Posts Tagged ‘Red Door Brewing’

An updated image of artist Matt Anderson’s mural at Red Door.

Editor’s note: Every now and again we get a request for a guest post. In this case, it came from Carlos Contreras, a long-time friend of the Crew. He wanted to highlight a local artist who has painted the first large-scale mural at Red Door Brewing, so of course we said yes. — S

“I have been drawing since I was a kid,” says Matthew Anderson. Anderson has been honing his craft since birth – and it’s paid off. He has now “given birth” to a larger than life “stamp” on the side of a notable building when it comes to the brewery scene here in Burque. The next time you roll on in to Red Door Brewing on Candelaria, you’ll get to pay witness to Anderson’s creation/new addition to the outdoor ambiance, thanks to a “mural a la Matt.”

In his day job, Anderson works at a local jewelry supply company.

“I get to work in the jewelry industry with some amazing metal smiths. My days at Rio Grande are spent working with the folks that make jewelry components in silver and gold,” he said. Silver and gold, eh? Perhaps that explains Anderson’s affinity with robots – metal … who knows. What we do know, is if you head on over you’ll see what we are talking about … hint, hint…

You know, anything to get Burque brew scene regulars and newbies out for a beer. If that’s not a good enough reason — perhaps you’ll take the reason for the mural in the first place, worthy of you lending some support local love to this site for suds.

“Red Door supports local artists by hanging work for a month and taking only a small percentage – 10 percent. They gave me my first opportunity and the response was overwhelmingly positive. I’ve shown here there three times,” said Anderson.

“Ali, Chaya and Whitney, the three women that I’ve worked with here are all very generous and supportive. Ali really likes my work and one day I posted on Facebook that I wanted to do a mural. I think I had a response from Ali in a day working out details.”

So there you have it — sometimes it really is just meant to be. We won’t say “easy,” because judging from the progress shots — in this summer heat, Anderson’s feat has been anything but easy. Although pathing a path as an artist is anything but easy in any scene. Anderson talked a bit about how his successes and opportunities in the Albuquerque brewery and art scenes have been enjoyable and encouraging.

“I’ve also had my work featured at O’Niell’s and Boxing Bear. I’ve also done paint classes at M’tucci’s Moderno and Steel Bender Brewyard that have been huge successes. I’m planning more later this summer,” he said.

It hasn’t just “worked” for Anderson, though; he touched on this reality as well, noticing a growth in our local economy that seems to support quite a few creatives and their endeavors.

“The craft beer explosion has brought soul and community to Albuquerque. Before craft beer, places served tasteless beer and focused on turning tables. Now you can hang out, meet new people and have a unique experience in your neighborhood,” he said.

So if you’re in the neighborhood sometime soon, you ought to check out the FIRST of Anderson’s murals. That’s right, it’s the first of its kind.

That’s exciting right? For Matt, it’s both exciting and nerve wracking.

“What an incredible amount of trust they’re putting in me. If it all goes south I can always paint over it,” he joked.

We say joked because we know the outcome is going to be stunning and fun all at the same time.

“I hope people smile when they sit next to it. I want kids to imagine they can do something like that too,” said the fun-loving artist.

“It means the world. I will have something the public can see for years. I am deeply indebted to Red Door for all they’ve done to support me and art in Albuquerque,” he added.

We asked him to add to the conversation, a bit about his future plans – he said, “I am always available for more work. I also paint canvasses and wood panels to be sold. I also take my creations and put them on T-shirts. I would love to get together with a group of kids for a community project.”

Hmm, something tells us he might be getting a few phone calls, every time a community minded person sits on Red Door’s patio and has a few Pilsners while thinking about public art…

We sure hope we’re right — and we know you do too.

Cheers!

— Carlos

It’s back for the 15th time! (Photos courtesy of Alex Archuleta)

The 15th annual Pork & Brew Festival is returning to the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho from June 29 through July 1. The Crew sat down with SASC director of marketing Alex Archuleta to get all the details for all of you beer and barbecue lovers.

“We call it New Mexico’s original food festival,” Alex said. “It’s been around for 15 years, so it’s kind of stood the test of time. Rio Rancho’s real proud of it.”

The goal of the organizers this year is to make the event more friendly to customers. The first change, Alex said, was to change the hours on the opening Friday from all day to 3 to 9 p.m.

“Something a little different we’re doing on Friday is running it from 3 to 9, so hopefully we’ll capture more of that after-work crowd,” he said, while also noting that it tends to be the least crowded day, if huge crowds are not your thing. “If we’re on a date that’s not as packed, it will be Friday, because people get off work and go home, and once you get home, you stay home.”

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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.)

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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

Red Hat Hops’ Tom Brewer, left, will be one of two speakers at Red Door Brewing for an educational talk on beer and hops in New Mexico.

Red Door Brewing Company and Red Hat Hops are teaming up during this year’s ABQ Beer Week to provide some educational fun. This Tuesday at 7 p.m., you can head over to Red Door’s Candelaria location for a Hops and Beer talk with head brewer Matt Meier and Tom Brewer from Red Hat Hops. I was able to meet with Matt for a brief preview. Tom was there as well, accompanied by partner Tim Arnold, Tom’s son Bubba, and another farm employee, Charlotte.

Matt said the event will be free and open to whoever is in the taproom; there is no need to sign up in advance. Matt and Tom will be available for questions about the brewing process and about hops and growing hops.

I asked Matt about the intended audience and he said it is for anyone, but probably mostly for those who are either a novice or just curious about growing hops and about the hop industry in general in New Mexico. Matt specifically said this is an informational discussion and not any kind of sales environment. He playfully said there will be no scary “timeshare” pitches! If attendees come away with knowledge, or if questions are clarified, that is what will be satisfying for Matt, he said.

Red Hat Hops is located in Los Ranchos.

Tom said he has given many talks on the subject and that he and Matt plan to feed off each other as subject matter experts — Matt on the brewing side and Tom on the hops side. Red Hat is currently growing many different types of hops at its farm on Rio Grande Blvd., just north of Montano. Reportedly, many varieties grow very well in New Mexico because of a lack of mold and pests, even most of the types we associate with the Pacific Northwest. Beyond that, we shall save the details for those who want to come to the event.

Speaking of learning, I learned something myself that I am able to share with our readers. The taproom manger, Ali Cattin, informed me that Red Door is going to have their own permanent food truck called Side Door Kitchen. Red Door’s beers will be featured in some of the recipes, and Ali said she will be the one in charge of the menu. She worked as a chef for eight years and was a student of CNM’s culinary program. The current plan is to pair special foods with special beer releases as well. Red Door hosts the food truck battle during Beer Week, and now they will have their very own involved in the competition!

Red Door head brewer Matt Meier and taproom manager Ali Cattan.

This is a first of its kind Beer Week event. So come on over to Red Door and show support for both an Albuquerque brewery and a local hop farm at the same time. That’s really keeping it local!

Stay hydrated and safe during Beer Week — the Crew will see you all around at the events, so if you see any of us, make sure to say hello.

Cheers!

— AmyO

Beer pairs so well with tacos, grilled cheese, and just about everything else today.

It’s back to a full slate of events today, with food pairings being the biggest theme.

There’s beer and tacos, beer and grilled cheese, beer and whiskey and food, and so on. Basically, fill your belly, fill your soul, and have some fun.

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: Two Fools and Canteen Whiskey and Beer Pairing. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: $25.

Details: Get three Canteen beers paired with three whiskies and three food items. Irish Red is paired with Tamdhu 10-year and whisky BBQ shredded duck. Exodus IPA is paired with Teeling and pork belly jicama taco. Dark ‘n Lusty Stout is paired with Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban and sea salt caramel truffle.

Why you should go: Well, um, gosh, that just looks ridiculous. If you love beer, whiskey, and food, then this might be pretty close to your idea of heaven.

All the other great events

What: Cask Release of Two Fools Whiskey Barrel-Aged Obey the Darkside. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: Noon until it runs out. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Yes, Canteen saved some of the Obey that we helped brew and put it in a barrel. Some of that barrel-aged beauty will be in a cask for us all to enjoy. Why you should go: If you don’t go early, the Crew will drink it all. We’re not kidding about this.

What: Special Tapping of Boxing Bear Sucker Punch. Where: High and Dry Brewing. When: 2-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It can be hard to find the Bear’s big IPAs east of the Rio Grande, so take advantage of it being on tap at High and Dry. Why you should go: If you still haven’t been to High and Dry, this is as good a time as any to visit.

What: Ultimate Taco Tuesday. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: 3-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: For $15 plus tax, get four special tacos (fish, beef & green chile, carne adovada, twice-burnt stuffed) paired with four beers (Crosscut Kolsch, Ghost Train IPA, Brewers Beard Bock, Hop-Mosa 2.0). Why you should go: Tacos!

What: Beer & Grilled Cheese Pairing. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 5-10 p.m. Cost: $13. Details: Once again, Tractor teams up with Cheesy Street for this delicious event. Get four mini-grilled cheeses — Yo Mama’s (classic cheddar), The Dubliner (aged Irish Dubliner cheese with Granny Smith apple slices), Uber Cheesy (German-style with grilled onions and brown mustard), New Mexico’s Favorite (cheese, green chile, bacon) — and a dessert (Raspberry Cinnamon Cheesecake), each paired with a different beer (Almanac IPA, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout, Apricot Wheat, New Mexican Lager, Berry Cider). Why you should go: It’s like the other beer and cheese events, only the cheese is all melty and gooey and wonderful.

What: Tri Tuesday Beer and Taco Pairing. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 6-10 p.m. Cost: $13. Details: Three tacos are paired up with three 5-ounce beer pours to bring you total happiness. Why you should go: They’re leaving the identities of the beers and the style of tacos a mystery. We like mysteries.

What: Collaboration Beer Dinner with Bell’s Brewery and Steel Bender Brewyard. Where: TFK Smokehouse. When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost: $55. Details: Indulge in a five-course meal with six beers, three from each brewery. Bell’s Oberon opens it up, followed by Steel Bender’s Raspberry Dynamite with a Brazilian salad. Then it’s Bell’s Lager of the Lakes with smoked pork firecrackers and Steel Bender’s Ingenio with margarita shrimp tacos. Finish it off with Steel Bender’s Red Iron Red with smoked beef short ribs and Bell’s 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve with Mayan chocolate mousse. Call TFK at (505) 639-5669 for reservations. Why you should go: If you’re not hungry and thirsty just reading that, we need to have a talk.

What: Hops and Beer Talk with Tom Brewer and Matt Meier. Where: Red Door Brewing (Candelaria). When: 7-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Our own AmyO will preview this event in full later today, but basically you get the chance to sit down and listen to Red Hat Hops owner Tom Brewer and Red Door head brewer Matt Meier discuss the fledgling hop farming industry in New Mexico and what it can mean to the future of craft beer in our state. Why you should go: It’s educational and it’s free, plus you can enjoy some of Matt’s new beers, including the ESB, English IPA, and New England IPA.

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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

Take your pick between smoked meats, local music, trivia, and a whole lot more.

Oh, what to do with a day off?

First, take a moment to be thankful for every member of the military, be it recent or years ago, who gave their lives for all of us.

Then, if you do not have a gathering to attend at the house of a friend or family member, or aren’t hosting one yourself, then get thee to the breweries today. Just be extra careful getting home afterwards.

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: Memorial Day Bender Smoke-Out. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. until the food runs out. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: It is time to feast! The smokers will be churning out heaping amounts of spare ribs, brisket, and pulled pork, served with all of your favorite side dishes. Throw in all the great beers on tap, and this should satiate you for, oh, about a week or so. Just remember, get there early, because the food supply is not without limits.

Why you should go: Smoked meats. Beer. Someone else will clean up afterwards. Go. Win. Woots!

All the other great events

What: Memorial Day Fest. Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 3-8:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If you are more about the music than the meats, head to Marble for this annual bit of fun featuring four local bands, Gershom Brothers, Stan Kee and Step In, Sol De La Noche, and The Dirty Shades. Plus, if you ride your bicycle, then you get Mug Club discounts, and the team from Bike Works will be on hand to help make your ride even better. Why you should go: Support local music, drink local beer, get some exercise. Triple win.

What: Food Pairing. Where: Red Door Heights. When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: $10. Details: We looked for but could not find any details. Fear not, we will keep chasing this one right up until the time it’s supposed to start. Why you should go: We’re working on this.

What: Paint Your Own Stein. Where: Tractor Four Hills. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Kiln It! is hosting this fun event where patrons get to, well, paint a stain and then take it home. It costs $35 and to RSVP call (505) 433-8969. Your first pint is on the house. Your second pint can be served to you in your stein when you’re done. Why you should go: Not everybody can go to Germany and buy an official stein, so why not make your own?

What: Brain Gang Trivia Beer Edition. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 7-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The weekly trivia event goes with a full beer theme (of course). You can win anywhere from $10 to $25 in Canteen house cash, and it’s free to join. Why you should go: Win beer trivia to get beer money. What a brilliant concept.

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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

It’s a fairly mellow Friday … oh, wait, no it’s not, mainly because of one bonkers tapping after another.

That was still a lot of beer on Thursday, but we gotta admit that we like limiting the number of events to 10 or less per day. It keeps us more focused, cuts down on our Lyft/Uber expenses, and so on.

There are only six events today. Each one is a little different, yet we cannot take our eyes off one particular downtown gathering.

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: 21 and Over. Where: Sister. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Eight breweries that have been around for 21 or more years are coming to Sister, each with a rare beer (or two) for this special event. Feeling light? There’s Four Peaks’ Green Tea Lager or Sierra Nevada’s Kolsch German-Style Ale. Feeling hoppy? Rogue’s Combat Wombat could be your ticket, or perhaps Bell’s Double Two Hearted. Feel like puckering up? Odell’s ’16 Meddler or New Belgium’s Clutch Sour Stout could whet your whistle. Feeling malty? There’s a choice between Left Hand’s Chai Milk Stout Nitro, Firestone Walker’s ’17 Helldorado, and Bell’s 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve.

Why you should go: There are not your regular beers on the shelves at liquor and grocery stores across town. There’s a little something for everyone here. We can’t think of a better way to kick off your weekend.

All the other great events

What: Beam Me Up Scotty Release. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Just in time for the anniversary party, this Scottish Wee Heavy returns to taps with a burly, malty base and a slight peaty/smoky kick. Why you should go: Get some now before the place gets packed for the anniversary party, which you should still attend, but this will give you time to truly enjoy this beer slowly without anyone eyeing your table.

What: Bosque Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rather than just bring beers to taste, Bosque is teaming up with Carnivore Popcorn. Try some Bosque Lager with Hollypeno popcorn, Elephants on Parade with Sour Apple popcorn, Bosque IPA with Garlic Rosemary popcorn, and Scotia Scotch Ale with Cinnamon Caramel Espresso popcorn. Why you should go: If you did not get simultaneously hungry and thirsty reading those details, go see a doctor, now.

What: Founders KBS ’17/18 Vertical. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Remember when the Crew did our latest ridiculous review of this classic barrel-aged stout? Well, now you can do your own version by trying the 2017 and 2018 versions side-by-side. Why you should go: You get to grab some delicious food while trying a couple of big beers. Hey, you gotta eat dinner at some point, right?

What: ABQ Trolley Company’s The Hopper—A hop-on, hop-off brew cruise. Where: Red Door Downtown, Duel Downtown, Marble Downtown, Rio Bravo. When: 6:30-11 p.m. Cost: $25. Details: Hop on the trolley, hop off at a brewery, enjoy a pint, and repeat. With trolleys running every 30 minutes or so, there will be stops at Red Door’s downtown taproom, Duel’s taproom, Marble, and Rio Bravo. Why you should go: Feel like a pub crawl? Worried about your car? Leave it at home and leave the driving to these good folks.

What: Beer Release & Folk Covers of Radiohead. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A slew of local musicians will be covering the band, while Tractor releases its next entry in the Beer for a Better Burque (BBB) series, Peach Chinook Common with gold glitter, which will benefit Equality New Mexico. Why you should go: Radiohead might be not our thing, but maybe it’s yours. Also, you gotta admit to be curious about an actual glitter beer.

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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

The last beer festival at Isleta Pavilion was the lone Blues & Brews to appear there back in 2013.

Friends of friends were happy to inform us that the upcoming Sabroso Festival, scheduled for this Sunday at the Isleta Pavilion, was a fun event in its California stops. The setup for the Albuquerque edition, however, has hit some bumps in the road, as breweries have reported major issues with getting their permits approved due to problems the event organizers are having with New Mexico laws.

Of the 18 listed breweries on the event website, three have confirmed they will not attend — Eske’s, Kaktus, and Starr Brothers — due to permitting issues. Four have yet to respond to our inquiries, so their status is unknown at this time (though Sierra Blanca did say on an Instagram post that it will be there). Here are the beer lists for those who did get back to us.

  • UPDATED—Ale Republic: Parasol, Bernalillo Weisse, Blonde, Double Trouble, Zero to Hero (Zero IBU IPA), Sombra (American Stout)
  • Bosque: Bosque Lager, Elephants on Parade, Bosque IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Bow & Arrow: Denim Tux Lager, Desert Rambler Hefeweizen, Savage Times Sour IPA, Nomadico IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Cider, Ambear, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Canteen: Flashback IPA, High Plains Pils, Dougie Style Amber, Rapsberry Wheat, Exodus IPA, Laid Back Lager
  • Little Toad Creek: Copper Ale, E9 Pale Ale, Grumpy Old Troll IPA, Pendejo Porter
  • Marble: Passionate Gose, Cholo Stout, Imperial Red, Double IPA, Pilsner, Double White
  • Picacho Peak: Picacho Lite, New England IPA, Black IPA, Dunkelweizen, Chocolate Porter
  • Red Door: Vanilla Cream Ale, Roamer Red, Threshold IPA, Unhinged Cider
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Steel Bender Lager, The Village Wit, Raspberry Dynamite, Out to Pasture Brett Saison, Zest Out

The unknown breweries besides Sierra Blanca are Abbey Brewing, Santa Fe, and Tractor.

There is also something called Revolver Brewing, which is owned by Miller Coors, a subsidiary of ABInBev, so we do not consider that a craft brewery worth listing here.

All that being said, this still has the potential to be a fun event. It will run from 1 p.m. (noon for VIP ticket holders) until 10 p.m. The event is 21 and over from 1 to 3, then all ages after that. Craft beer tastings last until 4 p.m., then you have to pay by the pint. There may still be tickets online, but reports say it will be sold out by Sunday, so do not wait to try to get your tickets at the gates.

The music is headlined by 90s SoCal punk bands The Offspring and Pennywise, with Los Kung Fu Monkeys (3-3:30), Unwritten Law (3:55-4:30), Lit (5-5:45), and Street Dogs (6:15-7) in support. Pennywise follows from 7:30 to 8:30, with The Offspring finishing it all off from 9 to 10:05.

The website says there will be 24 different taco vendors on hand. There will also be Luche Libre wrestling matches for your entertainment, starting at 12:30 p.m., with the championship match at 3:30.

Hopefully this all goes off without a hitch and we all have fun this Sunday.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Who wouldn’t be smiling after taking over as a head brewer?

A few months ago, the Crew was surprised to see an advertisement for a head brewer position at Red Door Brewing. We were less surprised by the identity of the person who eventually earned the right to succeed founding brewer Wayne Martinez.

Matt Meier, formerly of La Cumbre and Marble, has taken the reins at Red Door after crossing off every box on the checklist of owner Matt Biggs.

“We solicited resumes from a ton of people, a lot of them from out of state,” Biggs said. “I think for us, it was really nice to be able to hire in state and preferable, because we know the quality of beer inside New Mexico and we don’t necessarily know the quality of beer outside of New Mexico, which can be hit or miss. When we look at people trained by certain breweries, we have no idea what (quality) that brewery was.

“We got a (lot) of resumes from people locally, and we narrowed it down to a few people, and at the end of the day in terms of experience and kind of personality and all the different factors, we had a really tough time making the decision when we started interviewing New Mexicans. We just felt Matt fit the bill of what we’re looking for, which is somebody that’s ready to take that next step (and) really excited about doing that, also. I’m pretty happy that we did that so far.”

For Matt Meier, the chance to take charge of his own brewhouse was too good to pass up.

“For me, I saw it as kind of like when you’re shopping for a house,” Meier said. “It’s got good bones. I want to put my twist on it. It’s got a good group of regulars. It’s got its two other taprooms. It’s ready to blast off. It just needs something to stand apart, to make it separate. In this town, there’ s a brewery every quarter of a mile it seems. I want to give people a reason. It’s easy to pass us on the way to La Cumbre. I want people to peek in the parking lot to see cars, (say) oh, man, something is happening over there. I want this place to, like I said, just start popping up on people’s radars.”

Matt Meier, left, handled his first Crew interview with aplomb.

Meier started his brewing career on the other side of the country.

“Before we moved out here, my wife and I, she landed a job at UNM, we were in South Carolina,” he said. “I brewed at a 3-barrel brewhouse called Conquest, and that’s in Columbia. That’s where I cut my teeth brewing. Before that, I was a lowly bottle line guy at Thomas Creek Brewing in Greenville. I’ve been in the industry for seven years, but only brewing in Albuquerque for two.”

Meier said he learned a lot in those two years, mainly from one brewmaster in particular.

“When I first moved here two years ago, I got a job at Marble. I was working up at the Heights with (Josh) Trujillo. He was probably the greatest influence on my brewing that I could ever ask for, he’s like frickin’ Yoda. He is, he’s like a brewer Yoda. I learned so much under that guy, and I will forever be indebted to him.

“That led me to getting a job at La Cumbre, and that was my most recent place, shift brewing for them. When this came open, I jumped at it. I finally got a place where I can stretch out my creativity and put my spin on some beers. That was my Albuquerque brewing experience.”

Meier is certainly not the first new head brewer to spring up from the ranks at the two biggest breweries in town. Kaylynn McKnight (Toltec/Nexus) and David Kimbell (Bombs Away) both cut their teeth at La Cumbre, while Mick Hahn (Turtle Mountain) and Andrew Krosche (Kellys/Chama River) got their brewing starts at Marble.

Matt tells us all about his New England IPA (full haze was not yet in effect when we visited).

During his time in Albuquerque, Meier said he learned what the local craft beer-loving crowd likes.

“Oh, hops,” he said. “As long as we can afford it, I’ll give it to them. Hops are expensive. I was lucky enough that the owner here, Matt Biggs, kind of let the leash off me on my first beer so I could spend a little bit on some hops and different yeast. I’ll throw hops at a few beers every now and again. It’s not sustainable to do it every beer, I wish I could.”

That first beer was the New England IPA that debuted Friday. Franz Solo went ahead and reviewed that beer for us already, and if our resident chief hophead liked it, it should be a popular beer with most folks around town.

“That’s my first special that they let me write, that I could actually fit my beer into the schedule,” Meier said. “That has Mosaic, Citra, and El Dorado. Now I’ve got a good portion of all those great hops in the back. Future beers will be designed around them. Getting rid of those hops is a tough, tough task.”

Meier was smiling when he said that last line. He was still smiling when he went over the other beers he has on the schedule.

“The next special I’m brewing (is) an English-style IPA, it’s a little toned down, a little malty, English malt, English hops,” Meier said. “It’s sessionable, well, my definition of sessionable. It’s still above 5 percent. That came from inspiration from our (distribution) guy, David Garcia. Him and I were talking and he’s really been looking for a good English IPA around (town). I’ve got the yeast for it coming off this New England IPA, let’s do an English IPA. After that, I’m going to keep that yeast strain going, do an ESB.”

Fans of some of the most popular past seasonals at Red Door need not panic that those beers are all going by the wayside.

“I’ve got plans to bring back the Blackberry Hefeweizen that was popular last summer here,” Meier said. “So yeah, I am going to listen to what the regulars want, what the employees said sold (in the past). I’m not trying to rock the boat too much. That will be out probably right around Albuquerque Beer Week.

“I’ve (also) got a Berliner Weisse and a pilsner planned. That probably covers the next two months of specials. Then we’ll see what so far I’ve made, what the feedback is, and if the people want me to bring back New England (or) bring back English.”

It is a rare thing indeed to get three Crew members in on one interview. The power of the beer, and actual free time, compelled us.

To brew all those new beers, while also keeping the year-round beers in good supply, Meier said he will need some new equipment.

“It’s funny you mention that, we are ordering a new hot liquor tank,” he said. “We currently do not have one. We have an empty 30-barrel fermenter that I heat up all my hot water in the kettle. I mash in from the kettle, fill it up, heat it, and send it over to the fermenter for my sparge water. Then send it back over top while I’m sparging. That’s not sustainable, that’s not going to work forever. Right now I can only do one batch of beer a day. We’ve got a 7-barrel brewhouse and 15-barrel fermenters, so I have to brew twice to fill them. It’s just time consuming.”

Meier made a list of everything else the brewery needs to move forward.

“First order of business, I gave Matt Biggs an inventory of what I think we can use,” he said. “It kind of goes with his thoughts of let’s grow. He wants this taproom filled, he wants distro to be able to step it up. Right now we have the reins on distro because we have to keep up with the taprooms. I don’t want to ever hold back from selling more beer.”

Another major benefit of having the hot liquor tank will be to free up that 30-barrel fermenter, which is the biggest tank in the brewery.

“(Once) we’ve got that hot liquor tank, we’re going to be filling up that 30-barrel vessel that has been a holding tank,” Meier said. “We’ll get that moved out, get the glycol hooked up, and I’ve asked Matt to purchase a 30-barrel bright. Then we’ll brew into that full-time. Then I’ll only have to brew IPA once a month. That frees up a fermenter every two or three weeks for another special.”

As anyone working in a brewery knows, there is no sense in putting an exact timetable on the arrival of the equipment, but it should be sooner than later.

“Right now, we’re at the mercy of tank manufacturers and their backlog of orders,” Meier said. “Once we get that hot liquor tank and bright in here, we’ll get rocking and rolling.”

Red Door will also be increasing its supply of kegs.

“Every day we find ourselves cleaning six to 10 kegs just to make sure tomorrow’s kegs get full,” Meier said. “I want to make sure that we’re not depending on collecting empty kegs to fill orders for tomorrow. We want to have a little bit of a backlog of kegs and that will open up things for distro.”

Franz Solo went back and got the New England IPA to take home.

An ideal outlook for the future at Red Door would see more growth, possibly beyond the city limits, Meier said. That will all depend on finances, of course.

“I would love to see it grow into production,” Meier said. “If we can prove in town that this is a brand people respect and will continue to visit, then it’s worth taking it outside of Albuquerque. Which, without money being an issue, (means we) get a bigger brewhouse. Then we get rid of the 15-barrel fermenters and brights; then we get 30s. Baby steps, we’ll get there.

“I would love that to be the vision of this brewery, just to keep growing it. It’s in a good spot right now with its three taprooms and this core brewery, but growing into other markets, growing this Albuquerque market, trying to grow our pie share, we’ll see what happens.”

If everything goes right and Red Door eventually outgrows its space on Candelaria, Meier said he has a plan for that as well.

“We’ve got plenty of room to grow for this facility, by no means are we talking about a new building at this point,” he said, before adding with a laugh, “But hey, if it comes to it and money is not an issue, we’ll build a huge Bernalillo brewery right next to Bosque.”

All of us in the Crew are looking forward to what the two Matts can do with Red Door going forward. The New England IPA is a great start. Head on over to any of the three locations and let us know what you think.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Resinous hops abide behind the haze at Red Door

Posted: April 23, 2018 by Franz Solo in Beer Review
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Get thee to Red Door for a pint of New England IPA while it lasts!

Franz Solo checking in. I just happened to try the first new beer to come from Red Door’s new brewer Matt Meier (full feature on him is coming Tuesday, FYI) and I enjoyed it so thoroughly as to inspire a springtime outburst of my so called “Viking Poetry” or some such rubbish. What follows is my encounter with the simply-titled New England IPA (no sports affiliation of any kind, as I was happily informed) from Red Door, which checks in at over 100 IBU and in the 7-percent ABV echelon. 

As I began my lupulin escapades on Friday the 20th of April, after a brew day for Battle of the Beer Geeks at Tractor in the morning, I procured my first pint and dove headfirst into a veritable galaxy of hops. The aroma is of a melange consisting of tangerines, lemons, Spanish orange trees (reminding me of the gardens at the Alhambra), and ruby red grapefruit, melded with cannabis-like resins to finish it off. Sort of a lemon haze or orange kush comes to mind, if you catch my drift on the 1620, or was it 710 reversed? Never mind.

Grapefruit finishes off each draught, and the kind of pith that lingers with notes of tangerine rind. This has a lovely mouthfeel from start to finish, with a strong mellow front, a mid-palate that builds to the dry, wonderfully bitter finish. It’s the best of both worlds, where this deftly balances between a New Mexico-style hop bomb, and also a silky East Coast juice bomb. Lots of dank pine on the aroma swims around the edges with a strong kick of almost orange dreamsicle in the middle.

One can also take the New England IPA home and enjoy it outdoors on a pleasant spring afternoon.

This is my kind of beer in the hoppy vein, resins flowing from the fingertips, loads of West Coast gargle blaster hops straight outta … er… what day is this? Is this Saturday? Clearly my assignment had gotten the better of my attorney; he was off jabbering about reptiles as we were bumping old gangsta rap circa ‘92. The wave crested and flowed back for a moment. This beer, it rides like a smooth drag at high speed with the top down, just enjoying the open air and some damn fine scenery. The forest of citrus-themed hops was combined and blended, and then it went on a vision quest, and when it returned like in a haze we dazed in the hammock of early spring winds and the rain and my thoughts were given over to a long-desired wandering. Yes.

The finish is all grapefruit and cannabis resin, as dank and bitter as you demand, you who are bitter and you like it (we know who we are). Slight lemon notes as an ending here as well, much akin to the grapefruit beyond grapefruit onward to the edge of bitterness. The front end of this is a blast of juice, but the back two-thirds are an old-school swing for the fences explosion of hops. This reminds me of burly Two Hearted from Bell’s meets fresh-squeezed hop juice (if only that was a thing). In my opinion, this is the brunch of hop drinks suitable for a luxurious weekend out in a hammock, enjoying the twitter of spring birds and mild breezes. Much like our native spring, however, it will not last long, so grab a pint and breathe deeply while you enjoy this aromatic delight.

Skål!

— Franz Solo