Marble’s Heights Taproom officially opened its doors at 9904 Montgomery NE
Marble Opens New Taproom, Republic Near Opening
‘An Explosive Hop Bomb ‘ at Bathtub Row in Los Alamos
BY TY BANNERMAN
School has started and the faintest breath of cooler air has wafted into the city. Autumn is on the way, the Barley Moon rises and the traditional time of beer celebrations will soon be waxing into fullness. Which means that there’s plenty of ale-related news to report.
On a fest
It seems like we’ve only just recovered from Hopfest in late August, but that was really just to get you primed up for a season of festivals from now until Christmas.
On Sept. 3 and 4, we have the much-vaunted Mountain West Brew Fest, which slid into the spot at Loretto Park in Bernalillo that was occupied by the New Mexico Wine Festival until two years ago.
One of the best things about this event is how close it is to a Rail Runner station, which means you can take a pleasant train ride up to the fest, give your sampling mug a workout and then tipsily stumble back to the train all without endangering your fellow humans.
As usual, a lineup of local breweries (and even a holdout winery or two!) will be on the spot to tantalize you with their wares. Of particular note will be a booth run by The 377 Brewery, an outfit that’s been working toward renovating the old furniture store at 2027 Yale Blvd SE. This will be a chance to sample the brews before the official opening (still no word on when that might be, exactly, but soon probably).
Brew Fest admission is $20 and includes a sampling glass. If you’re some kind of bigshot, you can opt for the VIP admission for $30 and get early access and entry to the “VIP tent” where, no doubt, all kinds of shady activities will be underway. Check mountainwestbrewfest.com for more info.
If you like to sample local brews in an environment replete with other local goods, then New Mexico True Fest at Expo New Mexico’s state fairgrounds will be worthy of your calendar as well. Based on the popular and ubiquitous New Mexico True advertising campaign, which seeks to highlight New Mexico as a “state full of culture, pride, diversity and unparalleled adventure,” the fest will focus on foods and products raised, grown or made right here in the Land of Enchantment.
So, figure on there being plenty of green chile available, but also meat and dairy, produce and yes, a beer garden chock full of local brews. The event will feature a food truck rally, a midway’s worth of rides and games, and live music.
Check out newmexico.org/truefest for more info. It’s also taking place on Sept. 3 and 4, but hey, why not go to True Fest on one day and Mountain West on the other?
Marble keeps rolling
By the time this article sees print, Marble’s Heights Taproom will have officially opened its doors at 9904 Montgomery NE. In addition to a beer garden, the location will also sport a small brewery which will focus on barrel-aged beers.
Rise of the Republic
Do you hear stirring songs of craft-beer revolution coming from the other side of the Sandias?
If so, that’s because, after a long period of relative quiet, the Ale Republic is showing signs of opening soon. In fact, one of those signs is a literal one advertising its location at 28 Arroyo Seco in Cedar Crest.
Photos and postings on Ale Republic’s Facebook page indicate that construction is coming to a close, the permits are in order and the Ale Republicans are looking at a soft opening in the very near future. Check alerepublic.com and facebook.com/alerepublic for the latest updates.
New brews from Santa Fe
I had the opportunity to sample some seasonals from Santa Fe Brewing recently.
The Autonomous Collective IPA (brewed for the IPA Challenge, but I have no idea where the “collective” enters into it and neither did my server) made a serious impact on my taste buds with its orange-peel-esque bouquet and massive grapefruit overtones. The swallow is followed by an almost honey-sweet finish, which is perfect for a late summer afternoon.
Also on tap is the Sunset Limited, a French farmhouse ale with lemony front and a hint of coriander. It’s just sour enough to be interesting, so perfect for the not-quite-adventurous drinker.
Pub Stop: Bathtub Row
On a particularly hot weekend I decided to do what all Albuquerqueans should do when the weather gets unbearable and escaped to the mountains. The Jemez was the range of choice, so after a few hours in the upper alpine reaches, I came down to the secret city to check out the latest in weapons-grade breweries.
Bathtub Row (163 Central Park Square, Los Alamos) is Los Alamos’ only brewery so far, and it seems to be quite successful. Tucked into a nondescript strip mall and sparsely furnished, it’s more of a first-wave taproom of the kind that would have been perfectly at home in Albuquerque about 10 years ago.
A recent change in brewers left the selection at bare minimum (two house-made ales versus the seven that are normally on tap), but what was there was on point. I tried the Hoppenheimer IPA and found it a suitably explosive hop bomb.
Fortunately, what the brewery lacked in style and brews-on-hand was more than made up for with a cadre of loyal drinkers enjoying themselves and their beverage of choice with the kind of gentle atmospheric conversation that the best pubs bring out in their clientele. I’ll definitely stop in next time I’m up on the Mesa, and hopefully they’ll have a few more beers for me to try.
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.