Posts Tagged ‘Starr Brothers Brewing’

The Starr Brothers command staff includes, from bottom left, Matthew Pullen (assistant brewer), Heather & John Starr (founders/owners), and, from top left, Derek Minero (general manager) and Rob Whitlock (head brewer).

Starr Brothers Brewing has just passed its two-year anniversary last weekend, and is no longer the new kid on the brewing block. The brewery has established itself with a welcoming Northeast Heights taproom and a solid lineup of house beers. To catch up on all that went down in the past year and what is to come in 2018, I sat down with John and Heather Starr, founders of Starr Brothers Brewing, along with head brewer Rob Whitlock, for our Look Back/Look Ahead series.

Creating a space for all types of beer drinkers

“I always wanted to own a bar,” John said. “But, as we discovered craft breweries in our travels, I shifted focus and decided to go this route. I knew the craft beer scene was blowing up in New Mexico, and figured the time was right to go for it.”

John said he wanted to create a public house-style place, similar to the Deschutes Brewery Public House in Portland, Oregon. He wanted a very approachable space where people felt comfortable whether or not they were craft beer aficionados. The taproom is situated within my daily orbit in Albuquerque, and I drop in regularly for lunch with colleagues and clients. I can confirm that this place is, indeed, an accessible space for everyone, no matter where they might be on the spectrum as a beer lover.

Heather is the president of the company, and many people may be unaware that Starr Brothers Brewing is actually a woman-owned business. It’s a small, family operation with Heather and John at the center running the operations, Rob as head brewer, and Derek Minero as general manager. (Editor’s note: The Starr Brothers are actually John and Heather’s sons, whom John once said he hopes to leave the business to someday. — S)

Last year proved to be a big one for their small team. They opened up their back room to expand their fermentation capacity, growing from 36 to 96 barrels. The expansion spanned a three-month buildout and allowed Starr Brothers to increase its tap handles around the city. Even without a dedicated salesperson, they are now self-distributing to locations such as Blue Grasshopper, B2B, Matanza, Route 66 Casino, Silva Lanes Bowling Alley, The Pit, and a range of other places. The tap handles stay in place once established, a fact that makes John proud.

The taproom is also popular for its food. Even without a head chef, the kitchen staff offers up consistent pub fare (including delicious tacos) that has a loyal following. John said they had professional help creating the menu, and points to the competency of his staff as the cornerstone of the kitchen’s success in dishing out a high-quality product.

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Derek Minero, general manager, with Starr Brothers’ Blackfriday Dark American Lager

Crafting a solid lineup

Rob pointed to their house blonde ale as the “gateway” beer best to induct people new to craft brews into his world. Currently, house offerings include the blonde (L.A. Woman, 5.4% ABV; 16 IBU), Starrstruck IPA (7.2% ABV; 82 IBU), Lampshade Porter (7.6% ABV; 27 IBU), Red Zeppelin (7.6% ABV; 28 IBU), and Brown Chicken Brown Cow (6.4% ABV; 24 IBU). All of these staple brews are balanced, drinkable, and don’t venture too far out of bounds from classic styles, matching the taproom’s approachability with what’s served up there.

When asked how John and Rob got connected, John said they were introduced through a mutual friend when he was planning the brewery.

“I wanted someone different, from outside the scene who could bring something new to it,” John said. “What got me so excited about Rob was that he was so passionate about what he did as a home brewer, and I respected the way he approached his brewing as if he were already a professional.”

Rob brought his own recipes with him to Starr Brothers, establishing the stable of house beers and laying the foundation for the seasonal and experimental brews he’s created since. When the taproom opened on January 18, 2016, they launched with guest taps from local breweries until their permits were approved. On April 8, 2016, they started pouring Rob’s brews from their tap handles.

“We really have two anniversaries,” Rob said. “It’ll be two years in April since we started pouring our own beer, and so we get to have another celebration.”

In rotation with the house beers are seasonal fruity wheat beers for summer, an experimental pumpkin yam ale for fall (Jack Tooth Grin, 6.1% ABV; 25 IBU), and rich, dark brews for winter. The Anniversary Stout, just released for their opening date anniversary, is slightly sweet with chocolate notes and incredibly drinkable with just a hint of smokiness. It’s a twist on Rob’s popular Zombies in the Manger stout (6.5% ABV; 20 IBU).

On the specialty hop-forward side of things, the Starrgazm New England IPA (7.5% ABV; 75 IBU) took fifth in last year’s IPA Challenge.

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Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA (Photo: Luke Macias)

Full disclosure — I might have bullied Rob into putting my favorite seasonal (I wish it was a staple beer) on to brew. The Phantom Limb (7.2% ABV; 58 IBU) is a black rye IPA that nails it, in my opinion. I spent years in Northern Vermont where black IPAs were standard, and in the six years I’ve lived in New Mexico, I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement for the ones I left behind. This is it. Its hoppiness is accentuated by the dryness of the rye, and the dark Cascadian base makes it smooth and sessionable. Rob said it should hit the taps in a couple of weeks. You can bet that you’ll find me there when it does.

“It’s all about balance for me,” Rob said. “The biggest part about a beer to me is the finish.”

Looking Ahead

With an increased capacity, Starr Brothers is going to be pumping out a wider variety of beers. Rob said he’s been going back through his original recipes and making small tweaks to his staple brews. He’s also planning a greater range of seasonals and is looking to experiment with barrel-aging this year.

The pilsner that’s been on in the taproom is excellent, and a great representation of a dry, German-style lager. The Blackfriday dark American lager (5.9% ABV; 13 IBU) is a balanced lager that’s not too malty with rich undertones. Last year, Starr Brothers collaborated with the now-defunct Chama River and produced the popular Oakey Smokey. The staff is looking forward to more collaborations in the year ahead.

“Rob is making a great, quality product, and he has a natural mind and palate for brewing great beer,” John said. “He gets the way everything works chemically. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot, and 2018 is going to be another year of growth for us.”

In 2017, Starr Brothers produced 765 barrels (about 23,000 gallons). This year, it will exceed 1,000 barrels thanks to the expansion. Rob brewed seven barrels of Oktoberfest in 2016 and it was gone in eight days. Last year, he brewed 15 barrels of it and it kicked in about 20 days. This year, with their expanded capacity, watch for more.

This year, outside the taproom and the tap handles around town, you will be able to find Starr Brothers at BearFest, Bacon & Brews, the Celtic Festival at Balloon Fiesta Park, and other events yet to be announced. And, if you haven’t been to their taproom at 5700 San Antonio Drive NE, head in for what’s sure to be a good time with their friendly service, approachable atmosphere, and excellent craft brews. Veterans, firefighters, law enforcement and public service workers all receive discounts on site.

We’ll see you there on April 8 to celebrate the second anniversary of serving up great craft beer to Albuquerque. And, we’ll be watching to see what Heather, John, Rob, Derek and crew cook up in the meantime.

StarrBros-crew

More of the crew at Starr Brothers in the newly expanded brewery

Cheers!

— Julie

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

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

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

Duel ABQ and Starr Brothers are celebrating anniversaries this weekend. The former is having an all-night event on Saturday starting at 7. Keith Sanchez and the Moon Thieves, with special guest Buddhafunk, will provide the music. Duel owner Trent Edwards will exhibiting his new artwork. Oh, and Goya Imperial Stout is back, with this batch checking in at 13.3-percent ABV. Make sure your Lyft/Uber account is in good shape before you head downtown. If you would rather stick in the Heights, Starr Brothers is celebrating all weekend. There will be live screen printing from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Happy hour prices will be in effect all three days. There will be a special anniversary stout on tap, and a $10 burger special. There will be some additional specials as well. Since it is going Friday through Sunday, you can pick any day to visit Starr Brothers and still make it to Duel on Saturday night. Have fun!

On the new beer front this week, there are quite a few options to check out. Bombs Away drops some Counter Charge Coffee Stout, which was a big hit at WinterBrew. Bosque resurrects an old favorite, Down in the Hollow. Dialogue mellows out with the sessionable 505 Lager. Drafty Kilt brings back Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. Ponderosa may have some Russian Imperial Stout marching in this weekend. Sidetrack has fresh Pub Ale and Turntable IPA: Series 2 on tap. Steel Bender has more Skull Crusher DIPA ready to clobber us all.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has a batch of Kolsch with Ginger. Rowley Farmhouse Ales has moved forward with Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA) just in time for the new season of The X-Files. Also available is Petit Blanche – Amarillo. Second Street rolls out Cereza Negra, Diablo Canyon, and Brown Ale.

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

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Eagle Claw, Tokyo Black, Single and Ready to Mingle. The most recent additions are the Tokyo Black (5.5% ABV, 24 IBU), an ale made with black tea, and Eagle Claw (4.8% ABV, 41 IBU), a farmhouse pale ale.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Friars Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Grapefruit Pale Ale, Oktoberfest, Sour Strangehop, Double Dead Red. The Double Dead Red returned recently, so enjoy it while it’s still fresh.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bombs Away Beer Company — (505) 554-3204

(Hours: Mon–Fri 3 p.m.–close, Sat–Sun noon–close)

Beers: Short Fuse Blonde Ale, BABC IPA, Willie Pete Wit, Low Order Porter, High Speed Low Drag Lager, Wild Card Spiced Ale, Brisance Bitter, Bag Drag BPA, Arsenal English Amber, Proximity Pilsner, MKDeuce Pale Ale, Primer Pub Ale, Actuator IPA, Stockpile Stout, Phil’s Incendiary IPA, Long Delay RyePA, Bomb’s Shell IPL, Boom Stick Brown, Counter Charge Coffee Stout. The Phil’s Incendiary IPA was brewed up for a great cause, so head over to try it soon. Stockpile is a nice, robust beer that is perfect for the season. The Coffee Stout is the most recent addition.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Open Space Haze: 41 South, Open Space Haze: 48 North, Honey Porter, Galaxy Far Far Away, Down in the Hollow. The Open Space Haze is a series of a different IPAs made with varying hop blends. The most recent additions are the Hollow, Honey Porter, and Galaxy.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.-midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Sun Dagger (Saison), True Aim (Scotch Ale), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Desert Dynamo IPL, Wolf Eyes (Oktoberfest), Nomadico IPA, Visionland Amber Ale, Sweetfetti Weizenbock, Thirsty Land: Foraged Series (Grisette), Coyote Waits (Barrel-Aged Imperial Mole Stout), Savage Times Sour IPA, Vanilla Daze Stout. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Vanilla Daze, Savage Times, Coyote Waits, Thirsty Land, Sweetfetti, and Visionland. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive. Take note, Hoka Hey IPA has been retired from the lineup.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: Crystal Kolsch, Scotch Rocket, Iron Lung Smoked Porter, Simcoe SMASH, Low Rye-der IPA. The most recent additions are the Low Rye-der, Scotch Rocket, Simcoe, and Iron Lung. There are still a few bottles left of the barrel-aged Standing 8 Stout. The Chocolate Milk Stout is on the regular and nitro taps.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA, Dogtoberfest. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. Dogtoberfest is the most recent addition.

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Panama Jose Coffee Stout, Pop’s Pre-Prohibition Lager, Whirling Dervish, Hop Baller IPA, Social Capital (Dark Cherries aged on French Oak), Schwarzbier, Irish Red. The Dervish is a passionfruit Belgian sour. The Irish Red, Schwarzbier, Panama Jose, Hop Baller, and Social Capital were the big recent additions.

Live Music (Brewery): TBA

Live Music (Taproom): Saturday—Benny Bassett, 5-8 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Strawberry Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Idiot Sauvin, Dry Irish Stout, Belgian Cherry Wheat, Amber Ale, Vienna Lager, Coffee Lager, World as Will IPA, 505 Lager. The most recent additions are the three lagers and the new World as Will.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Outlamber Amber, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout. The Obliviscaris is back, having replaced the Covfefe Hefe. Take note, Drafty Kilt is now closed on Mondays.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Karaoke with Tobyriffic, 3-7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Eater of Worlds Pale Ale, Darth Malt, Hoplo Ren, Nebulas New England IPA. The most recent addition is the Nebulas, but the two that came before it were released in conjunction with Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Darth Malt (Baltic Porter) and Hoplo Ren (Black IPA).

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Hops has started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. The Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) was the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Open Mic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—TJ the DJ, 9 p.m.-midnight; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Blondie, Helles Lager, Winter Wheat, ESB, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, Oatmeal Raisin Stout, St. Paul’s Porter, Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions include Blondie, Winter Wheat, Black IPA, Puddle Stomper IPA, St. Paul’s Porter, and the delectable Oatmeal Raisin Stout. Look for Imperial Stout soon.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, American Lager, IPA, Lobo Red Ale, Session IPA, Sleeping Dog Stout, 35 N Coffee Porter, Common; (seasonal) German Pilsner, Capspackler DIPA, Dortmunder, Oak-Aged Natalia. The lineup got a bit of a makeover, with American Lager and Common joining the regulars, bumping out the Blonde. The Natalia was originally made at Chama River and dear lord it was dark decadence in a glass. Get some quick before it runs out!

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: Weize Ass Goat Weizenbock, Mind Phoq, Winner Winner Chicken Dinner (triple IPA), Meridian SMASH IPA, In the Money DIPA. Recent additions to the lineup are the Meridian, Mind Phoq (Coffee Pale Ale), and the hop bombs Chicken Dinner and In the Money.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Cholo Stout, Ol’ Maverick Barleywine, Biscochito Wheato, Downlowlander Scotch Ale, Mandarina SMASH, El Gabacho Golden Ale (Downtown only), Brett Pale Ale (Downtown only), Double IPA (Downtown and Westside only), Imperial Red (Downtown and Westside only), Robust Porter (Downtown and Westside only), Hop Fudge Sunday (Heights only), Dubbel (Heights and Westside only), Chinook IPA (Heights and Westside only), Oaked Amber on nitro (Heights and Westside only), Tropical Solution (Heights and Westside only), Ginger Kid (Heights and Westside only), Brown Extra 2.0 (Westside only), Horchata Porter (Westside only), Vunderland (Westside only), Blackberry Saison (Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The Chinook IPA and El Gabacho are the most recent additions. We cannot recommend the Ol’ Maverick, and Cholo Stout enough. Get some!

Live Music (Downtown): Music is done for the colder months, but will resume at 111 in the spring!

Live Music (Heights): Friday—El Brujo Trio, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—RJ Perez, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—The Real Matt Jones, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Mungos, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—West Side Blues Fest with Cynical Bird, 3-3:45 p.m., Stanlie Kee and Step-In, 4-4:45 p.m., Issac Aragon and the Healing, 5-6:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Bird of Prey IPA, Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Equinox, Irish Red, Imperial Pilsner (Silver only), Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only). The most recent additions are Belgian Tripel, Dunkelweizen, Irish Red, Equinox, and Bird of Prey.

News: Nexus Silver now has food! Rejoice and check out the menu on their main website.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Pool Session Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout, BRO (Double IPA). Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Red, Spanglish, Blood Orange Wit, Dry-Hopped Saison, Hop-Mosa. The most recent additions are the Hop-Mosa (a hazy IPA), Spanglish, and Blood Orange Wit. Russian Imperial Stout is on deck, going on as soon as tap opens up.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Total Wine, Bird of Paradise, Jubilation, Kelly’s, and Quarters!

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: S’More Than a Beer, SMASH Comet Session IPA, Irish Handcuffs Imperial Stout, Coco Orastie (Orange) Stout, Beag IPL. S’More Than a Beer was made with graham crackers, lactose, and chocolate. After the recent smash run of a barrel-aged 2016 Irish Handcuffs, the new version (sans any barrel aging) is on tap. Beag is a little brother to the Morbuck IPA.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Wyoming taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Oktoberfest, Dubbel, WyPA, White AF IPA (downtown only). The Imperial Red IPA was the first in a series of beers to celebrate Red Door’s anniversary. The Plum Gose was second and Oktoberfest was third.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Today (Wednesday)—Paint it Black Open Mic Comedy, 7-9 p.m.; Thursday—Art at the Bar, 5:30-8:30 p.m.; Sunday—Parents’ Day Out, noon-3 p.m.; Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Marzen, Grapefruit Launcher IPA, Schwarzbier, Rubus Ruckus, Barleywine, Cherry Wheat Cuvee, Christmas Cascade Pale Ale, Grab ‘Em By the Putin (Russian Imperial Stout). A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter (new recipe!), Putin (new batch), and Belgian Strong. The Cherry Wheat Cuvee is a barrel-aged blend of Cherry Wheat and Barleywine.

Live Music: Thursday—Julian Dossett, 6 p.m.; Friday—Benny Bassett, 6:30 p.m.; Saturday—Rascal Martinez, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Loungy Wednesdays with Eli del Puerto, 6-8 p.m.; Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Turntable Series IPA: Track 2, Guera American Blonde Ale, 3:10 to Belen Brown Ale, Dark Engine Stout, Buzz Bomb, Pub Ale. The Turntable 2 and Pub Ale are the most recent additions. Buzz Bomb is a delicious coffee pale ale made in collaboration with the folks next door at Zendo.

Cask: The Pub Ale and Dark Engine, with dark chocolate added, are in the firkins.

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Jack Tooth Grin, A Roll in Ze Hay (Hefeweizen), Black Friday (Dark American Lager), Zombies in the Manger (Biscochito Stout), Starrphire Pilsner, Cherry Bombed. The most recent additions are Cherry Bombed, Pilsner, and the Zombies in the Manger, which is downright sacrilicious. Look for a special anniversary stout on tap this weekend (see the intro above).

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Brickie American Stout, Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Die Dunkel Seite, Oh Gs (Ginger and Grapefruit Gose), Steel Bender Lager, Skull Crusher DIPA. The most recent additions are the Lager, DIPA, and Oh Gs. There are still bottles of The Judy, a peach saison aged in Chardonnay barrels, for sale at the brewery.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Loonies Lime Saison, Short Wee Heavy, Milk Stout, Peach Wheat, Kolsch, Scottish Ale, Say Juan Saison, Barrel-Aged Tart Cherry Milk Stout, Skin Walker Triple IPA. A most excellent update from the folks at The 377 features four new additions to the seasonal list with Loonies, Short Wee Heavy, Skin Walker, and the BA Tart Cherry Milk Stout. It’s quite the variety, isn’t it?

Weekly Events: Sunday—Open Mic/Jam Session, 5 p.m.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park), (505) 243-6752 (Four Hills)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Three-Two Amber, 2016 Stein Wine, Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna, Imma Pale Ale, Spiced Cider, Pete’s Porter, Pecan Ale, Turkey Drool, Nitro Cowboy Coffee (Wells Park only), American Wild Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Desert Dweller DIPA (Nob Hill only), Jack the Sipper (Four Hills only), Belgo American Pale Ale (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only), Javi Lager (Four Hills only). Recent additions to the lineup are a fresh batch of Turkey Drool, plus Pecan Ale, Pete’s Porter, and the American Wild Ale, as well as the Imma Pale Ale, made in collaboration with Immastar Productions. Barrel-Aged Leche de Luna is an imperial chocolate milk stout with a serious kick.

News: Do not fret, Berry Cider is still on tap, but since it is now a year-round offering, we will no longer be listing it with the seasonal/specialty brews and ciders here.

Live Music (Wells Park): Thursday—Live Country Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Sloan Armitage, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Jimmy Deveney, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Holly Durante, 7 p.m.

Events (Wells Park): Saturday—Improv Bingo with Blackout Theatre Company, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Weekly Events (Four Hills): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals. Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Cosmic Yum Yum, Count Hellesaurius, Infinitesimus Imperial Stout, Yum Yum OG. The Yum Yum OG, Infinitesimus, and Hellesaurius are the most recent additions.

News: Can’t Catch Me Copper Lager is now part of the main lineup and should be on tap year round.

Cask: Tuesday—TBA

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Farmhouse Funkalicious, La Santa Oscura, Blue Corn Mexican Lager, Kolsch with Ginger. The La Santa Oscura is a delicious, holiday spiced dark lager. The Kolsch with Ginger is the most recent additions.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stara Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer), Jacona Stout, P.G. (Pinche Guey) IPA. The Jacona and P.G. are the most recent additions.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Marcel, Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique, HMWWA FIACFW, Cezanne Verite, Fiction (IPA), Lourd of Funk, Titian, Dark Ryder, Grunewald. This batch of Cezanne Verite is barrel aged and it is also for sale in bombers. The Titian, Dark Ryder, and Grunewald are the most recent additions, available on tap and in bombers. Goya returns this weekend for the anniversary party (see the intro above).

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Alto Estilo, 9 p.m.; Saturday—The Moon Thieves, 9 p.m.

Live Music (SF brewery): Friday—Broomdust Caravan, 7 p.m.; Saturday—Connie Long & Fast Patsy, 7 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drink & Draw with OT Circus, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Five (IPA), Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde), Conduit (Belgian IPA), Bosco P. Coltrane (Chocolate Brown), Petit Blanche – Amrillo. The Agent Scully is a series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Episode Five is the most recent iteration. The Petit Blanche is the most recent addition to the lineup, but an imperial version of Saison du Sarlacc and Aromatherapy IPA are nearly ready to go on tap as well.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Adobe Igloo, Hipster Union IPA, Lustgarten, Oh Helles No (ECS), Lustgarten Lager, Imperial Pastry-Free Porter. With the colder weather almost upon us, Adobe Igloo makes its annual return. Hipster Union is also back. The most recent additions are Lustgarten, a lager with a hint of raspberries, Oh Helles No, and the big Porter.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Saturday—Vintage Brew, 6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, 2920 IPA, IPA 1000, Agua Fria Pilzner, Rod’s Steam Bitter, Anniversary Ale, Civil Rye, XX ESB, Low Summer Sun Sour, Rod’s Best Bitter, 3 C’s Porter, Diablo Canyon Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Cereza Negra. The benefits of having two brewhouses are now apparent as Second Street is loaded with more beers than ever. The Diablo Canyon, Brown Ale, and Cereza Negra all went on tap this week. The Steam Bitter won bronze at the Great American Beer Festival in October.

Live Music (Original location): Friday—Half Broke Horses, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Bill Hearne Trio, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): TBA

Live Music (Rufina): none this week

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Kutthroat Kolsch, Kaboom Quad, Wit Rock, Catherine’s Historical Stout, Little Bird Blonde, Anderson Amber. The Wit Rock and Little Bird are old favorites, the rest are more recent recipes.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Cranberry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA, Whiskey Stout. The Whiskey Stout is the most recent addition. The Cranberry Sour is the most recent addition. Oktoberfest is now available on tap. Cherry Wheat is available in bottles and won a gold medal at GABF this year.

Live Music: Friday—Brandon Leinen, 6 p.m.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

It’s go-time for New Mexico breweries at the Great American Beer Festival this week!

The Great American Beer Festival returns this Thursday through Saturday at the Denver Convention Center, and once again New Mexico breweries will be well represented. This year the Crew is dispatching yours truly, plus Franz Solo, via the magic of press passes (Luke will also be there, but as a civilian, and we just want him to focus on having fun and not worry about work). We will be on hand for the sessions on Thursday and Friday nights, plus Saturday afternoon, and the awards ceremony before that.

For those who have never been, GABF is a massive event. It takes over a convention center several times the size of ours here in Albuquerque. In fact, the total space for the festival is equivalent to seven football fields. Breweries from around the United States will be on hand, some represented at hundreds of booths, others are just on hand for the competition.

There will be 12 New Mexico breweries represented, plus Marble gets a second booth this year (ah, the benefits of having two small brewer licenses between downtown and the Heights location). The majority (Bathtub Row, Bosque, Boxing Bear, La Cumbre, both Marble, Santa Fe, Sierra Blanca, Starr Brothers) are in the Southwest region, grouped with breweries from Arizona, Texas, and Louisiana. Dialogue Brewing will be in the Meet the Brewer area, while Blue Corn, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic will be in the Brewpub Pavilion. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will also have a booth along with the other state guilds, pouring beers from breweries without their own booths.

A lot of this probably does not mean much to many of you, who did not get (or even try to get) tickets to the event. For most folks back home, us going up and talking about what a great time we are having is almost a little callous. Our main goal with this event is to provide coverage of the awards ceremony, while also letting everyone in Denver know about the greatness of our breweries (more tourists can be a good thing), and of course trying lots of new beers that you can either seek out on your next vacation or via distribution.

Speaking of the awards ceremony, this year we have been privy to the competition beer lists for most of our local breweries. The awards ceremony happens Saturday at 10 a.m., and will be broadcast live over the internet. You can go to the GABF website that morning and find the link, but be forewarned, it is a notoriously fickle broadcast. We will have live updates via all three of our main social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). We also hope to have some live FB videos from the event. Since there are two of us, it should go a little smoother than last year. (Sorry again about the shaky cam motion sickness, Lonnie.)

Here are the competition lists we were sent from the Guild or directly from some breweries. Some may be incomplete, or are missing a key bit of info (name of beer, or which category that beer is being judged in). We are listing them by awards category, so you know which ones to pay attention to and which ones to run over and refill your coffee mug.

  • 4 Fruit Wheat Beer: Bosque Elephants on Parade, Sierra Blanca Cherry Wheat
  • 8 Chili Beer: Sierra Blanca Green Chile Cerveza
  • 9 Herb and Spice Beer: Blue Corn Ginger Braggot, Chama River Haru, Red Door Vanilla Cream Ale
  • 11 Coffee Beer: Blue Corn Apparition Pale Coffee Ale, Rio Bravo Pinon Coffee Porter
  • 15 Honey Beer: Nexus Honey Chamomile Wheat, Turtle Mountain Pour les Abeilles
  • 17 Session IPA: Boxing Bear Featherweight
  • 18a Other Strong Beer: Marble Double White, Nexus Imperial Cream Ale
  • 19a Experimental Beer: La Cumbre Hibiscus Quercus
  • 20 Fresh or Wet Hop Ale: Bosque Acequia IPA, Quarter Celtic Clark
  • 23 Belgo American Pale Ale: Second Street Diablo Canyon
  • 24 American-Style Sour Ale: Ponderosa Sour Belgian Brown
  • 26 Brett Beer: Flix Brewhouse Eater of Worlds
  • 28b Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer: La Cumbre Ryeot on Bourbon,
  • 29 Wood Aged Strong Beer: Bow & Arrow Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Chama River Natalia Polnoch’
  • 34b Zwicklebier: Marble Pilsner, Rio Bravo La Luz Light Lager
  • 36a American-Style Pilsner: Canteen Laid Back Lager
  • 36b International-Style Pilsner: La Cumbre BEER, Quarter Celtic Pedro O’Flannigan’s
  • 40b American Amber Lager – California Common: Second Street Rod’s Steam Bitter,
  • 41 German-Style Pilsner: Bow & Arrow Jemez Field Notes, Santa Fe Freestyle Pilsner, Sierra Blanca Desert Pilsner
  • 42 Bohemian Pilsner: Boxing Bear Body Czech Bo Pils, Canteen High Plains Pils, Dialogue Bo Pils, Sidetrack Pilsner
  • 47a Munich-Style Dunkel: Marble Dupy’s Dunkel
  • 49b German-Style Bock: Marble Maibock
  • 50a Doppelbock: Flix Brewhouse Now and Later, Nexus Doppelspock, Turtle Mountain SCH
  • 52 Blonde Ale: Starr Brothers L.A. Woman
  • 53 German-Style Kolsch: Canteen Kolsch, Chama River Kolsch, Steel Bender Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • 56 English-Style IPA: Santa Fe Happy Camper IPA
  • 58 American-Style Pale Ale: Marble Pale Ale
  • 59 American Strong Pale Ale: Second Street 2920 IPA, Santa Fe 7K IPA
  • 60 American-Style IPA: Starr Brothers Starrstruck, La Cumbre Project Dank
  • 61 Imperial IPA: Second Street Imperial IPA, Canteen Astro Hound
  • 62 American-Style Amber/Red Ale: Red Door Roamer Red
  • 63 Double Red Ale: Steel Bender Red Iron Red, Boxing Bear The Red Glove, Bosque IRA, Starr Brothers Red Zepplin
  • 64 Imperial Red: Marble Imperial Red
  • 66b Special Bitter: Sidetrack Pub Ale
  • 67a American-Style Extra Special Bitter: Rio Bravo Amber
  • 67b Extra Special Bitter: Steel Bender Sparkfitter Amber
  • 69 Irish-Style Red Ale: Sidetrack Railhead Red, Quarter Celtic Crimson Lass
  • 70 English-Style Brown Ale: Sierra Blanca Bone Chiller, Santa Fe Nut Brown
  • 71 American-Style Brown Ale: Blue Corn End of the Trail Brown Ale, Ponderosa Bellamah Brown
  • 72 American-Style Black Ale: Bosque Fifth Value, Quarter Celtic Bruce
  • 73 Berliner Weisse: Bow & Arrow Way Out West Sour, Dialogue Berliner Weisse
  • 74b Contemporary Gose: Marble Passionate Gose, Rio Bravo Peach Gose
  • 79 Witbier: Flix Brewhouse Luna Rosa, Red Door Trapdoor White Ale
  • 80 Classic Saison: Bow & Arrow Sun Dagger
  • 85 Belgian Tripel: Flix Brewhouse Tripel Whammy
  • 86a Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale: Ponderosa Preacher’s Daughter
  • 89 Robust Porter: Starr Brothers Lampshade Porter
  • 90 Classic Irish-Style Dry Stout: Steel Bender Blue Bullet Stout
  • 92 American-Style Stout: Marble Cholo Stout
  • 93 Sweet or Cream Stout: Boxing Bear Chocolate Milk Stout, Red Door Paint it Black Milk Stout
  • 94 Oatmeal Stout: Blue Corn Gold Medal Oatmeal Stout, Chama River Sleeping Dog Stout, Sidetrack Dark Engine Stout
  • 96a Scottish Ale: Nexus Scotch Ale

The American-Style IPA category is always announced last, due to the fact it is the biggest (270-plus entries last year). And, yes, Chama River was still able to enter beers even though it technically no longer exists. Not sure how that works, but it does.

Among the beers with mystery categories, there is Dialogue’s Biere de Mars and Sour Raz, Rowley Farmhouse Ales’ Saison du Sarlacc, and Turtle Mountain’s Hard Bock Life. We can probably guess the categories, but for now we will just list them as unknown. We also know that Spotted Dog has beers in categories 57a (Australian or International-Style Pale Ale), 80 (Classic Saison), and 93 (Sweet Stout or Cream Stout), just not the name of any of those beers.

If any other New Mexico breweries have beers entered, we will find out one way or the other.

How well have our breweries done in the past? Well, Boxing Bear was the Mid-Size Brew Pub of the Year in 2016 and Marble Brewery was the Small Brewery of the Year in 2014. Canteen/Il Vicino has won 12 medals since 1995, Marble has won nine medals since 2011, and Chama River will try to add one or more to its total of eight since 2002. New Mexico has routinely ranked in the top percentage of medals in relation to state population and number of breweries.

If any of you are headed up and spot us amid the crowd (it can happen, just ask Michael Waddy from Kaktus), come over and say hello. We will always be more than willing to share what great beers we have found in our wanderings.

Some final tips if you are going.

  • Download the GABF app for your phone if you have not already. Tag the breweries you want to visit, and they will show up on your map. This is invaluable.
  • Keep an eye out for timed releases. Many of your favorite breweries will have small runs of some of their most exclusive beers. They will likely be announced on social media, so make sure you follow your favorites.
  • Hydrate! There are water stations everywhere. They are not just for washing out your glasses. Yes, it might send you to the bathroom faster than you want, but unless you are a human camel, you will have to go sooner or later.
  • Do not drive downtown. This is not just a safety issue, it is to spare you from the chaos of thousands of pedestrians in different states of inebriation, Uber/Lyft drivers, hundreds of taxis, one-way streets, and a whole lotta police. Leave the car at your hotel/friend’s house/Air BnB, wherever you are staying. Oh, and the cost of parking in downtown Denver goes through the roof during GABF, if you can even find a spot.
  • Check the main website for all the off-site events, and do a quick Google search for others. This could be especially relevant if you are not attending all the sessions, or you need something to do during the day besides wander aimlessly around downtown. Some of these are as fun as GABF itself, some might be even more fun if you are into certain beer styles that are represented at their own events.
  • There are too many good food options to possibly list here in Denver, but a few of our favorites include Jelly for brunch/breakfast, and then Rhein Haus, Freshcraft, Wynkoop, Rock Bottom (for a chain, they’re quality), and Breck on Blake (great guest beer menu) for lunch/dinner. There are plenty of food options within the convention center as well, so please do not attempt to get through a session on little or nothing but beer in your belly. It will not end well.
  • Breweries within spitting distance of downtown include some of our favorites, like Prost, TRVE, Great Divide, Our Mutual Friend, Ratio, and Spangalang, plus Crooked Stave if you love sours. Also, Bierstadt Lagerhaus, which is up by Crooked Stave, comes with the seal of approval of La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway. In fact, we fear that if we did not recommend you go there, Jeff would probably disown us and abandon us somewhere in the wilderness.

OK, that is all from us for now. If you have any questions at any point this weekend, whether you are going to be in Denver or are staying home, do not hesitate to contact us via the usual ways.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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

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

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

Once again, we all face a jam-packed weekend of fun and beer. Oh, woe is us. Kick things off Friday at La Cumbre with A Pint of Relief, where $1 from every pint sold will go to hurricane relief efforts. Then at 7 p.m., trek up to Starr Brothers to enjoy Oakey Smokey, a special smoked altbier aged on oak. This is Starr Brothers’ first collaboration beer and the final collaboration beer from Chama River. Come and get nostalgic for one more night. Then on Saturday, take your pick between the Oktoberfest release at Quarter Celtic and the Oktoberfest release at La Cumbre. There will be a limited canning run at the latter, so you can always take it home, too. Another option would be to head north to the Golden Days Brew Fest at the Santa Fe Ski Area, featuring several local breweries. If you are not one for hitting the road, then just head to Red Door for their third anniversary party. There will be a food truck, live music, and a fresh batch of Oktoberfest on tap. There are a ton of other events going on, so be sure to check the individual brewery listings below.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque added the Rio Vallecitos, a wet-hop double IPA, on tap late last week. Boxing Bear is feeling fruity with P.U.B. (Pineapple Upside-down Beer). Canteen has Blood Orange Wheat back on tap, plus Astro Hound DIPA, one of the beers they have entered in competition at the upcoming Great American Beer Festival. Kaktus has fresh batches of Cucumber Ale, Basil Lager, and Helles Lager. Marble has added Mavbock and Marble Pale Ale. Ponderosa should have a Neo Mexicanus Wet Hop Ale on by the weekend. Quarter Celtic already added their Fresh Hop Clark. Starr Brothers also has ThereWolf, their Oktoberfest, and Sando Spice, a green chile IPA. Steel Bender hammers out the Plum Bob Gose. Turtle Mountain tapped an archived keg of Wilde Jagd.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel rolls out Cezanne Magnifique, with this year’s batch of HMWWA FIACFW due out soon. Rowley Farmhouse Ales tapped Little White Lies last weekend.

Out in Moriarty, Sierra Blanca has their Oktoberfest on tap long before their annual party.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of September 11.

To break down each “capsule,” I listed the brewery (with Web page linked), its phone number and hours of operation. Under “Beers” are the new or seasonal beers on tap for this week.

Albuquerque metro area breweries

Ale Republic — (505) 281-2828

(Mon–Thurs 2–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Brune, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Diablo del Oro, Parasol, Red Mountain. The most recent additions were the Red Mountain (7.5% ABV, 80 IBU), Parasol (4.5% ABV, 20 IBU), and Diablo (9.7% ABV, 20 IBU), which is a hefty Belgian golden strong.

Alien Brew Pub — (505) 884-1116

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m., Sunday 10 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Call the number above for details on any small-batch beers currently available. They change frequently. The rest of the lineup is from the Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande family of beers.

Bistronomy B2B — (505) 262-2222

(Mon–Tues 4-9 p.m., Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-9:30 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

The Blue Grasshopper — (505) 896-8579

(Noon to 11 p.m. most days, call for more info)

Beers: El Jeffe Hefeweizen, Frias Belgian-Style Single, June Bock German Lager. Rejoice, for Blue Grasshopper is brewing again! The Friars and June Bock are the more recent additions.

Live Music: Bands perform from 6 to 9 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Click the link for the schedule.

Boese Brothers Brewery — (505) 382-7060

(Hours: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–midnight, Fri 3 p.m.–2 a.m., Sat noon–2 a.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: La Onza White Ale, Dr. Strangehop XPA, Duke City Lager, Washington’s Hatchet, Zeus Juice White IPA, Betchin Little Pale Ale, Cherry Bomb, Sour Relationship, Sour Strangehop, Grapefruit Pale Ale. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is still available. Grapefruit Pale Ale is the most recent addition.

Live Music: Saturday—Rue Badly, 9 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Boese will have a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, with $3 pints. You can also get $3 pints all day Tuesday and $6 growler fills all day Wednesday.

Bosque Brewing Company — (505) 750-7596 (main brewery), (505) 508-5967 (Nob Hill Public House), (575) 571-4626 (Las Cruces Taproom)

(Main brewery on San Mateo: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-midnight, Sun noon-8 p.m.; Nob Hill: Mon–Weds 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thurs 11 a.m.-midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Sun noon-11 p.m.; Las Cruces: Sun–Thurs noon-11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Summer Slammer, Rio Vallecitos (Wet Hop DIPA), IRA (India Red Ale), Fifth Venture (Black IPA), Seedless (Watermelon Wheat), Pistol Pete’s 1888. The IRA and Fifth Venture are two delightfully hoppy beers with a strong malt backbone. The Pistol Pete’s 1888 was brewed for the New Mexico State University athletic program.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bosque has a happy hour running from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and all day on Sunday. Look for special menu items and get $1 off your favorite pints.

Bow & Arrow Brewing — (505) 247-9800

(Mon-Weds 3–10 p.m., Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri-Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–9 p.m.)

Beers: Flint & Grit (British Mild), Sun Dagger (Saison), Crossed Arrows (Scotch Ale), Hoka Hey (IPA), Jemez Field Notes Lager, Wayward Arrow Hefeweizen, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour, Cosmic Arrow Brett Saison, Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red, Way Out West Sour Sumac, Black Chandelier (Belgo Stout), Imperial Mole Stout, Dry-hopped Sour with Motueka, Desert Dynamo IPL. The most recent additions to the lineup are the Desert Dynamo, Dry-hoppped Sour, Imperial Mole, Cosmic Arrow, Hoodoo Monster, Sour Sumac, and Black Chandelier. The sheer variety of styles on tap is quite impressive.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

(Sun-Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.-11 p.m.)

Beers: The Red Glove, New Mexikolsch, Chocolate Red, Featherweight Session IPA, Crystal Kolsch, P.U.B. The most recent additions are P.U.B. (Pineapple Upside-down Beer), Crystal Kolsch, The Red Glove, Featherweight, New Mexikolsch, and Chocolate Red. The Red Glove won a gold medal at the 2016 GABF. Chocolate Red is the current nitro tap.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8-10 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Every day at lunchtime (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), for just $10 you can get a pint and a panini of your choice.

Broken Trail Brewery & Distillery — (505) 221-6281

(Mon-Thu 3-9 p.m., Fri 3-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.-8 p.m.)

Beers: Otero ESB, Lone Pine Pilsner, Sancho Saison, Double Black IPA, Sancho de la Sierra, Pepe the Mule, Trailworks IPA. OK, fine, Pepe the Mule counts as a beer, even though it is basically a Moscow Mule, but it was made with beer. The Sancho de la Sierra is a rye version of the saison made in collaboration with Jubilation. The Trailworks was made in collaboration with Bikeworks, a neighboring business, with a portion of the proceeds going to trail maintenance in the metro area.

Weekly Events (main location): Today (Wednesday)—Cards Against Humanity hosted by 10 Drink Minimum, 7 p.m.; Sunday—Build-your-own Mule bar, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; Tuesday—All house beers are $2 a pint

Canteen Brewhouse — (505) 881-2737 (brewery), (505) 200-2344 (taproom)

(Brewery: Sun–Thurs noon–10 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight; Taproom: Open daily 3–10 p.m.)

Beers: Exodus IPA, Canteen Kolsch, Cabana Lager, Hank ESB, Fill in the Blanco IPA, Blood Orange Wheat, Astro Hound DIPA. The most recent additions are the Blood Orange Wheat and Astro Hound. The latter is one of Canteen’s four competition entries for GABF.

Live Music: Thursday—Porter Draw, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—String Dinner, 4-7 p.m.

Cazuela’s Seafood & Mexican Grill — (505) 994-9364

(Open daily 8 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Papacabra (Double IPA), Acapulco Gold (Mexican Lager), Chupacabra IPA, Piedra del Fuego Stoned Cream Ale, Beer for My Horses (Oatmeal Stout). These are the regular house beers. Call the number above for an updated seasonal list.

 

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Sour Raspberry, Boyz N Berry N the Hood, Blood Orange Berliner Weisse, Sour Pale, P-funk Porter, #40 (Citra Pale Ale), Sun Made, fe’denk lager. The most recent additions are the P-funk, #40, fe’denk (Vienna-style), and Sun Made, a Belgian single made with golden raisins.

Live Music: Thursday—Brian McDaniel, 6 p.m.; Friday—The Gershom Brothers, 7 p.m.

Other Events: Thursday—HandCrafted with Patrick “CloudFace” Burnham (artist) and Danny Heart Design (vendor), 6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Monday—Service Industry Night, 6 p.m.

Drafty Kilt Brewing — (505) 881-0234

(Sun 11 a.m–10 p.m., Mon 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Tues–Thu 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight)

Beers: Groundskeeper Willie Cream Ale, Wee Beastie Scottish Ale, McWabbit Pale Ale, Campbell Toe IPA, Obliviscaris Oatmeal Stout, McRojo or No (Irish Red). Brewer/owner Mike Campbell has five of his own creations on tap at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE, including the Campbell Toe (no snickering). The Obliviscaris is a burly throwback to the stouts of old. The Covfefe Hefe is the most recent addition.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues Jam with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 7-10 p.m.; Sunday—Blues Jam with Bob Bolz with Ale-Tail Cocktails, 2-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off pints and 20-ounce pours, Mon-Fri, 3-6 p.m.; “Just Because We Love You Club,” happy hour prices at all times for teachers, first responders, law enforcement, and military with ID; Growler Fill Days on Thu and Sun, $2 off new growlers, $1 off refills

Flix Brewhouse — (505) 445-8500

(Open daily 11 a.m.-midnight)

Beers: Brewhouse Shandy, Tart and Soul (Guava Berliner Weisse), Killer Bee Honey Wheat, Tripel Whammy, Pilsner? I Barley Know’er!, January Embers Barleywine, Das Umlaut Oktoberfest, Eater of Worlds Pale Ale. Not one fresh seasonal but three will debut this week as January Embers returns, while Eater of Worlds and Das Umlaut arrive for the first time.

Hops Brewery — (505) 369-1378

(Sun-Thurs noon-10 p.m., Fri-Sat noon-midnight)

Beers: Dad Joke (California Common), Tipsy Cow (Milk Stout), Warm Scottish Nights, An Irish Tan (English Bitter), Honey Wheat, Chica (Pale Ale), Hop Hill IPA. Welcome to the listings, Hops! They have started out with these seven beers on tap, but they also have 31 more guest taps, just in case you don’t find one to your liking. Here is our first review. The Dad Joke and Warm Scottish Nights are both back on tap after a short absence, while Hop Hill (7.1% ABV, 69 IBU) joins the lineup.

Kaktus Brewing — (505) 379-5072

(Bernalillo hours Mon-Thu 2-9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11:30-10 p.m., Sun 11:30-9 p.m.)

Beers: Porter Auf Deutsch, Cucumber Ale, Bavarian Golden Ale, Ctrl-Alt-Drink, Basil Lager, Helles Lager, IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent new additions include Cucumber Ale, Basil Lager, and Helles Lager.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Thursday—The Desert Darlings, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Bernalillo): Sunday—Brunch, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., The Desert Darlings, 6-8 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Kaktus has several new weekday specials in Bernalillo, including $3 pints on Monday, $9 growlers on Tuesday, $6 bison nachos on Wednesday, and $8 Frito pie and beer on Thursday.

Kellys Brew Pub — (505) 262-2739

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Apricot Ale, Blonde, Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Hefeweizen, Farmhouse Apricot, Mars DIPA, Lobo Red Ale. The recent change in ownership at Kellys has led to some seriously improved beers and food, so we decided it was high time to add it to the listings. The summer seasonals are the Hefeweizen and Farmhouse Apricot, replacing the Rye Pale Ale and Dry Stout, plus the Mars DIPA. The Lobo Red was brewed for the University of New Mexico athletic program, if you could not guess.

Live Music: Every Wednesday 6-9 p.m. and Sunday 3-6 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Thursday Pint night $1 off pints.

La Cumbre Brewing — (505) 872-0225

(Open every day at noon)

Beers: All That I Need Kellerbier, Mesa Cerveza (Saison), ‘Merica (Pale Ale), Simcoe SMASH IPA, Ales for ALS IPA, Wet Hopped Elevated. If you can still find a bottle of the Wet Hopped Elevated, get it fast. A small running of Oktoberfest will accompany that beer’s tap release this weekend.

Live Music: Saturday—Odd Dog, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Trivia or Loteria (alternates by week), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Lizard Tail Brewing — (505) 717-1301

(Mon–Weds noon-9 p.m., Thurs–Sat noon-midnight, Sun noon-7 p.m.)

Beers: Contact the brewery for an updated list.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Lizard Tail’s happy hour runs seven days a week from 3 to 6 p.m. You get $1 off food, flights, and pints.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.; Thursday—Karaoke, 8-11 p.m.

Marble Brewery — (505) 243-2739 (downtown), (505) 508-4638 (Westside), (505) 323-4030 (Heights)

(Downtown: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.; Westside: Mon–Thurs noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.; Heights: Mon–Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10:30 p.m.)

Beers: Por Vida Pale Ale, DANG Pale Ale, Imperial Red, Cholo Stout, Blueberry Gose, Dupy’s Dunkel, Mavbock (Downtown and Westside only), State Fair Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside only), White Out (Downtown and Westside only), Marble Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside only), Passionate Gose (Downtown and Westside only), Tart Petit (Heights and Westside only), UnbeWeavably Marbelous (Heights and Westside only), Apricot Gose (Heights and Westside only), Nitro Madera (Heights and Westside only), Belgo Petite (Heights and Westside only), Mango Gose (Heights and Westside only). There are so, so many beers between the three locations. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to them all. The Mavbock and Pale Ale are the most recent additions.

Live Music (Downtown): Today (Wednesday)—Dave Payne and Salt Cedar, 6-9 p.m.; Thursday—Ray Anthony and PowerSlyde, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Lonn Calanca Band, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Dirty Brown Jug Band, 8-11 p.m.; Sunday—Ambassadors of Pleasure, 3-6 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Jade Masque, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Nervous Nation, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—The Bus Tapes, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Seth Hoffman, 8-11 p.m.

Weekly Events (Downtown): Saturday—Brewery tours, 2 p.m.

Nexus Brewery — (505) 242-4100 (brewery), (505) 226-1055 (Silver Taproom)

(Brewery: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8:30 p.m.; Silver Taproom: Mon–Fri 4-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sun noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Pilsner, Kaylynn’s Altbier, To Boldly Gose, Honey Dubbs, Beam Me Up Scotty (Silver only), Kolsch (Silver only), Double Bird of Prey (Silver only). The most recent additions were To Boldly Gose and Honey Dubbs (Imperial Honey Chamomile Wheat).

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Monday–Friday, $5 appetizers, 3-5 p.m.

Weekly Events (Silver Taproom): Saturday—a live DJ will perform; Sunday—a live band will perform at 2 p.m.

Palmer Brewery and Cider House — (505) 508-0508

(Tues–Sat 3–9 p.m.)

Beers: MWA (Malt With Attitude), Guero (Belgian Wit), Poolside Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria. This batch of Cockness Monster is fresh and tasty.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

(Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: Hoppy Pilsner, Raspberry Saison, D.D.U. IPA, India Pale Lager 2.0, Blueberry Stout. The Blueberry Stout got rave reviews at Hopfest. The D.D.U. stands for double down under, a reference to the recipe’s all-Australian hop bill. A Neo Mexicanus Wet Hop Ale is next on the docket.

News: You can now find India Pale Lager 2.0 for sale in cans, at the brewery and at local liquor stores, including Jubilation!

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Quarter Celtic Brewpub — (505) 503-1387

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Beers: Peach Berliner Weisse, Mike’s Beer (American Pilsner), Bruce (Black IPA), Loch Lomas Oatmeal Stout, Clark (Hazy IPA), Fresh Hop Clark. QC gets dark with the return of Bruce, which was brewed in the hazy New England style but still as a black IPA, and Loch Lomas. Look for an Oktoberfest this Saturday.

Red Door Brewing — (505) 633-6675 (brewery), (505) 990-3029 (downtown taproom)

(Brewery hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. to midnight, Sat 7 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Downtown taproom hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m. to midnight, Sun 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Blackberry Hefeweizen, Imperial Red IPA, Plum Gose, Dog Days Kolsch (downtown only), White AF IPA (downtown only). The Imperial Red IPA is the first in a series of beers to celebrate Red Door’s upcoming anniversary. The Plum Gose is second, while Oktoberfest will debut Friday as the third entry. The Blackberry Hefeweizen is nearly out at the brewery.

Live Music (Brewery): Today (Wednesday)—Malcom June, 7-9 p.m.

Events (Brewery): Saturday—Third Anniversary Party, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Brewery): Monday—The Draft Sessions, 7-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Taproom): Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7-9 p.m.

Rio Bravo Brewing Company — (505) 900-3909

(Mon noon–10 p.m., Tues–Thu noon–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–1 a.m., Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Rio Bravo Amber, Weizen, Randy’s Shandy, Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Snakebite IPA, Roadkill Red Ale, La Luz Lager, Old Town Porter (regular and barrel-aged), Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout (regular and barrel-aged), Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour, Kolsch, Hibiscus Mojito, Penguin Lager, Belgian Blonde, Cherry Wheat, Belgo IPA, Pink Boots Pale Ale, Oktoberfest. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. There are now three barrel-aged beers on tap in the Porter, RIS, and Belgian Strong. The Oktoberfest is the most recent addition. A Grapefruit IPA is on deck.

Live Music: Thursday—Jade Masque, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Reviva!, 9-11 p.m.; Saturday—The Surf Lords, 7-10 p.m.

Other Events: Friday—Headliners Comedy presents Friday Night Fools ($5 cover, event only), 9:30 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night (now outside), 7 p.m. or later, weather permitting; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Monday—Micro Mondays, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Happy hour Monday-Friday, 2-6 p.m., $1 off pints

Sidetrack Brewing — (505) 832-7183

(Mon–Thurs 3–11 p.m., Fri 3 p.m.–midnight, Sat noon–midnight, Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Marzen, Switchgear IPA, Pub Ale, Railhead Red, Dark Engine Stout, Sidetrack Pilsner. The most recent additions are the Marzen and Pilsner.

Cask: The Pilsner and Pub Ale are in the firkins.

Events: Saturday—Downtown Block Party, noon-6 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Taco Tuesday, all day

Starr Brothers Brewing — (505) 492-2752

(Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day)

Beers: Starrstruck IPA, L.A. Woman (Blonde), Red Zepplin, Lampshade Porter, Electric Sun American Wheat, Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Foggy Monocle (Oatmeal Stout), Sando Spice (Green Chile IPA), ThereWolf (Oktoberfest). Welcome back, Foggy Monocle, the winner of the 2017 Brew Crew Stout Challenge. The most recent additions are the Sando Spice and ThereWolf.

Events: Friday—Oakey Smokey Collaboration Beer Release, 7 p.m.

Steel Bender Brewyard — (505) 433-3537

(Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: (house) Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, Sparkfitter Amber, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blue Bullet Stout, The Village Wit; (seasonals/specialties) Misfitter Altbier, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA, Spell Bender Pils, Compa New Mexican Lager, Saison de la Rose. The Saison, Compa Lager, and Spell Bender Pils are the most recent additions. Plum Bob Gose will join them Thursday.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

(Open noon-11 p.m. most days)

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, El CuCuy (DIPA), Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Schwarzbier, Berliner Weisse, Naked Ale (Pale); (seasonals) Secret Squirrel (Best Bitter), Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout, Scottish Ale, Say Juan (Summer Saison), Plum Sour, Peach Wheat, Oktoberfest. This inaugural batch of Oktoberfest from The 377 hits the right notes, with some malty breadiness without too much sweetness.

Weekly Events: Sunday—Jam Session, 4:30 p.m.

Tractor Brewing Company — (505) 433-5654 (Nob Hill), (505) 243-6752 (Wells Park), (505) 243-6752 (Four Hills)

(Nob Hill: Sun–Weds noon–midnight, Thurs noon–2 a.m., Fri–Sat noon–2 a.m.; Wells Park: Mon–Thurs 3 p.m.–close, Fri–Sun 1 p.m.–midnight; Four Hills: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m.–midnight, Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–2 a.m.)

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout, Minute-4, Apricot Wheat, Berry Cider, Big Sipper IPA, Scout Golden Ale, Cucumber Gose, Tangelo IPA, Traktoberfest, Barnstorm Ale (Wells Park and Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park and Four Hills only), Tupac Cali Red (Four Hills only), Half Acre Hefe (Four Hills only), Blood Orange Cider (Four Hills only), Delicious Golden Dry Cider (Four Hills Only), Holstein & Hops (Four Hills only), Cascara Cider (Four Hills only). The Oktoberfest is the most recent addition, preceded by the Chocolate Milk Stout, Cucumber Gose, and Tangelo IPA.

Live Music (Wells Park): Saturday—Kendrick Lamar vs. Childish Gambino, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Alex Maryol, 8:30 p.m.; Saturday—Gato Malo, 5 p.m.

Live Music (Four Hills): Saturday—Julian Dossett Trio, 7 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Today (Wednesday)—Politics and Pints, 5:30 p.m.; Thursday—Art Fight 35: Art in the Streets, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Wells Park): Monday—MNF Fantasy Shootout, 5 p.m.; Tuesday—Kamikaze Karaoke, 7 p.m.

Weekly Events (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Writing Wednesdays, 5 p.m.; Monday—Tractor Tune Up, 7:30 p.m.

Also, every first Monday of the month at both Tractor locations is Beer for a Better Burque night. For every pint you buy $1 can go to one of four charities that have partnered with Tractor. You can also opt to purchase a special growler with the logo of your favorite charity.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Tractor now has a late happy hour from 9 p.m. to midnight on Mondays with $2.25 classic beers and $3.25 seasonals.

Turtle Mountain Brewing Company — (505) 994-9497

(Kitchen hours: Mon–Tues 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m., Wed–Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sun 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Reminder: TMBC closes early when business dictates. Please call.)

Beers: Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Yum Yum OG, Mr. Hoover’s Redux, SCH Scotch Lager. The Pour les Abeilles (Honey Lemongrass Saison) was the most recent addition. An archived keg of Wilde Jagd has been tapped.

Cask: Tuesday—Cranberry Pour les Abeilles

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Wedding Lager, Merry Prankster’s Sour Ale, Ginger Braggot, Apparition Pale Coffee Ale. The Ginger Braggot is back for another run, ditto the Apparition.

Chili Line Brewing — (505) 500-7903

(Mon–Sat 4–11 p.m., Sun 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.)

Beers: El Jefe (Rauchweizen), sIPApu (India Pale Lager), Antonio Bandito (Dunkelweizen), Llorona Lager, Pineapple IPA, Porter, Vienna Lager, La Bamba (Rauchbier), Stada Baba (Oak Smoked Polish Gratzer). The last five beers there are the most recent additions to the lineup.

Live Music: Every night at 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Reverse happy hour after 9 p.m. includes $1 off pints, $6 appetizers, $10 entrees and pizzas.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

(Brewery: Mon–Sat open at 11 a.m., Sun open at 1 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 2 p.m.–midnight; Fri–Sun noon–midnight)

Beers: Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Oui Lourd, WWWMD (Barrel-Aged Whistler), Manikin (Scottish), Cezanne Origine, Ensor (Sour), Turncoat, Monomyth, Marcel, Sans Titre (Amber Sour), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Duchamp (Sour Wit), Cezanne Magnifique. The Origine was the spring saison. The Cezanne Magnifique is the most recent addition, but HMWWA FIACFW will return soon. The WWWMD acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do.

Live Music (ABQ tarpoom): Friday—Syncopation: Techno Sessions, 9 p.m.

Other Events (ABQ taproom): Thursday—Drag Queen Trivia, 8 p.m.; Saturday—Hungry for Art, 8 p.m.

Weekly Events (ABQ taproom): Tuesday—Bike-In Brew, 7 p.m.

Happy Hour/Discounts (Brewery): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 4-6 p.m. (discounts for all draft beer), Growler Saturdays ($3 off growler fills).

Happy Hour/Discounts (ABQ taproom): Happy hour Mon–Fri, 5-7 p.m.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales — (505) 428-0719

(Open all week from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.)

Beers: Fields of Rye, Saison du Sarlacc, Agent Scully – Season One, Episode Three (IPA),  Germophile (Berliner Weisse), Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), Tea for Two (Saison), Fruhschoppen (Hefeweizen), Little White Lies (Belgian Blonde. The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. Get the delicious Episode 3 before Episode 4 goes on tap soon. Coconut was added to the last of the Episode 3 batch. The most recent additions are the Little White Lies, Tea for Two, and Fruhschoppen.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Main taproom: Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 2-8 p.m.; ABQ taproom: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–midnight; Sun 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Freestyle Pilsner, Autonomous Collective IPA, Oktoberfest, Hefe’d Up, Cucumber Saison (ECS), Secret Society of A.L.T. (ECS). Rejoice, for Oktoberfest is back, even though it doesn’t feel much like autumn yet. And yes, Freestyle is still around for a limited time as well.

Happy Hour/Discounts: $1 off growler refills in the tasting room on Mondays. $2 pint Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 pint special in the tasting room. On Thursday, there will be $1 off growler refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

Second Street Brewery — (505) 989-3278 (Railyard), (505) 982-3030 (original location)

(Mon–Thurs 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–11 p.m., Sunday noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Cream Stout, Rod’s Steam Bitter, LVL Stout, Coffee Porter, Diable Canyon Pale Ale, 2920 Vienna, St. George IPA, Summer Rain Sour. The most recent additions are the St. George IPA, LVL Stout, Coffee Porter, Steam Bitter, and Diablo Canyon.

Live Music (Original location): Thursday—Alto Street, 6-9 p.m.; Friday—Half Bake Horses, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—The Barbwires, 6-9 p.m.

Live Music (Railyard): Friday—Greg Butera & Band, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday—Broomdust Caravan, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events (Railyard): Today (Wednesday)—Geeks Who Drink, 8 p.m.

Other breweries you need to visit

Bathtub Row Brewing — (505) 500-8381

(Mon–Weds 2–10 p.m., Thurs 2–11 p.m., Fri–Sat noon–11 p.m., Sun noon–10 p.m.)

Beers: Kutthroat Kolsch, Kaboom Quad, Wit Rock, Catherine’s Historical Stout, Little Bird Blonde, Anderson Amber. Well, look at that, an updated beer list for BRB. The Wit Rock and Little Bird are old favorites, the rest are more recent recipes.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

(Mon–Thurs 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Fri –Sat 11 a.m.–9 p.m.)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout will return in a week-and-a-half. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Oktoberfest is now available on tap.

Live Music: Saturday—Shane Wallin, 6-8 p.m.

* * * *

That’s all for this week! If you have any questions or comments, leave them below or contact us on our Facebook page.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The variety in beers is impressive this year!

As most of you should know by now, BearFest returns this Saturday, now at the Albuquerque Convention Center downtown. VIP entry is at 12:30 p.m., general admission is at 2 p.m., and it all runs until 6 p.m. General admission tickets are still available online and VIP tickets are still available at Boxing Bear.

Much like any other beer festival, the biggest question of all remains what brews will be available. Well, 15 of the 20 participating breweries sent us their lists, and if the other six get theirs to us, we will add them here right up until the doors open.

  • Ale Republic: TBA
  • Bathtub Row: TBA
  • Blue Corn: Ginger Braggot, Back to Cali Common, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Imperial Chocolate Porter
  • Bosque: Lager, IPA, Hefe, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Blonde Ale, EOP Fruited Wheat Ale, Grasping at Straws Extra Pale Ale, All the Rage IPA
  • Boxing Bear: Body Czech Pilsner, HairyMit Hefe, Ambear Ale, Paw Swipe Pale Ale, Uppercut IPA, Standing 8 Stout, Apple Bear Cider, Chocolate Milk Stout, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner Wheat IPA, Guava Gose, New England IPA, plus maybe one more
  • Canteen: High Plains Pils, Exodus IPA, Tuttle IPA, Strawberry Basil Gose
  • Chama River: Kolsch, Maibock, Gose, IPA special
  • Dialogue: Biere de Mars, Berliner Weisse, BC IPA, Sour Rapsberry
  • Flix Brewhouse: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Project Dank IPA, Strwaberry Gose, Elevated IPA, Slice of Hefen, BEER
  • Marble: Double White, Pilsner, Cranberry Gose, Flower Digger Pale Ale
  • Nexus: TBA
  • Quarter Celtic: Pedro O’Flanagan’s Mexican Lager, Mangose, Blood Orange Hefe, Crimson Lass, Gondola Party Starter NE-style IPA
  • Santa Fe: Long Game IPA, Hefe’d Up, Nut Brown, Pale Ale, Freestyle Pilsner (cans), Happy Camper (cans)
  • Second Street: 2920 IPA, Eldorado IPA, Red and Yellow Armadillo, Summer Rain Raspberry Sour, 2920 Pils, Civil Rye
  • Starr Brothers: Starrgazm IPA, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Starrphire Pilsner, Bloodshot
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Red Iron Red, The Village Wit, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Turtle Mountain: Yum Yum Colada, Can’t Catch Me, Lil’ Shelly, Hopshell IPA, My Kolsche

That is a lot of beer to try. If you like the hazy, New England-style IPAs, you are in luck as Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, and Quarter Celtic are all bring their editions. Fans of sours and goses are clearly in luck as well. We are quite excited to try some of the new beers from Blue Corn (Hella Humulus and Imperial Chocolate Porter) and Second Street (Red and Yellow Armadillo is delicious), plus we await whatever Bathtub Row and Taos Mesa will be bringing.

Now, if you are wondering where Rowley Farmhouse Ales went off to, do not fret. The difference between them and the rest is their jockey box only has two handles, so they will be rotating beers on the second handle every hour or so. The Citra dry-hopped Fields of Rye will occupy the first handle. Here is the second handle pouring schedule.

12:30-2 p.m.: Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose)
2-3 p.m.: Germophile (Berliner Weisse)
3-4 p.m.: Reinheitsgenot (Lime Kolsch)
4-5 p.m.: Ab Initio dry-hopped with Citra/Mosaic
5-6 p.m.: Ab Initio with apricot

So, yeah, pucker up, people! It is gonna be a heck of a day.

And, remember, yours truly will be signing copies of Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, over at the NM Brewers Guild booth. It is only $20, cash preferred.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s time for the third edition of BearFest, only this time no one will get sunburned!

BearFest, the annual local-only craft beer festival hosted by Boxing Bear, returns for a third go-around this Saturday. The big change this year, besides pushing it back and away from ABQ Beer Week and Blues & Brews, is moving the fest out of the brewery parking lot to the Albuquerque Convention Center. Unless you are going to walk or bike to the event, leave the sunscreen at home!

The event will run from 2 to 6 p.m. for general admission, with a special 90-minute VIP period before that starting at 12:30 p.m. General admission tickets cost $25 in advance and can be purchased online here. They will be $30 at the door. VIP tickets can only be purchased in advance for $40 at Boxing Bear, going up to $45 the day of at the Convention Center.

To get the full story behind the change, I sat down with Boxing Bear head brewer/co-owner Justin Hamilton and general manager John Campi on Monday afternoon.

“A good thing for us will be that this has been a rain-or-shine event the previous two years and it almost got rained out the first year, we’re going to have a good attendance and a good time, either way,” Justin said. “That’s going to be one of the first things that’s a plus for us. But, I think that as far as what we’ve done in the past that we’re going to continue, and we’re going to expand on a few different things. We have 20 breweries, we have three wineries and two distilleries.”

The breweries, in alphabetical order, are Ale Republic, Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Chama River, Dialogue, Flix Brewhouse, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Quarter Celtic, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Santa Fe, Second Street, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Taos Mesa, and Turtle Mountain. The wineries are Black Mesa, New Mexico Hard Cider, and St. Clair, while Left Turn and Santa Fe Spirits are the distilleries on hand.

As John noted, the entire event is “100 percent local to New Mexico.”

“Yes, that’s another thing we really want to push here is that this is an absolute local event,” Justin added. “There’s no outside distributors. There’s no random (anything). This will all be from New Mexico, beers and vendors. It will be nice to share some of the other breweries that a lot of folks haven’t been up to see, (like) Bathtub Row and Rowley Farmhouse Ales, a lot of these guys are definitely part of that brewing community that a lot of the Albuquerque scene doesn’t get out to get and see.”

The vendors on hand will all be local as well, ranging from New Mexico Flameworks to Metal The Brand to YogaZo to Mother Road Mobile Canning. The New Mexico Brewers Guild will have a booth, of course, and a certain local author will also be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book, Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap, for $20 apiece (no, I will never stop with the shameless self promotion at this point).

Gamers Anonymous will have a booth as well, with video games for patrons to play, ranging from Street Fighter to GoldenEye to Mario Kart and more. Unlike last year, when it seemed like the chairs were half in the sun all day, it will all be inside and air conditioned. There will also be a cornhole tournament thanks to the owner of The Local Brewhouse, who donated his boards for the day.

There will be a charity that will benefit from the event as well.

“This is a benefit for the Animal Humane Society,” John said. “Animal Humane will be split into two sections. They’ll have a little adoption booth, if possible with actual, live puppies there. Then we’re going to have a booth set up with a little game (washer toss) and people will pay a dollar or so. That money will go directly to Animal Humane. They can win a prize, and I think every brewery is going to pitch in a shirt or a hat or something.”

Local bands will include Isaac Aragon during the VIP-only time (12:30-2 p.m.) and Pawn Shop Poster Boys after that. Another band is also expected to be announced soon.

“That and it will be nice that our music will have an actual audio guy this year,” Justin said. “Last year we were leaving it up to the bands, which isn’t a problem as far as the audio itself goes, but as far as the setup of the audio we hope to have seamless music throughout the event. Last year we had these breaks between our VIP and our start. We want people to be able to hear music (as they come in).”

The beer, though, is the biggest draw. The Crew should have full lists for all attending breweries no later than Thursday, but a few special beers of note have already been listed by Boxing Bear on Facebook.

  • Blue Corn, thankfully, goes to the dark side with Imperial Chocolate Porter.
  • Bosque is expected to bring a new variant in their Elephants on Parade specialty series.
  • Canteen will debut their Strawberry Basil Gose and bring back Tuttle IPA, a hazy New England-style hop bomb.
  • La Cumbre is bring Strawberry Gose and the latest batch of Project Dank.
  • Marble counters with a Cranberry Gose. Yes, there is a gose theme here.
  • Quarter Celtic has Mangose (yup, theme) and a new Blood Orange Hefeweizen.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales is bringing six beers, each of which will be served at special times (see our next story Thursday for that serving schedule).
  • Second Street will tap Summer Rain Raspberry Sour.
  • Starr Brothers is brewing a special batch of Starrgasm IPA just for the festival.
  • Turtle Mountain will have Yum Yum Colada and Lil Shelly Pale Ale.

Unlike other festivals, this is not an unlimited sampling event. VIP and general admission both get four 4-ounce samples and one full pint for free. Additional samples and/or pints can be purchased from the breweries.

“Most breweries, we kind of leave it up to them if they want people to purchase a sample or not,” Justin said. “Last year, just about every brewery was up for it, so my guess that will probably be the thing. Every now and then you’ll see a beer where if it’s a high-end beer or if it’s in a bottle, it’s just not going to be available for sample, which is understandable. I would say almost everything is going to be available for sample and purchase. We definitely don’t want to limit on what people are able to try, but what we want to do is not just turn it into a free-for-all.”

While bigger packaging breweries can often write off free samples as a marketing expense, that is almost impossible for the smaller brewpubs. This helps the breweries not feel as if they are giving away nothing but free beer.

“It’s one of those things where if we put multiple good breweries into a caravan (and) not only show them a good time, but if they get a little something back, they’re going to consistently show up every year for us,” Justin said. “That way we always get the best local breweries showing up consistently every year, which is great for the consumers. That was the original BearFest idea was going for, it’s for the patrons, it’s for the breweries, and it’s for everyone in between.”

Putting BearFest in a more convenient location is another way for Boxing Bear to give back to the patrons and attending businesses.

“It will also be in a nice central location, which is another good part about the Convention Center,” Justin said. “Other than competing with other festivals that were going on, it’s hard getting people to come across the river for anything. It will be right in downtown where people know, with quick access to (two freeways). Uber and Lyft, no matter where you are in the city, it will be probably be pretty affordable, and we always encourage that.”

For those looking to bike over, take note of your options in the area.

“Last year we did a bike valet,” John said. “We were unable to get that this year. The valet company had a prior event. However, there is still ample bike parking. Right now the Plaza is under construction and they have Third (Street) blocked off on both ends, but the Plaza is actually gated off because they’re doing the Shakespeare events with bike racks. There’s hundreds of spots over there.”

The Crew always encourages everyone to travel safely and responsibly to and from beer festivals.

We will have those full beer lists on Thursday. After that, we will see you at BearFest!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The brewers at Starr Brothers were all too happy to receive the official NMDSBC Stout Challenge trophy.

The brewers at Starr Brothers were all too happy to receive the official NMDSBC Stout Challenge trophy.

Every now and again, a story, even a short one, slips through the cracks. A few weeks back, I visited Starr Brothers and got a quick tour of the brewery’s expansion, took some photos, and I completely forgot to post anything.

Time to rectify that. As noted in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series story, Starr Brothers has expanded into the space next door, knocking out the wall in order to expand their brewing area. The photos I took should show most of it, but basically head brewer Rob Whitlock has a lot more room to maneuver. They have added multiple tanks, and have a second, larger walk-in cooler that will be used for distribution. Yes, Starr Brothers is sending kegs to other places now, though there are no plans to move into canning or bottling (at least not yet).

The pictures will tell the rest of the story.

The new walk-in cooler is quite a bit larger than its predecessor.

The new walk-in cooler is quite a bit larger than its predecessor.

More fermenters? Yup.

More fermenters? Yup.

starrbrothersexpansion3

There is still a lot of open space back there for future expansion.

If this all means Rob can keep Foggy Monocle, the oatmeal stout that claimed top honors at the Crew’s 2017 Stout Challenge, on tap at all times, then everyone wins. See how much the official Stout Challenge trophy makes Rob smile up above? Yeah, a good stout does that for us.

Desert Valley moves west

One of the forthcoming breweries in Albuquerque is taking over some familiar turf. Desert Valley Brewing, which is associated with the same folks who own The Craftroom and Sandia Hard Cider, is moving into the brewing space that never was for The Stumbling Steer.

The Steer fizzled out in 2015, with the building then taken over and chopped into different storefronts. Part of the restaurant area became Vernon’s Open Door, but financial problems eventually sank that operation, much like the Steer before it. The brewing area, which was never put into service before the Steer’s demise, was supposed to have become a brewery that would serve its beers via all the various Vernon’s and Wise Pies properties, but that idea never got off the ground. Now, finally, an actual brewery is moving to take over that portion of the property.

The restaurant portion of the building is being taken over by the owner of Matanza, though whether he will open a west-side version of the popular Nob Hill eatery/beer bar, or try a new concept, is unclear right now.

For now, Desert Valley’s small brewer license is still listed as pending on the State of New Mexico’s website, and it is unknown how long it will take them to get things running out there (for instance, we don’t even know how much of the brewing equipment is in place, or if some may need to be added, replaced, or repaired). Rest assured, we will try to touch base with the team behind Desert Valley and learn more.

Updating the rest of the newcomers

They're not gonna open small in Los Ranchos. (Courtesy of Steel Bender)

They’re not gonna open small in Los Ranchos. (Courtesy of Steel Bender)

There are seven other breweries with pending licenses in varying stages of development, plus one more about to open.

Steel Bender Brewyard in Los Ranchos already has their license approved and has begun brewing. They still project a mid-March opening and should have an announcement shortly as to the exact date of their grand opening. At least two notable brewers have stopped by to look around, and both came away quite impressed. The Crew will be visiting Steel Bender as soon as there are beers to taste and everything is relatively settled.

As for the other seven, we have no new updates on Bare Bones Brewing (Cedar Crest) or Bombs Away Beer Company (Albuquerque). The magic of social media has informed us, via lots of pictures, that the buildout is underway for both Drylands Brewing (Lovington) and Truth or Consequences Brewing.

Lava Rock Brewing, the new project from former Firkin Brewhouse brewer Aaron Walters, is moving along on the west side on Unser north of Ladera. The aim is still for a summer opening.

We had not heard anything new on Hops Brewery in Nob Hill until a recent visit to another brewery revealed that Hops was now buying grain and getting ready to brew its first beers. The long-delayed project may finally be nearing its opening, but as Hops still does not have any website or social media accounts, that is all we know for now.

Finally, a new name to file away, Glencoe Distillery & Brewery, which is set to open a few miles east of Ruidoso. The original newspaper story did not mention brewing, so our guess is that was added later on to the plan. Hey, it works for Broken Trail up here, maybe it will work in the mountains down south, too.

For every opening, a closing

Twisted Chile gives Socorro its first in-town brewing operation in years.

Twisted Chile will be bidding farewell soon, though a new owner could bring it back eventually.

OK, not quite, but there have been a couple brewery closings of late. For those that missed it on social media or in The Week Ahead in Beer last week, Twisted Chile will be closing its doors in Socorro. After originally listing April 1 as the grand finale, March 25 will now be the end of the line, at least for the current owners. The brewery name, recipes, and food menu are for sale right now, but in a twist, the brewing equipment is actually owned by the property owner.

Yes, Albuquerque Brewing is closed. We have most of the story as to why, but they have asked us to withhold sharing any of it until all the legal issues are cleared up.

We have still not received word as to when Pi Brewing expects to reopen. The repairs to the outer wall, damaged by a car way back on New Year’s Day, have taken a lot longer than anyone expected. Rest assured, though, Pi will be back.

National IPA Challenge update

No brewery in America has ever pulled off back-to-back victories.

There will be no three-peat for Bosque, but other New Mexico IPAs are still in the running.

The National IPA Challenge, put on every year by The Brewing News, is well underway. Two of the four brackets have concluded, Session IPA and Specialty IPA. The latter saw Dialogue Brewing’s Belgium Citrus IPA reach the finals, and even though it lost to 42 North Brewing’s White Oak Borderland IPA, it was still a heck of an accomplishment for a brewery that isn’t even six months old.

As for the big brackets, the sizable New Mexico contingent in each has been whittled down. There are only 16 beers left, with two from our state left in the Imperial IPA bracket and three in the regular IPA bracket.

The last two imperial entries are Bosque’s Moon Cannon and Second Street’s Imperial IPA (both of which are currently available on tap, FYI). Moon Cannon will face Knee Deep’s Lupulin River, while Imperial IPA takes on Two Roads’ Two Juicy. If both advance to the quarterfinals, they will face each other.

As for the main bracket, Bosque’s back-to-back reigning champion Scale Tipper was knocked out in the third round by another hop powerhouse, Fat Heads’ Head Hunter IPA. The survivors from New Mexico are Quarter Celtic’s Clark, La Cumbre’s Project Dank, and Boxing Bear’s Bear Knuckle. If they all advance to the quarterfinals and move on from there, New Mexico could end up with three of the final four. It will not be easy, however, as Clark takes on Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ Hopcelot IPA, Project Dank battles Flying Bison’s Buffalo IPA, and Bear Knuckle goes paw-to-toe with Sunriver’s Vicious Mosquito, which knocked out Dialogue’s Centennial IPA back in the second round.

We also got this fun little statistic from Boxing Bear’s David Kim: “Some fun data to show just what NM is doing year after year in this competition. From 2014-2017 NM has had more beers reach the round of 16 (14 beers) than any other state. Oregon is second with 13, California is third with 11, and Ohio is fourth with 7 beers. All other states had no more than 3 beers reach the “sweet 16” of this competition.”

We’ll just go ahead and change the state slogan to “The Land of Hopchantment.”

Sampler tray

  • No news is good news, right? We are still waiting to find out when House Bill 398, the companion piece to the defeated Senate Bill 314, is going to be heard in committee. This legislative session is nearing its end, so plenty of political fireworks remain. Rest assured, the minute we know something, you will, too.
  • For those who say the Crew is too focused on Albuquerque and Santa Fe, we hear you. Look for a story on Farmington’s Three Rivers Brewery in the near future, plus we do intend to hit up lots of other breweries, new and old, in the coming months, from Roosevelt in Portales to Milton’s in Carlsbad to Enchanted Circle in Angel Fire, and as many others as our schedules allow.
  • Word on the street, and social media, has plenty of collaboration brews coming up in the next few weeks and months. Steel Bender has brewed with Canteen and Marble, while Chama River and Nexus have something new coming soon. Marble, in fact, is putting the word out to breweries around town to come brew together at the Northeast Heights location. We would almost think brewmaster Josh Trujillo is bored or something, but at the rate he keeps churning out awesome new seasonals, that can’t possibly be the case.
  • We will have a full preview of La Cumbre’s Cask Ales Festival on Thursday. Also, the early reveal of the Albuquerque Beer Week schedule is almost upon us. It kicks off May 25.

That is all for now, or at least all I can remember. If anyone out there has beer news, notes, and tips to share, contact us via social media or at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Our sixth annual Stout Challenge brought about a sixth different winner.

Our sixth annual Stout Challenge brought about a sixth different winner.

Amid all the seriousness of the weekend, the Brew Crew was still able to gather to hold our annual Stout Challenge before the start of the Super Bowl. While the game featured an improbable rally by the favorite, our blind taste test featured an upset by one of the newer breweries in town.

For the sixth time, we have a new winner. A past winner came oh-so-close to becoming our first two-time champion. We structure the event similar to the IPA Challenge, but with variations. We go around the day of the event, fill our half-growlers (or full growlers for last year’s top finishers), and then bring them to Franz Solo’s house. Our friend Margaret then pours them into numbered glasses out of sight, and we try them one by one, rather than put all on a tray. We take notes and score them from zero to five points in the categories of aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and finish, and add them up.

We were short quite a few Crew members this year. Illness knocked out Brandon, Luke, and Shawna. E-Rock was unable to make it back from his musical adventures in Texas in time. Shilling was studying. Porter Pounder was on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise again. Thus, only myself, Franz, Mrs. Solo, Kristin, and guest judge Tim (Margaret’s husband) were available.

Also, after reporting 16 stouts Friday, we ended up two shy, as Bow & Arrow did not open until it was too late for us to pick up their Storm & Hearth, and Twisted Chile was unable to deliver their Irish stout from Socorro.

As always, these are our opinions. We could be wrong.

14. Cazuela’s Beer for my Horses (19.5 points): This was the only truly disappointing stout among the batch. The flavor was almost sour (my opinion) or salty (Franz’s opinion). It was too thin in the mouthfeel. We have no idea what happened with this batch.

13. Santa Fe Dysphotic Stout (45.5): None of us disliked this robust, almost hop-forward stout, it was just that when stacked up against a field of mostly oatmeal variants, it stood out almost as more of a black IPA than anything. Basically, it is a stout that stands alone in the current available field in the ABQ metro area.

12. Rio Bravo Oatmeal Stout (46): While it did not move up in the standings that much, Rio Bravo’s entry scored much better this time around. The aroma scored the highest, with some mixed feelings on the flavor and mouthfeel. Overall it just came off as a bit light for what we look for in a stout.

11. Boxing Bear Standing 8 Stout (47.5): Every year there seems to be one of the top stouts from the previous year that falls way down the ladder. The main complaint here was in the bitter, overly smoky flavor, aroma, and mouthfeel. It was similar to Dysphotic, but with more malt and less hops.

10. Bosque Driftwood Oatmeal Stout (48): We found this batch to be a little on the thin side, with the most negative marks coming in terms of its mouthfeel, or lack thereof. The flavor was good, quite a bit sweet up front, but it faded pretty quickly.

9. Turtle Mountain Stauffenberg Stout (52.5): This was the first stout we sampled, so in many ways, it served as the base line for all that followed. In general everyone liked it, though it was noted as being just a tad short in all four categories. Still, we would call it perfectly drinkable.

8. Sidetrack Stoker Stout (53): A significant improvement on their stout from last year, this batch was quite a bit smokier and more roasted. Those were probably the biggest attributes, good or bad, with our voters.

7. The 377 Full Booty Stout (56): The top word used to describe our newest brewery’s oatmeal stout was “dry,” which accounted for much of the flavor and mouthfeel for folks. Some scored that well, others did not. The thickness of the mouthfeel scored the highest with most of us.

6. Chama River Sleeping Dog Stout (58): The 2016 champion could not pull off the repeat. The flavor and aroma this time around was sweet, with a pronounced vanilla element, but otherwise it lacked enough mouthfeel and overall complexity. It remains quite good, but not quite on par with last year.

5. Marble Oatmeal Stout (59): If there is a stout deserving of the title of “old reliable,” it is our 2012 champion, which still ranks among the best in town. There was a sweet, almost vanilla flavor and aroma at the front. The mouthfeel and finish saw some contrasting opinions with the five of us.

4. La Cumbre Malpais Stout (61): Unlike most La Cumbre beers, this did not have much of an aroma to draw you in. It did have a smokier, heavier flavor, scoring highest in mouthfeel and finish. The 2013 champion remains one of the best in town, though it is definitely not for those who like their stouts sweeter.

3. Canteen Dark n’ Lusty Stout (62.5): No stout has yo-yoed up and down more in our Stout Challenge the last six years than Canteen’s staple. It has finished seventh (out of eight), fifth (out of 10), 10th (out of 10), second (out of 14), 11th (out of 14), and now it’s third. This batch had a lot of chocolate flavor. It was sweet and solid, but just lacked the flavor complexity to claim its first title.

2. Tractor Double Plow Oatmeal Stout (70): My personal favorite in the bunch, it came up just short of being our first two-time winner (2014 was its previous victory). That cookie dough-like flavor was back at the front, with lots of chocolate up front and hints of smoke on the back end. The mouthfeel was solid throughout.

1. Starr Brothers Foggy Monocle (71.5): First Stout Challenge, first victory! Brewer Rob Whitlock said he actually prefers his Roisin Dubh, an Irish dry stout, to this. Guess he will have to change his mind now. The flavor (roasty coffee) and mouthfeel (thick and creamy smooth) scored especially high with our group.

We will have our Stout Challenge helmet trophy ready soon to be presented to Starr Brothers. Congrats to Rob and their entire staff!

As always, here are our individual point totals for each beer, to see where we agreed and disagreed on each.

  • Stoutmeister: 1) Tractor 13.5, 2) Chama River 11, 3) Canteen 10.5, 4) La Cumbre and Marble 9.5, 6) Boxing Bear and The 377 and Starr Brothers 9, 9) Bosque 8.5, 10) Sidetrack and Turtle Mountain 8, 12) Santa Fe and Rio Bravo 7, 14) Cazuela’s 3
  • Franz Solo: 1) Tractor 16.5, 2) Starr Brothers 16, 3) Canteen 15.5, 4) La Cumber 15, 5) Boxing Bear and Sidetrack 13.5, 7) The 377 12.5, 8) Chama River and Turtle Mountain 12, 10) Marble and Santa Fe 11, 12) Bosque and Rio Bravo 7, 14) Cazuela’s 3
  • Mrs. Solo: 1) Starr Brothers 16.5, 2) Tractor 15.5, 3) Canteen and Sidetrack 12, 5) La Cumbre and Marble and The 377 and Rio Bravo 11, 9) Bosque 10.5, 10) Chama River and Turtle Mountain 10, 12) Santa Fe 7, 13) Boxing Bear 6, 14) Cazuela’s 4
  • Kristin: 1) La Cumbre 16.5, 2) Starr Brothers 16, 3) Marble 15, 4) Chama River 13, 5) Rio Bravo and Turtle Mountain 12.5, 7) Bosque 12, 8) Boxing Bear and Canteen 11.5, 10) The 377 and Tractor 11, 12) Sidetrack 10.5, 13) Santa Fe 10, 14) Cazuela’s 5
  • Tim: 1) Starr Brothers 14, 2) Tractor 13.5, 3) Canteen 13, 4) The 377 and Marble 12.5, 6) Chama River 12, 7) Santa Fe 10.5, 8) Bosque and Turtle Mountain 10, 10) La Cumbre and Sidetrack 9, 12) Rio Bravo 8.5, 13) Boxing Bear 7.5, 14) Cazuela’s 4.5

Once again, these are just our opinions. We invite everyone to go out and try all these stouts, whether it’s for the 100th time or the first time. Our local breweries are doing a great job with the darker side of beer, and we couldn’t be happier on the whole.

We will have more on the weekend’s serious news about Senate Bill 314 and the contentious town hall meeting on Tuesday, once we put everything together.

Until then, keep supporting local breweries!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

A rare moment without a packed house at Starr Brothers, which has enjoyed a successful first year of business.

A rare moment without a packed house at Starr Brothers, which has enjoyed a successful first year of business.

Editor’s note: This is the second entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series. Click the category tag above to find all the stories.

The beginning of 2016 was a whirlwind for the local beer scene, as five breweries opened within a span of less than three months. One of these was Starr Brothers, and in the short time that has followed, it has already enjoyed tremendous success.

Starr Brothers began construction in late 2015 on San Antonio Drive, east of Interstate 25, but as happens with most new breweries, progress was a bit delayed. With the completion of the kitchen in January 2016, they were ready to make some money, and the crowds began to flock into what was essentially at first just a restaurant that poured other local beers. In April, they were able to put their own beers on tap, and the crowds kept right on coming in a big way. Opening a brewery on a major street in an under-served Albuquerque east side area worked like gangbusters.

Over a seasonal Don’t Fear the RIPA (red IPA, oh, my, yum), I talked to brewer Rob Whitlock about their first year of operations – their “year in beer” as it were – and some exciting plans for 2017.

First and foremost, Rob wanted to share his and the company’s gratitude to local favorite Boxing Bear for the incredible amount of support and training he received from them. Rob was a home brewer and regular customer of Southwest Grape and Grain next door, as well as, of course, The Bear. He told brewers Justin Hamilton and Dylan Davis about an opportunity to brew on a commercial scale for Starr Brothers, and they immediately took him under their wing (or furry bear arm, I suppose). They also still allow Rob to use their keg washer to wash his kegs.

Rob, a retired journeyman plumber, but not a miracle worker, soon discovered that the 7-barrel system was not large enough for their demand; admittedly, it is a good problem to have. He said it’s difficult just to keep the house beers, including the two favorites Starrstruck IPA and L.A. Woman Blonde, on at all times. He said he would love to have the capacity do more seasonals. The recent Oktoberfest sold out in a mere eight days. There is a Dunkelweizen fermenting now, and Rob said that is their first beer made with a weizen yeast. They hope to have a holiday stout available for Thanksgiving, he added.

It is quite crowded in the back, but Starr Brothers will be expanding into the next commercial space to the east in 2017.

It is quite crowded in the back, but Starr Brothers will be expanding into the next commercial space to the east in 2017.

I asked Rob about their strip mall location and if they would ever be able to take over some additional space. Coincidentally, Rob said that as a matter of fact that just happened, and construction just started in the space just to the east of the current brewery area. They are going to be able to increase their capacity by 60 barrels with the addition of four more 15-barrel fermenters. There will also be a new walk-in cooler with four 15-barrel bright tanks.

Starr Brothers participated in a few festivals this year, and was one of the breweries to provide a happy hour at the State Fair. I chose their Motorbrreath Smoked Porter as one of my two growler-fills-to-go at the Alibi on Tap event in September.

In another bit of news for the upcoming year, Starr Brothers had to get their zoning adjusted to get a distributor license. When that license is in place and the production capacity is increased, they will be able to put tap handles at other bars and restaurants. Several establishments have already asked if they can put their beer on tap, Rob said. The owners, John and Heather Starr, are mulling over the idea of an additional location, but there are no firm plans as of the printing of this story.

It has been a fantastic first year for Starr Brothers, and the NMDSBC wishes them continued great success in the upcoming year.

Holiday Cheers (wow, it’s here)!

— AmyO