Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Humpday, Beer Week Style.

Let's start the Wednesday of Beer Week off with what is by far the earliest event to ever grace the calendar: a 7 am Kegs and Eggs breakfast at Cazuela's, on the westside near Intel. There are all kinds of Mexican specialties like menudo, desabrada, carne asada, chicharones...that little line on my screen that comes up when it thinks I spelled something wrong is having a field day right now! Seafood dishes that are not normally available at that time will be available, as well as all the Cazuela's beers.

Two Fools hosts a Left Hand Brewing tapping with a keg of Twin Sisters DIPA. Come out and try a glass and talk to a rep from Left Hand about life. Tapping is at 5pm.

Sister invites you to a Beers of The World tasting. Don't worry, it's not a six-pack of beers in a generic box from Cost Plus that some worker just filled with beers that they didn't recognize. Beers from five different European countries will be involved here. The pours include Sunner Kolsch, La Trappe Witte, Gavroche Red Ale, Petrus Aged Pale, and Hobgoblin English Ale. You get to taste 2 oz. pours of each of these, plus a full pour of the beer of your choice. As an added bonus for attending the event, there is promised to be a tapping of a keg that "is the first of its kind in New Mexico". Hmmm. Interesting...

The newly revamped Quarters on Wyoming has the Beer Week spirit with a tasting of Louisiana's Abita beers. According to Quarters, all of the available Abita beers will be sampled, plus you get a free glass and they'll give you some of that Quarters BBQ. There is a $20 fee for the tasting, and it goes from 4 to 7. Show up hungry.

Hungry hungry hippos (it's a 20's term. Look it up.) will abound at Marble during the Food Truck Rumble (4-8pm). Four food trucks combine their dishes with four Marble beers. Surprisingly, there are still some of the $15 tickets available so hurry and grab one. The event is a roaring 30's costumed theme, but please don't show up as one of the depression era poor people.

A rare Mead keg will be tapped at O'Niell's on Juan Tabo as part of the Rogue event. Mead will be available for purchase, but they will be giving free samples of Mocha Porter, Dead Guy Ale, Good Chit Pilsner, and Juniper Pale Ale.

The other O'Niell's in Nob Hill will be doing a Stone tasting, with free samples of IPA, Arrogant Bastard Ale, Cali Belgique IPA, and Sublimely Self Righteous Black IPA. That not enough? How about a Smoked Old Guardian Barleywine keg on tap?!?

Fox and Hound is open on days other than Sundays, you football fanatics. Widmer Brewing gives you a good reason to go The Hound with a special tapping of Kill Devil Brown Ale, a 9.5% ABV Imperial Brown that was aged in Rum Barrels. One of the Brothers Reserve series, this beer won't be around long.5 pm tapping.

It's Tuesday. It's Still Beer Week.

Still hanging in there? This is the biggest ABQ Beer Week thus far, so you may have to find some extra stamina to get through it all. Grab your coconut water and B vitamins and head out to these events:

Sister Bar will host an Odell Tap Invasion that begins at 5. The elusive Porter with muscat grapes, Odell Amuste, will make an appearance on tap, as well as Nitro Lugene Imperial Milk Stout, Nitro Cutthroat Porter, Myrcenary DIPA, and the hoppy Seasonal Red Ale.

Grab a $25 bill and head over to Hotel Andaluz for their Taps and Apps event, featuring beers from four local breweries paired with appetizers from the hotel's fancy kitchen. The menu:

La Cumbre:
Strawberry & Arugula Salad with honey red onions & goat cheese- paired with El Jefe's Hefe

Chimichurri Grilled Prawns- paired with Marble Triple

Bosque Brewing:
Fried Lavosh chip topped with arugula, black fig, & topped with chile sugar cured duck breast- paired with Scotia Scotch Ale

Il Vicino:
Artisan Baguette topped with herbed ricotta cheese and sherried mushrooms- paired with Irish Red. This event also begins at 5, so maybe you could scarf down these apps and still make it to Sister for the Odell event.

If you're further up the street in the Nob Hill area, visit O'Niell's for their Sierra Nevada event. It's a free tasting, but you can expect more than a half-empty can of Torpedo when you show up. 2013 Bigfoot Barleywine, Kellerweis, Pale Ale, and Summerfest will be available for free samplin'. Also, Summerfest will be on tap for purchase.

Two Fools hosts another event on Tuesday, this one featuring a local brewery's beers. Il Vicino will bring a keg of their Irish Lager and a cask conditioned Irish Red. Kind of fits in with that whole Two Fools Irish theme.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy Beer Week Monday!

Monday is here, but at least you have Beer Week events to look forward to! Hot Sunner Nights continue all week at Desert Fish, as do the New Belgium Lips of Faith tastings and tapas at Geckos.
A special tapping of Odell Treeshaker Imperial Peach IPA happens today at 5 at Two Fools Tavern. This is another one I'm sorry to miss- really enjoyed it in the bottle.
Five Star Burgers gets in on the Beer Week fun for the first time with a Sliders & Suds Pairing Event

The menu consists of:

Green Chile Cheese Slider: La Cumbre Elevated IPA
Hatch Green Chile, Pepper Jack Cheese, Green Chile Mayo

Taos Burger: Marble Stout
BBQ sauce, Cheddar Cheese, Fried Hatch Green Chile

Greek Burger (Burger of the Month for May): Monk's Wit
Feta Cheese, topped with a blend of chopped cucumbers, red onions, kalamata olives, tomatoes

Fried Jalapeno Caps: Marble Wheat
deep fried slices of jalapenos served with green chile mayo

You get 5 oz. pours of each beer listed, as well as a pint of your choice. The event costs $20 per person and runs from 6-9 tonight.

Finally, how are there still tickets for Marble's Beer and Cheese event? The longest running Beer Week event has always been one of the most popular, so reserve your space now (tickets are $15) for today's 4 pm event. You may be able to show up and get in but it sure would suck to leave hungry. Or you could always order some nachos, but is that really the kind of cheese you came for? You'd probably just show up for the Double White, Triple, Framboise, Oatmeal Stout, and the 505-2013 Collaboration beers that will be featured at the pairing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Beer Weekend

A Beer Week event with an actual brewer from outside the state? It's happening at Two Fools on Saturday, where New Belgium's Lindsay Guerdrum introduces you to her Smores Porter. Two Fools will also be pouring Vivant Biere De Garde and Heavenly Fiejoa Trippel from Lips of Faith along with Rampant Imperial IPA. The event goes from 12 to 7.

Drink for a good cause: Nexus has brewed up a special beer to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. $1 from each pint of the new Irish Red will be donated to help find a cure for blood cancers. I find drinking to keep me from going totally insane is a good cause but this contributes to something really important.

Also at Nexus is the festival to celebrate Native American heritage as well as brewery tours on the hour, from 10:30 am to 2 pm. You get to sample two beers and get a free souvenir glass as part of the tour. And you can get some frybread in the parking lot.

Il Vicino always gets into the Beer Week spirit, this year brewing up a special batch of beer just for the week: Albuquerque Hops-pitality IPA. They will release this on Saturday as well as a wine barrel aged Blonde and a bourbon barrel aged Scotch Ale. Beers are tapped at 12.

Turtle Mountain will tap Sofie, a Farmhouse Ale aged in wine barrels that I am drinking like water here in the Midwest but you are lucky to get on tap in Albuquerque.

Jubilation will host a rep from Anderson Valley who will be there to give you samples of their standards Boont Amber, Hop Ottin' IPA, Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout, plus seasonal Summer Solstice) in both bottle and can form. Close your eyes and try to tell the difference. Then try to drive home that way.

Beer Week Rolls On: Friday

The events are in full swing already, with the Goose Island Bourbon County Coffee flowing at Two Fools. If that's not your thing, hit up Back Alley for their Tower of Sour event from 5-8, with four Belgian sours on tap. Get a flight or a 10 oz. pour of three Petrus beers (Red, Oud Bruin, Aged Pale) and Monk's Cafe Flemish Red. Nothing exceptionally sour, but don't forget the Tums.

Imbibe will be hosting a special tasting with beers from Colorado's Ska Brewing and California's Green Flash. Will it be a battle of the hopheads? Who knows? Admiral Beverage never seems to be on the same page as the bar owners so what the will show up with is beyond me. But they will show up, and the beer will be good. I promise.

Right now you still have a couple of hours (till 7) to get to Total Wine and get a rare free tasting of Anderson Valley beers. They are trying to become more of a presence here so go out and take their free samples. Will they have Boont Amber? Barney Flats Oatmeal Stout? Summer Solstice? I don't know. I'm in Indiana as I type this. Indiana.

And what Beer Week is really all about: the 505 Five collaboration between Chama River, La Cumbre, Nexus, Il Vicino, and Marble, this beer has all my favorite hops: Simcoe, Citra and Nelson, as well as a few others that don't make it suck. I'm ready to fly back right now just to taste it. On tap at all the breweries who participated in the brewing process.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Week That Lasts for Days and Days: ABQ Beer Week Kickoff, Apr. 25

Are there just so many Albuquerque Beer Week events that the "week" has to go from Thursday, April 25th all the way to May 4th?? Or does the beer pong tournament stretch that far so that the beer week had to be extended?
Rest assured, there all all kinds of events that are strictly for the craft beer fans here in Albuquerque. Too many for one person to do...it's way too intimidating. So intimidating that I will be in Chicago for much of Beer Week. But I will try to highlight as many events that I think you should try to hit as I can:

Thursday, April 25

Gecko's (both locations): All week at Geckos North and Geckos Nob Hill, New Belgium Brewing will be pairing Cascara Quad and Heavenly Feijoa Lips of Faith Beers with special Tapas. I wish I lived closer to Gecko's in Nob Hill. It was the first Albuquerque bar I ever went to and they make good drinks. Not really known as a beer destination but they wanted to get in on the Beer Week festivities and are pairing their small dishes with these two big beers from New Belgium.

Imbibe Cigar Bar, 4pm Santa Fe Brewing Pint Night- Specials with Santa Fe's finest on tap. In pints.

Desert Fish (all week) Hot Sunner Nights, featuring one of the few Kolsch style beers available in our state, on tap no less! Kolsch beers pair well with fish, and you may spot a Desert Fish chef in the early morn' searching for today's freshest catch at Tingley Beach.

Beer 101 at Marble, 6 pm: You get your tickets? They may be sold out! Call 243-2739 and see if there is still room for the class where you learn why you should like a beer, besides the fact that it makes you look up Daft Punk songs on Spotify.

Chama River Brewing Company, 6 pm:I wrote about this earlier in the week, but a refresher: A beer dinner to kick off Beer Week featuring beers from Chama River, La Cumbre, Marble, and Nexus. There will be brodo.

Eurotrash Tasting, 6 pm: You don't have to taste the actual Euros, but you may have to smell their homeless New Mexico kindred. Enjoy some European beers that don't come in green bottles. Mikkeller, Nogne, and other obscure breweries will be featured at Bird of Paradise in the paradise that is that shopping center on Gibson east of San Mateo. Both Mikkeller and Nogne make high priced beers, so the $15 fee is very reasonable considering the beers you will get to try. Seating is very limited so call Pete Kees at The Bird Of Paradise 5409 Gibson Blvd SE Albuquerque, NM 87108 (505) 268-1424

I'm still finishing up laundry so I can pack for this beer trip. I will have to put off Friday's highlights, but I hope Thursday doesn't prove to be too much. Pace yourselves- it's going to be a great week+++.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Casualties of Wort

Ever have a dream of leaving your mundane job to open your own brewery? May I suggest that you A.- don't. or B.- make sure you have rich friends to back you. and C.- open your brewery in the Northeast Heights, cause the one brewery in that area of town looks like it is closing its doors for good. Farside Brew Pub, formerly known as Bad Ass Brewery, has posted a Facebook message stating that "too many setbacks and unforeseen problems" will likely keep the struggling brewery from reopening. Though the brewery had a loyal following and supported local performers with open mic nights and music acts, competition from larger breweries with more established techniques may have proved to be too much for this nanobrewery. In the current craft beer boom there are bound to be more breweries that can't sustain a business, so you may want to hold off on that dream until you perfect that IPA or Saison. Anyone want to meet up at Boar's Nest for a pint??

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I Take my Imperial Stouts Black

Remember when a brewery would make a high-alcohol Imperial Stout and it would be a big deal? Nowadays, if it isn't barrel-aged or flavored with something, be it hazelnut, chiles, pine tar, etc., it just isn't worth buying for some people. Stone Brewing Co. feels ya on that one, so has released both their regular ol' Imperial Russian Stout and another version flavored with espresso. And they didn't just add a "hint" of coffee- this thing will transport you to a Seattle coffeeshop, but without the guy sitting there trying to get you to ask what he's scribbling into his stupid little journal. F him. Enjoy this without having to smell that guy. The espresso used is from San Diego's Ryan Bros., so maybe you'd be transported to the beach instead- and then you'd have surfers laugh at you while you fell off your boogieboard. Either way, you can't win. Drink this one at home while watching the Today show, and if you still aren't too cool, enjoy the regular version at lunch. The original is 10.6% ABV, the espresso 11%. Both retail around town for $7.99.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Odell's got Georgia on my Mind

Odell introduces another in its line of IPAs, Tree Shaker Imperial Peach IPA. I believe Odell makes some of the most overlooked IPAs on the market, with its GABF Gold Medal-winning IPA and Myrcenary DIPA, which I think would fly off the shelves if scaled down to a limited release beer. This latest release continues Odell's tradition of using Colorado ingredients, with 3,000 pounds of Colorado peaches going into the brew. Odell IPAs already have the peach/apricot/mango characteristics, so I'm excited to see what the addition of actual peaches does to this beer. The 9.7% ABV beer sells in 25.4 oz. bottles for anywhere from $11.99 (Total Wine) up to $14.99 (keg of the beer being tapped at the Juan Tabo O'Niell's today, by the way). The bottles are expensive, yes. But that's what you pay for when you have a fancy corked and caged bottle. Personally, I'd be happy if the beer was topped with a paper towel and rubber band (which also passes for birth control in these parts). Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It Ain't Easy Beer and Cheesy

The annual celebration of all things beer in Albuquerque approaches, as ABQ Beer Week begins on Thursday, April 25th. Way more events than I can write about right now, but there are a few you should sign up for now before all slots are filled.
Chama River hosts the kickoff for Beer Week with a beer dinner featuring beers from multiple breweries. Nexus Cream Ale, La Cumbre Hefeweizen, and Marble Irish Porter will join Chama River beers Noble Session Ale and The Big Lebrewski. The five-course pairing dinner takes place on the 25th at 6:30. Call 342-1800 for reservations.

If you don't feel like you're at the point where you're sophisticated enough to enjoy food and beer at the same time, you should sign up for Beer 101 at Marble Brewery. Marble's Angelo Orona hosts a two hour, 10 beer (samples, not pints. You're here to learn, not to have fun!) course on the history, styles, brewing methods, and anything else beer-related that Angelo wants to tell you about. This $15 class sold out last year and was one of the highlights of Beer Week. According to Angelo. The class takes place at the brewery from 6 to 8 pm; tickets are available at the pub.

The annual NM Brewers Guild Golf Tournament will take place on Sunday, April 28 at Desert Greens golf course. What better way to forget that triple bogey you had on the previous hole than to pull up to a keg on the next tee? the $65 fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, dinner, plus all that delicious beer from many of NM's breweries. I always enjoy this event no matter how bad I play. Prizes are awarded for long drive, closest to the hole, low score...I've won nothing yet. Maybe this will be the year. Call Mel Pearson at 343-8593 or Scott Hallenbeck at 238-4882 to sign up.

Another highlight of Beer Week is the Marble Beer and Cheese Pairing night. If you've ever been to the Great American Beer Fest, you know that the two longest lines are people waiting at Dogfish Head to kiss Sam Calagione's hand/ass and the line for free cheese. Marble's Ted Rice meets with Whole Foods cheese experts and matches the proper cheese with house and archived beers to create this event. You may find something on the beer list that you thought you'd never get to taste again. You may also learn the difference between Stilton and Maytag. Hint: Maytag is the one you have to plug in. The event happens at the pub on Monday, April 29 from 4-7. Tickets are $15, also available at the pub.

Another event at Marble that will sell out fast is the Food Truck Rumble. $20 gets you 4 dishes, 1 from each food truck and 4 beers, 1 for each dish, paired specifically with each dish by master cheese pairer Ted Rice. Participating food trucks are Supper Truck, Soo Bak Foods, Rustic Truck, and Boiler Monkey. Zoltan the Incredible and His Royal Two Man Pirate Circus Band will be there to drown out people saying annoying things like, "This rosemary balsamic reduction is scrumptious!" Oh, and I tried to forget: this is a themed event, with the theme being 1930's speakeasy. That means it's costume time for you flapper girls and whatever guys were called back then. Leave your tommy guns at home, or stay at home and watch Tommy Gunn in Rocky V. Get your tickets at the brewery, and get 'em quickly.

More Beer Week details coming soon!