Friday, May 30, 2014

ABQ Beer Week: Friday, 5.30

What could be more authentically Italian than pasta sauce from a bag a la Olive Garden? How about the Birra del Borgo #25 Dodici Zymatore special tapping happening at Imbibe, where patrons may also be sporting real Italian Cavaricci pants. A barrel-aged version of their 9.5% ABV Winter Warmer beer, this will give off even warmer notes with the whiskey/pinot noir barrel treatment. The event runs from 4-7, so you may get in there with relaxed dress, but Imbibe does have a stricter dress code that starts at some point in the evening. But the time where people who get dressed up to drink show up is probably the time you want to get the hell out of there. And that is why I like you.

Goose Island will be sampling some of their off the regular lineup beers: Illinois DIPA, Ogden Tripel, Class of 88 Belgian Strong Pale Ale, and Lolita Wild Ale. Lolita is that one that comes in the real pretty bottles but you pass up because of the price. Come get a free sample of this cabernet barrel/raspberry beer for free beginning at 4 at Jubilation.

More freebies at both Total Wine locations, these of the canned variety. Cottonwood will be pouring the Kelly's Brewpub beers, while Uptown has the new Tractor cans for sampling. Both locations start the pouring at 4. Get there earlier and try some of that purple drank.

It wouldn't be a Beer Week without a Left Hand special tapping at Two Fools. Friday's feature is Left Hand's Ambidextrous Step 2, a Smoked Double Bock. And it is indeed smoky, like it was cooked low and slow at Franklin's. Yesterday's New Belgium keg was kicked by 6:30 yesterday (warned you!), so you might want to call it an early day at work and show up at Two Fools around 4, when the beer will be tapped.

Marble will have three cask-conditioned beers for sampling and purchase: the 505 2014 Collaboration, World Beer Cup Gold winning Pilsner, and the never-before revealed Rye Bretta. The casks will be pouring all day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

ABQ Beer Week Thursday, 5.29

Deep in the heart of Beer Week 2014, and I'm deep in the heat of internet service woes. Woes be gone, hopefully. It's working now.

There are, surprisingly, still tickets available for Marble's Beer and Cheese pairing event. I got to sample some of the cheeses today and the taste just like the cheeses I could never afford to purchase from Whole Foods. And one the beers in the event is Sansa, Marble's latest Wild Ale release. I'm not sure what "Sansa" means. I was thinking, "Sansa time", or "Sansa anarchy", or maybe even "Sansa bitches". But those of you who tried it at Blues and Brews know it is a solid beer, and just one of the many you get for $20. The event takes place at Marble Brewery from 4-7.

Tractor will be hosting Casks and Cupcakes from 4-6 at their Nob Hill location, with help from bakers from Bittersweets Bakery. That's a pairing usually reserved for "just got home from the bar at 2 a.m. and am starving" eating, but I'm sure this will be no less satisfying.
I Believe I Wood! New Belgium Loves Blackberry Whiskey Barrel Beer Tapping at Two Fools Tavern. That's quite the long name for an event. They had me at wood. A blackberry whiskey barrel beer sounds strange, but Lauren Salazar and the blenders at New Belgium know what they are doing with fruit blends. Starts at 4 pm. I imagine this will be a popular event, so get there quick.

Another New Belgium event is a tap takeover/Rolle Bolle event at Adieux Café. Quietly amassing a thoughtful draft lineup and serving good food (it's possible to do downtown, believe it or not), Adieux is located next door to Effex. It's cool to go in there, guys. Nobody cares. They play football now too. Event starts at 8...go to find out what the hell Rolle Bolle actually is. Is it like Parcheesi, or however it's spelled?

Tastings at O'Niell's Juan Tabo and Nob Hill, with Boulder Beer sampling at Juan Tabo. Shake Chocolate Porter has to be the smartest beer they've done to date. People be buying that stuff. Nob Hill location has a mini Sierra Nevada tap takeover, with the highlight being this year's Hoptimum. Both events begin at 5.

Is this really happening? Stumbling Steer is hosting a stellar tap takeover with Lagunitas. Check out this list:

Undercover Shutdown

Nighttime Cascade IPA

IPA Maximus Ale

Hop Stupid Ale

Lil Summpin Summpin

Day Time: A Fractional IPA

How many of those have you ever seen on tap in Albuquerque??? Undercover Shutdown, where it has been languishing at Sister Bar, waiting to be poured? Starts at 5.

Nexus gets all fancy with a beer dinner at Prairie Star at 6 pm. Come see what new Head Brewer Kaylynn McKnight has done to Nexus' Cream, IPA, and Porter, served along with the "Beam Me Up Scotty" Anniversary Ale. Eat some Prairie Star food as well. It's good stuff, or so I'm told. Only $39 for a beer dinner there? That's a jaw dropping price for a beer dinner these days, sadly.

There will be beer tastings at both Total Wine stores and at Jubilation as well tomorrow.

Thanks to all who have come out and supported Beer Week events thus far- I have talked to many of you at events and the support has been incredible!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Gladly Accept This Challenge

Decided to take a break from the busy world of blogging to prepare myself for the upcoming ABQ Beer Week, which will quietly kick off tomorrow with the Pint for Pint Blood Drive at Tractor's Wells Park location beginning at noon. Lots more Beer Week highlights to come.
The NM Brewers Guild has announced the dates for the 12th annual NM IPA Challenge, an event where the trophy is probably almost as coveted as a GABF or World Beer Cup award...or at least right up there with Honorable Mention for "Best Microbrewery" in the Albuquerque Tribune readers' poll. Congratulations, Assets Grille!
The first leg of the Challenge will take place at Second St. in Santa Fe on Sat, July 12 from noon-4. Hardcore Challenge fanatics will have to make the trip to Roosevelt Brewing Company in Portales (I-40 East, make a right at Santa Rosa, keep going. And going.). Portales: we make Artesia seem fun! But at least they have Roosevelt Brewing in Portales, which I hear good things about. If I could be assured that AAA would come that far to tow my car when it overheated out in that desert, I might be inclined to make the trip myself. The Portales event is Wednesday, July 15 from 4-9.
Finally, the Albuquerque section of the Challenge will be Saturday, July 19 from noon-4 at Tractor's Wells Park location (4th and Hannett). I applaud the Guild on this choice if only for the fact that I can ride my bike there easily. You know what would be even better? Breaking up the Albuquerque event, which is by far the most popular, into two sessions; say a 12-4 session and a 6-9 session. I am admittedly the world's biggest wuss when it comes to day drinking, but I'd have to think there are other people out there who'd like a later start on the drinking as well. Anybody with me on that?
The format remains the same as last year: $20 to get in, 16 breweries showcasing their best IPA (no other style; not, as one person so wrongly stated last year, "This beer is a Vanilla Porter disguised as an IPA!" No, it wasn't. It just sucked.) in 2-3 oz. pours. Vote for your favorite and receive a collectible glass that you will break before next year's challenge. Visit for tickets to the Albuquerque event.
Beer Week Cometh!