New brewery impresses
BY TY BANNERMAN
Every taproom or pub should arrive at its own character, a comfortable groove into which it slides like a well-brewed ale into an aficionado’s stomach.
Usually, this takes a few years to happen – or, more often, a place closes down before it ever really gets a chance to hit its sweet spot. But every once in a while, a taproom opens with a character, a vibe, a groove already in place, and it feels like home the moment you walk in.
Dialogue Brewing (1501 1st Street NE) is one of these rare taprooms. It recently sprang up in a forgotten part of the Wells Park industrial district, but step inside and it feels like a particularly arty pub, with low mood lighting and a handful of beautifully grained picnic tables set before the industrial trappings of the brewery itself.
Outside, metalwork sculpture, reminiscent of the Watts Towers, rises up above the roofline. A table surrounds each one of these towers, and friendly lights are built into the artwork.
This attention to communal space seems appropriate for the conversationally named Dialogue, and so far, the brewery is showing that it intends to back up its overtures toward community with actual community events.
And, hey! They’ve got beer, too! Dialogue is angling itself to compete in the newly emerging (in Albuquerque, at least) Belgian-style market, and the current offerings represent the sour end of the flavor palette, with a few oddities thrown in for good measure:
Lychee American Wheat (5.4) – A crisp ale with the candied fruitiness of lychee, light body and an earthy finish, rounded off by a cider-like bouquet.
Berliner Weisse (4.3) – A straw-colored, traditional Weisse with a bouquet like opening an earthen cellar door. Dry with acidophilus overtones.
Sour Brown (6.2) – Hits you with the scents of earth and dark sugar. Alluring, and maybe a hint of chocolate in the smooth front flavor, but a subtle sourness as it slides down the tongue.
Belgian Dark Strong (9) – The monster lurking in the center of the list, the strong dark lives up to its name: Burnt sugar dominates the bouquet, and the first sip might provoke a flinch. The sour and tangy sweetness combine with a heavy body and a finish of raisins and currants. Go easy with this one.
So, welcome, Dialogue Brewing. Glad you joined the conversation.
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.