Posts Tagged ‘Second Street Brewing’

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Hey, remember when we thought last weekend was busy? Ha! It has nothing on this weekend. No, seriously, you all need to start planning now, because there is a lot going on around town and beyond the ABQ city limits. First up, we have a double dose of brewery anniversary parties at Dialogue and Kaktus. For the former, Grasstoberfest is the name of Dialogue’s second anniversary bash, which will take place Saturday from 2 to 10 p.m. There will be live music all day, plus games, food, local art, axe throwing, and Roadrunner Food Bank will have a food drive going, so please bring a donation of a non-perishable food item in any contained except glass. Up in Bernalillo, Kaktus is spreading its five-year anniversary party over Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost just $5 and get you a silver-plated anniversary pint glass. There will be live music on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m., plus food and beer specials. For Sunday, the Blues Jam takes over at 3 and the Desert Darlings take the stage for a special “Dripping in Gold” performance at 6. There will be special vendors on hand both days.

That, however, is not the entirety of the big events. Santa Fe Brewing is throwing its annual OktoberFiesta from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday at The Bridge, which is next to the brewery off I-25. There will be all sorts of outdoor fun and games from noon to 6, followed by live music inside from 6 to 10. There will be giant mugs of beer, all-you-can-eat sausages, and it all benefits several area charities. Of course, not to be left out, Second Street is throwing a three-day Oktoberfest food celebration at all three of its locations. Check the Rufina Facebook page for all of the delicious dining options to go along with copious amounts of beer. Of course, some would say it is a little late for an Oktoberfest, and that we should all be switching our focus to Halloween. Well, the Desert Darlings will also be at Tractor Wells Park this Friday night at 8 for Hops & Dreams: The Addams Family Edition, so you know that will be a blast. You can also trek out to Sierra Blanca for a Halloween Party on Saturday from 2 to 7 p.m., with a costume contest, games for kids and adults, food, live music, and more. All the staff asks is that you bring a non-perishable food item for donation to charity, and that will get you in the door.

Good luck getting through all of it! (And if we missed anything major, please let us know.)

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Boese Brothers brings back an old favorite in Double Dead Red. Bombs Away drops more Stockpile Milk Stout, plus A.S.B., an American twist on an English ESB. Boxing Bear goes double for its new Brut Strength DIPA. Canteen has a fresh batch of Irish Red ready to go. Kaktus turns over pretty much the entire lineup with Bourbon Ginger Beer, Pumpkin Schwarz, Innkeepers Nitro Ale, Helles Lager, and Oktoberfest now on tap. La Cumbre brings back a seasonal favorite in Witch’s Tit, while also adding Gracias Por Fumar, Honey Cream Ale, and Citra SMASH IPA on tap, and El Jugo cans are back on Friday. Marble brings back Cuvee Rouge today on tap and in bottles at all three locations, with a food pairing from Oni Noodles, plus it also has This is How We Brut It! available on tap. Red Door unveils Solo Saison, made with smoked pumpkin, on Friday. Sidetrack has more 3:10 to Belen Brown available. Starr Brothers visits Planet of the Ape-rricots, with Jack Tooth Grin on deck. The 377 rolls out Whiskey Strawberry Sour and Pumpkin Porter on Thursday. Toltec also gets in on the pumpkin theme with Basic Gourd on Thursday.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn finally has its Brut IPA on tap. Second Street brings back one of our personal favorites, Preacher’s Share, an epic, barrel-aged imperial stout.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 15.

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The Crew was represented at the NM Brew Fest by, from left, Andrew, Reid, and AmyO.

Well, that was quite the weekend. Of all the Crew, I may have done the least craft beer drinking, which is quite weird. Hey, I am single and do not have a kid, but I also have a screwy work schedule and missed the ninth annual New Mexico Brew Fest. Boo.

Anyway, I did get around a little bit. My quest to try all the local Oktoberfest-style beers continued with stops at Ponderosa (quite good, quite traditional) and Bow & Arrow (also quite good, but a little more bready and dry). I also found some of the last remaining cans of Steel Bender’s OktoberFiesta at Jubilation when I was sent on a beer run for a post-NMBF party.

Then the weather changed and it became stout season. That is a story for next week, however.

Here are the rest of the Crew’s weekend adventures. Let’s just say they all had a lot of fun, and a lot of beers, and everyone survived to tell the tales.

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There is no such thing as too much food at Steel Bender, apparently.

Of all the Crew, I (Stoutmeister) am the only one who does not get a true weekend. Well, sometimes Brandon works, too, but I am guaranteed to work every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday without a vacation-time request, which often limits my excursions to breweries and bars (heck, sometimes I get so tired I just open something at home and drift away, hopefully without spilling anything; being 40 does kinda suck sometimes).

Thus, when I chime in for the Weekend Beer-cap, my adventures date back to my actual days off, Wednesday and Thursday. I made sure to stay busy this past week, too. After a stop by Red Door for an interview, I hit up Tractor Wells Park for a delightful pour of Oktoberfest. It is just as smooth and lightly sweet as I remember. Later that day, I hit up High and Dry for the first time in a while, through no fault of theirs, but I wanted to make sure to stop by for the start of Second Street Brewery’s “residency” as the guest brewery of the month. It is quite the cool concept for High and Dry, and gives a brewery like Second Street a chance to show off its beers to the many folks who think Santa Fe is just too far away, even for beer. I enjoyed a tasty Vienna Lager, while my friend Kristen was quite into the Boneshaker Bitter.

The next day I did the impossible, which is to get my dear sainted mother out to a brewery not named Canteen (she has a serious love for the Irish Red, as I have mentioned before). Yes, dad and I got her to Steel Bender for some OktoberFiesta and a big old mountain of food. The pairings were delightful — she went with the grilled chicken, I stuck with the tried-and-true pulled pork, dad went more traditional with a bratwurst — and after my folks departed, I also made sure to snag some of the Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Big and burly, for sure, and one I would like to try again.

Oh, and I also had a couple beers at Chama River earlier that day. Wait, what?

Stay tuned for a (very) overdue update about what is going on with Chama and Kellys. We are also scheduled for a full sit-down interview with the owners and brewers of Cantero Brewing this week, and of course there is this little thing coming up next week called the Great American Beer Festival. Expect blowout coverage of that, too.

No rest for the wicked, right? Here are the rest of the Crew’s adventures over the actual weekend.

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Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Man, there is so much to cover again this week, what shall be the lead? Well, if you have been following us for the past six-plus years … OF COURSE IT’S THE METAL SHOW. Yes, metal is back at a brewery, only this time it is up in Santa Fe at Tumbleroot’s location on Agua Fria. This special Black Metal Takeover on Monday opens at 7:30, with tickets costing a measly $10. That gets you in to see Santa Fe’s own malevolent masters of metal, Dysphotic, as well as the new local group, Heretical Sect, featuring members of Superstition and ex-Predatory Light. Two traveling bands will also be on hand, with both hailing from the frozen wasteland, er, picturesque Midwestern state of Minnesota. Ashbringer and Amiensus are coming a long way to melt some faces, so make sure to load up your crew and head to Santa Fe for this epic set. Plus, it is a perfectly good excuse to finally try Tumbleroot if you have not been there yet.

As we noted, that is hardly the only big event this weekend. High and Dry is hosting Second Street as its guest brewery of the month, and there will be a special launch party tonight. Today will also feature a special ticket party for Saturday’s Albuquerque Hopfest, hosted by Steel Bender. That fun kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday night will see the First Friday Artwalk in downtown ABQ, with Boese Brothers, Sidetrack, and the Duel taproom all participating with art shows and live music. Saturday will of course feature Hopfest taking over the Isleta Casino, and we will have a full preview of that later this week. Finally, Sunday will see the new Crafts, Crops & Hops Autumn Beer Market at Canteen from noon to 7, with live green chile roasting, live music, multiple vendors, and, of course, delicious beer. No rest for the wicked this week, people.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bow & Arrow is releasing Peach Cosmic Arrow on tap and in bottles on Saturday. Boxing Bear sticks with its haze phase with MurkQueño Hazy IPA going on tap this Friday. Canteen brings back Raspberry Wheat and Fill in the Blanco (White IPA). Dialogue has a trio of newbies in What’s Golden Ale, Strazberry Berliner, and Young Guns Dank Wet Hop IPA. Kilt Check resurrects two old favorites in Covfefe Hefe and McRojo or No?. La Cumbre rolls out Quick and Easy Pale Ale, plus that delicious Dortmunder is on at both taprooms now. Marble added more Desert Fog, plus the Eastside IPA is now on tap. Sidetrack has more CO-MO IPA to keep everyone happy. Steel Bender goes big with the double release of Black (Hole Sun) IPA and OktoberFiesta on Thursday. The 377 should have more Ginger Beer and its Oktoberfest on tap by Friday. Toltec added a Mojito Kettle Sour a little while ago, and Dr. Rudi Single Hop should be out today. Tractor tapped this year’s batch of Traktoberfest on Tuesday, so get it while it’s fresh. Turtle Mountain has Tropical Menagerie and Macaulay Kolschin ready to go as soon as a couple taps open up, which should be this week.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn lightens up with some Covhefe.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 3.

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Proper glassware, Pfriem, TRVE, CAH, and … yeah, not sure what the frypan was doing there, but you can blame our insatiable need for bacon.

Welcome back to this weekly feature, which got skipped last week due to a deadly combination of not enough people sending in items, and too many other stories clogging up the queue.

This past weekend, however, was a lot more jam-packed with beer-related fun for most of us. Huzzah to that! For me (Stoutmeister), it was a chance to catch up with friends in the film industry who actually got a weekend off. There were beers to be consumed, ridiculous food to eat, and, naturally, a round of Cards Against Humanity was in the, um, cards.

On the beer front, folks cleaned out some oldies but goodies. We had beers from Trinity Brewing (Colorado Springs), TRVE Brewing (Denver), pre-evil-empire Wicked Weed (Asheville, NC), Pfriem (Hood River, OR), and one lunatic stout known as the Truffledome from California. For a few other beers, we did a little mixology. Using Santa Fe’s Chicken Killer as a base, we tested it out with some Oak Aged Vanilla Worldwide Stout from Dogfish Head, and the blend was a beauty, as it took away some of the CK burn as well as keeping the Worldwide from being overly sweet. Hey, if the folks at the SFBC taprooms can make some mixes, we can, too.

Now to the rest of the Crew’s weekend adventures … (more…)

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Rich Headley, and his epic goatee, pours us a cold one.

Back in June, even we were feeling the sweltering heat all the way up here in Santa Fe, it was hard to escape the slow simmer of city life even in the Sangres. And, when it gets too hot in the city, us Santa Feans just gotta get out of town. Well, one Wednesday, I did just that. I headed down Highway 14, passing Tumbleroot’s new brewing/distilling/taproom on my left, and Santa Fe Brewing Company’s main complex on my right.

And, vowing not to pick up any hitchhikers, as requested by the signs preceding the state pen, that is, unless they showed the right amount of leg — with my windows rolled down, Iron Maiden screaming across the Bluetooth, I breezed down the two-lane road with a cool sense of freedom. I was getting out of town, and loving the gorgeous, greenish landscape that sprawled out before me.

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Dat vista, tho.

Before I knew it, and I truly mean that, I was there, missing the turn. It was exactly across the road from the Shell Station and Lone Butte General Store. How had I gotten here in 17 minutes from the middle of town? When I’d lived in Albuquerque, last year, it was 30 minutes to anywhere from my corner of the grid. But, here I was at 3810 State Highway 14 N, the exact location of Beer Creek Brewing Company. (For the reader who keeps calling me out on not giving exact addresses. You are not forgotten, ma’am.) (more…)

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That’s one sexy lineup, Second Street.

Since Second Street opened a third location on Rufina Street in 2017, their second brewing facility has acted as a testing-ground for the Rufina location flagship beers and what would be future Second Street can offerings. Back when I spoke with President/Brewmaster Rod Tweet for the Look Back/Look Ahead Series article for 2017-18, they were looking at releasing cans during the second quarter of 2018.

Well, here we are somewhere in the middle of the third, but, as promised, Second Street is currently labeling their cans and shipping them off to stores near you. That’s right, Second Street has cans at last! Again. Well, this time from their own canning line. And this time, for good. You might remember the short run with Mother Road Mobile Canning. Well, Second Street is doing its own thing now, and Dark Side’s got the scoop for you.

As La Cumbre, Marble, Santa Fe Brewing, Bosque, Canteen, Rio Bravo, etc., all well know, packaged goods are just another product on a shelf without a bold, eye-catching, and ultimately memorable design. The brewers work hard to put something excellent in cans and bottles that consumers can bring home from the store, but the brewery’s job is not finished there. The package has to hold its own against hundreds of other designs, especially to folks who don’t already know what they’re looking for, and indeed are judging a book by its cover. For example, Santa Fe Brewing and Marble have both majorly overhauled their packaging to ensure that what they put out there on the shelves would 1) stand out to the public in an ever-shrinking market, and 2) represent their brand to the fullest potential with a certain stylistic cohesiveness, so the consumer can not only return to what they know and love, but also be confident in trying another can or bottle from the same company. (more…)

The spoils of the best airport gift store in the world, which is naturally in Portland, Oregon.

What do you get when you mix a few procrastinators (AmyO excluded) and have them write a story together? Well, you get this weekly feature at night, that’s what you get.

Anyway, the Crew has been a bit scattered of late, with me (Stoutmeister) in Oregon and the others running amok all over New Mexico for various reasons. I have returned, and yes, I brought back a few goodies from Portland, though not quite in the normal way. Rather than borrow a hard-sided suitcase for my trip in which to store bottles/cans for the flight home, I took my old soft-sided bag. Even with copious amounts of bubble wrap, I wasn’t going to risk beer, or my clothes, for the trip home. So I forlornly traveled into the airport after checking my bag and … wait, what’s this? Beer bottles and cans for sale inside the airport?!

Bless you, Oregon liquor laws. Or just whatever genius moment occurred at a place called “Made in Oregon” that enabled someone to think, “Hey, would should sell some of our amazing craft beer at reasonable prices to travelers who still have room in the carry-ons!” And thus, I was able to stuff my backpack with four bombers — a barrel-aged barleywine from Buoy (Astoria), an imperial IPA from Gigantic (Portland), a pilsner from pFriem (Hood River), an export stout from Pelican (Pacific City) — and bring them home to New Mexico. There may not have been the biggest of the big beers there (sniff, no Great Notion), but it was a solid and varied selection (yes, there were Cascade sours) at about the same price one would pay at a brewery or liquor store.

Let us just imagine weary travelers being able to purchase some Elevated IPA to take back to New York, or Double White to Chicago, or Scotia to San Francisco, or Mustachio Milk Stout to Seattle, or … well, you get the point. Unless it is completely forbidden by state law, some enterprising soul should sell our best craft beers behind the TSA security check at the Sunport. Let’s start exporting New Mexico around the country and beyond!

After that, I wolfed down a Hopworks Pilsner and some chicken-infused mac-n-cheese at the Henry’s Tavern inside the airport, and I finally returned home. As for the rest of the Crew that was “stuck” here over the weekend, here are a couple of their reports.

Trekking to the City Different

After taking the Rail Runner to Santa Fe, if your first stop isn’t Second Street Railyards, you’re not doing it right.

This past Saturday afternoon we took the Railrunner from Los Ranchos to Santa Fe. The weather was perfect for strolling about town. It was mostly cloudy with a few light sprinkles, but not enough rain to interfere with any outdoor plans.

As per usual when we take the train up there, the first stop was Second Street at the Railyards. My pint of choice was a Rod’s Best Bitter.

We wandered around a bit and decided to call upon Desert Dogs Brewery and Cidery just off the plaza at 112 W. San Francisco. It was our first time there. It’s a nice, bright, and open space with a mini patio overlooking the street below. They have pool and shuffleboard as well as a good selection of beers and ciders. I had a mango cider that was quite tasty.

— AmyO

Someone let Luke name a real beer

Meet La Marcha Wedding Lager at Blue Corn. Yeah, Luke really got to name it.

This weekend my beer adventures took me to Second Street for their brand new can release. I won’t get into detail about them, as I have the full story for you coming today or tomorrow. On a separate beer adventure, one of the beers that happened to be on tap this past weekend at Blue Corn Brewery was La Marcha Wedding Lager. It’s an excellent crisp and refreshing lager, fish-bowl clear like an un-tinted vehicle driving through Espanola. This is an all-around solid lager that definitely makes for a great easy-drinking porch beer. And, as an added bonus, brewers Paul Mallory and Andy Lane were nice enough to let me name this one. To say that I have a large Hispanic family is an understatement, and I know that it’s pretty rare to have a Hispanic wedding without La Marcha. Hence, the name, and they did a great job. I’ll be back for a growler to satisfy my late-summer porch-drinking needs.

Cheers!

— Luke

Blue Corn’s Gatekeeper IPA is the overall leader at the NM IPA Challenge after two rounds.

OK, fine, I give up. Weekend Beer-cap will now be a Tuesday feature, not Monday. Turns out it can be hard for folks to get things together Sunday night, myself included.

It was quite the weekend. Franz Solo and I joined a group of beer-loving friends for another epic tasting and bottle share. We indulged in a seven-year vertical of Surly Darkness, a wonderful imperial stout from Minnesota. That was followed by many other beers. Many. So many. (Sunday at work was rough.)

Anyway, I could continue to brag about drinking a slew of beers not available in New Mexico, but instead I will let the rest of the Crew talk about their more local adventures.

Brunch brews at Devon’s Wood Fired Grill

Delicious food and a wide beer selection make Devon’s an eatery worth visiting.

Early Sunday afternoon, I satisfied my brunch needs at Devon’s Wood Fired Grill. We had a Crew dinner at Devon’s a few weeks back and I had an itch to return. Brunch was the perfect occasion. From Devon’s 32 New Mexico craft beer options, I selected La Cumbre’s fruit smoothie of an IPA, Guavarama. It’s subtle and refreshing fruitiness paired well with Pop’s Hash, a lighter breakfast dish consisting of veggies and potatoes topped with a poached egg (I managed to resist the red chile chorizo chilaquiles, but I’ll be back). Devon’s brunch runs from 10:30 a.m. To 2 p.m. on Sundays, and it’s worth checking out for dinner and/or drinks any night of the week.

— Andrew

Farewell to a friendly taproom

Some of the final pints at Monks’ Corner, which will close on July 31.

Four of us went to Monks’ Corner on Friday night to say goodbye to the taproom in the current space at Third and Silver. When we got there just before 6:30 p.m., there were a handful of customers. But, by the time the live music started just after 7, the place was completely full. It was a festive, if slightly woeful final visit for us. Two of us had the Dark Ale and two had the Dubbel Ale. I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous for the staff who may not have jobs for a while; but, they were still very professional, and service was good despite the size of the crowd. We will miss this taproom. Hopefully there are good things to come in the very near future for Monks’.

— AmyO

Hopping around Santa Fe

The haze craze has hit Santa Fe Brewing.

For my weekend recap, IPA was certainly the name of the game. It was the second leg of the IPA Challenge in Santa Fe, and I guess I just couldn’t get enough hops into my system. Thursday through Saturday, due to meetings, errands, and pal hangs, I put my taste buds through hop boot camp. Whether I was preparing them for Saturday’s competition or just pounding them into soapy submission, I got around to trying three of the IPA Challenge beers around town, very much on accident.

Santa Fe Brewing Company’s “Murky,” a bigger, likely more dry-hopped version of their Reluctant Hazy IPA, was an excellent beer. I’m not at all here to battle whether hazies are here to stay. As will all styles that took some time to accept, I say, “Just make them well.” And SFBC has done so once again.

Second Street’s Hoppy Balboa packs a punch.

Second Street’s Hoppy Balboa felt like it pulled a few punches this year. Perhaps that was my very foamy first pour — there were draft line issues, but not cleanliness issues, mind you. Perhaps it was just pressure, but I don’t think I really ever saw this beer’s Eye of the Tiger. I’ll get back in the ring with this one soon. Until then, thanks for the puns.

Blue Corn’s Gatekeeper, the current leader in the IPA Challenge, reminded me more of a finely honed, but certainly “upped” version of their house Road Runner IPA. It’s a well-brewed beer, and I know the Blue Corn boys really worked hard on this one. I think, perhaps, it stands out because it’s clean while keeping its powerful aroma and flavor even as it warms.

All in all, you should try them all in full pours. That’s the only way to really get to know a beer, in my opinion. To all the brewers, and what you do with those wonderful hops, cheers!

— Luke

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Marble won the round, but Blue Corn took the overall lead after two rounds of the NMIPAC.

SANTA FE — Many folks packed into Santa Fe’s Second Street – Rufina Taproom for the second round of the New Mexico IPA Challenge on Saturday afternoon. Sixteen IPAs were poured straight from the taps, cleaned by brewers Tom and Kevin the night before. The only major variable to note was the Santa Fe palate. As usual, Santa Fe has its own taste in beer, and as history has dictated, Santa Fe’s taste in IPAs is a beast of its own. But, all things considered, it was another well-run event, very smooth, and everyone left happy with their votes.

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Just a few people packed the Rufina taproom.

After the Second Leg, Blue Corn is in the lead with 38 votes, Red River is in second with 31 votes, Boxing Bear is in third with 29 votes, and Marble is in fourth with 28 votes after a round-leading 25 at Rufina. Fifth goes to La Cumbre, Stoutmeister’s pick in the first round, with 25 votes, and Quarter Celtic is sixth with 21 votes.

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That’s a lot of brewing talent in one photo!

With just a couple surprises, the NM IPA Challenge will be another competition decided in Bernalillo (though it’s town, not county this time). At this point, I’m really interested to see if the voters will choose a traditional New Mexico/West Coast-style IPA or a New England-style hazy IPA, because I think this is the year we make a statement to our brewers. Is the haze here to stay? Is it the direction we’re moving in? That’s up to you, voters. Tell the brewers what you think.

Red River Brewing Company’s head brewer, Chris Calhoun, said, “We’re a brand-new brewery, so we’re just excited to compete amongst the big boys of New Mexico. We’re really very proud and excited about our showing in the first rounds. And, we’re excited to see what happens in Bernalillo.”

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Hops from above!

The final leg of the New Mexico IPA Challenge will come to a thrilling conclusion at the brand-new Bosque North on Saturday, July 28. To all IPAs and the New Mexico brewers who painstakingly create them, cheers!

— Luke

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Luke with the brewers of Red River Brewing Company.