Friday, July 29, 2011

Knee Deep in the Hoopla

In honor of this Saturday being National Dance Day, I bring you Hoopla, which of course pays tribute to Starship's (formerly Jefferson Starship and Jefferson Airplane) legendary album Knee Deep in the Hoopla.
No, wait.
After further investigation, it turns out that Hoopla is actually a collaboration between Boulder and the keyboard player for String Cheese Incident. The 5.7% ABV beer is characterized as a Pale Ale but one of the ingredients is chocolate malt, so who knows? The beer may not be for me, but Boulder describes it as having "flavor that will have your taste buds dancing!" so put your worst dress on over your worst jeans and have a blast. I'll be watching Mannequin.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Good Deed for the Day

A short while back, Kelly Liquors on Wyoming had a tremendous sale on Paulaner Pilsner cases: $14.99 each for a beer that normally retails for $9.99 just for a six-pack. A deal that is definitely worthy of telling you about, right? The thing is, I went kind of nuts and bought so many cases that only one was left in the store (didn't want to be a jerk and keep someone else from getting one). I didn't bother writing about it because I didn't want a mad frenzy over that last case ala the 1980's Cabbage Patch Kids riots. So I may have failed you then, but I'm happy to report that the stock has been replenished at that Kelly's, and still at that great price. And I left them all there for you.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cook and Tap

Cracklin'-skinned in the desert on a summer afternoon- that was me at Saturday's Cork and Tap. Why I would choose to venture out to an event at 2:30 when I could easily have waited until a cooler time in the day (Cork and Tap went till 10:30, after all) is a study in idiocy. I just get too excited and antsy knowing that there is something beer related happening without me being there. And even though I burned every shade of red in Crayola's catalog by being there early, I still made the right choice.

Getting there early meant no wait at the gate, unlike the line for people who wandered up later in the evening. It also translated into no wait for beer from area breweries, from the new (Nexus) to the resurrected (Tractor) and more. Santa Fe brought bottles of their Surf Mountain Sour, which which definitely had the sour part down but lacked in carbonation. Marble was pouring their own sour, Sephira, of which I can't imagine there being much more stashed away. You have to come out to these events, if only to be able to tell future beer geeks, "Oh, of course I've had Sephira!!" La Cumbre brought their two newest beers, the Super Pils and La Roja Grande Imperial Red. In an interesting twist, the booths for the two Albuquerque homebrew stores, Victor's Grape Arbor and Southwest Grape and Grain faced each other directly across the parking lot. With the sun blazing directly overhead, it felt like a showdown in the old west...if not for the view of the Pussycat Adult Video store sign across the street. A good time along the old Rt. 66!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I Sweat When I Type

In this weather, I barely want to lift a hand to do anything other than flip someone off, but I'm willing to risk electrocution to tell you about some new stuff. Take this new Wasatch Summerbrau Lager (please!) for instance. At 5.6% ABV, it is a little heavier than some Czech Pilsners I am used to. It's available all around our fine city in the $8.00 range for a six-pack. As far as distribution beers go, that's about all I have. Very slow in the new releases this week, though local breweries are thankfully picking up the slack. La Cumbre recently tapped the first keg of La Roja, an 8.1% Imperial Red that will be followed by Super Pils, an Imperial Pilsner, this Saturday. Around the corner, Il Vicino has the Citra-heavy Exodus IPA, the beer that took top honors at last year's NM IPA Challenge. Finally, Marble has found space to once again make brewer's specials even during their busy expansion. The wildly popular Double White makes its return on tap along with a sessionable 4.2% ABV Pale Ale. And don't forget about Nexus, which has all their house beers on tap now, including the second go-round on their IPA in which the hops are much more pronounced than the first batch.

Friday, July 15, 2011

You'd Better Hurry...

You've only got a week left to buy tickets to July 23rd's Route 66 Cork and Tap, a celebration of local beer, wine, and music. Central Ave. will be shut down between Sierra and Montclaire (Central and Washington area) so you can parade around and drink like you were on Bourbon Street. For only $10, you can enjoy ten 3 oz. pours of beer from more than ten breweries or, if you must, ten 1.5 oz. pours of wine from six NM wineries from 2-10:30. Or mix and match. Once you get your fill of samples, you won't be left high and dry. You will be able to purchase beer or wine from the vendors, which is a nice touch. I never want a drink as much as when I can't have one, you know? And the list or beers at the fest are sure to make me want more than just samples, with around fifty different beers available. Musical acts every hour will have people dancing in the streets and me making fun of them. The lineup of acts certainly sounds interesting, with the descriptions ranging from Albuquerque's "quirkiest three piece dance band", to "filthy mangy jazz", to "indie-blues" (finally, a refreshing change from all the corporate blues out there). ABQ Trolley will be providing free rides from 2-9 along the entire Summerfest route, from Girard to Washington. If you feel like checking out what Summerfest offers, you can come and go from the Cork an Tap location. The real fun always begins and ends with beer, so I'll be staying put by the kegs. Visit for ticket info.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One IPA to Rule Them All...

In the land of Mordor (near Candelaria and Vassar, you know, by where that old Blake's Lotaburger is), the first leg of the New Mexico IPA challenge will take place. La Cumbre Brewing Co. will play host to more than ten NM breweries vying to take the Challenge Cup away from two-time consecutive winner Il Vicino. This year's IPA Challenge figures to be the most hotly-contested event yet, with newcomers Mimbres Valley and La Cumbre going in against IBU powerhouses such as Chama River and Marble. As always, the IPAs will be served in a blind tasting format. There is one change this year, and that is adding a fourth day of tasting to meet the demands of the thirsty public. As stated, the first event will be held at La Cumbre on August 14 from 12-5. That's a Sunday, so don't hit the bottle toooo hard Saturday night. On the 16th, Mimbres Valley Brewing in Deming will host the second day of tasting. I'll most likely be skipping that drive, sorry to say. Thursday the 18th, Second Street in Santa Fe will be doing the pouring. Finally, Turtle Mountain hosts the finale on the 21st, where all votes from the previous three locations will be tallied to reveal the overall winner. I've been training for this event all year...bring on the IPAs!

Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm Bigger Than Groupon

Hey, remember how I saved you all that money earlier today with the news about Buffalo Gold being on sale? Well, I forgot to mention the "3 for $10" sale that Jubilation is having on 22 oz. bottles of Full Sail. Ok, so the only 22 oz. Full Sail bottles available are the Elevation IPA which I wrote about a few days ago and the Hop Pursuit, which is a Pale Ale that has been around for months. I'd think about skipping that one and just buying up three Elevations, which normally sells for $4.99 per bottle at Jubilation ($5.99 elsewhere). What, still not interested? I understand...sometimes Groupon has specials on Hot Yoga but I swore I'd never wear a leotard again after I got kicked off my high school ballet team.

There's Gold In Them There Parts

A quick little tip for you to start your week of drinking: Kelly Liquors on Wyoming has Boulder's Buffalo Gold cases on sale for $14.99. Quite a deal considering a six-pack of it goes for $6.99-$7.99 in stores. The style is an easy-drinking Blonde Ale that is 4.95% ABV, and may find itself sharing shelf space in my fridge alongside the High Life if it proves to be truly worthy of the distinction.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Genesee It to Believe It

I was already a little disoriented while in Quarters' Wyoming and Montgomery location last night. Since my last visit, they got rid of the stacks of cases and shelves of warm six-packs and replaced them with coolers that now hold the majority of the beers. Good for them, and good for us. I rarely would buy anything from there besides refrigerated bombers because I didn't trust the dust collector shelves. So, while admiring the new cold section, I nearly stumbled over a stack (not all the case stacks are gone) of Genesee beer. That's right- the pride of Rochester, New York is now available here for less than $18 a 30-pack. I know it's not exactly craft beer excitement I'm generating here, but I thought I'd let you know just the same in case you need a break from good beer.

Not to be confused with La Cumbre's Elevated IPA, Full Sail has released Elevation IPA, a 7.5% ABV, 80 IBU offering. Elevation offers five Cs of hop additions: Chinook, Centennial, Columbus, Cascade, and Citra. I didn't buy one because I don't really enjoy that "biscuity malt" flavor that Full Sail touts in many of their beers. Quarters has plenty of them so you can judge for yourself. Sorry, I forgot to get the price on this one but Full Sail's 22 oz. beers in this genre are usually around six bucks.

Monday, July 4, 2011

She's a Butte, That Ol' Number XXIII

Black Butte XXIII,
Deschutes annual take on the Imperial Porter style, has arrived in Albuquerque. The ingredient list reads like a crock pot recipe, with Seville orange peel, cacao nibs, and pasilla negra chiles all added in the brewing process. Add on the fact that 25% of the beer was aged in bourbon barrels and then blended in for the final product, That sounds better than my pot roast any day, though I'm not sure my Black Butte XXIII leftovers would be quite as welcome at work. The limited-release Butte goes for $11.99 for a 22 oz. bottle.