Posts Tagged ‘Three Rivers Brewing’

One IPA to rule them all!

One IPA to rule them all!

The announcement went out on Tuesday, and hopheads across the state rejoiced, for the New Mexico IPA Challenge is returning to the land. Now 28 breweries will do battle, as all seek to remove the three-time king, John Bullard, from his iron throne.

OK, fine, it is a bit of Game of Thrones there, but that is the theme this year, said NM Brewers Guild director John Gozigian. We met for some pints and a good old information download at Bosque Brewing on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’re kind of running with a Game of Thrones theme,” John said. “It all makes sense. The brewing community in New Mexico is kind of incestuous, it really is. Everybody’s worked here and there. All the houses have been mixed, kind of, so it kind of lends itself to that.

“You’ve got a guy like John Bullard who’s won it three years in a row for two different breweries. He’s the guy that everybody wants to dethrone. You’ve got all these usurpers out there that would love nothing better than to make him pay.”

Bullard has won three in a row, the last two at Bosque and two before that Blue Corn. His title defense starts on Saturday, July 9, at Rio Bravo for the preliminary round. After that, the scoring rounds will be at Santa Fe Brewing on July 16, at Three Rivers Brewery in Farmington on July 16, and the grand finale will be at Tractor Wells Park on July 23.

The other 27 combatants who will face off with Bosque are, deep breath, as follows (* = confirmed first-time participant): Bathtub Row, Blue Corn, Boxing Bear, Canteen, Cazuela’s, Chama River, Chili Line*, Enchanted Circle*, Kaktus, La Cumbre, Little Toad Creek, Lizard Tail, Marble, Quarter Celtic*, Red Door, Rio Bravo*, Roosevelt, Santa Fe, Second Street, Sidetrack*, Sierra Blanca, Spotted Dog, Starr Brothers*, Taos Mesa, Three Rivers, Tractor, Turtle Mountain

Last year there were 23 participants, so to get to 28 is immense in and of itself. Rather than copy the same format as the VIPA Challenge, there will instead be a new format for the opening round at Rio Bravo.

“It’s going to be a little different though it’s going to accomplish the same end,” John said. “Last year was the first time that we had to winnow the field down to a manageable amount of beers to take on the road, so attendees at the subsequent stops got all of them in one sitting.

“We capped it this year at 28 breweries. They can only enter one beer. It all goes back to the lunch lady trays that we’ve always used. You can fit 14 of those plastic tumblers on one of those trays. You can fit 2-to-3 ounces in there, a big enough sample where you can reasonably evaluate the beer. So, that limits it to 14 in a flight. Plus, given the quantity of each one, you can’t go less than 2 ounces, so that ends up (28) ounces of beer per flight, plus you get the complimentary pint. We don’t want people to over-consume.”

The format now will feature two separate trays, labeled A and B. One will have beers numbered one through 14, the other 15 through 28. Each attendee will only receive one of the two trays, and will rank the beers on his/her tray only. An equal number of the two trays will be distributed so all beers will have an equal chance, regardless of which tray they are on.

“We’re going to be smart, the ones that have done well in the past, they’re not going to all be on one flight,” John said. “They’re going to be spread out in a way that makes sense. We’re going to take the top 12 to 14 out of that first round at Rio Bravo and then take those to the next stops.”

Yes, you and your best friend/significant other/old drinking buddy can each get a different tray and sample from the other, but you can only vote for one. Basically, drink up as much as you want off your tray first for proper voting, then, if your palate can take it, try from the other tray.

“So, the first one is going to be fun,” John said. “That’s where we get the field down to where it’s supposed to be. Even with 28, there’s going to be some good IPAs that get left behind. There are a lot of good IPAs out there now. For sure, those top 12 or 14, they’re going to be some great beers.”

Tickets for all four rounds are now on sale online, and paper tickets will begin appearing at the breweries (full list TBA) in the next couple of weeks.

Get them early this year. Even as big as Rio Bravo is, and Tractor WP will be (they are going to close the front parking lot along 4th for additional capacity), there will be ticket caps. This should be the biggest NMIPAC ever, both in terms of participating breweries and attendees.

After the opening round, the remaining rounds should be what you have come to expect, 12 to 14 beers numbered on a tray for a proper blind tasting. As attendance outside of Albuquerque has always lagged behind, the folks at Three Rivers are trying something new this year to get their numbers on par with at least Santa Fe.

“Actually, those guys are going to try to get people from Durango,” John said. “They’re going to put up posters at the breweries in Durango. I hope we get some attendance from there because, I think New Mexico’s beers, especially the IPAs, are well enough known now, at least in our neighboring states, it’ll be worth the 30-mile trip for somebody from Durango to come check out. Especially when we have gold medal winners and National IPA Challenge winners all submitting beers.”

Start doing your hop homework people. Prep those palates, get your ticket(s), and the Crew will see many of you at Rio Bravo and/or Tractor sooner than later.

One IPA to rule them all! We can get behind this theme.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It's almost here!

It’s almost here!

The first Mountain West Brew Fest is almost upon us. It kicks off Saturday at noon and runs till 6, then repeats that schedule on Sunday in Bernalillo. If you have not bought your tickets yet, go here and get ’em. And remember, if you are unsure of a Premium Ticket, you can upgrade at the fest for just $10.

As always with any festival, we know the number one question is the same: “What beers are being poured?” Well, we would love to share it with you, but we were unable to get much info. Like, at all. It is unfortunate. We would think the breweries, this being a Brewers Guild event and brand new and all, would want to promote things as much as possible. But we get it, sometimes they get too busy and are pretty much just grabbing any kegs they can find the day of an event. Or perhaps they just want you all to be surprised.

(Probably not.)

Anyway, at the very least the Guild did provide us with the list of available beers in the Premium Tent. We also know specialty out-of-state beers Admiral will be pouring on Saturday (waiting on Sunday, will update if we get that list). Sadly, National Distributing will not be participating, so we lose out on some of their products.

We also learned that Las Vegas’ New Mexico Craft Brewing will not be attending, and Duel has informed us they will only be present on Sunday. If any other breweries are withdrawing or cutting back to a single day and inform us, we will update this post ASAP.

Fear not, though, there should still be a lot of great beer out there this weekend. For the Premium Pass Beer Lineup, the Guild has assembled some potentially delicious selections.

  • Abbey Brewing: Monks’ Dubbel Reserve
  • Blue Corn: Barleywine
  • Chama River: WOOT! Saison, Blueberry Kolsch
  • High Desert: IPA
  • La Cumbre: Fievre d’Abricot, Project Dank, Summer Strong (Pale Barleywine)
  • Marble: Saison, Apricot Sour
  • Pecan Grill: Imperial Smoked Lager
  • Spotted Dog: ESB
  • Three Rivers: Imperial IPA, Nitro Scotch Ale
  • Tractor: Berry Cider
  • Turtle Mountain: After Midnight, AmeriKriek

These beers will only be available inside the air-conditioned tent with a Premium Pass upgrade. We gotta admit to being curious about an Imperial Smoked Lager, plus it’s been ages since we had a beer from Three Rivers. Spotted Dog will be coming to the northern half of the state for just the second time (first was NMIPAC). That Summer Strong from LC is new, and it’s always hard to pass up on Monks’ Dubbel Reserve and Blue Corn’s Barleywine.

The Saturday lineup for the Range Cafe/FR8 House booth, provided by Admiral:

  • Avery White Rascal
  • Ballast Point Grapefruit Sculpin
  • Breckenridge Nitro Vanilla Porter
  • Green Flash Le Freak
  • Lagunitas Brown Sugga
  • Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
  • Ska Vinifera
  • Squatters Ghost Rider White IPA
  • Upslope Imperial IPA
  • Wasatch Apricot Wheat

So what do we have for the in-state breweries at their booths? Not much, but what we do have should excite your palates.

  • Blue Corn: Night Train Schwarzbier, Drone Wars (Braggot), Alpha Reaper 2.0, Brown Paper Bag (Malt Liquor)
  • NEW Bosque: Bosque Lager, Riverwalker IPA, Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale, Scotia Scotch Ale, Driftwood Oatmeal Stout, Scale Tipper IPA, Stoked on Oak
  • Boxing Bear: Bohemian Pilsner, Hairy Mit Hefe, Uppercut IPA, Black and Blue Sour, Cucumber Saison
  • Distillery 365: 4th of July American Ale, 365 ESB, Trail Ride Bicycle Beer
  • Kaktus: Darkness Falls Stout, Target IPA, Yard Sale IPA, Tasty Red, Berna Brown, Wit, Basil Lager, Sweet and Dry Apple Cider
  • La Cumbre: A Slice of Hefen, Elevated IPA, Red Ryeot, Malpais Stout, State Fair Cream Ale, Male Stripper, Acclimated IPA, plus a special cask at 2 p.m. on Sunday of Elevated wet-hopped with Chinook
  • NEW Rio Bravo: Dirty Rotten Bastard IPA, Roadkill Red, Black Angus Stout, Karl’s Hefe
  • NEW Rio Grande/Sierra Blanca: Alien Milk Stout, Alien Amber, Guns & Oil, Bone Chiller Brown Ale, Sun Chaser Pale Ale, Pancho Verde, Desert Pils, IPA
  • Turtle Mountain: Kosmonaut Kolsch, Oku Amber, Hopshell IPA, Stauffenberg Stout

We are still waiting on and hoping for lists from Abbey, Back Alley, Bathtub Row, Boese Brothers, Canteen, Cazuela’s, Chama River, Duel, Marble, Nexus, Pi, Ponderosa, Red Door, Santa Fe, Second Street, and Tractor. When we get them, if we get them, they will be posted above.

For transportation, we recommend the Rail Runner. Train #702 heads north from Downtown ABQ (11:17 a.m.), Montano (11:26), Los Ranchos/Journal Center (11:32), and arrives in Bernalillo at 11:48, just before the start of the festival (it is a less-than-12-minute walk). Train #707 then leaves Bernalillo at 6:30 p.m., heading southbound only. For Santa Fe patrons, Train #703 leaves the SF Depot at 10:44 a.m. and will get you to Bernalillo by 11:43 a.m. You will have a longer wait until you can go back as Train #706 leaves Bernalillo at 7:24 p.m. and arrives at the SF Depot at 8:24, so plan accordingly.

Most of the Crew will be there when the gates open Saturday. If you see us and want to say hello, please do so.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Time to decide who shall be victorious!

Time to decide who shall be victorious!

The decisive final round of the 2015 NM IPA Challenge is set to kick off this Saturday at noon at Boxing Bear. The first two rounds of the NMIPAC have seen strong showings by current leader Blue Corn (48 votes), second-place and defending champion Bosque (42 votes), and local heavyweight Marble (41 votes). Can anyone else roar into the picture? Or will one of these three breweries finally separate itself from the pack and take the trophy home?

As always, for the newcomers out there, the NMIPAC is open to all members of the public. It costs $20 to join in. You get a tray of numbered samples (which beer is which is revealed after the votes have been submitted) and then a pint of your choice at the end, which is your vote. The competition will run from noon to 5:30 p.m., with the vote likely to be announced within an hour of the event’s completion. The Albuquerque round of the competition usually has in excess of 300 attendees, so plan accordingly in terms of arrival time and transport to the event.

To help everyone out, newcomers and veterans alike, I also checked in on a few points with Boxing Bear brewer Justin Hamilton, our host for the afternoon.

  • Boxing Bear is located at 10200 Corrales Rd NW, for those who have never been before. It is in the northeast corner of the shopping center that lies on that side of the Alameda-Corrales/Coors intersection. Because this is a shopping center with other businesses, please be mindful of where you park. There are no outright restrictions, but this is probably a time where carpooling, using Uber or a taxi, or even riding your bike up the nearby Bosque trail would be appropriate.
  • The folks at Boxing Bear would ask that you do not bring in your own food, such as pretzels or other “palate cleansing” snacks. Either the Brewers Guild or BBB will likely sell such food, plus there will be the full BBB menu available, with sandwiches, appetizers, chips, and the like.
  • Justin was unsure if there will be any tickets available at the door Saturday. You would be best off buying yours online here and playing it safe.
  • There will be separate lines for tray pickup and pint pickup. There should also be dump buckets available for the IPAs you either cannot or simply do not wish to finish. Staff members will also be moving about, helping to clear trays when you decide you are finished.

If we get any more updates from Justin or the Guild about anything you need to know, we will add them above.

Now that all that is out of the way, the rest of this is for NMIPAC newbies. Consider it sage advice from the Crew.

  1. Aroma is your friend. La Cumbre’s Jeff Erway once said a beer’s aroma is its invitation to you. When you get your tray, take a moment to indulge in the hoppy aromas of all 15 beers. Maybe jot down a quick note about each on the paper provided.
  2. Go in whatever order you want. Some people go 1 to 15. Others will go 15 to 1. Some will go even numbers, others will go odd, some will just go all over the place. It is totally up to you.
  3. These are not shots at a college party. Take the time to sip each beer once or twice. If there is food available (or at least water), try to cleanse your palate a bit in between beers. Unless you show up at 3:30, do not rush yourself. Give every beer a fair chance.
  4. Once the beers on your tray have warmed, give them first another sniff and then another taste. Aromas and flavors often change with the temperature. A good beer holds its quality, at least in our humble opinion.
  5. You do not have to drink every drop of all 15 samples. In fact, we would encourage you to not to do that. You will dull your palate and the beers you try last will not get a fair assessment. Once you narrow it down to a few favorites, dump the also-rans. And remember, you get 16 ounces of your favorite at the end.
  6. This is your vote, not anyone else’s vote. You do not have to corroborate your friend or significant other or even the person sitting next to you. If you hear some of the more notable beer geeks, like us (though we would never claim to be true expert judges), picked say No. 10, that does not mean you have to pick it as well. And even if your favorite brewery in all of New mexico is rumored to be No. 7, if that was not your personal favorite, then don’t vote for it. Back at VIPA most of us were convinced No. 4 was Bosque. It turned out to be Canteen. Sometimes even brewery staffers and brewers themselves have a hard time picking out their beer. The fun of this is the blind challenge part.
  7. Have fun. That is what this is about. Oh, sure, it is about getting the trophy and bragging rights for one brewery, but ultimately all of the brewers will still be friends on Sunday, regardless of the outcome. (At least we hope so, anyway.) Come on down and enjoy yourself!

Oh, and finally, to all of those people bashing the NMIPAC set-up and its participants on social media because of the surprisingly low vote total of a certain brewery, we really, really hope you show up and put your palates to the test. Unless you would rather hide behind the anonymity of the internet and continue to spew venom at your fellow beer drinkers, then by all means, stay home. The rest of us will have fun without you.

Shots fired. Couldn’t resist.

See you all Saturday afternoon.

— Stoutmeister

The numbering of the beers for the blind taste test is on the left, the votes are on the right.

The numbering of the beers for the blind taste test is on the left, the votes are on the right.

The second round of the NM IPA Challenge went down at Pecan Grill and Brewery on Wednesday night in Las Cruces and it featured a few surprises. First-round leader Marble scored just three votes after racking up 38 in Santa Fe last Saturday and now drops to third place. Everyone that was shocked at La Cumbre garnering just four votes in round one will further be floored after they got zero votes in Las Cruces.

So who is in first place? That would be Blue Corn, which led all breweries in Las Cruces with 22 votes for 48 total. Bosque added 16 to push their total to 42 and move one vote ahead of Marble for second place overall. Here are the standings with both rounds added together; Santa Fe is listed first and Las Cruces second in parentheses.

  1. Blue Corn 48 votes (26 + 22)
  2. Bosque 42 votes (26 + 16)
  3. Marble 41 votes (38 + 3)
  4. Canteen 25 votes (18 + 7)
  5. Back Alley 21 votes (9 + 12)
  6. Second Street 19 votes (15 + 4)
  7. Chama River 14 votes (13 + 1)
  8. Three Rivers 14 votes (10 + 4)
  9. Boxing Bear 13 votes (12 + 1)
  10. Spotted Dog 11 votes (8 + 3)
  11. Ponderosa 8 votes (7 + 1)
  12. Turtle Mountain 5 votes (0 + 5)
  13. La Cumbre 4 votes (4 + 0)
  14. Taos Mesa 2 votes (1 + 1)
  15. Pi 1 vote (1 + 0)

The third and final round will be held at Boxing Bear this Saturday from noon to 5:30 p.m. The Crew will be there to cover it all, and of course make our own choices. It should be quite the battle to see who takes the crown in 2015.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Feast your eyes upon the results. There were certainly some surprises! (Photo courtesy of Draft Station's Facebook page)

Feast your eyes upon the results. There were certainly some surprises! (Photo courtesy of Draft Station’s Facebook page)

The results are in from Round One of the New Mexico IPA Challenge at Draft Station Santa Fe. A total of 188 beer lovers showed up, which very well might be a record for a non-Albuquerque round. As our headline says, Marble takes the lead with 38 votes. Tied for second were Blue Corn and Bosque with 26 apiece, which is almost fitting since Bosque brewer John Bullard won the 2013 NMIPAC crown with Blue Corn before claiming it again last year with his current employer.

As for surprises, it comes from the disappointing end as La Cumbre finished 12th (out of 15) with just four votes, while Turtle Mountain did not get a single vote. Those breweries came in seventh and eighth, respectively, at the VIPA Challenge last weekend. Chama River, the leader at VIPA, was just sixth with 13 votes this time around.

In between Blue Corn/Bosque and Chama were Canteen (18 votes) and Second Street (15 votes), while Boxing Bear (12 votes), Three Rivers (10 votes), Back Alley (nine votes), Spotted Dog (eight votes), and Ponderosa (seven votes) were just behind. Taos Mesa and Pi Brewing had one vote apiece.

Round Two of the NMIPAC is set for Wednesday at Pecan Grill and Brewery in Las Cruces, followed by the final round at Boxing Bear next Saturday. A lot can and will happen, so do not take the first round as fait accompli for either the breweries at the top or the breweries at the bottom. To say there is a difference in the palates between southern, northern, and central New Mexico would be an understatement. But the gauntlet has begun; may the fans’ favorite brewery win!

The Crew will (hopefully) have things covered from now till the end. Until then, prep those palates. Many of the NMIPAC entries are available on tap, including Blue Corn (Hoplon), Bosque (Scale Tipper), Boxing Bear (Title Clincher), Chama River (Radioactive), and La Cumbre (Male Stripper).

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Yeah, we had fun. As if you couldn't have guessed that beforehand.

Yeah, we had fun. As if you couldn’t have guessed that beforehand.

Well, that was fun! The Brew Crew was part of the 90-plus judges who took part in the inaugural VIPA Challenge on Sunday afternoon at the Sandia Casino. This preliminary round of the annual New Mexico IPA Challenge was designed to narrow what has become a crowded field of 25 IPAs down to the 14 the masses will taste at the regular three-round NMIPAC that starts this coming Saturday.

Did it go off without a hitch? No, but overall it was an outstanding event. It was efficient, well-organized, and went smoothly for those of us who were judging. For the record, the Crew was represented by myself, Franz Solo, Mrs. Solo, Brandon, Adam, and Laura. We were joined at our table by Dana, the organizer of Babes in Brewland, and her husband Matt (two of our more frequent partners in crime, for the record). As a collective, we mostly agreed on the top seven or eight beers.

And about those seven or eight, it is going to be a heck of an upcoming NMIPAC. It is a tight, vicious field, filled with so much hop-tastic excellence that we can only pray most of you have an easier time than we did (we didn’t have to rank them 1-14, but most of us did anyway).

The beers were sent out in batches of eight. We also had lots of food and water to help cleanse our palates.

The beers were sent out in batches of eight. We also had lots of food and water to help cleanse our palates.

Now for the part you have all been waiting for, here are the full results from the VIPA. The number in parentheses is what the beer was numbered on our trays. The top 14 advance to the regular NMIPAC.

  1. Chama River (9) 94 votes
  2. Bosque (19) 91 votes
  3. Canteen (4) 89 votes
  4. Marble (18) 85 votes
  5. Boxing Bear (13) 84 votes
  6. Blue Corn (11) 79 votes
  7. La Cumbre (7) 73 votes
  8. Turtle Mountain (3) 68 votes
  9. Second Street (20) 62 votes
  10. Ponderosa (10) 60 votes
  11. Three Rivers (23) 56 votes
  12. Spotted Dog (1) 54 votes
  13. Back Alley (17) 46 votes
  14. (tie) Pi (8) 45 votes
  15. Taos Mesa (6) 45 votes — so yes, both will participate
  16. Lizard Tail (5) 41 votes
  17. Red Door (21) 36 votes
  18. Bathtub Row (12) 28 votes
  19. Sierra Blanca (22) 25 votes
  20. Tractor (14) 21 votes
  21. High Desert (15) 20 votes
  22. Kaktus (2) 19 votes
  23. Roosevelt (16) 16 votes

Yes, there were supposed to be 25 breweries, but something happened (we were unclear) and Sandia Chile Grill’s IPA was not available. It may be allowed into the main NMIPAC, but that is to be determined. UPDATE: We received an email from the Guild about what happened to SCG. This is what Chris Goblet had to say: “I just wanted to let you know that Mick and Clinton Coker did deliver their keg and it was our oversight that kept them from participating today. I want to be sure that I, meaning Chris Goblet as the representative of the the Guild, am accountable for the mistake.

“I have offered Mick and Clinton the opportunity to put their beer forward to be judged as the rest. It may seem unfair to some, but all beers are judged in the IPA Challenge for their merit, and every Challenger’s beer deserves to be judged. I am not certain if Mick and Clinton will choose to continue but I honestly hope they do. Please note the Guild is taking the responsibility for this oversight if you make any updates or further comments.”

As for the 25th entry, Santa Fe’s IPA simply would not pour. We got a sorta-sample and smelled … something bad. Something went horribly wrong with a beer that Luke told us was downright epic when he had it at SFBC itself.

Besides that, as I said before, this was an excellent event. Kudos to Chris Goblet and everyone else from the NM Brewers Guild who put it together. We were happy to help in our small way, getting people to sign up and doing our best to promote the event. It was fun getting to meet some of our readers for the first time.

Cheers to the first VIPA Challenge!

Cheers to the first VIPA Challenge!

Oh, and the best part is the whole thing ended in time for us to see Carli Lloyd go straight Gojira on poor Japan in the Women’s World Cup final. U-S-A, U-S-A!

The Crew will have full coverage of the next three rounds of the NMIPAC. Look for our writers in Santa Fe, Las Cruces (hopefully), and finally at Boxing Bear here in Albuquerque on July 18, where the next IPA champion will be crowned.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Behold, the hopped mysteries of the pint.

Behold, the hopped mysteries of the pint.

“In the broader sense, I’m wondering how many medals New Mexico will score at Great American Beer Festival,” said New Mexico Brewers Guild director Christopher Goblet. “IPA is only one section within GABF, but let’s wave that ‘NMIPA’ flag proudly.”

He’s right. I make a formal motion for all of us to turn that flag into a formal #NMIPA hashtag and brandish it proudly. Full disclosure — I’m a fan of hops. I know it’s trendy, and I accept all the responsibility (and the chance I may be called a hipster) that goes along with declaring myself an IPA fan. But there’s something notable happening here in New Mexico. These hoppy beers that we get to order at the local pub are being recognized nationally.

Christopher Goblet, the Beer Ambassador for New Mexico, tests a sip of Second Street's IPA entry in this year's glassware

Christopher Goblet, the Beer Ambassador for New Mexico, tests a sip of Second Street’s IPA entry in this year’s glassware

So what’s the big deal with the VIPA Challenge? And, wait … isn’t there an IPA Challenge coming up? Yes, there is. The bigger question is how do we narrow down all of this hoppy goodness to just 14 samples on a tray when there are 25 New Mexico breweries entering their finest concoctions? That’s where you come in. This is your chance to put your hops knowledge to the test and make it count. By attending the VIPA Challenge this Sunday, you will be casting your vote for those final 14 brews that make it onto next week’s tasting trays. Then, when your friends show up for the IPA Challenge later this month, you can say you had a part in deciding who was on (or off) the island.

Some of our own Dark Side Brew Crew members will be official judges at the VIPA Challenge. I thought it prudent to ask a few of them what their hops preferences tended towards, just so you know what you may be up against should you choose to show up and cast your vote.

Brandon: “What I like most is an IPA that has some complexity in its makeup with the malt bill and hop profile, and a hop profile that shows different dimensions of each strain used.”

Franz: “I am a lover of hops in all forms. American style is by far my favorite over English and I love both brutal bitter and aromatic tropical creations. Currently I’m on a tropical sweet trend as my own batch of Sturmbrau Blitzhammer double IPA will attest.”

Adam: “Grew up English style, convert to the way of the West Coast in recent years.”

Laura: “My IPA preferences are citrus and tropical fruit with a great malt balance. But any well-made, complex, balanced IPA is very much appreciated by my palate.”

Brewers beware. And hops fans, you’ve been warned! The hop-sophisticates this Crew represents could be a veritable tipping point for the VIPA Challenge.

For $40 (single entrance ticket) or $70 for two, you’ll enjoy the right to be an official hops snob alongside the judges and cast your vote for the best hoppy brews from around the state. To sweeten the pot, you’ll get a T-shirt, the official IPA Challenge glass, an insulated six-pack cooler, plus $5 off admission to any New Mexico Brewer’s Guild event for the remainder of the year. Learn more at www.nmbeer.org/vipa. (Editor’s note: This is the Enthusiast Membership we were helping people to sign up for during ABQ Beer Week. — S)

Cast your vote for your favorite hops concoction on Sunday, and help usher in the next phase of #NMIPA. Our state has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to hops, and we humbly plead for your help.

nmipaThe full list of breweries who will be participating in the VIPA, as provided by the Guild (subject to change).

  1. Back Alley Draft House
  2. Bathtub Row
  3. Blue Corn
  4. Bosque (defending champion)
  5. Boxing Bear
  6. Canteen
  7. Chama River
  8. High Desert
  9. Kaktus
  10. La Cumbre
  11. Lizard Tail
  12. Marble
  13. Pi
  14. Ponderosa
  15. Red Door
  16. Roosevelt
  17. Sandia Chile Grill
  18. Santa Fe
  19. Second Street
  20. Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande
  21. Spotted Dog
  22. Taos Mesa
  23. Three Rivers
  24. Tractor
  25. Turtle Mountain

The format of the event, for those participating, is as follows. The doors at Sandia Casino, ballrooms A & B, will open at 11:45 a.m. Settle in and grab a table with friends. Bring your ticket(s) and a valid ID. At 12:15 p.m. things will begin with some opening remarks from the Guild, at which point you will receive the first tray of 13 IPAs. There will be palate-cleansing snacks, water, and other finger food available to keep the hops from hammering you into submission. Take some serious notes, then pick your seven favorites from that tray. After a break, you will get a second tray of 12 beers. Take your time, take some notes, keep your palate as fresh as possible, and ultimately pick another seven. These 14 beers will be your choices to reach the main rounds of the IPA Challenge. Please remember, you do not have to finish every sample, not even the ones you really like. Dump buckets will be available.

Above all, have fun, enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow hopheads, and may the best IPAs win!

Cheers!

— Julie (with an assist from Stoutmeister)

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the second half of the now-divided Week Ahead in Beer. This edition covers all the breweries outside of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. From Taos to Santa Fe to Farmington to Las Vegas in the north, to Portales, Artesia, Silver City, and Las Cruces in the south, this edition will keep you up to date every week with as many breweries as we can reach.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe's breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

Fear not, fans of Santa Fe’s breweries, your listings will join with the breweries in the ABQ metro area next week.

This is the last time we will run a State Edition for the foreseeable future. As I explained last week, we simply haven’t gotten enough responses from breweries outside the four in Santa Fe. Those four breweries will be folded into what has been the Metro Edition, which will continue to run every Wednesday as a single edition. If the breweries outside this portion of the I-25 corridor start contacting us, or we somehow establish more reliable communication, we can always restart the State Edition at a later time. What we don’t want is to be running outdated or incorrect information for all of you. These weekly features were designed to make life easier for beer drinkers, by giving them all the information they need in one place, and for the breweries, who could focus on beer and not worry about updating their own websites or Facebook pages. When I emailed the breweries below about this being the final edition without their protest/help, none of them responded, so that tells you pretty much everything you need to know.

The four Santa Fe breweries gave us updates for this week. For the other breweries, we are giving them one last listing, noting whether the information taken from their websites or our most recent visits are old or at least somewhat up to date. High Desert and Three Rivers tend to be the best at updating their own websites. For the rest, if you need the info, we’ll always have links to their official sites on the NMDSBC front page. If you’re passing through and have a desire to know what’s on tap, call them to find out. (And if you want, subtly remind them that you used to get all your info from us until they stopped providing it.)

To further help people organize any brewing adventures, rather than list the breweries alphabetically here as we do in the Metro Edition, they’re grouped by geographic region: Northwest (Farmington), Santa Fe area, Taos area, Northeast (Las Vegas), East (Portales), Southeast (Artesia), Southwest (Las Cruces, Silver City).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 8.

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.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Berliner Weiss, Funkadelic Dunkel, Night Train (Schwarzbier), Scorched (smoked olde ale). The most recent German-style beer addition is the Night Train (5% ABV, 32 IBU), a darker lager made with two types of German malts and noble hops. The Funkadelic (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Bavarian-style brown ale, with Crystal hops added to balance the big malt bill. Scorched debuted last week. I got the chance to try both Funkadelic, which is exceptionally smooth, and Scorched, which is exactly the big old smoky blast you would expect.

News: In the works is an imperial red wet hop beer using 50 pounds (!) of Chinook hops from Colorado. An Oktoberfest and a pumpkin ale are in the works, while further down the line we are really looking forward to an imperial stout and a barley wine.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde), Manikin Small Scottish-style Dark Ale, Oaked Grunewald (Barrel Aged Imperial Porter). Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.” Todd also said his supply of the Oaked Grunewald is very limited, so hurry over before it runs out.

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Carne’s Peachy Camper. The Peachy Camper is this week’s entry for Small Batch Saturday, where peaches were added to some Happy Camper IPA, as the name might imply. Kriek, SFBC’s popular sour, is not on tap, but it is available in bombers around the state. The first beer in the new Ever Changing Series will be a Double White IPA, which potentially will debut late next week.

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC Tasting Room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Tasting Room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 Off Growler Refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

There will be two major homebrewing events at SFBC this weekend. Luke, our Santa Fe-based Bullpen member, has all of that covered.

News: SFBC will be providing beer at the Telluride Bands and Brews festival all weekend. SFBC will also be at the Los Alamos Science, Beer, and Bands event from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. And, as they have been the last two weeks, SFBC will be at the Santa Fe Ski Basin Fall Gold sale, which will be held this Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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, Cream Stout, Rod’s Best Bitter, Citra Weizen, Scotch Ale, Pajarito Pale Ale, Boneshaker Bitter, IPA, Steam Bitter. The ESB, Railrunner Pale Ale, and Railyard Red have run out, but Citra Weizen and Scotch Ale are back. This year’s Scotch Ale is a cherry wood smoked aged beer, which gives it a smoky yet sweet flavor profile, without being too much of either. It’s a big, thick, tough beer that’s not for the faint of heart.

Events: SSB Thursday’s Patio series features Bill Hearne. Catahoula Curse is playing Friday. Saturday will be Rescuefest, benefiting the Atalaya Search and Rescue. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with multiple bands playing. It will also mark the seasonal debut of Atalaya Altbier, brewed in honor of the group.

Shows at the Railyard include Hot Club on Friday and Crazy 88’s on Saturday.

The Farmer’s Market Pavillion will be hosting the Green Chile Smackdown on Saturday. SSB’s Alien Burger will be among the competitors and SSB will host a beer garden for the event.

SSB will also have a beer garden for Sunday’s AHA Rally at the Railyard.

Every Wednesday night, both SSB locations host Game Night. SSB has game boards and dominoes or bring your own … oh yeah, they also have discounted pitchers!

Taos-area breweries

Blue Heron Brewery — (505) 579-9188 (original location), (505) 747-4506 (Espanola taproom)

(Original location: Sun-Tues noon–6 p.m., Wed-Sat 10 a.m.–8 p.m.)

(Espanola taproom, 100 Los Alamos Hwy: Wes-Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., happy hour Weds-Fri 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Embudo Gold Golden Ale, Lava Rock Pale Ale, Tarantula Trek Red Ale, Ladybug IPA, Prieta Real Imperial Stout. These were the beers on tap at the original location during the Crew’s visit there earlier this summer.

Comanche Creek Brewing Company — (575) 377-2337

(Wed-Sat noon–6 p.m.)

Beers: Scully Mountain IPA, Deadman Pale Ale, Homestead Amber Ale, Iron Mountain Porter, Belgian Blond. These were the last beers updated a few months ago.

Eske’s Brew Pub — (575) 758-1517

(Mon–Thurs 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon-10 p.m.)

Beers: Taos Green Chile Beer, The Chemist (Gluten-free), Blonde Betty, Artist Ale (English bitter), Millennium IPA, Red-Handed Ale, Naked Ape (Fruit beer). Reader 8BitHitman sent us this list a while back when he visited Eske’s.

Taos Ale House — (575) 758-5522

(Mon–Fri 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Mogul Imperial IPA, Simple Porter. These were the beers on tap during the Crew’s last visit.

Taos Mesa Brewing — (575) 758-1900

(Daily 11 a.m. – close)

Beers: Amarillo Rojo, Great Scot Scottish, Fall Down Brown, Superstitious Stout, Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA. These came from the last email update a few weeks ago.

Northeast breweries

New Mexico Craft Brewing Co. — (505) 426-6079 (brewery), (203) 521-7908 (pub)

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch, Dry-hopped Pale Ale, Cider, Red. We pulled these beers off their Facebook page a few weeks ago.

Northwest breweries

Three Rivers Brewery — (505) 325-6605

Beers: India Pale Ale, Sandstone Wheat, SHIPA – Citra, Papa Bear’s Golden Honey Ale, Red Mountain Wheat, Red Apple Flyer Cider, Orchard Street Raspberry Wheat, King Colona, NM Colona, 3 Rivers Scottish Ale, Arroyo Amber Ale, Thode’s Fat Dog Stuck in the Door Stout. This lineup was just updated on their website, which tends to receive bi-weekly updates from the staff. The NM Colona was the only new addition. It replaced the Longshot Light.

Eastern breweries

Roosevelt Brewing — (575) 226-2739

(Sun 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Eleanor’s Blonde Ale, Portales Pale Ale, Clovis Point IPA, Dirt Town Brown Ale, Happy Heifer Hefeweizen, Big Stick Stout, Black Water Draught Porter, Green Chile Lager, Wild Cherry Stout, Roosevelt Golden Lager, Wagon Wheel Wheat. These are the beers from their website.

Southeast breweries

Desert Water Brewing — (888) 959-9342

(Tues-Sat noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: Hard Cider, Porter, Pilsner, Amber, Pale Ale. These are the beers listed on their website.

The Wellhead — (575) 746-0640

Beers: Cisco Canyon Blonde, Indian Basin Wheat, Wellhead Pale Ale, Crude Oil Stout, Roughneck Red, Wildcat IPA. These were the beers on tap when Amy O from the Bullpen visited Artesia a few months ago.

Southwest breweries

High Desert Brewing Company — (575) 525-6752

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

Beers: Kolsch, IPA, Black IPA, Anniversary IPA, Octoberfest, Stout, Barley Wine. These are the beers currently listed on the HDBC website, which is updated pretty frequently.

Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery — (575) 956-6144

(Open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday) from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., staying open late on Friday/Saturday.)

Beers: Helles Lager, IPA, Amber Ale, Robust Porter, Oatmeal Stout. These are their regular beers, via their website.

* * * *

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

Despite the title above, I don’t mind a good cider every now and again. But, seriously, a cider won a beer competition?

That was the case with this year’s State Fair Pro-Am competition for professional brewers. Santa Sidra’s A Tad Sweet was named Best of Show. Congrats to the folks at Santa Sidra, we’re sure they’re making good stuff, but come on, Pro-Am judges. SERIOUSLY?!

This year's State Fair Pro-Am results are finally posted.

This year’s State Fair Pro-Am results are finally posted.

All right, moving on from all that, here are the results boiled down into some nice stats. Hey, I cover a lot of baseball, numbers are a part of the game. Categories (typically) had a gold, silver, and bronze. No brewery won more than three golds, achieved by Blue Corn, Cazuela’s, Santa Fe, and Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande. Three Rivers won the most overall medals with seven (four silver, three bronze).

A breakdown, of sorts.

Abbey Brewing: 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze

B2B Bistronomy: 1 goal, 1 bronze

Back Alley: 2 gold, 2 bronze

Blue Corn: 3 gold, 2 bronze

Bosque: 1 gold, 3 silver, 1 bronze (plus Best Ale for Scotia Scotch Ale)

Boxing Bear: 1 silver, 2 bronze

Cazuela’s: 3 gold, 1 silver

Duel: 1 silver

High Desert: 3 bronze

Kaktus: 2 gold, 2 silver

Pi: 1 gold

Sandia Chile Grill: 1 silver (plus 2 golds, 1 silver, and 2 bronzes for mead, a category brewer Clinton Coker has been dominating for some time)

Santa Fe: 3 gold, 2 silver

Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande: 3 gold, 2 bronze

Three Rivers: 4 silver, 3 bronze

Tractor: 3 silver, 3 bronze

Take note that several major breweries (Chama River, Il Vicino, La Cumbre, Marble, Nexus, Second Street, Turtle Mountain) did not participate, so take these medals as you wish to interpret them.

The big awards, in addition to Santa Sidra’s A Tad Sweet, went to Bosque’s Scotia Scotch Ale for Best Ale, Cazuela’s Inebriator doppelbock for Best Lager, and B2B Bistronomy’s Coconut Porter for Best Specialty.

Abbey Brewing captured gold for its delicious Monks’ Dubbel Reserve in the Belgian and French Ale category. B2B’s Coconut Porter also took the Specialty Beer category. Back Alley doubled up on gold in Sour Ale (Berliner Weisse) and Belgian and French Ale (Belgian White). Blue Corn snagged golds in Light Lager (Training Wheels), American Hybrid Beer (HALT!-bier), and American Ale (End of the Trail Brown Ale). Bosque’s Scotia naturally took the Scottish and Irish Ale category. Cazuela’s earned a trio of golds in Pilsner (Acapulco Gold), Bock (Inebriator), and Stout (Beer for my Horses). Kaktus picked up a gold with Banaweizen in the German Wheat and Rye Beer category. Pi Brewing, in its first year competing, snagged a gold in IPA for Unchallenged. Santa Fe claimed gold in European Amber Lager (Oktoberfest), English Pale Ale (Pale Ale), and Strong Ale (Chicken Killer Barley Wine).

UPDATED >>> Sierra Blanca/Rio Grande snatched gold in three categories (Light Hybrid Beer, English Brown Ale, Spice/Herb/Vegetable Beer) for what was listed as Ben Couger. It seemed weird that one beer could win these categories, and today the SB/RG Facebook page explained that Ben Couger is a person. It’s the brewer who made these beers. The winning beers were Pancho Verde Chile Cerveza, Alien Wheat, and Bone Chiller Brown. That makes a lot more sense.

There was no gold handed out in the Fruit Beer category (why, we have no idea). There were also two categories (Porter, Smoke-Flavored/Wood-Aged Beer) where gold was awarded to the CBA. We assume that’s Craft Brewers Alliance, because no brewery in New Mexico has those initials, but honestly we have no idea. Anyway, congrats to the CBA.

Click on the link above for a full list of winners. See what you agree with and you disagree with.

Congrats to all the winners. We’ll be by to drink those beers when we can.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with the second half of the now-divided Week Ahead in Beer. This edition covers all the breweries outside of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. From Taos to Santa Fe to Farmington to Las Vegas in the north, to Portales, Artesia, Silver City, and Las Cruces in the south, this edition will keep you up to date every week with as many breweries as we can reach. I’ll be handling both editions for now.

Is this the end of the road for the State Edition?

Is this the end of the road for the State Edition?

This may be the last appearance of the State Edition. Since I took over from E-Rock and split The Week Ahead in Beer into two parts, this edition has been far more difficult to update. I send thanks to the Santa Fe breweries, from Blue Corn to Duel to SFBC to Second Street, as they have consistently responded to our weekly email and kept everyone up to date. So worry not, Santa Fe breweries, you will just be folded into the Metro Edition (which would thus just go back to being a single TWAIB). Since calling is expensive and time-consuming, I’ve been using email just as E-Rock did. We only have emails for 11 of the breweries listed here, though a few of those who do not have email tend to update their beer lists semi-regularly on their websites (notably High Desert and Three Rivers). Places like The Wellhead and Roosevelt have never given us means to contact them. And since I created the State Edition I’ve heard back maybe twice from Taos Ale House, once each from Comanche Creek and Taos Mesa, and never from Blue Heron, Eske’s, Little Toad Creek, and NM Craft Brewing. It’s just gotten to the point of where I ask, what is the point?

In the end, though, this is not about me or the Crew, it’s about you, our readers. If you want to see us continue two editions of TWAIB, sound off. If you live or routinely visit some of these other towns in New Mexico outside of ABQ and Santa Fe, please help us out by encouraging your local breweries to make contact with us. We compile these lists to help craft beer lovers across the state have one easy place to go to learn all they need to about what’s on tap. It’s basically a free service that we’re providing to help the breweries.

We did not receive news of any new beers on tap this week anywhere in the state, save for Santa Fe Brewing’s Small Batch Saturday beer is Carne’s Rugby Red.

To further help people organize any brewing adventures, rather than list the breweries alphabetically here as we do in the Metro Edition, they’re grouped by geographic region: Northwest (Farmington), Santa Fe area, Taos area, Northeast (Las Vegas), East (Portales), Southeast (Artesia), Southwest (Las Cruces, Silver City).

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of Sept. 1.

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.

Santa Fe breweries

Blue Corn Brewery — (505) 438-1800

(Daily 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Berliner Weiss, Funkadelic Dunkel, Night Train (Schwarzbier), Scorched (smoked olde ale). The most recent German-style beer addition is the Night Train (5% ABV, 32 IBU), a darker lager made with two types of German malts and noble hops. The Funkadelic (5.8% ABV, 30 IBU) is a Bavarian-style brown ale, with Crystal hops added to balance the big malt bill. Scorched debuted last week.

News: In the works is an imperial red wet hop beer using 50 pounds (!) of Chinook hops from Colorado.

Duel Brewing Company — (505) 474-5301

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

Beers: Study Series: Brown (Belgian-style Sour Brown Ale), Bad Amber, Fiction (IPA), Synne (Pale Ale), Fantin (Double Pale Ale), Grunewald (Imperial Porter), Marcel (Witbier), Whistler (Blonde). Duel brewer Todd Yocham described the latest Study Series entry (5% ABV) like this, “A very malt forward light bodied brown ale, soured with Lactobacillus and accentuated by the fruity esters from our Trappist yeast.” The Fantin (7.5% ABV), which I tried and liked at Pajarito Summerfest, gets this summary, “Aromas of strawberry and pineapple accentuated by our Trappist yeast will keep you wanting more.”

Events: The life drawing session is $25 and is held each Sunday morning from 11-1 (although they are not open to the drinking public till 1 p.m. on Sun). You get the beverage of your choice, a Brussels-style waffle made with their own yeast and beer and then served with a Grunewald Syrup. Everyone then draws from a nude model. People can sign up through the website or call the brewery to reserve a spot.

Santa Fe Brewing Company — (505) 424-3333

(Mon–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., closed on Sunday)

Beers: Oktoberfest, Carne’s Rugby Red. The Carne’s Rugby Red is this week’s entry for Small Batch Saturday. Production of Freestyle Pilsner has ended for the year, so go grab a sixer while they are still available. Kriek, SFBC’s popular sour, is not on tap, but it is available in bombers around the state.

Events: $1 Off Growler Refills in the Tasting Room on Mondays. $2 Tuesdays at the Eldorado Taphouse. On Wednesday, there is a $2 Pint Special in the SFBC Tasting Room, and the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers’ Meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Tasting Room as well on the third Wednesday of every month. On Thursday, there will be $1 Off Growler Refills at the Eldorado Taphouse.

News: SFBC will be providing beer at the Fall Gold Sale at Ski Santa Fe on Saturday. SFBC will also be in Durango for the Ska Anniversary Party. We’re kinda jealous of that.

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, ESB, Boneshaker Bitter, Cream Stout, Railrunner Pale Ale, Railyard Red, Rod’s Best Bitter, Pajarito Pale Ale, Steam Bitter. The German Pilsner and Triskelion Amber have run out, so a trio of old favorites are back in the Rod’s Best Bitter, Pajarito Pale Ale, and Steam Bitter, which won a gold medal at GABF last year.

Events: SSB Thursday’s Patio series will feature Paw Cole and the Clinkers all month long. Lil Tones is playing Friday, followed by Pollo Frito on Saturday. There is never a cover. Shows at the Railyard include Mushi Trio on Friday and Acadian Drifters on Saturday, and Hot Honey with Sunday brunch all month long.

Every Wednesday night, both SSB locations host Game Night. SSB has game boards and dominoes or bring your own … oh yeah, they also have discounted pitchers!

Taos-area breweries

Blue Heron Brewery — (505) 579-9188 (original location), (505) 747-4506 (Espanola taproom)

(Original location: Sun-Tues noon–6 p.m., Wed-Sat 10 a.m.–8 p.m.)

(Espanola taproom, 100 Los Alamos Hwy: Wes-Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri-Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m.–8 p.m., happy hour Weds-Fri 4 p.m.–6 p.m.)

Beers: Embudo Gold Golden Ale, Lava Rock Pale Ale, Tarantula Trek Red Ale, Ladybug IPA, Prieta Real Imperial Stout. The Ladybug and Embudo were the most recent additions to the lineup when we visited Blue Heron recently. The Ladybug offers up a unique mix of varied hops that produce a beer that tends to be sweeter and mellower than what we normally think of with IPAs. Blue Heron also has many of its beers for sale in bombers, including longtime Crew favorite La Llorona Scottish Ale.

News: Blue Heron’s new taproom in Espanola is now open for business. Stop by on your next time up north and check out all they have to offer.

Comanche Creek Brewing Company — (575) 377-2337

(Wed-Sat noon–6 p.m.)

Beers: Scully Mountain IPA, Deadman Pale Ale, Homestead Amber Ale, Iron Mountain Porter, Belgian Blond. Homestead Amber Ale was on hand when E-Rock and I visited Comanche Creek in 2012. The Homestead is often bottled and served at establishments in the Eagle Nest/Angel Fire area. We also had the Iron Man back then. It’s a burly beer worthy of Tony Stark.

News: Comanche Creek is expanding their brewing operations to the benefit of all.

Eske’s Brew Pub — (575) 758-1517

(Mon–Thurs 4 p.m.–10 p.m., Fri–Sun noon-10 p.m.)

Beers: Taos Green Chile Beer, The Chemist (Gluten-free), Blonde Betty, Artist Ale (English bitter), Millennium IPA, Red-Handed Ale, Naked Ape (Fruit beer). Thanks to reader 8BitHitman, we have an updated beer list for Eske’s at last. After initially going “huh?” on a few of these beers, 8BitHitman wrote us back to fill us in. The Chemist is Eske’s popular gluten-free beer. The Artist Ale is an English bitter and was his choice as the best of the bunch. The Naked Ape is a fruit beer, with peach/apricot characteristics.

Taos Ale House — (575) 758-5522

(Mon–Fri 4 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat noon-10 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m.)

Beers: Mosaic Lollipop Pale Ale, Mogul Imperial IPA, Simple Porter. We haven’t gotten an update from TAH in a while, so we don’t know if these are still the beers on tap or if something else has joined or replaced them. If anyone is in Taos over the Labor Day weekend, stop in and let us know what they’ve got. Also, grab a burger and a pint, it’s worth it. TAH also has a few guest beers on tap as well.

News: Taos Ale House recently partnered with The Burger Stand out of Lawrence and Topeka, Kan., to bring you the best burgers and fries you’ll ever eat. The Burger Stand is now open and is already booming with business.

Taos Mesa Brewing — (575) 758-1900

(Daily 11 a.m. – close)

Beers: Amarillo Rojo, Great Scot Scottish, Fall Down Brown, Superstitious Stout, Kolsch 45, 3 Peaks IPA. We were big fans of the Kolsch 45, and the Superstitious Stout was pretty good as well, even for the hot summer. There are also multiple guest taps, including one rotating tap called the “NM Brewers Guild” tap, featuring random beers from all over the state.

News: There’s “a high gravity surprise” coming for us all in late October/early November.

Northeast breweries

New Mexico Craft Brewing Co. — (505) 426-6079 (brewery), (203) 521-7908 (pub)

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

Beers: Oatmeal Stout, Kolsch, Dry-hopped Pale Ale, Cider, Red. Business has been nuts over at NMCBC, so beers are changing out rapidly on tap. This is the most recent listing for the Old Town Draft House via their Facebook page.

News: NMCBC’s new pub, The Old Town Draft House in Las Vegas, is open for business. They have 10 NMCBC taps and some cider. At least for a while, their hours are high noon until close, seven days a week.

Northwest breweries

Three Rivers Brewery — (505) 325-6605

Beers: India Pale Ale, Sandstone Wheat, SHIPA – Citra, Papa Bear’s Golden Honey Ale, Red Mountain Wheat, Red Apple Flyer Cider, Orchard Street Raspberry Wheat, King Colona, Longshot Light, 3 Rivers Scottish Ale, Arroyo Amber Ale, Thode’s Fat Dog Stuck in the Door Stout. The lineup at Three Rivers has two recent additions in the SHIPA – Citra (6.5% ABV) and the Sandstone Wheat (4.7% ABV), a Bavarian-style hefeweizen that’s back after only a brief absence. The SHIPA is a Single-Hop IPA made with, you guessed it, Citra. The Orchard Street Raspberry Wheat (4.5% ABV) is made with fresh raspberries. The King Colona (9.5%) is the imperial version of the NM Colona. The rather awesomely named Thode’s Fat Dog Stuck in the Door Stout (5.4% ABV) is the darkest beer on tap. It was named in honor of Jim Thode, a friend of the brewery who died while serving in Afghanistan in 2010. The Arroyo Amber Ale (5.0% ABV) is the local favorite. It is copper-red in color, medium bodied, and is brewed with caramel malt with a nice hop balance.

Eastern breweries

Roosevelt Brewing — (575) 226-2739

(Sun 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Mon closed, Tues–Thurs 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri–Sat 11 a.m.–10 p.m.)

Beers: Eleanor’s Blonde Ale (5.5% ABV, 21 IBU), Portales Pale Ale (5.5% ABV, 45 IBU), Clovis Point IPA (6.1% ABV, 69 IBU), Dirt Town Brown Ale (4.0% ABV, 23 IBU), Happy Heifer Hefeweizen (4.9% ABV, 17 IBU), Big Stick Stout (10% ABV, 75 IBU), Black Water Draught Porter (8.5% ABV, 30 IBU), Green Chile Lager (5% ABV, 18 IBU), Wild Cherry Stout (4% ABV, 15 IBU), Roosevelt Golden Lager (4.8% ABV, 21 IBU), Wagon Wheel Wheat (4% ABV, 15 IBU). Roosevelt Brewing is located at 201 S. Main Street in Portales. Our own Porter Pounder stopped by while working on a film crew that was shooting in Portales and reviewed several of Roosevelt’s beers.

Events: Wednesday night is Open Mic Night at Roosevelt Brewing.

Southeast breweries

Desert Water Brewing — (888) 959-9342

(Tues-Sat noon-9 p.m.)

Beers: George Lite, Hard Cider, Porter, Pilsner. Desert Water, located at 1 E. Cottonwood Road in Artesia, brews in small batches, so the lineup is constantly changing. They sell the beer in 4-ounce samples ($1, $2 for cider) or 12-ounce glasses ($3.50 beer, $5 cider). You can also purchase the beer in growlers.

News: The Pilsner should be on tap this weekend. The Pale Ale is still fermenting.

The Wellhead — (575) 746-0640

Beers: Cisco Canyon Blonde, Indian Basin Wheat, Wellhead Pale Ale, Crude Oil Stout, Roughneck Red, Wildcat IPA. Brew Crew Bullpen member Amy O visited The Wellhead recently and snapped a photo of their beer board. Her review of Artesia’s original brewery just ran on our site. The Wildcat IPA (7% ABV) is the biggest beer in the lineup, though personally I’d love to try the Crude Oil Stout (4.7% ABV) one of these days.

Southwest breweries

High Desert Brewing Company — (575) 525-6752

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

Beers: Wheat Ale, Peach Wheat, Hefeweizen, Bohemian Pilsner, Octoberfest, IPA, Black IPA, Amber Ale, Steam Beer, Stout, Barley Wine. The most recent lineup shuffled had the Hefeweizen, Black IPA, Amber, and Stout replace the Kolsch, ESB, Anniversary IPA, and Brown. Porter Pounder and I recently had a chance to visit HDBC. He went with the Barley Wine, while since I had to drive on to ABQ that day, I went with the Pilsner. We enjoyed both of these beers from opposite ends of the ABV spectrum. High Desert Brewing Company is located at 1201 W. Hadley Ave. in Las Cruces.

Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery — (575) 956-6144

(Open Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday) from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., staying open late on Friday/Saturday.)

Beers: Helles Lager, IPA, Amber Ale, Robust Porter, Oatmeal Stout. These are all beers in the regular rotation. I will add seasonal brews as I learn about them. I got to try the Amber and Porter at SummerFest. Both hit all the right notes for their respective styles. LTC’s beers are getting better and better.

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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