Posts Tagged ‘Steel Bender Brewyard’

You do not need to wear a bunny hat to enjoy Tart at Heart’s beer lineup this year, but you could.

After waiting patiently, the beer list for Saturday’s Tart at Heart 5 is finally set and ready to go. For event details, check our previous story.

Twenty-one of the beers that will be available for sampling are from 10 local breweries, with the other eight coming from out of state for Saturday’s 2-to-5 p.m. event at Sister Bar.

If any last-minute changes occur, we will update this list. UPDATE: It turns out The 377 Brewery is also in attendance, bringing two more local sours to the event.

  • Bell’s Brewery: L’Appel du Vide-Blackberry Sour
  • Boulevard: Love Child #9
  • Bow & Arrow: Cosmic Arrow, Desert Revival
  • Canteen: Social Capital with jasmine and raspberry
  • Cantero: Tamarind Sour
  • Dialogue: Sour Raspberry, ODB Kettle Soured English Mild
  • Firestone Walker: Bretta Tangerine
  • Goose Island: Bourbon Country Bramble Rye
  • La Cumbre: Blood Orange Sour
  • Marble: 111 Rosé, Abbey Brett
  • New Belgium: Transatlantique Kriek
  • Odell: Brett Golden Sour Ale
  • Red Door: Blueberry Pie Berliner Weisse, Lemonade Stand
  • Rio Bravo: Cherry on Brett
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales: Cote d’or Pinot Noir, Greyscale, Sonora Weisse, Grandissant (VIP only)
  • Steel Bender: Pucker Up Buttercup, Brett Innuendo, Ned’s Sour Pail, Ned’s Sour Pail with boysenberry, Viejo Agrio
  • Stone: Winter Harvest-Vintage 2014
  • The 377: Freya, Cosmos
  • Upslope: Wild Christmas

Pack some antacids, leave the car at home, and have fun this weekend. After all, there will only be about two-and-a-half hours between the end of this and the start of the New Mexico United game.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The members of the New Mexico chapter of the Pink Boots Society have a beer ready for all to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of Bosque Brewing)

The result of a recent gathering of the most talented women in New Mexico craft beer is set to go on tap this weekend. Bossy Hazy Guava IPA is the latest creation of the local chapter of the Pink Boots Society, brewed this time around at Bosque North back on International Women’s Day (March 8).

I caught up with Bosque director of culture and engagement Jessica Griego in person and Santa Fe Brewing lab director Monica Mondragon on email to learn more about the importance of this annual brew.

“We’re excited to release this beer,” Jessica said. “Monica from Santa Fe, our chapter lead, reached out to us this year to host. John (Bullard) was super excited to do that, especially with Bosque North having the space and the ability to do some fun things, make it really educational this year. John was on board as soon as I asked him.”

The recipe for Bossy (7.4% ABV) was created by one Bosque employee, with other members of the chapter then joining in for the actual brew day.

“What’s super exciting about this beer, it’s called Bossy, made by Mercedes (Donio), who’s our QA/QC lab tech,” Jessica said. “She actually is responsible for the entire recipe, the name, all of which is exciting to have the sole female on our brewing team get to do that. She led that charge and we all followed suit. We brewed it on International Women’s Day, which was great that that timing worked out.”

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Indulge your sweet tooth this weekend.

Just as in years past, the annual Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest will have breweries in attendance at the two-day event at the Lujan Expo Center on the State Fairgrounds. The two sessions run this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The participating breweries this year are Bosque, Boxing Bear, Broken Trail, Canteen, Marble, Palmer, Steel Bender, and Tractor. Here are the beer lists that they have provided to us.

  • Bosque: Bosque Lager, Bosque IPA, Scotia Scotch Ale, Elephants on Parade, Open Space Haze, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, So Fresa So Clean (kettle soured strawberry ale)
  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Apple Bear Cider, Red Knuckle Irish Red, Nitro Red Knuckle, Black and Blue Tart, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout
  • Broken Trail: no beer, just spirits
  • Canteen: Panama Joe Coffee Stout, Coffee Lager, Cabana Mexican Lager, Tuttle IPA, Irish Red
  • Marble: Stout Americano, Double White, Berry White, Marble Lager
  • Palmer: Mocha Hipster Bomb, Cafe Pale Ale
  • Steel Bender: Daydream Belizer, The Village Innuendo, Skull Bucket IPA, Raspberry Dynamite; sales of cans of COMPA Los Ranchos Lager, Skull Bucket, Raspberry Dynamite, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch
  • Tractor: Cowgirl Coffee Stout, Chocolate Milk Stout, Blood Orange Cider, Chocolate Coffee Liquer, plus cans for sale

The beers with an obvious chocolate/coffee connection are the Panama Joe and Coffee Lager from Canteen, the Daydream Belizer (coffee/chocolate Belgian ale) from Steel Bender, and the duo of Cowgirl Coffee and Chocolate Milk Stouts from Tractor. Mocha Hipster Bomb won a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the collaboration beer category, as it was made by Palmer and Quarter Celtic. If you need a break from all the chocolate and coffee, then just about any of the other offerings should fit the bill.

You can purchase tickets in advance online for $10 for adults, or $12 at the door. Children between 4 and 12 cost $4 apiece.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Get thee to Los Ranchos for new beers, food specials, live music, and more this weekend!

As we noted in our Look Back/Look Ahead Series article on Steel Bender, the second anniversary bash is this weekend, and to say the Brewyard is going all-out would be an understatement.

Friday through Sunday, there will be events, beers, and more for everyone to enjoy. Here is the breakdown of everything going down under the lights in Los Ranchos.

Friday

The actual anniversary day kicks off with the release of Daydream Belizer, a Belgian ale with a collaborative local twist. Steel Bender teamed up with Eldora Chocolates and Pour Vida Coffee to add, you guessed it, chocolate and coffee to the beer. The SBB staff put it best in describing this amazing elixir on Facebook:

“Featuring a Chateau Special B malt base and a yeast strain derived from a classic trappist ale, Daydream Belizer boasts a big and deliciously fruity Belgian nose. The cold-pressed, medium-roast Guatemalan coffee from our friends at Pour Vida Coffee introduces a smooth, nutty character. And, the 100-percent Belize Mayan Mountain Chocolate from our nearly-next-door-neighbors Eldora Chocolate provides the perfect amount of chocolate sweetness.

“After spending a couple of Fridays tasting coffee and chocolate (those were some great afternoons), we landed on the right combination where the late additions to the fermentation complement each other while allowing the character of the Belgian yeast to hold strong in aroma and flavor.”

Next time, we gotta figure out ways to get ourselves invited to these sorts of tastings.

In addition to the beer, one of our favorite local bands of the non-metal variety, Le Chat Lunatique, will take the Murphy Stage from 6 to 8:30 p.m. There will also be a limited release of anniversary baseball sleeve shirts for sale, and all weekend long you can get 20 percent off all winter merchandise. The way the weather is behaving of late, you may still need some warmer clothes and accessories for a while longer.

If you happen to be in Santa Fe on Friday, you can always stop by Tumbleroot for the Team Fox Pints for Parkinson’s Fundraiser, featuring Steel Bender’s The Village Innuendo among the available beers to help in this good cause.

Saturday

At this point, should we just rename this day as Ciderday? SBB will be releasing two of its ciders in bottles for the first time.

CE-1: Cider Expedition features nothing in the 750mL bottles but nine pressed apple varieties and one pear variety, all harvested from orchards at the base of the San Juan Mountains, along with water and yeast. You can also get this one on draft if you want to sample it before taking a bottle or two home.

Los Ranchos Cider actually debuted at the Magnificent Cider Fest last year. All the apples were harvested locally, with nothing else in the bottle but water and yeast. This one is rather limited, so it is available in bottles only.

The kitchen staff is preparing a Brie en Croute with housemade green chile jelly that is made to pair perfectly with the ciders.

If the brewery looks too crowded, you can also snag some SBB beers at the Southwest Coffee & Chocolate Fest at the Lujan Expo Center on the State Fairgrounds this Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10 a.m. both days. Naturally, Daydream Belizer will be among the beers poured there.

Sunday

St. Patrick’s Day on a weekend should automatically mean we all get Monday off work, but since we do not, pace yourselves. This is a very good day to take advantage of Lyft/Uber.

New on tap will be Mulvaney’s Irish Red on nitro, plus Blue Bullet Stout will available for $1 off all pints throughout the day. The kitchen is whipping up a Gammon Boxty, and corned beef & cab egg rolls with horseradish sauce.

The Gershom Brothers will provide the music from 5:30 to 7:30.

That should just about tide us all over for the weekend, right? Have fun and be safe out there.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The future looks bright at Steel Bender Brewyard.

With regards to Steel Bender Brewyard and their amazing staff, sorry for the late write-up! Moving on with said group in mind, we move into our next entry in the annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series.

I was surprised, and extremely lucky, to get four major influences within the Steel Bender world to sit and talk with me about their ideas, goals, and successes over the past year, along with their insight in how they plan on taking their brand into the 2019 market with what could be called a steady, but reactive hand. Situated along Second Street, just south of the Paseo del Norte intersection, this brewery has had landmark success since inception, reminiscent of the early decade boom era for the craft beer industry.

This coming weekend, they will be celebrating their second anniversary. We highly encourage everyone to stop in and participate in the anniversary and holiday events, a full list of which is now available in a separate story.

For my visit, I was greeted by marketing director Shelby Chant and her husband and co-owner Ethan Chant, and we were soon joined by sales manager Adam Auden and head brewer Bob Haggerty. We grabbed a table in the south hall section of the restaurant, an area lined with oak of various intent, which made for a laid-back and easy backdrop to go over the year’s proceedings. To start things off, we dove into a review of 2018 in what I described as “in a nutshell/highlight” sense.

“Last year we were shocked at how busy we were, especially how quickly,” Ethan said. “Like opening up this room (south dining area), we weren’t supposed to, and expanding the kitchen, the amount of vessels we got — that was a shock. So we thought this year, 2018, it would mellow out or stabilize, and it’s been the opposite. Everything in terms of here has increased 20 percent from month to month compared to last year, and that’s been steady in terms of our sales.”

It has not just been the sales on site, as Steel Bender has already jumped into the packaging-and-distribution game.

“Our distribution, that has taken (off) so much quicker than we anticipated,” Ethan said. “And, we are really happy about and trying to navigate those waters, especially (with) who our distribution team is, which is Bill Hymen and Adam Auden, neither of (whom) has done any distribution or sales in that capacity. So that was a huge learning experience. I think that was actually really beneficial for us, because they are beer enthusiasts, and not necessarily salespeople, so they are able to communicate and explain our product really well and be able to understand different markets.”

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The Marble team presents a check to Sierra Nevada for the sales of Resilience IPA. From left, brewer John Carroll, packaging line director Nate Jackson, head brewer John Heine, and president/brewmaster Ted Rice.

The results are in from one big charitable effort on the part of several New Mexico breweries, and they are good. Marble Brewery presented a check for more than $22,000 to Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Camp Fire Relief Fund on Friday, all from the sales of Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.

Marble was one of six New Mexico breweries, along with 1,400 across the country, to take a Sierra Nevada recipe and make a beer where 100 percent of proceeds went to charity. It was needed to help the victims of the wildfires in Northern California that crept right up to the outskirts of Chico, where Sierra Nevada’s original brewery is still located.

“It’s so insane, and the biggest thing we wanted to do is thank everyone, because it was everyone’s consumption of this fantastic beer that helped us raise so much money,” said Marble social media director Leah Black. “It was with 1,400 other breweries around the country, so ours is just a small chunk of what will help this cause.”

Steel Bender Brewyard reported that it raised $9,500 for its batch of Resilience, while Canteen Brewhouse, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, and Cloudcroft Brewing did not have their final figures available. Rowley Farmhouse Ales still has some Resilience on draft, so if you never got to try this flavorful West Coast IPA, head up to Santa Fe and drink for a good cause. UPDATE: Cloudcroft also still has it on tap, so if you are headed south for the weekend, make sure to stop by.

A huge thank you to all the participating breweries, to Sierra Nevada for coming up with the idea, and of course, as Leah said, to all the hopheads who bought a pint or two.

Enjoy the weekend!

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

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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