Posts Tagged ‘Toltec Brewing’

Enjoy a collaboration, a couple beer dinners, and a whole lot more on Day Eight.

First, we are terribly sorry for that rhyming headline, but, we could not resist. Moving on …

As we inch closer to the second and final weekend of Beer Week, the number of events takes a jump today.

There are two beer dinners on opposite sides of town, a special collaboration beer release from two local breweries, a trip back in time at Tractor, and a whole lot of other unique events.

Featured Event

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

What: Saison de Luxe Bottle Release. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The brewers from Steel Bender and Ex Novo teamed up a few months back to brew up a brett saison that was then refermented with both house strains of brett and dry-hopped with Southern Passion hops from South Africa. There will be bottles for sale, plus a special food pairing available of grilled lengua served on a grilled polenta cake topped with salsa verde and served with calabacitas.

Why you should go: If you like the funk, we got a feeling this is your kind of beer. Plus, that food pairing looks delightful.

All the other great events

What: Upslope Brewing Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste a number of Upslope’s outstanding regular beers and maybe some seasonal/specialty beers as well. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorites and take them home.

What: The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor celebrates the roaring 20’s with special Prohibition era beers and cocktails, with live music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes. Why you should go: Go old-school and enjoy some classic drinks and jazz tunes.

What: Bell’s Brewery Tappening. Where: O’Niell’s Heights. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a summery beer takeover with Official Hazy IPA, Hopsolution Ale, and Pooltime Ale on tap. Why you should go: Enjoy some Bell’s on the patio and avoid all that rush hour traffic.

What: Special Charity Event. Where: The County Line. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free live music as part of the summer music series benefitting Meals on Wheels, with food and beer specials. Why you should go: Chow down on some BBQ while helping a charity.

What: Odell Brewing Pint Night. Where: Billy’s Long Bar. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hammer Chain Fresh Grind DIPA will be among the featured Odell beers on tap. Why you should go: If you are an Odell fan, this event is for you.

What: Pints & Paintbrushes Night. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $30. Details: Host Carisa Otero will lead you in this fun paint night, with one pint included along with all of your materials. Email canteentaproom@gmail.com for reservations, as this one is limited to 20 patrons. Why you should go: Show off your artistic side while enjoying some delicious beer.

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: La Cumbre is teaming up with NHBG for a four-course beer dinner featuring Helles Lager, Boysenberry Brut, Strawberry Gose, and Brut IPA. Call NHBG at (505) 266-4455 to make a reservation. Why you should go: That’s a tempting price for a beer dinner, and those are some excellent beers to enjoy.

What: Mysteries and History Tour. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Come visit Casa Vieja and ask for a free tour of the 250-year-old building to learn more of its history. Then grab a pint and head to the patio for live music. Why you should go: Chill out in Corrales, because why not?

What: Toltec Brewing Dinner and Beer Pairing. Where: Toltec Brewing. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: Toltec will have four special courses paired up with four beers. Email brewingteam@toltecbrewing.com to make your reservation. Why you should go: Another affordable beer dinner (it’s about time!) beckons if you are out on the westside.

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

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

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Toltec head brewer Kaylynn McKnight and general manager Keri Fleming are all smiles at the busy brewery.

Toltec Brewing is taking female empowerment to a new level for a local brewery in New Mexico. The promotion of Emma Gibson to executive chef this past week puts women in charge of almost every key position, as she joins head brewer Kaylynn McKnight, general manager Keri Fleming, and owner Diana Navarrette.

“I think we kind of bank on the fact that we’re an all-female team now,” Keri said. “Our chef is female, brewer, GM, the owner. It’s pretty empowering.”

It is just the latest positive development for the still relatively new brewpub tucked away on the west side of Albuquerque at 10250 Cottonwood Park NW, near the intersection of Old Airport Road and Cottonwood Drive. Keri and Kaylynn volunteered for the interview for Toltec’s entry in our annual Look Back/Look Ahead Series last Friday, so we grabbed a table on the patio and recapped the first 10 months of Toltec, while also discussing what the future has in store.

“I think (it’s) been going really good,” Kaylynn said. “We were busy at first and then we kind of slowed down for a minute, and then it’s been really picking back up with a fury in the last couple months. It’s nice because it kind of gave me a chance, from selling out of my first batches really quick, it kind of gave me a chance when we got a little slower to refine things a little bit more, and make everything a little better. Now that it’s busy again, I’m getting used to keeping up with the pace of sales. I’m ready to keep brewing more beer.”

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

The NIPAC is dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Where was this when most of us are in college? We just had whatever swill was in the keg.

This past Thursday marked a return of sorts of “guest lecturer” Stoutmeister, which was my role again in the Geography 180 “World of Beer” class at the University of New Mexico. This time I had to ramble on for close an hour (Q&A included) about the great beer history of our state to a bunch of new students. It was fun, and in the end, I did not lose my voice (the class comes highly recommended, too, if you want a good education in all aspects of craft beer). It did, however, make me thirsty for beer after talking about so much beer.

Oh, college life, how far you have come since my days at the University of Arizona. Now I just joined a few students and Professor Maria Lane at Draft & Table, the new on-campus craft beer taproom in the Student Union. It was my first visit since its recent opening, and it was rather nice to see the completion of a project that (now former) students spoke to me about years ago. While their plan called for the conversion of the pool hall on the lower level, the final project was completed on the top floor in the southeast corner of the building, right next to most of the mall-style food court.

That’s a pretty darn solid lineup.

There was an impressive collection of varied beers from breweries across the state. I snagged a pint of Monks’ Dark Night, since I missed having that cookie-like stout since Monk’s Corner closed downtown. Others grabbed some of the gourmet, flatbread pizzas. There were other tasty-looking foods on the small menu, which is always good to pair food with beer.

Some of the students complained the place was a bit too bright; it has huge windows looking out to the south, so those could use some drop-down shades. Taprooms do not have to be dark caves, but nor does everyone want to be watched by all those poor, thirsty under-21-year-olds outside. The joint needs a happy middle ground between the dark and the light.

Throw some shades on those windows and this place will be set.

Overall, I was impressed with what UNM has managed to do with the space. Like I have written many times before, it is far easier to create craft beer fans out of folks between the ages of 21 and 30 than it is between 51 and 60. Introducing college students to craft beer and moving them away from binge-drinking culture is a good thing. Clearly, too, professors do not mind having a place to stop for a pint on their way out the door.

My only other stop this weekend was a quick one at Bosque, where my friend Kristen and I greatly enjoyed some of the Watchfire, a potent-yet-smooth Scottish Wee Heavy. I would print her exact response to the beer, but then I would probably be in trouble, because it was a wee bit naughty. Let’s just say that she was not wrong, as it was rather decadent.

Anyway, enough about my random trip back into the halls of higher education, here is what the rest of the Crew managed to find over the course of the weekend.

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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.

Ready to get in shape while still enjoying a few pints? The Sixth Occasional Beer Run is going down this Saturday starting at 2 p.m. The course will begin on the Rio Grande and Paseo Bike Path where Rio Grande goes over Paseo del Norte (so take note to access the starting point via RG, it will be on the south side of the bridge). From there, participants will run east toward Second Street to Steel Bender Brewyard, about a 1.4-mile distance. After a pint or drink of your choosing, runners will then head north to Alameda and west to Boxing Bear (3.8 miles). Then it will be a quicker pair of jaunts over to Desert Valley on Ellison and Toltec on Old Airport Road. From there, make sure someone picks you up, because you probably should not drive. The run is open to anyone interested, and you do not have to run the entire course. Start and stop anywhere along the way. Mostly, though, it is just a chance to have some fun and get a little exercise in a way besides just lifting pint glasses.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque’s taps are moving quick these days, so a trifecta of newcomers are now available in Spoondriver DIPA, Bellbird Pale Ale, and Wheat, Pray, Love, plus this Friday you can get Open Space Haze in 4-pack cans. Canteen has another batch of Wet Hop Pale Ale available. Marble rolls out some Tangerine Gose, plus look for cans of Desert Fog soon. Nexus should have more Bird of Prey IPA available by this weekend. Sidetrack hops to it with Turntable IPA and Switchback IPA, plus Dark Engine Stout returns. Steel Bender is throwing a release party for Blackberry Dynamite this Thursday, with 6-pack cans available and a special cask with coffee added.

Up in Santa Fe, things are quiet. Too quiet. Get up there and drink those taps dry!

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

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

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There are a whole lot of Oktoberfest-style beers on tap around the metro area right now.

A whopping five more Oktoberfest-style beers went on tap in the Albuquerque metro area last week, joining multiple marzens that have already been on tap for a while. With so many wonderful lagers available, I just had to get out there and try as many as possible. My plan totally worked for two days, until a combination of sports (NHL openers and MLB playoffs mostly) and the need to watch season three of The Expanse caused me to fall behind. One of these years I will get to them all.

Anyway, my first three stops were Sidetrack, Boese Brothers, and Marble. I rather enjoyed Sidetrack’s offering, which did not overdo the sweetness. It was a solid, crushable beer, befitting the laid-back atmosphere of the pub. The Boese Brothers offering had been on tap for a while now. It did not quite have the flavor impact I had hoped for, but age may have been a factor. As for Marble, it was less of a marzen and more of a straight German lager. It is still a quality beer, as one would expect from brewmaster Josh Trujillo. I also got to try the Kottbusser collaboration beer, which was sweet yet bready, and the Jimmy Bock, a chewy little tribute to Shiner Bock.

Day two of the Oktober-quest took me to Toltec for lunch a pint of another tasty offering. I would like to try it side-by-side with Sidetrack, as both had many of the same tasty qualities. My final stop was at Bosque on the way home. Again, it was a bit lighter lager than the more copper-colored marzens of yore, but it was again a clean, balanced beer. A few years ago, the Oktoberfests had almost disappeared from taps in favor of the pumpkin beer fad, but thankfully that passed and now we are blessed with multiple marzens and lagers.

What is your favorite Oktoberfest on tap this fall? Yes, you can still include some from a few weeks back, like Santa Fe and La Cumbre.

Now for the rest of the Crew’s adventures from the past weekend.

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This is one event you cannot miss … unless you bought tickets to a metal show in Denver months ago.

Timing is everything in life. For instance, this Saturday is both Marblefest here in Albuquerque and the Amorphis/Dark Tranquillity/Omnium Gatherum/Moonspell metal show in Denver. Many of us in the Crew bought our tickets to the latter a while ago, so we are northbound again, but that just means the rest of you will have more beer to drink at 111 Marble Avenue this weekend.

Marble’s marvelous marketing and events coordinator Geraldine Lucero invited me to stop by the Heights taproom before GABF to talk about this awesome festival that I will personally miss. (Sniff) We were joined by brewmaster Josh Trujillo to discuss the beers as well.

The event begins with a VIP sampling session from noon to 2 p.m., followed by the general admission festival from 2 until 11. It costs $20 for VIP tickets and $5 for GA. General admission tickets will be on sale at the door only. Tickets for VIP are available at all three taprooms, or you can order VIP online. Those go up to $25 on the day of the event, so get ’em early. Geraldine said that the VIP gets you a commemorative tasting glass, six 4-ounce pours, a food pairing, and you get to enjoy music from Red Light Cameras.

“That’s going to be really exciting because we’re limiting the amount of tickets we’re selling to that,” Geraldine said. “We want it to be a lot smaller where people (won’t) wait in lines, taste as much beer as they want, talk to the brewers on hand. We’re trying to give them an awesome VIP experience.”

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The Crew ventured far and wide for beer over the weekend, but at least two of our members found themselves at the new Tractor Westside Taproom.

For the first time in a while, the Crew is trying out a new weekly feature. We may, or may not, keep the name Weekend Beer-cap, but the idea is that each of us in the Crew will relate a quick tale of our favorite beer-related experience from the prior weekend. In the future, this will usually run on Mondays, at least in those weeks where enough of us have something to write about.

On with the show.

West Side is the best side?

This past week was filled with hot dogs, fireworks, and a slew of interesting occurrences. Some of the more delightful of those included making it over to Tractor Brewing’s new Westside Taproom. The entire venue is open to natural light, with massive vaulted ceilings and windows to match. We were able to stop by Toltec Brewing as well this week, enjoying their Altbier for the first time, with impressive and complex malt character as ABQ endured the heavy rain.

— Jerrad

Holiday bonus

Check out the new pilsner at Rio Bravo if you get the chance.

This was an unusual week with a holiday right in the middle. It was like having half a weekend extra, which did not suck. It was not enough time to go away somewhere, but we did spend the night of July 3 at Route 66 Casino, just for something silly to do. I can happily report that Thunder Road Steakhouse & Cantina inside off the casino floor has multiple (it looked like around 10) local beer taps. So we enjoyed some of those as well as nachos.

When we checked out of the hotel the next morning, we continued our mini-staycation with a road trip up Unser to the new Tractor on the west side. That is one great space! All three of us road trippers chose the Imma Pale Ale. Then we trekked over to Nexus on Pan American to get a snack to hold us over until a 6 p.m. holiday barbecue. At Nexus we filled up growlers of Red and IPA for the night’s festivities. All in all, a very nice holiday.

On Friday evening, we went to Rio Bravo to see a friend play music. The brewery was more crowded than I have seen it on previous visits. We sampled some of the newer beers, and they were pretty good. The pilsner, in particular, was super clean. But, me being me and all, I still ordered a barrel-aged stout.

Saturday night we went to Dukes retro night at Isotopes Park and sadly watched the “Dukes” lose a nail biter to the Tacoma Rainiers. I drank Odell, sorry!

— AmyO

Don’t waffle on visiting Bow & Arrow

The picture may be slightly out of focus, but the Waffle Bandit Stout was on point.

This is not a time of year for many special releases on the darker side of the beer spectrum, so it was quite nice to see Bow & Arrow recently release its new Waffle Bandit Stout. With a spot of free time available, I finally headed over to the brewery to check it out. At only 5.7-percent ABV, one can enjoy more than a single pour, but man oh man, I do hope they craft an imperial version and barrel age that sucker. For now, the current iteration will do just fine. The nose is all maple and waffle dough, and the initial flavor is almost overpowering in the sweetness. As the beer warms, though, it creates a three-layered approach. The maple holds up front, though it is not cloying or overpowering. In the middle is the big stout roast, chewier than the ABV would indicate. On the back end, the Belgian yeast esters pop to the surface. There is a lot going on in this beer, and I will certainly head back to Bow & Arrow for a second tasting just to make sure my palate did not play any tricks on me.

— Stoutmeister

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That’s all from us for this week. Expect lots of tales of hops, or possibly of getting away from hops, next week!

Cheers!

— The NMDSBC

The best selfies always involve Charlie Papazian. Congrats to Quarter Celtic on bringing home a World Beer Cup bronze! (Photo courtesy of Quarter Celtic)

Last night, the Crew paid a visit to Toltec Brewing to try the beer and food for the first time at an invite-only soft opening in advance of Saturday’s grand opening. We also brought along a laptop to watch the live stream of the World Beer Cup awards ceremony, which was going down in Nashville where the Craft Brewers Conference is taking place this year.

Category after category was announced, but no New Mexico breweries heard their names called. In the end, only Quarter Celtic earned a medal, taking a bronze in the International-Style Pilsner category for Pedro O’Flannigan. It was a stunning turnaround from the last WBC held in 2016, when seven New Mexico breweries claimed seven medals, including gold medals for Nexus (Honey Chamomile Wheat), La Cumbre (BEER), and Boxing Bear (Chocolate Milk Stout).

There are a few ways to look at these results, or lack thereof. First, congratulations to Quarter Celtic on claiming its biggest award to date, a tremendous accomplishment in a tough category to win. That is the most positive thing we can say.

As for everyone else being shut out, perhaps it is best to simply look at the lack of medals as motivation. While industry giants like Firestone Walker again cleaned up with multiple medals, there were numerous breweries popping up seemingly out of nowhere to take gold, silver, and bronze. Revision Brewing from Sparks, Nevada, took gold in the American-Style IPA category and silver in the Imperial IPA category. Honestly, we had never heard of Revision until those awards were announced (but yes, we are adding it to the list of places we need to visit). There are more than 6,000 craft breweries in the United States alone, so now more than ever, our local breweries will have to continue pushing the envelope if they want to break through and win more medals against an increasingly crowded field.

The countdown to the Great American Beer Festival starts now.

Speaking of Toltec

The first flight of beers at Toltec, from left, Imperial Agave Wheat, IPA, Hazy Pale, and Altbier.

We did enjoy the fun of trying the new brewery for the first time. Head brewer Kaylynn McKnight had four of her planned six house beers on the menu — Hazy Pale, Imperial Agave Wheat, Toltec IPA, Altbier — while the kitchen was churning out its full menu.

Kaylynn told us that mastering her new 7-barrel brewhouse has proven to be a bit of a challenge. The beers she wanted to have higher ABVs came in lower than expected (notably the IPA), while others ended up higher in alcohol (wheat, altbier). As such, the flavors are not quite where she wants them, but we found the Altbier and Hazy Pale to be perfectly drinkable for a brand-new brewery. The IPA is a bit rough and bitter, and she told us that future batches will be more balanced between the malts and hops. The Imperial Agave Wheat was the favorite of many other customers, so while Kaylynn said she hoped for a more sessionable wheat beer, it looks like that recipe is going to stay as is for the foreseeable future.

Hmm, on second thought, the best beer selfies are taken with Toltec head brewer Kaylynn McKnight.

On the food front, just about everything we tried was quite delicious. There is a beast of a burger called the Royale, and yes, you can order it with cheese. The BBQ bacon burger was my personal choice, and it was perfectly cooked, with a heaping side of seasoned fries. There are numerous other options, including personal pizzas, salads for all you healthy types, and there is even dessert. The kitchen staff and the servers did a good job of getting the food out in a timely manner, which is impressive for any brewpub right out of the gates.

The brewery has 11 televisions up and running, so we all had a great view of the NHL playoffs. Overall, Toltec is exactly the kind of comfortable brewpub that we expected. We will be back many times to see how the beers evolve. Oh, and since the Penguins won last night, it is also now part of our list of good-luck breweries for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

Sampler tray

  • Drafty Kilt Brewing has officially been renamed Kilt Check Brewing. This ends a bit of a tumultuous run for the brewery, which had run afoul of the copyright a brewery in Atlanta had put on the name Drafty Kilt for its bottled Scotch ale. Make sure to head over and check out the new logo, but otherwise it will still be the same lineup of quality beers and laid-back atmosphere.
  • Route 66 Junkyard Brewery announced on Facebook that it has permanently closed. The Grants brewery did not offer up any sort of explanation for the decision, but it was also embroiled in a legal battle over the usage of Route 66 in its name. If the mysterious Elkins Brewing ever comes to fruition (it still has an active small brewer license), then Grants will not go thirsty for local craft beer for long.
  • There are four new pending small brewer licenses listed with the State of New Mexico. We had previously heard that Blu Dragonfly is on its way to Cimarron, so now that looks more official. The long-rumored Rail Brewery is coming to the Santa Fe Railyard some time in the future. Ravenswing Farm in Silver City has applied for a license. Then there is Black Cock Brewery in Roswell, which seems unlikely to open with that provocative name, as there is already a Black Cock Brewing Company in Orange, Calif.
  • The Little Toad Creek taproom in downtown Las Cruces looks like it will open next week, just in time for Blazin’ Brewfest, which is set to go down Friday, May 11. For tickets and more information, head over to the NM Brewers Guild website.

That is all from us for this week. As always, if you have any beer news, notes, or tidbits you would like to share, drop us a line at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or on any of our social media sites.

I am off to enjoy my 40th birthday today, which I refuse to turn into any sort of somber event. Instead, there will be many barrel-aged stouts, piles of delicious food, probably a round or two of Cards Against Humanity, and lots and lots of metal out by the fire pit.

May the 4th be with you!

— Stoutmeister