Posts Tagged ‘The 377 Brewery’

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.

In these final days before Christmas, make sure to take some time out from the madness and enjoy a pint or two. Plus, you can always shop at the breweries for gifts besides beer, while still drinking beer. There are some additional holiday-themed events and a few more special beer releases in package this week. Starting with the events, Marble Westside is hosting an Ugly Sweater Contest as part of their Throwback Thursdays with DJ Wae Fonkey on Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. Rio Bravo is hosting a fundraiser for the UNM Children’s Hospital with Jason Mraz on Thursday starting at noon. The Desert Darlings return to Tractor Wells Park on Friday at 8 p.m. for the Nightmare Before Xmas Edition of Hops and Dreams. Up in Santa Fe, there will be special Christmas-themed music events on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. with The Shiners Club and Blues Revue Band at the original Second Street location. Then on Saturday, Second Street Rufina hosts Hip-Hop for the Holidays Volume 5 at 8 p.m.

New beers in package this week include Two Shades of Haze in 4-pack cans at Bosque, Barleywine in bottles at The 377, and Skookum Barleywine in a double-can package (one regular, the other barrel aged) at Second Street Rufina. Just keep drinking what you’ve got, you’ll make room in the beer fridge.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away introduces a new Winter Lager. Canteen defies the season with some Grapefruit Exodus IPA, then goes big on Friday with St. Bob’s Imperial Stout. Cantero (welcome to the listings) sticks with the season with Gingerbread Stout. Dialogue goes old-school with some Abbey Ale. Nexus brings back a Crew favorite in the Beam Me Up Scotty. Quarter Celtic goes light with Fiona La Blonde and dark with Irish Handcuffs. Rio Bravo pours some dessert in the form of a new Chocolate Stout. Steel Bender is feeling German again with Die Dunkel Seite.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has a fresh batch of its IPA Challenge-winning Gatekeeper IPA. HoneyMoon (welcome to the listings) has two new kombucha on tap in Camellia Blanco and Camellia Flor. Tumbleroot went ahead and put Orange Chocolate Stout on nitro. Further north in Red River, RRBC taps its Bourbon Barrel-Aged Bad Medicine Honey DIPA.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of December 17.

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Raise ’em high to celebrate the season!

In mid-October, in the mountains of northern New Mexico, a certain familiar sound can be heard through the little valley of Red River. It’s not the rustling of the wind through glimmering gold, fresh-changed aspens, nor the honking of the horns of people-packed caravans. It’s the chorus of clinking glasses and the raising of toasts. It’s the deep brass bellowing of an Oom-pah band that lets us know that Oktoberfest has once again returned, and has completely transformed this sleepy Alps-esque village into a one-of-a-kind experience that will keep you coming back for more, time and time again.

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The weather was decidedly warm for this year’s event.

Though it is worth the travel for the changing leaves alone, just a brief but beautiful stop along the Enchanted Circle, Red River is much more than that. And, beyond the picturesque views, the many outdoor activities, and the deer that will walk right up to you without batting an eye or flicking an ear, there’s beer, and plenty of it here.

In the past few years I’ve been attending the festival, there were only about five breweries and about the same count for wineries. This year, however, there were far more breweries than I’ve ever seen at this event, making it more of a brewfest than I was expecting. I don’t even believe that I got a final count.

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The sun did not deter the crowd.

Set in Brandonburg Park, as well as the Red River Conference Center just behind, there was much ground to cover, and I’m sure we didn’t make it to every brewery in attendance, so I apologize if a brewery was there and didn’t get a mention. There’s only so much time and so many sampler tickets, and so much room after a delicious brat with sauerkraut.

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A man cannot live off beer alone.

The Red River Oktoberfest veteran breweries included neighbors Comanche Creek and Enchanted Circle, plus Santa Fe Brewing. I didn’t see Taos Mesa, Eske’s, or Abbey Brewing, but I’m sure they were representing somewhere.

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One of the great partnerships of our state.

New to Red River’s Oktoberfest this year (to my knowledge) were The 377, Bombs Away Beer Co., Lost Hiker from Ruidoso, Palmer Brewery & Left Turn Distillery, Rio Bravo Brewing, Starr Brothers Brewing, and the new hometown heroes, Red River Brewing Company, plus my dark horse of the festival, Colfax Ale Cellar.

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Rio Bravo brought the beer and the merch.

While I had some great beers from many of the breweries (very few bad ones), my favorites were fun, exciting, in some cases surprising, and in some cases not surprising at all. My picks are as follows:

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What else can I say? “Dammit, Dave.” Ha!

Santa Fe Brewing’s Pepe Loco: To me, it’s a perfect recipe for a Mexican Lager. While it may seem somewhat out of season, it was perfectly refreshing in the unusually warm weather. I wouldn’t be surprised if that limited beer finds its way into cans some time soon.

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Comanche Creek served up a winner!

Comanche Creek brewed up an Oktoberfest that stood out for all the right reasons.

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Ginger Beer from The 377 FTW!

The 377 made the first Ginger Beer that I’ve ever really enjoyed. It reminded me of a Ginger Ale, and then I thought, wait … is the beer made after the soda, or is the soda made after the beer? Either way, wow! Excellent stuff! Cheers!

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Enchanted Circle closes out the festival with smiles.

Enchanted Circle is doing some great things with their beers these days, but they get my Gold Medal for best name: Glory Hole IPA. That’s all I’ll say about that.

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That’s one hefty pour of bronze medal-winning Lampshade Porter!

Starr Brothers brought their GABF bronze medal-winning, heavy-hitting Lampshade Porter, which was just a joy to drink. Luckily that’s on tap at their brewery, year-round, so head in anytime and rent that blockbuster hit.

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Red River Brewing head brewer Chris Calhoun raises a toast.

Special mentions go to Lost Hiker and Red River Brewing Company. I don’t think they make a bad beer between them, and certainly deserve a special trip to see them in their beautiful towns.

My “Best of the Fest” award goes to Colfax Ale Cellar, up in Raton. They had so many wonderful, interesting, and creative (yet perfectly executed) beers, on draft and in bottles.

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Brewmaster Jim Stearns stands beside his wife Karen Stearns and brewdog Pippen, as well as their excellent beer selection.

“The Red River Oktoberfest was our first time at that event,” said head brewer and owner Jim Stearns in a follow-up email. “We brewed three lagers specifically for that event. We sold very little. Unfortunately, we probably sold less than 10 percent of what breweries who were located outside sold, but we weren’t alone in that position along with Starr Bros, 377 and Rio Bravo Brewing Co.”

In my opinion, I think that’s because no one knew there was beer in the conference center. That kind of thing is tough to deal with as a former brewery event coordinator. The struggle is real. At least Colfax brought enough interesting beers to gain some new fans.

Maxwell Pils (5% ABV) — an international pilsner style, very mildly hopped

Fest Lager (4.6% ABV) — a Vienna-style amber lager, also very mildly hopped

Yülbock (5.25% ABV) — a rauchbier made with 20-percent beech-smoked malt, also mildly hopped

Karaiba (3.3% ABV) — a Berliner White ale, lightly sour, with essence of passion fruit and mango, no hops

In 22-ounce bottles:

Double Tipple (8.7% ABV) a blended double stout with a portion aged in rye whiskey barrels

Chicorica (8.3% ABV) — a strong golden ale brewed with trappist ale yeast

La Belle Otéro (6.5% ABV) — classic Wallonian saison ale, dry and peppery

Banks of Orkney (8.2% ABV) — a strong Scotch ale, light toffee and bread pudding

I have no hesitation in saying that they are a must visit on the road to or from Denver. Forget Colorado Springs or Pueblo and stop there instead for lunch and enjoy something that will surprise you. Colfax Ale Cellar should be on everyone’s radar this year and in the years to come.

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And one Double Tipple for the Dark Side, please!

The Colfax Ale Cellar taproom was recently closed due to inclement weather, as apparently winter has come early. For that, I blame the Starks, Target, and Kohls.

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Blue Corn head brewer Paul Mallory “Captains” to another great festival.

It was another great festival of beer and food in the mountains. I only wish folks had known there was a brew fest attached to the usual festivities. I believe it’s now my job to reach out to the organizers to get the word out. I was certainly surprised to find a whole group of new vendors/breweries in the conference center, in which there had never been before. But, if you missed them this time, or missed the festival this time around, there’s always next year and next time.

Until we meet again, Red River! For now, I will be counting the days until one of my favorite festivals rolls back through town. I should probably book my cabin now to be safe. To another unforgettable Oktoberfest in the mountains!

Prost!

— Luke

 

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For more #CraftBeer info, and @nmdarksidebc news, follow me on Twitter @SantaFeCraftBro. Untappd: SantaFeLuke. My birthday is today (Thursday). You know what to do! I’m kidding.

You know it is truly autumn when the New Mexico Brew Fest returns to the State Fairgrounds.

One of our favorite annual beer festivals, the New Mexico Brew Fest, is back at the State Fairgrounds this Saturday afternoon. The ninth edition starts at 1 p.m. (noon for early entry ticket holders) and runs until 6. Tickets are available online here.

What makes this a favorite fest of ours? Well, to start with, it’s outdoors. Formerly in the Villa Hispana courtyard, it has now moved out onto Main Street, due to a combination of poor access for the breweries to bring in the kegs, and because it was getting a wee bit too crowded in Villa Hispana. The weather is usually beautiful, so cross your fingers that those projected morning rains are long gone by the time this year’s fest kicks off.

Another fun part is that this festival is made up of only New Mexico breweries. A total of 21 are listed as attending, ranging from stalwarts like Bosque, Boxing Bear, Canteen, La Cumbre, Marble, and Santa Fe, plus breweries from far corners of the state, including Lost Hiker (Ruidoso) and Taos Mesa.

There will be plenty of food trucks (Nomad’s BBQ, Street Food Institute, Soo Bak, and more), live music (Cali Shaw Band, The Big Spank, DJ Flo Fader), and some additional fun games and activities.

Of course, the most pertinent question always comes down to what beers are being poured. Well, we can confirm that three beers that recently won medals at the Great American Beer Festival will be available — Turtle Mountain’s Wooden Teeth (gold), Bosque’s Pistol Pete’s 1888 (bronze), Starr Brothers’ Lampshade Porter (bronze) — plus one medal winner from the Great British Beer Festival in The 377’s Schwartzbier (bronze).

These lists were provided by the breweries and are always subject to last-minute changes, depending on availability. For any breweries that have not reported their lists yet, we will add them as they come in right up until the start of the festival.

  • Abbey: TBA
  • Bosque: IPA, Brewer’s Boot, Pistol Pete’s 1888, Elephants on Parade, TBD seasonal
  • Bow & Arrow: TBA
  • Boxing Bear: Uppercut IPA, Black and Blue Tart, Coffee Chocolate Milk Stout, Das Bear German Pilsner, Apple Bear Cider
  • Broken Trail: Double Black, Trailworks IPA, Arroyo Blanco Wheat, Goathead Brown
  • Canteen: Oktoberfest, Exodus IPA, Pecos Trail Brown Ale, Laid Back Lager
  • Desert Valley: TBA
  • Dialogue: Oktoberfest, 3x Tripel
  • Kaktus: TBA
  • La Cumbre: Elevated IPA, A Slice of Hefen, BEER, Witch’s Tit, Project Dank
  • Lost Hiker: TBA
  • Marble: Double White, Passionate Gose, Pumpkin Ale, Westside IPA
  • Nexus: Scotch Ale, Bird of Prey IPA, Coffee & Cream Ale, Imperial “Tribble” Red Ale
  • Palmer: TBA
  • Santa Fe: 7K IPA, Oktoberfest, Freestyle Pilsner, Western Bloc IPA, Hefeweizen
  • Starr Brothers: Lampshade Porter, Rosé Gose, Hanky Spanky, Starrphire Pilsner
  • Steel Bender: Brickie American Stout, Lloyd’s 3 O’Clock Kolsch, Blackberry Dynamite, Skull Bucket IPA
  • Taos Mesa: TBA
  • The 377: Schwartzbier, 377 IPA, Plumberry Sour, Ginger Beer
  • Tractor: Pumpkin Cider, Traktoberfest, Double Plow Oatmeal Stout
  • Turtle Mountain: Wooden Teeth*, Vienna SMLSH, Tropical Menagerie, Turb Majeure (NEIPA), Yum Yum Noir

Also, take note that Left Turn Distilling will be on hand alongside its sibling brewery, Palmer.

Got any questions or comments? Drop us a line.

This is one of those fests where we highly recommend that everyone utilize a designated driver, Lyft, Uber, or other means of transportation than driving yourself if you plan to drink. Stay safe out there!

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 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.

Every autumn, one of our favorite local beer festivals has long been the New Mexico Brew Fest, otherwise known as “that one at the Fairgrounds.” The festival is back on October 13, but the organizers are teaming up with Marble to host an Early Bird Ticket Party at the downtown taproom this Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. General admission tickets will be available for $20 at this event only. You can also grab a limited edition T-shirt for $10. Throw in Marble beers and music from WhiteWater Ramble, and it should be a fun time in advance of another fun time. Trust us, this is the festival you can’t miss if you’re a lover of all of our local breweries.

There are two other events we wanted to pass along. The 377 Brewery continues its Basement Barrel Project today (Wednesday) with 10-ounce pours of a special aged Wee Heavy. This batch is six months old, and it had brettanomyces added at four months, and organic plums, apricots, and some tamarind added two months ago. If you enjoy your pour enough, you can put your name in for one of two available bottles. Meanwhile, over at Tractor Wells Park on Friday night at 8, the Desert Darlings are back for another Hops & Dreams. This will be the Superheroes & Villains Edition, so if you want to dress up alongside the bellydancers, go for it!

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque added EOP Noir to the on-tap lineup, but the bigger news is that cans of Scale Tipper are coming possibly as soon as this weekend. Bow & Arrow hits the target with Fancy Feathers Brut IPA on Saturday. Flix Brewhouse gets a little, um, risqué with Velvety Puppet Love Raspberry Witbier. La Cumbre brings back Snafued Hazy IPA and also adds A Session Divine, while the new Westside Taproom has additional styles including Carmen Hazy Session IPA, Dortmunder, and Thunderbolts and Lighting, a fantastic Bohemian (get it?) pilsner. Marble has a slew of new beers on tap including Session IPA, Jabroni Lime, Cot in the App (Witbier), Smoked Helles, and an old favorite, Thunder From Dortmunder. Quarter Celtic is clicking with Mocha Hipster Bomb, Clark Down Under, and Blood Orange Wheat. Rio Bravo just released a fresh batch of Blueberry Mint Gose. Steel Bender just added Saison de la Rose.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn added Pomegranate Gose, plus the NM IPA Challenge winner, Gatekeeper, will be back on Friday.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 20.

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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.

While I will miss Oregon for all its green and many new beers to try, there is work to be done here, so I am back in ABQ until the beer road calls again (e.g. GABF) next month. It’s a good thing I’m back, because there’s a lot to cover this week. First up, as we noted in our story about The 377 Brewery tying for third at the Great British Beer Festival, brewmaster Lyna Waggoner also has a cool new idea for all of you lovers of some of the more unique beers. The Basement Barrel Project will kick off today and then continue every Wednesday with a different special beer offering. Patrons can order 10-ounce pours of wild and spontaneously fermented beers. If folks like the beer enough, they can enter into a drawing for the chance to purchase a bottle of the beer (there will only be two bottles of each beer available). Two winners will be chosen for each beer. The BBP will start with the Belgian Sour Quad that just won a gold medal at the U.S. Open Beer Championship.

We also wanted to highlight a good charity event this week. Tractor Wells Park is hosting Beer for Boobs (no giggling) on Saturday night starting at 7. For every pint sold, $1 will go to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Albuquerque. The Porter Draw will provide the music starting at 8 p.m.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bombs Away brings back Short Fuze Blonde Ale and High Speed Low Drag Lager, while also adding the new All Clear!, an apple beer. Bosque is feeling patriotic with American Brown. Bow & Arrow has replaced a house beer, Sun Dagger, with a new year-round saison, Fringe Jacket. Boxing Bear takes a swing at more Red Knuckle Irish Red and Das Bear German Pilsner. Canteen has a new version of Social Capital made with plums, vanilla, and cardamom. La Cumbre rolls out bottles of Pina Quercus, a tequila-barrel-aged tart ale with pineapple, on Friday. Marble unveils Pomegranate Gose. Ponderosa has Blood Orange Double Wit back on tap in addition to being available in cans. Red Door rolls out Peach Berliner Weisse on Friday. Sidetrack has fresh batches of Turntable IPA Track 1, Guera, and our favorite, Buzz Bomb. Starr Brothers will have a new rose gose, Whole Lotta, by this weekend. Steel Bender debuts Harvest Pale Ale on Thursday. The 377 also debuts small batches of New Mexico Chile Lager and Ginger Beer. Tractor adds Simcoe Single-Hop Pale Ale to its lengthy beer list. Turtle Mountain goes big with Three Marks IPA and small with Sex in a Canoe (again, no giggling).

Up in Santa Fe, it’s quiet, which means all the brewers must have something awesome on deck.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 13.

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As the NM Brewers Guild put it best, “How many times has earth-shattering news appeared on a Post-It note?” Congrats to The 377 on tying for third at GBBF. (Original photo courtesy of Carlos Garcia)

At this point in history, it is no longer a surprise to see a New Mexico brewery claiming one of the Michael Jackson Awards for Best American Cask Ale from the Great British Beer Festival. After all, in the previous six years, four local breweries combined for five medals.

It is, however, quite heartening to see one of the “little guys” in our local scene being the brewery to bring home a medal in 2018. The 377 Brewery added its name to the list of winners when it tied for third in this year’s edition of the American Cask Beer Bar over the weekend.

“What this win means for me is that my love and dedication to the art and science behind the brewing process is being recognized,” 377 brewmaster Lyna Waggoner said in an email. “My Schwartzbier had won medals in the homebrew scene. I believed in this beer and never changed the recipe. There is a secret to this beer, but I won’t tell.”

Whatever that secret is, it impressed the British judges. It is the third bronze medal for a New Mexico brewery after Canteen and Rio Bravo tied last year. Prior to that, Marble won gold in 2012 and silver in 2013, followed by La Cumbre taking gold in 2014.

“I’m proud to stand with the previous other NM winners and to continue to show the brewing world that we kick ass,” Lyna said.

Tucked away near the intersection of Yale and Gibson, The 377 has quietly been on a roll of late, earning a gold medal for its Belgian Sour Quad at the U.S. Beer Open Championship, in addition to a pair of past gold medals.

“What this win means to The 377 is the recognition of being chosen in such a large and diverse field of competitors,” Lyna said. “I know they (the owners and staff) are ecstatic.”

The good news is the Schwartzbier is available almost year-round at the brewery, so anyone who is curious about this award winner can head over to try it at almost any time. A limited amount of the Belgian Sour Quad will be available starting this Wednesday, and we will have more details on how that kicks off the Basement Barrel Project in The Week Ahead in Beer.

Overall, it is just part of a positive string of news and events for The 377.

“As far as momentum, it’s already building with our new kitchen opening up very, very soon,” Lyna said. “Possibly a pilot system for me to explore even more avenues of beer artistry is in the works. And, to finally get a chance to show off my sour side of beer making is finally here. And, I’m happy about that.”

Congratulations to Lyna and The 377 from all of us in the Crew.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Flix Brewhouse brewers Will Moorman and Marisa Bernal show off their bronze medal from the US Open Beer Championship. (Photo courtesy of Will Moorman)

A photo on the Facebook page of Flix Brewhouse lead brewer Will Moorman caught our eye earlier this week. It is the photo above, featuring a very happy Will and equally happy assistant brewer Marisa Bernal, holding aloft a medal from the recent US Open Beer Championship.

As it turns out, the Flix duo were not the only smiling folks around, as three New Mexico breweries brought home medals out of a field featuring 360-plus breweries and 6,300 entries.

Flix earned a bronze for its Baltic Porter, Darth Malt, which was its 10th medal earned from four competitions this year alone (Alltech Commonwealth Cup, Los Angeles International Beer Competition, Best of Craft Beer Awards). Flix has earned three golds, four silvers, and three bronzes, and it finished fifth overall at the Best of Craft Beer Awards.

The 377 brewmaster Lyna Waggoner displays all three of her gold medals. (Photo courtesy of The 377)

The 377 Brewery fared even better at the US Open, bringing home a gold for its Belgian Sour Quad in the Wood/Barrel-Aged Sour Beer category. Brewmaster Lyna Waggoner told us a while back that she was really into brewing the Belgian-style beers, and clearly she is making a name for herself and her brewery. It is The 377’s third gold medal in less than two years.

Santa Fe Brewing also picked up two bronze medals for its Pale Ale (in the ESB category) and 7K IPA (in the West Coast IPA category).

While these competitions may not have the cachet of the Great American Beer Festival or World Beer Cup, the feedback brewers receive can be immensely helpful as they seek to make their beer better and better. It can also open the eyes of potential customers who might otherwise overlook these breweries.

Congrats to all the winners. We will see you at GABF in September.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

The 377 is flying high after its first full year, but challenges remain.

As our Look Back/Look Ahead Series winds down, I would have been remiss to not stop by The 377 Brewery at Yale and Gibson. Luckily, brewer Lyna Waggoner and I found the time in our busy schedules to sit down and chat for a bit last week.

The 377 opened in late 2016 “with a bang,” only to slow down over the holidays, which is a similar fate most breweries endure, even those open for years.

“We got more and more busy (afterwards),” Lyna said. “I got that double gold at the Denver International Beer Competition. That boosted us on the Schwarz. We started really picking up. We had another rough Christmas (this year). Now we’re back to doing really great again.”

That early award helped bring some legitimacy to The 377. It also helped that the brewery embraced its location near the University of New Mexico, with big crowds coming in on the same days as many of the best football and basketball games. That helped open up the brewery to more people than just the tourists at the nearby airport-area hotels.

“What we really get are hotel people, (but) we’re starting to get where the city is starting to learn about our beers,” Lyna said. “These last two months, or last month-and-a-half, we’ve doubled over income every night. It’s not necessarily the hotel (crowd), it’s the late-night school people, the University (of New Mexico) and CNM. Last Wednesday night, all of a sudden, we made twice the amount of money from 6 to 10, and there was nobody in here at 6. We’re getting the crowd.”

The brewhouse has been working hard over the past year.

Lyna said that bringing in a younger crowd is important to the future of The 377.

“I just think we need to maybe ‘millennialize’ this place a little bit, get some cool bands in here,” she said. “I need a marketer like crazy, (but) that’s not my decision. I’ve seen the way people do it. … It takes coordination, vision, the right person, and not somebody who’s serving beers and says I’ll call (the media).”

Getting more money is a big goal for the brewery in 2018 and beyond.

“We have new expanding (plans) that we’d like to do, bring in some investors, possibly,” Lyna said. “We have a food truck here that we have zoned. We already have plans for a kitchen that have been submitted to the City and is all ready to go, but we just don’t have the funds for it.”

Another example is the building itself. Right now, The 377 can only occupy 3,500 of the 8,000 available square feet. The City of Albuquerque would require the installation of a sprinkler system for any commercial space that exceeds 3,500.

“I thought we could use the back, but we can’t,” Lyna said. “This is an 8,000-square-foot building, but we can only use 3,500 unless we put in a sprinkler system. That’s a huge, huge (cost), so for me to delineate a spot back there for my (barrel) program, away from this, I’d have to be in the back. Right now it’s not working. I’m gearing up, I’m doing little things like adding brett to the bottles and things like that to get a sour profile.”

The lone dedicated sour barrel is nice and full in the back of the brewery.

That barrel program that Lyna has started is in two parts. There is the one dedicated sour barrel, then three “clean” red wine and bourbon barrels. For now, though, there is not any additional room to add more.

“There is a little bit of room back there, but that’s where my barrels are going to go for the clean barrel program,” Lyna said. “The keg washer, that’s over at Palmer’s right now, that can come home. I can get my mill running, but then that’s it. Other than that, the other 4,500 back there is going to be vacant. We have a lot of room to grow if the funds are provided.”

Lyna said she was inspired by a trip that she took to Belgium in 2017.

“I went to Belgium (and) it turned me upside down,” she said. “I know that styles are great and when you can learn styles and nail styles, but in Belgium there aren’t really any styles.”

Lyna said that there are some basic categories, like dubbles and tripels, but each brewery interprets those styles in some wildly different ways.

“We were bussed to so many breweries, and everything was a little bit different,” she said. “That’s what you learn. I came back here with a whole open mind. I can do the beers that are (already) on tap, but I want to go out and explore a little more. That’s kind of where I’m going this year. We’ve got barrels. I haven’t gotten the sour side right yet, just kind of on the sly, I don’t want to mess up the brewery.”

The 377 recently introduced its first two bottled beers.

For now, the big sellers include IPA (naturally), plus Imperial Cream Ale, Wee Heavy, Peach Wheat, and Plum Sour. The recent Red Wild Ale was a big hit as well, so look for more funky, off-beat beers in the future in addition to the house favorites. The 377 also has a pair of special barrel-aged beers as well right now — Wee Heavy on sweet cherries and Milk Stout on dark cherries — so stop at the brewery to pick up one or both before the small supply runs out.

It has been good to see The 377 find its footing, but we hope the brewery will get the opportunity to start really growing in the future. Until then, make sure to stop by before or after Lobo baseball games this season, and not just wait until football in the fall.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Another Hopfest is in the books.

Yeah, this story should have run Monday, but Sunday featured soccer in the morning, work in the afternoon, and Isotopes coverage in the evening. Anyway, just figured the Crew could share a few of our thoughts on the latest edition of Hopfest, which was held back on Saturday at Isleta Casino.

Wherefore art thou, 377?

One of the weird little moments was the fact that The 377 Brewery had a space reserved but never showed up. No word was ever given as to why. That, plus the sudden closing of Chama River, left one corner of the main room somewhat barren. They were supposed to be right next to each other. (Before anyone panics, The 377 is still open and doing fine, by all accounts.)

A little light on the crowd

One thing that was quickly apparent was a visible drop in attendance. Two mitigating factors could have been all the people who were elsewhere, preparing for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, or more likely all the folks on the West Side of ABQ preferred to attend Summerfest in their backyard. Of course, with fewer people, things seemed to go much smoother. Most importantly, the bathroom lines were short if not non-existent. That alone is a victory.

NM weather is not your friend

The side room that used to host a lot of breweries was instead reserved for the Dukes of Ale and the NM Brewers Guild Educational Pavilion, which meant a lot of breweries had to go outside beyond the patio. Many of these were local breweries, which meant they had to endure a fair amount of wind, plenty of heat, and even some rain. It would not be the late summer in New Mexico without some wacky weather (as I type this on Monday, the Isotopes are in a rain delay, which means I may be filing this from the ballpark at some point in the weird hours).

As Crew member Shawna put it best: “Hopfest was a lot of fun! (But) it was disappointing to see so many local breweries outside. The outdoor situation seemed like a hot mess (literally).”

Hail to the Dukes

Franz Solo’s next project is to assemble a kit like this one.

AmyO got to hang out over at the Dukes of Ale display, which included the ultimate homebrew setup (pictured). She added this: “Really liked getting in to that first room early just before extra hoppy (hour) and having the Dukes of Ale over there. I enjoyed that coconut, etc., vanilla, etc., etc. beer, but there was a little too much going on — so much so I can’t even remember the name(s) of what was in there.” She also enjoyed the doppelbock, but one of her friends liked the IPA better than she did.

Shawna chimed in: “I really loved the Dukes of Ale setup. My favorite was the dopplebock.”

Our picks for best beers of the fest

I will let the ladies go first.

AmyO: “You know my favorite beer was that imperial red (Ol’ Lassy) from Enchanted Circle. My second favorite was, strangely, Lava Rock’s Hefeweizen. Now, one reason might be just plain uniqueness when you kind of get fatigued from the same old beers sometimes. I thought the Blueberry Stout at Ponderosa was nice, and not too overpowering on the blueberry.”

Shawna: “Bow and Arrow had a very good IPA (Hazillionaire). I also enjoyed Ponderosa’s Blueberry Stout! I’m proud to see Antonio (Fernandez) making so much progress! Oddly enough, considering I lean towards darker beers, I kept going back to Flix Brewhouse’s So It Gose. That was a very well rounded gose, not too sour or too sweet.”

As for me, I kept the sampling to a minimum since I had to give a seminar on the history of brewing (yes, shameless book promotion moment). The top six that I tried were:

  • Bathtub Row Krosscut Kolsch: If there was a perfect beer for the scorching temps outside, it was this one. Wonderfully sweet and refreshing. If they canned or bottled this and shipped it down to ABQ, I would buy it every summer.
  • Bow & Arrow Hoodoo Monster Imperial Red: Fairly tasty red, without the hop kick of Marble’s Imperial Red. Both sweet and yet dry. Overall, solid.
  • Bow & Arrow Desert Dynamo IPL: Fresh batch was tapped later in the session. Sweet, floral, fairly juicy. I was impressed by the B&A offerings, definitely gotta revisit the brewery as soon as baseball season ends.
  • Duel Oui Lourd: I was initially skeptical, but curious, about a sour Scottish wee heavy. I don’t know if I would drink a full pour, but it was pretty good, and this is coming from a non-sour guy. If nothing else, it was different.
  • Quarter Celtic Bruce (Black IPA): This batch was done in a hazy New England style. Yes, a hazy black IPA. Lots of flavors at play here, with the roasted malts coming through even amid the hops. It was just tapped that morning, so it will be interesting to see how it settles in at the brewpub.
  • Rowley Farmhouse Ales Agent Scully – Season 1, Episode 3: The latest in a series of revolving IPAs from RFA, this one is a sweet, floral delight, with berry/melon flavors. I have no idea what the hop combo was, but man, I hope they use that again.

Apologies to those local breweries that I did not visit. I will make it up to you at your actual location or an off-site taproom.

A special thanks to Marne Gaston (and her mom), John Gozigian, Angelo Orona, and Carlos Contreras.

Even if I didn’t sell many books (people had beers to drink, I understand), it was still a good festival. I only rambled on at the seminar for about 20 minutes, too, which is remarkable considering how long-winded I can get. Anyway, until the next major festival (GABF!), it is back to the regular grind. Let us hope that there will be no additional brewery obits between now and then.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Time to take notice of The 377 Brewery

Posted: July 19, 2017 by tahogue in Interviews, News
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These tanks have been churning out some high-quality beers at The 377.

When I last wrote about The 377 Brewery back in November, it was literally in its infancy, having just recently opened the month prior. I’m more than happy to report that time, as well as experience, have definitely had positive impacts on The 377.

Upon entering, head brewer Lyna Waggoner was all smiles as she reported that her El CuCuy IPA had just finished in first place out of 35 entries in the preliminary round of the NM IPA Challenge at Duel Brewing ABQ on Saturday afternoon. My sample of El CuCuy (in Hispanic folklore, a mythical ghost-monster equivalent to the boogeyman) provided proof that the first-place finish was no fluke. It was a fragrant, satisfying, and refreshing IPA, to be sure. In a confident and excited tone, Waggoner said, “It’s on to the next round!” That round is tonight (Wednesday) at Picacho Peak Brewing in Las Cruces. Keep an eye out for the results.

In addition to that exciting news, there was the fact that the brewery’s Schwartzbier won Best of Class, Double Gold at the 2017 Denver International Beer Competition in April. Add it up and it is an impressive early track record, to be sure, and an indication of Waggoner’s commitment to brewing outstanding beers.

Obviously, awards are often the most satisfying accomplishment for a brewer, but when asked what she is the most proud of during her eight-plus months at the helm of The 377, Waggoner said, “The fact that I have been able to nail my recipes and provide multiple, well-rounded beers on tap.”

In terms of equipment and the environmental limitations that most brewers encounter with new brewery openings, she said, “I believe it’s the quality of the brewer, not the system.”

Well, look at that, The 377 has its first barrel. Oh, the possibilities!

She went on to say that she truly feels like she has her brewing system “dialed-in.” Waggoner said that her next plan is to venture into the wonderful world of barrel-aging, as she pointed to a whiskey barrel prominently displayed nearby.

After touring the improved layout of the equipment, I reflected on what Waggoner had said her goals were for 2017 during our first interview, and quickly realized that she has stayed true to them all. If you haven’t yet ventured over to the corner of Yale and Gibson, or if it’s been awhile since your last visit, do yourself a favor and stop in The 377 for some solid, award-winning beers! It is most definitely time to take notice of The 377 Brewery and head brewer Lyna Waggoner.

Cheers!

— Tom