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Beer Town: A Guide to ABQ Beer Week

Beer Town: A Guide to ABQ Beer Week

Mayor of Beer Town Ty Bannerman has your ABQ Beer Week itinerary all mapped out.


Nuevomexicano pride

Let me begin by extending congratulations to the seven Albuquerque breweries that received medals at this year’s World Beer Cup event.

Gold medalists were Nexus Brewery for their Honey Chamomile Wheat; Boxing Bear Brewing Co. for their Chocolate Milk Stout; and La Cumbre for their BEER lager. Marble Brewery, Canteen Brewhouse, Bosque Brewery and Santa Fe’s Second Street Brewery received silver and bronze for their efforts. Congrats to all our world-class local beer producers and purveyors.

¡Bienvenidos Beer Week!

Even in a Beer Town like Albuquerque, there’s one week where our love for beer exceeds all other things; that’s ABQ Beer Week. Don’t look know, but it’s nearly here. From Thursday, May 26, to Sunday, June 5 — that’s actually a week and a half — expect lovestruck wackiness. A ridiculous bounty of hopped-up events are scheduled, so your ever-loyal guide to Beer Town has painstakingly identified the most promising events and created an ABQ Beer Week itinerary for barley-blasting good times.  

German Beer & Brats Night
Thursday, May 26, 4-9 p.m, Rio Bravo Brewing (1912 Second Street NW)

Kick off Beer Week with German-style partying, lederhosen and the consumption of sausages. Rio Bravo Brewing hosts an evening of bratwurst (courtesy of the German American Club), Germanic beers and live music. And it’s free!

ABQ Blues and Brews Festival
Sunday, May 29, 2-6 p.m., Sandia Resort & Casino (30 Rainbow Road)

ABQ Blues and Brews is a festival within a festival. With blues. And beer. If you stray outside the main hall, there’s gambling. Grab a sampling glass and work your way through 60 breweries worth of ales, pilsners and porters while soundtracked by the soul-wrenching ennui of excellent blues. Just don’t die. Of sadness. Or drunkenness. Or anything else, really. Beer Week’s not over yet.

Folds of Honor Foundation Fundraiser
Monday, May 30, noon-4 p.m., Red Door Brewing Co. (1001 Candelaria NW)

It’s Memorial Day. Raise your glass in honor of those who gave their service to this country … even if you think that the service was misused in certain conflicts. My advice? Head over to Red Door Brewing between noon and 4 p.m., and spend some coin; of the event proceeds, 20 percent will go toward providing educational opportunities to the children and dependents of those killed or disabled during wartime.


Photo credit: Bosque Brewing Co.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Beer
Tuesday, May 31, 6-8 p.m., Albuquerque Brewing Co.  (8600 Pan American Freeway NE)

If you’ve ever brewed your own, you know that beer-making doesn’t always go quite as planned. This event features a sampler of beers gone wrong, and head brewer Carnie will explain the terrible things you’re tasting and where their creators went wrong. 

The Battle of the Beer Geeks
$12, Thursday, June 2, 5-9 p.m., Tractor Brewing Co. – Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW)

Here’s your chance to try some unique Albuquerque brews. At the Battle of the Beer Geeks, several local homebrewing clubs face off in head-to-head competition. The cover charge includes tasting and judging rights plus an additional pint of your favorite beverage.

New Mexico Brewers Guild Beer Premiere
$35, Friday, June 3, 6-9 p.m., National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW)

This gala event boasts matanza-style roasted pork, unlimited sampling of one-off beers from 16 New Mexico breweries and live music.

Planned Parenthood Beer & Bands Fundraiser
$15, Saturday, June 4, 5-8 p.m., Tractor Brewing Co. – Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW)

Support perpetually embattled, vitally important organization Planned Parenthood while tippling back pints and jamming out to bands such as Le Chat Lunatique. The ABQ Aerialist Collective will make one of its signature high-flying appearances.

I’m tired out after just writing about all these events, and they’re only a fraction of what’s going on all over Albuquerque during ABQ Beer Week. For a more comprehensive look at the festivities, visit abqbeerweek.com

Ty Bannerman is a beer drinker, co-host of the City on the Edge podcast, and author of “Forgotten Albuquerque” as well as a forthcoming memoir. He most recently served as feature and food editor at Weekly Alibi.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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