Posts Tagged ‘Santa Fe Brewing’

It’s go-time for New Mexico breweries at the Great American Beer Festival this week!

The Great American Beer Festival returns this Thursday through Saturday at the Denver Convention Center, and once again New Mexico breweries will be well represented. This year the Crew is dispatching yours truly, plus Franz Solo, via the magic of press passes (Luke will also be there, but as a civilian, and we just want him to focus on having fun and not worry about work). We will be on hand for the sessions on Thursday and Friday nights, plus Saturday afternoon, and the awards ceremony before that.

For those who have never been, GABF is a massive event. It takes over a convention center several times the size of ours here in Albuquerque. In fact, the total space for the festival is equivalent to seven football fields. Breweries from around the United States will be on hand, some represented at hundreds of booths, others are just on hand for the competition.

There will be 12 New Mexico breweries represented, plus Marble gets a second booth this year (ah, the benefits of having two small brewer licenses between downtown and the Heights location). The majority (Bathtub Row, Bosque, Boxing Bear, La Cumbre, both Marble, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, Starr Brothers) are in the Southwest region, grouped with breweries from Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana. Dialogue Brewing will be in the Meet the Brewer area, while Blue Corn, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic will be in the Brewpub Pavilion. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will also have a booth along with the other state guilds, pouring beers from breweries without their own booths.

A lot of this probably does not mean much to many of you, who did not get (or even try to get) tickets to the event. For most folks back home, us going up and talking about what a great time we are having is almost a little callous. Our main goal with this event is to provide coverage of the awards ceremony, while also letting everyone in Denver know about the greatness of our breweries (more tourists can be a good thing), and of course trying lots of new beers that you can either seek out on your next vacation or via distribution.

Speaking of the awards ceremony, this year we have been privy to the competition beer lists for most of our local breweries. The awards ceremony happens Saturday at 10 a.m., and will be broadcast live over the internet. You can go to the GABF website that morning and find the link, but be forewarned, it is a notoriously fickle broadcast. We will have live updates via all three of our main social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We also hope to have some live FB videos from the event. Since there are two of us, it should go a little smoother than last year. (Sorry again about the shaky cam motion sickness, Lonnie.)

Here are the competition lists we were sent from the Guild or directly from some breweries. Some may be incomplete, or are missing a key bit of info (name of beer, or which category that beer is being judged in). We are listing them by awards category, so you know which ones to pay attention to and which ones to run over and refill your coffee mug.

  • 4 Fruit Wheat Beer: Bosque Elephants on Parade, Sierra Blanca Cherry Wheat
  • 8 Chili Beer: Sierra Blanca Green Chile Cerveza
  • 9 Herb and Spice Beer: Blue Corn Ginger Braggot, Chama River Haru, Red Door Vanilla Cream Ale
  • 11 Coffee Beer: Blue Corn Apparition Pale Coffee Ale, Rio Bravo Pinon Coffee Porter
  • 15 Honey Beer: Nexus Honey Chamomile Wheat, Turtle Mountain Pour les Abeilles
  • 17 Session IPA: Boxing Bear Featherweight
  • 18a Other Strong Beer: Marble Double White, Nexus Imperial Cream Ale
  • 19a Experimental Beer: La Cumbre Hibiscus Quercus
  • 20 Fresh or Wet Hop Ale: Bosque Acequia IPA, Quarter Celtic Clark
  • 23 Belgo American Pale Ale: Second Street Diablo Canyon
  • 24 American-Style Sour Ale: Ponderosa Sour Belgian Brown
  • 26 Brett Beer: Flix Brewhouse Eater of Worlds
  • 28b Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer: La Cumbre Ryeot on Bourbon,
  • 29 Wood Aged Strong Beer: Bow & Arrow Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Chama River Natalia Polnoch’
  • 34b Zwicklebier: Marble Pilsner, Rio Bravo La Luz Light Lager
  • 36a American-Style Pilsner: Canteen Laid Back Lager
  • 36b International-Style Pilsner: La Cumbre BEER, Quarter Celtic Pedro O’Flannigan’s
  • 40b American Amber Lager – California Common: Second Street Rod’s Steam Bitter,
  • 41 German-Style Pilsner: Bow & Arrow Jemez Field Notes, Santa Fe Freestyle Pilsner, Sierra Blanca Desert Pilsner
  • 42 Bohemian Pilsner: Boxing Bear Body Czech Bo Pils, Canteen High Plains Pils, Dialogue Bo Pils, Sidetrack Pilsner
  • 47a Munich-Style Dunkel: Marble Dupy’s Dunkel
  • 49b German-Style Bock: Marble Maibock
  • 50a Doppelbock: Flix Brewhouse Now and Later, Nexus Doppelspock, Turtle Mountain SCH
  • 52 Blonde Ale: Starr Brothers L.A. Woman
  • 53 German-Style Kolsch: Canteen Kolsch, Chama River Kolsch, Steel Bender Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • 56 English-Style IPA: Santa Fe Happy Camper IPA
  • 58 American-Style Pale Ale: Marble Pale Ale
  • 59 American Strong Pale Ale: Second Street 2920 IPA, Santa Fe 7K IPA
  • 60 American-Style IPA: Starr Brothers Starrstruck, La Cumbre Project Dank
  • 61 Imperial IPA: Second Street Imperial IPA, Canteen Astro Hound
  • 62 American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Red Door Roamer Red
  • 63 Double Red Ale: Steel Bender Red Iron Red, Boxing Bear The Red Glove, Bosque IRA, Starr Brothers Red Zepplin
  • 64 Imperial Red: Marble Imperial Red
  • 66b Special Bitter: Sidetrack Pub Ale
  • 67a American-Style Extra Special Bitter: Rio Bravo Amber
  • 67b Extra Special Bitter: Steel Bender Sparkfitter Amber
  • 69 Irish-Style Red Ale: Sidetrack Railhead Red, Quarter Celtic Crimson Lass
  • 70 English-Style Brown Ale: Sierra Blanca Bone Chiller, Santa Fe Nut Brown
  • 71 American-Style Brown Ale: Blue Corn End of the Trail Brown Ale, Ponderosa Bellamah Brown
  • 72 American-Style Black Ale: Bosque Fifth Value, Quarter Celtic Bruce
  • 73 Berliner Weisse: Bow & Arrow Way Out West Sour, Dialogue Berliner Weisse
  • 74b Contemporary Gose: Marble Passionate Gose, Rio Bravo Peach Gose
  • 79 Witbier: Flix Brewhouse Luna Rosa, Red Door Trapdoor White Ale
  • 80 Classic Saison: Bow & Arrow Sun Dagger
  • 85 Belgian Tripel: Flix Brewhouse Tripel Whammy
  • 86a Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale: Ponderosa Preacher’s Daughter
  • 89 Robust Porter: Starr Brothers Lampshade Porter
  • 90 Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Steel Bender Blue Bullet Stout
  • 92 American-Style Stout: Marble Cholo Stout
  • 93 Sweet or Cream Stout: Boxing Bear Chocolate Milk Stout, Red Door Paint it Black Milk Stout
  • 94 Oatmeal Stout: Blue Corn Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Chama River Sleeping Dog Stout, Sidetrack Dark Engine Stout
  • 96a Scottish Ale: Nexus Scotch Ale

The American-Style IPA category is always announced last, due to the fact it is the biggest (270-plus entries last year). And, yes, Chama River was still able to enter beers even though it technically no longer exists. Not sure how that works, but it does.

Among the beers with mystery categories, there is Dialogue’s Biere de Mars and Sour Raz, Rowley Farmhouse Ales’ Saison du Sarlacc, and Turtle Mountain’s Hard Bock Life. We can probably guess the categories, but for now we will just list them as unknown. We also know that Spotted Dog has beers in categories 57a (Australian or International-Style Pale Ale), 80 (Classic Saison), and 93 (Sweet Stout or Cream Stout), just not the name of any of those beers.

If any other New Mexico breweries have beers entered, we will find out one way or the other.

How well have our breweries done in the past? Well, Boxing Bear was the Mid-Size Brew Pub of the Year in 2016 and Marble Brewery was the Small Brewery of the Year in 2014. Canteen/Il Vicino has won 12 medals since 1995, Marble has won nine medals since 2011, and Chama River will try to add one or more to its total of eight since 2002. New Mexico has routinely ranked in the top percentage of medals in relation to state population and number of breweries.

If any of you are headed up and spot us amid the crowd (it can happen, just ask Michael Waddy from Kaktus), come over and say hello. We will always be more than willing to share what great beers we have found in our wanderings.

Some final tips if you are going.

  • Download the GABF app for your phone if you have not already. Tag the breweries you want to visit, and they will show up on your map. This is invaluable.
  • Keep an eye out for timed releases. Many of your favorite breweries will have small runs of some of their most exclusive beers. They will likely be announced on social media, so make sure you follow your favorites.
  • Hydrate! There are water stations everywhere. They are not just for washing out your glasses. Yes, it might send you to the bathroom faster than you want, but unless you are a human camel, you will have to go sooner or later.
  • Do not drive downtown. This is not just a safety issue, it is to spare you from the chaos of thousands of pedestrians in different states of inebriation, Uber/Lyft drivers, hundreds of taxis, one-way streets, and a whole lotta police. Leave the car at your hotel/friend’s house/Air BnB, wherever you are staying. Oh, and the cost of parking in downtown Denver goes through the roof during GABF, if you can even find a spot.
  • Check the main website for all the off-site events, and do a quick Google search for others. This could be especially relevant if you are not attending all the sessions, or you need something to do during the day besides wander aimlessly around downtown. Some of these are as fun as GABF itself, some might be even more fun if you are into certain beer styles that are represented at their own events.
  • There are too many good food options to possibly list here in Denver, but a few of our favorites include Jelly for brunch/breakfast, and then Rhein Haus, Freshcraft, Wynkoop, Rock Bottom (for a chain, they’re quality), and Breck on Blake (great guest beer menu) for lunch/dinner. There are plenty of food options within the convention center as well, so please do not attempt to get through a session on little or nothing but beer in your belly. It will not end well.
  • Breweries within spitting distance of downtown include some of our favorites, like Prost, TRVE, Great Divide, Our Mutual Friend, Ratio, and Spangalang, plus Crooked Stave if you love sours. Also, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which is up by Crooked Stave, comes with the seal of approval of La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway. In fact, we fear that if we did not recommend you go there, Jeff would probably disown us and abandon us somewhere in the wilderness.

OK, that is all from us for now. If you have any questions at any point this weekend, whether you are going to be in Denver or are staying home, do not hesitate to contact us via the usual ways.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Advertisements

The annual autumnal festival returns to the mountains above Los Alamos. Skal!

The days are getting shorter, and there’s a bit of a nip in the air here in the higher elevations. Fall will be here soon, officially, and with it the prospect of snow. To many people, snow means skiing, but, only if there’s enough of it! To please Ullr, the Norse god of snow and winter, Pajarito Mountain Ski Area and the Los Alamos Ski Club host a festival each fall in the hope of bringing abundant snow. And, if you’re going to host a Nordic-themed festival, then you’re certainly going to include an abundance of beer.

This year’s ULLR Fest will be taking place Saturday at the Pajarito Mountain above Los Alamos. The weather has been very nice, so it should be a very pleasant afternoon (though being a mountain, you have to prepare for nearly anything, so dust off those hoodies). Being a themed event, there will be a costume contest, so bring your finest Viking garb.

Several New Mexico breweries will be in attendance to satisfy your thirst, and wine will also be available. For $15, you get a souvenir glass, unlimited tastings, and a pint of your favorite beer. Pints will also be available for purchase (cash only, please). Bring your ID! The beer portion of the event will begin at noon and run until 5 p.m.

Stoutmeister has been hard at work putting together beer lists for the attending breweries, and so far most have responded. Hopefully we hear back from the last three breweries before the festival begins.

  • Bathtub Row: Hoppenheimer IPA, Kritical Kolsch, Flat Cap Brown
  • Blue Corn: Apparition Pale Coffee Ale, Saison aged with Brett, Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Ginger Braggot
  • Bosque: Elephants on Parade, Oktoberfest, Pistol Pete’s 1888 Blonde Ale, Bosque IPA
  • UPDATED–> Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Ambear, Chocolate Milk Stout, Pineapple Upside Down Beer, Cider
  • La Cumbre: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, IPA, Pilsner, Marblefest (making its debut!)
  • Red Door: Blackberry Hefeweizen, White AF IPA, Roamer Red, Oktoberfest
  • Santa Fe: Santa Fe Gold, 7K IPA, Happy Camper IPA, Nut Brown
  • Second Street: Fulcrum IPA, Atalaya Altbier, LVL Stout, Summer Rain Sour, Double X ESB, Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: Mosaic IPA, Black Widow Porter, Kolsch 45, Great Scot Scottish
  • The 377: TBA

There are numerous other fun events planned for the day:

  • Disc Golf tournament begins at 10 a.m. at the Lodge; entry is $20. There are Pro/Advanced/Novice/Female Divisions. Cash payout for top three players in each division.
  • STRAVA self-timed downhill mountain bike race (download the app and time your run as many times as you want, prizes for the best time at the end of the day). This event is free.
  • Pajarito Poker Run mountain bike ride (pick a card as you board the lift each time, take any run you want, best two hands at the end of the day wins a prize). This event is also free.
  • NEW THIS YEAR: Downhill Mountain Bike Rentals and free lessons all weekend.
  • Lift Served Biking and Hiking 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

On top of that, there will be some great music provided by Bronach and Felix y Los Gatos.  The cafeteria will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to soak up the beer.

As usual, a shuttle will run between Sullivan Field (adjacent to Los Alamos High School) and the ski area every 30 minutes, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also, shuttle service will be available to the White Rock Visitor Center. Call 661-RIDE (7433) to arrange that service.

Cheers!

— Reid

El Jugo, a beer so good even Stoutmeister’s hop-fearing relatives were enjoying it!

As this is the season of the zenith in hop dominance in our fair land, Brandon and I, Franz Solo, took it upon ourselves to seek out new hops and new hopilizations. We boldly went … (cue Beastie Boys’ Sabotage while tooling along in a fire apple red Trans Am circa 1970 with T-Tops) to the edge of hops and back, and what follows is our tale — The Tale of Sir Hopsilot.

We began our quest in the fair lands of La Cumbre, where we found the juices flowing with the freshest of batches of El Jugo and the hop maidens well …

La Cumbre El Jugo

Franz Solo: Aroma of orange and citrus juice, with a hair of Simcoe. Tastes just like the name says, Jugo, juice. That makes me think about breakfast, and well, this is an excellent breakfast beer. Light mouthfeel and quite tart. Floral and refreshing. Name a common tropical or semi-tropical fruit and you could quite well make the argument for finding a little of this flavor, a little of that flavor, and so on and so forth. This isn’t quite one style nor another established style, we’ve gone out on our own, pure gonzo hops, er … maybe you could just shove me into … Madness. Well, crisp fresh as hell hop madness that is.

I dig it, not really New England not really NM, doing what it wants according to the whims of the great magnet.

These come in four packs, so I had a second chance, and third, and fourth to pontificate the luscious and well juicy …

Second go-round: Still juicy, sweet then tart as the name and label suggest. Even after a Stone Ruinten, I can still taste the layers of pithy citrus flesh hops of this magnificent fresh offering to the hop gods. Somewhere between the Elevated and the Dank and the Nelson twins (Father and Full) is where the theme of this beer lies. Fresh and filled with life like a summer morning, the color of the marigolds on my back patio, both French and African varieties transfigured from the apprehension of color into the sense of taste, with vigorous young and a lively passion. That is what this tastes like to me.

Brandon’s notes: El Good-o … er, El Jugo, is a beer that could convert my previous bias against this style. Pleasantly fragrant, citrus notes of lemon and a mild floral bouquet, not dank or pungent, but still lets you know it has hops. The palate is, as Franz said and the name implies, juicy. A fresh squeezed glass o’ goodness. Could be part of a balanced breakfast in my house. Drinks easily, light malt base makes for an easy drinking and surprisingly clean finishing beer for this variety of beer.

From the fair lands of La Cumbre we headed north to the mountains of old Santa Fe, where we found an IPA on the very peaks of old Baldy where the elk do dwell. Of the 7k, this is our summation.

Santa Fe 7k

Just looking at 7K you can almost smell that beautiful aroma through your screen.

Franz Solo: On to being so high right now … er, 7k to be precise. Sweet orange tangerine with some dank overtones, and undertones/throughtones/betweentones, and so on and so forth. A little berry and a hint of pine to finish the aroma and flavor both. Flavor is crisp and carries back with a hair of sweet orange grapefruit, mid to front, that permeates the onslaught. A bit of lemon or some sourish lemongrass punctuate this splendid new unique addition to the ranks of such venerated offerings as (in no particular order) La Cumbre’s Elevated, Tractor’s Almanac, and Marble’s IPA as year-round hop offerings readily accessible to us in the Duke City. Initial aroma is like a mango peach, second can in. There are some very nice cannabis-esque notes smack in the middle of this delight. Very bright beer that has an abundance of hop character, yet remains quite quaffable. This takes me back to the summertime in the mountains around Santa Fe, circa the early 2000s, quaffing some of those first groundbreaking IPAs after a hard day of work. Grab a sixer of this and climb up Mount Atalaya or Santa Fe Baldy and take some 7k even higher.

Brandon’s notes: Let’s get down to brass tacks — how much for all of the 7k available? Because I wish to drink it all. This has to win a special award just for its aromatics, because those slight lemongrass, pineapple, and floral notes are outstanding. The body is pure grapefruit, pineapple, and some mango punch as well. Finishes extra clean, crisp, and a subtle malt base gives a good backing. SFBC crafted an excellent IPA here.

From the mountains of old Santa Fe, our quest took us east to the haven of the Dogfish, where strange brewings are known to occur.

Dogfish Head Romantic Chemistry

Weird? Well, yeah, it’s a Dogfish Head beer.

Franz Solo: Like 60-minute with an apricot nose, peach, and just a hint of ginger. For a sessionable East Coast variant, this ain’t half bad. At least the fruit is not cloying, but I’d like a more prominent showing from some of my favorite things. Fond memories from childhood of my maternal grandfather’s apricot trees in the summer, when we’d run around in the sprinklers, which were fed off the well he dug himself in the North Valley. The mango does blend extremely well with the apricot, I must say, and the light kick of ginger finishes with a nice bright flourish. It’s no doubt the Burqueno in me wants to take this beer and increase basically every flavor present by a factor of three or more. Overall, an interesting and tasty experience.

From the Atlantic, we headed to the Pacific to find the great Gargoyle of Stone Brewing, legendary beast of the grand mosh pit of hops, to see what offering he had in store for us.

Stone Ruinten with Orange Peel and Vanilla Bean

Zing! Pow! Stone, you have done it again.

Franz Solo: Smells like a sweet, hoppy dreamsicle. Loads of slightly bitter orange rind gives way to the veritable mosh pit of good old bitter hops that are the signature of the behemoth, and are wrapped in sweet vanilla, which punctuates the afterburners. I do mean afterburners like the afterglow … er … a plethora of tangy citrus and pine woven in a tapestry of sweet black vanilla. As one who enjoyed first Stone IPA, then Ruination, and at last Ruinten in the early 2000s, this is somewhat of a curveball, which I’m entirely sure will be a delight to some and a dreadful letdown to others. When they added orange and vanilla they went full on Crime and Punishment status (some of my favorite spicy-as-hell ales, check the archives if you want a more detailed description of the experience of each) and, well, I definitely enjoy a dreamsicle, always have. As I delve deeper and slake my thirst on this scorcher of a day, ye olde mosh pit of hops starts to begin to resemble what I know lurks in these golden depths. The deception of this beer when cold and after a half hour or so quite amuses me, actually. We have our old friend in what at first taste is a nice, sweet vanilla-hopped ale, but what emerges is a delightful and brutal bitter twist, like showing up for a blues band and getting some full on black metal blasted in your face in hop form. I dig this spicy, almost peppery orange pine odd fellow. Now for the rub. I as a person love strange and bold variations on a theme. Now, would I take this over a straight on Ruinten? Well, depends on the day, really. Some will agree, some disagree, but hell, variety maketh life worth living, and I’m maybe a little inspired to make some damn crazy sounding and tasting beers of my own, drinking in the vein of this year’s locally available Ruinten. If you want something familiar, have a 505 staple local IPA. You want to buy the ticket, take the ride, and go on a taste adventure, then have at you!

Brandon’s notes: I’ve become acclimated to the past editions of Ruinten, so having a variant with orange peel and vanilla bean was slightly jarring. At first, the aroma is all zest, pine, and subtle grapefruit … not bad so far. But, upon the first few sips, I felt the need to punch drywall; all I got initially was heavy, bitter orange peel, some Northwestern earthy/pine notes, and a touch of lime zest as well. This has always been a beer that punches you hard with a ton of IBUs, but my initial impressions weren’t favorable. But, good things take time; as it opened up over about 10 to 15 minutes, the orange citrus and vanilla bean notes popped a lot more. At this point, you will get more of an orange soda/vanilla float with an overload of hops experience. Doesn’t sound good? It actually is. Just remember to let it open in your glass and you will have a solid triple IPA experience.

* * * * *

We returned, at long last, to our homeland, where we found the following challengers to the throne of pure hops, the very Graal of hops for us, as it were.

Current local offerings are as follows:

Challenge IPA 3, Bosque

Don’t Call it a Comeback IPA, Bosque

Bear Knuckle IPA, Boxing Bear

(Forthcoming) TKO Triple IPA, Boxing Bear

Lucha Lupulin IPA, Canteen

Juiced Gondola Party, Quarter Celtic

Project El CuCuy DIPA, The 377 Brewery

Up north in Santa Fe:

Gatekeeper IPA, Blue Corn

#19 IPA, Second Street

We suggest you go out and enjoy these listed, and all the rest of the advancing IPAs from the grand duel of the IPA Challenge, for this foul year of our dark lord, 2017, and dance with the fair green hop dragon!

I entreat you all to relish in this time of the great jousting of hop-laden warhorses and explore not only our fair New Mexico, but the hops of the great beyond. May your palates be never overcome with bitterness, and your hop aromas ever divine, for this is the season of the great Graal of the Lupulin, and we the Knights of the Venerated Hops. Drink well of the hop bombs, and I’ll see you all at the finals of this year’s New Mexico IPA Challenge!

Skål!

— Franz Solo

Well, hello there new IPA.

It has been quite a while since Santa Fe Brewing, the largest brewery in the state by production, has introduced a new year-round beer. In fact, it was when Black IPA went from seasonal to regular, though in that case it was a long-standing beer loved by many. This time around, SFBC went with something new.

This past weekend marked the debut of 7K IPA, the new hop-forward brew named for the 7,000-foot-plus elevation of the city, county, and brewery. SFBC brewmaster Bert Boyce was kind enough to carve out a half-hour on Friday afternoon to sit down at the Albuquerque taproom to chat about the genesis of just why he felt it was time to roll out a new hop bomb into a lupulin-saturated market.

“We wanted to try to make something more modern,” Bert said. “So, we’ve been playing around with the seasonal IPAs — Western Bloc, Autonomous Collective, Hipster Union, and Snowflake. We’re playing around with some different methods, materials, et cetera. We’re just taking a more modern, aggressive IPA, but that’s still very much in our style. When I say our style, I do mean the Santa Fe style and my personal style are aligned on this. I’m not trying to beat anyone over the head. I want this to be super approachable, friendly, drinkable, but just have big aroma and flavor.

“You have to have an IPA to compete in this town. (Happy) Camper is great and it is what it is. It does it for a lot of people, but I felt like we needed to make a statement.”

So how does 7K stack up against its packaged IPA brethren from Bosque, Canteen, La Cumbre, Marble, Sierra Blanca, and Tractor?

“That’s always a very loaded question, because I don’t want to specifically position ourselves against anyone,” Bert said. “We’re trying to make the beer we want to drink. But, that said, I’m going to take the back road to that question. I really like the idea of what a Northeast IPA is supposed to be. I feel the execution is sorely lacking a lot of times. I do believe, in line with my personal preferences for as long as I’ve been in the industry, is that people really don’t want (overwhelming) bitterness. They want flavor and aroma, but they don’t want bitterness and they don’t want aggressive astringency.”

That does seem to be true locally. The days of the IPA Challenge being so hop-heavy that the entries could peel the paint off the walls has been replaced by more balanced, more nuanced IPAs. Heck, that one style that so many beer geeks seem to love has become so prominent locally that it seems as though every brewery has one on tap now.

“That’s the whole juicy IPA phenomenon,” Bert said. “(But) how do you make that happen? It’s not easy. So we did it with a selection of (many) hop varieties and all of the other levers we had to make a beer that was super aromatic and yet super drinkable. I’m not trying to challenge anyone’s palate. You don’t have to like 100-plus IBUs to like this beer. So, I would say, given that, I’d say we’re less aggressive than Elevated. I love John (Bullard’s) beers, so I’d say it’s probably most similar to Bosque. There’s a little Eldo in there. From my palate, I think John uses a lot of Eldo, so I taste some similarities. I think it’s a little more substantial (in mouthfeel) than Marble. Better? Worse? Different? I don’t know. It’s just the beer that we arrived at after making all these other specialties for the last two years or so. (I told the staff) it’s time to make something year-round.”

I am hardly the IPA poet that Franz Solo is, but after downing a couple pints of 7K with Bert, I have to say he hit the nail on the head. His new baby begins with a powerful, yet inviting aroma, a veritable bouquet of fresh hops that draw you in. The beer that follows is flavorful without that overt bitterness. It is somehow smooth for an IPA, yet never loses its touch. There is a strong floral element that produces that mid-palate, in-mouth aroma sensation that gives you a moment of beer nirvana. The finish is clean, with mild sweetness and no bitter aftertaste. For an IPA, 7K is almost a pure hybrid of so many other styles, mixing the best elements of West Coast, East Coast, New England, and more. It feels like it has a heavy malt bill behind it without being heavy in the mouthfeel, if that makes any sense.

“To me, this is the fun in brewing, is tweaking people’s perceptions without changing the reality,” Bert said. “This beer is actually still incredibly dry, but we’ve done a couple things to get the perception that it still has some body. I was thinking about this this morning, I don’t know if it’s because I’m old and grumpy, but I want to drink multiple beers and enjoy them. I’m not into sipping anymore, I want to drink a beer. I think if you make it so substantial, oh, it tastes really good. But, how does it drink? I wanted to make a beer that drank well. Tweaking that perception of sweetness and a maltier body, while still not leaving you feel bloated, that’s where we’re taking a cue from the big guys. They’re not so dumb after all. They make a beer that still is drinkable.”

Though it is officially the first time 7K has hit taps and appeared in six-pack cans, SFBC was able to sneak it out in the market twice already to get some feedback.

“This is actually the third iteration, we just didn’t call the first two 7K,” Bert said. “We kind of snuck them out there. The feedback has been very positive. Usually it’s the aroma, like you said. I think we tweaked our methods enough to get a really strong aroma that is very inviting, but not menacing. That’s what we were going for. It’s big, it’s juicy, it’s fairly soft, well, I wouldn’t say soft, but on the softer side.”

Yeah, that about sums it up. A big thanks to Bert for taking the time to chat on a busy Friday. We look forward to enjoying plenty of 7K this summer and beyond.

We want to know what all of you think about 7K IPA. Leave us a message on our social media platforms or drop us an email at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. We expect a wide range of responses to this beer. Once we have several in hand, the rest of the Crew will share their impressions with you.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The Rail Yards, minus the smudge on the camera lens, will be hosting another beer festival.

A small beer festival, called simply the Tapping Party, is popping up this Saturday at The Rail Yards south of downtown, with a good cause behind the entire event. Craft for Causes, a non-profit, is teaming up with breweries nationwide to create special beers and raise money for charities. There is no entry charge, patrons only pay for the food and beer they choose to purchase.

All of it is tied into the Tedeschi Truck Band’s Wheels of Soul tour, which comes to the Sandia Casino Amphitheater on July 27. The five participating local breweries will each create a special beer for that concert, though anyone who wants to try them in advance can come to The Rail Yards from 5 to 9 p.m. It raises money for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates high-quality musical equipment for under-funded school programs across the country.

The five participating local breweries are La Cumbre, Marble, Palmer, Santa Fe, and Steel Bender. The special beers will be La Cumbre’s All That I Need, a dry-hopped kellerbier; Marble’s Wheels of Soul Pale Ale; Steel Bender’s Black (Hole Sun) IPA, which is a tribute to the late Chris Cornell; Santa Fe’s Altbier; and a TBA beer from Palmer. Left Turn Distilling will also be there as the lone distillery making a special Wheels of Soul spirit.

In addition to those, each brewery will have other beers available for purchase. This not a sampling event. La Cumbre is also bring El Jugo Pale Ale and Elevated IPA. Marble will also pour Pilsner, Double White, and Black Currant Gose. Steel Bender is also taking Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Red Iron Red, and Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse.

There will be live music from Red Light Cameras, ReVoZo, James Whiton, and DJ Gabe. There will be three food trucks present, tattoo artists, live shirt printing, and other vendors.

Got any questions? Ask away, or check the event’s Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The variety in beers is impressive this year!

As most of you should know by now, BearFest returns this Saturday, now at the Albuquerque Convention Center downtown. VIP entry is at 12:30 p.m., general admission is at 2 p.m., and it all runs until 6 p.m. General admission tickets are still available online and VIP tickets are still available at Boxing Bear.

Much like any other beer festival, the biggest question of all remains what brews will be available. Well, 15 of the 20 participating breweries sent us their lists, and if the other six get theirs to us, we will add them here right up until the doors open.

  • Ale Republic: TBA
  • Bathtub Row: TBA
  • Blue Corn: Ginger Braggot, Back to Cali Common, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Hefe, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Blonde Ale, EOP Fruited Wheat Ale, Grasping at Straws Extra Pale Ale, All the Rage IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, HairyMit Hefe, Ambear Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Apple Bear Cider, Chocolate Milk Stout, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner Wheat IPA, Guava Gose, New England IPA, plus maybe one more
  • Canteen: High Plains Pils, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Strawberry Basil Gose
  • Chama River: Kolsch, Maibock, Gose, IPA special
  • Dialogue: Biere de Mars, Berliner Weisse, BC IPA, Sour Rapsberry
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank IPA, Strwaberry Gose, Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, BEER
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, Cranberry Gose, Flower Digger Pale Ale
  • Nexus: TBA
  • Quarter Celtic: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Mangose, Blood Orange Hefe, Crimson Lass, Gondola Party Starter NE-style IPA
  • Santa Fe: Long Game IPA, Hefe’d Up, Nut Brown, Pale Ale, Freestyle Pilsner (cans), Happy Camper (cans)
  • Second Street: 2920 IPA, Eldorado IPA, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Summer Rain Raspberry Sour, 2920 Pils, Civil Rye
  • Starr Brothers: Starrgazm IPA, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Bloodshot
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, The Village Wit, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: Yum Yum Colada, Can’t Catch Me, Lil’ Shelly, Hopshell IPA, My Kolsche

That is a lot of beer to try. If you like the hazy, New England-style IPAs, you are in luck as Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic are all bring their editions. Fans of sours and goses are clearly in luck as well. We are quite excited to try some of the new beers from Blue Corn (Hella Humulus and Imperial Chocolate Porter) and Second Street (Red and Yellow Armadillo is delicious), plus we await whatever Bathtub Row and Taos Mesa will be bringing.

Now, if you are wondering where Rowley Farmhouse Ales went off to, do not fret. The difference between them and the rest is their jockey box only has two handles, so they will be rotating beers on the second handle every hour or so. The Citra dry-hopped Fields of Rye will occupy the first handle. Here is the second handle pouring schedule.

12:30-2 p.m.: Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose)
2-3 p.m.: Germophile (Berliner Weisse)
3-4 p.m.: Reinheitsgenot (Lime Kolsch)
4-5 p.m.: Ab Initio dry-hopped with Citra/Mosaic
5-6 p.m.: Ab Initio with apricot

So, yeah, pucker up, people! It is gonna be a heck of a day.

And, remember, yours truly will be signing copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, over at the NM Brewers Guild booth. It is only $20, cash preferred.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s time for the third edition of BearFest, only this time no one will get sunburned!

BearFest, the annual local-only craft beer festival hosted by Boxing Bear, returns for a third go-around this Saturday. The big change this year, besides pushing it back and away from ABQ Beer Week and Blues & Brews, is moving the fest out of the brewery parking lot to the Albuquerque Convention Center. Unless you are going to walk or bike to the event, leave the sunscreen at home!

The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. for general admission, with a special 90-minute VIP period before that starting at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $25 in advance and can be purchased online here. They will be $30 at the door. VIP tickets can only be purchased in advance for $40 at Boxing Bear, going up to $45 the day of at the Convention Center.

To get the full story behind the change, I sat down with Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton and general manager John Campi on Monday afternoon.

“A good thing for us will be that this has been a rain-or-shine event the previous two years and it almost got rained out the first year, we’re going to have a good attendance and a good time, either way,” Justin said. “That’s going to be one of the first things that’s a plus for us. But, I think that as far as what we’ve done in the past that we’re going to continue, and we’re going to expand on a few different things. We have 20 breweries, we have three wineries and two distilleries.”

The breweries, in alphabetical order, are Ale Republic, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Dialogue, Flix Brewhouse, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Quarter Celtic, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, Second Street, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Taos Mesa, and Turtle Mountain. The wineries are Black Mesa, New Mexico Hard Cider, and St. Clair, while Left Turn and Santa Fe Spirits are the distilleries on hand.

As John noted, the entire event is “100 percent local to New Mexico.”

“Yes, that’s another thing we really want to push here is that this is an absolute local event,” Justin added. “There’s no outside distributors. There’s no random (anything). This will all be from New Mexico, beers and vendors. It will be nice to share some of the other breweries that a lot of folks haven’t been up to see, (like) Bathtub Row and Rowley Farmhouse Ales, a lot of these guys are definitely part of that brewing community that a lot of the Albuquerque scene doesn’t get out to get and see.”

The vendors on hand will all be local as well, ranging from New Mexico Flameworks to Metal The Brand to YogaZo to Mother Road Mobile Canning. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will have a booth, of course, and a certain local author will also be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, for $20 apiece (no, I will never stop with the shameless self promotion at this point).

Gamers Anonymous will have a booth as well, with video games for patrons to play, ranging from Street Fighter to GoldenEye to Mario Kart and more. Unlike last year, when it seemed like the chairs were half in the sun all day, it will all be inside and air conditioned. There will also be a cornhole tournament thanks to the owner of The Local Brewhouse, who donated his boards for the day.

There will be a charity that will benefit from the event as well.

“This is a benefit for the Animal Humane Society,” John said. “Animal Humane will be split into two sections. They’ll have a little adoption booth, if possible with actual, live puppies there. Then we’re going to have a booth set up with a little game (washer toss) and people will pay a dollar or so. That money will go directly to Animal Humane. They can win a prize, and I think every brewery is going to pitch in a shirt or a hat or something.”

Local bands will include Isaac Aragon during the VIP-only time (12:30-2 p.m.) and Pawn Shop Poster Boys after that. Another band is also expected to be announced soon.

“That and it will be nice that our music will have an actual audio guy this year,” Justin said. “Last year we were leaving it up to the bands, which isn’t a problem as far as the audio itself goes, but as far as the setup of the audio we hope to have seamless music throughout the event. Last year we had these breaks between our VIP and our start. We want people to be able to hear music (as they come in).”

The beer, though, is the biggest draw. The Crew should have full lists for all attending breweries no later than Thursday, but a few special beers of note have already been listed by Boxing Bear on Facebook.

  • Blue Corn, thankfully, goes to the dark side with Imperial Chocolate Porter.
  • Bosque is expected to bring a new variant in their Elephants on Parade specialty series.
  • Canteen will debut their Strawberry Basil Gose and bring back Tuttle IPA, a hazy New England-style hop bomb.
  • La Cumbre is bring Strawberry Gose and the latest batch of Project Dank.
  • Marble counters with a Cranberry Gose. Yes, there is a gose theme here.
  • Quarter Celtic has Mangose (yup, theme) and a new Blood Orange Hefeweizen.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales is bringing six beers, each of which will be served at special times (see our next story Thursday for that serving schedule).
  • Second Street will tap Summer Rain Raspberry Sour.
  • Starr Brothers is brewing a special batch of Starrgasm IPA just for the festival.
  • Turtle Mountain will have Yum Yum Colada and Lil Shelly Pale Ale.

Unlike other festivals, this is not an unlimited sampling event. VIP and general admission both get four 4-ounce samples and one full pint for free. Additional samples and/or pints can be purchased from the breweries.

“Most breweries, we kind of leave it up to them if they want people to purchase a sample or not,” Justin said. “Last year, just about every brewery was up for it, so my guess that will probably be the thing. Every now and then you’ll see a beer where if it’s a high-end beer or if it’s in a bottle, it’s just not going to be available for sample, which is understandable. I would say almost everything is going to be available for sample and purchase. We definitely don’t want to limit on what people are able to try, but what we want to do is not just turn it into a free-for-all.”

While bigger packaging breweries can often write off free samples as a marketing expense, that is almost impossible for the smaller brewpubs. This helps the breweries not feel as if they are giving away nothing but free beer.

“It’s one of those things where if we put multiple good breweries into a caravan (and) not only show them a good time, but if they get a little something back, they’re going to consistently show up every year for us,” Justin said. “That way we always get the best local breweries showing up consistently every year, which is great for the consumers. That was the original BearFest idea was going for, it’s for the patrons, it’s for the breweries, and it’s for everyone in between.”

Putting BearFest in a more convenient location is another way for Boxing Bear to give back to the patrons and attending businesses.

“It will also be in a nice central location, which is another good part about the Convention Center,” Justin said. “Other than competing with other festivals that were going on, it’s hard getting people to come across the river for anything. It will be right in downtown where people know, with quick access to (two freeways). Uber and Lyft, no matter where you are in the city, it will be probably be pretty affordable, and we always encourage that.”

For those looking to bike over, take note of your options in the area.

“Last year we did a bike valet,” John said. “We were unable to get that this year. The valet company had a prior event. However, there is still ample bike parking. Right now the Plaza is under construction and they have Third (Street) blocked off on both ends, but the Plaza is actually gated off because they’re doing the Shakespeare events with bike racks. There’s hundreds of spots over there.”

The Crew always encourages everyone to travel safely and responsibly to and from beer festivals.

We will have those full beer lists on Thursday. After that, we will see you at BearFest!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Congrats to Tractor for winning gold for Farmers Tan Red!

The results of the 2017 North American Beer Awards arrived today and five New Mexico breweries have combined to win eight medals.

Tractor Brewing won two gold medals, with Berry Cider taking the top prize in the Fruit Flavored Cider category. Farmers Tan Red Ale earned top marks in the Scottish-Style Light, Heavy and Export category.

Santa Fe Brewing brought home a gold for Happy Camper in the English-Style IPA category. It also earned a bronze in the English-Style Old Ale category for Chicken Killer Barleywine.

Dialogue Brewing earned a silver for Biere De Mars Attacks in the Biere de Garde category. The Berliner Weisse snagged a bronze in the Continental-Style Wheat Ale category.

Boxing Bear nabbed a bronze in one of the toughest categories, American-Style IPA, for Uppercut IPA.

Flix Brewhouse also picked up a bronze in the Belgian-Style Wit category for Luna Rosa (misspelled Luna Mosa on the awards list).

Congratulations to all the breweries! We will follow up with them next week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Day Three will show you no mercy, but it will show you plenty of fun.

After Friday’s events, we can understand if some of you want to take it easy today.

Beer Week, though, has no concept of mercy, because it’s gonna be a big one. The 505 Collaboration beer is releasing all over town, O’Niell’s is throwing a Beer Olympics, Santa Fe is having a party, Rio Bravo is having a music festival, the Hash House Harriers are running amok, there’s food pairings everywhere … back on your feet, people!

There is fun to be had.

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: Beer Olympics. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 1-5 p.m. Cost: $10 per player.

Details: I stopped by O’Niell’s a while back to ask them about this fun-looking event. Basically it involves teams of four people, each with a special skill to win one of four events. There will be trivia, so take your most knowledgeable beer geek friend. There’s cornhole, and we’re sure you have that one friend who just dominates that game. There’s an obstacle course, which will be similar to bussing tables, so take your friend with the most server experience. Finally, there will be a mini-keg toss, so take your friend who’s either from Scotland or just spends a lot of time at the gym. There will also be beer specials from four Colorado breweries — Boulder Beer, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.

Why you should go: Sure, you can just sit around and drink beer all day, but why not put your talents to use in a better way? (And still drink beer while doing it.)

All the other great events

What: Candemonium Charcuterie with Upslope. Where: M’tucci’s Italian. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop by and get cans of different Upslope beers paired with different charcuterie offerings. This is an all-day event. Why you should go: Fuel up before everything else starts.

What: Odell Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale shall be tapped and there will also be pint glass giveaways. Why you should go: Holy hops bless you to start the day.

What: Santa Fe Brewing ABQ Beer Week Bash. Where: Green Jeans Farmery. When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: All of Green Jeans will be permitted, so grab your beer and wander about, but the biggest party is on the SFBC rooftop deck where Chef Marie Yniguez of Bocadillos will be overseeing a cookout. There will be live music from Eugene (5-7 p.m.) and Garry Martin Beasley (8-10 p.m.), with lots of special tappings and giveaways. Watermelon Mountain Ranch will also be on hand looking for good homes for rescued pets. Why you should go: Feast, dance, drink, and maybe even find a new best friend.

What: 505 Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Bosque, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, La Cumbre, Marble, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Red Door, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Tractor. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual release of this Brewers Guild benefit beer is upon us! A team of ABQ brewers got together at Steel Bender last month to create a Golden Strong (8.74% ABV, 25 IBU) that will rock your world. Why you should go: Celebrate collaboration and help raise funds for the Guild.

What: Passing the Torch Festival. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 1-7 p.m. Cost: $12 for adults, $8 for ages 12 and under. Details: The RBBC patio will become a music fest as The Big Spank, Keith Sanchez and the Moon Thieves, Red Light Cameras, and Le Chat Lunatique perform. There will be food trucks, live art, craft vendors, a kids tent, and more. It all benefits the NMARB youth music program. Why you should go: Support local music, both what’s here now and the talent coming up through the pipeline.

What: Pig Roast and Marble Special Tapping. Where: Freight House. When: 1-10 p.m. Cost: $15 per person. Details: Head up to Bernalillo and enjoy a whole pig roast, with Marble providing a special keg of a one-of-a-kind beer. Why you should go: Explore the mystery of the beer and feast.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 2-4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample a slew of new Founders beers, including Doom, a barrel-aged imperial IPA. There’s also a chance to enter a giveaway for a counter-top grill. Why you should go: Free beer! Free stuff!

What: Hash House Harriers Brewery Run/Walk. Where: Canteen Brewhouse (starting point). When: 2-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Join our friends Matt and Dana (of Babes in Brewland fame) as they lead the HHH team and folks of all running/walking skill levels on a 5-kilometer trek to breweries starting at the Canteen on Aztec. Why you should go: Get some exercise with your beer today, just remember to wear lots of sunscreen.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 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: Family Style Dinner featuring Upslope. Where: Eclectic Urban Pizzeria and Tap House. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $25 per person. Details: Get a full meal of delicious food paired with Upslope beers. There will be live music by Anna Rudolph. Why you should go: It’s not like you actually want to make dinner tonight, right?

What: Mother Road and Tractor Collaboration tapping with Le Chat Lunatique. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The two breweries made two beers, an Altbier and a Double IPA, and now we all get to enjoy them while grooving along to some gypsy jazz. Why you should go: Great music and new beers to try.

* * * * *

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