Saturday, April 16, 2011

Beer Week's End Gives me the Blues (and Brews)

Hope you get the same feeling. Though all the week's festivities are ending, the grand finale is a doozy. Or it can be, depending on how many of the over 100 beers you sampled at the Albuquerque Blues and Brews festival Saturday.

Ticket holders lined up at Sandia Casino to form a line that would have seemed daunting were it not for the fact that the entrance was well organized. Multiple volunteers at each station taking tickets and handing out wristbands, programs, and taster glasses.

The many hands made for a quick entry to the fest, where 33 breweries awaited the eager crowd- and there certainly was a crowd. The first (hopefully annual) Albuquerque Blues and Brews was a sellout. Lines weren't a problem at this fest, as there were no punchcards to be scrutinized. Festival goers were free to get their fill of as many samples as they liked.

And the samples weren't poured out like the last drops from a sippy cup. The beer flowed in generous but sensible portions that allowed people to take time to enjoy their beers without having to jump to the nearest line for a refill. The volunteers were well versed on the beer they were pouring, so people new to the craft beer scene weren't left thinking, "I tried a dark and a light beer at that booth".

It was nice to see that the brewery without a home, Goat Head Brewing, had a buzz about them even though they haven't yet sold a beer to the public. Their Hop Sodomy DIPA was a heavy hitter that made for the perfect start for my own tasting at the fest. Will somebody please give this brewery a good deal on a space that will allow us to drink their beer on a regular basis?

Sandia Casino was the perfect host for Blues and Brews. The event space was much nicer than I remembered, probably due to the fact that even though the room was crowded with people, the layout of the event allotted a tremendous amount of breathing room. And what better backdrop could you ask for than the Sandia Mountains?

Way to come out all week and show that we truly do have a thriving craft beer scene here in Albuquerque, all you New Mexico folk. It was great to see how excited everyone looked while waiting for the entrances to open at Blues and Brews today. I'm proud of all of ya for supporting the scene. Then again, I'm proud of my supermarket plastic shopping bag collection, so take it for what it's worth. But I have to tell you that there is a bag in that collection from the defunct Furr's local supermarket chain, as well as Publix, Bi-Lo, A&P, Super Fresh, so many more! Can you feel my pride?? I hope you had the fun at all the Beer Week events and at today's Blues and Brews. Let's make this an annual thing!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice write up Patrick!