Posts Tagged ‘Steel Bender Brewyard’

The Boxing Bear team, triumphant again!

In another close vote, Boxing Bear claimed its second straight NM IPA Challenge championship on Saturday afternoon at Steel Bender Brewyard.

Justin Hamilton and his staff claimed 104 votes, with Bosque running a very close second at 101. Quarter Celtic (82), Canteen (76), Starr Brothers (59), Marble (49), Tractor (43) and Bow & Arrow (40) were closed behind.

“It means a whole lot for us, honestly,” Justin said. “With each competition with put forth we support the (New Mexico Brewers) Guild. But the fact that it’s blind and that people are really judging as to what they like the best means a lot. It means a whole lot. We honestly had some of the best beers in the world as far as New Mexico goes.”

Yes, Justin, you get to keep it another year!

Bear Knuckle became just the latest repeat champion. Exodus won three years in a row for Canteen from 2010-12 (a different IPA had started it off in 2009), followed by repeat wins for Scale Tipper from Bosque in 2014 and 2015.

“It’s obviously a super competition,” Justin said. “We have the National IPA Challenge winners from the last four years (here). It means so much. It’s really cool to be a part of it. Obviously the last two years the competition has been the closest it’s ever been. We have so many amazing breweries coming up, Starr Brothers, Quarter Celtic. They obviously put up some amazing entries.”

For the record, La Cumbre won the Brewing News IPA Challenge in 2014 and 2017, sandwiched around Bosque winning in 2015 and 2016.

“Bear Knuckle is one of those things where we try to keep improving it,” Justin said. “Hop varieties change a little bit. The recipe is pretty solid. We’ve got a good base for it, it’s doing well for us.”

Another super-close vote this year.

Ultimately, Steel Bender was able to run a smooth ship Saturday afternoon. The weather cooperated (hooray!) and overall it was a well-run event. So far, at least, the complaints have not piled up about the final round, as they did with the preliminary rounds.

For Boxing Bear, the staff never lost sight of the ultimate goal of the NMIPAC.

“The main thing is it’s a big supporter for the Guild, for the community,” Justin said. “IPA is the most popular style in the country right now. It’s cool to see on a national level New Mexico doing well. Locally, it’s good to support the Guild with some awesome IPAs.”

Justin said he does not expect the reign to last much longer for Boxing Bear.

“There were a lot of beers that were out there that I could recognize,” he said. “That’s amazing, that you have things that are just really good beers in this city. It seems to be about another year, maybe two … people get the idea of what you’re doing as far as local IPAs go. Then three or four years, everything flip flops. They’re not catching up yet, but they will.”

Congrats to Boxing Bear on its back-to-back victories! We look forward to the next NM IPA Challenge next year.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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If the first-round results are any indication, this is gonna be a close battle to the end! (Photo courtesy of Skye Devore)

First off, pardon the fact I did not publish this last night. I actually received the photo above while driving on I-40 back home (pulled off at Clines Corners to do the social media post) from Tractor co-owner Skye Devore (thank you!). Anyway, let us delve into the first-round results of the NM IPA Challenge, held Wednesday night at Picacho Peak Brewing in Las Cruces.

There was quite a bit of social media commotion after the elimination round last weekend, when many folks seemed to object to the fact all three hosts of the main rounds get byes. As if the universe needed to slap them upside the head with irony, Steel Bender, which only got six votes in the preliminaries but still advanced, ended up leading everyone in Cruces. So, yeah, all that griping that the final-round host didn’t belong? Good job, universe!

It was not a runaway win, however, as Steel Bender nabbed only 17 votes. Lurking right behind were two heavyweights, with two-time champion Bosque (2014-15) picking up 16 votes and defending champion Boxing Bear snagging 15 votes.

Three breweries then tied for fourth place with 13 votes. It was a good showing from Marble, which surprisingly never won this event, while four-time champion Canteen was right there, as was relative newcomer Bow & Arrow. Another fairly young brewery took seventh place as Starr Brothers earned 10 votes.

Quarter Celtic and Second Street, the host of the second round, tied for eighth with nine votes apiece. Tractor was 10th with seven votes, while La Cumbre had six votes for 11th place. Ponderosa, which was Brandon’s pick off his tray in the elimination round, only got four votes for 12th place. The 377, which racked up the most votes in the elimination round, only earned three votes from the folks in Las Cruces. Tying for 14th place with just one vote apiece was Blue Corn, a past champion, and host Picacho Peak.

Overall, 137 votes were cast, which is a pretty good showing for Las Cruces, or anywhere outside of Albuquerque. The second round, set for Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. at Second Street’s new Rufina location, should get around the same, or hopefully even higher. It will be fascinating to see how the Santa Fe faithful vote in comparison to their southern brethren (which included a lot of folks making the drive up from El Paso). Rarely has the first-round leader held onto that distinction after round two.

The elimination round in Albuquerque had about 300 votes cast, so we fully expect a massive turnout on July 29 at Steel Bender, likely with well more than twice as many votes cast as the first two rounds. A lot will still be decided, but for now at least, some breweries have to be feeling good about their chances, while others figure to be heading back to the drawing boards for 2018.

As for the ongoing complaints on social media, we agree that the NMIPAC is not a perfect setup. It is designed first and foremost to be the single largest fundraiser for the NM Brewers Guild, not to be the perfect competition. That is the primary reason host breweries are willing to give up four hours-plus of business in the middle of their busiest season, all while offering up what is likely the single most expensive beer they brewed all year long for people to drink for free. They know that the Guild needs this money to fight the good fight against the anti-alcohol and tax-everything-to-death forces in the State Legislature. For a small but vocal minority of beer drinkers to spend all their time on social media trying to tear down this event, you are doing a disservice to the entire brewing community. It is one thing to offer up suggestions on future improvements (we, for one, believe that the other two host breweries should have followed Picacho Peak and not participated in the elimination round at all, thus freeing up those 18 votes that went to Second Street and Steel Bender to be distributed to the other 33 competing breweries), but it is another to rant about non-existent bias, to call this whole thing flawed. Is it perfect? Again, no, but it is the setup we have and what we must deal with until/if the Guild membership votes to make changes.

In other words, get out there and have some fun, damn it! Craft beer is all about that, right?

Thanks to everyone down south for heading out to vote and to Picacho Peak for hosting. Thanks to John Gozigian for his tireless work every round, and again, thanks to Skye for keeping us updated, even when on the (literal) road.

Luke will be covering the second round for us from Santa Fe, so look for his updates Saturday afternoon. A whole slew of us will then be at the finale.

Until then, I need a really, really long nap.

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.

Summer is a great time for breweries and charities to team up, with $1 from pints sold going to good causes across the city and country. Bosque has had Polly’s Wheaty Lager on for some time. Proceeds from that beer go to Polly’s Run, a charity working to stop pancreatic cancer. Sidetrack is tapping the new Golden WHEELS Ale this week. It was brewed to help raise funds for the new WHEELS Museum to get its doors open. For anyone who missed the recent Wheels of Soul Tapping Party at The Rail Yards, the special beers brewed by participating breweries are starting to go on tap around town. Steel Bender is already putting Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA on tap. Again, a dollar from every pint sold goes to fund Mr. Holland’s Opus, which donates new musical equipment to schools in need. Rio Bravo is selling Penguin Lager on tap and in four-packs. Proceeds go to the new penguin exhibit at the zoo. If there are any other breweries out there right now with a charity-linked beer on tap, or planning one in the near future, let the Crew know and we will be sure to share it with everyone!

Also, please take note, many breweries will be closed or have altered hours for this coming Tuesday, July 4. We will have a separate post Monday compiling all of that info.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Thanks to the magic of Instagram, we know that Ale Republic has brought back Strong Dark and Handsome, plus they have the new Red Mountain and Cafe Con Beer. Bosque has added the Blood Orange Exotic Elephants, plus Bosque Blonde and the new (and weird) Beernana Split. Boxing Bear is feeling thunderstruck with Tropic Thunder IPA. Drafty Kilt beat everyone else to the punch in naming their new wheat beer Covfefe Hefe. La Cumbre brings back the delicious Miles From Cologne in time for all this heat. Marble has added Cherry Gose, Plum Gose, 522 DIPA, and Grungeist Pilsner. Rio Bravo should have Hibiscus Ale and Cherry Wheat on by the weekend. Sidetrack also has a fresh batch of Pub Ale. Tractor gets out there with Thai Basil Mint Cider. Turtle Mountain is the latest brewery to have the collaborative brew Improvisation Ale on tap, plus My Kolsche will be ready soon.

Up in Santa Fe, Duel is on the verge of rolling out fresh batches of Whistler, Turncoat, and Ensor. Rowley Farmhouse Ales unveils Agent Scully – Season One, Ep. 3 (IPA), plus Ab Initio Boysenberry, Meier (Lemon Gose), and No BU For You (IPA). Second Street has fresh 2920 Pale Ale, Red and Yellow Armadillo, and Diploid New England Style IPA.

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

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: Golden Child, Brune, Citrus Pale Ale, Blonde, Strong Dark and Handsome, Red Mountain, Cafe Con Beer. The most recent additions are the Red Mountain (7% ABV, 100+ IBU) and Cafe Con Beer (6.8% ABV, 12 IBU), a coffee 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: BG is not making its own beers at this time as the brewing system is being moved to a new location, per sources. Until later, enjoy the wide range of guest taps at both locations.

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. The Zeus Juice can also be purchased in bombers. Sour Relationship, a special collaboration with Milton’s, NM Cider Co., and Sidetrack, is now available.

Live Music: Friday—DJ MRVL and OTRA FRZH, 9 p.m.; Saturday—Adam Hooks and Roller Derby After Party, 10 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: Polly’s Wheaty Lager, Grasping at Straws, Bosque Hefe, Bosque Blonde, Beernana Split, Blood Orange Exotic Elephants. The Blood Orange is the latest in the Exotic Elephants series. Beernana Split is, well, um, weird. It has a hefeweizen base with additions of chocolate, lactose, strawberry, and banana. Try it and tell us what you think.

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, Radical Aim IPA, Sun-Bleached Berliner Weisse, El Breakfast Stout, Biere de Garde, Desert Dynamo IPL, Way Out West Farmhouse Sour. The newest additions to the lineup are Way Out West, Biere de Garde, Sun-Bleached, Desert Dynamo, and El Breakfast Stout. The latter is a spicy chocolate coffee stout, in case you could not guess by the name.

Happy Hour/Discounts: Bow & Arrow has happy hour every Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m. Get $1 off pints. A new late happy hour starts Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 10 p.m.

Boxing Bear Brewing Company — (505) 897-2327

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

Beers: Chocolate Milk Stout (also on nitro), Tropic Thunder IPA, Barril De Oso, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Barn Burner IWA, Guava Gose, Amerikolsch, Eastern Standard IPA. The Barril De Oso is a wine-barrel-aged version of the Oso Otono brown ale. The most recent additions are the Tropic Thunder, Amerikolsch, and Eastern Standard (7% ABV, 40 IBU), a hazy New England-style IPA.

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, Dragline IPA, Tuttle IPA Irish Red, Cloudview Wit, Keller Collab, Strawberry Basil Gose, Improvisation Ale. The most recent additions are the Tuttle, Keller, and Improvisation. The latter two are collaborations made with Chama River, Marble, Nexus, Santa Fe, and Turtle Mountain. If you want to know more about the excellent Dragline, read Franz Solo’s viking ode to this amazing IPA.

Live Music: Thursday—Steve Hammond and his High Plains Grifters, 6-9 p.m.; Sunday—TBA, 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.

Chama River Brewing Company — (505) 342-1800

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

Beers: Deuces IPA, Chamiso Mexican Lager, Kolsch, Red River Ale. The Deuces is a two-hop IPA, the first in a series, made with Amarillo and Simcoe. It tasted great at BearFest.

Dialogue Brewing — (505) 585-1501

(Open daily noon-midnight)

Beers: Belgian Citrus IPA, Berliner Weisse, Dark Helmet (Swartzbier), American Dark Sour, F yo Couch (Oatmeal Stout), Biere de Mars, Sour Raspberry, ODB Sour Brown Ale, Common Irish Conversation, Cordial (Tart Cherry Gose). The most recent additions are the Cordial, Amber Lager, and F yo Couch. Yup, Dialogue is still winning on the creative beer name front. The CIC is a rye steam beer brewed in collaboration with Quarter Celtic.

Live Music: Today (Wednesday)—The Tens, 8 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. This weekend will mark the debut of Covfefe Hefe.

Live Music: Friday and Saturday—bands TBA

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Blues, Brews & BBQ, 5 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: So It Gose, Baby You’re Much Too Fast (Irish Red), Flora Colossus (DIPA), Gettin’ Caught in the Rain, Brewhouse Shandy. Flora Colossus is a tasty, wine-infused double IPA. Gettin’ Caught in the Rain is a pina colada wheat brewed in collaboration with Bosque.

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: German Porter, Lil Red, Cori and Her Wheat, German Pilsner, Helles Lager, Maibock, Honk Ale, Oaxford IPA, Walnut Cider, DjinnJar Kombucha. The most recent additions are the German Porter and Pilsner. Sounds like a hearty “Prost!” is in order.

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, Dry Irish Stout (on nitro), Farm House Ale, IPA, Red, Scotch Ale, Session IPA; (seasonal) Rye Pale 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.

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: Strawberry Gose, Miles From Cologne, VMO #2, Pogue Mahone (on nitro). The VMO #2 is a lovely Marzen. The delicious Miles From Cologne (Kolsch) is back for another run. The Strawberry Gose is also available in bombers.

Live Music: Saturday—The Bus Tapes, 6-9 p.m.

Weekly Events: Tuesday—Lego Night Build Off 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: Indiana Bone’s Raider of the Lost Ale, DANG Pale Ale, Passionate Gose, Pina Pale, Idaho 7 Pale Ale, Guava Gose, Black Currant Gose (Downtown and Westside), Flower Digger Pale Ale (Downtown and Westside), Double IPA (Heights and Westside), Plum Gose (Heights and Westside), Super Session IPA (Heights and Westside), 522 Double IPA (Heights and Westside), White Out (Downtown only), Mosaic IPA (Downtown only), Blackberry Gose (Heights only), Keller Collab (Heights only), Brett IPA (Westside only), Cherry Gose (Westside only), Rita! (Westside only), Bronco Blanco (Westside only), Pilsner Anejo (Westside only), Grungeist Pilsner (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 newest additions are Plum Gose, Cherry Gose, 522 DIPA, and Grungeist Pilsner.

Live Music (Downtown): Thursday—Decker, 7-10 p.m.; Friday—Baracutanga, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Last to Know, 8-11 p.m.

Live Music (Heights): Friday—Still Closed for Repairs, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—The Real Matt Jones, 7-10 p.m.

Live Music (Westside): Friday—Ben Balmer/Josh Flowers, 8-11 p.m.; Saturday—Lonn Calanca Band, 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: Milk Stout, The Darker Fare, Beam Me Up Scotty, Plum Imperial Cream, Keller Collab (brewery only), 505 Collaboration (Silver Taproom). The Beam Me Up, delicious once again, and Plum Imperial Cream were added for last month’s sixth anniversary party. The Keller Collab was mentioned above at one of its fellow creator breweries.

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), Pale Ale, Cockness Monster (Scotch Ale), Palmergranite Wit, Cafe Pale Ale, Switch Stance Stout. Palmer shares a building with Left Turn Distilling on Girard south of Candelaria.

Ponderosa Brewing Co. — (505) 639-5941

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

Beers: Vic’s Secret Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Hop Burst Ale, Saison, Spanglish. Vic’s Secret is the most recent addition. Hoppy Pilsner and Raspberry Saison are on deck.

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: Denali SMASH Pale Ale, Mangose, Saoirse Hefe, Common Irish Conversation, Gondola Party Starter IPA, Blood Orange Hefeweizen. The CIC was made in collaboration with Dialogue. The GPS is a hazy New England-style IPA and back for another run.

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: Rye Steam, Open Saison, Blackberry Hefeweizen. The Blackberry Hefeweizen is the most recent addition.

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, Vanilla Porter, NM Pinon Coffee Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Barrel-aged Belgian Strong Golden, Barley Wine, Level 3 IPA, Imperial Russian Stout, Lemongrass Wit, Peach Gose, Cherry Sour Kolsch, Cucumber Mojito, Penguin Lager. The Level 3 (7.5% ABV, 120 IBU) should satisfy any hophead. A portion of the Penguin Lager proceeds are going to the new exhibit at the ABQ Bio Park. Next up are the Hibiscus and Cherry Wheat.

Live Music: Thursday—Michael Moxey Acoustic, 7-9 p.m.; Friday—Texas Swing Band, 6-8 p.m., Austin Van, 8-10 p.m.; Tuesday—Pre-4th Party with The Moves Collective, 7-10 p.m.

Other Events: Thursday—Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap Book Signing with author Chris Jackson, and 104.1 The Edge Live Broadcast, 5-7 p.m.; Saturday—Veterans Memorial Ride, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Weekly Events: Today (Wednesday)—Movie Night, 7 p.m.; Thursday—Girls Pint Out, all day; Friday—Philly Friday, all day; Sunday—Pints & Planks with Yoga Zo; Tuesday—$2 Taco Tuesday, all day

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: Sidetrack Pilsner, Honey Wheat, Switchgear IPA, Farmhouse Ale, Golden WHEELS Ale, Pub Ale, Sour Relationship. The most recent additions are the Golden WHEELS (see our intro) and a fresh batch of Pub Ale. Sour Relationship is the aforementioned collaboration with Boese Brothers, Milton’s, and NM Cider Co.

Cask: The Pilsner and Farmhouse are in the firkins.

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, Phantom Limb Black Rye IPA, Electric Sun American Wheat, C10H15N (Crystal Pale Ale), Starrphire Pilsner, Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Bloodshot, Starrgazm IPA. More Starrgazm quickly hit taps this week.

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, Smith Hopper Cascade Extra Pale Ale, Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse, 505 Collaboration, Wheels of Soul Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Say hello to the Smith Hopper Cascade, which replaces the Centennial. The Misfitter returns by popular demand.

The 377 Brewery — (505) 934-0795

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

Beers: (house) 377 IPA, Dieterhosen Hefe, Project El CuCuy (DIPA), English Best Bitter, Fat Brown Guy (Porter), Red Horse NM Lager, Swartzbier, Red Rocket (Double Red); (seasonals) Bitter Blonde, Black Ops Hops, Kolsch, Full Booty Stout (on nitro), Peach Wheat, Scottish Ale, Summer Saison, Plum Sour. Thanks to the magic of Untappd, we now have a breakdown of The 377’s beers. The Plum Sour and Summer Saison are the most recent additions.

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

(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)

Beers: Barnstorm Ale, Holstein & Hops, Cascade Pale Ale, Minute-4, Cascara Cider, Apricot Wheat, Half Acre Hefe, Tupac Cali Red, Mother Road Collaboration DIPA, Thai Basil Mint Cider, 505 Collaboration (Wells Park only), Berry Cider (Nob Hill only), Flanders Red Ale (Wells Park only), Milk Stout on nitro (Wells Park only). The new DIPA was made with the good folks from Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff. The collaboration Altbier, sadly, has run out, probably because it was so tasty. The Thai Basil Mint Cider is the most recent addition.

Live Music (Wells Park): Saturday—Garner Sloan, 8 p.m.

Live Music (Nob Hill): Today (Wednesday)—Alex Maryol, 8:30 p.m.

Other Events (Wells Park): Thursday—Tractor Square Dance, 7 p.m.; Friday—Hops & Dreams: Woodstock Edition, 8 p.m.; Monday—Special Screening of Independence Day, 8 p.m.

Other Events (Nob Hill): Saturday—Rest in Golden: Rita Riggs Art Opening, 6 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.

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: Consensual Sensations DIPA, Stuccon Saison, Lil’ Shelly (Pale Ale), Improvisation Ale, For the Bees. The Lil’ Shelly (5.2% ABV, 69 IBU) and Yum Yum Colada, a pina colada kettle sour, were the most recent additions until For the Bees joined the lineup. There is not much Improvisation and Consensual Sensations are nearly out, so Keller Collab and My Kolsche are on deck.

Cask: Tuesday—none July 4 as TMBC will be closed, casks will resume July 11

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Open daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Imperial Chocolate Porter, Hella Humulus Collaboration IPA, Ginger Braggott. Oh, man, the Imperial Chocolate Porter was one of the best beers of BearFest. Get it before it runs out! This Friday, a cask of Braggot dry hopped with Idaho 7 will be available on the patio.

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 new additions to the lineup, but more beers are on the way.

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. The Origine is the current spring saison from Duel. The Oui Lourd, Ara Pacis II, and WWWMD are the most recent additions. The acronym stands for What Would Whistler’s Mother Do. The Whistler (Blonde), Turncoat (Sour Scotch), and Ensor (Sour) are nearly ready to go on tap.

Live Music (ABQ taproom): Friday—Pata D Perro, 7-10 p.m.; Saturday—Blues and Brews with the Rudy Boy Experiment, 8-11 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), Ab Initio with Apricot, Ab Initio with Boysenberry, Meier (Meyer Lemon Gose), No BU For You (Zero IBU IPA). The Agent Scully is a new series of IPAs which will vary by hop combinations. This is a new batch of Fields of Rye dry-hopped with Citra.

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. We haven’t gotten an update from SFBC in so long we really have no idea what’s on tap at this point. We’re sure it’s good, but beyond that, it’s all a mystery.

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, Boneshaker Special Bitter, 2920 Pale Ale, Diploid New England Style IPA, International Steam Pale Ale, Civil Rye, Red and Yellow Armadillo. The most recent additions are 2920 PA, Diploid, and a fresh batch of Armadillo.

Live Music (Original location): TBA

Live Music (Railyard): TBA

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: The Tripel Lindy, Wit Rock, Crazy Mother IPA, Betty on Brett, Spearmint Stout, Jarrylo Pale Ale, Beedle’s Apple Ale, Catcher ‘n the Rye, Double Barrel Bourbon Brown. The most recent tap turnover went down in Los Alamos with Crazy Mother, Betty, Spearmint, Jarrylo, Beedle’s, and Catcher making their debuts. The Bourbon Brown (8.7% ABV) has now joined them.

Sierra Blanca Brewing — (505) 832-2337

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

Beers: Barrel-aged Whiskey Stout, Cherry Sour, Interstella Vanilla, Cherry Wheat, Single Hop IPA. The Whiskey Stout is back for a short time. The Cherry Sour is back for another run. Cherry Wheat is also now available in six packs.

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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 Rail Yards, minus the smudge on the camera lens, will be hosting another beer festival.

A small beer festival, called simply the Tapping Party, is popping up this Saturday at The Rail Yards south of downtown, with a good cause behind the entire event. Craft for Causes, a non-profit, is teaming up with breweries nationwide to create special beers and raise money for charities. There is no entry charge, patrons only pay for the food and beer they choose to purchase.

All of it is tied into the Tedeschi Truck Band’s Wheels of Soul tour, which comes to the Sandia Casino Amphitheater on July 27. The five participating local breweries will each create a special beer for that concert, though anyone who wants to try them in advance can come to The Rail Yards from 5 to 9 p.m. It raises money for Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates high-quality musical equipment for under-funded school programs across the country.

The five participating local breweries are La Cumbre, Marble, Palmer, Santa Fe, and Steel Bender. The special beers will be La Cumbre’s All That I Need, a dry-hopped kellerbier; Marble’s Wheels of Soul Pale Ale; Steel Bender’s Black (Hole Sun) IPA, which is a tribute to the late Chris Cornell; Santa Fe’s Altbier; and a TBA beer from Palmer. Left Turn Distilling will also be there as the lone distillery making a special Wheels of Soul spirit.

In addition to those, each brewery will have other beers available for purchase. This not a sampling event. La Cumbre is also bring El Jugo Pale Ale and Elevated IPA. Marble will also pour Pilsner, Double White, and Black Currant Gose. Steel Bender is also taking Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Red Iron Red, and Goose is Loose Berliner Weisse.

There will be live music from Red Light Cameras, ReVoZo, James Whiton, and DJ Gabe. There will be three food trucks present, tattoo artists, live shirt printing, and other vendors.

Got any questions? Ask away, or check the event’s 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

Day Three will show you no mercy, but it will show you plenty of fun.

After Friday’s events, we can understand if some of you want to take it easy today.

Beer Week, though, has no concept of mercy, because it’s gonna be a big one. The 505 Collaboration beer is releasing all over town, O’Niell’s is throwing a Beer Olympics, Santa Fe is having a party, Rio Bravo is having a music festival, the Hash House Harriers are running amok, there’s food pairings everywhere … back on your feet, people!

There is fun to be had.

Featured Event

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

What: Beer Olympics. Where: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo. When: 1-5 p.m. Cost: $10 per player.

Details: I stopped by O’Niell’s a while back to ask them about this fun-looking event. Basically it involves teams of four people, each with a special skill to win one of four events. There will be trivia, so take your most knowledgeable beer geek friend. There’s cornhole, and we’re sure you have that one friend who just dominates that game. There’s an obstacle course, which will be similar to bussing tables, so take your friend with the most server experience. Finally, there will be a mini-keg toss, so take your friend who’s either from Scotland or just spends a lot of time at the gym. There will also be beer specials from four Colorado breweries — Boulder Beer, Left Hand, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues.

Why you should go: Sure, you can just sit around and drink beer all day, but why not put your talents to use in a better way? (And still drink beer while doing it.)

All the other great events

What: Candemonium Charcuterie with Upslope. Where: M’tucci’s Italian. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Stop by and get cans of different Upslope beers paired with different charcuterie offerings. This is an all-day event. Why you should go: Fuel up before everything else starts.

What: Odell Special Tapping. Where: Gecko’s (both locations). When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: St. Lupulin Extra Pale Ale shall be tapped and there will also be pint glass giveaways. Why you should go: Holy hops bless you to start the day.

What: Santa Fe Brewing ABQ Beer Week Bash. Where: Green Jeans Farmery. When: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: All of Green Jeans will be permitted, so grab your beer and wander about, but the biggest party is on the SFBC rooftop deck where Chef Marie Yniguez of Bocadillos will be overseeing a cookout. There will be live music from Eugene (5-7 p.m.) and Garry Martin Beasley (8-10 p.m.), with lots of special tappings and giveaways. Watermelon Mountain Ranch will also be on hand looking for good homes for rescued pets. Why you should go: Feast, dance, drink, and maybe even find a new best friend.

What: 505 Collaboration Beer Release. Where: Bosque, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, La Cumbre, Marble, Ponderosa, Quarter Celtic, Red Door, Starr Brothers, Steel Bender, Tractor. When: All day. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The annual release of this Brewers Guild benefit beer is upon us! A team of ABQ brewers got together at Steel Bender last month to create a Golden Strong (8.74% ABV, 25 IBU) that will rock your world. Why you should go: Celebrate collaboration and help raise funds for the Guild.

What: Passing the Torch Festival. Where: Rio Bravo. When: 1-7 p.m. Cost: $12 for adults, $8 for ages 12 and under. Details: The RBBC patio will become a music fest as The Big Spank, Keith Sanchez and the Moon Thieves, Red Light Cameras, and Le Chat Lunatique perform. There will be food trucks, live art, craft vendors, a kids tent, and more. It all benefits the NMARB youth music program. Why you should go: Support local music, both what’s here now and the talent coming up through the pipeline.

What: Pig Roast and Marble Special Tapping. Where: Freight House. When: 1-10 p.m. Cost: $15 per person. Details: Head up to Bernalillo and enjoy a whole pig roast, with Marble providing a special keg of a one-of-a-kind beer. Why you should go: Explore the mystery of the beer and feast.

What: Founders Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 2-4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Sample a slew of new Founders beers, including Doom, a barrel-aged imperial IPA. There’s also a chance to enter a giveaway for a counter-top grill. Why you should go: Free beer! Free stuff!

What: Hash House Harriers Brewery Run/Walk. Where: Canteen Brewhouse (starting point). When: 2-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Join our friends Matt and Dana (of Babes in Brewland fame) as they lead the HHH team and folks of all running/walking skill levels on a 5-kilometer trek to breweries starting at the Canteen on Aztec. Why you should go: Get some exercise with your beer today, just remember to wear lots of sunscreen.

What: Beer and Tapas Pairing. Where: Ponderosa. When: 4-7 p.m. Cost: $7. Details: A different beer and tapas pairing will be available each day. Why you should go: You need some food in your belly to go with all this beer.

What: Family Style Dinner featuring Upslope. Where: Eclectic Urban Pizzeria and Tap House. When: 7 p.m. Cost: $25 per person. Details: Get a full meal of delicious food paired with Upslope beers. There will be live music by Anna Rudolph. Why you should go: It’s not like you actually want to make dinner tonight, right?

What: Mother Road and Tractor Collaboration tapping with Le Chat Lunatique. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 7-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The two breweries made two beers, an Altbier and a Double IPA, and now we all get to enjoy them while grooving along to some gypsy jazz. Why you should go: Great music and new beers to try.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The silo alone is hard to miss at Steel Bender.

This past Friday featured one of the better perks that comes with writing about beer, namely getting to experience a brewery before it opens to the general public. Steel Bender Brewyard welcomed four members of the Crew and representatives from multiple local breweries in for a special soft opening, giving all of us an advance look, and taste, at the first brewery in the Village of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque.

We will say, right off the bat before anyone asks, that there is no firm grand opening date yet. Steel Bender will announce it, hopefully this week, and the Crew will make sure to share that information. Right now they are waiting on the completion of the main driveway off Second Street. The brewery is located along the west side of the road, which as many know is paralleled by a small drainage ditch. A much larger bridge/driveway had to be built for the brewery to accommodate multiple vehicles passing over the ditch, and construction is not yet complete.

For all of us on Friday, we had to come in via Fourth Street and a narrow alleyway, but upon arrival we were greeted by one of the largest parking lots of any brewery in town (go ahead and rejoice just at this fact). The brewery itself is located on the east end of the development, all of which is owned by the Chant family. Steel Bender will serve as the anchor tenant for what they hope will become a focal point for the entire Los Ranchos community.

The simple exterior of the building’s north-facing side.

Facing east and with a great view of the Sandias in the distance will be the brewery patio. The outdoor bar, which will have its own set of taps, was not yet finished, and the patio furniture was not yet in place as well. Two nice cornhole boards had arrived (they light up at night), so there will be some games to play outside where people can gather.

Inside the building was an impressive combination of stylistic designs, mixing metal, brick, and wood. The ceilings were high, but the sound was never overwhelming. The bar sits at the center, with plenty of seating wrapping all the way around it. There are separate tables and booths on all sides as well. There is even an expansion area on the south end, with pseudo-garage-like doors that can be pulled down to make it into a private dining area. Overall, the taproom had a warm, inviting feel to it. The staff, many of whom you will probably recognize from other breweries, were top-notch and able to handle the sudden onrush of thirsty brewers and beer writers.

The bright and inviting interior of the taproom.

There is a solid menu of pub food, with burgers, chicken, salads, appetizers, and more. Brew Crew Bullpen member Tom and I both got the pulled pork sandwich, whose sauce was made with the Blue Bullet Stout. The flavor was different than, say, the Piggly Wiggly at Canteen, but it was equally good and stands on its own. The fries were also on point as a side.

As for the beer, five of the six house beers were on tap, plus the two collaboration beers that Steel Bender has already brewed — Steel Maverick, a Belgian-style red made at Marble (natch), and Steel Can Porter, an American porter made over at Canteen. The other five included the aforementioned Blue Bullet Stout, an Irish dry stout available on CO2 and nitro, as well as the Lloyd’s 3 O’clock Kolsch, The Village Wit, Sparkfitter Amber, and Skull Bucket IPA. Only Red Iron Red was not quite ready for its debut, but it should be available by the time of the grand opening.

The Kolsch was quite tasty, and should be a winner with the warm summer months coming up. The Wit was popular as well with the crowd, while the other house beers drew mixed reviews. I enjoyed the IPA more than others, while the stout came up a little short for me. Of course, these are all the first batches, and with a brewer of the quality of Bob Haggerty, we expect they will improve quickly as he dials everything in on the system and hones in his recipes.

Well, hello there, inaugural flight!

Speaking of Bob, once we were finished stuffing our faces and talking to the many, many people we knew as they milled about, he took us on a tour of the brewery, starting in his barrel room. The small space is located on the west side, with a 60-60 feature, namely that it will always be kept at 60 degrees and 60-percent humidity, Bob said with a wide smile. He already had some barrels that he purchased from his old friends at La Cumbre, namely the brandy barrels that just recently held this current batch of Gracias Por Fumar.

“These will probably end up with a brett stout in them, I’d guess,” Bob said. “I’m a fan mostly of wine barrels. I like to brew with wine barrels. I’m not much of a spirit guy with beers. I think most of the time spirits overpower what I’m trying to do with the beer. When it’s done well, it’s really good. … But, I just don’t care for that. These will probably be for the stout and I’m going to put them against the wall in the expansion space. I’m going to line those walls with barrels, so that’s going to be sort of my brett room. Anything that’s just brett is going to sit there for about three months.”

There be barrels here, just waiting to be filled.

As for the barrel room, expect some even funkier creations to be in the works.

“This is going to be for more of the multi-culture sour beers,” Bob said. “My ambition, and I hope to be able to do this, is to do a gueze-style beer. I want to do a one year, mix it with a six month, mix it with fresh, put it in a bottle, let it ferment for six months in the bottle and that’s it.”

Needless to say, the only person more excited than Bob at this point may have been our friend Karim.

We moved into the main brewery room, which is still all bright and shiny.

Where the magic happens.

“Here it is, a 15-barrel Premier system,” Bob said of his brewhouse. “I’ve got three 15-barrel (fermenters) and a 30. The silo is right outside that door. I just decided on my base malt, so we’re just about to fill it up.”

Bob also just had his keg washer arrive, which should help with all the kegs he purchased from La Cumbre. Those will eventually have the Steel Bender logo on them.

For those who need a reminder of Bob’s background, he was originally a chef living in Maine when he decided he needed a change. He started working at Oxbow Brewing, and after the owner/brewer was injured in an accident, Bob said he had to take over. When Mrs. Haggerty took a job at the University of New Mexico some time later, Bob found employment at La Cumbre.

“I was at La Cumbre for about two-and-a-half years,” he said. “Then I had a chance to start (a new brewery), so I left, but that failed to launch. I started talking to the Chants, but it was too far out. So, I hooked up with Ponderosa and was there for a few months, and then I found out when this was really going to happen, I jumped at the chance. I took a couple months off to spend with my family (first), and then it’s been nose to the grindstone here since October.”

Our tour guide for the evening, Mr. Bob Haggerty.

Bob was extremely impressed by how Ethan and Shelby Chant have put everything together.

“One of the coolest things about this place is that everything was kept in house,” Bob said. “The Chants built this. They brought everyone, we’ve got plumbers, electricians, and metal workers, they’re all here, not contractors. This is the anchor for the development. When they were building the place, this was what they wanted. This is the building they’re going to use to shop it out. Hey, we can do anything. We just set up a brewery. You look at all the work here in here, it’s so clean. The workmanship is so awesome. All the overhead stuff is done well.”

That includes leaving room for additional tanks.

“We’ve got room for three more, we’ve got three more stubs there,” Bob said of adding fermenters. “So I think what we’ll do, as business picks up, is pull one of those 15s, put a 30 in its place, put two more 30s, and a 30 bright. That will enable us to package.”

Ah, yes, packaging, the biggest question breweries find themselves having to ask earlier and earlier these days.

“It’s just one of those things, the market is what the market is,” Bob said. “There’s lots of people getting into distribution. If this taproom is booming and we’re making good money, why the hell would we get into distributing?”

For now, the beer will be just available off this rather awesome tap system.

Initially, at least, it will not be about six-packs of cans or bottles, or mass producing the house beers for packaging and distribution to all four corners of New Mexico.

“My first thought was having the 750-(milliliter bottles) and 500s,” Bob said. “I’m a Belgian guy, I love Belgian styles. This is my first round. Everything that’s happening right now is the first round to get people (in the door). This is the first draft, but my passion is really for esoteric styles, Belgian stuff. I don’t brew to style.”

The more general house beers will always be available, but ultimately, the goal is to give the beer at Steel Bender a different identity than what is found elsewhere in town.

“There’s so much going on here in Albuquerque, that if you don’t come in with a niche, if you don’t come in with an angle, then you’re going to compete (directly) with Boxing Bear and La Cumbre and Marble,” he said. “You’ve got to come in with your own thing and I’m kind of looking at that as my thing. We’ll see where it goes.”

If the brewery does end up being a huge hit, Steel Bender has a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to future expansion.

“This is the anchor of the development,” Bob said. “There are, I think, four more pads. There are three more pads that need to be built first, then the fourth is being reserved to see what happens here. The fourth one is about 14,000 square feet right behind us. If this goes well, we’ll see what happens next.”

A forward-thinking, well-planned brewery is just the kind of newcomer we want to see joining our local scene.

It’s called Steel Bender, so yeah, it’s pretty metal.

All of us in the Crew who attended the soft opening — myself, Luke, Julie, and Tom — would like to thank the Chants and Bob for the invitation and the hospitality. The food and beer were top-notch for a brand-new place, and the overall atmosphere is warm, welcoming, and above all, fun!

As soon as Steel Bender has its grand opening, the Crew will be back for more. After all, combined with Bosque to the east and Boxing Bear to the west, it forms what Luke has already dubbed “The Beermuda Triangle.” We can see ourselves getting lost here quite often.

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

We gotta admit, Dialogue Brewing just looks like it will be another cool place to hang out. (Photo courtesy of Dialogue Brewing)

We gotta admit, Dialogue Brewing just looks like it will be another cool place to hang out. (Photo courtesy of Dialogue Brewing)

We have been doing our best to keep track of all the forthcoming breweries around town. Recently, we have been lucky to get first-hand updates on the progress of Steel Bender Brewyard and Colfax Ale Cellar in Raton. In addition, Ale Republic has opened in Cedar Crest and Rowley Farmhouse Ales is now open in Santa Fe. There are still a few that remain, which we have divided into three categories as per the status of their application for a small brewer license from the State of New Mexico.

Approved licenses

In addition to the aforementioned Colfax Ale Cellar, the following breweries are good to go as far as the State is concerned, all located in Albuquerque — Dialogue Brewing, Flix Brewhouse, and Hops Brewery.

Dialogue, located on 1st Street and Kinley (just five blocks north of Marble), is the furthest along of the group. Their Facebook page is a great way to keep up to date on their progress. They appear to have finished the buildout and have begun brewing their first beer(s). We hope to get over there, possibly next week at the earliest, and get you all the final scoop.

Come on, Flix construction crew, get it ready for Rogue One! (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Come on, Flix construction crew, get it ready for Rogue One! (Photo courtesy of Flix Brewhouse)

Construction is continuing at Flix, the movie theater with its own brewery, located on the West Side at Coors and La Orilla (two lights north of Montano). They are still projecting to open by the end of the year, with the aim of being ready in time for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in December. We do not know who the brewer will be, or what beers they will serve (word is they serve house beers and other local brews at their other locations around the country). Hopefully they reach out to us in the near future so we can fill in the blanks.

As for Hops Brewery, well, the last we heard in an Albuquerque Journal article back in April was that it was planning to open in Nob Hill over the summer. Well, we are past Labor Day and there is still no sign they are opening. Hops still has zero online presence — no website, no social media of any kind — so it has been tough to learn much more about them.

Colfax said they were hoping to be open by the time the Crew is driving to and from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Oct. 6-8. The last set of pictures posted at the end of August on their Facebook page showed the brewing area is nearly complete as far as construction goes, but they still have to start making beer. We will try to stop by regardless, probably on the way back if Brandon goes through with his insane “let’s leave at 4 a.m.” plan for the 6th.

Pending licenses

These breweries are at different stages in the process, but all still await their licenses. They are Bombs Away Beer Co., Drafty Kilt, The 377 Brewery, Truth or Consequences Brewing, and the aforementioned Steel Bender Brewyard. All but TorC are located in Albuquerque.

We will be visiting next week! (Image courtesy Drafty Kilt Brewing)

We will be visiting next week! (Image courtesy Drafty Kilt Brewing)

Drafty Kilt is the furthest along of that group. How far? Brewer/owner Mike Campbell, formerly of Cazuela’s and Tractor, called me Thursday and said they are brewing their first beer next week. I will of course be heading over there to check out the place, while also getting some info on the old days from Mike for that ABQ beer history book I am writing. Drafty Kilt is located at 4814 Hardware Dr. NE. Hardware runs north-south between McLeod and Lumber, just west of San Mateo. Lumber is the street you would turn down to go to the Movies 8 for $1 flicks on the weekend.

At last check with brewer Lyna Waggoner, The 377 is still a ways away. The brewery, located near Yale and Gibson, is still in the process of buildout while awaiting all the necessary licenses and permits. They did have some beers ready for the Mountain West Brew Fest last weekend. Alas, none of the Crew was able to make it up to Bernalillo to sample those.

Now that is a distinctive logo. (Image courtesy of Truth or Consequences Brewing)

Now that is a distinctive logo. (Image courtesy of Truth or Consequences Brewing)

TorC Brewing is a long ways off, but the owners remain hopeful it will not take too long to get things ready once the various state, federal, and local permits come through. We are in contact with them on Facebook, so we should be receiving updates when they have something to share.

As for Bombs Away, well, we still have nothing but a name and a vague idea of where they might be located in zip code 87123. That area is bordered to the west by Wyoming, north by Lomas, east by the Sandia Mountains, and south by Kirtland Air Force Base. Considering the name, we expect it may be located either close to the base or near the Four Hills community. If anyone out there knows anything about Bombs Away, please contact us.

Still just rumors

Things are fairly quiet out there as far as breweries that are pure rumors go. Among the ones we have heard of lately, there is another looking to open in Cedar Crest, just down Highway 14 from Ale Republic. At least a couple people spotted a mention in a local newsletter about a brewery opening somewhere near the Greenside Cafe and Triangle Grocery, which would actually put it within walking distance of Ale Republic. This could be the rumored Bare Bones Brewery, which was said to be opening down in Edgewood before it allegedly eyed a new spot north of I-40.

Another still on the watch list is Lone Sun Brewing, which has a sign up along the Paseo del Norte frontage road, about halfway between Jefferson and Edith. So far, though, it is just a coming soon sign, nothing more.

There are no other projects that we have heard of, but of course, we are always looking for any information. If you know about any of the breweries listed above or about some others in the works that we do not know about, please get in touch with us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com or you can contact us via direct message on Facebook or Twitter.

Until then, we will just have to be content with all of our existing, award-winning breweries.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister