Dark Side Brew Crew's Plan of Attack
Last year, around this time, Marne asked the Dark Side Brew Crew to come up with a comprehensive plan of attack for ABQ Beer Week. We got a bit chatty, in print form, as we are wont to do when it comes to craft beer. This year, Beer Week is 11 days long, with even more events, so do not expect us to be any less long-winded. This is a serious approach to squeezing in as many beer-related events as possible.
Once again, we highly, HIGHLY encourage people attending multiple events in a day to please use Uber, public transportation, designated drivers who owe you a favor, or even your own two feet, if possible. We want everyone to get home safely from all the madness, after all.
Thursday, May 26
4 p.m.: Anodyne has always been a funky, off-the-wall kind of bar. It seems fitting, then, that they would have a funky, off-the-wall kind of beer tapping. Abita Brewing is bring their Horchata Turbodog, in a firkin no less.
5 p.m.: It’s time to start the pairings with an old favorite! Beer and Cheese is back at Marble 111. Get your tickets ($25) in advance, because this one often sells out. It will also help prepare you for the next event …
6 p.m.: Oh, it’s on again, as the third annual Sierra Nevada Sausage and Cheese Tasting is back, this time at O’Niell’s on Juan Tabo. Get a full platter of unique sausages and cheeses, all paired up with the lineup from the 2016 edition of Beer Camp Across America. Awesome, unique collaboration beers, folks, not just the same beers you have had a thousand times in the past.
Friday, May 27
Noon: Sneak over to Marble, either location, on your lunch break and see what unique, awesome beer(s) they have in their firkins.
1 p.m.: Consider it an extended lunch and head to any participating brewery — Bosque, Boxing Bear, La Cumbre, Marble, Red Door, just to name a few — and try the 505 Collaboration beer. This year it’s a Rye Kellerbier that was jointly brewed at La Cumbre. Take note, $1 from every pint sold benefits the NM Brewers Guild.
4 p.m.: Not all of us are big sour fans, but we know a heck a lot of the rest of you sure are. For the fourth straight year, sour fans are in luck as the Tower of Sour returns to Back Alley Draft House. For $15, you get four samples and a 10-ounce glass of your favorite. There will be eight to choose from, including sours from Ballast Point, Back Alley, Odell, Santa Fe, and a special Cazuela’s/Bathtub Row collaboration.
5 p.m.: Head up to Nob Hill Bar & Grill for a double dose of Avery Brewing’s finest. In this case, The Beast Grand Cru and a Raspberry Sour will be available, depending on your preference. You should probably eat while you’re there if you did not snag a pizza at Back Alley.
6 p.m.: Now it’s time to work off some of those calories with The Hopper, a hop-on, hop-off brew cruise with ABQ Trolley Co. It costs $20 for the three-hour tour of five downtown breweries.
Saturday, May 28
Noon: Your legs got a workout yesterday, so today go flex those arms. Albuquerque Brewing is hosting a cornhole tournament. It only costs $5 to participate, plus of course there will be beer and pizza on hand. Replenish yourselves!
1 p.m.: The Bees & Seeds Anti-GMO Festival is back this year, with a beer-centric twist. Tractor Wells Park is the host for this event. Go get educated about what’s going on in the world of agriculture, all while playing games, shopping with local vendors and artists, listening to live music, and of course enjoy a few pints.
6 p.m.: We all love Founders Brewing, and if there is one beer that stands above all else, it is the one known simply by its epic acronym — KBS. Nob Hill Bar & Grill will have a vertical epic with two or more editions of this annual imperial stout of amazing quality.
7 p.m.: It’s calorie burning time again. Put on your wackiest 70s attire and head to Tractor Nob Hill for Cider Day Night Fever. Try some cider cocktails, or enjoy them straight, all while dancing to some groovy tunes.
Sunday, May 29
2 p.m.: It’s Blues & Brews time at Sandia Casino. Seventy-plus breweries, cideries, and distilleries will be on hand, with unlimited sampling. As we do every year, we highly recommend getting VIP tickets for that extra hour of tasting.
Monday, May 30
Noon: It’s Memorial Day, so normally we would just tell you all to stay home and barbecue in the backyard with friends and family. Before all that, head to Red Door for the Folds of Honor Foundation Fundraiser. What is Folds of Honor? It’s a non-profit that helps the spouses and children of America’s fallen military men and women. Their goal is to make sure all surviving family has the chance to go to college. Red Door is donating 20% of all sales. Beer for a cause is always worth the trip.
3 p.m.: If hanging with family isn’t your thing, head over to Marble 111 for the Memorial Day Fest. Live music, food trucks, and of course a lot of great beer will be available all day. Just be super extra careful getting home afterwards, it is a holiday.
Tuesday, May 31
3 p.m.: The popular beer & cheese pairing between Tractor and Cheesy Street food truck is back at Wells Park. Get gooey with a sampler tray and some beers.
4 p.m.: New Belgium’s Lips of Faith Series is still one of craft brewing’s best. One of those entries, the Nitro Oscar Worthy Coffee Barrel, will be served at Two Fools Tavern. With all that heavy cheese in your belly, you need a beer that will wake you up!
5 p.m.: Hop across the street to Nob Hill Bar & Grill for a special tapping of Lagunitas’ One-Hitter Series. GravensTime Apple-esque Beer is the evening’s selection. Check out what the heck this beer is all about. We have no idea.
6 p.m.: There will be some sort of Ballast Point special beer tapping and pairing at Canvas Artistry. We have no idea what Thomas DeCaro is bringing, but odds are, it will be delicious.
Wednesday, June 1
5 p.m.: Start the evening with another special double tapping at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. Ska Brewing is down from Durango with Barrel-Aged Dementia and Bump & Grind Coffee Stout. Use this as a way to convince your best friend or significant other that you need to make a Durango trek this summer.
6 p.m.: If you have ever considered become a Certified Cicerone, head over to Tractor Wells Park for a special study session to prepare you to take the exams. Stick around for a “bad beer tasting,” where you get to learn exactly what makes an off flavor more off than it should be.
Thursday, June 2
2 p.m.: The food trucks are battling it out again at Red Door. Well, it’s a battle in name only, but there will be multiple trucks parked outside, all offering up scaled-down menus, with many items specifically paired with Red Door beers. This is your chance to try multiple trucks at one location and figure out which one is your favorite.
4 p.m.: We have been remiss in sending you to Jubilation. Stock up for the weekend, and while you are there, Mother Road Brewing will have some of their beers available for tasting. Enjoy some of Flagstaff’s finest brews while getting your important shopping done.
5 p.m.: OK, now it’s time for war. The third annual Battle of the Beer Geeks is back at Tractor Wells Park. Head on over for a blind taste test, of sorts. The beers will be identified, but not which beer appreciation group made which beer. Let’s see if the Brew Crew can retake the trophy from the Babes in Brewland, or if the Dukes of Ale or another participating group can earn their first victory.
Friday, June 3
Noon: Not to repeat ourselves, but it’s Firkin Friday again at both Marble locations. After this, take it easy. You need to rest that palate for the next event.
6 p.m.: The NM Brewers Guild Beer Premiere is back, returning to the National Hispanic Cultural Center. For $35 per person, you get to try special one-off, never-before-released beers from 15 different breweries. There will also be a Matanza-style pig roast by M’Tucci’s. Roasted pork. Brand new beers. Stoutmeister has to be kicking himself for missing this one. (He’s at a family wedding in California. Oh, wait, his hotel is within walking distance of the Firestone Walker Barrelworks. Bastard.)
Saturday, June 4
Noon: Return to Tractor Wells for a flight of unique, barrel-aged beers that have never been released before. It only costs $12 and it remains to be seen when these unique creations will be back on tap.
2 p.m.: Trek over to Marble Westside for a good cause. The Summer Kick-Off Yappy Hour, a fundraiser benefiting Watermelon Mountain Ranch, will be running until 6.
5 p.m.: At this point, you might apply for residency at Wells Park. The annual Planned Parenthood fundraiser kicks off with multiple performers, including two of our favorites, the Desert Darlings and Le Chat Lunatique. The cost is $15 per person, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.
Sunday, June 5
11 a.m.: Get out to the Santa Ana Golf Course for the eighth annual NM Brewers Guild golf tournament. Contact the Guild for more information.
2 p.m.: Once you are done at the course, head back to Marble 111 for the grand finale. Joe S. Sausage is on hand for Sausage Fest. It’s $25 for lots of plates and pairings. Lots of food, lots of beer, live music, it’s the best way to wind down and call it a Beer Week.
That’s all from us for now! Check our website every day for a full listing of all Beer Week events, with previews of the big stuff and reviews of the many, many beers we will be trying.