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Beer Town: The Sweltering Season

Beer Town: The Sweltering Season

Mayor of Beer Town Ty Bannerman gives you the 411 on award-winning NM beers, bar game nights and staying cool in the blistering summer heat.


It’s deep into July and these 100+ degree days are melting me into the pavement, especially since my kids keep dragging me outside to hunt Pokémon with them. Why can’t they stay inside and watch TV all day? It was good enough for us ‘80s kids!

Fortunately, I’ve been spending quite a few evenings over at Quarter Celtic Brewpub (1100 San Mateo NE #50), indulging in their award-winning brew, the delectable Pedro O’Flanagan lager (see list of more winners below).

Lagers are still the redheaded stepchildren of the craft brew scene—possibly due to the dark years where the macro-brewed version of the style was pretty much the only beer around—but for my money a crisp locally-produced lager just can’t be beat, and Pedro O’Flanagan is definitely one of the best. Unfortunately, it’s also one of my wife’s favorites, so any growlers of the stuff I bring home tend to disappear like a puddle of water on an Albuquerque parking lot.

Does the heat slow down the ever-burgeoning Beer Town scene? You bet your barley it doesn’t!

Craft beer winners

The big news this week is the final results of the New Mexico Brewer’s Guild IPA Challenge, which is covered elsewhere in this issue. Check it out here for the winners.


Image courtesy of Pixabay.

Those aren’t the only winners to announce. New Mexico’s craft beer scene is one of the strongest in the country, so no wonder so many of our enchanting brews were justly rewarded at the latest North American Beer Awards, held in June in Idaho Falls.

The winners include Albuquerque favorites like: Canteen Brewery – which won medals for Odin’s barley wine (gold,) Dark & Lusty stout (gold,) and Exodus IPA (silver); Quarter Celtic Brewpub – which won silver for the aforementioned Pedro O’Flanagan lager; Boxing Bear Brewing – two silvers for Body Czech Pilsner and Hairy Mit hefe, and a bronze for the Chocolate Milk stout; and Chama River Brewing Company, bronze winner for their Sun Dog kolsch.

Other New Mexico winners were Blue Corn Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing and Las Cruces’ Pecan Grill & Brewery. My suggestion is that you congratulate the winners by conducting your very own championship tour.

Game face

It’s too damned hot this time of year to do anything outdoors, even in the evening. Instead, why not huddle up at an air-conditioned table at your favorite brewery and pass the time with a board game? Just about every taproom in town has a banged-up copy of Jenga or Battleship, but a few offer even more for the more sophisticated tabletop connoisseur.

Albuquerque Brewing Company (8620 Pan American Fwy) now hosts a Monday game night including Pokémon (the old-fashioned card based variety) and Cards Against Humanity. They’ll also offer up a $2.50 special on their blonde ale to help you beat the heat.

In a similar vein, Broken Trail Brewery (2921 Stanford NE) will be given over to epic bouts of Cards Against Humanity on Wednesday nights starting at 7pm, but with a twist: You’ll join the hosts of the hilarious local podcast 10 Drink Minimum, so the brain bank for borderline-sociopathic humor should be huge.

For those who prefer a less directed gaming experience, Chama River’s Draft Station (1720 Central SW) is well stocked with a bevy of fancy games, from Settlers of Catan to the Talisman-like Prophecy.

With that expenditure of effort, I’m returning to an O’Flanagan-induced siesta. Until next time, stay cool and quenched.

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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