Posts Tagged ‘Sister Bar’

Party time with Great Divide in a couple weeks!

Lots of stuff can fall through the cracks as far as beer news goes, especially when an editor goes on a road trip, so here is pretty much everything I know we missed over the last couple weeks.

Anniversaries and grand openings and soft openings

Today (Friday) is going to be a busy one. First up, Chile Line Brewing is celebrating the official grand opening of its new taproom, which is right next to Pizzeria Da Lino, at 204 N. Guadalupe St. in Santa Fe. There will be live music, special food samples, and of course plenty of beer starting at 4 p.m.

Duel Brewing has been celebrating its fourth anniversary all week long in Santa Fe. The party comes to Albuquerque tonight at 8 p.m. James Whiton will bring his solo loop bass, with a number of burlesque dancers performing. All sours will be $1 off all night.

Also, a reader has informed us that Colfax Ale Cellars in Raton will be quietly having a soft opening. New Mexico’s northernmost brewery had hoped to open last fall, but hit a few more bumps in the road. At last, they will open today at 3 p.m. The Run to Raton Bike Rally & Car Show is also in town, so a lot of the motels are already booked. Take note if you plan to drive up, you will have to designate a driver. The grand opening date will be announced soon.

Exclusive beers en route

Our buddy Thomas DeCaro, now representing Great Divide, is bringing some special new IPAs to town for a two-night tapping at two locations. They will happen at Sister Bar on August 4 at 5 p.m., and then at Nob Hill Bar & Grill the following night. The beers en route are Hazy, a New England-style IPA, Tea Ski IPA, brewed with black tea, and All the Buzz Words, a special collaboration with Weldworks. ABW is described as a “kettle sour session New England-style IPA.” It debuted back at the brewery in Denver on July 1.

Boxing Bear to the Heights

We are working on a time to go more in-depth on this, but yes, it appears that Boxing Bear is the brewery targeted to move into the forthcoming taproom space being built at the new Snow Heights Promenade at Eubank and Menaul. Head brewer Justin Hamilton pretty much confirmed it to the Albuquerque Journal. That’s official enough for us.

More taprooms and breweries?

That mystery taproom coming to Menaul just east of Louisiana has now been confirmed as Broken Trail, which will have beer and spirits available (unlike just spirits at Green Jeans). Owner Matt Simonds asked us to keep quiet until it was more official, but the word got out and now we can say, yeah, that’s Broken Trail.

Elsewhere, Hollow Spirits, the new venture from former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway, has a pending small brewer license as well. Taking a similar path to Broken Trail is not a bad idea.

Down south, Lost Hiker Brewing has a pending license as well. It will be located in Ruidoso Downs. That mountainous region also has the Glencoe Distillery and Brewery coming east of Ruidoso, and Switchback Brewery in Cloudcroft. Unlike the others, Lost Hiker does have a Facebook page so everyone can keep track of the progress.

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That is all the news we missed (that we know of). As always, if you know anything you feel we and the craft beer community should know, drop us a line via social media or at


— Stoutmeister



Day Five is the ultimate take-it-easy day for your body, but we will still challenge your mind.

Now that the holiday is over, Beer Week starts to crank back up again with nine big events.

Today will feature an epic tasting at Jubilation, but also a whole lot of beer-and-food combo events. There will be beer with Taco Tuesday, beer with food trucks’ offerings, beer dinners, hell, just beer and food everywhere. But, if that’s all too much, there’s also beer trivia, part two.

Hope you all brought your appetite! (And your trivia-loving minds.)

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: Saison Tasting and Broken Trail Collaboration Tapping. Where: Jubilation. When: 4-6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Come get the funk! Jubilation is celebrating all things saison/farmhouse with a unique tasting from multiple breweries. In addition, they are releasing Sancho de la Sierra, a collaboration brewed between the staff of Jubilation and Broken Trail. It will also be available for growler fills. They added rye malt and the native plant Oregano de la Sierra to the original Sancho Saison recipe for an added spicy kick. The other beers available for sampling are Rowley Farmhouse Ales Saison du Sarlacc, Saison Dupont, St. Feuillien Dry-Hopped Saison, Thiriez Extra, Blackberry Farm Brewing Classic Saison, St. Somewhere Traditionnel & Serge, North Coast Puck Petite Saison, Prairie Artisan Ales Prairie Ace, Off Color Apex Predator, and Stillwater Artisanal Rockstar Farmer.

Why you should go: If you love this style, don’t you have to go? I mean, if you don’t, you’re out of the saison fan club.

All the other great events

What: Special Release of Social Capital. Where: Canteen. When: Noon to close. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The new release of the popular kettle sour was made with basil, lemongrass, and coconut. Why you should go: Pucker up and get your day started when they open at noon.

What: Upslope Canarchy at Taco Tuesday. Where: Sister. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Upslope takes over Taco Tuesday at Sister with cans of Citra Pale Ale paired up with some unique tacos. Why you should go: Tacos and beer are just such a true Burqueno pairing.

What: Central Biz Happy Hour. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor wants to show some love to its fellow Central Avenue businesses impacted by A.R.T. If you have a receipt from any business on old Route 66 that’s less than a week old, bring it to the taproom and get $1 off your first pint. Why you should go: Support other businesses, support yourself with less expensive beer.

What: Cheese and Beer Pairing with Cheesy Street. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: $13 per tray. Details: This fan favorite event is back. Buy a tray of four assorted mini-grilled cheeses from Cheesy Street and they will be paired up with the proper beers. Why you should go: Do we need to really say more than beer and cheese? Gooey, melty cheese? Didn’t think so.

What: Four Peaks Beer Dinner. Where: Farina Alto. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: TBA. Details: There don’t seem to be any details anywhere about this one, which is weird. Why you should go: Um, we’ll get back to you on that one if we ever find some information.

What: Beer and Food Truck Pairing. Where: Drafty Kilt. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Illusion Food Truck will be creating some specialty dishes that pair up with the different Drafty Kilt beers. Why you should go: When the food is made specifically to go with the beer, that’s a win-win.

What: Beer Geek Quiz. Where: Marble Westside. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If you missed our trivia at Tractor Nob Hill on Monday, redeem yourselves across the river! There will be six rounds with eight questions apiece. Create a team of four that you can rely upon. There will be a limit of 20 teams, so register at the taproom in advance if you can. There will be prizes awarded to the top teams. Why you should go: Test your beer knowledge at the taproom with the most taps in town!

What: Firestone Walker Barrelworks Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6:30-9 p.m. Cost: $40 per person. Details: A delightful four-course meal will be paired with four special beers from Firestone Walker. The appetizer will be shrimp corn dogs with sweet chile dipping sauce paired with Krieky Bones. The salad will be paired with Leo vs. Ursus: Fortem. The main entree will be a stuffed pork loin over asparagus, caramelized onions, and polenta, topped with balsamic roasted peaches and au jus, paired with Luponic Distortion. The dessert of house-made gingerbread cake topped with vanilla bean ice cream, paired with Parabola. Why you should go: That just looks way too good. We’re not worthy! We’re not worthy!

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

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


— Stoutmeister

All the final details to know for Tart at Heart

Posted: April 13, 2017 by cjax33 in Events

There will be 31 beers for everyone to choose from this Saturday.

Just in case ya missed our last story, Tart at Heart returns for its third go-around, this Saturday at 1 p.m. (VIP)/2 p.m. (general admission) at Sister downtown. Considering that the first two editions sold out in 2015 and 2016, we figured there were still some details you all needed to know. To find out all of it, I sat down with organizers Angelo Orona of Craft King Consulting and Kevin McAllister, the beer manager of Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo, inside the friendly confines of Starr Brothers over a pint of Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA.

“Kevin’s done a great job curating a really big, interesting list of sour and barrel-aged beers,” Angelo said. “One thing that I noticed that was a little different this year was the interest from local breweries to participate was way up. I think the other thing that Kevin and I noticed was that people started proactively asking us about the fest. Whereas the last two years I think we had to kind of like had to convince people to participate.”

There will be 14 New Mexico breweries present with one or more beers — Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Dialogue, Duel, Enchanted Circle (Angel Fire), Hub City (Belen), La Cumbre, Marble, Ponderosa, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, and Turtle Mountain.

“The format is going to be similar to last year,” Angelo said. “It’s going to be unlimited tasting. We have it looks like (several) more beers than last year.”

The VIP tickets have sold out, but Angelo said there will likely still be general admission tickets at the door. Just in case, you might want to head to the website and buy yours in advance if you have not already.

For VIPs, a new treat this year is a trifecta of food pairings — artichoke hearts, pork belly skewers, salted chocolate torte — with the beers, including some specials that will only be available in that first hour. That replaces the T-shirt from last year.

“Sister has really stepped up the sophistication of their kitchen and what they’re putting out,” Angelo said. “They were excited to collaborate on the food pairings. Their head chef put a lot of effort into researching ingredients and pairings that will work well with all of these sour beers. That’s definitely different. We learned our T-shirt lesson.”

Oh, and we wish we could share something really cool that we know should be happening for VIP ticket holders, but we have been sworn to secrecy. Let us just say, a big surprise potentially awaits you. A tasty surprise.

There will also be a charity to benefit from all of this beer sampling.

“The only new thing I can think about is the charity involved is Storehouse of Albuquerque,” Kevin said. “We’re accepting non-perishable food items at the door as well.”

Angelo said there will be more capacity this year at Sister after things got a tad crowded last year. The bar will also be open if designated drivers wish to sit there and enjoy a tasty non-alcoholic beverage or two while waiting.

“We’re hoping to just make it fun,” Angelo said. “Obviously we want everyone to get home safe. We want to make sure we have resources there so everyone can get home.”

If there are special Uber or Lyft codes made available, we will update this story.

OK, now having made everyone reading this wait this long (you better not have scrolled down), here is the final beer list for Tart at Heart 3.

  • Boxing Bear Black and Blue Sour
  • Canteen Social Capital with cherries on French oak
  • Canteen Social Capital with orange peel, cardamom, and vanilla
  • Cascade Sang Royal (oak and port barrel aged with bing cherries)
  • Chama River Crema Anejo
  • Dialogue Berliner Weisse
  • Dialogue Raspberry Sour
  • Dogfish Head Alternate Takes #4 (farmhouse with apricots aged on oak)
  • Dogfish Head Siracusa Nera (wine barrel aged sour with grape mist)
  • Duchesse de Burgone Oude Bruin
  • Duel Sour Nelli
  • Enchanted Circle Plum Sour
  • Firestone Walker Bretta Weisse
  • Firestone Walker Parabola
  • Founders KBS
  • Hub City Mango Chile Gose
  • La Cumbre Ryeot on Rye
  • Marble Cereza Cerveza
  • Marble La Brune
  • New Belgium Apple Felix
  • North Coast Tart Cherry Berliner Weisse
  • Ponderosa Oud Bruin
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales Ab Initio
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales Baby Hands
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales Saison du Solstice Double Cherry (VIP only)
  • Santa Fe Cherry Berliner Weisse
  • Sierra Blanca Cranberry Sour Ale
  • Sierra Nevada Barrel-aged Biere de Garde
  • Stone Locoveza
  • Turtle Mountain Brett Barrel-Aged Plum Creme Ale
  • Upslope Barrel-Aged Quad
  • Upslope Brett Beer

Full descriptions of the beers will be loaded into the WhichCraft app for the event. They will also, of course, be on hand at the event.

“We’re grateful for people for supporting us over the last two years,” Angelo said.

“Sister has been a great partner for us again this year. Every year they’ve supported Kevin and I more than we can ask for.”

Thanks to Angelo and Kevin for the sit-down, the beer, and of course for putting on this event. I swear I will not just be drinking the Parabola and KBS, but you might want to avoid cutting in front of me in line for either. See you all Saturday afternoon.


— Stoutmeister

Once again, the little items added up, so for the second week in a row we have a notebook to empty.

NIPAC domination continues

Scale Tipper has yet to be dethroned as the champion of NIPAC.

Scale Tipper has yet to be dethroned as the champion of NIPAC.

The fourth round of the National IPA Challenge, hosted by The Brewing News, is complete with three of the five remaining New Mexico entries advancing to the quarterfinals. This marks the second year in a row that our state has three of the last eight.

Last year it was La Cumbre’s Project Dank and Canteen’s Exodus along with Bosque’s Scale Tipper. It ended up an all-New Mexico final, with Scale Tipper topping Exodus. This time around, Scale Tipper is still around, joined by Turtle Mountain’s Adrift IPA and Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle IPA.

Scale Tipper ousted a heavyweight again in the fourth round, defeating Fat Heads’ Head Hunter IPA. Adrift overwhelmed Karl Strauss’ Aurora Hoppyalis, while Bear Knuckle K.O.’d Barley Brown’s WFO IPA.

Second Street was the only New Mexico brewery not to advance. Both 4 Hour Lunch and Fulcrum were defeated in the main bracket, while Trebuchet went down in the fourth round of the Imperial IPA bracket, eliminating the last local entry in that field.

Bosque’s Southwest Session defeated Stone’s Go To IPA to reach the semifinals of the Session IPA bracket. Next up is another showdown with Fat Heads, in this case against Sunshine Daydream.

As for the main bracket semifinals, only two New Mexico entries can move on, as Adrift and Bear Knuckle will go head-to-head. Scale Tipper will try to avenge 4 Hour Lunch against Lawson’s Finest’s Triple Play IPA. Lawson’s Finest, which is in Vermont, is the only non-Western brewery still alive.

The other quarterfinal matchups are between Colorado and Oregon breweries. Breakside Brewery’s Wanderlust IPA will represent Oregon against Comrade’s Superpower IPA, out of Denver. Barley Brown’s Pallet Jack is the other Oregon entry, taking on Codename: Superfan, the entry from Lafayette, Colorado’s Odd13 Brewing that ousted Fulcrum.

Good luck to all the remaining New Mexico entries!

Tart at Heart tickets are now on sale

Thanks for the pic, Angelo!

Thanks for the pic, Angelo!

Only a few of us in the Crew are big fans of sours or wild ales, but we know a heck of a lot of you out there are huge fans of these unique beers. The good news for you is that last year’s popular sour-centric event, Tart at Heart, is coming back this year at Sister on April 16. It sold out last year, so now is the time to get your tickets in advance.

There are $35 general admission tickets and $45 VIP tickets, with the latter getting you into the event an hour early, plus you get a special T-shirt. There will be at least 20 rare sours and other unique beers from around the country and around the world, plus this year you get unlimited tastings. You can purchase tickets online or you can buy them over at Jubilation or Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo.

New breweries update for the week

Now that's a pretty picture to put on Facebook.

Now that’s a pretty picture to put on Facebook.

Congrats to Palmer Brewery and Cider House, which now has an active small brewer license. They posted the photo on their Facebook page this week. There is still no official timetable for opening, but Palmer is clearly getting closer to joining the local scene sooner than later.

Working with our friends over at the Albuquerque Journal, we have learned a little more about the mystery of Hops Brewery. It does not look like they will be opening in Nob Hill, but instead down in Los Ranchos. We found an address on 4th Street, though the listed owners of Hops have yet to officially respond to requests for more information. When we hear more, we will let you all know.

The folks up at Enchanted Circle Brewing in Angel Fire also contacted us. They expect to be open by the end of the month. Looks like we’re going on a road trip in April!

On the lookout for more news

If you — yes, you, gentle reader — ever come across something that seems newsworthy about the New Mexico craft beer scene, please let us know. You can reach us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (yup, Brandon got that working again), and of course via email ( Whether it’s a rumor or something you know to be fact, big or small, from new breweries to expansions to new taprooms or new beers or anything at all, please let us know.

Especially this week, since this here editor is going to be spending an unhealthy amount of time trying to cover the state high school basketball tournament for multiple newspapers.

Come Saturday evening, release the hounds will be uttered. Oh, yes, it will.


— 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.


— Stoutmeister

Editor’s note: We just received one more story from our last Beer Week correspondent, Julie, who has been on the road and could not get this to us any sooner. (She is currently in Flagstaff learning good things about Mother Road.) But since it contains info beyond just the event itself, it seemed prudent to still run the story. Read on for some good news about the plans at Sister and how they will benefit all of us craft beer lovers. And be really jealous of the Double D-licious she got to have. — Stoutmeister

Boulder’s tequila barrel-aged IPA and bourbon barrel-aged Shake Chocolate Porter.

Boulder’s tequila barrel-aged IPA and bourbon barrel-aged Shake Chocolate Porter.

Sister retains its allure even during full daylight hours, and for you day drinkers out there it’s a great chance to explore the flocked wallpaper, dioramas, and semi-creepy portraits without the crush of the usual crowd. I headed there during ABQ Beer Week for the limited release tappings from Boulder Beer. Two barrel-aged brews were offered, plus (my first) IPA on nitro.

Starting with Libido Grande, the tequila barrel-aged IPA, I immediately was hit with the scent of honey. No wonder, as this brew was loaded with agave. The sweetness was cut by the bitter body of the IPA, but the agave prevailed in the body of the brew to make this IPA stickier than what you’d expect. Rich with an amber hue, it had little to no head. Notes of pine, citrus or weedy hops were not to be found here, but this beer surprised with the little kick of tequila that lingered at the end.

At 7-percent ABV (70 IBU), the Libido Grande is what Carrie (the Boulder rep) described as a “creeper,” making you think you’re drinking a session ale because it goes down so smoothly. Carrie says Sam, the Boulder brewer who gets to choose which beers are barrel-aged, kept the Libido Grande in tequila barrels for a full three months.

Carrie from Boulder Beer attempts to convert a long-time Hamm’s drinker to the bourbon barrel-aged Double D-licious Shake Chocolate Porter.

Carrie from Boulder Beer attempts to convert a long-time Hamm’s drinker to the bourbon barrel-aged Double D-licious Shake Chocolate Porter.

The clear winner of the Boulder tasting was the Double D-licious, their Shake Chocolate Porter aged in bourbon barrels (5.9% ABV, 30 IBU). Wow. If you’ve ever had their Shake Chocolate Porter, you’ll remember the rich, dark chocolate flavor. Aged in bourbon barrels, the chocolate overtone is cut by the liquor and by bing cherries that were added specifically for this task. What remains is a velvety porter with an intense bourbon bite. Upon first smell, you get the bourbon. The first taste is also bourbon, but the super opaque dark body soon gives up notes of chocoloate and cherries. The cherry is subtle, but definitely there.

The Double D-licious was just a one-off brew for ABQ Beer Week, but everyone in attendance was in total agreement that this would be a regular addition to their beer fridges if it was only regularly available. Carrie went on to host a brunch pairing featuring this brew and chocolate waffles at Nob Hill Bar & Grill to top off ABQ Beer Week.

After the pour and ensuing cascade, the Mojo IPA on nitro is smooth and rich.

After the pour and ensuing cascade, the Mojo IPA on nitro is smooth and rich.

Finally, I tried the Mojo IPA on nitro. Carrie told us IPAs on nitro are trending in Colorado, and maybe New Mexico will be warming up to this next. What happens to an IPA when it’s put on nitro is that the hops are cut, and you are left with a smooth, rich body that is full of malt. After the nitro cascade settles, it resembles very much an English IPA. At 7.2-percent ABV (72 IBU), it’s another creeper and very easy to drink.

Sister has plans to keep snagging special brews all summer long to pair with their new kitchen offerings.

Sister has plans to keep snagging special brews all summer long to pair with their new kitchen offerings.

What’s Next For Sister

Ben, the manager at Sister, made it known they had big plans for the summer. Along with their stellar draft lineup, they will continue to grab special brews from everyone as they become available. They were tapping La Cumbre’s Strawberry Gose the next day, and are introducing multiple Ballast Point brews over the next few weeks.

What’s really exciting is that they secured one of the chefs from the former Blackbird Buvette and will be opening a full kitchen in mid-June. They’ll feature a wide range of vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with tacos and frito pie at affordable prices. Watch Sister for beer-centric events and food pairings this summer. Word is that five-course meals with a beer for each round are on the way soon.

The specials board at Sister will always keep you up-to-date on what's on tap.

The specials board at Sister will always keep you up-to-date on what’s on tap.


— Julie

And so it begins!

Breweries join forces for the benefit of mankind. We love this world.

Teamwork is always a good thing, but when is it at its best? Simple, when two breweries get together and collaborate on a beer. That is happening more than once here on Saturday as Canteen and Bosque team up for Hoppiness Envy IPA, while La Cumbre and Odell have Paridisal Pale Ale down at Sister Bar.

As per usual, there are plenty of other events to check out as well as Beer Week nearly wraps up. Two Fools, Jubilation, O’Niell’s Nob Hill, Shade Tree, Nob Hill Bar & Grill, and Rock & Brews all have a wide variety of tappings and tastings. There will also be a little educational session over at Distillery 365. Throw in a couple of special late-night events at both Tractor locations and everyone should be happy from noon to midnight.

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: Canteen/Bosque Special Beer Releases. Where: Canteen Brewhouse, Bosque Nob Hill and San Mateo. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: First up is Hoppyweizer, a beer brewed in collaboration with the guys from (available only at Canteen). Then comes the big one, Hoppiness Envy, a collaboration between Canteen and Bosque. Yeah, that’s right, the two finalists for the National IPA Challenge are making an IPA together. Exodus and Scale Tipper merged into one blast of hoppy awesomeness. If you can’t make it to Canteen, head over to Bosque’s main brewery or to the Public House on Girard. It is good to have options in life, like drinking on the north side, central, or south side.

Why you should go: This is basically hophead heaven. See you all at the pearly gates.

All the other great events

What: Boulder Beer Tapping. Where: Two Fools Tavern. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: There will be three different Boulder offerings tapped over the course of the day. One is the Honey Saison, the other two are TBA. Why you should go: Uncover the identity of the mystery beers, be a hero to your fellow beer drinkers. Celebrate by drinking those beers.

What: Odell Sampling. Where: Total Wine Cottonwood. When: 1 to 3 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: Stone Tasting. Where: Jubilation. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free beer samples. Why you should go: Free beer samples.

What: From Beer to Whiskey. Where: Distillery 365. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Ever wonder how close your beer is to being whiskey or another distilled spirit? The guys over at the new Distillery 365 are happy to show you, with a tour of their distillery/brewery and a chance to meet other craft distillers from around the state, including Left Turn, Santa Fe Spirits, Little Toad Creek, and more. Why you should go: Take a break from beer and enjoy some free samples while getting an education. It’s the best way to learn.

What: Marble Specialty Tap Takeover. Where: O’Niell’s Nob Hill. When: 4 to 7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Marble is bring a slew of their seasonal/specialty beers to O’Niell’s. Belgian Quad, Belgian Stout, Choice Blanc, Brett IPA, Maibock, Weizenbock, Double White, and regulars Pilsner, IPA, and Wildflower Wheat will all be available. Brewery reps will be on site with special giveaways. Why you should go: Get some free stuff from Marble while trying multiple beers, some of which are not even available anymore at the pub downtown.

What: Stone Double Tapping. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: A pair of excellent Stone offerings will be available in the form of Reason Be Damned Belgian Pale Ale and Red Wine Barrel Aged Cali Belgique. It’s a double dose of Belgian goodness. A Stone rep will be available to chat from 5 to 7 p.m. Why you should go: You know you love Stone, plus you can chow down on some good food and watch the NHL Western Conference finals Game 7 between Chicago and Anaheim.

What: Goose Island Special Release. Where: Shade Tree Customs & Cafe. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Miss your previous chances to get some Bourbon County Brand Stout? Fear not, Shade Tree has a keg on tap. There will also be live music and free raffles. Why you should go: Even if you’ve had this one before during Beer Week, it’s the stout you need in your life. Go get some.

What: Santa Fe Brewing/Rock & Brews Collaboration Special Tapping. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a special IPA (5.7% ABV) made with Eldorado and Amarillo hops, then extra dry-hopped for a wonderful aroma. Come and get it! Why you should go: Rock out with a fresh new IPA.

What: Odell Tap Takeover. Where: Rock & Brews. When: 6 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: If the SFBC offering isn’t to your liking, or you need something besides it, grab some Odell beers as well. Why you should go: If you’re already there for SFBC, stick around for some Odell, especially if they have Barrel Thief Imperial IPA.

What: Odell/La Cumbre Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Sister Bar. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The new Paradisal Pale Ale, created by the good brewing folks at La Cumbre in collaboration with Odell, will be tapped downtown. Why you should go: Teamwork is a wonderful thing, especially in beer, and when two wonderful breweries join together to make a beer, we should all celebrate.

What: In the Mix & Secret Beer Mixes. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor’s weekly In the Mix series will feature Flo Fader spinning, but in addition to the music, this week they’re doing something a little special. Get ready for special beer mixes and beer cocktails, many created by the members of the Tractor staff. Why you should go: We’ve had our fair share of beer mixes from the Tractor staff over the years (Lauren Poole’s Turkey Milk, the combo of Mustachio and Turkey Drool is probably our all-time favorite), so it should be fun to see what all they have this time around.

What: Cider Day Night Fever. Where: Tractor Nob Hill. When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor is unleashing ciders, nothing but ciders, at their Nob Hill taproom. From regulars like the Apple Cider, Berry Cider, and Dry Cider, plus some new ones they just brewed up, every cider fan should find what he or she likes. Nicolatron will be there to DJ the event, so grab some cider and bust out your best dance moves. Why you should go: If you gluten-free friend has been bugging you to hang out for a while, this is your event.

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 Sunday. 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., today is the last day.
What: Beer and smoked meat pairing; beers are $3.50 per pint, $6 per 10-ounce mead sample
Today — Smoked Meat Sample Platter, Rattlesnake and Red Ranger and Milk Stout ($3 per 10-ounce)

* * * * *

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

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


— Stoutmeister

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, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc).

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


— 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).


— Stoutmeister

La Cumbre has gone and sneaked up on us again. When word came down via social media on Monday that one of Albuquerque’s best breweries had joined forces with Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing to create a collaboration beer called May’s Maize, we are all a bit floored by the news. So we trekked over to Sister Bar on Friday evening for a La Cumbre/New Belgium tap takeover to try this new beer.

While we were there, I (Stoutmeister) brought along my trusty digital recorder to get to the bottom of this stealth project that La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway kept hidden from us all. The good news? It is also available on tap at La Cumbre itself, for those who were not able to make it to Sister. The bad news? There is not an endless supply of this beer. For more info, read on.

The May's Maize was great at Sister Bar on Friday; the lighting inside and/or Stoutmeister's phone camera were not so great.

The May’s Maize was great at Sister Bar on Friday evening; the lighting inside Sister and/or Stoutmeister’s phone camera were not so great.

Stoutmeister: When did this all come together?

Jeff Erway: Brian started talking to me in November. Brian Hart, he’s the local beer ranger, really cool guy. He was in my bar and asked me if I might be interested. I was like, “I would hate to do a collaboration with New Belgium.” Of course I would! First emails started about a month later.

It seemed like it got put on the back burner until March (and) then all of a sudden they were like, “Let’s do it!” Then Lindsay Guerdrum got involved. She’s one of their QC/QA people up there. She actually has the best job in the world. She’s a sensory analyst. She gets paid to drink beers. It’s not a crappy job. She comes down and we had kind of talked about what we wanted to do.

I sourced the corn. We wanted to do some local ingredients so we sourced some local organic yellow corn, red corn and blue corn from Heritage Mill, over there just off of Comanche. — And by the way, it’s a really cool place. Every corn you could ever possibly want, they’ve got it. — And then we got some local sage and I sourced the phenom yeast. On April 27 she showed up at our brewery, we’d never met before, we shook hands, learned the brewery, talked about exactly what we’re going to do, and hopped to it. We brewed a batch of this beer. It’s pretty cool. I’m pretty excited how it turned out. Hopefully now we will have another chance maybe next year for May we can do a release of it in bottles from New Belgium, because I want to brew on their 250-barrel brewhouse.

Stoutmeister: Give me your impression of how this beer turned out.

Jeff: I think the fermentation on this got up to 80 degrees, which is very high. I think I could have gone higher. The fruit character, well, it’s all about the yeast in this. The corn simply serves as a sugar which you could use in any beer this style. It’s got German pilsner malt but the fruit forwardness comes completely from the yeast. I get pineapple and mango, I definitely get a lot of ginger from the yeast and some interesting pepper characteristics. The hops, which were actually pretty heavy, are almost nonexistent. I guess they kind of got buried by the yeast. It finishes very dry and refreshing.

Stoutmeister: It’s cool. I’ve not had a beer like this before.

Jeff: It’s new, it’s definitely new. To be honest, we’ve brewed a few Belgian-style ales. They don’t sell the best in this state, they just don’t. For some reason, they’re not what people want. I think it’s just the (lack of) experience with them. This beer is selling like hotcakes. The last two days we’ve literally sold half the batch. It’s going to be gone really soon. Hopefully enough people get the chance to try it. Hopefully people will expose themselves a little bit.

The one thing about Belgian ales is you can’t fake it. Those beers are unique and they are anything but normal in what people think of as beer. It’s one of the reasons every truly great brewer I know has made that pilgrimage to Belgium and tried their beers. I know that one of the things that New Belgium does that I think is so (freaking) cool is that on your fifth year with the company, you get to go with (co-founder) Kim Jordan and a group of other people that have been there for five years to Belgium on a week-long trip to different Belgium breweries. I’m like, “Your jobs rock! You guys work for a great company!”

I’d love to be able to do something like that. I can’t right now. Maybe someday. Someday I will go to Belgium every year for a week and I will take employees from La Cumbre. No, Laura doesn’t get to come. (That’s Jeff’s wife, who has been patiently listening to us yammer back and forth; thank you, Laura, you were most gracious.)

Brandon (who has also been sitting around listening the whole time): How large of a batch did you make?

Jeff: We tried to brew 15 barrels. We didn’t end up getting 15 barrels from it. It’s about 12 and a half. We’ve sold half of 12 and a half. We put it on tap (Thursday). Some of it went on draft at other places. As soon as people heard about it they wanted it. We’ve been trying to keep hold of the last of it because we want to be able to sell it at our tap room.

I’m stoked she wanted to do something like this. I was kind of worried, I tried the Alpine beer that they did, which was really good. It was probably the best double IPA that I’ve tasted that was mass-produced. It was really good. And I was worried that because we’ve become known for big IPAs that that’s what they wanted to do with us. I was kind of relieved when they didn’t. Then I was like, “Oh, you want to do a Belgium ale? I’m not really that great at brewing Belgium ales. I’m OK.” But anyway, it worked out. I think it’s probably the best Belgian ale we’ve brewed on that system.

* * * *

Take it from a non-Belgium ale drinker, Jeff is not kidding when he calls it one of the best beers La Cumbre has brewed. This is a wholly unique beer, with a multi-flavor profile derived from the yeast and the corn and sage. It is something everyone must try and with such limited quantities left at La Cumbre, hurry up and head over to the tap room on Girard just north of Candelaria. This is a great beer to enjoy this long weekend.

Thanks again to Jeff (and Laura) for stopping to talk to us. We always appreciate having our Beer IQ raised a few more points.

And to all of you reading, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and please remember to be safe and responsible beer lovers! The Crew will be at Nexus to watch the Champions League final on Saturday afternoon (GO BAYERN!) and after that we will be celebrating Franz Solo’s birthday on Sunday. Assuming there’s anything left of him after his brutal experience with the airlines coming back from Barcelona …


— Stoutmeister