Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Nevada’

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

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

It’s go time, people!

ABQ Beer Week 2016 swings into action today (Thursday) with 14 events, from downtown to Nob Hill to the Northeast Heights, and all points in between. There will be special tappings, beer and food pairings, live music, and a whole lot more.

To help you out today and every day throughout this series of events, the Crew will have daily previews encapsulating every Beer Week-affiliated event. Think of us as your one-stop-shop for all the basic info you need.

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, Cheese & More! Where: Marble Brewery Downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: $25, buy in advance at the pub as they almost always sell out.

Details: One of the most popular of all the annual events will be part of today’s kickoff. Head downtown and get a tray of delicious cheeses, provided by Whole Foods, with each style paired up with a specific beer. Marble marketing director Elyse Cushman said she wants to keep a lot of it a surprise, but she did provide some cool info.

“We are, for the most part, using all special beers,” Elyse said. “Besides the Oatmeal Stout and the Pilsner, we’re using the Mosaic, which is a very, very special beer; the Brettanna Rouge, which is my personal favorite pairing out of this group, because the Rouge is so special, it’s a barrel-aged red with brettanomyces, it’s a very special beer as well; and then the 111 Farmhouse. I think they’re really great seasonals.”

Oh, come on, Elyse, just a little hint on the pairings?

“In terms of what cheeses were using, I think you’re going to be surprised,” she said. “I’m really excited about the flow of it, if that makes sense. I’m excited that we start with, they’re all decadent cheeses, but they’re not as pungent as other ones. We kind of have this roller coaster, this kind is pungent, this kind is spicy. It’s a palate roller coaster.

“I’m particularly excited about the last pairing, and that’s all I will say. The Brettanna is my favorite, but the last one is whoa, you would never expect it.”

Mystery beer! That alone should spark even more interest. Get thee to Marble!

Why you should go: Great beer paired with unique cheeses, plus the usual Marble vibe of endless fun. That should be plenty of reason. But, again, get those tickets before it starts! (If you have not already.)

All the other great events

What: Marble Special Tapping. Where: Spinn’s Burgers & Beer, 4411 Montano Rd. NW. When: 11:30 a.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Marble will be tapping their new Marble Saison, which is a cousin to the 111 Farmhouse. Why you should go: All of you living on the West Side could probably use a beer with your lunch. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your bosses.

What: Santa Fe and Boese Brothers Collaboration Tapping. Where: Santa Fe ABQ Taproom. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The good folks at SFBC and their pals at Boese Brothers have blended their State Pen and Patriot Porters, but only after aging them in oak barrels. Why you should go: Because a blend of two great porters that have been oak aged just sounds wonderful.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Total Wine Uptown. When: 3:30 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Sample many of the top offerings from Michigan’s Founders Brewing. Why you should go: Free beer! (And you can grab a sixer on your way out.)

What: Abita Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Anodyne. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The Louisiana brewery has sent a firkin of their Horchata Turbodog. Why you should go: That has to be one of the strangest sounding, yet intriguing beers being offered anywhere. Leave it to Anodyne to be the ones to get their hands on it.

What: German Beer & Brats Night. Where: Rio Bravo Brewing. When: 4 p.m. Cost: $15 for a pint, brat, and potato salad. Details: Grab some German-themed grub and wash it down with a German-style beer, plus there will be live music from Jill Cohen at 4 p.m., and Grace at 6:30 p.m. Why you should go: It’s as close as you will get to Deutschland without requiring Lederhosen.

What: Marble Sampling and Special Tapping. Where: Whole Foods Academy. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: There will be a sampling of Marble’s packaged beers, plus they’re putting a keg of Abricot Sour on tap in the Sandia Saloon, Whole Foods’ new craft beer bar. Why you should go: For all you Northeast Heights residents, you were gonna stop to buy some food for dinner anyway, so you might as well have a few samples and a pint, too.

What: La Cumbre Beer and Cheese Pairing. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Get some samples of the new Strawberry Gose, plus Elevated IPA, Red Ryeot, Malpais Stout, Slice of Hefen, and Project Dank, each paired with a matching cheese. Why you should go: Free beer! Free cheese! And you can then buy some to take home (the beer, we’re not sure about the cheese).

What: Stone Special Release. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Stone will bring Americano Stout and Bourbon Barrel-Aged Arrogant Bastard to one of Nob Hill’s finest institutions. Why you should go: Those big, dark, beautiful beers would pair nicely with some fish and chips or beef boxty.

What: Santa Fe Brewing Beer Dinner. Where: Torino’s @ Home, 7600 Jefferson St. NE. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $45 per person, call (505) 797-4491 for reservations. Details: AmyO got all the information you need. Why you should go: Delicious beer, delicious food, and you get to hang with one of the top two brewers from the largest brewery in New Mexico.

What: Colorado Brewery Showcase. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: Four Colorado heavyweights — Boulder, Left Hand, New Belgium, Oskar Blues — will have their beers available for sampling, plus many will be on tap. Meet the brewery sales reps and grab some swag. Why you should go: Free beer, nice people, plus you can stick around for a meal and a pint.

What: Ballast Point Special Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No entry fee. Details: The Piper Down just won a silver medal at the World Beer Cup in the Irish-style Red category. This batch was barrel aged, just to make it more awesome. Why you should go: Award-winning barrel-aged beer. Need we say more?

What: Third Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 6 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: The ultimate food-and-beer pairing from Sierra Nevada is back. This year will feature the full lineup of 2016 Beer Camp Across America on tap, all paired with unique sausages and cheeses and more. Why you should go: This year’s Beer Camp is quite a bit better than what they had last year. That alone should convince you to go.

What: Brews and Blues with Roger Lewis All Stars. Where: Albuquerque Brewing. When: 7 p.m. Cost: No cover. Details: Head up to ABC for a jam session. Bring your own instrument(s), but take note it’s mostly blues and jazz. Why you should go: If you’re a musician or just love listening to music and/or dancing, this is your event.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Get your hop bomb fix, all in one place.

Get your hop bomb fix, all in one place.

Hop harvest season is upon us, in case you have not noticed by all the pictures of brewers stuffing their noses in mounds of fresh-picked hops that are floating around social media these days. Of course, one could argue hop season is year-round in New Mexico, judging by IPA sales remaining steady even in the colder months. To capitalize on this endless love of hoppy beers, Angelo Orona and his company, Craft King Consulting, are putting another tasting event at Sister Bar. Last time around it was the Tart at Heart, celebrating sour beers. This time they are calling it Palate Fatigue.

The event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $35 in advance and $40 at the door, but take note that Tart at Heart sold out before the day of the event. You can purchase hard copy tickets at Sister, Jubilation, and the Kelly’s on Juan Tabo. You can also buy them online via Hold My Ticket.

To learn a little more about the event, I sat down with Angelo over at La Cumbre during the Full Nelson release, because after all, if you are going to talk hoppy beers, you might as well be drinking one of the hoppiest in all the land.

NMDSBC: So tell me all about Palate Fatigue. How did you come up with this crazy-sounding, hop-forward, craft-beer tasting event?

Angelo: In keeping with our theme of curating interesting and esoteric beers, like we did for Tart at Heart, we wanted to do an event that’s seasonally appropriate. October being the high season for hop harvest, we thought it would coincide nicely with the hoppy beers that are going to be in season at this time.

NMDSBC: Set-up wise, is it going to be a lot like Tart at Heart? Are you changing anything at all?

Angelo: It will be very similar in the setup. One difference will be this event will be unlimited tasting. Some of the best, most hoppy beers that are out. We are curating a list of specialty beers from regional breweries, local breweries, and some from across the world as well.

NMDSBC: So it’s pretty much IPA, double IPA, triple IPA.

Angelo: Yeah, so hop-forward beers will definitely be showcased. Our intention is to make the majority of them resinous, hop bomb, hop-forward beers. There may be a couple of curveballs thrown in. One idea was to have one very light, very easy-drinking beer thrown in as a sort of palate cleanser, rather than a palate wrecker.

NMDSBC: You list a few of the (local) guys here, Santa Fe, Ponderosa, La Cumbre, Bosque. People are always going to ask what kind of beers do you have? What’s coming? Do you have a list at this point?

Angelo: We do. So Lagunitas is going to send us something special, a keg of their Waldos’. Green Flash has Green Bullet and a Triple IPA that they’re going to send. We’re considering doing Le Freak from them, which is a Belgian IPA. Green Flash is really a brewery that does some hop-heavy beers, but hasn’t been showcased in New Mexico. So we partnered with them to get something special.

We’re going to get some beers from Alpine, which is the partner of Green Flash. We’re thinking of doing Duet and Hoppy Birthday. Breckenridge is going to likely have a beer that we’re going to debut at the event, which is a barrel-aged IPA with some sort of melons, though I don’t know specifically what they are yet. I’m waiting on the information for that.

Upslope is going to send us some Imperial IPA. Avery is going to send us something special. We’re likely to have Ballast Point Dorado Double IPA and Habanero Sculpin. And Wasatch has a real nice Ghost Rider White IPA that we’re going to feature. Ska also has a few … it’s going to be a special barrel-aged Modus (Hoperandi) and then Mandrino, which is aged on Mandarin oranges.

Those are some of the regional offerings, but we’ll also have specialty beers from a lot of the local breweries as well.

NMDSBC: I’m guessing those (local) lists will be finalized closer to the event itself.

Angelo: Yes. So the idea is to really have as many exclusive beers at the event as we can, or if they’re not exclusive at least debut at the event.

NMDSBC: I know something you wanted to do at Tart at Heart was to educate people about the beers they were drinking, since sours are still a new style for a lot of folks. People around here think they know a lot about IPAs, or is there more for them to still learn?

Angelo: Absolutely. We’re going to step up the educational component at this event. There will be a table that will feature different hops in their different forms. We’ll likely have some pelletized hops. If we can get our hands on some whole-cone hops we’ll do that. Hop plugs are another thing that we’re going to seek out, just so people know the difference between what these hops look like, smell like, and feel like.

Also we’ll have a better sort of program to have descriptions of the beer. Last time we had them on a projection (screen) over the event, but this time it’s likely we’ll have a small map so people can make their way around and have fuller descriptions of each beer.

NMDSBC: You’re doing the pre-sale at the door, but last time you guys sold out before?

Angelo: We did sell out.

NMDSBC: So you’re encouraging people to buy in advance.

Angelo: Buy your tickets as soon as you can. This event is likely to sell out just like Tart at Heart. This time we do have slightly more capacity. Last time we were limited to 150. This time we’ll have seating for about 200 folks. You can buy hard-copy tickets at Sister Bar, Jubilation, and Kelly’s Juan Tabo. The soft copies are through Hold My Ticket.

NMDSBC: And there is a charity.

Angelo: There is a charitable component to the event. A portion of the proceeds are going to the Aljaba Casa Hogar Children’s Home, which is located in Mexico. It’s a charity that I’ve been involved in for the last couple years. It was strongly supported by Marble Brewery while I was there. Each year we do several trips to support this children’s home. It has 45 children there that are cared for by the folks there. The proceeds will go to make sure they have what they need for school supplies, medicine, and so on.

Angelo added there would be a special IPA brewed by Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande just for the event, so we also have that to look forward to in October.

So hurry up and go get your Palate Fatigue tickets in advance. The Crew will see you at Sister in a few weeks.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, everyone. Hope you are all well-rested now. If not, get on that. ABQ Beer Week was bigger and better than ever, but after 11 days of beer events, we all have to admit we are pretty darn tired. It was an exhausting affair. At least it was fun. So much fun. So much fun it is hard to put it into words. So much as Luke did with the Outside Bike & Brew Festival in Santa Fe, I just assembled a bunch of our photographs and used this as a wrap-up.

Do not fret, however, we are not totally going to cop out on things. We did try a lot of beers, and while some were one-offs or specialties, we also tried a lot that you can get on tap or for sale in bottles/cans/bombers around town. The Crew will present our choices for the best beers of Beer Week. Just as soon as I get everyone to wake up and remember what they had.

Without further rambling, here are our pics from ABQ Beer Week 2015.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen's Hops-pitality IPA.

ABQ Beer Week kicked off with the simultaneous release of the 505 Collaboration Session IPA, left, and Canteen’s Hops-pitality IPA.

AmyShadeTree

One of the many food and beer pairings over at Shade Tree Customs & Cafe, who brought their A Game to Beer Week.

AmyTwoFools

Two Fools did their fair share of tappings as well, including Hitachino Nest White Ale.

AmyStereoBar

New Mexico Craft Brewing came down from Las Vegas to stage a tap takeover at Stereo Bar downtown.

2015ABQBWTractorBowling

We went bowling with the folks from Tractor. Um, we were rusty, that totally explained our scores. That and the Farmer’s Tan Red Ale.

Nexus' anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn't tell by the crowds.

Nexus’ anniversary party was a huge hit, as if you couldn’t tell by the crowds.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Nob Hill Bar & Grill was one of our favorite spots throughout Beer Week. Our friend Karim agreed, twas quite metal.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Mother Road brought their beers to Jubilation for all to try.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble was a tremendous success. It was so nice, they did it twice.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door's food truck battle was one outstanding example.

Food and beer goes together brilliantly sometimes. Red Door’s food truck battle was one outstanding example.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O'Niell's.

More food and beer, this time the Sierra Nevada Cheese & Sausage festival at O’Niell’s.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Franz and Mrs. Solo basked in the warm glow of the inaugural BearFest.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

Marble, Santa Fe, and everyone else brought their finest to Blues & Brews.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

The crowd was bustling at Blues & Brews, but it was a happy pack of beer drinkers.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo's Java Stout was excellent.

Firkin Brewhouse, which will open soon in the Brewery District, made a nice debut at Blues & Brews. Their Capo’s Java Stout was excellent.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew who attended Blues & Brews were a happy bunch. From left, Adam, Laura, Stoutmeister, Kristin, with the photo bomb from Karl.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Crew came up short in the second Battle of the Beer Geeks (congrats again to the Babes in Brewland!), but we still had a great time, and not just because of Baby Bannon. From left, proud parents Brandon and Taylor, Mrs. Solo, Franz Solo, John, and Stoutmeister all enjoying our Darkside Donutbrau.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

The Marble staff was all smiles throughout Beer Week, including at the second Beer, Cheese, & More at Marble Westside.

2015ABQBWTwoFools

Another outstanding entry for Two Fools’ tappings was Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Hoppiness Envy, the collaboration IPA between Canteen and Bosque, was an amazing addition to the Beer Week fun.

Avery's Uncle Jacob's Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

Avery’s Uncle Jacob’s Stout at Nob Hill Bar & Grill was a fitting finale for a couple of us.

There are a lot of people to thank for all the fun of the past week-plus. I realize I will miss a few on this list, but here are the ones my tired mind could remember: Thomas DeCaro, Monica Mondragon, Silas Sims, Tony Calder, Angelo Orona, Skye Devore, Chris Goblet, Amberley Rice, Leah Black, Carlos Contreras, Zach Guilmette, Barbie Gonzalez, Ken Carson, Antal Maurer, John Bullard, Brady McKeown, Brandon Venaglia, Patrick Cavanaugh, all the bar and brewery staffs, the festival volunteers, all of you happy beer drinkers, and last and most importantly the amazing Marne Gaston. Thank you one and all!

We will see you all around the breweries and upcoming festivals. If you have any photos or stories you would love to share from Beer Week, email them to us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. And yes, we are still taking signups for the NM Brewers Guild Enthusiast Membership. Just send us your name and email and we will add you to the list to give to the Guild.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

And so it begins!

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

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

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

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

Featured event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

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

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

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

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

All the other great events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, this event has been running.

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

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: Meet Vicki, another of our correspondents, who went to review the Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo from last week. She was delayed in sending this to us, so in the end I figured, hey, why not run this review the day they are holding a second event at O’Niell’s Nob Hill. This way her review can also serve as a preview of tonight’s event. It’s a classic Brew Crew two-for-one story. — Stoutmeister

It's a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!

It’s a veritable feast paired with great Sierra Nevada beers!

Whether walking down the grocery isle or the wedding isle, finding a flight of Sierra Nevada’s finest waiting for you at the end of it would be a welcomed treat indeed. Albeit one of these scenarios is a bit more unexpected than the other; not many grooms I have met would find a reason to object.

And as I entered the sudsy sanctuary, a.k.a. O’Niell’s Pub Juan Tabo, last Thursday for the first official day of ABQ Beer Week to witness the holy moley union of Sierra Nevada with — wait for it — cheese and Sierra Nevada’s own sausage made at Chico State University Farms, I couldn’t find a single reason to object, either.

If you live in the 505 and like to wet your whistle with wheat, you have most likely been to the iconic Irish establishment known as O’Niell’s. With two pet-friendly locations to choose from, you are never more than a quick jaunt from one of ABQ’s most beloved pubs. When we arrived, the place was pleasantly and expectedly packed. Jonathan and our server Rick were welcoming and fun, and the service was attentive and quick.  If you have never been to O’Niell’s (gasp!), or if you haven’t been in a while (your bad), you don’t know or have forgotten what you are missing!

The same can be said for one of the cornerstones of craft brew and the event’s honoree, Sierra Nevada. If like your dreams of yesterday, you have put your love for this beer on a shelf, it is time to pull them back on down and dream and drink again! As Sierra Nevada’s exceptionally knowledgeable and talented tasting host, Keith, said, “This is the beer that beer brewers tell me they have in their own fridges!”

Sierra Nevada’s offerings for the evening consisted of Kellerweis (you would be Weis to give it a try), Scotch Ale (a full-bodied fan favorite), Hop Hunter IPA (Hop. On. That. Seriously!), Harvest Idaho 7 IPA (I do hope they keep making this stuff), Nooner Pilsner (insert afternoon-er delight joke here for my personal fav), and of course their flagship brew, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (the beer that launched the company and the aspirations of countless home brewers).

The event was like being on an episode of The Bachelor, except this episode wasn’t lame or scripted, and instead was awesome and delicious, and one in which you would be sure to find an honest and true brew that you could make a long-term commitment to with or without a rose ceremony.

In case you are the type whose decision would hinge on how your beer-trothed would get along with your friends and family, what could be more telling than a pairing with Sierra’s own Italian Sausage and Bratwurst made at Chico State University Farms, and YES PLEASE, Pass the CHEESE, which on this night happened to be Roquefort, Havarti, Goat, Mascarpone, Port Salut, and Camembert en Croute. (Disclaimer, sausage and cheeses’ likeness to actual friends and family members isn’t anyone’s darn fault but their own.)

The pairings went together like the brew and the pub, Sierra Nevada with their strong commitment to the environment and the community, believing, “Put good in and good will come out,” and O’Niell’s straightforwardly motivational motto — “Good Food. Honest Drink.” — both proving to be a winning recipe for a lasting relationship, and don’t forget in liquids as in life, “No Sniveling!”

A Poem In Closing

If you haven’t drunken, chosen, or been,
it is time to check in with each of them!
They are both classics, like the one that got away,
But even better because they stayed!
Signed,
I have, I did, and yep I do
Faithfully, and Still Loving You …

For more info on dream, green, brew machine that is Sierra Nevada visit their website.

To find out what’s up, neat, and good to eat at either of O’Niell’s locations visit their website.

And so it begins!

Beyond the usual tastings and tappings, you can learn more about beer from the brewers themselves today.

It can be hard to single out a theme on each day of Beer Week, but sometimes there are things that stand out amid all the various tappings, tastings, and food/beer pairings. For instance, today there are two chances to learn from brewing representatives about the beer you are drinking. Head to Chama River to learn about the process of brewing their sour, Plum Goodness, from brewer Zach Guilmette. (We will have a full preview later today.) Or you can go to Torino’s and learn about the various Abbey Brewing creations from their representatives.

Beyond that there is more fun scheduled for Nob Hill Bar & Grill, El Pinto, Rock & Brews, Gecko’s, Two Fools, Cazuela’s, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Sister, and our featured event at Ponderosa. So many events, so little time. Divide and conquer!

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: Rauchfest. Where: Ponderosa Brewing. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: A festival of smoke! Ponderosa will be hosting Rauchfest, debuting a traditional Rauchweizen. Comprising of mostly smoked wheat (oak smoked), some smoked barley (beech smoked), and Munich malt with a banana/clove flavor from the hefeweizen yeast. It should come in around 5.5-percent ABV with a low IBU, but it will be a truly smoked beer, with lots of flavor. You can play cornhole all day and Chef Tanner will have smoked brats and some other smoked goodies to accompany the beer. Plus, Ponderosa will have Dos Pendejos performing live in the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

Why you should go: Live music, a new beer, and excellent Ponderosa food. There are worse ways to spend part of your evening. Or go earlier for just the beer and food.

All the other great events

What: Santa Fe Brewing Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Details: The new Session Ale will be tapped at Gecko’s in Nob Hill and the one on Academy. Why you should go: New beer (it was popular at Blues & Brews) plus awesome food. Happy lunch break!

What: Thirsty Thursday Beer & Pizza Special. Where: Cazuela’s. When: 2 to 6 p.m. Cost: $7.99. Details: You get an 8-inch pizza of your choice paired with either Acapulco Gold, Piedra del Fuego (our pick), or Panama Red. Why you should go: If you are out on the west side and looking for something to eat and drink before heading into town for the other events, how can you beat this offer?

What: Tractor Tap Takeover and Special Release. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be lots of Tractor beers on tap. We have no idea which ones. Why you should go: It’s a mystery! Go indulge.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Sierra Nevada Summerfest Lager Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 4 to 6 p.m. (both locations) Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Dogs Drink Free Happy Hour. Where: El Pinto. When: 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: No, that’s not a typo, your dogs can drink for free on the patio at El Pinto from today through Thursday. They will have Bowser Beer, a special alcohol-free beer made specifically for dogs. As for humans, there will be four Lagunitas beers for you — Cappuccino Stout, Equinox Pale Oat Ale, Brown Shugga’ Barleywine, and the special limited release of Waldo 4/20. Why you should go: Awesome new Lagunitas beers and old favorites, plus a chance to relax with your best friend. Throw in some delicious El Pinto food and it all adds up to a great afternoon.

What: Odell Special Tapping and Takeover. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Once again, NHBG makes us all proud. In addition to stalwart 90 Schilling, you can get French{hop}Connection (saison), Perle White IPA, Fernet Aged Porter, and the exclusive Barrel Thief Imperial IPA aged in oak barrels. Why you should go: With that lineup, everyone should go home happy. Throw in food and sports on TV and you’re a winner, guaranteed.

What: Boulder Beer Special Tapping. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown Boulder Beer will be tapped at Sister. Why you should go: Solve the mystery.

What: Plum Goodness Release Party. Where: Chama River. When: 5 to 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: See our separate preview that will run later today. Why you should go: Enhance your beer knowledge while drinking beer. Plus, lots of food options and sports on TV.

What: Marble Beer Dinner. Where: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm. When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: The event is sold out, but contact Los Poblanos (505-344-9297) to get on their waiting list. Tickets are $65. Details: Live music, specials, unique beers, and more at Los Poblanos, with a reception from 5:30 to 6 and dinner afterward. Why you should go: Take a chance, see if you can make the list, then enjoy great food paired with great beer.

What: Alaskan Tap Invasion. Where: Bubba’s 33. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Alaskan beers will be on tap at the eatery along I-25 near Chama River. Why you should go: If you love Alaskan beers and classic American food, go for it.

What: Second Annual New Belgium Frozen T-Shirt Contest. Where: Monte Vista Fire Station. When: 6 p.m. Cost: Inquire at the door. Details: For the second time, the folks from New Belgium are giving folks a chance to win a special NB bicycle. All you have to do is unwrap a completely frozen T-shirt faster than everyone else. Why you should go: We had some friends who nearly won this last year. So go test your frozen-shirt-unwrapping skills. It’s harder than it looks.

UPDATED >>> What: Odell Special Firkin Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Friend of the Crew Tony Calder informs us that it will be a Mango Habanero IPA in the cask tonight. Well now, that just sounds like a flavor combo for the ages. Why you should go: Unleash this crazy beer upon your taste buds, plus snag some good food while you are there.

What: Second Annual Sierra Nevada Sausage & Cheese Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 6 to 8 p.m. Cost: $5 for sausage and cheese tray (beer not included). Please reserve tickets by calling (505) 255-6782. Details: Buy a tray of sausage and cheese, then go off the list of suggestions with which Sierra Nevada beers go best with which food items. Why you should go: Expand your palate, but fear not if you are unconvinced, we have a review of the previous event at O’Niell’s Juan Tabo up on our site today from one of our new correspondents.

What: Beer on the Patio. Where: Torino’s. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $25 per person, call Torino’s at (505) 797-4491 to reserve your spot. Details: Torino’s is hosting a four-course pairing of Monks’ Ales with cured meats, cheeses, and fine breads. Featured beers will include Monks’ Ale, Tripel, Dubbel, and Golden Ale (Krystal Weisse). Abbey Brewing reps will be on hand to give a master speech and answer your questions. Why you should go: Learn more about these unique beers while enjoying some delicious food.

What: Beer Bike 5K. Where: Civic Plaza. When: 6:30 to 9 p.m. Cost: $30, with tickets available online here. Details: Hope on board the Duke City Pedaler at Civic Plaza and ride it around to Marble, Tractor Wells Park, and Back Alley Draft House. You get member prices at each location. This even will repeat Wednesday and Thursday. Why you should go: Burn off some beer calories while, um, adding more beer calories! Hey, it’s a win-win, plus it is one of the most fun and unique ways to enjoy a mini-pub crawl. Just be prepared, it’s a little over 3 miles in length and the DCP is tougher to pedal than it looks. You’ll get a good workout plus good beer.

What: pLOUD Music Series. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Felix y Los Gatos will perform live. Why you should go: Chill out with some good music and beer.

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
Saturday — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

And so it begins!

Release the beer hounds! The three-day weekend begins!

Welcome back to ABQ Beer Week, though technically it never left. After Thursday’s surge of events contrasted with the terrible weather, we expected more Friday, but the sun kept the rain at bay for a change. So we have that going for us, if nothing else.

Today’s lineup kicks off with a golf tournament and concludes with multiple tastings. In between, a major brewery celebrates their anniversary weekend.

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: Nexus 4th Anniversary Party. Where: Nexus Brewery. When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Release the hounds as Nexus turns four years old today. To celebrate, they are grilling up some more red chile BBQ ribs, back by popular demand. You can also order a pint of Prosperity Works Belgian Scottish, which is the normal Beam Me Up Scottish this time with Belgian yeast. One dollar from each pint sold will go to the charity Prosperity Works. There will be live music from the Racine Kreyol Band from 1 to 4 p.m. The first 100 Nexus Members who walk in the door will get a special pint glass.

Why you should go: Even if the red chile BBQ ribs are too spicy, there will be plenty of other food, including the always awesome Chicken & Waffles. Throw in a new beer, live music, and more, and it has hard to see how you would sit this one out.

All the other great events

What: Seventh Annual NM Brewers Guild Golf Tournament. Where: Santa Ana Golf Club. When: 7 a.m. (registration), 8 a.m. (shotgun start). Cost: $100 per person. Details: From the Guild website, “Join New Mexico Brewers Guild for our 7th Annual Golf Tournament as we return to Santa Ana Golf Course for another round of beers and lost balls. Gather up a foursome of your best beer drinking buddies for this 4-Man or Woman scramble as we tee up some of the finest local beers to motivate the biggest hack to pick up some clubs.” The $100 covers your course fees, range balls, lunch, awards, and beer, of course. Why you should go: We know some of you love to play golf (looking at you, Karim), so why not throw in some beer and help the Guild at the same time?

What: Kiuchi Brewery Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hitachino Nest White Ale is the selected beer from Japan that you will enjoy. Why you should go: For those who are into the burgeoning Japanese craft scene, Kiuchi is among the trailblazers with their Hitachino Nest series. Plus, stick around for a Kilarney Grilled Chicken for lunch.

What: Oskar Blues Sampling. Where: Whole Foods on Academy and Wyoming. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Pinner Throwback IPA will be among the styles to sample. Why you should go: Free beer samples. Plus, pick up some healthy food for later when you have to cook dinner for your significant other and/or family to make up for all the time you’ve been spending at Beer Week events.

What: The Harwood’s Annual Fundraiser. Where: Marble Downtown. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The Harwood Art Institute is an amazing community resource, with their Summer Art Camp teaching children in-depth lessons in various mediums. Marble hosts their annual fundraiser to raise money for art scholarships to the camp. Street Food Institute will be on the curb from noon to late, while Conchitas Creations will join them from 1 to 7 p.m. Carlos the Tall will perform from 1 to 2:30, followed by Jasper from 3 to 4:30, and Joanie and Darin from 5 to 6:30 p.m. There will also be a merch table with a button-making machine from Harwood. You can purchase raffle tickets ($1 each) for prizes ranging from local bands’ CDs to a grand prize of a $175 gift basket from Harwood that will include a membership, gift certificate to an art class, and more. Why you should go: Support a good cause, help some kids have a great summer, eat awesome food, buy some merch, enter the raffle, listen to great music, and of course indulge in Marble’s many great beers.

What: Angry Orchard Honey Cider Tasting. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Cottonwood), 4 to 6 p.m. (Uptown). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample Angry Orchard’s newest cider. Why you should go: Free cider samples.

What: Woodchuck Sampling. Where: Total Wine (both locations). When: 1 to 3 p.m. (Uptown), 4 to 6 p.m. (Cottonwood). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample some Woodchuck ciders. Why you should go: More free cider samples.

What: Tommyknocker Event. Where: Twin Peaks. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No cover charge listed. Details: Tommyknocker will be promoting their beers for sale locally with Maple Nut Brown and Jack Whacker Wheat on tap. Why you should go: Beer, food, sports on TV. Almost everything you need in life.

What: Beer and Boards. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 1 p.m. (opening), 6 p.m. (music). Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor and Kamagraph are teaming up again for another art show, this one showcasing the art of skateboards. There will be live art being made, plus skateboarding demos in the parking lot, and live music will begin at 6 with Zack Freeman, Burque Sol, and The Riddims. Why you should go: Support the local art community, support some local musicians, and of course enjoy some beer while you are there.

What: April Showers Bring May Sours. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 to 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Unleash the power of sour beers. There will be eight (!) sours available for sampling and then package sales. The lineup — St. Louis Framboise Lambic, St. Louis Peche Lambic, Petrus Aged Red, Petrus Oud Bruin, Monk’s Cafe (Flemish Red), Silly Sour (brown ale), St. Louis Fond Tradition Kriek Lambic, Petrus Aged Pale. Why you should go: If you love sour beers, this is practically nirvana.

What: Colorado Brewing Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues will have samples for sampling. Why you should go: Three good Colorado breweries in one places.

What: Mother Road, Deschutes, and Ska Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 4 p.m. (Mother Road), 5 p.m. (Deschutes), 6 p.m. (Ska). Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a tripleheader of beer greatness. First up, Mother Road will have a special sour cask at 4 p.m. Then at 5, Deschutes will have some of their awesome Mirror Mirror barley wine from 2014. Then it’s Ska Keep the Pint Night, featuring Modus Hopperandi and True Blonde, with brewery swag and giveaways. Why you should go: One location, three epic breweries.

What: Sierra Nevada Special Tapping. Where: Sister Bar. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A quartet of SN beers will be available in the form of Summerfest Lager, Kellerweis, Harvest Idaho 7 Single IPA, and Ovila Quad with plums. Why you should go: The Harvest and Ovila are a couple of hard-to-get beers, so reward the folks at Sister for getting them by stopping by and paying for a pint or two.

What: Belgian Beer Dinner. Where: Heimat House. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $55 per person. Details: It’s a five-course meal pairing up different dishes with different Belgian beers. Among those poured will be the St. Bernardus Abt 12. There will be brewery reps on hand to help you get through it. Why you should go: Get an education in Belgian beer and indulge in some amazing European food. Sound like a win-win.

What: Bosque Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: An unknown number of different Bosque beers will be on tap at the rock bar. Why you should go: Well, if you’re in the area, save some gas money and stop here.

What: Alaskan Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s Nob Hill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: We have no idea what this beer will be, but it will be on tap at the NH location. Why you should go: Curiosity is not a bad thing. Neither is tapas food.

What: Oskar Blues Sampling. Where: Whole Foods on Carlisle. When: 5:50 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Pinner Throwback IPA will be among the beer styles sampled. Why you should go: Free beer samples!

Special ongoing events

All throughout Beer Week, these two events will be running.

Brewery Scavenger Hunt at lululemon athletica at ABQ Uptown
Where: lululemon athletica ABQ Uptown and various other participating sites. When: Today through May 31. What: Pick up a scavenger pass at lululemon and head to six of nine participating locations. Take photos with your pass at the locations and then bring it all back to lululemon to be redeemed for a special pint glass. Participating sites: Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours, Duke City Trolley, Tractor, La Cumbre, Red Door, Marble, Chama River, The Grain Station, Rock & Brews

Smoked Meats Week
Where: Sandia Chile Grill When: 3 to 8 p.m., from today through Saturday, May 30
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Dirty Steve Mead (9.5% ABV)
Sunday — Baby Back Ribs, Legacy Mead (9.2% ABV)
Monday — Smoked Sausage, Rattlesnake IPA
Tuesday — Potato Stuffer, Barb’s Barrel Hefeweizen
Wednesday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Gold Rush Pilsner
Thursday — Smoked Salmon Platter, Red Ranger Irish Red
Friday — Stuffed Avocado Street Tacos, Rattlesnake IPA
May 30 — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

Bike&BrewLogo1Right smack dab in the middle of American Craft Beer Week, Outside Magazine’s giant celebration of all things craft beer and cycling kicks off with a barrage of beer dinners, pairing culinary creations from some of Santa Fe’s finest chefs, with beers from New Mexico, California, and Colorado craft breweries. As the Crew now has me to cover the Santa Fe scene, I’ll be bringing you a taste of what’s in store for the beer dinners of the 2015 Outside Bike & Brew festival, which runs this Wednesday through Sunday.

* * * * *

Wednesday (2 events)

Fire and Hops

When: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Fire and Hops will be partnering with Oskar Blues for a four-course dinner. Details: No reservations necessary, but this will be a first-come, first-served event. Cost: $50 per person. Why: Pairings will include a four courses with four 10-ounce beers including Pinner Throwback IPA, Blood Orange Triple Throwback IPA, Good Game Belgium Quad, and Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. Bonus: Price includes Oskar Blues Logo Pint. Where: 222 N. Guadalupe St.

Cowgirl Santa Fe

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Cowgirl is pairing up with Sierra Nevada Brewing for this event. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 982-2565. Where: 319 S. Guadalupe St. Why: Sierra Nevada and Cowgirl barbecue. Mmm, barbecue.

Thursday (5 events)

Blue Corn Brewery

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Blue Corn is pairing Chef David Sundberg’s own carefully chosen plates with head brewer James Warren’s latest brews. Details: For reservations, call (505) 438-1800. Cost: $35 per guest. Where: 4056 Cerrillos Rd. Why: New local beers! From the website: “Head Brewer James Warren and Chef David Sundberg collaborate closely to develop creative, extraordinary beer and food pairings. Guests are able to interact with both the brewer and chef at the Brewer’s Table to discover their methods and philosophies behind creating outstanding brews and meals.”

Menu:

Farmhouse Saison-Corned Pork Tacos
Kaiser Farms pork “brisket” house-cured on flour tortillas with Baja sauce and 40k Honey Wheat onions
Pairing: American IPA

Southwest Chop Salad
Pickled squash stuffed with nopales, bonita beans and farmer’s market veggies, herb vinaigrette, Tucumcari Mountain feta cheese
Pairing: Barrel-Aged Black Belgian Pale Ale

Lamb Duo
Talus Wind Ranch lamb jalapeño popper, yogurt & garlic marinated lamb kebab, sweet corn beggar’s purse and grilled spring onion
Pairing: Imperial Goze

Dessert
Russian Imperial Stout chocolate cake
Prickly pear custard & lemon-spice pate brisee

Dr. Field Goods Kitchen

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Dr. Field Goods is pairing with New Belgium Brewing Company. Cost: $25 per person. Details: No reservations accepted. Get there early! Where: 2860 Cerrillos Rd., Suite A1. Why: Here you receive four 4-ounce pours of the following New Belgium beers, 2015 La Folie Sour Brown Ale, Lips of Faith Pear Ginger, Trippel Belgium Tripel, and 1554 Black Lager. From website: The menu will consist of a charcuterie plate highlighting Dr. Field Goods’ new butcher shop and bakery. There will be sausages and meats paired with sauces and different breads. Each item will have one of the above listed beers incorporated into it. Dr. Field Goods wants everyone to experience how a great beer pairing can bring out flavors in certain foods that one might otherwise miss. Bonus: Each beer dinner will include a commemorative New Belgium beer glass and tons of free stuff. Extra: Contact Anita Salazar (505) 670-4345 with any questions you may have on this event.

Joseph’s Culinary Pub

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Chef Joseph Wrede is pairing his world-class cuisine with La Cumbre Brewing’s world-class beers. Details: Make reservations online. Where: 428 Agua Fria St.

Rio Chama Steakhouse

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: Executive Chef Tony Blankenship is pairing his bold and adventurous food with the beers of Stone Brewery and Marble Brewery.
Where: 414 Old Santa Fe Trail. Bonus: You’ll have the unique opportunity to taste beers that have been cellared for several years. Details: Reservations are required. Call (505) 955-0765. Cost: $50 per person.

Menu from website:

2015 BIKE AND BREW BEER DINNER

First Course
Passed Apps: Bacon wrapped shrimp with harissa aioli
Tempura asparagus, soy reduction
Goat cheese and tomato grilled cheese
Pairing: Stone Cali-Belgique India Pale Ale

Second Course
Cornmeal ale battered fried oysters, apple-jicama slaw, orange and grapefruit segments, remoulade, watercress salad
Pairing: Stone Vertical Epic 2012

Third Course
Braised beef short rib, fresh corn polenta, oven roasted baby carrots, pearl onions, fried onions, chive oil, short rib reduction
Pairing:Marble Reserve 2012

Fourth Course
Stout chocolate cake, white butter cream, macerated berries, dark beer sauce
Pairing: Marble Imperial Stout 2012

Loyal Hound

When: 6:30 p.m. What: Gastropub fare at its finest paired with some delicious choices from Bosque Brewing Company. Where: 730 St. Michaels Dr. Details: Community seating. Reservations required. Call (505) 471-0440. Cost: $45 per person plus tax and tip.

Menu from site:

First Course

Brew: Riverwalker IPA.
Pairing: Buffalo Chicken Salad, Organic Greens
Buffalo Sauced Braised Chicken, Bleu Crumbles

Second Course

Brew: Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale
Pairing: Battered House Cured Bacon BLT
Rye Bread, with Peppercorn Aioli

Third Course

Brew: Scotia Scotch Ale
Pairing: Akaushi Waygu Strip Steak
Sweet Potato Gruyere Gratin

Dessert

Brew: Wake up and Smell the Stout
Pairing: Chocolate Doughnut
Maple Bacon White Chocolate Ganache

Friday (1 event)

Anasazi Restaurant and Bar

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. What: A prix fixe dinner will be served where Anasazi is pairing their classic take on fine dining with carefully chosen beers. Where: 113 Washington Ave. Details: Reservations required. Call (505) 988-3030. Cost: $40 per person.

Menu from website:

Choice of Starter

Tuscan Green Leaf Salad Tango, Oak, Lolla Rosa Leaves, Sage Chama Bee Honey Vinaigrette
Duck Enchilada Mole Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Green Chile Pearls
Anasazi Crab Cake Avocado Mousse, Pepper Piperade, Frisée Leaves, Crudité Salad

Choice of Entree

Roasted Sea Bass Parsnip Purée, Wilted Lettuce, Barley-Malbec Broth
Pair with Inversion IPA

New Mexico Lamb Top Sirloin Aubergine Caviar, Parsley Purée, Artichokes, Jalapeño Croquettes, Olive Liquorice Crumbs
Pair with Left Hand Milk Stout

Chicken & Leek “Cock-a-Leekie” Pie Frisée and Watercress Salad
Pair with Santa Fe Nut Brown

Choice of Dessert

Lemon Tart Lemon Gel, Seasonal Berries, Raspberry Sorbet
Flan & Dulce de leche Vanilla Flan, Dulce de Leche Ice Cream, Vanilla Chantilly Cream, Chocolate Soil

Saturday (1 event)

Draft Station

When: Anytime! What: “The modern Italian cuisine including pizza and antipasti from neighboring Rooftop Pizzeria will accompany this New Mexico Brewer’s Guild Tap Takeover.” Details: No reservation required. Bike and Brew Special: two flights of beer and 12-inch pizza with choice of two great toppings, $25 for two people (available all day). Where: The Plaza!

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That’s all the info we have for the Bike & Brew beer dinners. If we’ve missed anything, please contact us directly at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com. Enjoy some great pairings here in Santa Fe, and I will have a preview of the other Bike & Brew events available later on in the week. Get those flats fixed, don’t forget to make those reservations, and always pair responsibly! See you around Santa Fe!

Cheers!

— Luke

Marchfest5

It might not have been advertised much outside of Santa Fe, but plenty of folks showed up at Buffalo Thunder.

Last Saturday was the second annual Marchfest put on by Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. Previously, this was an event that many of the Crew had written off due, mostly in part to little to no advertising, except through commercials on the mainstream radio stations (I’d be pretty surprised if the Crew listened to the radio). (We don’t. — S) There was almost no cooperation from the people running the event back then, and from what I did hear from those who attended, most reviews were mixed.

This year, because I’m the new Santa Fe correspondent, I felt it necessary to head out to my “backyard casino” and investigate what could go so wrong with a brewfest. Painful memories of Lions, Tigers, and Beers still bring forth a full-body shudder. Thankfully, for this event, I wasn’t wandering through the woods alone. I had a trusty guide, and I also bumped into Dark Side Bullpen and Los Alamos correspondent, Reid Rivenburgh, at the event. He came with his lovely wife, and this was their second Marchfest. Here were his thoughts on the event:

“We attended the Buffalo Thunder 2014 Beerfest, and as usual, a year later I can really only recall that I was a little “ehhh” about the event. I remember it being quite crowded, for one thing, and it’s never fun to stand in line for five minutes to fill a barely 1-ounce cup. Some friends were planning to go to this year’s event, so we figured we’d give it another chance. We were glad we did! Perhaps the biggest difference was that there weren’t that many attendees, so lines at each table were at worst a few people. It was far from empty, but it still felt comfortable. (And I was also able to catch up with fellow Dark Sider Luke, who I don’t think I had seen since the IPA Challenge.)

“I’m a dedicated IPA fan and will appreciate just about any style of beer, but my wife steers towards the ciders and fruitier/wheatier beers. Well, this was her event. It felt like there were just as many alternative beers as real ones. The makers of her favorite beer, the Pecan from the Pecan Grill and Brewery in Las Cruces, were in attendance. She even found a new favorite, Whiskey Beer. (Too bad we didn’t note who made it despite going back 14 times.) It was a glorious day for her. I certainly had plenty of Real Beers (TM) to try, but it didn’t feel like there were all that many interesting, unusual ones. Still, it was fun, and they were kind enough to offer complimentary sliders and tamale bites, which were much appreciated. And as a final bonus, since the event was at Buffalo Thunder, we were able to go to their buffet after and, ahem, digest our food and drink before driving off. (Plenty of gambling, too, if you’re into that kind of thing.) Overall, two thumbs up!”

My experience was pretty similar, except I was sans significant other this time around. Upon arrival I was greeted by tables full of beer mugs, T-shirts, water bottles, snacks. It felt like somebody had made a brewfest checklist and followed it. Pretzel necklaces, check. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, until one of those items is left unchecked, right?

Inside the main ballroom, it was a very open space full of tents and booths — nothing new, but always a happy sight. The place felt full enough of people, but it certainly wasn’t overcrowded like some Albuquerque venues, cough, BioPark, cough. I never had to wait in line. Not once. The music was mainly bluesy rock, but solid for a fest. The band was called D.U.S.K. (Dirty Urban Sh*t Kickers) and they kept people in the right beer-drinking mood. I can’t taste beer to Death Metal just yet; after all, my Dark Side training is not fully complete. (We have much work to do, clearly. — S)

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D.U.S.K. takes the stage!

Of the breweries, there was a healthy handful. Even La Cumbre showed up, despite previous confusing reports. And only one Marble Brewery showed up, which, if you saw this year’s Marchfest flyer, you’d get the joke. Santa Fe Brewing Co. poured all they’d promised to pour. It was unfortunate not to see more local guys, especially from Santa Fe, but that’s another can of worms I ain’t touchin’. Still, Tractor, Kellys, and Abbey Brewing Co. came to hang out for the day.

It was nice to drink my way from Kannah Creek (Grand Junction, Colo.), to Mother Road Brewing Co. (Flagstaff, Ariz.) ever since our fearless editor came back from his trip out to Flagstaff in June of last year. I ended up with a pint of their Kolsch towards the end. And I’d do it again. Avery, Breckenridge, and Ska were also representing Colorado, so that was nice.

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Some of the sights and beers.

The high-er rollers came out to the casino from the West Coast — Lagunitas, Stone, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, and Alaskan. They were all welcome sights, as well, and brought some nice offerings and some special stuff. Did I mention Heineken was there? I usually wouldn’t. But, they were touting this crazy new vacuum-suctioned keg contraption that keeps the sunlight and oxidation out of beer. The beer I tasted was nothing like my memories of those dank, smoke-filled pool halls from college. If it could do that for Heineken, imagine the possibilities. Have you ever known a guy who complained about the oxidation in craft brews? I may know a thousand of them. And then there were the weird guys like Montejo and the Traveler Beer Company, both using some curiously odd mixes and mustaches to hide their macro parentage (so that’s where the mustaches came from!). I may have missed some of the breweries, but it was a big room.

As for value, we received a small taster glass with our ticket. Can’t complain about unlimited tastes. But if you wanted the mug and ticket for a “full beer” you had to pay $10 extra. This is a little bit different from NM Brewers Guild events, which, I believe, traditionally comes with a pint glass and ticket for a full pour. I suppose the extra money went to paying all the hotel and casino staff that were working with the brewery staff as additional pourers. Too bad they couldn’t tell you what you were drinking. Not a huge deal. There was at least one person at each booth that could. The total costs came out to what you might expect from a brewfest when you factor in full beers, food, souvenirs, etc. So, no problem there. There was an even a place, off to the side, where you could buy a six packs of all the stuff you liked.

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Look, proof of all the happy people!

Overall, it was a great time. Generally, I go to fests to try new things I’ve never had before, but I was “working,” so I tried a few new things from Mother Road, Stone, Kannah, but I had no problem playing the hits. Happy that Red Ryeot and State Pen Sour Porter were there. But, you see, I suspect it was a different crowd there than we see at ABQ Brew Fest or even Winter Brew. This crowd was very happy to be trying these beers, many of them for the first time. If this was their introduction to non-light macro lagers or Mexican lagers popular around the area, then from the enthusiasm they showed me, it was a huge success. After all, Sierra Nevada doesn’t make for a bad first experience, does it now?

What makes this brewfest worth attending next year? Well, for one thing, it’s a great venue. Come for a brewfest, and stay for a fun night. Drink great beers with your friends, and have a good time. Does every brewfest need to be an Untappd badge raid? I don’t think so. I can’t always go to my favorite brewery and try something new. I go far too often for that. But I go to have fun. And have fun, I did. Everyone had fun. I’m giving the whole experience a B+. The atmosphere was good. The vibe was good. This good time was well worth the price of admission. Let’s see what they can do next year!

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A couple photo IDs amid more attendees: Bullpen writer Reid Rivenburgh and his wife (top right). Event coordinator Emily Brcic (bottom right) is in the red shirt.

After the event I asked Emily Brcic, the event coordinator, a few questions.

DSBC: Overall, how do you think it turned out?

Brcic: I believe that overall the event was a big success, especially for being our second annual Marchfest. We learned many things from the previous year’s event that we applied this year. One example, was that we doubled the size of the room. This allowed more flow through the event, and eliminated crowded walkways and groups of people not being able to go to the booths that they wished to. We ended up having around 2,000 to 2,500 people at the event, which was a great turnout for an event that is still in it’s growing stages!

DSBC: What was the biggest success of this year?

Brcic: I think that our biggest success was the number of vendors/distributors that we had turn out and how great their booths and products looked. They all took a lot of pride in showing their products off to the guests, and I think this translated into a great guest experience. We had over 100 different beers this year, which was an increase from about 60 (I believe) last year, and we hope to increase that by even more for next year!

DSBC: Anything you would do differently next year?

Brcic: If I would change anything for next year’s event, it would be to push the event back a few hours. We struggled both years now with the majority of people not showing up until 1:30 to 2 p.m., when the event starts at noon. If we were to push the start time back, I think this would be beneficial to everyone involved.

* * * * *

All in all, allow me to say, well done Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. Well done, Emily Brcic, for taking the lessons you learned from the previous event and really putting together something worth coming out for. Everyone I spoke to, and the majority were from Albuquerque (that was surprising), had nothing but positive things to say. I’ll reiterate, everyone had a good time. We can’t always go to Disneyland expecting new rides. Sometimes you just get drunk and ride the teacups, but it’s all good fun in the right place. Stay festy my friends!

Cheers!

— Luke

If you were in attendance, tell us what you thought about Marchfest on our Facebook page.

For more #CraftBeer News and @NMDarkSideBC info, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro

Beer Week just keeps on keeping on, rolling into Tuesday with four events on tap. That might not seem like a lot, but they all have the potential to be awesome, and there are always the ongoing Lips of Faith/Tapas pairings at Geckos and Hot Sunner Nights at Desert Fish for those who have not tried either yet.

On the sixth day, the beer gods continued to smile upon us all.

On the sixth day, the beer gods continued to smile upon us all.

Derek, er, Porter Pounder (still getting use to that pen name) did a couple quick reviews for us last night with everyone else tied up with baseball, music, or work. We’ll have those up later today.

Without further adieu, here are Tuesday’s fab four events.

What: Taps & Apps. Where: Hotel Andaluz downtown. When: 5 p.m. Cost: $25 (plus tax and gratuity). Details: Four local breweries — Bosque, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble — will have one of their beers paired up with a different appetizer at the trendy downtown hotel. The beers will be the Scotia Scotch Ale, Irish Red, Hefe, and Triple. Why you should go: Lots of tasty food dishes plus four excellent local beers? This sounds positively indulgent.

What: Odell Invasion. Where: Sister Bar on Central in downtown. When: 5 to 8 p.m. Cost: Unknown. Details: One of Colorado’s best breweries will bring Amuste, Nitro Lugene Milk Chocolate Stout, Nitro Porter, Myrcenary IPA, and Seasonal Red Ale to tap. Why you should go: Sister has one of the best beer menus of any bar in town and this only makes it better. Plus, by going this early, you miss the annoying, college-kid dominated late-night crowd.

What: Special Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s time for some local brews to get tapped at Two Fools, starting with two from Il Vicino. Appropriately for an Irish pub, the IV guys are bringing their Irish Lager and a cask version of the Irish Red to Nob Hill. Why you should go: Two awesome Irish beers plus awesome Irish food should make for a darned good evening. You can watch the start of the NHL playoffs, too. Hey, hockey players fight like Irishmen.

What: Special Beer Tasting. Where: O’Niell’s in Nob Hill. When: 5 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Craft brewing trailblazer Sierra Nevada will bring a selection of its beers to O’Niell’s for people to sample. Why you should go: Food, beer, TV’s with hockey … sounds like a perfect night to us.

That wraps up Tuesday’s events. Now it’s time for shameless self-promotion — for those who didn’t see it online Monday, our good friend Lauren Poole offers up a preview of the Dark Ages show at ArtBar on Friday night. The Crew will be co-hosting this event with Lauren and an awesome collection of talented performers. We will have beer trivia and a lineup of six dark, wonderful beers on tap. If you want to buy tickets in advance for just $10, click here. The proceeds benefit the Blackout Theater Company.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister