Wednesday, September 7, 2022

You'd Be In Much Worse Shape At Wine Festival

A welcome return to the beer festival scene, ABQ Blues and Brews makes its return to Sandia Casino on Sunday, May 29th. The festival that started in a parking lot (as many of us likely did) and grew up to fancier digs is likely the most ambitious beer festival we have in NM with the mix of breweries, bands, and vendors. And it's indoors, with air conditioning. Though the writing of this post is quite last minute, tickets are still available, and reasonable, in this cheap person's opinion. has the breakdown. General Admission is 3-6, with tickets $35 ($40 at the door day of fest), but you can opt for the $55 ($60 day of) ticket that goes from 1:30-6 for that important extra hour and a half of sampling. "Anyone with half a brain" tip: Uber or Lyft to the event, if you can find one. Somehow, Albuquerque has become a the hardest place to catch a ride. It was easier to get one in Amarillo recently. I even got so tired of staring at "searchng for a driver" on my phone while downtown in ABQ the other night that I asked a complete stranger to take me home. And they did. For five bucks. I saved $4.66 off retail rideshare price and lived to write about it. Stupid, yes, but it felt like a safer prospect than being out on the street when the bars on Central all let out. But back to Blues and Brews- yes, get a ride, because you're looking at unlimited 2 oz. samples. You won't find that at any other festival that isn't held at a casino in NM. And two ounces may not seem like a lot unless you've ever been to the Great American Beer Festival, am I right?? One ounce samples, yet it's the rare person who walks out of there sober. Something about the smaller pours pushes all the alcohol into those little sips, I'm pretty sure. It's science. And with dozens of purveyors from both local and national brands, you'll get all the samples you can handle, and hopefully no more than that. Those casino bathrooms are nice, but not when you're laying on the floor with your head hanging over the toilet. Know your limits. There will be the long-timers such as Alaskan, Bell's, Stone, Avery, Founders, Rogue, and Firestone Walker. Intrigued to see what they will bring. Going out on a limb, I'm gonna guess Left Hand will be pouring Milk Stout and Stone will bring some variation of an IPA. Locals that I've admittedly had little of will be there as well, including ReSource, Brew Lab, Enchanted Circle, and Rumor Brewing. And yeah, I'm gonna visit the Hoplark table. 0.0% Double Dry Hopped Citra water? I'm curious at least, aren't you? All of this plus eight different bands performing throught the fest should make for a day to remember, though you possibly won't. Finally, did you know Blues and Brews will be making donations to 12 charities, including locals like All Faiths and nationals like the American Cancer Society and Make a Wish Foundation? That's worth the ticket cost right there. Drinking for a cause is better than just because, though just because tastes pretty good too.

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