Posts Tagged ‘Sister Bar’

That little construction project on McMahon near Unser is the forthcoming west side taproom for Tractor.

Time to clear out the old beer notebook once again …

Tap That offers up a different approach

For those who do not follow us on Facebook, you might have missed our discovery, per reader Matthew Abeyta, that there is a new taproom opening up this weekend. It is not, however, like most (or possibly) taprooms you have ever been to before.

Tap That, located on Montgomery just west of Louisiana (near the old Heimat House/Assets Grille), is hosting its grand opening starting at 5 p.m. today (Friday). The concept, as explained to us by our friend Angelo Orona, is where people come in, get a hi-tech bracelet, and use it to order the beers. There will also be a full food menu. It is not quite like one of those serve yourself taprooms that have popped up in other states (that is still against the law in this state, as far as we know), but it will be a different concept.

We would share more from the Albuquerque Business First story that ran a few weeks ago, but it is locked behind the subscriber-only paywall. Needless to say, if you can afford a subscription (we cannot), go get it, and help some fellow journalists stay employed.

Otherwise, head over to Tap That and let us know what you think. With luck, and a little free time, the Crew will head over there soon as well.

Tastings, tappings, and more

Outside the breweries, there is a fair amount going on this weekend that will keep us plenty busy. It starts today (Friday) at 4 p.m. as North Coast Brewing will be at Jubilation, presenting their most excellent Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout and other beers for tasting. Word is there will even be two bottles of the barrel-aged Rasputin, XVII and XX. It runs until 6 p.m. and is free, of course, but it is so hard to roll into Jubilation these days and not roll out with a box full of delicious beers from around the country and some delectable local offerings as well.

Once you are done there, head on down to Sister for a Bell’s tap takeover that starts at 5 p.m. In addition to the worth-the-hype Hopslam, an imperial IPA brewed with honey, there will be multiple other varieties available as well. The one we are excited about is the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cherry Stout, which many folks have told us is a much more balanced version than the regular batch.

For events at breweries, might we suggest going to Marble Westside tonight at 8 to see our friend Kristen’s band, String Dinner. Hopefully her other band, Distances, which might be the best metal band in Albuquerque, will be performing again soon somewhere.

If anyone needs to get out of town this weekend, our friends at Truth or Consequences Brewing have suggested a trip south. Take a dip in the hot springs to relax, then head over to the brewery for some fun and new beers. Big River IBA (7.5% ABV, 69 IBU) went on tap Thursday. It is an India Brown Ale, a fun take on a slightly different IPA. The brewery has live music ever Friday and Saturday night, too. Special upcoming concerts include The Pine Hill Haints on Tuesday and The Booze Bombs on Thursday, both at 7 p.m. The latter band is described as German rockabilly, which has us imagining Rammstein crossed with Reverend Horton Heat, or something like that.

The TorC staff recommends The Firewater Lodge, The Blackstone, Riverbend, Las Palomas, The Charles, Indian Springs, and The Pelican as the best places to stay the night.

New brewery/taproom updates

  • High & Dry Brewing has quietly opened in the southeast. I took a tour the other day with brewer/owner Andrew Kalemba, so look for our full story early next week. For now, there are six guest taps available, but the house beers will not be on tap until the grand opening on February 10. It is a sweet little space that they have built on Adams just south of Lomas. It also might be one of the most deceptive taprooms in town. From the outside it looks quite small, but the inside can fit up to 88 people, with even more room in the back for brewing.
  • Tractor has a pending license for its forthcoming west side taproom, plus some pictures went up on social media this week (see above). Look for that space to open in the coming months.
  • It appears the mysterious 1933 Brewing Company announced for Rio Rancho will be moving into the old Fat Squirrel Pub and Grill on Southern Boulevard. Long ago, of course, that was the original location of Turtle Mountain. It will not be owned by the folks behind Pi Brewing, who also previously owned the Fat Squirrel, but by new owners.
  • Construction continues apace at Cantero and Lava Rock, but neither appears close to opening its doors. The Ponderosa taproom at the El Vado Motel redevelopment has been delayed (more on that with the Ponderosa Look Back/Look Ahead Series article coming next week) and will probably not open until later in the spring.
  • Another new addition to the list of pending small brewer licenses is Casa Vieja LLC in Corrales. We are pretty sure we know what this one is, too, but for now we are remaining mum at the request of the owner.

That is all from us today. As always, please let us know whenever you see anything out there that you think is beer news: nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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Nom nom barleywine!

Thanks to our friends at Ska Brewing in Durango, we in the crew were delighted recipients of a bottle of their barrel-aged Ska Face Barleywine. A quorum of Stoutmeister, myself (Franz Solo), and Cryptogrind gathered to enjoy this lovely winter warmer.

Take note, Ska Face will be available today (Friday) from 5 to 8 p.m. at Sister as part of a tap takeover by the brewery. Also available are Sour Apple Gose, Pink Vapor Stew, True Blonde, and Bad Hop Contract.

To help everyone make up their minds as to whether or not to attend, we present our rambling discourse from Tuesday evening.

Crypt: I can smell the booze on this from here.

Solo: Holy hell! Bourbon!

Crypt: Bourbon, dried fruit, you get raisin right away.

Solo: Oh yeah, that tart, whiskey sour mash kind of flavor. It’s a little floral initially, too.

Crypt: Smells like corn!

(Laughter ensues.)

Stout: Korn!

Solo: Delicious creamed corn!

Crypt: Not the corn! Ah, Willie’s gonna have his legs broke!

(Further laughter ensues.)

Stout: That’s delicious.

Crypt: On a different level, layers of sweetness.

Solo: You get tart, and then sweet, and then earthy, and then yummy.

Crypt: So the booze I don’t get a lot on the palate, honestly. It’s not overly hot like it kind of smells like it should be. But, it’s pretty complex in the flavor, because there’s a ton of whiskey right up front, but it doesn’t burn. You get a ton of oak and sour whiskey comes through.

Solo: Vanilla is starting to come through a lot as well.

Crypt: There’s like five different kinds of sweetness there with a little bit of caramel, and it’s like if the huckleberries were too tart, you just dust them with confectioner’s sugar, that kind of thing.

Stout: It is not overly chewy, but I still like the mouthfeel.

Solo: Yeah, it fills the mouth, but it is not a single blast at any spot. Rather, it coats everything.

Stout: It does linger and in a good way; there’s not a bad aftertaste to this at all.

Crypt: It has this light toffee and caramel sweetness light coating that’s really nice.

Stout: It’s more the beer itself and not necessarily the barrel.

Solo: And, it just warms you so nicely. It gives me that little bit of chest burn like you get from a good whiskey or strong winter ale.

Crypt: What kind of yeast did they use in this? I’m getting different kind of fruity notes in the finish that are just really neat.

Stout: Well, it’s an English-style yeast that they use up there.

Crypt: It is pretty unique as far as the finish goes.

Solo: Yeah, it is kind of like the dried cherries that my dad has from his yard, but sweeter like they were injected with huckleberries.

Crypt: We should put that on a banana splice, er split.

(We proceed to discuss excellent sci-fi movies including Blade Runner 2049 and The Cell before returning to the task at hand.)

The bottle even came with this handy sheet of fun facts.

Stout: Thank you, Ska.

Solo: Yes, thank you, Ska. The beer smells sweeter than it actually tastes, likely from the slight tart sourness of the whiskey barrel that balances with what would be otherwise a very, very sweet beer.

Stout: Agreed.

Crypt: Purple monkey dishwasher.

Stout: Drink this while skiing Purgatory! This is very much a winter skiing beer.

Crypt: I’d wash it down with a tall, cool glass of hot dog. Wait …

(The late, great Harry Caray then enters discussion, as is typical of these gatherings, and we rambled a bit about the delicious brews and food available in Chicago.)

In conclusion, among barrel-aged barleywines this one is a strong and unique example of a tart and medium sweet, English-style winter warmer, with many distinct and delightful notes of vanilla, sour whiskey, and various dried fruits. The flavor and aroma linger with the best of ’em and the mouthfeel is excellent. We heartily recommend you seek this quintessential winter skiing/snowboarding beer.

Thanks, once again, to our friends at Ska Brewing for sending us a sample!

Skål!

— Solo, Stoutmeister, Cryptogrind

Cheers to the BA for all it does.

Yeah, it is definitely that time of year. The recaps and top 10 lists are being posted, the year-in-review stories are rolling along (like, uh, our Look Back/Look Ahead Series). When it comes to recapping the year in craft beer for the entire country, no one sums it up best quite like the Brewers Association.

It was another big year for craft beer, to say the least.

“Craft brewers continue to thrive, if at a slower pace, fueled by a passionate community dedicated to bringing innovation, jobs and beer across America—on Main Street and beyond,” said Bart Watson, the chief economist of the Brewers Association, in a press release. “Today, 83 percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a local brewery, meaning that the positive impact of breweries is being felt in communities all over the country.”

OK, that is pretty cool. What other stats does the BA have for us?

  • The number of breweries nationwide has now surpassed 6,000, with 98 percent of those falling under the craft banner. By the Crew’s count, 68 of those are in New Mexico, with at least six more active licenses for places that have yet to open their doors, but should in the next couple months (more on that down below).
  • All those breweries have created 456,373 jobs, a 7.5-percent increase from 2014. In turn, that has generated $67.8 billion for the U.S. economy, a 21.7-percent increase. Craft breweries in turn donated $73.4 million to charities.
  • The Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act has support from both parties and will potentially pass through both houses of Congress and become law during this current session. So, yeah, I guess we will have to say that Congress will do one good thing.
  • It appears the term “beercation” is becoming more and more of a reality. The average craft beer drinker visits 3.5 breweries near home and 2.5 breweries within two hours driving distance (take note: the press release did not say whether this was 3.5 per week, per month, or per year; for the Crew, it would certainly be per week, sometimes even per day, when we are feeling frisky with our Lyft/Uber accounts). A survey by the BA found that 64 percent of craft drinkers like to visit breweries to try new beers on a regular basis. We will raise one to that.
  • The New Mexico stats on the BA website are for 2016, but they still tell a positive story. By the end of that year, there 57 breweries, ranking 26th in the country. More notably, the 3.9 breweries per capita (100,000 adults) ranks 11th nationwide. Breweries had an economic impact of $333 million (40th) or $226.26 per capita (35th). A total of 111,237 barrels (32nd) were produced, amounting to 2.3 gallons consumed per adult (21st).

Yeah, it is still a good era for craft beer. Here is hoping it continues into 2018 and beyond.

Embrace the darkness at beer bars, too

The quality of dark beers around town is straight fire.

Our friends over Rock & Brews wanted you all to know that the current dark beer lineup is fairly epic. As fun as it is to hit up the breweries first, don’t forget the beer bars, as they often pull in some exclusive styles from out of state that you can usually only get in bottles or cans.

Rock & Brews currently has Dogfish Head’s Vanilla Oak-Aged Worldwide Stout, which is otherwise a pricey purchase in four-pack bottles. The ubiquitous Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout lines up next to Worldwide. There is also the most recent iteration of the ultimate beer geek beer, Stone’s Imperial Farking Wootstout. The real surprise gem, though, is Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout. No, really, it is on tap. If that hefty price tag for a bomber is scaring you off, but you really want to know if it is worth it (we think so, but we’re biased), head over to Rock & Brews to try it first before you commit to a 22-ounce bottle or two.

Down at Sister Bar, at least as of the Gatecreeper show this past Monday (gotta say, impressive crowd showing, ABQ-area metalheads), there is still some of La Cumbre’s La Negra on tap. It has been out at the brewery for a while, so get some while it lasts (if it’s even still there, we apologize if it is gone by now).

Nob Hill Bar & Grill has a strong lineup, which you can find anytime via Untappd. The current black beasts of ahhh available are Bell’s Black Note and Kalamazoo Stout, plus 2016 and 2017 Bourbon County Brand Stout, and two old favorites in Oskar Blues Ten FIDY and Stone Xocoveza.

So much dark beer, so little time.

New breweries update

Hello to a new small town brewery!

Sticking with tradition in beer notes, here are the most recent updates on all the forthcoming breweries across New Mexico. As always, we only list breweries with pending or active small brewer licenses with the State.

  • BLUE (Albuquerque): Nothing new on this small brewery located somewhere near Broadway and Lead/Coal.
  • Bonito Valley Brewing (Lincoln): A newcomer to the list located in a small, historic town west of Roswell along Highway 380. There is a Facebook page that says the owners are aiming for a summer 2018 opening.
  • Brewstillery (Albuquerque): We still have no info on this combo operation in the Southeast.
  • Callahan West Brewery (Mosquero): The small town brewery has been in touch with the NM Brewers Guild about joining up in 2018, so it appears to be a go.
  • Cantero Brewing (Albuquerque): Now armed with an active license, the final parts of construction are underway.
  • Elkins Brewing (Grants): We have no new info on this business.
  • Glencoe Distillery and Brewery (Ruidoso): The license is active, but there is still no website that we can find, nor any social media. It remains a mystery.
  • Guadalupe Mountain Brewing (Carlsbad): The license is active here, too, and beer is now being brewed. We await the announcement of opening, which could come any week now.
  • High and Dry Brewing (Albuquerque): Construction appears to be mostly complete down near Adams and Lomas. The Crew is in touch with the ownership and we are working to set up an advance tour when they are ready.
  • Hollow Spirits (Albuquerque): Construction continues on this new combo spot in the Wells Park neighborhood. It is the brainchild of former Red Door co-owner Frank Holloway.
  • Lava Rock Brewing (Albuquerque): The West Side brewery is getting closer and closer to opening on Unser just north of Ladera.
  • Lost Hiker Brewing (Ruidoso): Yes, the license is active, now only a few final touches must be completed and there will be local beer in the mountains down south. Keep track of the progress on the Lost Hiker Facebook page.
  • 1933 Brewing (Rio Rancho): Another newcomer to the list, we have no info beyond a name and a zip code for RR. It is unknown if this brewery is related in any way to the former 1933 Brewing of Fort Collins, Colo., which closed at the end of 2016.
  • Red River Brewing: All this mild winter is not helping the ski industry up north, but it should enable RRB to finish construction and remain on track for an early 2018 opening.
  • Switchback Brewery (Cloudcroft): There is still no info online on this place. We would like to remind everyone, though, that there is a Switchback Brewing in Vermont, so a name change may ultimately be necessary.
  • Toltec Brewing (Albuquerque): The forthcoming West Side brewery took a big step by hiring a head brewer, but we have been asked not to reveal the identity of this individual just yet. Let us just say, however, that we are excited.
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery (Santa Fe): There are lots of construction photos on Facebook, so it looks like a good bet to open sooner than later. The small brewer license is now active.
  • The pending licenses for off-site taprooms remains as follows — Little Toad Creek in Las Cruces (new!); Ponderosa at El Vado Motel redevelopment (getting close); Santa Fe Downtown Taproom; Starr Brothers Alehouse (location TBA); Tumbleroot in Santa Fe (they will not sell beer out of the production facility down the street). Also, the Milton’s taproom in Roswell has an active license, but it is not yet open as far as we know.

That is all for now. As always, if you know anything about anything, please drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Have a great weekend, and good luck with any last-minute Christmas shopping!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Counting down the days till Expedition and its stout friends arrive from Michigan! (Photo courtesy of Bell’s Brewery)

It was pretty awesome and all when Bell’s Brewery started distributing in New Mexico last month. After the initial excitement just to get beers like Two Hearted and Kalamazoo Stout here, plenty of folks started asking that one, inevitable question: “Where are the seasonals?”

Oh, they are about to arrive in a big, big way. Bell’s sales rep Silas Sims sent us the full list of upcoming seasonal beers coming to New Mexico, plus just where you will be able to sample them, enjoy them on tap, and get them to go.

First up, sour lovers, get ready for The Wild One (6.5% ABV, 20 IBU), a sour brown ale aged in oak foeders with a little brett thrown in for an extra funky kick. If you prefer something maltier and chewier, Christmas Ale (7.5% ABV, 35 IBU), a hefty Scotch ale, is “certain to make any occasion festive, or at least a bit more bearable,” per the Bell’s website.

Then comes the darkness, a quartet of excellent stouts that has the Crew already saving up some money in advance. Expedition Stout (10.5% ABV) is a massive Russian Imperial Stout that has earned plenty of fame among the fans of the darkness. It does not arrive alone, as two dessert stouts will accompany it to Albuquerque and points beyond. Cherry Stout (7% ABV) is a little more tart than sweet, using only Montmorency cherries from the Traverse City area in Michigan. Meanwhile, Special Double Cream Stout (6.1% ABV) gets its sweetness and smooth mouthfeel not from lactose, but from a blend of 10 special malts.

Finally, the whale of the bunch will be here, but in limited supply. Black Note Stout (11.2% ABV) is a wonderful behemoth, a bourbon barrel-aged blend of the Expedition and the Special Double Cream. “Aimed squarely at the stout and bourbon aficionados, Black Note makes a grand statement about the art of the dark.” That is just beautiful poetry right there, people.

These beers should arrive by the end of next week, meaning November will be getting off to a great start. Jubilation will have them, as should both Total Wine locations and both Whole Foods locations. Additional retailers will be announced when that information becomes available.

For those not quite sure if you want these beers, there will be some special tastings and tappings coming up as well.

  • Friday, November 3: Sister Bar will host the first tapping of Black Note from 5 to 8 p.m., with Porter, Oarsman, Lager of the Lakes, and Two Hearted also available.
  • Thursday, November 9: Jubilation will have a tasting of select beers (no Black Note, sorry, it is a limited amount) from 4 to 6 p.m. Keep an eye on their social media for the full lineup.
  • (Black) Friday, November 24: O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo will have kegs of Black Note, The Wild One, Winter White, and one TBD beer on tap from 5 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 30: Whole Foods on Carlisle will have a tasting of all available beers from 4 to 6 p.m.
  • TBD date in December: There will be another Black Note tapping, this time at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. We will share that info when it is available.

Stout season is upon us! Glory to the elder gods!

Now we can’t wait to see what our local breweries will produce this season to go up against these national heavyweights. We have a feeling the winner will be … all of us!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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 nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Cheers!

— 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 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

All the final details to know for Tart at Heart

Posted: April 13, 2017 by cjax33 in Events
Tags:

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.

Cheers!

— 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 (nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com). 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.

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

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.

Cheers!

— Julie