Posts Tagged ‘Red Door Brewing’

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 six breweries, one in Los Alamos, and one in Moriarty 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.

Once again, we all face a jam-packed weekend of fun and beer. Oh, woe is us. Kick things off Friday at La Cumbre with A Pint of Relief, where $1 from every pint sold will go to hurricane relief efforts. Then at 7 p.m., trek up to Starr Brothers to enjoy Oakey Smokey, a special smoked altbier aged on oak. This is Starr Brothers’ first collaboration beer and the final collaboration beer from Chama River. Come and get nostalgic for one more night. Then on Saturday, take your pick between the Oktoberfest release at Quarter Celtic and the Oktoberfest release at La Cumbre. There will be a limited canning run at the latter, so you can always take it home, too. Another option would be to head north to the Golden Days Brew Fest at the Santa Fe Ski Area, featuring several local breweries. If you are not one for hitting the road, then just head to Red Door for their third anniversary party. There will be a food truck, live music, and a fresh batch of Oktoberfest on tap. There are a ton of other events going on, so be sure to check the individual brewery listings below.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque added the Rio Vallecitos, a wet-hop double IPA, on tap late last week. Boxing Bear is feeling fruity with P.U.B. (Pineapple Upside-down Beer). Canteen has Blood Orange Wheat back on tap, plus Astro Hound DIPA, one of the beers they have entered in competition at the upcoming Great American Beer Festival. Kaktus has fresh batches of Cucumber Ale, Basil Lager, and Helles Lager. Marble has added Mavbock and Marble Pale Ale. Ponderosa should have a Neo Mexicanus Wet Hop Ale on by the weekend. Quarter Celtic already added their Fresh Hop Clark. Starr Brothers also has ThereWolf, their Oktoberfest, and Sando Spice, a green chile IPA. Steel Bender hammers out the Plum Bob Gose. Turtle Mountain tapped an archived keg of Wilde Jagd.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel rolls out Cezanne Magnifique, with this year’s batch of HMWWA FIACFW due out soon. Rowley Farmhouse Ales tapped Little White Lies last weekend.

Out in Moriarty, Sierra Blanca has their Oktoberfest on tap long before their annual party.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 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, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Diablo del Oro, Parasol, Red Mountain. The most recent additions were the Red Mountain (7.5% ABV, 80 IBU), Parasol (4.5% ABV, 20 IBU), and Diablo (9.7% ABV, 20 IBU), which is a hefty Belgian golden strong.

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: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Frias Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

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, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship, Sour Strangehop, Grapefruit Pale Ale. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is still available. Grapefruit Pale Ale is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Saturday—Rue Badly, 9 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

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: Summer Slammer, Rio Vallecitos (Wet Hop DIPA), IRA (India Red Ale), Fifth Venture (Black IPA), Seedless (Watermelon Wheat), Pistol Pete’s 1888. The IRA and Fifth Venture are two delightfully hoppy beers with a strong malt backbone. The Pistol Pete’s 1888 was brewed for the New Mexico State University athletic program.

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-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Black Chandelier (Belgo Stout), Imperial Mole Stout, Dry-hopped Sour with Motueka, Desert Dynamo IPL. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Desert Dynamo, Dry-hoppped Sour, Imperial Mole, Cosmic Arrow, Hoodoo Monster, Sour Sumac, and Black Chandelier. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive.

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: The Red Glove, New Mexikolsch, Chocolate Red, Featherweight Session IPA, Crystal Kolsch, P.U.B. The most recent additions are P.U.B. (Pineapple Upside-down Beer), Crystal Kolsch, The Red Glove, Featherweight, New Mexikolsch, and Chocolate Red. The Red Glove won a gold medal at the 2016 GABF. Chocolate Red is the current 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, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

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, Canteen Kolsch, Cabana Lager, Hank ESB, Fill in the Blanco IPA, Blood Orange Wheat, Astro Hound DIPA. The most recent additions are the Blood Orange Wheat and Astro Hound. The latter is one of Canteen’s four competition entries for GABF.

Live Music: Thursday—Porter Draw, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—String Dinner, 4-7 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

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Boyz N Berry N the Hood, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Sour Pale, P-funk Porter, #40 (Citra Pale Ale), Sun Made, fe’denk lager. The most recent additions are the P-funk, #40, fe’denk (Vienna-style), and Sun Made, a Belgian single made with golden raisins.

Live Music: Thursday—Brian McDaniel, 6 p.m.; Friday—The Gershom Brothers, 7 p.m.

Other Events: Thursday—HandCrafted with Patrick “CloudFace” Burnham (artist) and Danny Heart Design (vendor), 6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. The Covfefe Hefe is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Blues Jam with Bob Bolz with Ale-Tail Cocktails, 2-6 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

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Brewhouse Shandy, Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Killer Bee Honey Wheat, Tripel Whammy, Pilsner? I Barley Know’er!, January Embers Barleywine, Das Umlaut Oktoberfest, Eater of Worlds Pale Ale. Not one fresh seasonal but three will debut this week as January Embers returns, while Eater of Worlds and Das Umlaut arrive for the first time.

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. Welcome to the listings, Hops! They have 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. Here is our first review. The Dad Joke and Warm Scottish Nights are both back on tap after a short absence, while Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) joins the lineup.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

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

Beers: Porter Auf Deutsch, Cucumber Ale, Bavarian Golden Ale, Ctrl-Alt-Drink, Basil Lager, Helles Lager, IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent new additions include Cucumber Ale, Basil Lager, and Helles Lager.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, 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, Blonde, Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Hefeweizen, Farmhouse Apricot, Mars DIPA, Lobo Red Ale. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings. The summer seasonals are the Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot, replacing the Rye Pale Ale and Dry Stout, plus the Mars DIPA. The Lobo Red was brewed for the University of New Mexico athletic program, if you could not guess.

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

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

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: All That I Need Kellerbier, Mesa Cerveza (Saison), ‘Merica (Pale Ale), Simcoe SMASH IPA, Ales for ALS IPA, Wet Hopped Elevated. If you can still find a bottle of the Wet Hopped Elevated, get it fast. A small running of Oktoberfest will accompany that beer’s tap release this weekend.

Live Music: Saturday—Odd Dog, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Trivia or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

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: Por Vida Pale Ale, DANG Pale Ale, Imperial Red, Cholo Stout, Blueberry Gose, Dupy’s Dunkel, Mavbock (Downtown and Westside only), State Fair Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside only), White Out (Downtown and Westside only), Marble Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside only), Passionate Gose (Downtown and Westside only), Tart Petit (Heights and Westside only), UnbeWeavably Marbelous (Heights and Westside only), Apricot Gose (Heights and Westside only), Nitro Madera (Heights and Westside only), Belgo Petite (Heights and Westside only), Mango Gose (Heights and 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 Mavbock and Pale Ale are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Dave Payne and Salt Cedar, 6-9 p.m.; Thursday—Ray Anthony and PowerSlyde, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Lonn Calanca Band, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Dirty Brown Jug Band, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Ambassadors of Pleasure, 3-6 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Jade Masque, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Nervous Nation, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—The Bus Tapes, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Seth Hoffman, 8-11 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: Imperial Pilsner, Kaylynn’s Altbier, To Boldly Gose, Honey Dubbs, Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only), Kolsch (Silver only), Double Bird of Prey (Silver only). The most recent additions were To Boldly Gose and Honey Dubbs (Imperial Honey Chamomile Wheat).

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

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

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

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Poolside Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Hoppy Pilsner, Raspberry Saison, D.D.U. IPA, India Pale Lager 2.0, Blueberry Stout. The Blueberry Stout got rave reviews at Hopfest. The D.D.U. stands for double down under, a reference to the recipe’s all-Australian hop bill. A Neo Mexicanus Wet Hop Ale is next on the docket.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Jubilation!

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

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: Peach Berliner Weisse, Mike’s Beer (American Pilsner), Bruce (Black IPA), Loch Lomas Oatmeal Stout, Clark (Hazy IPA), Fresh Hop Clark. QC gets dark with the return of Bruce, which was brewed in the hazy New England style but still as a black IPA, and Loch Lomas. Look for an Oktoberfest this Saturday.

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.)

Beers: Blackberry Hefeweizen, Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Dog Days Kolsch (downtown only), White AF IPA (downtown only). The Imperial Red IPA is the first in a series of beers to celebrate Red Door’s upcoming anniversary. The Plum Gose is second, while Oktoberfest will debut Friday as the third entry. The Blackberry Hefeweizen is nearly out at the brewery.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Malcom June, 7-9 p.m.

Events (Brewery): Saturday—Third Anniversary Party, 7-9 p.m.

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

Weekly Events (Taproom): 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, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout (regular and barrel-aged), Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Oktoberfest. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter, RIS, and Belgian Strong. The Oktoberfest is the most recent addition. A Grapefruit IPA is on deck.

Live Music: Thursday—Jade Masque, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Reviva!, 9-11 p.m.; Saturday—The Surf Lords, 7-10 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night (now outside), 7 p.m. or later, weather permitting; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Monday—Micro Mondays, 7 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: Marzen, Switchgear IPA, Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Dark Engine Stout, Sidetrack Pilsner. The most recent additions are the Marzen and Pilsner.

Cask: The Pilsner and Pub Ale are in the firkins.

Events: Saturday—Downtown Block Party, noon-6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

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, Electric Sun American Wheat, Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Foggy Monocle (Oatmeal Stout), Sando Spice (Green Chile IPA), ThereWolf (Oktoberfest). Welcome back, Foggy Monocle, the winner of the 2017 Brew Crew Stout Challenge. The most recent additions are the Sando Spice and ThereWolf.

Events: Friday—Oakey Smokey Collaboration Beer Release, 7 p.m.

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, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA, Spell Bender Pils, Compa New Mexican Lager, Saison de la Rose. The Saison, Compa Lager, and Spell Bender Pils are the most recent additions. Plum Bob Gose will join them Thursday.

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) Secret Squirrel (Best Bitter), Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout, Scottish Ale, Say Juan (Summer Saison), Plum Sour, Peach Wheat, Oktoberfest. This inaugural batch of Oktoberfest from The 377 hits the right notes, with some malty breadiness without too much sweetness.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Jam Session, 4:30 p.m.

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: Chocolate Milk Stout, Minute-4, Apricot Wheat, Berry Cider, Big Sipper IPA, Scout Golden Ale, Cucumber Gose, Tangelo IPA, Traktoberfest, Barnstorm Ale (Wells Park and Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Tupac Cali Red (Four Hills only), Half Acre Hefe (Four Hills only), Blood Orange Cider (Four Hills only), Delicious Golden Dry Cider (Four Hills Only), Holstein & Hops (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). The Oktoberfest is the most recent addition, preceded by the Chocolate Milk Stout, Cucumber Gose, and Tangelo IPA.

Live Music (Wells Park): Saturday—Kendrick Lamar vs. Childish Gambino, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Alex Maryol, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Gato Malo, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Julian Dossett Trio, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Politics and Pints, 5:30 p.m.; Thursday—Art Fight 35: Art in the Streets, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—MNF Fantasy Shootout, 5 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.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

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.

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: Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Yum Yum OG, Mr. Hoover’s Redux, SCH Scotch Lager. The Pour les Abeilles (Honey Lemongrass Saison) was the most recent addition. An archived keg of Wilde Jagd has been tapped.

Cask: Tuesday—Cranberry Pour les Abeilles

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Wedding Lager, Merry Prankster’s Sour Ale, Ginger Braggot, Apparition Pale Coffee Ale. The Ginger Braggot is back for another run, ditto the Apparition.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

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

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the most recent additions to the lineup.

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, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine, Ensor (Sour), Turncoat, Monomyth, Marcel, Sans Titre (Amber Sour), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique. The Origine was the spring saison. The Cezanne Magnifique is the most recent addition, but HMWWA FIACFW will return soon. The WWWMD acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do.

Live Music (ABQ tarpoom): Friday—Syncopation: Techno Sessions, 9 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Hungry for Art, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): 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, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), Tea for Two (Saison), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde. The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Get the delicious Episode 3 before Episode 4 goes on tap soon. Coconut was added to the last of the Episode 3 batch. The most recent additions are the Little White Lies, Tea for Two, and Fruhschoppen.

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: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA, Oktoberfest, Hefe’d Up, Cucumber Saison (ECS), Secret Society of A.L.T. (ECS). Rejoice, for Oktoberfest is back, even though it doesn’t feel much like autumn yet. And yes, Freestyle is still around for a limited time as well.

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

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

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Steam Bitter, LVL Stout, Coffee Porter, Diable Canyon Pale Ale, 2920 Vienna, St. George IPA, Summer Rain Sour. The most recent additions are the St. George IPA, LVL Stout, Coffee Porter, Steam Bitter, and Diablo Canyon.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.; Friday—Half Bake Horses, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Barbwires, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Greg Butera & Band, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Broomdust Caravan, 6-9 p.m.

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

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Kutthroat Kolsch, Kaboom Quad, Wit Rock, Catherine’s Historical Stout, Little Bird Blonde, Anderson Amber. Well, look at that, an updated beer list for BRB. The Wit Rock and Little Bird are old favorites, the rest are more recent recipes.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Oktoberfest, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout will return in a week-and-a-half. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Oktoberfest is now available on tap.

Live Music: Saturday—Shane Wallin, 6-8 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

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We gotta admit, that is one excellent logo.

The July 4 weekend is almost here, which means it is once again time for Pork & Brew in Rio Rancho at the Santa Ana Star Center. I sat down with Noah Trujillo and Alex Archuleta from the Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau to see what is up with the 14th annual edition of this popular beer-and-food festival, set for Saturday, July 1, through Monday, July 3.

“Looking back to last year, that was the best the event has ever done,” Noah said. “Our attendance numbers were up, but people also seemed to be spending (more) money. The vendors did realy well, both food and beer. To put it mildly, the event was packed. On Saturday and Sunday, the Fourth was a Monday last year, it was a little slower that day, but Saturday and Sunday were insane. Hopefully that happens again.”

As always, they wanted to remind folks this is a family friendly event. The same three local breweries as last year — Cazuela’s, Red Door, Tractor — will be in attendance. It is a purchasing event, not a sampling event. Each brewery was kind enough to send us their beer lists this far in advance.

Tractor brewed up the official beer of the festival, Big Sipper IPA, which is still on sale in cans around the state. In addition, Tractor will have Haymaker Honey Wheat, Delicious Red Apple Cider, New Mexican Lager, Mustachio Milk Stout, and Berry Cider.

Cazuela’s will once again bring Porky’s Malt Liquor, their special entry for the festival, plus Acapulco Red, Pilsner, Idaho SMASH IPA, and their Beergaritas.

Red Door will have their specialty entry, Sowbelly Blonde, plus Trapdoor White Ale, Roamer Red, and Open Saison. Noah also said that the brewery tent has been expanded this year, with more seating for patrons to enjoy.

In addition to the beer, there will be plenty of BBQ for people to sample. The competition will no longer take place, freeing up time and space. There will be a special BBQ 101, hosted by the Texas Bib Rangers, an award-winning husband-and-wife duo who have won more than 1,000 major show awards. They will show you how to make the best BBQ from start to finish. It will take place every day from 3 to 4 p.m.

“Barbecue 101 is one of those (new) things,” Noah said. “We’ve never had a cooking demo at this event, so people can see how their food is made and the process it goes through. We’re having those cooking demos every day.”

The Cooking Channel show Carnival Eats will also be on hand for the first time, filming all day Saturday and Sunday, for a future episode. It is the top-ranked show on the cable station.

For the kids, Galloping Grace Youth Ranch will be back with an even bigger setup.

“Galloping Grace Youth Ranch, they’ll be back at the event, but they’re expanding,” Noah said. “They kind of do the midway. They’re expanding that into more interactive games for the kids. They’ll have their petting zoo. They’re also using this to get ready for fair season, showing off their animals and things like that.”

There will also be a daily raffle for a Traeger Smoker, plus every day after BBQ 101 is over, a raffle will be held for a Charbroil Smoker. In other words, win a smoker, which will win you many more friends. Perhaps even the Crew, for we love smoked meats.

Plenty of local musicians will also be on hand, many of which are regulars on brewery stages. Here is the updated schedule.

Saturday, July 1

  • The Gershom Brothers (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Rippy and the Sillyettes (Brew Trent Stage), 3:15 p.m.
  • The Noms (SASC Stage), 3:30 p.m.
  • Avenge Apollo (Brew Tent Stage), 5 p.m.
  • Twist & Shout (SASC Stage), 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 2

  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Bosque Blues (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Eileen and the Cross Country Stage (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Ancient Bones (Brew Tent Stage), 3:15 p.m.
  • Red Wine (SASC Stage), 3:45 p.m.
  • Split Decision (SASC Stage), 5:30 p.m.

Monday, July 3

  • Toby McBrooks (SASC Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Danny the Harp (Brew Tent Stage), 11 a.m.
  • Mungo Mike (SASC Stage), 12:30 p.m.
  • Red Wine (SASC Stage), 3:30 p.m.

The event times are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 1-2, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 3. There will be events going on inside the Star Center, if you need a break from the parking lot heat, or should a random monsoon drop in like it did two years ago.

Tickets are $6 per day for adults, $4 for children ages 4-12 and for seniors 65 and over, and children 3 and under get in free. Active duty and retired military also get in for $4 with ID.

Grab some sunscreen, take your appetite, and have fun out there next weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Ten pushes us closer to the end. (sniff)

The end is almost here. It’s OK to be a little melancholy about Beer Week being almost over.

After all, you will only have our 30-plus amazing local breweries to keep you happy through the rest of the summer.

Oh, darn.

Anyway, all sarcasm aside, there are a lot of varied events today, with plenty of beer-and-food offerings, special releases, and the ultimate ode to cider.

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: Great Divide Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Join the Crew and other lovers of the dark side of beer for the tappings of two beers never before served in New Mexico. We shall indulge in Barrel-Aged Chocolate Yeti and She Said, I Brew, a barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stout. Great Divide is one of our favorite Colorado breweries, or just breweries period, and these should be two amazing examples of just why we believe that.

Why you should go: Tell summer to go to hell and let your mind travel back to the dead of winter, to the olden days of the Norsemen with Amon Amarth as your soundtrack!

All the other great events

What: Yappy Hour with Watermelon Mountain Ranch. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Head to the Cazuela’s patio for a special fundraiser and adoption event for WMR. Why you should go: Get a beer, get a bite to eat, go home with a new best friend.

What: Special Release of Mangose. Where: Quarter Celtic. When: 11 a.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: QC releases their new mango gose, which debuted during Blues & Brews, to the general public. Why you should go: Admit it, you’re curious as to just how a mango and gose go together.

What: Ladies Loving Beer Luncheon. Where: Marble Westside. When: 12-2 p.m. Cost: $30 per person. Details: Join the women of Marble for an interactive discussion about beer while enjoying a special four-course meal from Ohana Hut. There will be goody bags and a special surprise announcement at the end of the event. Why you should go: Women invented beer, so they definitely deserve their own event.

What: Food Truck Battle. Where: Red Door. When: 12-4 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: A slew of food trucks will be parked at the Candelaria location, offering up their finest dishes for you to judge. A winner will be crowned at the end. Why you should go: We don’t have a list of the attending trucks, but we’re guessing it will be many of the local heavyweights.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: $7 per pairing. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Sierra Nevada and Girl Scout Cookie Pairing. Where: O’Niell’s Heights. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Flights of Sierra Nevada beers are paired with Girl Scout Cookies. Need we say more? Why you should go: Cookies and beer!

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 5-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: DJ Wae Fonkey will provide the disco tunes, you wear the costume and bring your love of ciders. There will be five Tractor ciders, two each from Red Door, Santa Fe Cider Works, The Craft Room, NM Hard Cider, and Palmer Brewery & Cider House, and one from Skarsgard Farms. That’s 16 if math is not your strong suit. Why you should go: If you love ciders and don’t go, well, then there’s no hope for you.

What: Jodie Herrera Art Opening, Glass and Beer Release. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Artist Jodie Herrera designed a special glass for the Berry Cider, plus her art will be on the walls and the Blank Tapes will provide the music starting at 8 p.m. Why you should go: Celebrate a local artist and local band with local brews and ciders.

What: Upslope Beer Dinner. Where: M’tucci’s Market and Deli. When: 7-10 p.m. Cost: $55 per person. Details: Feast upon an epic five-course meal paired with Upslope beers. The dessert is paired with the barrel-aged imperial stout with coffee, which is reason enough to go. Why you should go: Five dishes upon which to feast, five beers to wash them down. Victory is yours!

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The sour power hour runs strong across Day Two!

Did you survive? Did you make it through all of it?

No, not Day One of ABQ Beer Week, but the Penguins’ double-overtime victory over Ottawa in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Just ask anyone at Quarter Celtic last night, half the Crew almost died several times over.

But, we digress, for it is time to get back to beer while taking a needed emotional break from hockey until Monday. Day Two features fewer events, but there are still some pretty awesome ones, especially if you love sour beers.

Read on, dear, um, readers!

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: Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales and Hops & Dreams: Beer Week Edition. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. (beer), 8 p.m. (belly dancers). Cost: No cover charge.

Details: As we covered in our Tractor Beer Week preview, RFA is coming down from Santa Fe with some of their finest sours to pair up with some of Tractor’s best, including Flanders Red Ale, Berliner Weisse, and possibly a newcomer from the barrel room. It’s an awesome opportunity to taste these beers from two breweries, especially for all the folks down here who don’t make it up to Santa Fe often enough. Then, stick around as the spectacularly talented Desert Darlings shimmy up a storm.

Why you should go: Beer and belly dancers are a combination that simply cannot be defeated.

All the other great events

What: Blackberry Hefeweizen Release. Where: Red Door. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual summer favorite is back at both locations. Why you should go: It’s the perfect lighter (ABV) beer with lots of flavor to start your weekend.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 3-6 p.m. Cost: $7. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Mother Road Sampling and Special Keg Tapping. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The latest epic tasting at Jubilation features the full lineup of excellent beers from Flagstaff, plus there will be a keg of the Altbier brewed in Arizona in collaboration with Tractor. You can fill your growlers with it, too. Why you should go: Good beer, new beer, take-home beer, all for the win.

What: La Cumbre Sampling. Where: Whole Foods Carlisle. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the entire current packaged lineup while getting your grocery shopping done. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Santa Fe Sampling. Where: Kelly Liquors on Wyoming. When: 4:30-6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the entire current packaged lineup, buy your favorites, fill your fridge for the weekend. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Upslope presents Loteria. Where: Monroe’s on Lomas. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Play Loteria for prizes and indulge in some great New Mexican food paired with Craft Lager as the Upslope train rolls on. Why you should go: Feast and claim victory over all mortal men and women!

What: La Cumbre Tap Takeover. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be seven LC beers on tap including Gracias Por Fumar, Fievre d’Abricot, Ryeot on Bourbon (soooo good), Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, and the special Beer Week offering, Passionfruit Wit. Why you should go: Dear lord, that is an amazing lineup. Enough said.

What: Goose Island Bourbon County Stout and Cooper Project #1 Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy pours of BCBS ’15 and ’16, plus a barrel-aged Scotch wee heavy. Why you should go: The power of the darkness compels you to ignore who owns this brewery!

What: New Belgium Rare Beer Alert. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A special New Belgium offering will be tapped at both Gecko’s, but we don’t know what it is just yet. Why you should go: Solve the mystery and get something tasty to eat.

What: Sour Beer Flight. Where: Dialogue Brewing. When: 6-10 p.m. Cost: $8 per flight. Details: In a late addition to the events list, Dialogue is selling discounted flights of their entire lineup of sour beers. Why you should go: Pucker up, sour lovers, this is a good day for you.

What: ABQ Trolley The Hopper — Hop-on, Hop-off Brew Cruise. Where: 219 Central NW (starting point). When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: $20 in advance (buy tickets here), $25 day of. Details: The Hopper is back, visiting eight downtown-area breweries every 30 to 45 minutes. All you have to do is hop on, then hop off and enjoy a pint. The participating breweries/taprooms/beer bars are Duel, Red Door, Sidetrack, Back Alley Draft House, Boese Brothers, Marble, Rio Bravo, and Tractor Wells Park. Why you should go: If you want to visit multiple breweries, definitely let someone else do the driving, then just have Uber or Lyft pick you up at the end to take you home.

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Tractor is gonna be packed with events all throughout ABQ Beer Week, but then again, what else is new?

No local brewery dives into ABQ Beer Week quite like Tractor, which once again will load up on the fun throughout the 11-day series of events. To make sure I had all the necessary information, I was able to sit down with the incredibly busy dynamic duo of Jeremy Kinter and Carla Bryant to go over all 11 events at both Tractor locations.

Thursday at Wells Park

First up is the Big Sipper IPA can release. As I recently discussed with Tractor co-owner Skye Devore, this session IPA is the official beer of the upcoming Pork & Brew in Rio Rancho. The July event is a ways off, but Tractor is already releasing the new 16-ounce cans to the public. The event kicks off at 7 p.m., with the Silver String Band providing entertainment from 8 p.m. Onward. Nomad’s BBQ will be parked outside for all your culinary needs.

Friday at Wells Park

We have said before how much we love when our breweries join forces, but we have to admit, it has been a while (if ever) that we have seen one brewery host another. Rowley Farmhouse Ales will be bringing down some of its finest creations for Sour Hour starting at 5 p.m. There will be six featured beers from Santa Fe, plus Tractor will have some of their own.

“We’re going to be featuring our Flanders Red and Berliner Weisse and then we might have a special sour that we put on tap as well,” Jeremy said. “That will go until the kegs run out.”

After the sours have left everyone plenty puckered out, sit back and enjoy the rhythmic excellence of the Desert Darlings as they present Hops & Dreams: Beer Week Edition. If we haven’t sang their praises enough in the past, let us say again that these amazingly talented dancers put on one truly amazing show.

Saturday at Wells Park

Oh, collaboration beers, how much do we love thee? Tractor and Flagstaff’s Mother Road Brewing have joined forces to create two excellent new beers that will make their debut at 7 p.m. Look for an altbier and a unique take on a double IPA on tap throughout the night.

One of our longtime favorite local bands, Le Chat Lunatique (we first saw them at Septemberfest in Marble’s old back parking lot in 2010), will provide the tunes starting at 8 p.m.

Saturday at Nob Hill

In a late addition to the schedule, Tractor will be hosting another edition of Crafternoon starting at 3 p.m. Attendees will be making special beer cozies and coasters. The Yarn Store will provide the kits, or you can buy your own at their store across the street. This is a free event and open to crafty types of all skill levels.

Sunday at Sandia Resort & Casino

Tractor will join around 70 other breweries for the annual ABQ Blues & Brews Festival. We will have an in-depth preview of who’s taking what later this week.

Monday at Nob Hill

OK, it’s shameless self-promotion time again! The Dark Side Brew Crew is hosting Beer Geeks Trivia starting at 7 p.m. The event is free to all, and there will prizes provided by Tractor. There will be five rounds total, including a special tasting round in the middle where you get to try and correctly identify which Tractor beer you are drinking. Prior to that, Round One will focus on general New Mexico craft beer knowledge, Round Two will focus on national craft beer, and then after the tasting round, Round Four gets tough with New Mexico beer history, and Round Five caps it all with questions submitted by 10 different breweries around town.

Tuesday, May 30 at Wells Park

In what’s becoming an annual tradition, Tractor and Cheesy Street are teaming up for more beer-and-fried-cheese pairings. For $13 you get a tray of six different mini-fried cheese sandwiches, each paired with a different small pour of a Tractor beer. We promise, you will have a gouda time. (OK, wait, sorry, that was a terrible pun. Terrible.) It will start at 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 31 at Wells Park

Tractor is teaming up with Gruet Winery and Cheese & Coffee for a special five-course dinner starting at 7 p.m. This is not a ticketed-in-advance event, so patrons can buy each pairing separately, meaning no one has to eat and drink more than they want.

“It’s no longer Beer vs. Wine, that was just a glitch,” Carla said of the renamed event, which is different than what is on the printed Beer Week fliers. “We’ll have for each course for sale individually the night of and we have them until they run out.”

Thursday, June 1 at Wells Park

The fourth annual Battle of the Beer Geeks takes center stage as the Crew (inaugural champs) tries to reclaim the title from two-time winner Babes in Brewland. Of course, you could all show up and end up voting for the Worthogs or Dukes of Ale or the other competitors, but hey, we’ll understand. (Maybe) This year we flipped it up a bit with a theme, as everyone had to brew to a style corresponding to a wheat beer. Don’t worry, the Crew still went ridiculously overboard, but I am happy to report that we did not clog the heat exchanger this year and cause head brewer Josh Campbell to lose any hair.

It costs $10 for a tray of the five beers, but you will not know who brewed what. You then get a pint of your favorite, which counts as your vote. The winner will be announced around 8 p.m.

Friday, June 2 at Wells Park

If you have never been to an Art Fight before, this is the one time to go check it out. It kicks off at 7 p.m. and admission is free.

Friday, June 2 at Nob Hill

Even we had to ask what the heck Night Out Cards was all about. Basically, as Jeremy explained it, it is a special deck of cards with “truth or dare” style questions. A deck and two wristbands costs $20, and you can add up to five additional players on your team for $5 apiece. Each wristband gets $1 off beers, and there will be special prizes and contests every 30 minutes. WhichCraft will also be on hand to help you choose which beers you want to drink.

“Basically they’re brewery truth or dare cards, you get a deck and you have to do things like fake a break-up in a bar and you get so many points,” Jeremy said. “The team with the most points at the end wins a big old prize.”

Saturday, June 3 at Nob Hill

The annual Cider Day Night Fever gets kicked up a notch this year, with Tractor bringing in guest ciders from Santa Fe Cider Works, New Mexico Cider Company, Palmer Brewery and Cider House, Skarsgard Farms, and Red Door. It all starts at 5 p.m., with DJ Wae Fonkey providing the dance tunes starting at 7 p.m.

“They’re bringing some cool stuff,” Jeremy said. “Red Door is going to have a blood orange cider and their Unhinged. There will be an Enchanted Cherry Cider from Santa Fe. We’re going to have a Cranberry Ginger Cider and our Golden Dry Cider. Those two will be very limited.”

Saturday, June 3 at Wells Park

Speaking of ciders, the Triple Berry Cider will make its debut in concert with the Jodie Herrera Art Opening and Glass Release. A touring band from California, The Blank Tapes, will perform starting at 8 p.m.

* * * * *

After all of that, we just hope Jeremy gets to go home and sleep. For a week. Thanks, dude, you earned it!

Carla will soon be moving on to the next chapter, and we thank her for all her time and patience with us over the past year. Her successor gets to start up just in time for all the fun!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Say hello to the future Red Door taproom at Comanche and Wyoming.

The news broke last week that Red Door Brewing was set to open a taproom in the Northeast Heights this summer. It will be the second off-site taproom for Red Door, quite a ways from both their main brewery on Candelaria west of Interstate 25 and their taproom downtown in the Simms Building.

To learn more about how they came to the decision to take up space in the renovated multi-use complex on the southwest corner of the Wyoming/Comanche intersection, I sat down with head brewer/co-owner Wayne Martinez.

“We had actually been talking to them (Coe & Peterson) for a while,” Wayne said. “When you did your Look Back/Look Ahead (article), we’d already been talking to them. We just weren’t at a point where we wanted to say anything.”

The first place Coe & Peterson had in mind for Red Door was on the opposite side of town.

“We had been looking at (the former) Stumbling Steer, or that’s what they approached us with,” Wayne said. “The West Side is nice, but that location wasn’t for us. I think it will work out pretty well for someone else. It didn’t fit for what we are going for. So we told them that and they said we have this Heights location. Do you like the Heights?”

While Desert Valley will take over the old Steer spot this year, the Red Door ownership jumped at the Heights spot once they saw the developer’s plans.

“I think we got there and saw the outside of the building,” Wayne said. “This was awful, it looks like a doctor’s office in a strip mall from the 90s or something. Then they showed us the whole facade that they were going to redo. At that point I was sold. They told us what else they had planned for it, the Poki (Poki Cevicheria) restaurant. It just seemed like a good fit for us right now.”

Work is now underway on both the exterior and interior of the space for Red Door, Poki Poki, and other potential future tenants.

The east-facing side of the building includes that loft window above the bar where patrons can view the mountains.

“The space will probably be 1,500 square feet, but we’re probably going to do only 95 (person) occupancy,” Wayne said. “We’re looking at doing the same theme we have here with the (video) games. We’ll have a retro system up there. We’ll probably also do one or two pool tables.”

There will also be a second floor loft above the bar, with a window facing the Sandias that will likely give patrons a wonderful view at sunset. It will not be the only place to catch all those amazing colors in the sky before dusk.

“There will be an exterior patio,” Wayne said. “We’re on the southernmost part of the building. They put in two huge garage doors. We’re not going to have that big of a patio, maybe 20 to 25 people. That will be facing south. The food trucks will pull up right next to the patio.”

Wayne said that for now he is not worried about the impact a new taproom will have on Red Door’s beer production.

“We’re still focused on distribution even though we’re doing another taproom,” he said. “We’re really trying to push the West Side and a little bit of Santa Fe, too. As far as production goes, we’ll see how this taproom plays out. We’re definitely going to need to get some more kegs. But as far as major equipment, we should be OK.”

Wayne said the taproom location, which is fairly removed from any nearby breweries or taprooms (Marble Heights and Lizard Tail are the closest), fits into Red Door’s belief that the scene will become dominated by “local pubs” in areas of town that are underserved. It also should not have a major impact on the crowd sizes at the main brewery or downtown.

“We’re hoping so,” Wayne said. “We have planned for a little bit of cannibalization from this location. We’re just trying to be precautious based on numbers that are realistic. We’re kind of planning on that, hoping we can appeal to the whole crowd up there all the way to Tramway that doesn’t come down here.”

A glance inside shows a lot of work remains to be completed.

A new taproom fits Red Door’s current business plan, while also helping to attract new customers and push for future growth.

“It seems to be working for us right now,” Wayne said. “We have no plans of canning anytime soon. As far as the distribution plan goes there, it kind of makes sense trying to expand, trying to stay competitive.”

In this day and age, a brewery cannot sit back and watch its local compatriots run past. We applaud Red Door, Tractor, and all the rest aiming to move forward and continue their growth, while expanding craft beer’s reach into all corners of the metro area and state. We will keep everyone updated on the progress of the new taproom.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Red Door will be looking to slow it down and refine things in 2017.

Red Door will be looking to slow it down and refine the taproom experience in 2017.

After taking a week off from our Look Back/Look Ahead Series to deal with SB314, the Stout Challenge, and a couple hangovers, we are back with our latest entry on Red Door Brewing. I sat down with brewmaster Wayne Martinez at the end of last week to recap 2016 and preview what is to come in 2017.

“2016 was opening the second taproom downtown and then just really trying to grow a little bit, grow our distribution a little bit,” Wayne said. “That was the majority of it. We’re constantly trying to increase our efficiency in the back, make a better product, but that’s kind of a never-ending thing for brewers no matter who you are. If you’re not trying to get better, there’s no point to doing it.”

The taproom has become a swanky spot for downtown drinkers. It tends to peak in during the traditional happy hour stretch (5 to 7 p.m.) as folks are getting off work. It also lends itself to events that are unlike those held at the main brewery taproom on Candelaria. Sometimes the results can be, well, unexpected.

“We started doing Geeks Who Drink downtown,” Wayne said. “We got lucky and got to do The Gilmore Girls special, that was only at one bar in this city, maybe in the state. That was really big for us. I knew Gilmore Girls was popular and when it came back it was popular, but people were sitting on the floor. We had our occupancy (posted), but we didn’t have as many seats as our occupancy allows, and people were still coming in. We told them we didn’t have any place for them to sit. They didn’t care.”

Take note, be very careful if you try to crack a derogatory joke about The Gilmore Girls in this town. You may not make it out alive.

All our photos of the taproom were from before it was finished. Here's a swanky one from afterwards. (Courtesy of Red Door)

All our photos of the taproom were from before it was finished. Here’s a swanky one from afterwards. (Courtesy of Red Door)

Anyway, the addition of the taproom also led to another long overdue improvement at the brewery.

“We expanded the cooler when we did the new taproom,” Wayne said, after noting a lack of cooler space was a problem during last year’s Look Back/Look Ahead interview. “We had to, it was already a little cramped for just here. We’ll be fine with that for a while.”

Speaking of the beer, 2016 was definitely a year for Red Door to figure out the wants and needs of its customers.

“The Vanilla Cream, when we took it off the demand was outrageous to bring it back,” Wayne said. “We’ve actually made that a year-round beer now. … We can turn it over quickly, which is nice. It’s a relatively simple beer to make. It’s easy to stay consistent. There’s not too many variables.”

Wayne would admit to having a particular favorite among the many seasonals he brewed up over the course of last year.

“My favorite beer that we made was probably the barrel-aged brown, which was based off the Nieuwe Bruin,” he said. “We partnered with (Broken Trail), got their very first whiskey barrel they used for their one-year whiskeys. We threw the brown in there for about three-and-a-half months. Just the flavors that came off of that, the smokiness, the bourbon flavor, the whiskey oak flavors, I think that was my favorite beer that we put out last year.”

Wayne did note that despite the quality, it was not the type of beer that would sell well during warmer months. The Red Door staff took careful note of which seasonals did well during the, well, seasons.

“I think there were a few seasonals that weren’t really within the season, and we learned that they did not really do well,” Wayne said. “They might have been reviewed positively and people might have said they liked them, but we could tell sales weren’t there. Whereas something like our Blackberry Hefeweizen, (we had the) perfect season for releasing it. It was the best beer release we’ve had to date, so much so that it’s been one of the few seasonals we’ve done three batches of during that span. People were flying through it.”

See? Just like Wayne said, Vanilla Cream Ale is now up top among the regular beers on tap.

See? Just like Wayne said, Vanilla Cream Ale is now up top among the regular beers on tap.

After all the hustle and bustle related to the addition of the off-site taproom in 2016, Red Door is planning to take things a little easier in 2017.

“This year is going to be more refinement of our locations,” Wayne said. “We don’t have any big plans as of now to expand or do anything crazy. The big thing here (at Candelaria) is we’re going to redo the draft system, have more taps. There’s 10 here and 12 downtown. What it is now is if we have a seasonal and the previous one isn’t out, we put it downtown (only) on tap there. We’re going to put more taps here. It’s going to allow us to do more seasonals as well. That’s the biggest thing we have planned.”

Getting Red Door beers on tap at more restaurants and bars is also a big priority for 2017.

“We’re really focused on distribution this year,” Wayne said. “We kind of redid how we were doing things, retooled it, got some new blood in there to kind of reorganize everything and take it in hopefully a positive direction. Already this year we’re seeing an increase in sales slowly. That’s the other big thing.”

Like any brewer, Wayne also has a list of things he would like to do, though none have been set in stone as yet.

“As far as like wishful stuff that I think probably will happen, but it’s just on the back burner, definitely we’re going to start looking into a barrel-aging program,” he said. “I definitely want to get more barrel-aged (beers) and sours as well. We’re getting ready to do a true sour. A gose, doing a kettle sour would be nice, and probably we’ll do one of those first. But I definitely want to get something aging that’s going to be in there for a year, at least, get that started this year so by 2018 we’ll have some of that stuff coming out.”

There are no major plans to get Red Door beers into package, but limited runs of certain beers may be coming.

“We’re hopefully going to be doing some sort of small-batch bomber program,” Wayne said. “That may not be pushed out to distribution, as far as like Jubilation or anything like that. It would just be in house. Doing something like for our seasonals, even our standards, if you’re looking for something smaller than a growler. Hopefully we can figure out how to put our stout in there, because we can’t put that in growlers right now.”

Wayne said there is no set schedule for exactly when they will re-release some of their more popular seasonals from the past, but fans can expect to see Stormtrooper Imperial IPA, and O.D.B. (Oaked Dark Belgian) back on tap in the future. He also said there are no plans to add more major pieces of equipment in the back, at least not right now.

“It’s small equipment stuff, I think, that we’re going to be focused on in the back,” he said. “We’re not going to be getting a new brewhouse or new fermenters. We’re buying another heat exchanger, buying more kegs, focusing on stuff for increased distribution.”

The ubiquitous TV and video game system at the main location. Tournaments may be coming back soon here and downtown!

The ubiquitous TV and video game system at the main location. Tournaments may be coming back soon here and downtown!

The Red Door staff is also working on some new and fun events for people in 2017. The brewery is already well known for having retro video game systems at both locations, so there could certainly be more tournament-style events in the near future, Wayne said.

“Definitely we’re trying to do events that aren’t the same old thing,” he said. “We had done it when we first opened, we did a video game competition. I think Call of Duty was the first one, then we did Mario Kart. Now we’re doing Smash Brothers downtown. I think we’re going to try do those a little more frequently. Initially it was hard having enough consoles and CDs to do it, but I think we’ve alleviated that concern.”

Rather than try to fill any specific niche, the goal for Red Door is to still be the type of brewery where everyone can find something they enjoy, from the beers to the events and more.

“I don’t know that we necessarily have (to fill a niche),” Wayne said. “We’re trying to do the gluten-removed beers. Going into 2017, we’re going to have another cider or two. I don’t know that we’re trying to appeal just to a gluten-removed crowd. I think right now we’re still trying to be as all-encompassing as we can. I’m not a big fan of the idea of just becoming an English-style brewery or a Belgian-style brewery. It works for other places, but I don’t know if it would work for us.”

Thank you to Wayne for taking the time to chat. We wish Red Door all the luck in 2017 and beyond. Just let us know when the Stormtrooper is ready!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Taos BMF 2014 Pic 6

We sent Luke up to the Brewmasters Festival in Taos a couple years ago. He had a whole lotta fun!

Happy cold, gray Thursday everyone. If you need some light back in your life, there is some good news for this weekend. The Taos Brewmasters Festival kicks off Saturday at the Ski Valley, marking its 21st annual running below the slopes.

Normally, the festival is held in December, but it was pushed back this year due to a lack of snow on the mountain above. Plus, the decision was made to no longer have the spring-time beer festival, but rather have just one fest. This one kicks off at 4:30 p.m. and runs until 7 at Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree Bar, both of which are located at the base of Lift #1. It costs $30 at the door and you receive a complementary mug.

While plenty of you love to go skiing and snowboarding, we know ultimately that it is the pull of the beer that can be the deciding factor. Take note that this year’s fest is populated by a lot more out-of-state breweries brought in by their local distributors. There are not nearly as many breweries from Southern Colorado as in the past, as only Steamworks and Carver made the trip from Durango (neither is distributed here in NM, FYI).

The other out-of-state breweries are Alaskan, Boulder, Deschutes, Firestone Walker, Founders, Four Peaks, Full Sail, Left Hand, Mother Road, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Sierra Nevada, Upslope, and the Craft Brew Alliance, which we think is that collection of breweries from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii that is partially owned by the Evil Empire (InBev).

As for the locals, a total of 10 New Mexico breweries will be present. Here is what they are bringing, as reported to us by the breweries themselves:

  • Boxing Bear — Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Standing 8 Stout, Paw Swipe Pale Ale
  • Chama River — UPDATED: Class VI Golden Lager, Sleeping Dog Stout
  • La Cumbre — TBA
  • Marble — Double White, IPA, Priddy Bueno Porter, Spruce Moose
  • Red Door — Gateway Blonde, Calypso SMaSH, Strong Scotch Ale, Paint it Black Milk Stout
  • Santa Fe — UPDATED: Chicken Killer, Java Stout, Pale Ale, Happy Camper, State Pen Porter, SF Gold, Nut Brown, Black IPA, Adobe Igloo, plus two bottles to be released at different hours of Single Barrel Sour, and two bottles of Lemon Skynard also to be released at different hours
  • Sierra Blanca — TBA
  • Taos Mesa — Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA, Tap Dance Barley Wine, BBA Black Diamond Export Stout
  • Three Rivers — TBA
  • Tractor — Farmer’s Almanac IPA, Farmer’s Tan Red, Mustachio Milk Stout, Delicious Red Apple Cider

Marble’s Tony Calder pointed out that this will mark the debut of Spruce Goose, a new stout made with (you guessed it) spruce tips. The Priddy Bueno just went on tap recently at the Marble taprooms here in Albuquerque as well. Iron Lung returned to Boxing Bear late Wednesday.

If any of us in the Crew were able to head up this weekend, we would also be making a beeline for that bourbon barrel-aged Black Diamond Export Stout and the Tap Dance Barley Wine at Taos Mesa’s booth. I suppose we will just have to hope they bring that down for WinterBrew in Santa Fe on Jan. 13. (Please? Pretty please?)

Of course, skiing/snowboarding and then drinking on an empty stomach would be a terrible idea. Five local restaurants — Bavarian, Blonde Bear Tavern, Medley, Rhoda’s, Sagebrush Inn — will be providing food during the festival.

Keep an eye on the weather, of course, but otherwise if your weekend is lacking in anything to do, we would definitely suggest a trip up north to try some quality brews in a beautiful setting.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Oh, yeah, there is another one coming.

Farewell to Firkin, we hardly knew ye.

In case anyone missed it on social media over the weekend, the long-rumored demise of The Firkin BrewHouse and Grill came to pass, as their own Facebook page communicated the following:

To all of our loyal and wonderful customers, unfortunately I must state that the Firkin BrewHouse and Grill is closed. More info will follow with an official announcement from the owners. Thank you all for your patronage.

The Crew reached out to the owners for comment, but four days later, we have not heard back, nor do we really expect anything. Hey, it’s human nature to try to move quickly past the bad and refocus on the good. We wish them all luck in their future endeavors, whatever those may be.

It is rare these days when breweries close, though it does happen from time to time. If one counts Marble’s opening in 2008 as the start of the current boom, in that span only four other breweries — Hallenbrick, Bad Ass, Stumbling Steer, Broken Bottle — have closed in the Albuquerque area. As per usual, though, any closing creates some sort of “Is the bubble finally bursting?” type of story or comment online.

No, the bubble is not bursting.

The majority of the breweries in the ABQ area are doing just fine, thank you. None of them have had the type of ugly ownership dispute like Firkin did. When four people open a brewery, and it becomes two versus two before even six months have passed, it is not a good sign, needless to say.

Of course, there are plenty who would argue that Firkin was doomed from the beginning. It seemed to have everything lined up against it.

For a new brewery to succeed, it usually needs to be A) in a heavily foot-trafficked area such as downtown or Nob Hill, B) on a major commuter thoroughfare, C) in a brewery-laden area, but offering up something different beer-wise (not just theme-wise) than the other breweries in this area, or D) in an area with no other competing breweries. Comparing it to other breweries that opened in early 2016, Sidetrack is succeeding because it is downtown. Bow & Arrow is succeeding because lots of folks drive up and down 6th Street. Dialogue is succeeding because of its unique beer lineup. Starr Brothers is succeeding quite a ways away from any other notable brewery.

Firkin, on the other hand, was on an isolated street that did not connect to either nearby Comanche or Candelaria, in an industrial area with two award-winning powerhouse breweries (Canteen and La Cumbre) while offering up nothing particularly different in terms of its beer. Conceptually, a Prohibition era-themed brewery was not a bad idea, it was just located in the wrong place. That led to money problems, which led to the ownership dispute, which ultimately led to its untimely demised.

Albuquerque is still a metro area of 900,000 people with some 30 breweries. No, it does not have a great business rating, or a high per capita income, but there are still room for more breweries, and there will be more growth from the existing breweries.

Craft beer in New Mexico is just fine. This is just another minor blip on the screen.

New breweries update

Hops Brewery now has signage up on the front of its Nob Hill location on Central just west of Carlisle. We will head over there to talk to the owner when someone (me) is done submitting the final images and pages for a certain book.

Beer and a movie, anyone? (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Beer and a movie, anyone? (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Flix Brewhouse is still under construction on the West Side, but they have begun brewing their first batches of beer. Brewer Will Moorman and I have been in touch and once other parts of the building are done in about two weeks, the Crew will take a tour of the forthcoming movie theater with its own brewery. As for the beers we could make out from the labels on the Facebook photo of the taps, Satellite Red IPA, Lupulus IPA, Luna Rosa Wit, Umbra Chocostout, 10 Day Scottish Ale, Golden Ale, and Beer of the Dead (Brown Ale) appear to be on deck.

Blue Grasshopper told us that they hope to have their new taproom, on Coors north of Montano, open before the end of the year. We will have more on this for their upcoming entry in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series, which should be kicking off soon.

Drylands Brewing is now officially under construction in Lovington. Southeast New Mexico is still devoid of craft beer outside the existing places in Artesia (Desert Water and The Wellhead), Carlsbad (Milton’s), and Portales (Roosevelt). It is a little bit surprising that Lovington, best known as the hometown of Brian Urlacher, is getting a brewery before the much larger Hobbs or Roswell, but maybe the small town realized the value of beating those bigger towns to the punch.

Quick beer reviews

Again, if you are not following us on social media, you might have missed all the new beers I was able to get to this weekend. More await, of course, but there were too many intriguing newbies, old favorites, and a special one-off to not get out on the town.

A barrel-aged Scotch ale was sighted amid the chaos at Palmer Brewery's grand opening.

A barrel-aged Scotch ale was sighted amid the chaos at Palmer Brewery’s grand opening.

As always, these are my opinions, I am fully aware others may think the exact opposite. Please share your own thoughts on these beers once you have tried them as well.

  • La Negra, La Cumbre: This is the best version of the barrel-aged imperial stout yet. Grab two bombers, one to drink, one to age. Creamy yet boozy yet smooth yet thick, it is a wonderful batch.
  • Cockness Monster, Palmer: The grand opening was a zoo on Saturday, but luckily just as I walked inside I ran into brewer Rob Palmer. He poured me a 13-ounce glass of the rum-barrel-aged version of his Scotch ale. The rum did not overpower the beer, nor the other way around. It just blended beautifully, a good sipping beer amid the chaos. Congrats to Palmer on the opening.
  • Nitro Chai Chocolate Porter, Nexus: Before dinner arrived, I made sure to sample this fresh batch. The good news is the chai does not drown out the beer. On nitro, though, the beer almost came off as a little too thin on the mouthfeel. I would love to try it on CO2 some day. (Hint!)
  • Turkey Drool, Tractor: This is an annual fall favorite, and oh lordy, it did not disappoint. It starts off subtle, then does a mini-circle pit of spices and flavors on your palate. Let it warm just a tad for full effect. As someone else said, it’s everything good about Thanksgiving dessert in a glass.
  • Vanilla Mocha Double Porter, Red Door: Coffee! So. Much. Coffee! At least at the outset, so this is another one to let warm up a bit. The vanilla and mocha flavors are there, too, but the coffee is strong as can be. If nothing else, the small pour had me wide awake in time for that freaky storm to finally reach the brewery from the Lobo football game.
  • Clark IPA, Quarter Celtic: Before venturing off to help Franz Solo brew a beer (and by help I mostly mean stand there and drink and comment on our football teams’ terrible outings), we both visited QC for their New England-style hazy IPA. Breweries like Trillium, The Alchemist, and more have made this juicier, less bitter style of IPA quite popular in the Northeast, and now QC has brought it to the Southwest. We adored this beer. If you have loved some of the sweeter, maltier IPAs that Bosque has been specializing in of late, you will love this, too.

Now, if the breweries would just slow down a bit on releasing these outstanding beers so I can catch up … they won’t, will they? A beer writer’s work is never done.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Hello again, Hopfest!

Hello again, Hopfest!

Newcomers and summery, fresh-tasting, hoppy beers helped to keep interest alive for the ninth annual Albuquerque Hopfest. Each year the crowds get larger, and each year I wonder how in the world Marne Gaston puts on such a large production. But, she does, flawlessly, and I am in complete awe of her. I would be a quivering puddle of goo. But, Marne is the calm in the eye of a hurricane (there is currently a Hurricane Gaston in the Atlantic that reformed on the day of Hopfest; I can’t even make this stuff up). Our heartfelt thanks, once again, to Marne and her staff and volunteers for another fantastic event.

As always, it was “so many beers, so little time,” so for me it was all about being selective. I focused on mostly local beers I have not tried and those that are not readily available at taprooms. A few of those beers stood out, and some were big surprises.

Enchanted Circle made a positive debut at Hopfest.

Enchanted Circle made a positive debut at Hopfest.

Even before the doors opened, a musician friend of mine who was setting up to play on one of the outdoor stages told me, “You have got to try the Enchanted Circle ESB if you like malty beers.” Well, yes, I do, and yes, I did! It really was very good. In fact, I thought in general the Enchanted Circle beers out of Angle Fire were one of the two biggest surprise hits of Hopfest. Even though IPAs are not my favorite, I was extremely impressed with their IPA (7.3% ABV). For such a new brewery, they have really done well with a solid beer to please the West Coast-style IPA lover. I also want to thank them for actually displaying the stats (O.G., IBU, and ABV) as well as the names. Not too many did, and I wish more of the breweries would have.

The Dukes of Ale booth was a big hit again.

The Dukes of Ale booth was a big hit again.

The second big surprise (based on consensus among my group of four attendees; one of whom is very much a hophead) was not an IPA. It didn’t come from a big name. Heck, it wasn’t even from a local brewery. It was the German Hefeweisen from the Dukes of Ale Homebrew Club.

Other favorites included Quarter Celtic’s McLomas Dry Stout and #GFF (Grapefruit Forever) IPA, Ponderosa’s Wry Ale, and Red Door’s Nieuwe Bruin. Albuquerque Brewing Company’s Dunkleweisen did not disappoint. It’s one of their semi-regular beers, but it seems it is always out when I stop by. It was wonderful to be able to finally taste it on Saturday. Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed the Green Chile Pilsner from Bathtub Row, because I don’t usually care much for pilsners or chile beers. This one was an outstanding version.

The Quarter Celtic staff left everyone else smiling, too, with their new stout.

The Quarter Celtic staff left everyone else smiling, too, with their new stout.

Notably missing from the vendors was B2B. They had a table set up, but there was no B2B beer and nobody from their brewery manning the spot. Also, I believe Firkin was in the program but I did not find them in the room or outside. If I missed them somehow, I apologize. (You did not miss them, they informed me that they were withdrawing late last week. — S)

Since I was unable to attend the New Mexico Brewers Guild Sensory Analysis Seminar presented by Craft King Consulting, LLC, the Crew would welcome and appreciate any feedback on that portion of the event from our readers.

The VIP beer list was quite impressive.

The VIP beer list was quite impressive.

I tried a few, but not all, of the beers in the VIP room. Mother Road’s Coffee Lost Highway, Founders’ Devil Dancer Triple IPA, and Sierra Nevada’s Narwahl Imperial Stout were my favorites. I didn’t attend the VIP pouring of Hop Pact from BJ’s Brewhouse because there was also a limited supply out in the main room, and I had it on Monday night at a Green Flash beer dinner at BJ’s. Hopefully many attendees were able to sample this fantastic collaboration beer between BJ’s Brewhouse and Green Flash. It is completely unique and refreshing, with more subtle hops, crazy amounts of floral notes, and the ability to cleanse your palate.

Speaking of palates, near the end I was suffering major palate fatigue. I started to slow down just as the rain chased the outdoor flock into the already crowded main room. At about 5:40 p.m., we gathered our swag (why do I keep collecting so many pint glasses? I could pretty much open a store at this point) and headed for the shuttle to the Railrunner, awash with post-festival beer glow.

Cheers!

— AmyO