Wednesday, May 23, 2018

ABQ Beer Week Begins- Part 1

Wow. Deciding to take a week or two off from writing turned into me being the poster child for procrastination. But even Rip Van Winkle would agree that this is a good week to wake up and hack away at the Selectronic.

ABQ Beer Week is in its 8th year, and the craft beer scene has seen a lot of changes. Eight years ago, there were a few breweries that could be counted on to make stuff that was growler worthy. People were talking about how they had traveled to exotic places and tries beers like Lagunitas, Dogfish Head, and Founders (ok, Grand Rapids probably doesn't qualify as exotic), and why oh why can't we get those great breweries here?? Well, you got em. Want any more CBS? It's waiting there for you! So many local breweries now are making great beers

Steel Bender is one of those "tweener" breweries that is just far enough away that I rarely get there. I hear good things, though. This Homegrown Pils may have me driving up scenic 2nd St: Wilderness Malt from Colorado Malting is featured for the very first time in the US in this Amarillo-hopped Pilsner. I'm a sucker for a good Pilsner!

Nexus will feature The Notorious BUN (Big Ugly Nasty) IPA at both locations. This beer is part of their 7th Anniversary celebration, which goes from the 24th to the 27th.

Come out and help support Behind the Badge, a group that raises funds for first responders who have faced on the job injuries. Have a first responder help you after overdoing it at the Beer Walk, Run, or Crawl event beginning at 4 at Dialogue. The crawl will then hit Tractor, Bow and Arrow, and finally Rio Bravo for more beer and a concert. The first 35 people to enter get a free t-shirt to go with their ridiculous costumes.

Rowley Farmhouse Ales will be featured at Tractor Wells Park from 5-8. Watch the fun as runners from the Walk, Run, or Crawl event down a couple of sours and run on to the next brewery. That'll sit well in the belly.

The granddaddy of Beer week events, Beer, Cheese, and More, returns to Marble's 111 location from 5-8. $25 for five Marble beers alongside five Whole Foods-selected cheeses. I remember the days when this was just called Beer and Cheese.

The answer: Pink guava, kaffir lime leaves, and Citra hops. The question: what are two things that don't belong in a beer, and one that does? I kid! Canteen's Social Capital is a Kettle Sour that has been released with a variety of ingredients, and guava is a perfect complement to this beer. I'll be interested to see how the lime and Citra play into it.


Nexus continues their Anniversary celebration with the release of Beam Me Up Scotty Scotch Ale. Glad Beer Week coincides with the Nexus Anniversary!

KBS will be flowing at Nob Hill Bar and Grill beginning at 5. Two years worth- 2017 and 2018, to be exact. Another Beer Week, another Friday Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout tapping by NHBG. I can never do Friday nights. How they love to torture me.

Sister will be serving up a great variety of rare to NM kegs at the Over 21 event, where all the breweries are over 21 years old. That's a great idea, and hard to believe some have been around that long! The draft list: Bell’s Brewery: 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout Reserve, Firestone Walker: ’17 Helldorado Blonde Barleywine, Four Peaks: Green Tea Lager, Left Hand: Chai Milk Stout Nitro, New Belgium: Clutch Sour Stout, Odell: ‘16 Meddler, Rogue: Combat Wombat sour NE IPA, Sierra Nevada: Kolsch German-Style Ale. Event starts at 6.

Here's something in the never heard tried and never should have been allowed to be tried category: folk artists covering Radiohead songs. Tractor hosts this mashup at 8. I know, there are a lot of folk music fans out there. I've heard The Doors "Light My Fire" and Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" covered by folk/bluegrass bands here in ABQ. May as well listen to a folk rendition of Jigsaw Falling Into Place.


Marble's successful Brewer's Brunch event heads to their Westside Taproom on Saturday from 11-1. A small setting (only 24 spots) allows you to enjoy brunch and beers while talking shop with Marble brewers. $30 gets you the VIP seating. Don't get on the tour bus with them.

Just when you thought all the beer puns had been taken (maybe that only applies to gose): Canteen releases Oompa Lupulin DIPA. About time Zach and the Canteen crew puts out a DIPA. Canteen has released some under the radar IPAs that have been great. Go over there and give them their due at the Pedals and Pints event happening all day. Show up on your bike and get discounted beer. Show up in your car and get egged.

M'Tucci's Italian Market and Pizzeria will be hosting a beer dinner featuring beers from both Bosque and Upslope. A Colorado brewery and a NM brewery whose packaged beers are brewed in Colorado. Call M'Tucci's for more details. Their website calendar doesn't have the event listed and I'm not playing Hardy Boys.


Sister hosts the La Cumbre gang for a tap takeover brunch at 11. Tacos and tater tots and La Cumbre beers. Simple yet elegant.

Dueling brunches! Nob Hill Bar and Grill ALSO is hosting brunch at 11, this one featuring Goose Island's Madame Rose as well as Sofie beermosas. The ABQ Beer Week site says for more information visit, but they haven't done any work on their events page since 2015. And I thought I was bad.

Gecko's will be hosting an all day tap takeover from Odell Brewing. Did you know Odell just launched in the Utah market? That's how backwards Utah laws are: a brewery that's well over 20 years old took this long to distribute to the state right next to them. Coincidentally, it also took Gecko's a long time to get on the Beer Week bandwagon. I remember trying to get them to participate the very first year and you would have thought we were trying to sell them a vacuum cleaner.

Of course, the highlight event on Sunday is ABQ Blues and Brews. One of the longest-running fests in the city, Blues and Brews takes place at Sandia Resort and Casino. 200 beers from 70+ breweries, four bands, Dukes of Ale homebrews, Imbibe Cocktail Challenge, and, most importantly, unlimited beer sampling for 4 hours! This is a marathon event.


It's still going. Memorial Day has Steel Bender hosting a cookout at 11 with pulled pork, spare ribs, and brisket along with all the favorite sides that go with BBQ. Plus lots of beer, if you can stomach any after Blues and Brews.

Marble downtown hosts their annual Memorial Day Festival at 3 with lots of bands and lots of Goses. Customers who bike to the event get brew club pricing.

Tractor has a Four Hills location? Wow, I should stay up on local beer stuff. Well, if you're up that way (and what is up that way? When I think of that area, I can only picture the Waffle House and motels and shady shady people around there), stop into Tractor for Paint Your Own Stein Night. $35 gets you a night with Kiln It!, who will provide you with ceramic stein and paint. Creativity and skill, well, you're on your own. Don't worry, the $35 gets you a beer you can cry into about your lack of talent. It's not your fault they didn't have left-handed scissors in that art class when you were a kid. It's not your fault.

Brain Gang Trivia brings a special beer edition to Canteen from 7-9 pm. Show off your beer knowledge and win big. Quick: convert 8.7 degrees Plato to ABV! Yeah, me neither. Hopefully, the questions will be along the lines of, "What was the name of the dog in the Bud Light ad campaign in the 80s?" Extra credit if you can name the Stroh's dog.


Barrel-aged Obey the Darkside on cask at Canteen today. The NM Dark Side Brew Crew did this beer awhile back in collaboration with Canteen and now you get to try it after some time in whiskey barrels.

High and Dry hosts a special tapping of...another brewery's beer! Ok! Just like Tractor Nob Hill carrying cans of La Cumbre Elevated IPA, business is business! High and Dry will be tapping Boxing Bear's Sucker Punch DIPA. This way you don't have to cross the river.

The Ultimate Taco Tuesday? We'll see about that! Ponderosa Brewing hosts tacos and beer pairings starting at 3. Take that, Bob's Burgers.

More food. How about grilled cheese? How about 4 different grilled cheese sandwiches paired with a flight of beer for $13*? How about you get to Tractor Nob Hill at 5? *price does not include Elevated IPA.

This could get messy: Two Fools is hosting a whiskey and beer event in which you pay $25 and get 3 whiskies, 3 beers, and 3 food pairings. Remember: it's not technically a shot if you order it "neat". Goes from 6-8 pm.

TFK Smokehouse hosts a $55 beer dinner with Steel Bender and Bell's from 6:30-8:30. Lager of the Lakes, 30th Anniversary Cherry Stout, and more! Call 639-5669 to reserve your spot.

More Tuesday, more beer, more tacos! This time at Canteen on Tramway. I'm gong to need bigger slacks. No wonder the call it Fat Tuesday.

You buy local food? Why not local hops? Red Hat Hops' Tom Brewer and Red Door Brewer Matt Meier hosts a discussion on hops and beer from 7-9. Bring your own tacos.


Rebel Donut and Tractor Four Hills are pairing up for a pairing. Beer and donuts. Four donuts paired with four Tractor beers from 3-7. Insert Homer Simpson joke here.

4 cask beer samples for $5? That's Beer Week 1 pricing! Join Quarter Celtic for their Mini Cask Fest from 4-9, where they'll be pouring award-winning Pedro O' Flannigan on oak chips, Pedro with Mosaic hops, Crimson Lass with Chai, and Mor Buck with Azacca distilled hop cloves. Whatever that is.

Remember Beer and Cheese? How about Beer and Meat? Doesn't sound as classy. No wonder they didn't name it that. Marble's Heights location hosts M'Tucci's for a pairing of 4 Marble beers with 4 M'Tucci's cured meats. $30 gets you stuffed. 5-8 pm.

A Star Wars themed beer crawl comes your way beginning at 7 pm at Bosque and hitting Kelly's, Hops Brewery, and ending at Tractor Nob Hill. Dress as your favorite Star Wars character. There will be trivia along the way, beer discounts, and prizes. I'm going to be Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon. Look both ways before crossing the street, Darth.

Back with more Beer Week events tomorrow-ish.

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