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Dark Brews for Dark Times

Dark Brews for Dark Times

Openings and new brews

ABQ Beer News

Style guide

There’s no finer beer style to tip back to mark Donald Trump’s ascendance than the infamous Russian Imperial Stout, a brew with a color as dark as our future.

According to various legends, Czar Peter the Great discovered his love for the black, full-bodied flavors of English porters and stouts on one of his information-gathering trips to Britain.

No doubt he immediately deployed the intelligence specialists of his day and swiped the recipe, hacking it into something more befitting of the Russian temperament – which is to say, upping the alcohol content.

Supposedly, the style fueled the expanding empire under Catherine the Great, and later even powered the dark machinations of the nefarious Grigori Rasputin. If it had any role in the rumored “kompromat” currently bedeviling our new president, well, you didn’t hear it from me, comrade.

How fitting then, that our own Marble Brewery has a fine example of the style perfect for indulging in during these dark winter days.

The long-standing brewery has included an Imperial stout as part of its rotation for seven years now, and it’s a drink not to be taken lightly.

Weighing in at an impressive 11% ABV, the stout is heavy on chocolate and malt flavors (and molasses and bourbon as well). A significant portion is barrel aged, so prepare your taste buds for a full onslaught.

As for where to drink it? Well, it’s probably not going to be available at the tap houses anytime soon, but you can still pick up a bomber at your local liquor store.

And really, the take-home model is perfect – you’ll be wanting to drink it as you rant at the nightly news, after all. Just don’t overindulge, you don’t want to find yourself the victim of any “fake news,” right?

 

Beer news

It’s pretty quiet in the depths of winter, but there are a few things going on.

La Cumbre Brewery (3313 Girard Blvd NE) is getting set to expand into the property just north of their current location. And Santa Fe Brewing Company will be building out to a huge new facility later in the year.

If you’ve been driving down Central in the Nob Hill area, and managed to get a peek between the orange cones, you may have noticed the long-in-the-works Hops Brewery has a shiny new sign at the old Kurt’s Camera Corral location. All our local hop heads can start revving their engines – it won’t be long now!

Finally, I had occasion to try Rio Bravo’s (1912 2nd Street NW) new special – a plate of cured meats, cheeses and olives (prepared by M’Tucci’s Deli) paired with a flight of selected brews. For $18, your taste buds will thank you.

They’ve also got a Siberian Imperial Ale in the works, I hear, and one that will “make Putin proud” according to Rio Bravo’s Facebook feed.

No word on whether this is an attempt to ingratiate themselves to the Slavic world, but I for one welcome our Russian overlords.

Until next time, За здоровье!

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

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