Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ein Cerveza, Bitte!

:Pardon my French in the title, please. Just wanted to inform you that there is another reason to drive to Bernalillo other than eating at original Range Cafe or making a wrong turn when trying to get to Placitas: the brand new Kactus Brewery, located at 471 S Hill Rd. The brewery is still in the "soft opening" stage, but they do already have five beers on tap: Helles, Hefewizen, London Porter, ESB, and Pale Ale. Yeah, I can see you hopheads frowning, but Kactus' IPA is in the works, don't worry. And though Kaktus utilizes German brewing equipment and methods, you can see by the tap list that they aren't just stuck brewing strictly German-style beers. They will, however, be serving brats (elk and wild boar among them) from Abq's Alpine Sausage Kitchen, so there is German influence in the food. Germany can't just invade Bernalillo in a day, so Frito Pie will also be on the menu (though this one is made with organic buffalo meat).
Kaktus beers are crafted by Brewmaster Mike Waddy, with consultation help from Turtle Mountain veteran Mark Matheson. Don't look for Kaktus beers in stores just yet, or ever, most likely. The brewery will be brewing on a nano scale, as in really nano. For perspective, they plan on 500 barrels a year. New Belgium did about 800...thousand last year.

NM residents off of exits 241 and 242 should be excited to see a new business opening in Bernalillo besides a chain restaurant (or a restaurant that charges $6 for a Marble Wildflower Wheat- yup, one exists), and hopefully Kaktus fares better than that Milagro Brewery from the early 2000's. Remember? The one that offered Gold, Silver, and Bronze beers? Bernalillo has built up a lot since then, though much of it consists of the usual interstate exit fast food places. And craft breweries have gotten to the point where you don't have to order by color anymore, though "I don't want nothing dark" is still heard regularly at brewpubs.
Kaktus has stuff to keep the kids entertained, along with a dartboard and Petanque court (It's French. Ooh la la.)so you families in Bernalillo should skip the Santa Ana buffet for a night and give this startup brewery a shot. Hours are 11:30-8 Sunday through Thursday, 11:30-10 Friday and Saturday.

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