Friday, June 29, 2012

New Beer Friday

I like collaborations just for the fact that it usually means getting to try something from a brewery not distributed here. Take, for instance, this new Brett Beer from Lost Abbey and New Belgium. Lost Abbey makes some of my favorite sours and bourbon barrel beers (Cuvee De Tomme, Cable Car Kriek, Angel's Share), but we can't get 'em here. And never mind that the beer was brewed at New Belgium, I can pretend we are actually getting Lost Abbey here. And Tomme Arthur, mastermind of Lost Abbey, went to New Belgium for the brewing so he wasn't just phoning it in. The brettanomyces beer is paired with Sorachi ace hops, so this should be an interesting beer indeed. And at only $5.99 (at least at Kelly's on Wyoming), it won't hurt to give this beer a try.

Do a Service to our Servers

Hooray. Now that the "Obamacare" ruling is finally over with and people under 26 don't have to get jobs, we can get down to important legislation.
Look, I know there is an old argument about the legal drinking age being 21 yet you can go fight in a stupid war at 18, and I get that, though I sometimes feel like my age is the proper legal age because I act so dignified when I drink. So, while I don't feel like the drinking age should be lowered, I don't think the world ends when someone under the age of 21 has a sip of alcohol. It may get dumber, but the world still turns. However, the law treats selling to underage people as a felony, with the typical asinine rigidity that says selling to someone who is 20 yrs, 364 days old is the same as selling to a 12 year old. It all needs to change.
And the Alcohol Servers Association of New Mexico is trying to do just that, holding a fundraiser July 16 at Stats in Santa Fe to raise money to help get the penalty for serving a minor reduced to a misdemeanor. A previous attempt to pass legislation made it through, only to have it vetoed by Gov. Martinez. After the outcry from citizens, the governor has said she will sign the next attempt, but the ASANM needs the help of you servers out there to keep up the fight. Membership in the ASANM, according to President Annette Lujan, helps in promoting job stability in the service industry. Says Lujan, "Our next fight is to go after SID's tactics. I believe they are harassing and drive away business. Our membership dues to help fight our cause is $10 a month. If you would like to have an attorney option in the event that a member gets sited for some violation by SID or anyone filing suit against them the dues are an additional $10 so for $20 a month the server is protected, and is helping make their industry a better one and one with less fear!"
The party at Stats is open to all certified alcohol servers (and friends), and is $35 per person. The party goes from 6 pm to midnight, with a buffet Asian, Mexican, and BBQ being served. There will be live music from Vanilla Pop and Midlife Crisis, as well as DJs. Prizes galore will be given out, such as casino stays, a flat screen tv, and restaurant gift certificates. The $35 also includes two drinks (gotta be 21 to get that. Otherwise it's a felony.).
Give Annette a call at (505) 467-9073 to purchase tickets or get more info. You can also buy tickets at Stats Sports Bar and Nightlife.
This is not a fight in favor of underage drinking; rather, a fight against the severity of the punishment for unknowingly serving a minor. Save the big guns for things like anti-marijuana legislation. Go after the stoners, always sitting around liking stuff way too much.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gold Medal Winner Goes Aluminum

The thumb featured in the photo is just part of the hand holding the biggest news to come out of Albuquerque since all the Pride Week stories: La Cumbre has deciphered the IKEA directions for their new canning line, which means you can now purchase their GABF Gold medal award winning Elevated IPA in cans.
Available right now at the brewery, and tomorrow at Jubilation and Kelly Liquors on Juan Tabo, Elevated IPA comes packaged in 4-packs of 16 oz. cans for around $11.
I remember talking to Jeff and Laura in a grocery store and Jeff telling me the news of leaving Chama to start his own brewery with hopes of setting up a canning line...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beer Dinners: Fillers for the Belly and the Blog

Slow news month, what can I say? I never thought I'd say I'm thankful for beer dinners, but at least the upcoming one at Nob Hill Bar and Grill gives me something to write about. And yes, I know Full Sail released an Alt beer that is on shelves, but it is just too hot these days to break a sweat typing about any Full Sail beers. However, I'm always glad to promote a local establishment that is promoting craft beer because, well, look at all craft beer has done for me.
Nob Hill Bar and Grill is hosting a beer dinner Tuesday, June 26 at 7 pm. For $35, you get four courses of food paired with beer. The menu:

First course, herb salad with a goat cheese crouton, crispy prosciutto, finished with a white balsamic honey vin. Paired with Pilsner

Second course, Ahi tuna tacos made with jicama "tortillas" topped with an orange cranberry salsa. Paired with India White Ale and Double White

Third course, Pork belly with spatzle finished with pan au jus. Paired with Imperial Red

Fourth course, locally grown apricot bread pudding. Paired with Abbey Darkness

There are still spots available, so give them a call at 266-4455 to reserve a spot.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The World is a Wood Oven

...And someone ordered me "extra crispy". Though Il Vicino had tents in all serving areas, I still managed to be in direct sunlight every time I was talking to someone. I have come to the realization that the mixture of sun exposure with St. Bob's 2006 Imperial Stout and 2005 Barleywine, the first tastes of the day, make for a very short day of drinking.

I powered through, no problem. With, what, 35 or more taps of Il Vicino favorites, rarities, and a pinkish beer available on tap, I knew it would be a battle against time before I turned into a Salsiccia (number 6 on the Il Vicino menu). Il Vicino was generous enough to allow for 30 2 oz. pours plus two drink tickets for 6 oz. pours, allowing you to just miss the goal of trying them all. Adventurous dhinkers got by the limit by yelling, "Matteo is drunk and naked again!", distracting the pourer from marking off the drink wristband. I was happy to try all the hoppy beers, with Exodus and Galaxy standing out in the IPAs. I was hoping to see some Odin's Imperial Red, but I think I can make do with single hop choices of Centennial, Galaxy, and Simcoe, thanks.
The area for the event was spacious, so I never felt like my sunscreen/sweat was dripping directly into a person's beer. Great job by Il Vicino, especially considering this is the first big fest they've done since opening the Canteen. I look forward to the IPA challenge there in July.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Election that Matters

This has been going on for awhile, but I'm a little late to the party. The New Mexico Brewers Guild is letting the public decide on a new logo for the guild with the new "can do!" attitude. Go check out and look at what people who spend a day at RB Winnings can come up with. There are 10 logos to choose from, though mine (pictured) probably would have won easily if I had submitted it. I like this idea of getting the public involved in the logo choice. Anybody want to do a new logo for this site? I mean, I know I last changed it in 2008, so it is still just as stylish as my Shape Ups, but feel free to send me something. As far as the Brewers Guild logo, I am still trying to decide which I like best- there are some really good ones. We will find out the winner on July 4. Good luck to all the artists who entered.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Love Me Some Me

The Il Vicino people must have taken one of those Berkeley/Boulder "I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Damn It, People Like Me!" seminars very close to heart, as their upcoming Canteen Beer Fest (Saturday, June 16, Noon to 8 pm) will only feature Il Vicino beers.
That's right, the brewery that always plays well with others will now just be playing with itself, as all beers served at the fest will be an exclusive list of Il Vicino brewed beers. Not that's a bad thing. Il Vicino has some of the most loyal customers this side of Rio Rancho for a reason (and some of those Rio Rancho folks don't go further than the hill by Intel).

The list of Il Vicino self-love has me feeling the love too:

Galaxy IPA
Centennial IPA
Exodus-IPA (2 versions)
Simcoe IPA
Wet Mountain IPA
Crystal IPA
Albuquerque Hops’pitality

Milk Chocolate Cherry Stout
Dark And Lusty Stout
Sweet Sandarine Porter
Slow Down Brown

Dark American Lager
Cascadian Dark Lager
Schwarzbier- Black Lager

5055- Imperial Red
Il Vicino Amber A.K.A. Dougie Style Amber
Belgian Strong

Rye P.A.
Cascade Pale Ale
HBC 342- Pale Ale
Belgian Pale Ale

Apricot Saison
Boysenberry Wheat

I don't know if it will be possible to make it through all of these beers, but you know I will be there with my notebook ticking off each sample. Tickets are selling fast at the Canteen, so get over there and put up that $20. Or join the Mug Club, where you will get all the benefits and pay $15 for the event. Three bands of varying musical styles (12PM – Keith Sanchez & the Moon Thieves, 3PM – Reviva, 6PM – Blue Hornets) will be playing for your enjoyment/escape from the dancers to the indoor area for some food. You may even be treated to some surprises...wait, there's something on Facebook about an '06 Barleywine already??? Don't read that Facebook crap. Mother says there is only one source you should be going to for Albuquerque beer stuff, and Mother is always right.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sam Gose Wild!

Things must be going pretty well at the Boston Beer Company. It may have something to do with those Samuel Adams commercials, thanks to which I can't hear "Who Do You Love" without thinking of their beer (and changing the station). They aren't just sitting around smelling hops and growing beards up there- they are experimenting with everyone's favorite styles: Sahti and Gose.
Norse Legend brings the rich Finnish tradition of Sahti to us. You gin lovers out there might be fans of this style: it is abound with juniper, but not in the way that had everybody crying over their allergies not too long ago. Norse Legend is aged on juniper berries and is 7% ABV.
Though German in style, I don't recommend drinking this beer out of a boot: Verloren is a 6% ABV beer in the Gose style (though 6% is higher in ABV than many of the Gose beers you will find at Albertsons. Gose uses a heavy proportion of wheat in the mix, along with coriander and...salt. No more need to keep that shaker in your purse, New Mexican ladies! Both of these styles are selling at the Kelly's on Wyoming for under $7.

Friday, June 1, 2012

De La Vega!

Did I say that phrase right, holmes? De La Vega's Pecan Grill out of Las Cruces now has bottles of the beer that celebrates the agriculturally abundant pecan, which is continuously overshadowed by the green chile love in New Mexico. The appropriately named Pecan Beer is 5.3% ABV and uses genuine New Mexico pecans in the beer- not whole nuts floating around in the bottle or anything, but there is definite pecan sweetness going on. This beer is being brewed for De La Vega by Sierra Blanca in Moriarty. I found this at Kelly Liquors on Wyoming for $7.49 a six-pack.