Friday, March 31, 2017

Free Tickets to Food Truck Festival

Yes, this is what it has come down to. I have such little faith in peoples' attention span that I have to offer the giveaway in the title. But that slight wasn't meant for you. No, you care enough to read all the way to the end.Good reader.

Poll any local brewery's beertenders and ask what the main thing people call about is and they will likely say it's people wondering, "What food truck will be there today?" That or, "Uh, yeah, are you guys hiring?" Because nothing shows initiative like sitting at home and calling a business rather than actually showing up and filling out an application.

Food trucks have become a huge part of the experience of visiting Albuquerque breweries, both to my delight and dismay. Dismay because I saw a need for a food truck (at least parked outside downtown bars) back in 2006; even wrote a business plan for it but never followed up on the idea. And look at the phenomenon it has become: trucks outside every brewery that doesn't have its own kitchen, and even a food truck meets craft beer festival.

On Saturday, April 8, from 12-6 pm, Food Truck Festivals of America presents the 3rd Annual Great New Mexico Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival at Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum, or, as locals simply call it, balloon fiesta park. Lots of good beers to choose from, with the list including:

Dogfish Head - Sea Quench, Flesh n Blood, 60 Minute
Avery Brewing- White Rascal, Liliko'i Kepolo, Ellie's Brown Ale
Santa Fe Brewing – Happy Camper IPA, Freestyle Pils, Pale Ale
Sierra Blanca Brewing- Cherry Wheat, Alien Amber, Outlaw Lager
Great Divide Brewing – Colette, Yeti, Titan
Lagunitas Brewing – IPA, 12th of Never, Hop Stoopid
Ska Brewing – Modus Mandarina, Mexican Logger, Pinstripe Red
Abbey Brewing – Monks Ale, Monks Dark, Monks Tripel
Santan Brewing – Mr. Pineapple, Devils Ale, Sex Panther
Breckenridge Brewing- Nitro Vanilla, Dry Irish, Mango Pale
Sandia Cidery – apple, watermelon, cherry
Nuevo Brewing – Nuevo and Bloody Maria
Sierra Nevada- Pale Ale, Sidecar, Torpedo
Green Flash- Pure Hoppiness, Tangerine Soul Style, Passion Fruit
Rio Bravo- Roadkill Red, Pinon Coffee, Snakebite IPA
Wasatch- Hop Rising, Ghost Rider, Off Duty IPA
Pecan Brewing – Hoppin Wheat, Pecan
Upslope- Citra Pale, Craft Lager, Guava
Guns and Oil- Wheat Bock, American Lager
Ballast Point- Longfin Lager, Mango Even Keel, Sculpin

There a quite a few standout beers on that list, and it's a reflection of how times have changed. I remember seeing Pure Hoppiness listed as being on tap at Toronado San Diego a few years ago and the bartender said he had put the sign up but the beer wasn't being tapped till the next day. When I told him we were flying home the next day, he went and tapped the keg for us. That was such a big deal then, but now we can drink it in a park in Albuquerque...thanks, Obama.

The food truck list as of right now (with possible additions to come):

Big Dawg’s BBQ

Castaneda’s Kitchen- Southern fare

Curbside Pies– Italian cuisine

Europa Roaming Kitchen- European cuisine

Gourmet Doner Kebab- Mediterranean cuisine

Joe’s Grub Hub– Specialty sandwiches

JP’s Custard Cart

Karibu Café– Caribbean cuisine

Lil’ Lunch Box– Chili Cheese Treats

My Sweet Basil– Gourmet sandwiches

Mystique- Burgers, brats & burritos

Nomad’s BBQ

O’Bean's Coffee Cruiser

Rescue Pizza

Saep Fire – Asian fusion

Snow Cone Xpress

Street Food Institute-International street food

I thought I knew most of the food trucks in town, but many of these are new to me. I can vouch for Street Food Institute (which employs CNM culinary students). Nomad's BBQ "truck" resembles something you'd see when you're getting your roof tarred but the BBQ is excellent.
My Sweet Basil decorates the exterior of their truck like a Williams Sonoma store and may be the closest to gourmet that you get on wheels. O'Bean's Coffee Cruiser is an East Mountain-based mobile coffee shop run out of an actual 1971 Volkswagen van. Whoa, is this coffee laced with something? I think I'm trippin'...no, wait- those are just East Mountain people I'm seeing.

Ok, so you could choose from a number of ticket options, including an 11 am early admission VIP ticket or a beer lover's package ticket. Even better, you could get in for free! I have a 4-pack of tickets along with $40 in truck bucks to give away to a lucky reader. Send an email to abqbeergeek@gmail.com with "Food Truck Festival" in the subject line and I'll randomly pick a winner. Don't want to get in for free? Go to
http://www.foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com/abq-nm to purchase tickets.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Canteen Brewhouse Gives You a Little Space

What kind of beer drinker are you? When you go out to your local pub, are you there to quietly contemplate that new offering in front of you, swirling, sniffing, sipping, repeating? Or maybe you're there to get away from drinking at home with the cat again, meeting up with the familiar group of regulars and talking about what you read on Facebook about Trump while you scan your Instagram feed? While both experiences have their worthy place, some breweries try to offer up cultural events to accentuate your drinking experience (or just to get people in the door on a cold Monday night). Art shows are common, Geeks who Drink nights abound, and poetry slams have been held at breweries, though I prefer not to be yelled at while I'm drinking, thanks. Give me some nice e.e. cummings poems instead. Educational events are less common, but Astronomy on Tap is looking to change all that. The group has held events all over the country, and the first event in NM will be held Monday, March 20 at Canteen Brewhouse. From the group's website, "Each FREE event features accessible, engaging science presentations on topics ranging from planets to black holes to galaxies to the beginning of the universe." That sounds good. Most of what I know about space came from watching the Jetsons, and I know astronomy involves a lot more math than most people care to think about. So I don't think you'll have to worry about Kepler's Law ( for each planet orbiting the sun, its sidereal period squared divided by the cube of the semi-major axis of the orbit is a constant). Here, let me put it this way:












See, that's no fun. So, I'm sure you'll get a more, ahem, down to Earth presentation on the wonders and mysteries of space. Beautiful telescopic images and the like. All you wanted to know about quasars, black holes, and dwarf planets. Maybe some moon landing truthers will be there to really get the party started.