The Dark Side Brew Crew takes ABQ Beer Week quite seriously.
Every year we do our best to plot out our “plan of attack” for each day, highlighting the events we can’t miss as well as how to get from Point A to Point B to Point C and so on.
Without further ado, our 2017 battle plan!
Thursday, May 25
3 p.m.: Bow & Arrow is releasing a sour dry-hopped farmhouse ale, so their spot on Sixth Street is a good place to start.
4 p.m.: Head up Lomas to Jubilation Beer Wine and Spirits for a double dose of fun. First, La Cumbre will be there for a beer and cheese pairing. Then, a certain beer writer named Chris Jackson (a.k.a. Stoutmeister) will be signing advance copies of his new book Albuquerque Beer: Duke City History on Tap! There will only be a limited number of copies available, so get there early.
6 p.m.: Need even more beer and cheese? Trek up to Marble Heights and enjoy even more pairings featuring their beers. This one costs $25 per person and they will sell out, so stop by soon and get your tickets in advance.
Friday, May 26
Noon: Stop by either Red Door location for the release of their Blackberry Hefeweizen. You can go at noon or wait until later, it will be there all day.
4 p.m.: Our friends from Mother Road Brewing in Flagstaff are doing a special tasting at Jubilation. They will also have a special keg available for growler fills until 10 p.m.
5 p.m.: We love when breweries join forces, and that’s what will happen here when Rowley Farmhouse Ales comes down from Santa Fe to have a “Sour Hour” at Tractor Wells Park. Special sour and funky beers will be available from both breweries. Then, stick around as the Desert Darlings will be performing Hops & Dreams at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 27
11 a.m.: Get up early (for beer drinkers) and head to the Santa Fe Brewing ABQ Taproom at Green Jeans for an all-day bash. Live music, special food dishes from Bocadillo’s, unique beer tappings, a more.
Noon: Pick your favorite participating local brewery and head over for the release of the 505 Collaboration Beer! It’s a Golden Strong Ale this year, brewed at Steel Bender Brewyard with help from more than a dozen ABQ-area breweries.
2 p.m.: Grab three friends and head to O’Niell’s Juan Tabo for the Beer Olympics. There will be four special challenges to test all aspects of your beer-related skills, from trivia to an obstacle course. It’s $5 per team member.
7 p.m.: Head back to Tractor Wells Park for the release of two special beers brewed in collaboration with Mother Road, a malty altbier and a hoppy double IPA. Le Chat Lunatique will provide the music.
Sunday, May 28
Noon: Start your day off right as Quarter Celtic and Dialogue are releasing their collaboration beer, Common Irish Conversation. You can pop into either location.
2 p.m.: Get your Uber/Lyft/designated driver to drop you off at Sandia Casino for the seventh annual ABQ Blues & Brews. Make sure to get that Extra Access Hour ticket to enter at 2, otherwise you’ll be packed in with the main crowd at 3. VIP Admission also available.
Monday, May 29
Noon: Kick those hangovers to the curb and go enjoy the Memorial Day Music Fest at Marble. Pack some extra sunscreen, keep hydrated, and groove along to the tunes.
7 p.m.: Join the Dark Side Brew Crew for the ultimate beer geeks trivia night at Tractor Nob Hill. The first round will be fairly easy, the second will focus on national craft beer brands, the third will be a tasting round, the fourth will be local beer history (hint: buy the book at Jubilation on the 25th, it will help you win), and the fifth will be made up of the toughest questions all our breweries can conceive.
Tuesday, May 30
Noon: Canteen is releasing the next edition of their kettle sour, Social Capital. This batch was made with basil, lemongrass, and coconut.
4 p.m.: Ready for CANARCHY? Upslope is taking over Taco Tuesday at Sister with cans of Citra Pale Lager.
5 p.m.: Cheesy Street and Tractor Wells Park are teaming up again to pair a series of six special mini-grilled cheeses with different beers. It’s $13 for the tray of cheesy, beery goodness.
6 p.m.: OK, now it’s Marble’s turn to throw down the beer trivia gauntlet. Head out to the Westside taproom. Word is Jeff Erway of La Cumbre will be there, and may be going head-to-head with the Crew for supremacy.
Wednesday, May 31
Noon: Close out the month in style by getting a pint or a bomber of Marble’s Brett IPA, which is back at all three locations.
4 p.m.: Firestone Walker is bringing some of their finest to Jubilation for a special tasting.
5 p.m.: Quarter Celtic will host a Mini Cask Fest out on the patio. Fill up a tray of four cask beers, feast upon all the delicious foods, and say farewell to May.
7 p.m.: Tractor, Gruet Winery, and Cheese & Coffee are teaming up for a combined beer/wine/food pairing at Wells Park. There will be five courses/pairings, and you can purchase each of them individually rather than committing to all five, or just go all out.
Thursday, June 1
11 a.m.: Grab a bite to eat at the Sandia Saloon, where they will also be tapping a special Marble keg (style TBA).
3 p.m.: This seems like a good day to finally try the beer-and-tapas pairing at Ponderosa. Hey, it’s good to be over around Old Town, because then it’s a quick drive/ride share to your next stop.
5 p.m.: It’s time for Battle of the Beer Geeks, Round IV! The Crew, and everyone else, had to adhere to a certain style, in this case a wheat beer. Fear not, though, we still figured out how to make a monster. Join us for the blind taste test ($10 per tray), pick your favorite, and help the Crew take back the title from the Babes in Brewland!
Friday, June 2
2 p.m.: Pucker up for the annual Tower of Sour. They are renovating Back Alley Draft House, so this will be out in the main JC’s New York Pizza Department dining area. Fear not, it will still have all the same great sour beers you love, plus some new ones.
4 p.m.: Head to the Northeast Heights and reset your palate with a La Cumbre special tasting at Whole Foods on Academy.
5 p.m.: Upslope is hosting a Rochambeau tournament at Rock & Brews on Montgomery. The entry is free, the top five finishers get prizes, and there will be special Upslope beers on tap.
Saturday, June 3
11 a.m.: Head out to Rio Rancho for brunch and Yappy Hour at Cazuela’s, as Watermelon Mountain Ranch will be on hand with animals to adopt. Get a pint, get a pup.
Noon: Marble Westside will host the Ladies Loving Beer Luncheon, which we think all the ladies should attend. For the men, head over to Red Door for the annual Food Truck Battle. Or go to both if you can pull it off.
4 p.m.: O’Niell’s Juan Tabo is hosting a special pairing of Sierra Nevada beers and Girl Scout cookies. Indulge, you fools, indulge!
5 p.m.: Friend to all, Thomas DeCaro, is bring two amazing Great Divide beers to New Mexico for the first time. Get to Nob Hill Bar & Grill for Barrel-Aged Chocolate Yeti and She Said, I Brew (Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout). BRING ON THE DARKNESS!!!
7 p.m.: Definitely make sure to use a ride share/taxi/designated driver after that last one and then head down to Tractor Wells Park for the Jodie Herrera Art Opening and Glass Release. She made her glass specifically for the Triple Berry Cider being released at the same time. The Blank Tapes will provide the music.
Sunday, June 4
7:30 a.m.: Get up early and hit the links for the ninth annual New Mexico Brewers Guild Golf Tournament. It’s out at Santa Ana Golf Club, so dust off your gear and get on out there to support the Guild.
Noon: For the non-golfers out there, head over to Rio Bravo for the NM True Fest. Join a group of NM True-certified vendors selling their wares on the patio, along with live music and food trucks.
2 p.m.: Raise a glass to the returning golfers and chow down with the annual Joe S. Sausage Super Sunday Sampler at Marble’s downtown taproom. Meat and beer and call it a Beer Week!
Cheers to local craft beer!