Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's Like Portland, But With Sun

Ugh. What a night. First, there was Mel Pearson's annual Holiday Beer Tasting, which Ted Rice and Marble Brewery were gracious enough to host this year. Attendees brought Winter/Christmas/Rare/Whatever beers and shared the love. Ted tapped a fresh batch of Marble Reserve that had just come out of the wood. Only thing that was missing was mistletoe- though the only thing that would want to touch my lips is a breathalyzer.

Next, it was on to the pre-opening night at our city's newest brewery: La Cumbre. The fruition of former Chama River brewer Jeff Erway's dream is coming true as I write this, as the brewery is now open for business. Located at 3313 Girard (off of Candelaria), La Cumbre offers seven beers on tap (with cask beers in the future) in a two floor setting. I sampled all the beers last night, and then some. It was free, after all. I'm not just taking a dainty sip off a five ounce taster and calling it a night. Highlights for me were the Elevated IPA and the South Peak Pilsner.

Here's the brewer himself, begging me for a taste of my samplers. No way, La Cumbre! We as craft beer lovers are in a great position in Albuquerque, as breweries are opening up even as our economy sucks. Marble, Chama River,ABQ Brew Pub, Hallenbrick, Turtle Mountain, La Cumbre, soon the re-opening of Il Vicino; and future breweries Nexis, Bas Ass, Goat Head, with even more on the horizon. Please be sure to support your locals. While there is direct competition between all of them, they are all passionate about craft beer and proud of their products. Let's reward ALL the brewers' hard work. I think I will do my part by giving growlers of local beer as Christmas. Underage people will just get the empty glass.

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