekly Events: Sunday—The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

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.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

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

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

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

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

Kilt Check Brewing (formerly Drafty Kilt) — (505) 881-0234

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

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe, and boy does it taste good, as we proved with a fourth-place finish at our Stout Challenge. Take note, Kilt Check is now closed on Mondays.

Live Music: Friday—Kalina Scollon, 7-9 p.m.

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Mosaic SMASH IPA, South Peak Pilsner, Fievre d’Abricot, Good Time Guava, Miles From Cologne, Sun Fade (Hazy IPA). There are cans of South Peak and bottles of Fievre d’Abricot available for a limited time. Miles From Cologne is awesome, again. Strawberry Gose debuts on tap and in cans this Friday.

Lava Rock Brewing — (505) 836-1022

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

Beers: All guest taps for now. Welcome to the listings, Lava Rock! We just wanted everyone to know that the kitchen is up and running and some unique guest taps from other local breweries are available now at 2220 Unser Blvd. NW. When the house beers appear, we will let everyone know.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

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

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

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

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

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

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

Beers: Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Fog Lite, Pina Colada, Passionate Gose, Barrel-Aged Quad, Thunder From Dortmunder, Guava Berry Gose, DIPA Especial (Downtown only), Nitro Pub Ale (Downtown only), Nitro Madera (Heights and Westside only), From the Wood Saison (Westside only), Session White (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The most recent addition is Guava Berry Gose, and before that came Thunder From Dortmunder, DIPA Especial, and BA Quad.

Live Music (Downtown): Thursday—Merican Slang, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Lonn Calanca Band, 8-10 p.m.; Saturday—Pherkad, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Wagogo, 3-6 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Tres Pendejos, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Nathan Fox, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Lenin and McCarthy, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Todd Tijerina, 8-11 p.m.

Other Events (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Brews & Bites Challenge, 6-8 p.m.

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

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

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

Beers: Lemon Wheat Ale, Notorious BUN (Big Ugly Nasty) IPA, Beam Me Up Scotty. Welcome back to Beam Me Up, always a Crew favorite, and hello to the Notorious BUN.

News: The Silver taproom no longer has weekly music, but it does have an abbreviated menu to keep folks plenty happy.

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

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

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout, Lawn Ninja, Dark Side of the Wort. A pair of collaboration beers are now available. Lawn Ninja is a summery rice ale made with Quarter Celtic. Dark Side of the Wort is an imperial brown made in collaboration with the Worthogs Homebrew Club and, well, you can probably guess.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Tart Cherry Chocolate Porter, Triple IPA, Czech Pilsner, Amber Ale, Brewer’s Beard Bock. The Czech Pilsner is the most recent addition, and before that came the TCC Porter, Brewer’s Beard, and Amber Ale. Triple IPA should be out by this weekend, at which point PB&J Stout will replace it.

News: Ponderosa’s taproom at the El Vado Motel redevelopment is now open! We are working on getting all the details.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

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

Beers: Test Batch #2 DIPA, All Rye’t All Rye’t All Rye’t, Berliner Weisse, Lawn Ninja. The most recent additions are the Lawn Ninja, a rice ale collaboration with Palmer Brewery, plus All Rye’t and Berliner Weisse. One of QC’s four regular beers, Pedro O’Flannigan, won a bronze medal at the World Beer Cup.

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

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

Beers: English IPA, Blackberry Hefeweizen, ESB, Berliner Weisse. The Berliner Weisse is the most recent addition, preceded by the ESB and English IPA.

Live Music (Downtown): Saturday—Whole Hearted, 8-10 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Downtown Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

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

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Barrel-Aged Barley Wine, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Level 3 DIPA, Lemongrass Wit, Blueberry Gose, Imperial Kolsch, Marzen, Barrel-Aged Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout), Hella Fine Pils, Blurred Lines (New England-style IPA), Sandia SMASH Watermelon Sour, Old Firestone Pale Ale, Cherry Wheat, Oatmeal Stout. There are two barrel-aged beers on tap in the Barley Wine and Putin. This batch of Oatmeal Stout just went on tap late last week. Next up, Wildcard Weiss debuts for Adventure Club members on Thursday with a special food pairing, and then for the general public on Friday.

Live Music: Thursday—Royal Hills, 6 p.m.; Friday—Black Smoke, 6 p.m.; Saturday—Old Dog Tre, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Family Funday, 2-5 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

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

Beers: Turntable IPA Track 4, Buzz Bomb, Apricot Tart Pale Ale, Sidetrack Pilsner, Railhead Red, Pub Ale. The Railhead, Turntable, and Apricot Tart are the most recent additions.

Cask: The Turntable and Apricot Tart are in the firkins.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

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

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Plaid Boy Boogie, Them Boyzz, Super Chinookie (Pale Ale), Thunderr Ale, Bottoms Up (Kolsch-style ale). The most recent addition is Bottoms Up, and before that came Super Chinookie, Plaid Boy Boogie, a Scottish Red, and Them Boyzz, a boysenberry wheat.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

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

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Homegrown Pils, The Goose is Loose, Yogi Beera, Schnitz N Giggle, Kettle Run – A Solo Hop Sour, Raspberry Dynamite. The most recent additions are the Schnitz N Giggle, a Dortmunder made with Flix Brewhouse, Kettle Run, and the ever popular Raspberry Dynamite is back.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Skin Walker Triple IPA, Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, BBA (Barrel-Aged Dark Lager). A trio of new additions hit taps recently with Plum Cherry Sour, Imperial Cream Ale, and BBA, which is made with coffee, cocoa, and vanilla.

Toltec Brewing — (505) 890-1455

(Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday-Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday noon-10 p.m.)

Beers: Agave Wheat, Pale Ale, IPA, Stout, Altbier, Rye Lager. The Altbier is back after a short absence, while Rye Lager became the last of the core beers to arrive on tap (naturally, being a lager and all). Our favorite so far is (prepare to be shocked) the Stout, which is roasty, creamy, slightly sweet, and rather wonderful overall.

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

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Gose, Tupac Cali Red Ale, Boot Girl IPA, Explora G&T Cider, Coloring Night, Apricot Wheat, Thai Basil Mint Cider, Break Pointe Pale Ale, Oud Bruin (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Pete’s Porter (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). All proceeds from the G&T Cider go to the Explora Science Center. Break Pointe, Boot Girl, Coloring Night, a fruited wheat, plus Apricot Wheat and Thai Basil Mint Cider are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Singer Songwriter Showcase, 8 p.m.; Thursday—The Timewreckers, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Melissa Rios, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Ruben Vail, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Dan Lavoie, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Friday—Jimmy Deveney, 5 p.m.; Saturday—Julian Dossett, 6 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Friday—Art Fight 44: End of an Era, 8 p.m.; Monday—Anthony Bourdain Tribute, 5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—Super Tractor Gamers Night, 5:30 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

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

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: Rainbow in the Dunkel, Taurisian Monstrosity, Tim’s Mom (IPA), Pech Chilz Pivo 12, Sup’s Sesh’d (Session IPA). The most recent additions are Sup’s Sesh’d, Tim’s Mom, and Pech Chilz.

Cask: Tuesday—TBA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Helles Wind Staff Maibock, Black Thought IPA, Santa Fe Especial, Blueberry Gose. The Santa Fe Especial is a Mexican-style amber. The Blueberry Gose and Helles Wind are the most recent additions.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

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

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Bad Amber, Whistler (Blonde), Manikin (Small Scottish), Small Stout, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Sans Titre (Sour Blonde), Fiction (IPA), Monomyth (DIPA), Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, Goya, Project 10 (Biere de Mars). There has been a big tap turnover with the return of Whistler, Manikin, Sans Titre, Monomyth, and the new Small Stout and Project 10. The Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald, and Goya (13.3% ABV) are available on tap and in bombers.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Saturday—The Rudy Boy Experiment, 9 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drink & Draw with Paradise Club Vintage, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Wikki Wikki Wednesday Free Hip-Hop Show, 7 p.m.; Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

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

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

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

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

Beers: Fields of Rye, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Six (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Petit Blanche, Saison du Sarlacc First Order (Imperial Saison), Fields of Rye Spring ’18, Kaffeeklatsch, Tea for Two (Saison), One at a Time – Galaxy, Sketches of Simplicity (Farmhouse Pilsner). The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Six is the most recent iteration. The new Kaffeeklatsch is a mixed fermentation coffee Berliner Weisse. The RFA staff has taken a Belgian-style dubbel and aged it in Saint Croix rum barrels with an addition of Santa Rosa Plums, calling it Mixed Dubbels Curling.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

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

Beers: Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter, Twisted Root, Schneeball Imperial Pilsner. The most recent additions are Schneeball and Twisted Root, the latter a blonde ale with ginger and lemongrass. You can also find Twisted Root and Lustgarten in six-pack cans.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 IPA, Agua Fria Pilsner, Boneshaker Bitter, Crystal Persuasion IPA, Nova Pale Ale, Dragon’s Blood Sour, Rod’s Best Bitter, LVL Stout, Red Comet, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, ESB, XX ESB, Lime Chin-gose. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Lime Chin-gose, Rod’s Best, LVL Stout, Red Comet, Armadillo, Diablo Canyon, and both ESBs are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Rufina): Today (Wednesday)—Sleepspent, Snaggletooth, Patema, 8 p.m.

Other Events (Main Location): Thursday—Cask ‘N Curry, all day

Other Events (Rufina): Saturday-Sunday—Crab & Pilsner Festival, all day

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

Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery — (505) 303-3808

(Bisbee Tasting Room: Daily 4-8 p.m.; Agua Fria Taproom: Sunday-Wednesday noon-10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday noon-midnight)

Beers: Dortmunder, Farmhouse Ale, Dry Irish Stout, Citra Pale Ale, IPA, Honey Hibiscus Wheat, Imperial Red, Maibock. At last, Tumbleroot joins the listings! Stop by the tasting room at 32 Bisbee Court or go all-in at the taproom and music venue at 2791 Agua Fria Street. All the rest of us look forward to trying the beers quite soon!

Live Music: Thursday—Jono Manson, 5 p.m.; Tuesday—Bill Palmer, 5 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, Wit Rock, Pennsylvania Swanky, Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap Brown, Little Bird Blonde, Lichtenhainer. With a new brewer in place, BRB shakes up the lineup. Old favorites Hoppenheimer, Wit Rock, and Little Bird are joined by some fascinating newcomers in the Dunkel Bock, Flat Cap, and Lichtenhainer, a sour ale.

Picacho Peak Brewing — (575) 680-6394

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

Beers: Picacho Lite, Keller Hefeweizen, Twisted Windmill IPA, Old Crawley, 575 Scotsman, Irish Xtra Stout, I Heart Porter, Smooth and Stout. Welcome to the listings, Picacho Peak! For the first time in a long, long time we have a Las Cruces brewery in here. Make sure to check it out the next time you are down south. This Thursday, a limited amount of Seco Simcoe American Pale Ale, brewed by a homebrewer friend of Picacho Peak on National Homebrew Day, will be tapped.

Red River Brewing — (575) 754-4422

(Open daily 5-10 p.m.)

Beers: Lazy Bear Blonde, Greenie Peak Wheat, Ed Iver Pale Ale, Thirsty Marmot Citra IPA, Copper Chair Amber, Bobcat Pass Brown, Midnight Meadows Oatmeal Stout, Prospector Porter, Back Forty Farmhouse Ale, Bad Medicine Honey DIPA. Welcome to the listings, Red River! The brewery in the ski town in Northern New Mexico is now open, and these are the initial beers. We will be up there soon to try them all!

Live Music: Friday and Saturday—Tom Munch, 7 p.m.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Elcitmos IPA. Elcitmos is the newest addition to the seasonal lineup, and if you could not guess by the name, it features Eldorado, Citra, and Mosaic hops. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF in 2017.

Live Music: Friday—Merican Slang, 6 p.m.

* * * *

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

That’s a might nice trophy to bring home from Burning Can. (Photo courtesy of La Cumbre)

Four New Mexico breweries combined to win six medals, including three golds, at the annual North American Beer Awards this past weekend. La Cumbre was not one of those breweries, but it did earn the trophy for King of the Can at the annual Burning Can Festival hosted by Oskar Blues.

The NABA medals were handed out at the Mountain West Brewers Fest in Idaho Falls on Saturday. The North American Brewers Association organizes the event.

Boxing Bear, Quarter Celtic, Santa Fe, and Tractor were the local winners this year. Quarter Celtic joined the list after the other three breweries all earned medals last year as well.

This year, Boxing Bear won gold for Featherweight Session IPA in the Session-Style IPA category and silver for Common Ground in the California Common category.

Quarter Celtic took home silver for Pedro O’Flannigan’s in the Latin American or Tropical-Style Lager or Ale category, as well as a bronze for MacLomas Stout in Session Beer.

Santa Fe brought back gold for Pale Ale in the Ordinary Bitter/Best Bitter (ESB) category. Tractor also earned gold with Thai Basil Mint Cider in the Specialty (Flavored) Ciders category.

Burning Can was held in Lyons, Colorado, and La Cumbre won for Elevated IPA. We would share a link but the Oskar Blues website is, um, not good.

If there are any other recent competitions that we have not mentioned, please let us know.

Congratulations to all the breweries on their accomplishments.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Gear up for one last big Saturday before it all ends for this year.

As we approach the end of Beer Week for 2018, the temperatures are a rising, so staying cool in the shade with a good pint or two is a must. Thankfully, there will be plenty to try today at events across town, from special releases to food pairings to even a mini lager festival.

Take note, however, the Crafts, Crops and Hops Beer Farmer’s Market scheduled for Canteen today has been postponed until later this summer. The special beer release set for today is still on, thankfully.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Mini Lager Fest. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: Noon-4 p.m. Cost: $15.

Details: Seven breweries are gathering at Ponderosa for this festival celebrating the (underrated?) style. Your ticket gets you a sample of all the lagers, plus a pint of your favorite and a commemorative pint glass. Choose between Bosque Lager, Bow & Arrow’s Denim Tux Lager, Dialogue’s Maibock, Kellys’ American Pilsner, Marble’s Dortmunder Export, the Steel Bender/Flix Brewhouse collaboration Schnitz N Giggle, and a TBA lager from the hosts. There may also be an eighth brewery on hand, though that was not yet confirmed.

Why you should go: Lagers are perfect in these hot, dry days. Now you can either confirm that your favorite is the best in town, or discover a new lager that demands to be kept in your fridge via bottle, can, crowler, or growler.

All the other great events

What: Steel Bender Tap Takeover and Wild & Sour Charcuterie Pairing. Where: M’tucci’s Market and Pizzeria. When: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A slew of big, funky beers are heading to the restaurant, including Ingenio, The Judy, and Bullet’s Reserve. They will be paired up with charcuterie boards. Why you should go: Satisfy your craving for some perfectly paired beers and food items.

What: Lawn Ninja Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Quarter Celtic Brewpub/Palmer Brewery. When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Lawn Ninja is a rice ale, an easy-drinking beer that’s perfect for summer. Why you should go: Keep encouraging more collaborations between breweries by drinking their combined offerings.

What: Zafado Groove Beer Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: Noon-3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy this Belgian ale with passionfruit aged in chardonnay barrels with brettanomyces. Why you should go: It’s big, sweet, and funky. Perfect for the patio.

What: Third Annual Food Truck Battle. Where: Red Door Brewing (Candelaria). When: Noon-4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Five food trucks will be going head to head for the title of the Best of Albuquerque. You try the food and decide the winner, all while washing it down with some delicious Red Door beers. Why you should go: Who doesn’t like a good competition where the audience is the biggest winner? Because that’s what this is.

What: “Breakfast with the Boiz” Beer Release and Bash. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: Noon-3 p.m. Cost: $12. Details: Come enjoy brunch with two of Santa Fe’s top brewers, Bert and Dave, as they present a new beer made in the style of a traditional brass monkey. There will also be a Bloody Mary beer bar. For the ticket, you get a pint glass, one beer, and either a breakfast burrito from Chumlys or a stuffed, beer-battered jalapeno from Rockin’ Taco. Why you should go: Beer, bloody beer, food, and a chance to talk with the brewers. Sounds like a good start to the day.

What: 90s Beer Prom. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m.-midnight. Cost: $25. Details: The theme is Under the Sea, dressing up 90s style is highly encouraged, and dancing like a fool is pretty much a requirement. It all supports TEDxABQ. Why you should go: Oh, just get goofy and let loose. Though the first of you to say “how old were people who went to prom in the 90s” gets dragged out and shot in the parking lot. (Kidding, just kidding. … Maybe.)

* * * * *

Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

In a little more than two weeks, the madness returns!

After a rather epic 40th birthday party for yours truly on Friday night, the rest of the weekend was spent in reflection of times gone by, and what is still to come. Namely, what have we already written on and what do we still need to put here on the site. It occurred to me that we have not done our annual early preview of ABQ Beer Week, where the Crew tries to pick out one top event per day of the upcoming craft beer extravaganza.

Well, with ABQ Beer Week kicking off two weeks from this Thursday on May 24 (running until June 3), we are not as early as usual. Of course, this does mean a lot of the schedule is more set in stone, so that should keep us from looking back on this later and going “whoops, that was the wrong day/that event did not happen.”

Thursday, May 24

There are a whole lot of tastings on this day, plus one event to get you off the barstool and on your feet, but in the end we still have to go with tradition. Marble is bringing back its Beer, Cheese & More at the downtown brewery. Head over to get some of the best Marble beers paired up with all sorts of delectable finger foods. When tickets go on sale at the taproom, we will let everyone know, since it sells out every year.

Friday, May 25

At first glance, the 21 and Over Tap Takeover at Sister did not seem to make much sense. After all, to drink beer, you gotta be 21 and over, right? Well, it actually refers to the participating breweries, all of whom are 21 and over in terms of their years of operation. Old-school favorites like Bell’s, Firestone Walker, Four Peaks, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Rogue, and Sierra Nevada will each be bringing a unique one-off beer. When we get closer to the event, we will reveal said list.

Saturday, May 26

There are 10 listed events, so this is one of the busiest days. We gotta go with Nexus’ anniversary party, which runs all day. There will be the infamous red chile ribs, plus the previous two days saw the release of a new IPA and Beam Me Up Scotty, so those will both be available as well. There will also be live music. As always, Uber/Lyft are your best options because that parking lot fills up fast.

Sunday, May 27

Of course we have to pick ABQ Blues & Brews at Sandia Casino, one of the biggest beer festivals in our state. Tickets are on sale now. The long preliminary list includes New Mexico breweries like Bathtub Row, Bosque, Broken Trail, Canteen, Duel, Enchanted Circle, Eske’s, Flix Brewhouse, Hops Brewery, Kellys, Kilt Check, Lava Rock, Marble, Nexus, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Rio Bravo, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, Steel Bender, Tractor, and Tumbleroot, plus of course the Dukes of Ale will be on hand.

Monday, May 28

If you do not feel like firing up the grill, but would still like some charred meats, then head over to Steel Bender for the smoke-out. There will be mucho meats, plus sides, and beers, and live music, too.

Tuesday, May 29

Remember when the Crew helped make Obey the Darkside, our beastly stout, over at Canteen? Well, it turns out it is not all gone. No, some was put into a Two Fools Whiskey Barrel, and now it will be transferred to a cask and served all day at Canteen’s main location. See you all when the doors open at noon!

Wednesday, May 30

A chunk of the Crew will be making one of our crazy there-and-back trips to Denver to catch one of our favorite Nordic melodic death metal bands, Insomnium, so you will not see us on this day. For the rest of you staying here, might we suggest a saunter over to Quarter Celtic? The mini-cask fest, a huge hit last year, will be back with a selection of delightful special beers. It’s also Wing Wednesday, if you actually needed any additional incentive.

Thursday, May 31

This day is a killer, because not only we will be racing back from Denver, but we have to choose between two events that look epic. Of course, we have to be at Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor Wells Park to see if we can finally reclaim the title from the Babes in Brewland. For those looking for something different this year, head over to Flix Brewhouse for a special showing of the cinematic classic Beerfest (which was filmed here in ABQ). There will be a special collaboration beer release with Steel Bender, plus other fun activities for fans of the movie.

Friday, June 1

Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting a Firestone Walker Barrelworks tap takeover. Um, if you insist. I mean, that was just one of the holy beer pilgrimages of a lifetime and all. FW just won four medals (three gold, one silver) at the World Beer Cup, too. When we have the tap list, we will share it. Then we will drink them all.

Saturday, June 2

The second-to-last day is packed, as one would expect, so there are a lot of options. After some hemming and hawing, we will head for the Mini Lager Fest at Ponderosa. The hosts are bringing together multiple breweries to offer up their best lagers. A slew of sessionable beers on what will probably be a scorcher of a day? Sign us up!

Sunday, June 3

Ready for another cask festival? Head to Steel Bender for Le Cask Lunatique, which brings together a flock of firkins with local jazz icons Le Chat Lunatique. Once again, when we know the identities of the cask beers, we will share them.

* * * * *

Those are our early picks, but we reserve the right to change our minds, or of course to attend multiple events. As we do every year, please remember not to overdo it out there. Lyft and Uber are your friends, as are your actual friends who are willing to be designated drivers.

We will have a lot more on ABQ Beer Week in the days ahead, from focusing on specific events to running down everything at the breweries participating for multiple days. Until then, head to the official website to see some of the other events that are listed so far, and see if there are any that pique your interest more than what we listed above.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The best selfies always involve Charlie Papazian. Congrats to Quarter Celtic on bringing home a World Beer Cup bronze! (Photo courtesy of Quarter Celtic)

Last night, the Crew paid a visit to Toltec Brewing to try the beer and food for the first time at an invite-only soft opening in advance of Saturday’s grand opening. We also brought along a laptop to watch the live stream of the World Beer Cup awards ceremony, which was going down in Nashville where the Craft Brewers Conference is taking place this year.

Category after category was announced, but no New Mexico breweries heard their names called. In the end, only Quarter Celtic earned a medal, taking a bronze in the International-Style Pilsner category for Pedro O’Flannigan. It was a stunning turnaround from the last WBC held in 2016, when seven New Mexico breweries claimed seven medals, including gold medals for Nexus (Honey Chamomile Wheat), La Cumbre (BEER), and Boxing Bear (Chocolate Milk Stout).

There are a few ways to look at these results, or lack thereof. First, congratulations to Quarter Celtic on claiming its biggest award to date, a tremendous accomplishment in a tough category to win. That is the most positive thing we can say.

As for everyone else being shut out, perhaps it is best to simply look at the lack of medals as motivation. While industry giants like Firestone Walker again cleaned up with multiple medals, there were numerous breweries popping up seemingly out of nowhere to take gold, silver, and bronze. Revision Brewing from Sparks, Nevada, took gold in the American-Style IPA category and silver in the Imperial IPA category. Honestly, we had never heard of Revision until those awards were announced (but yes, we are adding it to the list of places we need to visit). There are more than 6,000 craft breweries in the United States alone, so now more than ever, our local breweries will have to continue pushing the envelope if they want to break through and win more medals against an increasingly crowded field.

The countdown to the Great American Beer Festival starts now.

Speaking of Toltec

The first flight of beers at Toltec, from left, Imperial Agave Wheat, IPA, Hazy Pale, and Altbier.

We did enjoy the fun of trying the new brewery for the first time. Head brewer Kaylynn McKnight had four of her planned six house beers on the menu — Hazy Pale, Imperial Agave Wheat, Toltec IPA, Altbier — while the kitchen was churning out its full menu.

Kaylynn told us that mastering her new 7-barrel brewhouse has proven to be a bit of a challenge. The beers she wanted to have higher ABVs came in lower than expected (notably the IPA), while others ended up higher in alcohol (wheat, altbier). As such, the flavors are not quite where she wants them, but we found the Altbier and Hazy Pale to be perfectly drinkable for a brand-new brewery. The IPA is a bit rough and bitter, and she told us that future batches will be more balanced between the malts and hops. The Imperial Agave Wheat was the favorite of many other customers, so while Kaylynn said she hoped for a more sessionable wheat beer, it looks like that recipe is going to stay as is for the foreseeable future.

Hmm, on second thought, the best beer selfies are taken with Toltec head brewer Kaylynn McKnight.

On the food front, just about everything we tried was quite delicious. There is a beast of a burger called the Royale, and yes, you can order it with cheese. The BBQ bacon burger was my personal choice, and it was perfectly cooked, with a heaping side of seasoned fries. There are numerous other options, including personal pizzas, salads for all you healthy types, and there is even dessert. The kitchen staff and the servers did a good job of getting the food out in a timely manner, which is impressive for any brewpub right out of the gates.

The brewery has 11 televisions up and running, so we all had a great view of the NHL playoffs. Overall, Toltec is exactly the kind of comfortable brewpub that we expected. We will be back many times to see how the beers evolve. Oh, and since the Penguins won last night, it is also now part of our list of good-luck breweries for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

Sampler tray

  • Drafty Kilt Brewing has officially been renamed Kilt Check Brewing. This ends a bit of a tumultuous run for the brewery, which had run afoul of the copyright a brewery in Atlanta had put on the name Drafty Kilt for its bottled Scotch ale. Make sure to head over and check out the new logo, but otherwise it will still be the same lineup of quality beers and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Route 66 Junkyard Brewery announced on Facebook that it has permanently closed. The Grants brewery did not offer up any sort of explanation for the decision, but it was also embroiled in a legal battle over the usage of Route 66 in its name. If the mysterious Elkins Brewing ever comes to fruition (it still has an active small brewer license), then Grants will not go thirsty for local craft beer for long.
  • There are four new pending small brewer licenses listed with the State of New Mexico. We had previously heard that Blu Dragonfly is on its way to Cimarron, so now that looks more official. The long-rumored Rail Brewery is coming to the Santa Fe Railyard some time in the future. Ravenswing Farm in Silver City has applied for a license. Then there is Black Cock Brewery in Roswell, which seems unlikely to open with that provocative name, as there is already a Black Cock Brewing Company in Orange, Calif.
  • The Little Toad Creek taproom in downtown Las Cruces looks like it will open next week, just in time for Blazin’ Brewfest, which is set to go down Friday, May 11. For tickets and more information, head over to the NM Brewers Guild website.

That is all from us for this week. As always, if you have any beer news, notes, or tidbits you would like to share, drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or on any of our social media sites.

I am off to enjoy my 40th birthday today, which I refuse to turn into any sort of somber event. Instead, there will be many barrel-aged stouts, piles of delicious food, probably a round or two of Cards Against Humanity, and lots and lots of metal out by the fire pit.

May the 4th be with you!

— Stoutmeister

Bosque’s Scale Tipper remains in contention for yet another National IPA Challenge championship.

The results of the third round of the National IPA Challenge popped up a little early online this weekend, with five New Mexico entries advancing in three brackets.

Bosque’s Scale Tipper, which claimed the title in 2015 and 2016, advanced to the fourth round at the expense of Quarter Celtic’s Mor-Buck. I actually had the chance to try the two beers side-by-side last week when I was visiting QC to talk about its medal haul from the New York International Beer Competition. Bosque brewmaster John Bullard dropped in with a bottle of the same batch of Scale Tipper that was sent to NIPAC.

The aroma was notably in Scale Tipper’s favor, while the flavor profiles of the two IPAs were quite different. Mor-Buck was sweeter, with a bit maltier mouthfeel. Scale Tipper was drier and had a higher bitterness, though some of that had dropped off a bit due to aging. In the end, both were complex, flavorful IPAs, but only one could advance.

Joining Scale Tipper in the fourth round of the regular IPA brackets are Boxing Bear’s Uppercut, which knocked out Madison Brewing’s DownTown, and Canteen’s Hop Baller, which bounced past Oskar Blues’ IPA. Next up in the fourth round for each:

  • Scale Tipper vs. Lynwood’s Hop Sauce (which eliminated Quarter Celtic’s Clark)
  • Uppercut vs. Old First Ward’s The Streaker
  • Hop Baller vs. Ipswich’s 1620

The fallen in the third round, in addition to Clark, were Canteen’s Tuttle at the hands of Melvin’s Hubert MPA, and Blue Corn’s Witty Hop Pun, which was really and truly knocked out this time by Hops & Grain’s Lupulin Rodeo (initial results had Witty Hop Pun eliminated way back in the first round before a correction was issued).

As for the other three brackets, Bosque’s Southwest Session reached the semifinals of the Session IPA bracket. Southwest Session ousted Saranac’s Gen IV and will now face Fat Heads’ Sunshine Daydream.

Over in the Specialty IPA bracket, Steel Bender’s Manana moved on to the quarterfinals by defeating Boneyard’s Incredible Pulp. Next up will be a showdown with El Segundo’s Cerveza Fresca Guava. Steel Bender’s other entry, Red Iron Red, saw its run come to an end at the hands of Coronado’s North Island IPA.

UPDATE: The results have been posted for the Imperial IPA bracket. The results are not good. The last two New Mexico entries, Quarter Celtic’s Test Batch #1 and Tractor’s Acreage, were eliminated by Lynwood’s El Hombre Enojado and Melvin’s Citradamus.

Congrats to all the New Mexico winners and good luck in the next round!

— Stoutmeister

Three of the four medal-winning beers are currently on tap at Quarter Celtic.

A social media photo crossed our desks on Tuesday of the Quarter Celtic staff happy as can be in the wake of the New York International Beer Competition naming their brewpub the best of the best in New Mexico.

We had never heard of this competition before, so I braved the traffic on San Mateo (I-25 southbound is no longer an option) and headed over to talk to the QC team on Wednesday afternoon. The NYIBC awarded a gold medal to Crimson Lass, silvers to Test Batch #1 IPA and Come to the Dort Side, and a bronze to Mor-Buck IPA, all of which added up to naming QC the best brewery in our state.

“At GABF, I was talking to Tom Hennessey, who used to be our boss, (and) he was just saying that he only enters two competitions a year, GABF and the New York International,” said head brewer/owner Brady McKeown. “He was saying what a great job they do, how professional they are.”

That all led Quarter Celtic to sign up.

“Another interesting thing about this competition was the format,” said assistant brewer/owner David Facey. “Some are BJCP-certified, some are Brewers Association-certified. … The cool thing about this one was the judgment by the buyers and sellers. Stylistically, it may not be 100 percent, but it’s from the people whose job it is to sell beer for a living. They know their product.”

The competition included beers from 14 countries. Many of the American entries were from big breweries across the country, including Blue Point, Brooklyn, DC Brau, Jolly Pumpkin, Magic Hat, Rogue, Samuel Adams, and Saranac. Among neighboring states, Barrio Brewing topped the Arizona list, while Renegade Brewing claimed Colorado.

To achieve victory, Quarter Celtic had to shake up some past category entries for its beers. One notable change was moving Crimson Lass from Irish Red to Scottish.

“We were really pleased with Crimson Lass,” said general manager/owner Ror McKeown. “These guys did a great job of putting that beer where it belonged in the right category.”

“You know how it works,” David added. “They always talk about crafting a beer to a style. What we realized was sometimes you have to craft a style to your beer.”

Getting medals for two of the four QC house beers, Crimson Lass and Mor-Buck, was also important.

“That’s a great point,” Ror said. “You can tell people you made a really great beer (but) you have to come back next year to drink it. (With these) come on in, you can have it any day of the week.”

Congratulations to the Quarter Celtic staff on all their achievements. We look forward to how things turn out at the World Beer Cup in April and in competitions beyond that.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

These are festive times at Quarter Celtic!

A year and a half under their belts, the mad scientists behind Quarter Celtic continue to refine their beers and business alike, with an eye to more possibilities as the new year comes upon us. Stoutmeister and I sat down with the trio of David Facey, and Brady and Ror McKeown, to see what shenanigans they might be up to in 2018.

David: It’s kind of nice that business is doing what we expected the business to do, and now it’s time for us to start building again.

Ror: So today we were sitting down, looking forward as a group, but we will start with the look back. For us, life has been good, business has been great. The neighborhood has adopted us as their hangout, which is perfect because we’re a public house. We are really appreciative of that. We’ve got a ton of regulars now, which is really fun. Just over the past year we were kind of letting our personalities shape our pub’s atmosphere, so when you come in it just feels right, at least to me. We have a great staff, we enjoy everybody that works here, and everyone has a nice role here. From the front of the house to bartender (and) the waitstaff, and we credit those guys for helping us to build a business, and we’ve got a great group around us, we are very fortunate.

We also have fantastic beers, delicious food, (and) we just came out with a new revision to the menu a couple of weeks ago. These are all things that we just keep tweaking, which is nice, and then for us we need to keep it interesting for us to just want to come back every day and enjoy what we’re doing.

David: We have been doing this so long that we know it has to evolve, and it can’t evolve every five years, it’s got to be a constant evolution. With new menu items and new beers, our algorithm is pretty simple — just look at what people want.

Ror: Now that we’re not the new brewery in town, rather the old grizzled year and a half, we’ve got a ton of regulars and it was all word of mouth, which is fantastic. It still leaves us with plenty of opportunities and obstacles ahead of us, but things have kind of slowed down. In the beginning everything is a mad rush and you are just trying to figure it out on the fly and now it is just about fine tuning all of it, which makes it a little more fun. We feel that our hard work and consistency allows us to be successful; the beer has consistent quality, which is true to style. Food falls right with the beer, put us up against any other restaurant on the food side of things. Service is always the one that takes the longest, but I think since we got an established crew (now). When we started we kind of cut some of that learning curve down a little bit. Life’s been great.

Back to just the past year, in my mind we’ve already (created) some new signature beers that we’ve done like Clark. Brady’s actually the first one in New Mexico, or at least Albuquerque that we know of, to do the New England-style IPA.

Solo: Yeah as far as we know.

Ror: And, we’ve had a good time with those because we’ve done some spinoffs on Clark. Clark was so popular that we did a fresh-hopped Clark, which was fantastic, we got the hops just juiced. Then we did Clark Juiced*, which was a top-three finisher in this year’s IPA Challenge, which was great for a well-balanced beer because it wasn’t a hop forward, in-your-face kind of a thing. We were a bit disappointed we didn’t win with that one, because if we had one we had the asterisk at the end of it and we wanted to go “it was juiced!” That was a whole premise of the thing.

David: Yeah, it was totally a play on the whole baseball thing.

Solo: We definitely caught the whole sports reference there.

Ror: Right now we’ve got the Imperial Clark on draft and so having a good time with the New England style, it has become one of our customers’ favorites, and that’s one that will consistently show up on the beer board.

Mangose, we did the mango gose, and it was really kind of beginner’s luck on that first one. Our very first batch we entered in the Global Warming Open for the world’s most refreshing beer. We just watched the bracket all summer long, basically because instead of the March Madness 64 it was 128 different beers. So marching on through, we got to the finals, we finished in second place, but that’s really good out of 128 beers and that was the first time these guys did a gose so fantastic. We brewed it again since then and it has become a crowd favorite.

Brady: Yeah it was at GABF, and you know what we didn’t enter into the competition …

Ror: We had judges coming up and saying, “Yeah, this is definitely a medal contender,” and we had to say no, no it’s not. Unfortunately we didn’t enter that one, but we brought it to pour. We got great feedback on it, which was nice, and that’s the whole reason we go to GABF is to get that feedback, how you can get better. We were also talking to a few other breweries and we were talking about doing a collaboration called Competition Tears or something where all of the losing breweries get together and make a beer together.

Solo: That definitely sounds fun.

Brady: So this next year we are looking to expand something, we have three or four avenues that we are pursuing.

If there is to be an off-site taproom in the future, it will have a tough task of living up to the character of the main location.

David: So like Ror was saying, there’s a certain time period when you first open where it is just crazy. You’re putting out fires and dealing with the craziness while you are trying to brew beer and run a shift and you are trying to do it all while the chaos is happening all around you. Now, the wheels are turning and everything is pretty smooth. It has given all of us an opportunity to find out what other people are doing both around town and around the country. So we have some ideas on beer-related things that we can do in house, and that we don’t really see anybody else doing too much. Not only in town, but across the country.

Ror: On that note, some of the beers that our customers find as favorites and some of the things that we’d like to go forward with and expand upon (include) Irish Handcuffs. So our imperial stout, we were able to barrel age it, we are trying to find maybe some space where we could do more barrel aging because that’s always fun. Very pleased with how that one turned out. …

A couple of other beers that we really enjoyed this year was the Kill or be Kilt Scotch Ale, that one will be a frequent visitor to our draft system. GFF (Grapefruit Forever), or a GFFish beer, will be back as well. I’m not really a big IPA drinker, but I was really enjoying that imperial IPA.

Brady: We will be brewing a variation on that for the National IPA Challenge since they have the specialty IPA section for that competition.

Ror: A couple of house favorites including the Pedro O’Flannigan’s and our Crimson Lass. Those are two big ones on our wholesale side for the accounts we have, they are some of our top sellers.

Solo: This town wanted a Mexican Lager and an Irish Red.

Brady: Yeah, and all of a sudden there were seven.

Solo: You were trendsetters with those.

Ror: For expansion either it will be a taproom, but also on the wholesale side of things it leaves a lot of opportunities maybe a little different than you would expect out of what you think when you say wholesale. So we are looking at that. Some new spaces potentially in the near future. A lot of exciting opportunities going forward, we are excited how the past year and a half exceeded our expectations. Going into a market that’s heavily saturated, (we asked) so what’s out there business-wise for everyone. So the nice thing about us is that we are a neighborhood pub, we make fantastic beer, (and) we are very friendly with a lot of the other breweries.

Solo: Yeah, the camaraderie is strong.

Ror: That part is still there, even though people are fighting a little more for a share now since it is getting diluted a bit, but for us life’s been good. We really can’t complain (about) we are doing (and) what we like. We didn’t go into this to retire tomorrow, we are doing this because that is what we want to do, and we enjoy working with each other. The nice thing about being open for a while, coming up on our two-year anniversary on St. Patrick’s day, at least people know who we are now. They may not know where we are, but at least they know who we are.

(For those who still don’t know, the brewpub is located at the corner of Lomas and San Mateo at the Northeast end of the underground parking lot beneath ACE Hardware.)

Ror: Early in the year we did the Australian International (Beer) competition, so we got quite a few medals out of that one, so Brady’s beers are definitely popular Down Under. But, we also entered this year’s Beer Wars, strictly for the belt. So I don’t know if you guys saw our video with Macho Man and the Hopster (it is on YouTube, and it is amazing). In the Beer Wars you get medals and it’s a real competition, but if you win the overall thing, you get this big WWE-style gold plated belt. If we don’t win it I think we are going to have to buy one, because I need that for my Hopster costume with Macho Man and Nature Boy. Brady didn’t make it (to filming) that day. But, that would be a fun one where if we happen to win a competition or pull some medals there’s going to be a recurring skit just because it was fun.

Brady: So we still have not received word back from Mr. Full Nelson, because we were going to have Blue Demon go against the Hopster.

Ror: When (La Cumbre) released Full Nelson they did a YouTube video, so we challenged Blue Demon against the Hopster. So one of these days when they are getting ready to release Full Nelson we said let us know and we’ll brew our IPA and we’ll throw them in the ring and then we can do something great.

Solo: I think that’s fantastic.

Ror: Jeff (Erway), bring it. Hopster’s calling out Blue Demon. Our two IPAs in the death ring, the cage.

Solo: Two men enter, one man leaves.

Ror: Thunderdome! So yeah, hopefully that happens because we posted something on that and didn’t get a response, oddly enough. But, check that video out, it’s pretty funny.

Stoutmeister: So what was your reaction to the Australian awards, and what was the important thing about doing that? I know you guys wanted to start to understand where your beers fit best style wise, what categories, and that kind of thing. What did you get out of doing that?

Brady: Well, you enter competitions just to get feedback from somebody, so you look at Australia, I’m assuming, not from being there, from the history books right? It’s a lot of English influence, so a lot of the English and Irish beers are prevalent there, and I think that’s why ours did well because they sort of walk the same line that’s already there.

Solo: Kind of the culture that’s already there.

Brady: Yeah, exactly, but hops are just taking off down there. So I think they are softer, more stylistically correct for that population. We just did well because it is something that they are used to. Although our IPA did OK, too.

Ror: Yeah, we got a silver, actually.

Brady: The only American beer that got a medal in the Australian style (IPA).

Stoutmeister: Yeah, Bosque got the bronze in the Australian style at World Beer Cup in ’16, they got it for their IPA in that competition and that’s why they shifted into that category for GABF as well.

Ror: And, now we are getting ready for World Beer Cup, and you get four styles (to enter), but as the partners go we all like different types of beer and so we are all kind of vying for what we’d like to see go. All good ones, but inevitably you don’t send that one and then you wish you would have. There’s always that second guessing.

Stoutmeister: You always see that beer that wins and say to yourself “we could have beat that one!”

Solo: Well, any parting words?

David: We are making beer in 2018; you got that? That’s all I’ve got.

Solo: Sweet.

Stoutmeister: Actually I would ask is there anything new that you have conceived beer wise?

Solo: Any interesting things that you’re going to be doing this year, like the stoplight Berliner Weisse trio, or something like that?

Ror: Yeah, stoplight was great and that was actually the brainchild of Matt Angel, who has worked for us for quite a long time. He was pushing to do that for years.

Solo: So it finally happened.

Ror: He was having a great time pouring it and all of that.

Solo: I was having a good time because he was having so much fun with it.

Ror: With beer styles, we might have some fun with our Celtic heritage and have some things that are leaning a little bit more towards that, but maybe bigger (higher ABV) styles.

Solo: Splendid.

David: And, I think hopefully our overall portfolio, whether it’s Pedro or MorBuck or whatever else, will improve somewhat significantly. Not that these are bad or anything, but there is always room for improvement, so it is nice that the brewery is kind of evolving because now we are not only (using) different techniques, but we are experimenting with different techniques for certain beers. So our brewing style changes from beer to beer to beer to beer to beer to beer. And, that’s super exciting, and it’s all on the coattails of making better beer, not only research and study. If it adds half and hour, an hour, two hours to your day, it is still time well spent.

Solo: It is evident in the success of your Clark as you were telling us last year. You put in all of that time, all of that research, and you created a beer that was top three in the IPA Challenge. A totally different style from what we are typically used to and that’s saying something, to pull that off in the first year.

David: So I think on the nerd side of things, that is what’s exciting about that for 2018. I read this and you read that, and you put it together and lo and behold that works, that one’s great. We should implement this technique in this beer.

More equipment is on deck for 2018.

Ror: We are also getting little bits and pieces to add to the brewery. When we first opened we had to wait to do some business and save a little bit. We started with a basic brewery and I think we’ve made exceptional beer for having this basic brewery. There are things that you don’t necessarily need, but if you would like to keep evolving then you just keep your eye out and get the pieces when you can.

Solo: So a few minor, well, not minor in terms of your quality of life, but minor in terms of overall cost pieces that you added to your brewery setup to make your lives a little easier.

David: Yeah, make our lives a little easier, or better beer, or hopefully with the right piece of equipment, sometimes it does both.

Ror: Whether it’s a technique or a style or a piece of equipment or some new technology.

David: Like Ror said, you operate in the basic brewery for a while, and it’s totally OK, and then you do get that one piece of equipment for Brady and then it is so much easier. I think we can all agree that we want it tomorrow, but we realize that there’s a great deal of patience that goes into it, so on the business aspect of it there is balancing those two.

Ror: And, for us, return on investment isn’t always in terms of dollars. You buy something and people say (about the beer), “It’s so clean, so crisp; how did you do it?” and if it was that thing we bought, that’s money well spent. In conclusion, if you really want to see what it’s like to run a brewery, check out our videos on YouTube. It’s rough.

* * * * *

My sentiments exactly. True characters to a man, it shows in everything they do, with the lust of the Celts and the dedication that comes of years of experience. Can’t wait to see what they might be up to in their second year, whether a new beer up their sleeves in the vein of the Clark line of IPAs, or what glorious machinations they might put up in video form for a good laugh or three.

Sláinte!

— Franz Solo