I'll Drink To That Brings Together Beer and Community
By Jessica Helen Lopez
The taproom is well lit. Live painters flank the stage and an assortment of local arts and craft vendors camp out throughout the room. A group of belly dancers shimmy across the stage while a band provides music. Between songs a poet espouses into the mic.
Welcome to the I’ll Drink to That variety show at Tractor Brewing Company, Wells Park.
Known as IDTT, the monthly show highlights the best talent that Burque has to offer, including poets, comedians, musicians and visual artists.
Carlos Contreras is the curator, founder and master of ceremonies of IDTT. Part soothsayer, part savvy business guy and an intuitive artist in his own right, Contreras said he recognized there was a niche for live performance in the ever-booming business of local craft beer and breweries. Thus was the inception of the biggest, baddest and booziest variety show this side of the Sandia Mountains.
“There was a platform there that was not being tapped,” Contreras said. “I recognized that local businesses, tap rooms and breweries, could benefit from placing local artists and live art in their spaces. Likewise, artists would then have a place to be artists.”
Artists networking, creating and performing for a naturally receptive audience is integral to Contreras’s vision. He said IDTT and his event planning company, Immastar Productions, supports amazing happenings in New Mexico and the amazing people who make it happen.
“We aim to engage and create community,” he said. “We are artists in collaboration with organizations and businesses.”
Often, IDTT will partner with local grassroots organizations and showcase benefits and other fundraising efforts. In the past, IDTT has partnered with TEDxABQ, We Are This City, Humans of New Mexico, Global Ties Film Foundation and more.
Contreras said more than likely, I’ll Drink to That will take the show on the road at the end of the year. IDTT will likely create at least four or more pop-up satellite shows around town, but will eventually work its magic into other local tap rooms.
The next IDDT show will be on Sunday Nov. 20 at 4 p.m. for the special, “Let’s Buy a Van for The Riddims Band” edition.
Jessica Helen Lopez is a freelance reporter.