Posts Tagged ‘Tractor Brewing’

There is no such thing as too much food at Steel Bender, apparently.

Of all the Crew, I (Stoutmeister) am the only one who does not get a true weekend. Well, sometimes Brandon works, too, but I am guaranteed to work every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday without a vacation-time request, which often limits my excursions to breweries and bars (heck, sometimes I get so tired I just open something at home and drift away, hopefully without spilling anything; being 40 does kinda suck sometimes).

Thus, when I chime in for the Weekend Beer-cap, my adventures date back to my actual days off, Wednesday and Thursday. I made sure to stay busy this past week, too. After a stop by Red Door for an interview, I hit up Tractor Wells Park for a delightful pour of Oktoberfest. It is just as smooth and lightly sweet as I remember. Later that day, I hit up High and Dry for the first time in a while, through no fault of theirs, but I wanted to make sure to stop by for the start of Second Street Brewery’s “residency” as the guest brewery of the month. It is quite the cool concept for High and Dry, and gives a brewery like Second Street a chance to show off its beers to the many folks who think Santa Fe is just too far away, even for beer. I enjoyed a tasty Vienna Lager, while my friend Kristen was quite into the Boneshaker Bitter.

The next day I did the impossible, which is to get my dear sainted mother out to a brewery not named Canteen (she has a serious love for the Irish Red, as I have mentioned before). Yes, dad and I got her to Steel Bender for some OktoberFiesta and a big old mountain of food. The pairings were delightful — she went with the grilled chicken, I stuck with the tried-and-true pulled pork, dad went more traditional with a bratwurst — and after my folks departed, I also made sure to snag some of the Black (Hole Sun) IPA. Big and burly, for sure, and one I would like to try again.

Oh, and I also had a couple beers at Chama River earlier that day. Wait, what?

Stay tuned for a (very) overdue update about what is going on with Chama and Kellys. We are also scheduled for a full sit-down interview with the owners and brewers of Cantero Brewing this week, and of course there is this little thing coming up next week called the Great American Beer Festival. Expect blowout coverage of that, too.

No rest for the wicked, right? Here are the rest of the Crew’s adventures over the actual weekend.

(more…)

Red Door abruptly closed its taproom on Wyoming last Friday, but patrons were able to enjoy one last pint or two.

The last month-plus has seen good and bad news coming out of several off-site taprooms around Albuquerque, ranging from two openings to two closings to other potential developments that have left folks wondering if the bubble is bursting. As a public service, we tried to sort through the rumors and figure out the solid facts.

On the good front, La Cumbre Westside and Tractor Westside are both humming along. Tractor opened first on McMahon, just east of Unser, and quickly captured the vibe of its other locations. La Cumbre opened to huge crowds with a touch of the original location blended with a more modern atmosphere. We also got good news that Quarter Celtic will open its first taproom in early 2019.

Then, there was everything else. First came the news at the end of July that Monks’ Corner was closing its doors. The location at Third and Silver was never able to draw in the crowds like Abbey Brewing had hoped, and in the end, the decision was made to shut down that taproom. Whether or not a replacement ever opens is something that will be decided at a later time.

Of course, since then, events might have given Abbey a reason to pause. All of us in the Crew were as surprised as anyone when Red Door abruptly announced the closure of its Northeast Heights taproom at Wyoming and Comanche. The taproom was packed with folks on Friday night, answering the call to help drink up as much of the beer on hand as possible. By the time I arrived around 9 p.m., there were only four house beers and the cider left on tap. All the seasonals were long gone.

I missed owner Matt Biggs by mere minutes, he later told me, but we will be meeting this week to discuss Red Door’s upcoming fourth anniversary. The reason given by Red Door in its social media posts was “a landlord dispute,” which sadly is not all that shocking around Albuquerque. Anyone remember when Pi Brewing had to shut down after its corporate landlord put off repairs to the damaged building for six months? (It had been hit by an out-of-control pickup truck that crashed off Coors.)

The specter of a bad landlord, or something similar, then seemed to crop up with the Soo-bak food truck posted that it was no longer going to park outside Tractor Nob Hill due to an unexplained dispute with the new property owner. That, in turn, led many to suspect Tractor would also shut down its original Albuquerque location, which has been serving folks since 2011. I contacted president/co-owner Skye Devore via email, and she said no one should panic, that Tractor is not closing the taproom.

“The building was purchased last year and we are working on adjusting to the new dynamic, which includes having a cafe next door, but we have no intention of shutting it down,” she wrote. “The food truck situation is delicate. In no way does Tractor want food trucks to cease service and their food will always be welcome in our Nob Hill location.”

So far, it seems this is an isolated incident rather than a radical change to the long symbiotic relationship between Tractor and the food trucks. Considering that the new landlord was also helping Tractor out by giving the brewery the space to expand its walk-in cooler and add more bathrooms, overall the relationship seems to be OK.

Now that everyone is breathing easy again, we feel that we can now report that the Duel taproom in downtown Albuquerque is closing some time in the near future. Real estate ads, like this one on Craigslist, have shown that the space is up for lease, though there has been no official announcement from the brewery in Santa Fe. Events are still listed through Saturday, September 15 on the taproom’s Facebook page, so it seems the closure is not necessarily imminent. We will keep an eye on the situation as it develops.

Before anyone starts screaming that the bubble is popping around here, most of these closures appear unconnected. It is possible to draw the line between Duel and Monks’ Corner, and the general difficulty of staying open downtown. People can point to the crime and other issues there, but we have long felt that downtown is simply a different animal as far as the crowd goes. It is not an area populated with craft beer lovers who want to kick back and relax, but is instead a more high-energy area of rising and falling trends. Basically, the downtown crowd is incredibly fickle, and with a few exceptions (Anodyne, looking at you), it can be very hard for any bar or taproom to gain a foothold there. Then throw in the issues with crime and the ongoing exodus of businesses from the area (which impacts lunchtime and happy hour crowds), and it pretty much conspired to kill Monks’ Corner and, apparently, Duel.

The boom times may be coming to a close, that is true, but it does not necessarily mean a massive contraction is at hand. Breweries and taprooms will not be shutting down en masse, but fewer and fewer are on the docket to open. At present, there are only three confirmed breweries pending for the ABQ metro area, plus three off-site taprooms.

In other words, yes, we have seemingly hit our saturation point. The remaining areas in town that lack craft beer are either too expensive in terms of rent, or too stricken by poverty. Darn, guess we will have to live with the award-winning breweries that are already here, instead of always looking to see who is coming next.

If anyone out there ever has any information for us on our local breweries, please, never hesitate to send it to us at nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or contact us via our social media pages.

Until next time, stay positive, Burque.

— 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.

(more…)

The New Mexico Distillers Guild continues to grow alongside its brewing brethren.

Editor’s note: As we have documented many times before, real life often gets in the way of all of our stories being published in a timely manner, and sometimes breaking news like the La Cumbre taproom opening can further delay an article. That happened here (the event below was August 11), but we still felt like there was some important information to share, so away we go. — S

The weather was not looking particularly great, as Shawna and I set out for Downtown Albuquerque. What looked to be a storm front was pushing up from the south along the Rio Grande. We took a bit of solace in the idea that we were going to be inside for the second annual NM Distillers Guild Festival, but we were wrong, very wrong. As we reached the Banque Lofts along Central and Second Street, we were greeted at the door, collected our commemorative tasting glasses, and proceeded into an elevator, with the instructions simply to press the “R”. Up we went, nine floors and onto the landing for the massive rooftop patio which was to host the event.

The diffused and setting sun and the views overlooking Albuquerque quickly left a memorable impression, as by a stroke of luck the weather held off, despite some heavy gusts in the beginning. It was reminiscent in form to the beer-focused festivals, with each distillery setting up their unique tables and tents, eagerly waiting to educate and lend a sample.

With but a modest understanding of the styles and production methods at hand, this made for an exciting and eye-opening adventure in terms of flavors and possibilities with distilled spirits and liquors. Participants included Left Turn, Tractor, Broken Trail, Hollow Spirits, Little Toad Creek, Algodones Distillery, Santa Fe Spirits, and Still Spirits. There was certainly no bad, or even mediocre, cocktails or samples to be had. Each distillery had certainly brought out the big guns innovation-wise, and were ready to impress.

Hollow Spirits owner Frank Holloway, right, is a familiar face to folks in the beer scene.

Among all of this is where we met with Frank Holloway and chef Tristin Rogers with Hollow Spirits, which will soon be opening in the Wells Park neighborhood (1324 First Street NW). Frank’s name may sound familiar from his previous endeavors with Red Door Brewing. With a warm reception, and the crowd still building, we took the opportunity to talk about the festival and his current project.

“Luckily we are still small enough that we could pull off this venue, it’s a beautiful view,” Frank said. “Last year’s (Spirits Festival) was up here, too. There haven’t been too many changes. I would say we are getting better at the process. The setups are getting a little bit better, everyone is starting to bring out their tents; all the setups are a little bit better.”

The upturn in interest and founding of more distilleries definitely added to the overall participation this year, Frank said.

“There are more people than last year,” he said. “Tractor is here now, too. That has been huge to the scene, especially when you understand them from the beer side.”

The drinks were poured into the evening.

While still dwarfed by the beer community in terms of numbers, the Spirits Festival was a testament to the growing traction of the distilling side of beverage production here in New Mexico. (Stay tuned to the NMDSBC for a follow-up on the NM Distillers Guild itself.)

Taking the opportunity before the wind decided to almost take off with some tents again, we further discussed the progress of Hollow Spirits and what seems to be the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of projects.

“It seems like we’re about a month out,” Frank said. “We’re painting, about to do the floors, pretty much all the plumbing and electrical is done.”

Frank said he was cautiously optimistic, but determined to finish.

“I’ve been in the bar industry serving, distributing, opened Red Door, since I was 19,” he said. “No matter if your job is the coolest job in the world, you get tired of doing the same thing over and over and over again. So personally, I don’t want to do the same thing over for myself or my staff. So for the most part, we’re going to try and rotate (our selections) as much as possible and do seasonal drinks.”

Hollow Spirits will be working with local growers to acquire some fresh ingredients to help in bursting out of the norm.

Moving onto the topic of food, we were excited to hear there is a kitchen in the works.

“We’re not opening with food, (with the) reason being we were not sure we had the finances to initially start the kitchen, but wound up getting everything we needed for the kitchen,” Frank said. “Now we just don’t want to delay the City in terms of paperwork.”

A reasonable decision, especially when trying to keep the estimated one-month-until opening time frame.

Not all the food at Hollow Spirits will be solely for the purposes of garnishing the cocktails.

“We definitely want to do some pairing dinners, I want him (Tristin) to come to me and be like, ‘Hey, can you make this liquor, I want to do this food,’” Frank said.

While spirits are not as ‘famously’ paired with food as wine or even beer yet, they do have their place among some very satisfying dishes. Tristin added an interesting perspective to the situation.

“The idea is to kind of reprogram New Mexico diners’ minds … even if they’re not hungry, just stop by for some good drinks, enjoy, and treat it more like art,” he said. “So we want to educate you in good food.”

For those of you not as keen to spirits, Hollow Spirits will also be serving beer and wine from across the state.

As the wind finally settled down and no more human anchors were required to keep the tents from taking a 10-story plunge, it was time to try the wares. We met up with some familiar faces, downed a few excellent samples (in my humble opinion most notably Hollow Spirits’ Wheat Vodka, Little Toad Creek’s Te-Guy-La, and Algodones Distillery’s Gin). While this was certainly out of the usual for myself and Shawna, it proved to be a memorable and entertaining evening worth recommending next years Spirits Festival.

Cheers!

— Jerrad & Shawna

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.

(more…)

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.

Greetings from Oregon, again. While I am still up here, there is plenty going on around ABQ and the rest of New Mexico. The big theme this week is the ongoing popularity of specialty beer releases in four-pack, 16-ounce cans. La Cumbre has pretty much mastered the art of these releases, and another is coming out this Friday as Full Nelson DIPA makes the transition from 22-ounce bottles to cans. The beer will be the usual Nelson Sauvin hop bomb you have all come to respect and love, while the can design is more reminiscent of Ska than the traditional LC look. Another brewery, however, is jumping in on the fun as Bosque will be releasing its first specialty canned four-packs from the brewery at North in Bernalillo. Strawberry Sabotage, a big hit earlier this summer, will be making its way into package for the first time. Look for more details on the release via Bosque’s social media pages.

We also wanted to highlight the return of a special event to Marble downtown this Sunday from 2 to 7 p.m. Love Beer, Hate Cancer is a music festival with a raffle, live shirt printing, face painting, food trucks, and more. A portion of the proceeds benefits Camp Enchantment. There is also Tractor’s Sock Hop, which runs Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and benefits Rio Grande Down System Network. There will be vintage tunes and dancing, and actual socks for sale, with all the money from each pair sold going to the charity.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bosque also has one of its classics, Summer in Hallertau, back on tap. Boxing Bear has a fresh batch of the award-winning Featherweight Session IPA. Canteen climbs high with Cloudview Wit. High and Dry brings back Humble Affair, its delicious coffee stout, and adds Mesita #5, a new sour. La Cumbre also has Regional Fetish IPA back on tap. Ponderosa resurrects Saphir Lager. Starr Brothers introduces a new single-hop beer, Azacadabra. Tractor brings back Azacca Single Hop Pale Ale, which might be worth comparing side-by-side with its Starr Brothers cousin.

Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn has run out of Gatekeeper IPA, opening a tap for La Marcha Wedding Lager. Chili Line has several new beers available, including Hugo’s Hef, Tio Coco (Milk Stout), Que Picante (Dark Red Chile Lager), Fuego (Juniper and Honey Ale), and Brumoso (Hazy) IPA. Second Street has some fresh Rod’s Best Bitter, plus more Pivotal IPA, Tres Equis Lager, and Neo Mexicanus Pale Ale, made with fresh local hops.

Over in Moriarty, look for a limited amount of Barrel Aged Cherry Amber on tap this week.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of August 6.

(more…)

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

* * * * *

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

Greetings, New Mexico craft beer lovers. Stoutmeister here with The Week Ahead in Beer. This column covers all the breweries in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties, with Santa Fe’s seven breweries, one in Los Alamos, one in Moriarty, one in Red River, and one in Las Cruces also joining the party.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

Stoutmeister puts on his serious face to handle The Week Ahead in Beer.

The Nob Hill Summer Music Series is getting a big kickoff party this Saturday from 3 to 8 p.m. Bet you can’t guess which local brewery’s taproom will be at the heart of it! OK, that’s an easy one, of course it’s Tractor, which has always been at the forefront of supporting local musicians, vendors, and artists. For this event, the parking lot that Tractor shares with Slice Parlor and Starbucks, at the southeast corner of Tulane and Central, will be completely shut down. It will instead be filled with booths for vendors and artists, and bands will be playing the whole time. On the docket are Lenin and McCarthy, The Riddims, The Gershom Brothers, and a special performance by Amanda Machon (Red Light Cameras) and Los Metamorfos doing covers of Selena. There will be food trucks, plenty of beer, and more.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bow and Arrow hits the mark with Neon Arrow Berliner Weisse, made with blood orange and tangerine peel. Canteen kicks back with Cabana Lager and Radler Me This. High and Dry has a new sour, Mestia #4, plus more Ghost of a Moon (Pale Ale), Special Shapes #1 and 2 (IPAs), Rye Orbison, and Feb xMas Lights (Pale Wheat). Kaktus rolls out fresh batches of STEAM, Oatmeal Stout, and Cherry Blonde. La Cumbre is putting Project Dank in cans for the first time this Friday. Marble is feeling a little funky with Saison and Abbey Singel. Ponderosa will release six-pack cans of Blood Orange Double Wit later this week. Quarter Celtic wades into The Friend Zone with a new grapefruit/passionfruit IPA. Rio Bravo will unveil the IPA Challenge version of Level 3 IPA this Thursday. Sidetrack kicks back with Hazy Days of Summer IPA. Steel Bender brings back COMPA Los Ranchos Lager on Thursday. Turtle Mountain should have new batches of Count Hellesaurius and Nitro McSmack on by the end of the week.

UPDATE >>> Up in Santa Fe, Blue Corn already has Jackal IPL available, and Pineapple Gose is due out Friday.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 25.

(more…)

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.

What New Mexico lacks in population, it makes up for in land area. It can be hard to find the time to make it to the breweries outside of the Albuquerque-Santa Fe corridor, even though it is often well worth the trip. In turn, most of those breweries aren’t really big enough to launch mass distribution efforts down here to lure folks to visit. This Friday, however, Taos Mesa is staging a tap takeover at Tractor Wells Park. From 3 p.m. onward, there will be 10 beers available from the Mothership right in the heart of Albuquerque. For once, we did not have to go ask for the beer list, as it is already available: Koenig Lager, Solstice Pale, Cross Eye Rye, Mosaic IPA, Hefeweizen, Old 96, Deep Thought IPA #42, Nitro Project: Scottish, British Blonde, Barleywine. The Crew has had a few of those over the years (the Barleywine batch served at WinterBrew back in January was outstanding), but we are just as eager as the rest of you to try as many as we can. We do love the concept of the far-off breweries being able to partner up with our locals. Hopefully this will encourage more team-ups in the future. We would love to see more Little Toad Creek, Milton’s, Three Rivers, and many, many more down here. Then, as they create fans here, we would love to see more people venturing out to see what else they have in store at their respective home bases. It is truly a win-win.

On the new beer front this week, there are a few options to check out. Bow & Arrow goes big with a double beer release on Thursday, unveiling Waffle Bandit Stout and Ace Supreme Saison. Boxing Bear gets in on the trend with RasBearry Gose. Marble has a trifecta of newcomers in the American Pale Lager, Black Passion, and Cholo Lean. Ponderosa serves up the PB&J Stout for lunch and dinner. Red Door rolls out Lemongrass Pilsner on Friday. Sidetrack brings back CO-MO IPA and Guera American Blonde. Steel Bender answers your prayers for more Manana Tropical IPA on Thursday. Toltec honors the NBA champs, Chef David Ruiz’s favorite team, with Golden State Kolsch.

Up in Santa Fe, the Second Street staff is still in recovery mode after the Crab & Pilsner Festival, but they did manage to tap Fulcrum IPA, Raspberry Lager, Citraweisen, Rail Runner Pale Ale, and more of the delicious Breaking Plaid. Out in Moriarty, Sierra Blanca says pucker up with Raspberry Sour and Cranberry Sour.

Continue reading for all the news that is fit to blog for the week of June 18. (more…)

It’s back for the 15th time! (Photos courtesy of Alex Archuleta)

The 15th annual Pork & Brew Festival is returning to the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho from June 29 through July 1. The Crew sat down with SASC director of marketing Alex Archuleta to get all the details for all of you beer and barbecue lovers.

“We call it New Mexico’s original food festival,” Alex said. “It’s been around for 15 years, so it’s kind of stood the test of time. Rio Rancho’s real proud of it.”

The goal of the organizers this year is to make the event more friendly to customers. The first change, Alex said, was to change the hours on the opening Friday from all day to 3 to 9 p.m.

“Something a little different we’re doing on Friday is running it from 3 to 9, so hopefully we’ll capture more of that after-work crowd,” he said, while also noting that it tends to be the least crowded day, if huge crowds are not your thing. “If we’re on a date that’s not as packed, it will be Friday, because people get off work and go home, and once you get home, you stay home.”

(more…)