Posts Tagged ‘Steel Bender Brewyard’

The reddish lettering in the upper left amounted to the totality of the initial announcement that the NIPAC was canceled for 2019.

The NIPAC is dead.

Over the weekend, in the quietest way possible, the Brewing News left a small note on the front page of the National IPA Challenge website that the annual competition was canceled for 2019. It was perhaps the final, inevitable outcome after last week’s national furor over a story by publisher/owner Bill Metzger that ran in the Great Lakes edition of Brewing News, a national publication with multiple regional editions that comes out every two months.

Metzger chose to resign over the controversy following the publication of his blatantly sexist/misogynistic story. He later claimed it was satire in a futile effort to save himself, but few in the national brewing community saw it that way. A number of New Mexico breweries withdrew from the NIPAC in protest, making public statements condemning Metzger.

From Bosque Brewing: “Hey, Bosque Family. It is with serious disappointment that, in light of a recent article published by Brewing News, we are writing to let you know that we are pulling our beers from the National IPA Challenge effective immediately.

“The sexist and racist remarks made by editor Bill Metzger were deeply upsetting and do not reflect our sincere belief that the brewing industry should be an inclusive community free of misogyny, racism, or any behavior of the like.

“This decision was a very obvious one to make, and we appreciate your understanding.”

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The first competition of the year is in the books.

The first national beer competition of the year is in the books, and once again, New Mexico breweries have pulled off a strong showing. The Beer Army Beer Wars awards were announced last week, with five local breweries bringing home 20 medals.

Flix Brewhouse came in seventh overall with one gold, four silvers, and one bronze. Quarter Celtic added one gold, two silvers, and one bronze, while Three Rivers tacked on two silvers and three bronzes. Rounding out the list were Santa Fe (one gold, one silver) and Steel Bender (three silvers).

“It felt pretty darn good, man, I’m not going to lie,” Flix head brewer Will Moorman said. “We entered six beers, too, and well, all of them got a medal. I can’t complain about that at all. We were thoroughly surprised.”

Will said he learned from Steel Bender brewmaster Bob Haggerty, who had gotten an early look at the medal winners.

“It was good to see, there were some heavy-hitting breweries in there, too,” Will said. “It wasn’t just a pay-to-play kind of thing. Even in the small categories, they didn’t award medals if there wasn’t something that was worthy. It was nice to see that lend credence to how they operated a slightly smaller competition.”

The full list of winners by category is below.

  • International Pale Lager: Quarter Celtic’s Pedro O’Flanagan’s (bronze)
  • International Dark Lager: Quarter Celtic’s Dark Pedro (silver)
  • Festbier: Quarter Celtic’s VP30 (gold), Three Rivers’ Festbier (silver)
  • German Exportbier: Quarter Celtic’s Come to the Dort Side (silver), Three Rivers’ The Hoff (bronze)
  • Baltic Porter: Flix’s Darth Malt (silver)
  • English IPA: Santa Fe’s Happy Camper (gold)
  • Dark Mild: Flix’s Brown Basilisk (bronze)
  • Wee Heavy: Three Rivers’ Chuckerout (bronze)
  • English Barleywine: Santa Fe’s Chicken Killer (bronze)
  • American Pale Ale: Three Rivers’ Merica (silver)
  • California Common: Three Rivers’ Common (bronze)
  • Belgian IPA: Steel Bender’s The Whole Shoe (silver)
  • Witbier: Flix’s Luna Rosa (silver)
  • Belgian Blond Ale: Flix’s James Blond (silver)
  • Belgian Dubbel: Flix’s H-E-Dubbel Hockey Sticks (gold)
  • Mixed Fermentation Sour Beer: Steel Bender’s Ned’s Sour Pail (silver)
  • Fruit Beer: Flix’s Oasis (silver)
  • Specialty Fruit Beer: Steel Bender’s Raspberry Dynamite (silver)

Will said smaller competitions like this one can still have a lot of value for a brewer, especially for someone who is still relatively new to a head brewer position.

“For me, personally, part of my goal in my career is to brew highly stylistically accurate beers,” he said. “Sales are obviously super important, customer popularity is a huge thing, too, but I feel this is a really great benchmark to hit. You can brew that medals on a set of commonly accepted style guidelines, then you’re doing all right.

“I’m still relatively new. This will be my third year as a head brewer. For me as a new guy, I want to make sure my base beer is solid before we make it smoked and soured and add some chocolate cake.”

For outgoing Three Rivers head brewer Brandon Beard, the medals were a fitting final salute to his time at the Farmington institution. He will be opening Lauter Haus Brewing in town in the future.

“Well, it feels great, I’m super happy that I have put together a good team that will continue to strive and grow at 3RB,” he said. “One of the beers that medaled was flagship from before me. One was a collaboration between Patrick and I, and the other three were my recipes. When I started brewing 10 years ago, I was like every beginning brewer and was all about the hops. Over the years, I grew out of that. When I started brewing at 3RB, we only did one lager a year (Oktoberfest), but I really wanted to start brewing lagers. So about four years ago, I made it a personal goal to start brewing more lagers.

“I love that three of the five beers were lagers that medaled. I don’t think I stand alone when I say a lot of brewers really want the lager to blow up like some of these other styles have in the last year. You can’t hide any flaws in a lager; that’s why I want to brew more and more of them. Now that I’m going out on my own, it shouldn’t be a surprise with the name we chose for our brewery (Lauter Haus) that we will be pushing lagers on people. But, I know that 3RB is in good hands it was just time for me to do my own thing.”

The next set of awards are the Best of Craft Beer Awards, which are set for February 11.

Congrats to all of the New Mexico winners of this event. It is good to see 2019 starting off on the right note, competition-wise.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

You can also get Resilience IPA at Canteen, Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and starting Friday at Quarter Celtic!

Gonna keep this edition short on my part due to time constraints. As mentioned a while back in The Week Ahead in Beer, several of our local breweries have joined others around the country in making Resilience IPA, a Sierra Nevada recipe, to help the victims of the terrible fires in Northern California. For every participating brewery, 100 percent of all proceeds will go to the charities helping the fire victims.

I snagged a pint at Marble Heights on Monday night, and it was quite the delightful beer. It recalls a time when IPAs still had a piney element opposite the citrus fruit sweetness that now dominates the genre, whether hazy or not. It is, in a sense, an old-school IPA, but it has more than enough malt backbone to keep it from drying out completely. It should have just the right amount of hops to please the crazier hopheads, while not going overboard for those who prefer a more drinkable IPA.

Marble is far from alone in having it available locally. A batch already went on tap before that at Rowley Farmhouse Ales in Santa Fe. Cloudcroft Brewing will have a batch on in the near future. Elsewhere in the metro area, Canteen and Steel Bender have their batches going on tap today (Tuesday). Quarter Celtic’s batch should be ready Friday. We encourage everyone to visit their personal favorites among the breweries and make sure to get at least one pint of Resilience. Heck, you can even try them from brewery to brewery and see if you can pick up on any slight variations in flavor. We would be curious to know what others find.

As for the rest of the Crew, a couple of them checked in with their recent beer adventures from outside of Albuquerque (way outside, in one case).

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Get festive with merch gifts from your favorite breweries, including Marble.

As we did the last four years, the Crew has put together a brewery merchandise guide for all of you just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping. Hey, it might be nice to just buy people beer, but sometimes they need more in life, like cool shirts, hoodies, growlers, and other specialty items carrying the logos of their favorite breweries. To make all of your lives easier and save you time in terms of searching the web or driving all over the place, we compiled the local breweries’ merch lists into one place. Now you can find out what is where, what is online, what it all costs, and any other additional info you might need.

The breweries are listed in alphabetical order, starting with the ABQ metro area breweries, then the breweries from outside the metro listed below that (those from both regions that sent us info, at least). We will be updating this list throughout the holiday season, so if you do not see a brewery here, once their info arrives, we will share it. Thank you to all the brewers, owners, and other key brewery staffers who helped us put this together. Whether via email or in person, it was greatly appreciated!

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Gazing down upon a Taos Brewmasters Festival from years past.

If there is such a thing as a white whale among New Mexico beer festivals, for me it is the Taos Brewmasters Festival. It has been around for 23 years counting this Saturday’s event, and yet I have never managed to time my own schedule to where I can thanks to either my day job or my other job as a freelance sportswriter.

Just because I cannot go, however, does not rule out the rest of you from visiting this classic beer festival nestled in the confines of the Taos Ski Valley. The fest runs from 4:30 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, with $35 tickets available at the door. There will be 22 breweries present from around the country, including nine from New Mexico, plus one distillery and one place that focuses on kombucha.

The Blonde Bear Tavern, Bavarian, Common Fire, Rhoda’s, and more will provide the food to make sure no one is drinking on an empty stomach.

We asked all nine participating New Mexico breweries for their beer lists. Here are the ones who responded. If the others respond before the festival begins, we will update this list.

  • Bosque: IPA, Lager, Scotia Scotch Ale, Elephants on Parade, Pistol Pete’s 1888
  • La Cumbre: Big Door Prize, Project Dank, Ryeot IPA, Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, Malpais Stout
  • Marble: Wildflower Wheat (in new cans), IPA, Desert Fog, Double White, Cholo Stout, Imperial Stout
  • Rio Bravo: TBA
  • Santa Fe: TBA
  • Sierra Blanca: Cherry Wheat, Vanilla Milk Stout, Alien Amber, Desert Pilsner, Bone Chiller Brown, Whiskey Stout
  • Steel Bender: Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite, Compa Los Ranchos Lager, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Gris-Gris, Ned’s Sour Pail (with and without boysenberry), Viejo Agrio
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • Tractor: Almanac IPA, Farmers Tan Red Ale, Delicious Red Hard Apple Cider, Milk Mustachio Stout

The other participating breweries from outside the state are 10 Barrel, Bell’s, Firestone Walker, Four Peaks, Full Sail, Heineken USA, Left Hand, New Belgium, Odell, Sierra Nevada, Steamworks, Stone, and Upslope.

Grab a brew and enjoy some time on the slopes! Just probably in the opposite order.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s definitely not the best picture of our always-in-motion Metal Mayor, but we were happy to see him at a local brewery.

A long winter nap is becoming more and more tempting, but there are beers to drink, and the Crew kept after them this past weekend.

My weekend started early, as per usual, but it was more of a working weekend, with trips to Marble and Tractor to interview staffers for our Look Back/Look Ahead Series. After leaving Wells Park on Wednesday, I made my way to La Cumbre, as an old friend of the Crew tipped us off that Mayor Tim Keller would be making an appearance. I was not able to bend his ear, but I did still get to enjoy some Pecos Porter and catch up with some readers who were enjoying some afternoon beers. Though the Pecos does not get the hype of other LC beers, it remains a solid, sessionable dark beer that fits the winter chill.

There are two more special Brickie Stout casks to come at Steel Bender.

After a proper metal show with birthday boy Derek on Thursday night, I took it easy Friday night. By Saturday, it was time to head out again. Steel Bender has again had its 4 Casks of Christmas series every Saturday in December. They take the Brickie American Stout and infuse it with some other tasty elements, stick ’em in a cask, and watch everyone enjoy. This edition was special, as our own Franz Solo and old friend David Facey developed the French Toast Brickie. It was a delicious beer, with the sweetness of the maple syrup working in concert with the roasty malts. This Saturday will see another version, Fruity Chocolate Tart. Make sure to grab one or more of these wonderful brews while you still can this holiday season.

Speaking of the holiday season, Crew members found reasons for giving, and reasons to avoid the mass marketing rush and instead indulge in local beer and food.

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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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

Giving Tuesday has come and gone, but the opportunity to support a good cause still lies ahead. On that day, Canteen, Marble, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Steel Bender joined breweries across the country in making a batch of Resilience IPA. (Edit: RFA is still awaiting the arrival of the hops, but expects to brew Thursday.) The recipe hails from Sierra Nevada, which temporarily had to shut down its main brewery in Chico, California, as the Camp Fire burned its way to the city limits. Seeking to help those who lost everything, particularly the residents of the now-destroyed town of Paradise, Sierra Nevada created this new IPA with all proceeds going to help rebuild the communities affected by the wildfire. We tip our hats to Canteen, Marble, RFA, Steel Bender, Sierra Nevada, and every other brewery to participate in this venture. When the IPA is ready to tap locally, we will be sure to let everyone know. Yeah, even we can take a break from the big, bold, beautiful stouts for a change this holiday season.

We could have led off with the grand opening of the Boese Brothers Brewpub on Tramway this weekend, but fear not, I am on my way to interview George and Sam Boese to preview that event and also complete the entire Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Boese Brothers. Look for that on Thursday afternoon, which I hope to post in between my interviews with the (many) Marble command staff members for their upcoming LB/LA entry.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque was able to sneak in some Chai Hard and Autumn Red while we weren’t looking. Bow & Arrow has another bottle release this Saturday with Dream Mesa, a golden sour ale. Canteen has a fresh batch of North 14 Pale Ale. La Cumbre rolls out more Pecos Porter, Noche De Paz, and Gracias Por Fumar. Marble unveils Cryogenic Pale Ale and Ye’ Olde Ale. Nexus pours some dessert in the form of Blueberry Sweetart at the Silver Taproom only (for now). Ponderosa should have some fresh ESB by the weekend. Red Door will be Pining for Maple Breakfast Brown on Thursday. Sidetrack has a fresh batch of Pub Ale on tap. Steel Bender kicks off the 4 Casks of Christmas on Saturday, with each cask featuring a different version of Brickie American Stout, and this week’s version is Peppermint Mocha.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn hops to it with Lord Lupulin IPA.

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

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Bow & Arrow stole all the flavor and put it in the Breakfast Bandit.

A pair of delicious seasonal stouts appeared on tap for International Stout Day last Thursday, and to the surprise of no one, of course I went and tried both of them.

First up was Breakfast Bandit, the latest in Bow & Arrow’s series of pastry stouts. Checking in at 9-percent ABV, it is the biggest to date. Made with 240 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts and a whole lot of local coffee, the flavor is stronger with the latter than the former. There is still a fair amount of sweetness on the back end, but it doesn’t leave you wanting to rush home and brush your teeth to avoid a cavity or anything. Mostly, it is a big blast of coffee roast, with an appropriate amount of thickness in terms of the mouthfeel. As the stout warms, it gets even more complex. This is one of those beers where you might end up drinking a couple before you even realize it, so make sure you can handle the higher ABV.

For the second stout, Mustaches and Cream, that came with a group visit to Canteen. Franz Solo, Brandon, and I were meeting to discuss our applicants for the open writing spots on the Crew. Naturally, we stuck with tradition and ordered the darkest seasonal on the menu. Made with chocolate and vanilla, M&C is a burly stout, one that does not hit you with too much sweetness. Brandon tasted a lot of coffee in this one, even though technically there was no coffee in it. The powerful roast of the stout balances out with the sweeter additives. Even better, a portion of the proceeds of this beer go to Movember.

A couple other beers worth checking out around town are the Citra SMASH at Red Door and the Wee Stache, the collaboration Scotch ale at both Steel Bender and High and Dry, with proceeds from that tasty brew also going to Movember.

The rest of the Crew were off and running around town, revisiting some old favorite haunts.

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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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

The weather has turned dark and gloomy for Halloween, which is either a good thing (if you are like us) or a bad thing (if you have small children trick-or-treating). Since this is a blog for (alleged) grown-ups, we will focus on the good, because the day after Halloween just happens to be our favorite beer holiday, International Stout Day. The good news is our brewers have some awesome new stouts to go along with their award-winning regular darkest ales. Bow & Arrow is releasing Breakfast Bandit, an imperial stout (9% ABV) brewed with Cutbow Coffee Roastology’s Stone Lake Blend and more than 240 Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. Oh, the decadence, it calls to us. Bow & Arrow has been knocking it out of the park with these pastry stouts, and we expect that trend to continue Thursday. Up at Canteen, Thursday marks the release of Mustaches and Cream, a chocolate and vanilla stout brewed up for the Movember charity drive. Dialogue has also added a fresh batch of Dry Stout to its taps for the week. In addition to those specialties, there are of course the many, many great stouts on tap around town year-round. There is Boxing Bear’s award-winning Chocolate Milk Stout (World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival gold, 2016), La Cumbre’s Malpais Stout (GABF silver, 2011 and 2018), Marble’s Cholo Stout (GABF gold, 2017). There are also all the stouts that have won the Brew Crew’s annual Stout Challenge, including Canteen’s Dark n Lusty (2018), Chama River’s (now Kellys’) Sleeping Dog Stout (2016), Boxing Bear’s Standing 8 Stout (2015), Tractor’s Double Plow Oatmeal Stout (2014), La Cumbre’s Malpais (2013), and Marble’s Oatmeal Stout (2012). That enough dark beer for ya, New Mexico? Raise a pint or two to the style Thursday!

We would be remiss if we did not point out a couple additional charity beers going on tap this week. Steel Bender and High and Dry are tapping their collaboration, Wee Stache, a Scotch ale, for Movember on Thursday at the Brewyard. Portions of the sales will go to the charity all month long, plus the Thursday release will be accompanied with a food pairing featuring braised short ribs served with creamy polenta, wilted greets, roasted root vegetables, and a cranberry demi-glace. That special will be on all day until it runs out. Over at Bombs Away, the new Fusion Fuel will make its debut this week. A pale ale with white wine grape juice and peaches, it will see $1 from every pint sold donated to the EOD Warrior Foundation, which helps our nation’s wounded veterans. Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales will be honoring a close friend who lost her battle to cancer. Paul and Chantal McQuad were instrumental in helping the brewery during the buildout, but during that time she was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. The RFA brew team and Paul have now created a French saison called Chantal (10% ABV), hopped with Sorachi Ace and finished with whole red raspberries. For every pint sold, $1 will be donated to the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico. Props to all three of these breweries, Canteen, and all our other breweries who frequently step up for charities across the state.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away also hits the target with Light the Fuse! Lager and a new batch of Incendiary IPA. Canteen brings back Buffomundo, an amber lager. Dialogue gets a little feisty with Flipping Pigeons American Lager. Marble has more Pumpkin Noir available. Nexus puts its Beer Premiere entry, Strawberry Milk Shake IPA, on tap. Ponderosa does the same with Golden Graham Amber Lager, made with actual Golden Graham cereal from the General Mills plant here in town, plus Schwartzbier returns this weekend. Sidetrack defies the season with Forever Summer British Golden Ale. Starr Brothers hops on the Bandwagon Hazy IPA. Tractor adds its Beer Premiere entry, Apple Ale, while also brewing up some Cascade SMASH and Pumpkin Cider. Turtle Mountain unveils a trio of newcomers in Turbidity Majeure (New England-style IPA), Rise of Fall (Harvest Cold Brew Brown Ale), and Tomb of the Mutilated (Blood Orange Black IPA).

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has more of its delicious Scotch Ale.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 29.

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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 seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces 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.

Halloween falls in the middle of the week this year, so many breweries are choosing to celebrate this weekend. No brewery seems to be going as all-out as Tractor Wells Park, however. It starts Thursday night at 8 with the Rocky Horror Punk Show, as Adam Hooks and His Hangups are performing music from the cult classic. The cost is just $2 and you can also pick up discounted tickets to Saturday’s big event. Before that, stop by Friday night at 8 as Tom Foe performs a live score of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on his upright bass. Then comes that aforementioned big Saturday event. Starting at 7 p.m., the Stranger Things Arcade Carnival returns, taking over the entire brewery and the front parking lot. There will be arcade games and pinball, food specials from We Love Waffles food truck, special vendor booths, live music from Flo Fader at 7, The Despots at 9, and Prism Bitch to close it out. Oh, and of course Tricklock will be there under the big tent for a special edition of the ultimate improv show, The Reptilian Lounge! That kicks off at 10 p.m. Tickets cost just $15 and can be purchased online or at the brewery.

Of course, Tractor is not alone when it comes to celebrating Halloween a few days early. Up in Santa Fe, Second Street Rufina will host Nightmare on Rufina Street at 8 p.m. There will be local bands performing covers of some of their favorites, along with a Halloween art market. That event costs just $5. Just up the road at Tumbleroot, the All Hallow’s Eve Barn Dance with The High Desert Playboys also kicks off at 8. Back down here in ABQ, just around the block from Tractor, Bow & Arrow is again hosting Gothtoberfest starting at 8. DJ Garronteed will be spinning, and there will be a costume contest for the ultimate goth(s). One night earlier on Friday, Kaktus has the Desert Darlings dancing up a storm with Monster Mash at 7 p.m. Marble will then close it out Sunday afternoon with the annual Mutt Masquerade, where patrons can bring their best friends dressed up for a canine costume contest from 1 to 3 p.m. After the weekend, Steel Bender is hosting All Hallow’s Eve Eve on Tuesday from 6 to 9. There will be costume contests every 30 minutes, picked by the staff, and anyone in costume gets 10 percent off appetizers, merchandise, and mug club memberships. J.J. Raschel and Mystic Roots will provide the proper music.

Oh, and there is also The 377 Brewery’s second anniversary party, which runs all day Saturday, with plenty of beer and food specials. There will be a limited number (18) of bottles of Barleywine.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque once again fires the Moon Cannon, its out-of-this-world double IPA, before Neo Modern, a brut IPA, debuts in four-pack cans on Friday. Bow & Arrow puckers up with some Strawberry Amigo Sour on Friday. Boxing Bear is releasing bottles of Albu-Murky Hazy IPA on Saturday. Nexus gets in the season with Equinox Pumpkin Ale on Friday. Red Door has more Citra SMASH available this Friday. Steel Bender brings back Raspberry Dynamite after a short absence, while Perry Maison (Cider) is on tap. The 377 also has a new Sour Kolsch made with peaches. Tractor has a tripleheader of new releases with Prickly Pear Cider, Ebony & Ivory, and Milton’s Red Stapler.

Up in Santa Fe, Rowley Farmhouse Ales has new editions of Agent Scully IPA (Season Two, Episode Four) and Fields of Rye (Fall/Winter ’18). Further north in Red River, RRBC has brought back Amarillo SMASH.

Do not forget about the Great American Beer Festival medal winners. Currently on tap are Wooden Teeth (gold medal) at Turtle Mountain, Malpais Stout (silver) at La Cumbre, Germophile (silver) at Rowley Farmhouse Ales, Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze) at Bosque, Cherry Wheat (bronze) at Sierra Blanca, Lampshade Porter (bronze) at Starr Brothers, and the collaboration Mocha Hipster Bomb (bronze) at Palmer and Quarter Celtic.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of October 22.

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