Posts Tagged ‘Rock & Brews’

Rock & Brews will host a special beer dinner Tuesday night. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews)

Beer dinners are plentiful in this day and age, but they are almost always limited to a single brewery’s offerings. Well, the folks at Rock & Brews decided that it was time to pair up some of their excellent food with beers from more than one brewery.

The dinner will take place Tuesday night at 7, costing $40 per person, or two for $70. Guests will be greeted with a welcome pint of Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner. The four-course meal will feature the following pairings with local and regional beers.

  • Cheese (goat, green chile cheddar, gouda) and cracker trio, paired with Great Divide’s Roadie Grapefruit Radler
  • Braeburn apple salad adorned with Strongbow Cherry Blossom Cider vinaigrette, paired with Sierra Nevada’s Hazy Little Thing IPA
  • Surf (garlic butter shrimp) and turf (grilled Asian-marinated tri-tip) with braised local greens and carrot ginger mash, paired with Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale
  • Pineapple upside-down cake with vanilla stout creme anglaise atop vanilla ice cream, paired with Avery’s Tweak

Tickets are available at Rock & Brews, but as the time goes closer make sure to call first at (505) 340-2953.

Thanks to Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting for putting this together, and for the heads up.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Cheers to the BA for all it does.

Yeah, it is definitely that time of year. The recaps and top 10 lists are being posted, the year-in-review stories are rolling along (like, uh, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series). When it comes to recapping the year in craft beer for the entire country, no one sums it up best quite like the Brewers Association.

It was another big year for craft beer, to say the least.

“Craft brewers continue to thrive, if at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America—on Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “Today, 83 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning that the positive impact of breweries is being felt in communities all over the country.”

OK, that is pretty cool. What other stats does the BA have for us?

  • The number of breweries nationwide has now surpassed 6,000, with 98 percent of those falling under the craft banner. By the Crew’s count, 68 of those are in New Mexico, with at least six more active licenses for places that have yet to open their doors, but should in the next couple months (more on that down below).
  • All those breweries have created 456,373 jobs, a 7.5-percent increase from 2014. In turn, that has generated $67.8 billion for the U.S. economy, a 21.7-percent increase. Craft breweries in turn donated $73.4 million to charities.
  • The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has support from both parties and will potentially pass through both houses of Congress and become law during this current session. So, yeah, I guess we will have to say that Congress will do one good thing.
  • It appears the term “beercation” is becoming more and more of a reality. The average craft beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near home and 2.5 breweries within two hours driving distance (take note: the press release did not say whether this was 3.5 per week, per month, or per year; for the Crew, it would certainly be per week, sometimes even per day, when we are feeling frisky with our Lyft/Uber accounts). A survey by the BA found that 64 percent of craft drinkers like to visit breweries to try new beers on a regular basis. We will raise one to that.
  • The New Mexico stats on the BA website are for 2016, but they still tell a positive story. By the end of that year, there 57 breweries, ranking 26th in the country. More notably, the 3.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults) ranks 11th nationwide. Breweries had an economic impact of $333 million (40th) or $226.26 per capita (35th). A total of 111,237 barrels (32nd) were produced, amounting to 2.3 gallons consumed per adult (21st).

Yeah, it is still a good era for craft beer. Here is hoping it continues into 2018 and beyond.

Embrace the darkness at beer bars, too

The quality of dark beers around town is straight fire.

Our friends over Rock & Brews wanted you all to know that the current dark beer lineup is fairly epic. As fun as it is to hit up the breweries first, don’t forget the beer bars, as they often pull in some exclusive styles from out of state that you can usually only get in bottles or cans.

Rock & Brews currently has Dogfish Head’s Vanilla Oak-Aged Worldwide Stout, which is otherwise a pricey purchase in four-pack bottles. The ubiquitous Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout lines up next to Worldwide. There is also the most recent iteration of the ultimate beer geek beer, Stone’s Imperial Farking Wootstout. The real surprise gem, though, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. No, really, it is on tap. If that hefty price tag for a bomber is scaring you off, but you really want to know if it is worth it (we think so, but we’re biased), head over to Rock & Brews to try it first before you commit to a 22-ounce bottle or two.

Down at Sister Bar, at least as of the Gatecreeper show this past Monday (gotta say, impressive crowd showing, ABQ-area metalheads), there is still some of La Cumbre’s La Negra on tap. It has been out at the brewery for a while, so get some while it lasts (if it’s even still there, we apologize if it is gone by now).

Nob Hill Bar & Grill has a strong lineup, which you can find anytime via Untappd. The current black beasts of ahhh available are Bell’s Black Note and Kalamazoo Stout, plus 2016 and 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout, and two old favorites in Oskar Blues Ten FIDY and Stone Xocoveza.

So much dark beer, so little time.

New breweries update

Hello to a new small town brewery!

Sticking with tradition in beer notes, here are the most recent updates on all the forthcoming breweries across New Mexico. As always, we only list breweries with pending or active small brewer licenses with the State.

  • BLUE (Albuquerque): Nothing new on this small brewery located somewhere near Broadway and Lead/Coal.
  • Bonito Valley Brewing (Lincoln): A newcomer to the list located in a small, historic town west of Roswell along Highway 380. There is a Facebook page that says the owners are aiming for a summer 2018 opening.
  • Brewstillery (Albuquerque): We still have no info on this combo operation in the Southeast.
  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The small town brewery has been in touch with the NM Brewers Guild about joining up in 2018, so it appears to be a go.
  • Cantero Brewing (Albuquerque): Now armed with an active license, the final parts of construction are underway.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): We have no new info on this business.
  • Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso): The license is active, but there is still no website that we can find, nor any social media. It remains a mystery.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): The license is active here, too, and beer is now being brewed. We await the announcement of opening, which could come any week now.
  • High and Dry Brewing (Albuquerque): Construction appears to be mostly complete down near Adams and Lomas. The Crew is in touch with the ownership and we are working to set up an advance tour when they are ready.
  • Hollow Spirits (Albuquerque): Construction continues on this new combo spot in the Wells Park neighborhood. It is the brainchild of former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway.
  • Lava Rock Brewing (Albuquerque): The West Side brewery is getting closer and closer to opening on Unser just north of Ladera.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing (Ruidoso): Yes, the license is active, now only a few final touches must be completed and there will be local beer in the mountains down south. Keep track of the progress on the Lost Hiker Facebook page.
  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Another newcomer to the list, we have no info beyond a name and a zip code for RR. It is unknown if this brewery is related in any way to the former 1933 Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., which closed at the end of 2016.
  • Red River Brewing: All this mild winter is not helping the ski industry up north, but it should enable RRB to finish construction and remain on track for an early 2018 opening.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): There is still no info online on this place. We would like to remind everyone, though, that there is a Switchback Brewing in Vermont, so a name change may ultimately be necessary.
  • Toltec Brewing (Albuquerque): The forthcoming West Side brewery took a big step by hiring a head brewer, but we have been asked not to reveal the identity of this individual just yet. Let us just say, however, that we are excited.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): There are lots of construction photos on Facebook, so it looks like a good bet to open sooner than later. The small brewer license is now active.
  • The pending licenses for off-site taprooms remains as follows — Little Toad Creek in Las Cruces (new!); Ponderosa at El Vado Motel redevelopment (getting close); Santa Fe Downtown Taproom; Starr Brothers Alehouse (location TBA); Tumbleroot in Santa Fe (they will not sell beer out of the production facility down the street). Also, the Milton’s taproom in Roswell has an active license, but it is not yet open as far as we know.

That is all for now. As always, if you know anything about anything, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend, and good luck with any last-minute Christmas shopping!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Nine calls upon everyone to pucker up once again!

The final stretch of Beer Week begins with a number of varied events tonight.

Topping the list is the fourth annual Tower of Sour at Back Alley Draft House, which is going to be bigger and more festive than ever before.

There will also be special events at both Tractor locations, a special tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and fun and games with Upslope at Rock & Brews.

Happy weekend, everyone!

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: Tower of Sour. Where: Back Alley Draft House. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $10 for entry (music only, no beer); $20 economy ticket; $40 general admission; $50 VIP.

Details: The fourth Tower of Sour will expand from BADH out into the parking lot. There will 14 breweries represented, including Marble and Sierra Blanca, offering up 30-plus sours from around the world. The Real Matt Jones and Vanilla Pop will provide the music. The economy ticket gets you six samples and one 10-ounce pour, plus entry into the New Belgium bike giveaway. The general admission ticket covers unlimited sampling and a special souvenir. The VIP ticket gets you early entry at 5 p.m., which is the Ska Brewing VIP Party, with appetizers and giveaways, plus unlimited sampling.

Why you should go: If you love sours, you pretty much have to go to this one.

All the other great events

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 Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Golden IPA from the current Beer Camp mixed pack (available at Jubilation) will be tapped. Why you should go: Odds are you have not had this before, so get on over there and get it with a bite to eat!

What: La Cumbre Sampling. Where: Whole Foods Academy. When: 4-5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the full LC packaged lineup. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Goose Island Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste the full GI packaged lineup. Why you should go: Free beer!

What: Upslope Rochambeau Tournament and Pint Night. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Compete with the best in rock-paper-scissors. Entry is free, and the top five finishers will be awarded prizes. Plus, of course, lots of Upslope beers will be on tap. Why you should go: We all need a spot of silliness in our lives, but with beer, it’s even better.

What: Oskar Blues Secret Stash Event. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Oskar Blues brewed up a special beer with the NHBG staff and now you get to enjoy it. Why you should go: Satisfy your (and ours) curiosity and see just what they created.

What: Sierra Nevada Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Academy. When: 6 p.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Golden IPA from the current Beer Camp mixed pack (available at Jubilation) will be tapped. Why you should go: Odds are you have not had this before, so get on over there and get it with a bite to eat!

What: Art Fight 32 – Beer Week Edition. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-10:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be live art, all with the theme of beer itself, while you watch and enjoy beer. Why you should go: Beer is art, beer is life, beer is good.

What: Night Out Cards Pub Crawl Edition. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 7 p.m.-midnight. Cost: $20 for card deck and two wristbands, additional wristbands are $5. Details: Night Out Cards are basically like truth or dare with a drinking theme, so enjoy them at the taproom as you put your team together and compete for prizes. You also get $1 off all pints. Why you should go: Discounted beer, prizes, and shenanigans. Seems like a good way to spend Friday night.

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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

If you're gonna call it Christmas in July, you might as well go all out.

If you’re gonna call it Christmas in July, you might as well go all out.

Greetings, gang. This is one of those recap kind of stories, so it’s about some things you already missed. Sorry!

I, your Los Alamos correspondent, actually got down to Albuquerque on a Thursday night. We were going down anyway, so we checked out a couple of interesting-sounding beer events. The first was Rock & Brews Christmas in July Party. If you don’t know much about Rock & Brews, it’s a nationwide chain of restaurants that feature rock music and brews, as you might have guessed. Sort of like if you take a Hard Rock Cafe and mix in good beer (and remove the pretentiousness, though I’m editorializing). Albuquerque has had one for awhile now, but we don’t often drive by its location on Montgomery, and we usually go with one of the many other good-beer options when in town.

Donovan Finley, the bar manager there, let the Crew know about their Christmas in July party. It was a good excuse to finally check the place out! We got there a bit early and talked to Donovan. He’s a very friendly guy, and he’s also knowledgeable about his beers. On this day, they brought out some of their aged beers. These were the sort of beers that you don’t drink a lot of; ABVs were in the double-digits in several cases. There were so many good ones on tap that he kindly brought us flights of their eight “best” beers. All were exotic and tasty.

20160728_171903

The current inventory of rotating drafts. They change frequently!

We also ate there, and the food gets a thumbs up as well. Our only minor complaint is that the food marked as “spicy” (such as the “fireball” burger) wasn’t all that spicy. We’re a little extreme in that regard, though; to a normal person, it’s probably just right. The green chile was good, though.

Overall, we really liked the place. They have some very comfortable outdoor seating. In fact, Donovan said that the outdoor area was recently renovated at great expense. There are foosball and shuffleboard tables. There are many TVs; they were showing music videos while we were there. And the beers! They normally have a large selection of drafts and bottles. Donovan seems motivated to have a varied selection on hand to keep the craft drinkers of ABQ coming through the doors. All in all, we will certainly make this one of our regular stops.

In addition to the Christmas party, Kaktus was having a grinch party, of sorts. They intentionally brewed a “bad” beer! It’s rare that a brewery creates and brags about a bad recipe. They did it to raise funds for a campaign to stop the new public transit system being planned for Central. I don’t know much about that, including if it really is a good or bad idea. (It’s a terrible idea. — S) The beer in question was a “pickle porter” called Albuquerque Rapid Transit Ale. Yes, a porter that actually tasted like pickles! Going in, I doubted it would be something on the level of mixing chocolate and peanut butter (bless you, Mr. Reese), but I thought it might be OK. And, believe it or not, it was. I ordered a pint and finished it. It really wasn’t bad. (My wife Cecilia had a light cucumber beer that she enjoyed.) This was another opportunity to visit a place we’d been meaning to get to. The Nob Hill location is quite nice, and the rooftop patio was comfortable and had wonderful views.

20160728_193843

That garnish is a pickle. Perfect for a pickle beer.

Cheers!

— Reid

Bartender James was all smiles serving up Marble's Saison #1 at Rock & Brews.

Bartender James was all smiles serving up Marble’s Saison #1 at Rock & Brews.

Rock & Brews had a Tuesday Brewsday tapping of Marble’s Saison #1. We were on our way (more on this later) to an Isotopes game, so we made sure to stop by and to get there early for happy hour. The Saison #1 is a little bright and a little funky, both at the same time, but at 7-percent ABV, it ends up tasting sweeter than most saisons. It paired really, really well with the $4 happy hour green chile cheese fries! As always, the staff behind the bar were cool people and they seemed genuinely sad when we said we had to go to the game. They said you don’t really have to go. As it turns out, they were right.

We had free tickets to the Isotopes game from some friends, so after Rock & Brews we all headed out to the stadium. Alas, along the way, the famous Albuquerque spring winds that just will not seem to die this year decided to kick up a mighty wind storm. Our friends texted us and said they could exchange the tickets for another day if we didn’t use them. Did we just want to go have beer somewhere instead of battling allergies in the wind? We agreed, and made our way over to Nob Hill since there were a couple of Beer Week events going on there. I said I wanted to go to the event at Canvas Artistry, because Ballast Point. Because Tom DeCaro.

Coconut Victory at Sea is a victory for all!

Coconut Victory at Sea is a victory for all!

They had Ballast Point’s Coconut Victory at Sea. Yes, please! Tom had given me the lowdown earlier in the day: “Our Victory at Sea Imperial Porter is a bold, smooth brew with just the right amount of sweetness. We infused this robust porter with whole vanilla beans and San Diego’s own Caffe Calabria coffee beans. The subtle roasted notes and minimal acidity of the cold brewed coffee, balances perfectly with the sweet caramel undertones of the malt, creating a winning combination for your palate. For this one we filled the Miramar kitchen with bags and bags of coconut and toasted them. We then loaded the beer with massive amounts of toasted coconut.”

It’s a heavy-hitting 10-percent ABV and you can definitely taste the coconut, but I was not overwhelmed by it. I was so enthralled I forgot to take a picture until we were well in to our beers.

Baseball’s great, but I don’t think any of us really felt like we missed out. The weather seemed to want us to have a dark beer, because we were actually chilly walking along Central. This was a victory on land!

Bonus: Tom let us know that he was able to get Ballast’s Mango Even Keel into Isotopes Park. Look for it next time you are there — it’s at the Guinness/Beers of the World stand (at least right now) across from Dion’s.

Surviving Beer Week Cheers!

— AmyO

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

There are some tough choices to make on the beer front this Tuesday.

Now that the holiday has come and gone, things are starting to rev up again.

From a competition, of a sort, between two breweries, to lots of new food-and-beer pairings, more samplings/tastings, a beer dinner, and an educational class on off flavors, the afternoon and evening are packed with lots of fun.

Good luck picking out which events you want to attend.

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: Battle of the Breweries. Where: The Grain Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee.

Details: It’s a Kill the Keg competition between Santa Fe’s Freestyle Pilsner and Upslope’s Craft Lager. Whichever beer runs out first, that brewery is the victor. There will some swag on hand and you can chat with SFBC and Upslope reps. Plus, of course, The Grain Station’s awesome menu of delectable food will be available.

Why you should go: We can’t really let a Colorado brewery defeat a New Mexico brewery on our turf, right?

All the other great events

What: Beer & Cheese Pairings with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 3 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: The folks at Cheesy Street food truck will have trays of grilled cheese slideres, each paired up with a specific selection of Tractor beers. What those are were a mystery at press time, so go find out and let us know if they are as tasty as we expect them to be. Why you should go: Dude, grilled cheese and beer. It’s so American it’s scary.

What: Japanese Beer Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Jubilation will have beers from Hitachino, Coedo, and Miyazaki Hideji for everyone to sample. Why you should go: It’s no longer all about Sake in Japan these days, see what they have to offer.

What: New Belgium Lips of Faith One Off Tasting. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Oscar Worthy Coffee Barrel is the beer of choice today, and it will be served on nitro. There will also be additional NB beers on special. Why you should go: Sometimes you just have to see if a beer is worthy of its name. This is one of those times.

What: Beer and Food Pairing. Where: Sandia Chile Grill. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: SCG will serve up some smoked brisket with their Red Ranger Irish Red. Why you should go: Beer and food for hungry/thirsty residents of the Northeast Heights.

What: Lagunitas Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: From the One Hitter Series comes GravensTime Apple-esque Beer, one of those grand rarities that must be tried. Why you should go: It’s the 2015 vintage, so go check it out before it’s gone forever.

What: Tuesday Brewsday Marble Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Marble is bringing Saison #1 to tap once again. Why you should go: For all you in the Heights, this is your chance to experience this new creation from Marble.

What: Beer & Taco Night. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 5:30 p.m. Cost: No entry. Details: Order tacos from the Taco Lady for $1 and wash them down with $5 flights of Pilsner, Sommer, DRB, and Red. Why you should go: Next to pizza, tacos may be our favorite food to pair with beer.

What: Ballast Point Special Tapping and Pairing. Where: Canvas Artistry, 3120 Central Ave. SE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: We are working on getting details about this event. Why you should go: TBA.

What: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Beer. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Brewer John “Carnie” Bevz will host a tasting/sampling even to discuss off flavors and more that makes your beer good or bad. Why you should go: Get an education while enjoying some beer.

What: Chef’s Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $45 per person ($40 mug club members). Details: Brewer Bob Haggerty and executive chef Knoulan Tanner are teaming up for their first beer dinner featuring Sour Saison paired with a charcuterie plate, Crosscut Kolsch paired with scallop salad, Red Rye Lager paired with a wild mushroom risotto with braised lamb, and Chocolate Stout paired with a pot de creme. Why you should go: Hopefully you signed up, because the deadline was Saturday. Call Ponderosa at (505) 639-5941 to see if there are any late openings.

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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

We are off and running with 14 events on the opening day!

Yes, there are still events going on during Memorial Day. Avoid family, drink beer!

Well, Sunday was a long, hot, exhausting day. Whether you were at Blues & Brews or BearFest, there was plenty to keep you busy and satiated beer wise.

Now, before you trek over to a friend or relative’s house (or host yourselves) for a Memorial Day party, take note that Beer Week is not shutting down just because of a holiday.

From musical madness at Marble to honoring our veterans and their families at Red Door and Rio Bravo, plus a lot more, there is still plenty going on. Get on out there. Trust us, you will need good beer to get you through any family events.

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: Folds of Honor Foundation Fundraiser. Where: Red Door. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee.

Details: Since 2007, the Folds of Honor Foundation has been raising money to cover the educational costs of the spouses and dependents of American service men and women who have died or been wounded in combat. Nearly of nine of 10 family members do not qualify for federal aid for college, so they are determined to close that gap. Over 80 percent of funds raised go directly to recipients. On this Memorial Day, Red Door will donate 20 percent of sales to the Foundation. There will also be representatives on hand to accept additional donations.

Why you should go: We cannot think of a better cause to be a part of on Memorial Day. Head over to Red Door, order a pint or two, and donate generously.

All the other great events

What: Armed Forces Recognition Day. Where: Rio Bravo. When: Noon. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Rio Bravo is giving all military personnel $2 off their pints all day long. Why you should go: Honor our service men and women with beer.

What: Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: This one sounds interesting — a cask of White Tea Chardonnay Sour. Why you should go: Don’t you just have to try a beer like that? Lord knows we’ve never had anything like it.

What: Cornhole Tournament with Upslope. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 2 to 5 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: Go have yourself some fun with Upslope beers on tap. Why you should go: Test your skills and drink beer.

What: Memorial Day Festival. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 3 to 10 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: It’s an all-day music extravaganza with Chris Ravin, Todd Tijerina, The Dregz, Duke City Riots, and Double Plow. Why you should go: Support local music, support local beer, support local food trucks.

What: Rio Bravo Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The folks at RBC are sending their barrel-aged porter and barrel-aged barleywine up to Nob Hill. Why you should go: Big beers, big food, big happy smile on your face afterwards.

What: Cheese, Boards and Brews. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $10 per person for pairings. Details: Get some delectable cheeses paired up with ABC beers, while also playing board games. Why you should go: It will be like when you were a kid back in the day and playing board games with friends on a holiday, only now you can have beer, too!

* * * * *

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

Rock & Brews will be, well, rocking with lots of tappings during ABQ Beer Week. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews ABQ)

Rock & Brews will be, well, rocking with lots of tappings during ABQ Beer Week. (Photo courtesy of Rock & Brews ABQ)

Annnnnnnnnnnnd we’re back.

We’re back with another roundup of the upcoming events of ABQ Beer Week 2016. For those of you who have taken part in the festivities in previous years, you know well enough that there are almost too many events to cover. And, for those of you who choose to debate that sentiment … well, allow me to get you an Uber for the trip home.

This roundup consists solely of events taking place at Rock & Brews. If you are not familiar, Rock & Brews caters to American and international craft beers and some upscale American favorites on the menu, all set to (you guessed it) a rock & roll soundtrack. I mean, Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS are part owners! But, I digress, here is a day-by-day listing of their events at their location at 4800 Montgomery Blvd. NE.

Friday—Moylan’s Brewery Afternoon Tealight Special Release, 4-7 p.m.: Moylan’s Brewery will have their Afternoon Tealight available on tap, which is an Earl Gray tea-infused ESB. That is the most British thing since, well, a guy with a name like Benedict Cumberbatch became famous.

Monday—Cornhole tournament with Upslope Brewing Co., 2-5 p.m.: It’s a cornhole tournament! You know, the game where you toss the beanbags at the board? Yes, that one. Combine that with delicious beers from Upslope Brewing … sounds like a Memorial Day win.

Tuesday, May 31—Tuesday Brewsday with Marble Brewery special tapping, 5-10 p.m.: Local craft beer stalwarts Marble will be tapping a special keg of their saison, 111 Farmhouse. Get it while it lasts!

Wednesday, June 1—Ballast Point Brewing tap takeover & special tapping, 6-8 p.m.: Ballast Point will be filling out taps at Rock & Brews with a tap takeover; additionally, they will be unveiling a special tapping of Barrel Aged Victory at Sea. BP rep Thomas DeCaro is going to have several thirsty Crew members to deal with!

Saturday, June 4—Kona Brewing Company Luau, 6-10 p.m.: A luau with craft beer? Fun times! Hawaii’s own Kona Brewing will have Longboard Lager, Firerock Pale Ale, and Big Wave Golden Ale on draft, and the Lemongrass Luau available in bottles.

As always, beer lineups are subject to change, and we will provide updated listings and event details as we get them. In the meantime, use this as part of your ABQ Beer Week planning to get the most out of the participating venues near you.

Until next time …

Prost!

— Brandon Daniel

Gotta love the decor at Sinners n Saints.

Gotta love the decor at Sinners n Saints.

As a part of the new DSBC series on beer bars, I volunteered to drop in to Sinners n Saints on the southeast corner of Montgomery and Eubank in the Northeast Heights. Unbeknownst to my editor (sorry, Stoutmeister!), I thought it might be kind of fun to do a crawl of sorts with the bars that have the most taps along Montgomery.

A flight of local beer is available at Rock & Brews.

A flight of local beer is available at Rock & Brews.

I started off the evening at Rock & Brews on Montgomery near the intersection with San Mateo. For those who have not read the story, I did a review on them just after they opened. The number of taps there is notable, and I was recently very impressed with their willingness to participate in the local ABQ Beer Week events despite being a chain establishment. They promote a happy hour sampler flight of local beers, too, and that’s what I had there. I took note that they are offering several types of Ballast Point beers among their impressive list of craft brews.

A flight at Heimat House can take you all over the world with the selections.

A flight at Heimat House can take you all over the world with the selections.

From there, I moved east along Montgomery (just west of Louisiana) to Heimat House. I am a happy hour addict so I called ahead and asked about happy hour specials. I was told the hours of the specials, but that the special changes every day. The person on the phone did not either know or did not divulge the one for that day. Since it was on my route, I took a chance. My gamble paid off because the special that day was 50-percent off sample flights (note: no food specials). I was able to pick any of my own beers. I picked five beers that even included St. Bernardus, so I was a happy, happy girl.

Finally, I ended my journey at Sinners n Saints. Friday night was round four of their “Brewdown Challenge” – with that week’s participants being Odell versus La Cumbre. I had no preconceived notions, but I ended up kind of disappointed. I felt the pricing was off for challenge participants because a sign inside the bar said you could buy either of the beers on special for $3.50. However, for the challenge, you paid $8 for two smaller-than-pint-sized beers. I didn’t really understand why that was the case.

In order to avoid any comment wars, I am going to keep my opinions on the two beers to myself – except that I will say that they were wildly different styles, one of which is inherently pretty polarizing. My question is, how do you really compare the two if that is the case?

The tap selection at Sinners n Saints is impressive, the vibe less so.

The tap selection at Sinners n Saints is impressive, the vibe less so.

Sinners n Saints’ shopping center home on the southeast corner of Montgomery and Eubank has quite a few other imbibing options, including a microbrewery (Lizard Tail), a raucous music/dancing venue if you are into country, what I would call a “dive bar” (no offense, I love a good dive bar myself), and several restaurants that serve beer and wine or have a full bar. You can choose whatever suits your fancy, depending on your mood. My mood was suited to a beer bar with a chill vibe. At least on this crowded Friday evening, I didn’t feel like this had that vibe at all. I wonder if it was more of a pre-clubbing crowd waiting for things to get started next door. For the most part, people seemed to want to see and be seen. I left after about 15-20 minutes, because although this usually is not the case for me, sitting alone at the bar here felt uncomfortable. If you want a good beer selection and you like a hopping (no pun intended) after-work scene, give them a go.

Side note: Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul fans will love the front door at Sinners n Saints! (The bar sits in the location that served as Saul’s office in the Breaking Bad series.)

Cheers!

— AmyO

And so it begins!

It’s been quite a ride, but it’s time for us all to kick back and relax for a while.

And so it ends. ABQ Beer Week will wrap up with a handful of events on this lovely Sunday. While not all of us in the Crew have been able to be everywhere, we felt we hit the best events, and fear not, we will work on a giant compilation of all our favorite beers that all of you need to seek out in the days and weeks ahead.

There are a couple of final beer/food pairings at Nob Hill Bar & Grill, Shade Tree, and Marble Downtown today. Throw in a few final special tappings scattered about, a bike tour, and a beer movie screening at Tractor Wells Park, and we bid Beer Week adieu for another year.

Now if you will all excuse me, I need a nap. Preferably one that lasts a few days.

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.

(Thanks to AmyO for the write-up on this one.)

What: Boulder Beer Brunch and Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost: Entrees are $8 to $15, plus the cost of the beer(s) of your choice.

Details: The regular NHBG brunch menu will be available as well as a couple of special items, such as chocolate waffles using Boulder Beer’s Shake Chocolate Porter. There will be a pairing with a Boulder Tequila barrel-aged IPA (woo-hoo!) and their Blonde Ale will be used to make “beer-mosas.”

Why you should go: Did you read the part about Tequila barrel-aged IPA? Also, Carrie from Boulder Beer will be in attendance to discuss their beers. And she just might have swag! Tom from Nob Hill Bar & Grill says: “This is your chance to relax and enjoy the patio while having a rare beer and some beer infused brunch items.”

All the other great events

What: Straffe Hendrik Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Belgian beers will be available. Why you should go: Go find out which ones.

What: Canteen Rum Barrel Aged Stock Ale Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: They have been aging this sucker for a while. Franz Solo got some as a mug club member and shared it with the rest of us. We don’t remember much afterwards. Why you should go: Barrel-aged strong ales rule.

What: Second Annual Belgian Beer & Cheese Pairing. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: On the hour, every hour, while supplies last. Cost: Approximately $20. Details: Planned cheese/beer pairings include Sofia paired with Ommegang Scythe & Sickle; Serrat d’Ovella with Orval; Pleasant Ridge Reserve with Trappiste Rochefort 10 or St. Bernardus Abt 12; Nevat with Saison Dupont; and Le Welsche Gewurtztraminer with Lindemans Cuvee Rene Oude Gueuze.   Why you should go: All cheese for this event will be from Cheesemongers of Santa Fe. Come early to sit at the bar. They will line up the bar and walk through each step, explaining why they chose each pairing. There will be a little history, a few jokes, some stories, and a whole lot of fun.

What: Bike & Brew Tour. Where: All over the place. When: 1 p.m. Cost: $45 with bike rental, $40 if you bring your own bike. Details: Good news, according to the website there are still spots available after the previous tour during Beer Week sold out. You will hit at least three of the following breweries — Kellys, Canteen, Red Door, Marble, Tractor, Nexus, Ponderosa, Left Turn Distillery. Why you should go: Get some exercise with your beer.

What: Joe S. Sausage Super Sunday Sausage Fest Sampler and Beer Bliss Extravaganza. Where: Marble Downtown. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge, but it’s $20 for the sausage tray with five 5-ounce beer samples. Details: Brewer Josh Trujillo and the Joe S. Sausage food truck have created a special menu for the day. The pairings — Imperial Stout with Maple Blueberry Sausage, Red Ale with Carne Adovada Sausage, Double White with Andouille, Rauchbier with Curry Sausage, Choice Blanc with Jamaican Jerk Sausage. Alex Maryol will perform from 3 to 6 p.m. Why you should go: Food, beer, music, sun, fun.

What: Screening of “Blood Sweat and Beer”. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: Unknown, contact Tractor. Details: It’s a movie about beer shown in a place that serves beer. Win-win. Why you should go: Kick back and relax with some fresh beer on tap rather than the old stuff in your fridge.

What: Weihenstephaner Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown German beer will be available. Why you should go: Solve the mystery, enjoy some great food, then slip into a beer/food coma.

What: Sierra Nevada Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s Narwhal Imperial Stout. Huzzah! Why you should go: Narwhals, narwhals, swimming in the ocean … sorry, we shouldn’t do that to you. It was stuck in all of our heads for weeks thanks to that dumb commercial. So purge it from your head with this awesome stout.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, this event has been running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

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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