Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Nevada Brewing’

The Marble team presents a check to Sierra Nevada for the sales of Resilience IPA. From left, brewer John Carroll, packaging line director Nate Jackson, head brewer John Heine, and president/brewmaster Ted Rice.

The results are in from one big charitable effort on the part of several New Mexico breweries, and they are good. Marble Brewery presented a check for more than $22,000 to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Camp Fire Relief Fund on Friday, all from the sales of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.

Marble was one of six New Mexico breweries, along with 1,400 across the country, to take a Sierra Nevada recipe and make a beer where 100 percent of proceeds went to charity. It was needed to help the victims of the wildfires in Northern California that crept right up to the outskirts of Chico, where Sierra Nevada’s original brewery is still located.

“It’s so insane, and the biggest thing we wanted to do is thank everyone, because it was everyone’s consumption of this fantastic beer that helped us raise so much money,” said Marble social media director Leah Black. “It was with 1,400 other breweries around the country, so ours is just a small chunk of what will help this cause.”

Steel Bender Brewyard reported that it raised $9,500 for its batch of Resilience, while Canteen Brewhouse, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, and Cloudcroft Brewing did not have their final figures available. Rowley Farmhouse Ales still has some Resilience on draft, so if you never got to try this flavorful West Coast IPA, head up to Santa Fe and drink for a good cause. UPDATE: Cloudcroft also still has it on tap, so if you are headed south for the weekend, make sure to stop by.

A huge thank you to all the participating breweries, to Sierra Nevada for coming up with the idea, and of course, as Leah said, to all the hopheads who bought a pint or two.

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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.

Giving Tuesday has come and gone, but the opportunity to support a good cause still lies ahead. On that day, Canteen, Marble, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Steel Bender joined breweries across the country in making a batch of Resilience IPA. (Edit: RFA is still awaiting the arrival of the hops, but expects to brew Thursday.) The recipe hails from Sierra Nevada, which temporarily had to shut down its main brewery in Chico, California, as the Camp Fire burned its way to the city limits. Seeking to help those who lost everything, particularly the residents of the now-destroyed town of Paradise, Sierra Nevada created this new IPA with all proceeds going to help rebuild the communities affected by the wildfire. We tip our hats to Canteen, Marble, RFA, Steel Bender, Sierra Nevada, and every other brewery to participate in this venture. When the IPA is ready to tap locally, we will be sure to let everyone know. Yeah, even we can take a break from the big, bold, beautiful stouts for a change this holiday season.

We could have led off with the grand opening of the Boese Brothers Brewpub on Tramway this weekend, but fear not, I am on my way to interview George and Sam Boese to preview that event and also complete the entire Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Boese Brothers. Look for that on Thursday afternoon, which I hope to post in between my interviews with the (many) Marble command staff members for their upcoming LB/LA entry.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque was able to sneak in some Chai Hard and Autumn Red while we weren’t looking. Bow & Arrow has another bottle release this Saturday with Dream Mesa, a golden sour ale. Canteen has a fresh batch of North 14 Pale Ale. La Cumbre rolls out more Pecos Porter, Noche De Paz, and Gracias Por Fumar. Marble unveils Cryogenic Pale Ale and Ye’ Olde Ale. Nexus pours some dessert in the form of Blueberry Sweetart at the Silver Taproom only (for now). Ponderosa should have some fresh ESB by the weekend. Red Door will be Pining for Maple Breakfast Brown on Thursday. Sidetrack has a fresh batch of Pub Ale on tap. Steel Bender kicks off the 4 Casks of Christmas on Saturday, with each cask featuring a different version of Brickie American Stout, and this week’s version is Peppermint Mocha.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn hops to it with Lord Lupulin IPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of November 26.

(more…)

Beer dinners, special tappings, archived beers, a movie event, and a brewing grudge match highlight this busy day!

If you are reading this, it means we survived the Insomnium show in Denver last night. As you read this, we will be flying back down Interstate 25, because there is beer business to take care of in ABQ.

After all, we’ve got Battle of the Beer Geeks to attend, but it’s not the only option today. If we weren’t at Tractor, we might be at one of two beer dinners, or perhaps the screening of Beerfest at Flix, or diving into that archive tapping at Marble Westside, or … well, you get the point, it’s gonna be a fun day.

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 Beer Geeks V. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5-8 p.m. Cost: $10 for tray and pint.

Details: Once again, five local beer enthusiast groups (us included) went and each brewed up a beer at Tractor. Now you get a tray filled with all five beers to try, with a pint of your favorite awaiting you at the end. It’s a blind taste test, and in the end all the public votes will count for 50 percent of the vote, with the other half coming from a judging panel. The winner gets an awesome Rock Em Sock Em Robots trophy, plus bragging rights. This year’s beer theme is single hop.

Why you should go: The Babes in Brewland have won enough times in a row. Come help us or one of the other groups dethrone them at last!

All the other great events

What: Sierra Nevada Special Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Brewery representative Keith Hymes is bringing Pale Ale, Sidecar Orange IPA, Otra Vez with lime and agave, Sierraveza Lager, German-Style Kolsch Ale, and Hoptimum DIPA. Why you should go: There’s hoppy, malty, and a bit of tart to perk up your afternoon, and the best part is, the samples are free.

What: Exodus IPA on Nitro Release. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 5-10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy one of the classic IPAs in a different format. Why you should go: Hey, if you’re already up in the foothills and have no desire to drive back down anywhere, then this is just the beer for you.

What: Marble Archive Tapping. Where: Marble Westside. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Enjoy any of a quartet of archived beers that the Marble staff have pulled out of storage — Cherry Brune, From the Wood Saison, Quad, 2017 Reserve Ale. Why you should go: Quad and Reserve? First you had our curiosity, now you have our attention.

What: Odell Double Sour Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Pucker up for a double blast of Sunny Rain Golden Tart and Green Coyote Tomatillo Sour. Why you should go: If you love sours, you gotta try these two, plus you can grab dinner.

What: Canteen Beer Dinner. Where: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. When: 6-8 p.m. Cost: $80. Details: This elegant five-course meal will be paired with some of Canteen’s finest beers, including High Plains Pilsner, Dougie Style Amber, and more. Call (505) 884-3350 to make your reservation. Why you should go: If you’ve been saving up for an ultimate feast, this is the time you cash in.

What: Beer Pairing Dinner. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Cost: $40 ($35 for mug club members). Details: A four-course meal will feature some of Ponderosa’s finest beers. A sweet pepper salad is paired with Big Belgian, French onion soup is paired with Rip Saw Red, roasted orange marmalade pork loin is paired with Blood Orange Wit, and a finishing course of fine cheeses and truffles are paired with Tart Cherry Chocolate Porter. Why you should go: If you haven’t been saving up for an ultimate feast, then this is a more affordable beer dinner option.

What: Beerfest Movie Party and Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Flix Brewhouse. When: 7-10 p.m. Cost: $7 for movie ticket. Details: Come celebrate a special screening of the cult comedy classic Beerfest, which was filmed here in Albuquerque. Flix is throwing a party starting at 7, with screenings at 8 and 8:30. Expect games, trivia, and more, plus the release of Schnitz ’N Giggle, a Dortmunder lager brewed in collaboration with Steel Bender. Why you should go: A hilarious movie, a new beer, and all sorts of shenanigans that we’ll miss while at Battle of the Beer Geeks. Honor us with your best efforts.

* * * * *

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

The spacious Sister Bar will be filled with sour beer lovers on April 11. (Photo courtesy of Sister)

The spacious Sister Bar will be filled with sour beer lovers on April 11. (Photo courtesy of Sister)

Sour beers are the final frontier of the industry for a lot of folks. For some people, they are a unique and cherished style, never to be missed when available. For others, they are a style to be avoided, so different from the rest of the beer universe. And for a third group, they remain a mystery, something not readily available in most places.

It is that third group, plus the first of course, that is being targeted for the upcoming Tart at Heart, a sour beer tasting event set for Sister Bar in downtown ABQ on April 11 from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets are available online by clicking here. The cost is $35 and it gets you a sample of all 20, plus three additional samples of your favorites. The event will feature 20 rare sour beers, many of them barrel aged, from around the country and around the world. Among the local breweries, Blue Corn will send Pucker Up, their strawberry sour, while Tractor will send Wonder Weisse. Santa Fe is sending Kriek, Sour State Pen Porter, and the new Single Barrel Sour. Marble will bust out a sour from its reserves. There will also be exclusive beers from national heavyweights New Belgium, Odell, Sierra Nevada, and Stone, plus beers from Belgium that have never been tapped before in New Mexico.

The man organizing all of this is Angelo Orona, who currently works as the sales rep for Abbey Brewing and Santa Sidra Cidery and was formerly at Marble. I sat down with him over lunch at Nexus on Tuesday to get some additional details.

Q: So how did you guys come up with the idea?

Angelo: It’s kind of modeled after some of the other sour-centric beer fests that are around. Specifically, the format that happens during GABF up in Denver. I came up with the idea to feature these nice, high-end, esoteric beers so that Albuquerque could also enjoy a festival that has type of theme to it.

Q: Was Sister a natural place to partner with, especially considering the size of it and all the available taps?

Angelo: Sister is sort of becoming a destination for really eccentric, high-end beers, so they’re a natural partner for us. They’re also trying to bolster their reputation as a beer-centric bar and sort of a place where people can seek out hard-to-find and rare beers from local or national breweries.

Q: So what are some of the beers you’re bringing to this event?

Angelo: We have several new beers that are debuting at the fest, including Stone Passion Project, which will be its first time in the state. They’re only sending one keg for the festival. It has two pounds of Stone passion fruit per barrel. So it’s (a) really nice, sort of fruit-centric sour, barrel-aged offering. Odell’s raspberry sour, Golden Raspberry Ale. We’ve got some beer from overseas as well, Belgian-style lambic and also a beer from Italy that’s a collaboration between Birrifico del Ducato and Fontaine, which is from Belgium as well.

Q: What is your take on sours? They’re kind of divisive. Some people love them to pieces and others are saying no way. Is this one of these events for those on the fence to come out and help make up their minds?

Angelo: Yeah, the idea is to make the event educational as well as enjoyable from an aspect of bringing all these unique flavors. I think one thing about sour beers is, you’re right, they’re divisive, because people don’t have knowledge about the styles and the history of those styles. So part of our festival will be to have an educational component to it. So there will be an AV projector which will have descriptions of the beers and the styles that will be featured at Tart at Heart.

Q: All right, anything else you’d like to add?

Angelo: There’s limited space. There’s only like 150 seats total. So we started selling like a week ago and they’re selling pretty rapidly. People should buy their tickets in advance. They’re $35 (online) and $40 at the door.

* * * * *

Assuming none of the rest of you have to cover the Albuquerque Isotopes game that night, this sounds like a fun event, especially for people who love sours or want to learn more about them. If we get any additional updates on some of the special beers being tapped, we will list them on our Facebook page. Thanks to Angelo for the information (and for lunch).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Beer festivals are usually held at hotels, casinos, convention centers, parking lots, and a whole lot of other nondescript places. So whoever thought “we should have a festival at the ABQ BioPark Zoo” deserves a medal. One of the most unique settings we have ever heard of will host Lions, Tigers, & Beers this Saturday from 6 to 9 p.m.

Grab a brew at the zoo!

Grab a brew at the zoo!

Proceeds will benefit the ABQ BioPark Society, a non-profit group that supports the Zoo, Aquarium, Botanical Garden, and Tingley Beach. You can purchase your tickets online. For $25 you get a sampling glass, beer samples, and admission to the Zoo, plus there will be food available for separate purchase. For $45 you get Suds and Grub, which gets you both food and beer. Taking a big group? A six-pack of tickets can be had for a discounted $135. There is also a $10 designated driver ticket. This is a 21-and-over-only event, so sorry, you can’t let the kids wave at the lions while you sample IPAs.

As we do with any festival preview, we get a list of the participating breweries and a list of the beers they’re bringing. Only Ponderosa Brewing did not have a list for the event organizers, but they said on Facebook they are bringing four beers (hopefully one of those will be their new pumpkin beer).

Here’s who’s coming and what they are reportedly bringing.

Abbey Brewing: Monks’ Ale, Monks’ Tripel

Ace Ciders: Perry Cider, Joker Cider, Pumpkin Cider

Big Sky: Moose Drool Brown Ale, Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout, Scape Goat Pale Ale

Black Diamond: White Witch IPA, Mosaic IPA

Boulder: Shake Chocolate Porter, Hazed & Infused, Sweaty Betty

Breckenridge: Vanilla Porter, Lucky U IPA

Bridgeport: Kingpin Red, Trilogy #2 IPA

Deschutes: Fresh Squeezed IPA, Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Twilight Ale

Full Sail: Amber, Cascade Pils, Session Red

Lagunitas: Daytime IPA, Imperial Red

Leinenkugels: Orange Shandy, Sunshine Wheat

Magic Hat: IPL, Wilhelm Screamer

Marble: IPA, Red, Pilsner

New Belgium: beers will be from their current Folly Pack

Nuevo: Nuevo (whatever this is, we have no idea)

Oskar Blues: Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yellow Pils, Old Chub Scotch Ale

Pedernales: Lobo Lager, Lobo Lito, Lobo Negro, Lobo Hefe

Ponderosa: four beers TBA

Pyramid: IPA, Oktoberfest

Radeberger: Shoefferhofer, Pilsner

Samuel Adams: Oktoberfest, Harvest Pumpkin

Santa Fe: Happy Camper IPA, State Pen Porter

Shiner: Bohemian Black Lager, Oktoberfest

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: Bonechiller Brown, Sun Chaser Pale Ale

Sierra Nevada: Pale Ale, Torpedo IPA

Squatters/Wasatch: Wee Peat Scotch Ale, Bumper Crop

Stone: Coffee Milk Stout, Hibiscusicity (Belgian-style ale), IPA

Have fun out there. Just remember, tigers don’t drink beer. But they will eat people, so don’t go stumble into their enclosure.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The 16th annual San Juan Brewfest took place on Saturday, August 23, in beautiful downtown Durango. Benefiting the United Way of SW Colorado, the brewfest had a great turnout, despite the rain that threatened to dampen the mood. Held at Buckley Park near the northern tip of Main Street, there couldn’t be an easier event to find, or find your way home from.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There was quite the crowd at the San Juan Brewfest.

There were over 50 breweries, with 35 from Colorado, six from New Mexico, and nine were from breweries ranging from the east coast to the west coast, including a few macrobreweries. Macros always reminded me of the old guy at the college parties. “Dude are you like, a professor or something?” But I kid the big guys. With all that the San Juan Brewfest had to offer, you could sample a beer poured by a familiar face from the likes of Turtle Mountain or Taos Mesa, you could get to know your northern neighbors’ beers a bit better, or you could try a few swallows from far away lands like Boston, Juneau, or Petaluma. (A full list of breweries is below.)

As far as brewfesters go, everyone was very friendly and laid back in that Colorado kinda way. On occasion, there were those folks who were a bit over-excited to talk about their interests, like trail-riding or ciders. Where did that cider guy come from? But there’s nothing wrong with that. Passion is what fuels the craft beer industry, am I right? So keep on keepin’ on, cider guy!

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers.

Fans dance to the Hill Stompers, a band from Los Alamos.

Everyone enjoyed themselves, sampling, noshing on German sausages straight from the grill, and dancing wildly inappropriately (in front of children) to the rockin’ local bands. One of those local bands happened to be local to New Mexico. Have you guys heard the Hill Stompers from Los Alamos? Well do it, already! They’re like a circus marching band fueled by candy corn and cerveza.

Getting to the beer, there were over a hundred beers to try at the brewfest, including some breweries bringing more than the promised two. It was impossible to try them all, or maybe we didn’t try hard enough. With the free taster glass and a handy notepad, we set out to pulverize our palates. And boy did we! My Untappd App sure got a workout the next day. As for my personal favorites, Great Divide had a fantastic dark, roasted, powerful warrior of a beer called the Claymore Scotch Ale (7.7% ABV) that just knocked my hop-socks off. I also really enjoyed Upslope Brewing Co.’s Belgian Style Pale Ale (7.5% ABV), the Face Down Brown by Telluride Brewing Co. (5.7% ABV), and of course the Kriek from Santa Fe Brewing was way up there on my list.

Marble's tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

Marble’s tent was a popular spot for beer lovers.

There was also a beer that I won’t name that I really liked but couldn’t put my finger on why. Then it dawned on me as I finished that last swig; it REALLY reminded me of something racked from one of La Cumbre’s tanks. Was it one of Elevated IPAs long-lost sisters? I couldn’t tell! I could, however, go on and on about the beers, but there were so many different styles. Most breweries brought an IPA and a pale ale, others brought reds, Belgians, and there were a handful of saisons and sours. But why not just grab my Untappd name and take a look at my journey? LukeDukeSF. Now, I’ll try not to say too much more about this, but after sampling so many IPAs, I can definitely say I prefer New Mexico IPAs to Colorado IPAs. Nuff said.

The competition that day was as hot as the sun, when it did decide to come out. For the Judge’s Choice, Left Hand Brewing Company won third place for their Milk Stout Nitro. Our very own Marble Brewery won second place with their already-award-winning Pilsner. “505! 505!” I chanted silently in my head as I heard the news. Best beer of the fest went to Elevation Beer Company’s Avis IV. And finally, winning People’s Choice for best beer was the Brown Bear Ale from Aspen Brewing Co.

With great weather, great beers, and great company, it was a brewfest to remember, or try REALLY hard to remember. Thanks, Durango, for a great time. See you next year!

Cheers,

Luke!

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

Everyone was left smiling at the end of the brewfest.

2014 San Juan Brewfest Breweries

AC Golden (Golden, CO), Alaskan Brewing (Juneau), Aspen Brewing (CO), Avalanche Brewing (Silverton, CO), Blue Moon Brewing (Golden, CO), Boston Beer, Bottom Shelf Brewery (Bayfield, CO), Boulder Beer (CO), Breckenridge Brewery (CO), Brew Pub and Kitchen (Durango), Bristol Brewing (Colorado Springs), Carver Brewing (Durango), Durango Brewing, Elevation Beer (Poncha Springs, CO), Eske’s Brew Pub & Eatery (Taos), Fort Collins Brewery (CO), Great Divide Brewery (Denver), Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing (Chippewa Falls, WI), Kannah Creek Brewing (Grand Junction, CO), Lagunitas Brewing (Petaluma, CA), Left Hand Brewing (Longmont, CO), Lumberyard Brewing (Flagstaff, AZ), Marble Brewery, Moab Brewery (UT), Mr. Grumpy Pants Brewing (Ouray, CO), New Belguim Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oak Creek Brewing (Sedona, AZ), Odell Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Oskar Blues Brewery (Longmont, CO), Ouray Brewery (CO), Pagosa Brewing and Grill (Pagosa Springs, CO), Palisade Brewing (Palisade, CO), Riff Raff Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO), Roaring Fork Beer (Carbondale, CO), Rocky Mountain Brewery (Colorado Springs, CO), San Luis Valley Brewing (Alamosa, CO), Santa Fe Brewing, Shock Top Brewing (St. Louis), Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA), Ska Brewing (Durango), Steamworks Brewing (Durango), Strange Craft Beer (Denver), Taos Mesa Brewing, Telluride Brewing (CO), Three Barrel Brewing (Del Norte, CO), Three Rivers Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing, Two Rascals Brewing (Montrose, CO), Upslope Brewing (Boulder, CO), Wolfe Brewing (Pagosa Springs, CO)

It was fun to get back to ABQ Beer Week on Wednesday and meet some new beer lovers at the Left Hand tasting at O’Niell’s Nob Hill. With all that done, it’s time to move on to a busy Day Eight on Thursday. Yours truly will be at Tractor Nob Hill, plus maybe some other events.

Satisfy your sweet tooth along with your beer tooth on Thursday.

Satisfy your sweet tooth along with your beer tooth on Thursday, plus there are tastings galore.

Featured event

What: Casks & Cupcakes. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Get your sweet tooth satiated with this little pairing of two cask beers with six different styles of cupcakes from Caked by Bittersweets. It’s $5 for a combo, where you get three cupcakes and one cask beer. If you just want the beer, it’s $4 for a 12-ounce pour. Or if you are the designated driver, it’s $4 for a cupcake trio. The beers on cask are Milk Mustachio Stout and and the Saison. The Stout will be paired with Caramel Macchiato, Dark Chocolate Chile Decadence, and Cinnamon Toast with Bacon. The Saison will be paired with Fresh Lemon with local grown honey, Cherry Limeade, and Nacho Libre. Come grab dessert before dinner! Hey, you’re an adult, you’re allowed to do that now. Why you should go: A little sugary goodness never hurt anyone. Besides, you can walk it off going to all of the other great events around Nob Hill tonight.

All the other great events

What: Lagunitas Tap Takeover. Where: The Stumbling Steer. When: 4 p.m. to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be beers aplenty once again at The Steer. Undercover Shutdown, Nighttime Cascade (Black) IPA, Maximus IPA, Hop Stupid Ale, Lil Summpin’ Summpin’, and Day Time: A Fractional IPA will all be on tap. The Shutdown is a big, burly strong ale, while the rest should satisfy any and all hopheads. Why you should go: If you’re on the west side and already hungry and thirsty, there’s no better place to visit.

What: Santa Fe Brewing Tasting. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We assume all (or most) of Santa Fe’s bottled and/or canned beers will be available for sampling. Why you should go: Remind yourself of your favorite(s) and then take some home for the weekend.

What: Pyramid Tasting. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We don’t know what Pyramid beers will be available for sampling. Why you should go: Come on, you’re curious as to what they’ll have.

What: Stone Brewing Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We just got the list of Stone beers that will be available for sampling. They will include the Collective Distortion IPA, which is brewed with elderberries and coriander, plus the Saison, Smoked Porter with Chipotle, Cali-Belgique IPA, Arrogant Bastard, and the newest entry in the Stochasticity Project, the Quadro Triticale, a Belgian-style quad. Why you should go: Always support local, and Jubilation is just that. Plus that Quadro just sounds like a beast that must be tamed.

What: New Belgium Special Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The rather uniquely named I Believe I Wood! will be available for purchase. It’s listed as a blackberry whiskey barrel beer. That, plus the usual Two Fools food excellence, should compel you to visit. Why you should go: Oh, come on, like you really need an excuse to visit Two Fools.

What: Marble Beer & Cheese Pairing. Where: Marble Downtown Pub. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: $20. Details: One of the favorite annual events of many folks around town, Marble will again pair up some of its finest beers with some distinct styles of cheese. We did not get the lineup, but we will update this if we can. Why you should go: Nothing says serious beer drinker more than attending beer and cheese pairing.

What: Boulder Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Some of Boulder’s top beers will be available for sampling. We did not get a list, sadly. Why you should go: If you’re in the Heights and curious as to what they’ve got, stop on by.

What: Sierra Nevada Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We did get the list for this one! (Hallelujah) Collective Distortion Double IPA, Summerfest, Hoptimum, and the ubiquitous Pale Ale will all be available. The Pale Ale was a gateway craft beer for many, myself included. So see what else Sierra Nevada has to offer nowadays. Why you should go: Grab a pint, grab some grub, and enjoy the patio before the weather heats up anymore than it already has.

What: Nexus Beer Dinner. Where: Prairie Star. When: 6 to 9 p.m. Cost: $39. Details: This late addition to Beer Week will feature four Nexus beers paired up with some of Prairie Star’s dishes. The Cream Ale, IPA, Chocolate Porter, and Beam Me Up Scottish will all be on hand. Why you should go: Food plus beer. Plus you can meet Nexus owner Ken Carson and brewer Kaylynn McKnight.

What: Big Sky Sampling. Where: Gecko’s on Academy. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: They will have Moose Drool (brown ale) on draft, plus samples of their IPA, Scape Goat Pale Ale, and Bobo’s Robust Porter. Why you should go: If you’re in the Heights and don’t feel like going too far, enjoy the craft beer experience close to home.

What: New Belgium Mini Tap Takeover and Rolle Bolle Game Night. Where: Adieux Cafe. When: 7 p.m. to midnight. Cost: Unknown. Details: Rolle Bolle is apparently a game like bocce ball (we think). You can play it and win some prizes, plus there will be a selection of New Belgium beers on tap. Adieux Cafe is located on the southeast corner of Central and 5th Street downtown. Why you should go: Admit it, you want to know what Rolle Bolle is and see if you can dominate the game and rule the world. Or at least the cafe.

Got any updates or additional info for the Crew? Email us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via Facebook or Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

Enjoy Day Eight! Just remember to pace yourselves and be responsible.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings! This is Stoutmeister. During ABQ Beer Week 2014 there are so many events that the members of the Brew Crew cannot cover, so we’ve enlisted some special correspondents to report back on the events they attend. First up are the Montoyas (@NMbeerlovers on Twitter) with a review of the Sierra Nevada beer and cheese pairings from O’Niell’s on Thursday night.

I can’t think of a better way to start ABQ Beer Week than sipping beers with the Sandia Mountains as a back drop. This didn’t seem to be an event that attracted craft drinkers to come out to. They ended up missing out. Sierra Nevada/O’Niell’s served up six different beers and seven cheeses with suggested pairings. A lot of these were spot on as they ended up drawing out flavors in the beer that were not apparent before. The pairings were as follows.

All the tasty cheeses brought out some unique flavors in the Sierra Nevada beers.

All the tasty cheeses brought out some unique flavors in the Sierra Nevada beers.

Beer #1: Summerfest with Port Salut Semi, a soft cow’s milk cheese from Pays de la Loire France. Mild but mature.

Beer #2: Kellerweis with Camembert, a soft, creamy, surface-ripened cow’s milk cheese. First made in the late 18th century at Camembert, Normandy. Comparable to Brie.

Beer #3: Ovila Saison with Mandarin-Goat cheese. Cheese #1 was California soft goat cheese. Sharp bite to mild finish. Cheese #2 was  Dubliner, an Irish Pastuerized hard cheddar. Sharp bite with nutty finish.

Beer#4: Pale Ale with Gjeitost, a pure goat’s milk cheese and pronounced “Yay-toast”. Hints of caramel, acid, and salt. Considered the cheese that’s closest to peanut butter.

Beer #5: Torpedo IPA with Blue Stilton, a King of Blue veined cheese. Strong flavor and odor. Only made in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottingham, England.

Beer #6: Harvest Hop #291 with Havarti, a Danish cheese that is always served young. Buttery flavor with hazelnut notes.

The best pairing off the suggested list that I had was the Sierra Nevada Harvest Single Hop IPA with the Havarti. The dill in the cheese was a perfect compliment to the beer and might not have been as good if it was just a standard Havarti.

The worst pairing was the Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA with the Blue Stilton cheese.  The veins of mold in the Stilton were just too much for this beer. It was overpowering my palate.

Probably the best pairing was when I had the Ovila Saison with mandarin, and Gjeitost cheese. The Gjeitost was exactly as described on the pairing sheet. There is nothing to say except it reminded me of peanut butter all the way down to mouthfeel. When paired with the saison, it tasted like burnt caramel with orange Belgian candy sugar.

The thing I took away from this event was a new found appreciation for various non-IPA beers and food. It’s pretty damn hard to get anything but (insert favorite IPA here) and pizza, or IPA and anything else for that matter. The European beer styles took my beliefs to task tonight by exceeding the IPAs in cheese pairing. Hopefully everyone will make sure to get to the Marble cheese pairing as this was every bit as interesting as any full-blown beer dinner I’ve ever been to.

Cheers,

Guest writer -G

There was a bittersweet feeling as the Crew left Hopfest on Saturday afternoon. It stemmed not from any disappoint in the event — it was quite the opposite, in fact — but instead it came with the realization that beer festival season in 2013 was coming to a close. Even though the year itself is far from being over, in a way another chapter of our lives in beer has come to a close. In that respect, we all raise our sample glasses one more time in honor of a year that began with a fun experiment (New Mexico Cup), had a middle chock full of adventure (ABQ Beer Week), and ended with the biggest bang of all at Hopfest.

Stoutmeister, Brandon, and Porter Pounder all tackled Hopfest. Hey, half the Crew in one room is an accomplishment.

Stoutmeister, Brandon, and Porter Pounder all tackled Hopfest. Hey, half the Crew in one room is an accomplishment.

So enough sepia-tinted nostalgia of times past. Let us get to the important thing: How was all that beer, guys? There was much beer. And it was good. So good.

We begin with a careful analysis of … ah, to hell with it. LABYRINTH! LABYRINTH! LABYRINTH! LABYRINTH! LABYRINTH! LABYRINTH! The quadruple black ale of godliness stole the show. Only this time we weren’t the only ones to think so. Post-event buzz centered around this monster from Uinta, this wonderful beast that blasted our palates and made our tastebuds dance. Yes, Labyrinth, you were the best of show. Now please, somebody, help Uinta start putting that on the shelves of Jubilation and other fine New Mexico liquor stores. PLEASE!!!!

Ahem, anyway, amid the 62 breweries and thousands of beer lovers, we (this is Stoutmeister, and Porter Pounder and Brandon were along for the ride this time) found a few favorite beers, some off-beat beers, and overall enjoyed the heck out of our Saturday. This is our stab at a breakdown of what we had or remembered having (though there was no Nexus brewer around this time constantly refilling our sample glasses with two-year-old barley wine, so we were much more lucid than after Brew Fest).

Stoutmeister’s favorites (besides Labyrinth)

New Mexico beers: Well, first off, one of the major highlights were the home brews served up by the Dukes of Ale and Southwest Grape & Grain. Ben Miller’s Belgian Trippel and Mike Griesmeyer’s Milk Stout were quite wonderful at the Dukes booth. The former found a nice balance between sweetness and strength, while the latter was smooth as silk and not overly sweet. I also felt the Octoberfest at the SWG&G booth was comparable to any brewery’s Marzen.

Las Vegas’ New Mexico Craft Brewing brought a couple of top-notch beers to tap. The Wet-N-Wild Ale, made with wild hops picked in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, was a wholly unique beer with a strong vanilla flavor amid the hops, which had a Cascade-like aroma and feel. The uniquely named F Your Black IPA Dry-Hopped Porter tasted like a hybrid between a dry, bitter black IPA and a smooth, coffee-and-chocolate-heavy porter.

Back Alley Draft House also unveiled two big, tough beers in the hop-bomb Triple IPA and the burly Imperial Russian Stout. BADH doesn’t brew huge batches, so head down there ASAP before they disappear from the taps.

Marble’s Pumpkin Noire offered up a nice mix of a smoky porter base with some pumpkin spices. Also of note, Tractor’s more classic pumpkin ale, Jack the Sipper, and Sandia Chile Grill’s always excellent Rio Negro smoked milk stout.

In case we haven't said it enough already, Uinta's Labyrinth is one of the greatest beers ever brewed.

In case we haven’t said it enough already, Uinta’s Labyrinth is one of the greatest beers ever brewed.

Out-of-state beers besides Labyrinth: A lot of breweries busted out their big guns (by ABV and/or IBUs), but Clown Shoes’ Blaecorn Unidragon, a 12.5-percent Russian Imperial Stout that is every bit the behemoth it sounds like. Seriously, if Godzilla were real, he would drink this beer. And then smash Tokyo to bits looking for more of it. For us mere mortals, it’s often available at Total Wine; just drink with caution.

Keeping with the big beer theme, Anderson Valley’s Wild Turkey Bourbon Barrel Stout offered up a kung-fu kick to the face. Indian Wells’ Whiskey Barrel Amber took a style not usually associated with barrel-aging and made it into a rough-and-tumble beer in its own right. Sierra Nevada did not bring the excellent Narwhal Imperial Stout, but they made up for it with the Bigfoot barley wine, aged for over a year. I only had one this time, I swear.

For those who are looking for something a little lower on the ABV chart, you could go seasonal with Bridgeport’s Witch Hunt or Deschutes’ Jubelale. Durango’s Dark Lager is always a solid standby, while Eel River’s Certified Organic Amber packed a lot more flavor than most regular ambers. Kona’s Pipeline Porter exceeded my expectations (Franz Solo should enjoy it when he’s in Hawaii soon). Another staple of my autumn beer diet, Left Hand’s Oktoberfest, showed up in place of Fade to Black. Oh. Darn. And speaking of seasonals, Ska brought down its Vernal Minthe Stout, which is basically dessert in a glass. A chocolate mint made into a beer? Sure, why not?

And the award for the strangest beer went to Twisted Pine’s Roots Revival Carrot IPA. I’m not sure if I tasted the carrot in there. I’m not sure what I tasted period. It was a beer that cannot be categorized. It’s not bad, just … different.

Oh, and beers I wanted to try but ran out of time to get to included Pedernales’ Lobo Negro, Green Flash’s Green Bullet, and Odell’s Isolation Ale. Looks like a trip to Jubilation is in my near future.

Brandon’s favorite beers (besides Labyrinth)

New Mexico beers: A majority of our state’s breweries have been unleashing their latest offerings over the past few weeks, so there were only a few new things to check out. The majority of my praise has to go to the home brews from the Dukes of Ale. There were several pleasant surprises in the mix at their table, of which the public got to vote on their favorite beer. This truly was a tough choice, as all had qualities that I really appreciated. Here’s a quick breakdown.

Sandia Chile Grill definitely got into the season with their beer board.

Sandia Chile Grill definitely got into the season with their beer board.

Belgian Pale Ale: This hybrid-style gave a pale ale some refreshingly crisp character from the Belgian malts and enough yeasty character to please this guy’s palate. Add a hop profile that held a slight bit of citrus and pine without being overwhelming and you had a very delicious take on a unique style.

Milk Stout: Well, what can I say? You had me at milk stout. This was quite the creamy delight, actually, as I have high expectations of this style. Lots of chocolate and roasted malt, with a hefty dose of sweetness from the lactic sugars that was still somehow not overpowering. Wonderful job with this beer.

IPA: This was a really interesting beer for one big reason, which is that is was NOT a hop bomb … however, the nose on it said otherwise. Lots of grapefruit and pine, with a touch of citrus. The body? Light, almost floral throughout the front and middle, and slightly resiny in the back. It didn’t leave me with a lack of taste buds for the rest of the day, which is good. Unexpected but very tasty.

Belgian Trippel: A creation of noted homebrewer Ben Miller, the Belgian Trippel stood tall among the other entries. A rich and smooth malt bill was balanced out with a slight bitterness, and finished with a subtle sweetness. Subtle spice hints and complex yeast aromatics made this a great brew, though deceptively easy drinking (as most trippels are). One of my favorite beers of the day.

Green Chile Pumpkin: Yes, you read that right. Odd, huh? Well, I’m all for experimentation when it comes to beer. This was actually a very tasty brew, with fresh green chile prominent in the front and middle, along with a slightly sweet malt bill and spices. The pumpkin comes in mainly at the end, but does lend to the overall creamy mouthfeel of this beer. Judging from the patrons I spoke with this was a pretty polarizing beer, but most people enjoyed it. I will include myself in that group.

Now, on to the breweries! Marble brought two pumpkin beers, the Pumpkin Noire being my favorite of the two. A very natural pumpkin flavor is met with slightly burnt/toasted malts to give the flavor of a baked pumpkin pie. Wonderful stuff really, it was one of my favorites of the pumpkin season.

The good folks at NM Craft Brewing brought the hops to Hopfest. F Your Black IPA was a dry-hopped porter with a bit of smokiness and a dry finish. Plenty of dark and roasted malts gave it a rich body with a nice hop kick. For those of you not big on the dark malts, the Rye PA was plenty smooth with floral and pine hints, and a nice light/medium malt body, making this an easy drinking IPA variation.

Back Alley Draft House had their Russian Imperial Stout and Triple IPA flowing. The IPA was an expected onslaught on the senses with loads of floral, grapefruit, and pine, and a subtle fruity hint, and a strong nose to boot. I’m glad I only had a taste, but man was it good.

Sandia Chile Grill brought out their Rio Negro stout for the event. Strong and malty with a nice sweetness, there is lots of chocolate-y goodness to be found in this brew, so make sure to stop in for a pint.

We have no idea why some dude dressed as Batman and came to Hopfest. But he did, and we hope he enjoyed it more than Porter Pounder enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises.

We have no idea why some dude dressed as Batman at Hopfest. But he did, and we hope he enjoyed it more than Porter Pounder enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises.

Out-of-state beers: The breweries from around the region were in full effect at Hopfest. Clown Shoes brought the big guns out in the form of Blaecorn Unidragon. A huge amount of malt complexity, lots of chocolate and slightly burnt malt with coffee and mild hop kick. All the things one would expect from the style are here in droves in this Russian imperial stout, quite a wonderful brew.

Green Flash brought out their Green Bullet Triple IPA that I’ve heard so much about. As one who has grown to love a nice dank IPA, this one made me utter a brief string of obscenities … in a good way. Huge grapefruit and pine notes, with a punch of citrus and fruit around the middle, and slight resin and more citrus in the finish. Not for the faint of hops … er, heart.

Big Sky came from Montana with their limited release Heavy Horse Scotch Ale. More of a traditional “wee heavy” style, it had a wonderful malt body, with a dash of earthy hops and a slight smokey touch to it. This needs to be a year-round beer.

A pleasant find of the day was Indian Wells’ Whiskey Barrel Amber. One of the smoothest libations I had the pleasure of sampling, the whiskey character was prominent and smooth with oak and vanilla spread all through and slight caramel, almost butterscotch flavors. A delightful amber that just wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t aged. I’m glad it was, though.

We of course took time to get a taste of some of our old favorites from breweries like Left Hand (Oktoberfest), Ska (who brought their Mole and Vernal Minthe Stouts, two excellent seasonals), Oskar Blues (hello, G’Knight!), Deschutes (Jubelale, a tasty winter ale), Durango Brewing Company (Dark Lager), and Sierra Nevada (Bigfoot Aged Barley Wine). So many beers were tried that I know we will miss some, but all in all it was a great day filled with delicious beers.

Porter Pounder’s favorite beers (besides Labyrinth)

As this was my first Hopfest, I finally had the opportunity to try a staggering amount of beers that the rest of the Crew has enjoyed from GABF and other such festivals. Here’s some of my high points in no particular order.

Many of the best beers from outside NM were found on the patio outside the casino.

Many of the best beers from outside NM were found on the patio outside the casino.

Big Sky’s Heavy Horse Scotch Ale: Really full-bodied Scotch Ale, which I am a big fan of always; it was just nice and rich. I love root cellar temp-fermented beers. It gives styles like this that nice thick body and a creamy tone off the top.

BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse’s Pumpkin Ale: I was quite surprised I liked this one, to be honest. But in the end, out of all the Pumpkin Ales I tried at Hopfest, this one really had some of the best balance between pumpkin flavor and pie spice, blended to make it creamy with a smooth finish.

Clown Shoes’ Blaecorn Unidragon: One of the highest ABV beers at the show, and clearly an all-around winner for the NMDSBC alongside the Labyrinth that we call can’t stop raving about. This was also my first time experiencing Clown Shoes beer. It was also one of the first things I tried. I figured go big or go home and no regrets my friends, this beer was worth every sip. So thick you could cut it with a knife and fork and amazingly enough, it finished relatively clean, so despite how bold it was it didn’t ruin your palate for your next samples.

Ska’s Vernal Minthe Stout: I never thought about doing mint in a stout, and all you get is what it claims, a bold, rich, perfect stout with just the right amount of mint that adds this throat-and-palate-cleanse at the end. It’s like eating girl scout cookies, but even better, cause cookies don’t get you buzzed. I’m officially sold on Ska after this and their Mole Chile Stout.

Milk Stout, Dukes of Ale (Brewed by Mike Griesmeyer): Welcome to the Indie Awards! The fine folks with the Dukes of Ale had brewed five brews for their own mini-competition. This was my runner up. I drink a lot of stouts, and I’ve brewed at least one of my own, and they are trickier to get just right than a lot of other lighter beers. This was bold and rich, actually almost like a punch in your mouth, but it’s because you joined Fight Club on purpose, so it’s exactly what you came for. Full-bodied with a bold nose off the top with the added richness from the milk sugars. Definitely a highlight on independent brewing.
Green Chile Pumpkin Beer, Dukes of Ale (Brewed by Brian Ausderau): Exactly what it claims to be. Many chile beers have an inherently vinegary tone to them which isn’t that pleasant. This is all about natural roasted chile flavors. Keeping it to a crisp light ale is usually the best way to go with this category to balance it, but then this fine fellow decided to try something new — add pumpkin. Strangely it works really well. It makes this lighter beer almost creamy, which was wonderful to follow the hotness of the chile, and then all you’re left with in the end is a nice pumpkin flavor to finish it and remain. This is the one that got my vote.
Octoberfest, SW Grape & Grain: Second up on the indie beer brewing tastings for me was this wonderful local beer supplies store’s offering of an Octoberfest. They hosted five beers for this event, and this was my favorite. I tried quite a few Octoberfest beers during this event, and this one really stood out for me being particularly crisp. It had a little extra body which I find nice, and a clean finish without being overly bold or alcoholic so you could just eat and drink at an event all day long and never need to take a break, just enjoy!
New Mexico Craft Brewing's booth was full of unique beers and some unique characters serving those beers.

New Mexico Craft Brewing’s booth was full of unique beers and some unique characters serving those beers.

New Mexico Craft Brewing’s F Your Black IPA Dry-Hopped Porter: Our other indie brewing category friends brewed a really damn delicious beer. Honestly, the only way to write to you all how bad ass this beer was, is to steal directly from the write up they submitted for the Hopfest guide: “Oh what am I? Am I a roasty beer? Am I an IPA? I suck at being both. Nope. I am a fat-balled dry-hopped porter. So shut up.” Damn right!

And Finally probably my favorite of all of Hopfest goes to …
Indian Wells’ Whiskey Barrel Amber: This beer is exactly what I came to this festival for. I love whiskey or bourbon barrel-aged beers, but what sets this aside from the rest is one simple fact. It was a dried in the direct sun until the whiskey was sweated out. The difference in doing this from the others — and as good as the others are they are SO overly bold with the alcohol flavor — is that you have to sip your beer like it is a fine scotch, or brace yourself and take your beer in shots. This style Indian Wells tried gives it an edge, because you still taste some great whiskey, but it’s so mellow and well blended into an already excellent beer that you can enjoy it like you would any other smooth drink. It definitely has a decent alcohol content that will sneak up on you in the end, but I could drink this all day, winter or summer.

The beers that ran out before I got to try or somehow weren’t available to try for other reasons were Brigdeport’s Bear Hug (Cherry Chocolate Stout) and Clown Shoes’ Crunkle Sam (American Barlyewine).

* * * *

Well, as we said at the beginning, that’s it for beer festival season in the ABQ area (there is one more fest down in Las Cruces this coming Saturday, but we’ll be sitting that one out). A huge thanks to the always awesome Marne Gaston and her entire volunteer staff, everyone at Isleta Casino that helped out, and all the brewery staff members present. Everything went smoothly, just like many of the beers we had. And thank you to all of the other attendees; once again, you were a great crowd united in the pursuit of having a good time without anyone going overboard.

The big fests may be over, but there is still plenty of beer news out there for the Crew to cover. We will be back soon with our advance preview of The Stumbling Steer, including our samples of some of their forthcoming beers, plus a whole lot more as the rest of 2013 draws to a close.

Because after all, what else are we going to do? Sit around and watch our football teams? (They’re a combined 11-18 and probably only going to get worse.)

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister