Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Your RDA of Fruits and Fresh Hops

New Belgium sends a couple of new beers in their Lips of Faith 22 oz. bottle series: Fresh Hop IPA and Prickly Pear Saison.
The Fresh Hop IPA made use of Amarillo, Centennial, and Cascade hops from Washington State's hop harvest...from a couple of months ago. Fresh is relative, I guess. Just look at the food you can buy at Ross, meant only to be given as a gift and re-gifted, but never meant to be consumed. Let's hope the Fresh Hop IPA is better than any of that. The IPA is 7% ABV, is 70 IBUs, and sells for $6.19 at the Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo.

Looking for a beer with a fruit other than lime in your beer (and a fruit beer other than Bud Light Lime)? New Belgium's Prickly Passion Saison adds passion fruit and prickly pear to the delicate Saison style. No longer will you have to trudge to Whole Foods for $10 worth of fruit to throw in your Jack LaLanne juicer to mix with your Saison Dupont (or your Bud Light). This 8.5% ABV Saison is selling for $9.29, also seen at the Juan Tabo Kelly Liquors.

All I Want For Christmas...

Looking for a gift for the beer lover who has everything? Well, I guarantee they don't have this fancy gift basket from Marble Brewery. The package includes a Ritzenhoff geen-u-wine crystal logo goblet, dark chocolate almonds from the local Chocolate Cartel, and the brand new, very, VERY limited release Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout. The gift baskets will retail for $25 and will only be available at three places: Marble Brewery, Jubilation and Quarters on the west side of town. While the shopping locations are limited, at least you won't have to go to the mall, where you know you'll just end up circling the Hickory Farms display for samples and taking a nap in a Brookstone vibrating chair. Plus, you buy a gift basket, you'll be satisfied knowing that you're buying that special someone a gift that that will actually enjoy for a change.

The baskets will be available starting Thursday, December 1, also the day of the release party for the Imperial Stout at Marble Brewery. From 5 to 6, draft pours of the beer will be available to mug club members only. After that, it's open season, but there are only a few kegs of this 11% beer. Individual bottles of the stout will be available for sale so you can treat yourself to an early present or two.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Better Than a Cask of Amontillado

Poe little me, having to drink Bridgeport's new Imperial Porter, Raven Mad. This 7.5% ABV beer returns from the Rue Morgue after being retired in 2008. It has the enticing mix of aging 50% in whiskey barrels and 50% with oak, and a price tag that won't leave you weak and weary like many of the other "Imperial" style releases lately: $5.99 for a 22 oz. bottle. I picked this up at the Kelly Liquors on Wyoming.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blink and You'll Abyss It

This is hard for me to do. My instincts (probably all the way down to my DNA) are telling me to keep this to myself. But I feel it is my duty as an official blogger (and I am proud to say I can be in the 2011 edition of "Who's Who: Bloggers" as long as I pay a $120 handling fee) to tell you that Deschutes The Abyss is here...for now. NM was only allotted a miniscule amount this year, meaning you better get your butt out there and buy this 11% ABV Imperial Stout, partially aged in bourbon barrels and with added molasses and coffee. This is a seasonal release that I look forward to, so telling you was especially hard. Remember, this is from a guy who hates sharing so much that I drunkenly ordered a pizza and had the delivery guy meet me down the street so I could smuggle the pizza inside and sneak bites so I wouldn't have to share with the guys hanging out at my house. Get your Abyss right now at Kelly Liquors at Mountain Run, Whole Foods on Carlisle, and Jubilation, retail around $12.99. And get me some pizza.

The Secret of Bigfoot Revealed

The 2011 release of Bigfoot may have happened months ago, but there are still many cases around at local stores. That is a good thing (Bigfoot, being a Barleywine, ages great, unlike me). Here's a better thing: Kelly Liquors on Wyoming still has about eight cases, and the price has dropped from $11.99 to $7.99 a six pack. It isn't often that a beer meant to be aged will get a price reduction, so take advantage of this sale while there are still some six-packs left.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'll Be Taking These Hop Huggers...

And whatever cash you got.
From sporadically-seen Durango Brewery, we have two new releases: Winter Ale and Hop Hugger IPA. The Winter Ale is of the traditional Winter Warmer variety (think Great Divide Hibernation. No, forget that, they don't distribute here anymore. Think Odell Isolation, or some other -tion). ABV is 6.3%, and is selling for $6.19 per 22 oz. bottle at Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo.
Hop Hugger IPA is a reformulated version of Durango's outdated IPA from years past, when a 5.5% ABV IPA was acceptable. The new recipe utilizes six hop varities and ups the ABV to 7.5%. A six-pack is $9.49, also at the Juan Tabo Kellys. The store also has magnums of Mikkeller Red/White Christmas beer (Imperial Red/Belgian Wit cross) and some other interesting items in the coolers. Dodge the Steel Reserve and Almaden wine buyers and check out their selection.

A Sale to Drool Over

Doesn't seem like there's a whole lotta love for Brown Ales in this town. Neither Marble nor La Cumbre, two of Albuquerque's most popular breweries, carry a Brown in their regular offerings. But there have to be a few Brown Ale fans reading, and this is for you:
Head over to Kelly Liquors on Wyoming, where you can get a whole case of Big Sky's biggest seller, Moose Drool Brown Ale for only $9.99! A $2.50 six-pack probably isn't sounding too bad right now, even for those of you who don't like the style, huh? Of course, the beer is selling so low because it is past its freshness date, but these are canned beers, meaning the beer doesn't deal with lightstruck issues that will affect bottled beers...talking about you, Newcastle Brown Ale.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Green Flash,one of San Diego's many hop-centric breweries, now has their beers available here in Albuquerque! Jubilation has Le Freak, West Coast IPA, Hop Head Red, Imperial IPA, and Double Stout. Great brewery; very excited to have them in Albuquerque!

Eleven! Eleven! Eleven!

It's 11.11.11, the numerologically significant day for the neurologically impaired, and also the day that Stone Brewing releases Vertical Epic 11.11.11. The series started with the 02.02.02 release, a Witbier. Since then, releases have ranged from a Belgian IPA to a Belgian Porter, but they all have a Belgian yeast as their base. This year's has a New Mexico twist, but it doesn't involve anyone named Walt or Gus: The beer is brewed with Hatch Green Chile! That's right, the same chile that you waited/wasted half the day to get roasted at Sunflower Market because they had it for cheaper than the other stores. While Stone gives credit to using Hatch Chiles, the chiles are listed as the Anaheim variety, which I guess are the same peppers? I don't really have a clue. I usually think of the "Big Jim" variety when I think of Hatch Green Chile, but "Anaheim" doesn't make me question my sexuality as much, as I never have to say, "I just got done munching on a Big Jimmy!"
Whatever the variety, the chiles are our own NM chiles, and a key ingredient in the 9.4% ABV beer, along with cinnamon. Sounds interesting! It kinda sounds like taking a chile relleno that uses cinnamon in the batter and dipping it into a Belgian beer...but I sure hope it doesn't taste quite like that. In any case, it is always worth trying out the unique Vertical Epic annual release. I got mine at mt local Kelly Liquors on Wyoming, though it should be showing up all over today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Beer Glass for the Klutzes

How often do you find yourself in this situation: drunk and blindly stumbling around the house, having a good ol' time, when your brain forgets about that beer glass in your hand and smash! Party's over. You've lost that souvenir glass from that fest in Oregon, one that can never be replaced. You pick up the pieces of the ruined glass from the floor, your tears mixing with the blood from your lacerated fingers.
Why subject yourself to this, day in and day out, when you could be using a Silipint? Leave the souvenir beer glasses in the cabinet where they were meant to be and try out this pint glass made entirely from silicone. I got one to try out and was initially skeptical, as the glass had a faint rubbery smell upon unpackaging. But after a run through the dishwasher, that smell was gone and I was enjoying my beer out of it. Forgot I was drinking out of a silicone glass after a minute or so. Never forgot I was holding a glass, but if I had, it would only have taken a few sheets of Bounty (the quicker-picker-upper!) to clean up the mess.
Caution: Since the material is so pliable, you may not want to use the glass while watching your favorite football team disappoint you, as it would be easy to squeeze the Silipint in frustration and give yourself a beer shower. Other than that, I give it a thumbs up. You can check out the product at

Friday, November 4, 2011

New Beer Friday

There's a plethora of new beers for you to try this weekend. First up, four new Samuel Adams beers that don't bear any resemblance to the typical Samuel Adams offerings. These are all 22oz bottles with ingredients from around the globe. There's Vixen, an 8.5% ABV Chocolate Chili Bock using Asian cinnamon, Mexican Chiles, and Ecuadorian Cocoa Nibs. Next is the Griffin's Bow, an Oaked-Blonde Barleywine. What? Blonde Barleywine? Aged on toasted oak, Griffin's Bow uses Zeus and Nelson Sauvin hops and is 11.5% ABV. There is also Third Voyage Double IPA, an 8% ABV beer using UK and New Zealand Cascade and gold old USA Simcoe hops. Finally, there's Tasman Red, a 6.7% ABV "Red IPA" that uses Topaz and Galaxy hops from Tasmania. All of you proud New Mexicans out there with Tasmanian Devil tattoos will be sure to buy this one. I found all of these at Kelly Liquors on Wyoming at surprisingly affordable prices, considering how much beers have skyrocketed in price for limited releases. Red IPA is $4.99, Bock and DIPA $5.99, and Barleywine $6.99.

Now onto a beer that is not-so reasonably priced: Anchorage Brewing Company's Bitter Monk. Anchorage is the brainchild of former Midnight Sun head brewer Gabe Fletcher, and is a brewery we don't get regular disribution from. Any, to be more precise. But this beer was a special order for the folks at Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo, and is the only place you will find Bitter Monk, a Belgian DIPA with brettanomyces. I guess that is why it is selling for $16.99 a 25.4 oz. bottle! Yeah, it's pricy, but Fletcher has always made great beers and this 9% ABV, 100 IBU DIPA may almost be worth the price. Call it an early Christmas present to yourself.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There's Silverton in Them Thar Hills!

If you attended the recent Hopfest, you probably noticed the Silverton Brewery's table. I think they had about fifteen people representing the brewery, along with enough schwag to put a radio station promo at Rich Ford to shame. It's no surprise that Silverton made their presence known at Hopfest- the owner is a New Mexico native and is excited to now have Silverton Brewery beers in Albuquerque stores. Bear Ass Brown, an English-Style Mild Ale (Gold Medal winner at the 2011 World Beer Championships), and Ice Pick Ale, an IPA, are both available at Jubilation. We don't have a whole lot of Mild Ale choices in these parts, and this 4% ABV version is actually on the higher end of ABV for the style, so drink responsibly. The Ice Pick IPA uses Summit, Cascade, and Palisade hops and is 6.4% ABV. Both of these beers retail for $9.99 a six-pack.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let It Snow?

Just because it is November 1 does not mean Christmas music should take over a radio station. But 95.1, "Albuquerque's Lite Rock station", is playing nothing but Christmas music through the end of the year. I guess it's no big loss, as their idea of lite rock is basically just pop hits and nothing like the great smooth jazz stations, of which we have NONE. I'm still lamenting the loss of them. They helped me think.
So...Christmas music...colder weather...Snow Day! New Belgium's Snow Day replaces 2 Below as the winter seasonal. While 2 Below was an ESB, Snow Day is a Winter Warmer that combines Midnight Wheat Malt along with Cascade and Centennial to create a hoppy (55 IBUs) beer that is balanced by the chocolate and caramel from the Midnight Wheat. This 6.2% ABV beer is available everywhere because it is made by New Belgium.