Sunday, July 23, 2017

New Bears and Birthday Bears

If you were tired of only seeing April-dated cans from the Firestone Walker Leo Vs. Ursus series, well, aren't you the spoiled little thing? It's not THAT old, and still within the window that most breweries allow for an IPA/DIPA. Some breweries date their hoppy offerings as being good for 6 months, which I find absurd. And I'll admit to being one of the spoiled consumers who doesn't want to buy a 3 month old IPA, though I find the beers which use a light malt base (Like Firestone Walker's use of Pilsner malt in the Leo Vs. Ursus series) to hold up over time better than, say, a Great Divide Hercules. So now we have Adversus, the follow-up to the home run that was Fortem, the original in the lion vs. bear series. 8.2% ABV, only 55 IBUs (remember when people were crazy about IBUs!), and hopped with six varieties: Citra, Mandarina, Azacca, Cascade, Ekuanot, and Simcoe. Is it in the same class as that delicious Fortem? Well, it's worth trying. And Jubilation has single cans available so you don't have to commit to a whole 4-pack. If you don't like it, I bet you can find some fairly fresh Fortem out there. And speaking of Jubilation, it looks like they're almost down to the end of their stock of LAST YEAR'S Lagunitas Sucks. They're selling the December 1st, 2016 brewed beer in the singles section. Just so you know.

Happy 3rd to Boxing Bear! I stopped by there yesterday and found it to be as busy as it was when they hosted the IPA Challenge, which was plenty busy. Tried their long-awaited New England style Eastern Standard IPA. Found it to be very good as a beer, but didn't quite have the look of feel of standard bearers Other Half, Tired Hands, or Monkish. Also tried the 11.1% ABV TKO Triple IPA, the beer brewed specifically for their 3rd Anniversary. Kind of reminded me of the excellent Waldo's Special Ale, with a massive tropical hop presence and sweetness from the high ABV. This is one I plan on drinking fresh. Bottles are available for $15. Boxing Bear continues to crank out quality beers with an emphasis on IPAs. I like that.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Big Guns Are in Town for the Big Cans

Come one, come all to the 14th annual Brewery Collectibles Show and swap meet being held at Drafty Kilt Brewery from 10-1 tomorrow. This event is always a big deal, hosting all the locals who have been collecting beer memorabilia while you were still chugging 40s in the park. Cans, bottles, caps, tin signs, etc. will be available to view and to buy. Come bring that item you found in your grandparents' house and get it appraised: it's like Antiques Roadshow for beer.
This year's event is extra special: the national board of directors for the Brewery Collectibles Club of America will be attending and touring local breweries in preparation for Albuquerque hosting the BCCA's national CANvention in 2019. Come out tomorrow and show the bigwigs how much the craft beer scene impacts the city. Make friends with them. Buy them lapdances at Knockouts.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Beer Week: Saturday, June 3rd

Cazuela's is hosting Yappy Hour, an adoption/fundraiser event benefiting Watermelon Mountain Ranch. You could spend your money on worse things. Event goes till 3.

Quarter Celtic releases their first Gose style beer, Mangose. Gose is where the money is at these days. Anderson Valley isn't selling much Hop Ottin' here anymore, but the Blood Orange Gose is chugging along.

Upslope continues their close Beer Week friendship with M'tucci's Market and Deli as they host a beer dinner together. Din-din served at 7.

Some pretty special Great Divide beers at Nob Hill Bar and Grill: Barrel-Aged Yeti and She Said, I Brew: a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. Possibly wine-barrel aged?

The girl scout cookie/Sierra Nevada beer flight pairing returns to O'Niell's, this time at the Juan Tabo location. Shouldn't this be a milk stout pairing? Milk and cookies? No? Oh.

Tractor Nob Hill hosts Cider Day Night fever. Tractor cider and DJ Wae Fonkey spinning disco "hits". And you don't have to drink cider if you're there, so you've got that going for you. Which is nice.

Red Door hosts a Food Truck Battle at noon. Try treats from a number of local food trucks and drink some milk stout. Or cider. But you don't have to drink cider, which is nice.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Beer Week: Friday, June 2nd

Rock and Brews hosts a rock paper scissors event with Upslope beers featured throughout the night. Top 5 finishers get prizes. I'm the world's worst at this game so I don't approve. I suck at chess as well. F you Bobby Fischer. The cutting/covering/crushing starts at 5.

Oskar Blues breaks out the secret stash on Friday night at Nob Hill Bar and Grill. You already know NHBG gets the best taps. Come see what Oskar Blues has to offer for Beer Week.

Is this the most anticipated event of Beer Week? For Tums it is. Tower of Sour returns to Back Alley Draft House at 6 with over 20 sours, live music, and a New Belgium bike giveaway! $25 gets you 6 samples and a 10 oz. pour. $45 gets you unlimited sampling. $55 gets you an hour early admission, unlimited sampling, food, and superiority. $10 just gets you in the door. Because I like to watch.

Tastings and tappings: Sierra Nevada at both Gecko's locations at 4. Total Wine is serving up Goose Island Samples, and Whole Foods on Academy is sampling La Cumbre beers. La Cumbre Brewing Company is also serving La Cumbre samples.

Tractor Wells Park hosts Art Fight 32: Electric Boogaloo at 7. Or Beer Week edition. One of those. Come watch angst in the form of art being created live, soon to be available at your local thrift store.

Night Out Cards at Tractor Nob Hill, 7 pm. Apparently, this is the "traveling truth or dare game for adventurous people". Alcohol and a game of Truth or Dare, nothing bad could ever come of that, right?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Beer Week: Thursday, June 1st

Whole Foods' Sandia Saloon hosts a tapping of Marble's new Guava Gose. Not into guava? Hit up the produce section and squeeze your own choice of fruit into your beer.

Beer dinners abound: Freight House hosts an Upslope dinner at 6:30. Bien Shur hosts a Marble dinner at 6. Decisions, decisions. Which dinner features pizza?

Nob Hill Bar and Grill does it again, this time with a keg of Cascade's Sang Royal, a cabernet/port barrel-aged sour.

Battle of the Beer Geeks once again at Tractor Brewing. The event features local beer groups (no solo acts welcome, apparently!) as they pit their Tractor-brewed creations against one another in a public vote. There is no partisanship to see here; move along! Dark Side Brew Crew vs. Babes in Brewland vs. Wort Hogs vs. Dukes of Ale vs. ABQ Craft Beer Drinkers. Tasting begins at 6, voting ends at 8.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Beer Week: Wednesday, May 31st

Rock & Brews, where've you been all Beer Week? At least they are hosting a tapping of Idaho 7, Marble's latest Pale Ale release. Idaho 7 is the type of hop used, for all you beer trivia rejects.

The Barley Room is like another state away from where I live. After a Founders Imperial Stout, my house may as well be another continent away. A rare sighting of that Imperial Stout as well as PC Pils and All Day IPA.

Odell takes some of the taps over at Freight House in Bernalillo. 90 Schilling, Drumroll APA, IPA, and Brazzle (raspberry sour) will be pouring.

Marble's Brett IPA is released today, with a 5 pm Brett IPA/food pairing at all locations.

A chance to win a Firestone Walker longboard and free FW samples, including Bretta Rose. Thanks, Jubilation! Sampling goes from 4-6.

Total Wine, Jubilation's good friend, is also hosting a tasting and giveaways, also at 4. This one from Odell Brewing.

Irish Cream Porter, a special IPA, and Kilt or be Kilt Scotch Ale are featured on cask at Quarter Celtic today starting at 5.

Wine tasting at a brewery during Beer Week? Hmmm. Ok, well, Gruet wine pouring at Tractor with Cheese and Coffee Downtown providing food pairings. Event starts at 7.


The Grain Station hosts an early 90's themed party from 5-9. Upslope will be featured on tap and there will be a DJ spinning 90's music. Also a costume contest for the best early 90's outfits. Ok, who's coming as Chris Cornell? Too soon???

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Beer Week: Tuesday, May 30th

Kettle Sours are quite popular now, and Canteen has a special release of Social Capital, a sour with basil, coconut, and lemongrass. Your choice of white or brown rice.

Still supporting businesses on Central Ave throughout this nightmare that is ART? Goo for your! Even better for you: Tractor Nob Hill is offering $1 off pints for those who bring in a receipt from a Central Corridor business. You must bring in a receipt for something bought within the last week, so don't bother with that receipt from Bailey's on the Beach.

Marble Brewery's Westside Taproom hosts a beer trivia night from 6-8 pm with questions from the brewers themselves. Prizes awarded to the top teams. Food truck cleanup assigned to the worst.

Luponic Distortion, Parabola, Leo vs. Ursus, Kreiky Bones. Those Firestone Walker beers sound incredible on their own, but pair them with a dinner at Nob Hill Bar and Grill? Well, now you have a Firestone Walker beer dinner! Event starts at 6:30. Call 266-4455 to see if there is still space for you.

Drafty Kilt, home of Mike Campbell's award-winning beer, is pairing beers with local food trucks. Event starts at 5.

Taco Tuesday at Sister just got better: Upslope will be bringing cans of Citra Pale Ale to go along with your tacos. Tacos and canned beer seem to go together best, right?

Tractor Wells Park is teaming with Cheesy Street to create a flight of 4 assorted mini grilled cheese sandwiches along with 4 Tractor beers for $13. If that's not enough, karaoke starts at 7. Sing Bobby McGee with a mouthful of grilled cheese, I dare ya. You'll still sound better than Janis Joplin ever did. Yeah, I said it. Pairings start at 5.

Four Peaks and Farina Alto are pairing up for a beers and bites event. If you tell the Four Peaks rep that you don't like their beer, he'll bite the f*** out of you. And Hop Knot is good, so just keep your mouth shut and behave, ok?

Monday, May 29, 2017

Beer Week: Memorial Day

A fairly light day of events on this Memorial Day. Enjoy your cookouts!

If you are going out, it's probably to Marble for their Memorial Day Festival, which starts at 3. Four bands, food trucks, Double White.

Firestone Walker sampling at both Total Wine locations. If you go to the westside location, you can buy the can of Avery Raja DIPA that was canned on 12.10.2015. A real collector's item.

Calling all know-it-alls: Tractor Brewing presents Beer Geek Trivia, hosted by the NM Dark Side Brew Crew. Think you've got enough beer knowledge to stand above the rest? Get out there and prove it! Questions start at 7.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Beer Week: Sunday, May 28

The BIG Beer Week takes place at Sandia Casino today: ABQ Blues and Brews. The fest has been a favorite of local beer fans for 7 years now and is largely responsible for getting people turned on to the craft beer scene. Over 70 breweries and 4 hours of tasting makes for a busy day. Get some food in you first!

It's an Oregon invasion as Deschutes takes over the taps at Gecko's in Nob Hill. Is Deschutes on AB-InBev's radar for buyout? What's your guess for the next craft brewery to get bought out?

Pints, Planks, and Pups is going on till 6 at Rio Bravo. Come adopt an animal in need of a friend. $1 from each pint sold will go to Animal Humane.

Defying Gravity Car Club wants to show off their rides without turning Central Ave. into a standstill. Instead, they'll be in the parking lot of Ponderosa Brewing from 1-4. Ponderosa is also doing that tapa/beer pairing all day/all week.

It's always nice to see breweries get together to make a beer. Dialogue and Quarter Celtic did just that, and the result is Common Irish Conversation. I suppose a common Irish conversation topic is alcohol. Actually, I know it is.

Head over to Imbibe for a pairing of KBS and your choice of cigar. Buy a KBS or PC Pils and get $1 off your cigar purchase. I can see KBS and a cigar together, but a cigar and a Pilsner- not so much. There's my expert recommendation for you.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Beer Week: Saturday, May 27

As if the Santa Fe location at Green Jeans wasn't busy enough, they're throwing a party to celebrate Beer Week. An all day party featuring Bocadillo's TV star chef Marie Yniguez cooking up a storm while you sit back and enjoy your beer. Party is going on now!

O'Niell's Juan Tabo presents The Beer Olympics: channel your inner Bruce Jenner and challenge your team of four in olympic style events. I'm betting there will be no swimming nor ice skating. Event starts at 2.

Eclectic Pizzeria hosts a family style dinner with Upslope Brewing. So get ready to yell at the people across the table about how they held you back and mom always treated them better than you. Fights cost $25, start at 7.

The Freight House in Bernalillo is holding a pig roast and special Marble tapping at 1 today. "Hi, can you scoop me out some of that belly, please?" Marble Flower Digger Pale Ale, featuring NM lavender, will be tapped to complement your pig.

The annual 505 Collaboration beer is being tapped at multiple breweries today. Golden Strong, a well-hopped Belgian Strong Ale, is this year's special beer.

A fundraiser for NMARB Youth Music program takes place today at Rio Bravo at 1. Lots of music, including Red Light Cameras (the Lachiomas have been camped out since last night to get a good seat) and Le Chat Lunatique will be performing. Art stuff, food trucks, beer, fun. I wish I had been more diligent in learning an instrument as a kid. Maybe if my mom forced me into guitar instead of trumpet I would have cared.


Does running from brewery to brewery sound fun to you? Or safe? If so, join the Hash House Harriers at Canteen beginning at 2 as they drink and run, drink and run from brewery to brewery. Where's my Uber?


Friday, May 26, 2017

ABQ Beer Week: Friday, May 26

Friday, the day where its almost a law that you have to drink. The police have enough to worry about rather than come after your ass for teetotaling, so hit up some of Friday's Beer Week events.

Red Door is releasing a Blackberry Hefeweizen at both of their locations. I love the look of the downtown location. There's lots of empty space on Gold St. Wouldn't it be cool if all those business spaces were filled with brewery taprooms? Like 6th St. in Austin has all those music venues, or the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego has all those douchebag bars? We could have Brewery Boulevard, where Albuquerque craft beer is the only alcohol served.

Remember: when it happens, you read the idea here first.

Be honest: Have you been getting growler fills at Jubilation? Why not? What do you want, an Altbier collaborated on by Mother Road from Flagstaff and your own Tractor Brewing? You got it. Fills (and a tasting of various Mother Road cans) begins at 4 pm.

Tractor hosts a rare tap takeover from one brewery in another's brewery. Yup. Rowley's Farmhouse Ales will be the focus of Sour Hour, featuring John Rowley's spectrum of sour beers. From 5 pm till they're all gone.

Sister Bar already carries La Cumbre handles. Tonight, they'll carry a lot more! Stick around for music from Biome and Esh One. Taps at 5 pm.


Nob Hill Bar and Grill, you always get the good kegs! Bourbon County Brand Stout makes a glorious return, joined by Goose Island's first beer in the Cooper Project: a barrel-aged Scotch Ale! Something that tastes like a bourbon-y band aid or something that tastes like a bourbon-y band aid but gets described as something more acceptable, like "peaty"? You be the judge. I'm actually excited to try it, as Goose Island just does something magical with their barrels, but mad I won't be able to until Saturday...please leave me some.

Sing it with me:

Hop on
Hop off
Hop On Hop Off: The Brew Cruise

Thank you to The Clapper for giving us a tune that will live forever. And thank you to ABQ Trolley Co. for driving a bunch of eager beer drinkers to 4+ breweries in this "Hop On, Hop Off Brew Cruise" 3-hour tour that begins at 7. All participating breweries will offer a discount to those wearing their ABQ Trolley stickers, and free beer to those wearing K-Swiss.

That is, you should get free beer for wearing K-Swiss. Don't sue me if it doesn't happen.

Monroe's? The place that the little kid does the radio ads for? And they're participating in Beer Week?? Excellent. Loteria for prizes and Upslope pouring freely* (not the same as being poured for free). The games begin at 5 pm. Don't drink the Fabuloso.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ABQ Beer Week 2017, Day One

This is the week you've been waiting for. Not the one where your attempt at the Whole 30 Diet ends, though the amount of drinking you'll do is probably the same both weeks. ABQ Beer Week 2017, in my opinion, is the best lineup of events since the whole dang thing started. Here's some highlights of Thursday's events. All events can be viewed at Abqbeerweek.com

Bow & Arrow has quietly been releasing solid beers at their chic location since they opened, and this dry-hopped Sour Farmhouse Ale should be no exception. A refreshing way to kick off the long week.

All Beer Week long Ponderosa will be featuring a different beer with a different tapa for only $7. Want to know what this one's going to be? Don't ask me, I just work here. At the computer. The tapas deal runs from 3-6 each day.

M-Tucci's Moderno joins in the Beer Week fun with a special tapping from Upslope Brewing at 4 pm. Upslope has been sending some nice stuff down here in those 19 oz. cans, including a tequila barrel-aged Barleywine and a barrel aged Coffee Stout.

Get a sneak peek of Chris Jackson's upcoming book, "Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap" at Jubilation. A small amount of books will be there for you to get signed. Pre-orders for the book will also be available for those of you who couldn't get an early copy.

Bubba's 33, home to all the sports on TV and all the pickups in the parking lot, will be hosting an Alaskan Brewing tap takeover a 4 pm. Some Alaskan Smoked Porter sounds pretty good right now...


Marble Brewery's most popular event? Beer and Cheese takes place at the Heights Taproom this year, with the usual format: 5 cheeses, 5 beers, $25. Get your tickets NOW; they sell out every year. Event begins at 5 pm.

The official beer of Pork and Brew, Big Sipper IPA, will be released in cans as well at Tractor Wells Park. The Silver String Band performs 7-10.

Sierra Nevada beer paired with Girl Scout cookies at O'Niell's on Central? Sure, why not? You know the moms who do all the selling of the cookies for their kids? They'll be there. They won't be selling anything, but you can buy them a drink. Event starts at 7.

Torinos at Home hosts a multi-course beer dinner with La Cumbre Brewing Co. at 6. Salmon slider, beef filet, peach tart, arancini...yum.

Have a big belly and a Tommy Bahama shirt? Then come to Jinja on the westside for a a cigar night with Jake and Harley's Cigar Gallery and a tapping of Alaskan's Perseverance, Raspberry Wheat, and Summer Kolsch. Cigars are from Perdomo's Craft Series. Event starts at 5:30.