Bike and Brew Beer Dinners & Tap Takeovers 2016

Bike and Brew Festival is back and better than ever! This year Local Flavor is excited to participate by coordinating beer dinners throughout the week with several of our favorite local restaurants!

Reserve your beer dinner by calling our partner restaurants directly or just show up for any of these amazing after-hours craft beer parties and tap takeovers.

Wednesday, May 18

monks-ale-logoL’Olivier
Brewery: Monk’s Ale
229 Galisteo Street
Santa Fe
505. 989.1919
View Menu or Make Reservations

 

New_Belgium_Brewing_Company_logoPranzo Italian Grill 
Brewery: New Belgium Brewery
540 Montezuma Avenue
Santa Fe
505.984.2645
View Menu or Make Reservations

 

3958-5d9fb26c-7724-4a8d-b640-9ab0be0b5dd2Andiamo! Trattoria 
Brewery: Marble Brewing
322 Garfield Street
Santa Fe
505.995.9595
View Menu or Make Reservations

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Home Brew

beer-1-1325427-1279x852To most of us, brewing beer is something like witchcraft. You put barley, water, hops and yeast into a container, and a few weeks later, you’ve somehow conjured a potion that not only tastes fantastic, but has the ability to bring people together in joyful celebration. But it’s not magic. It’s something anyone can do, if they are intrepid enough to try.

WHY TACKLE IT?

It does take time, commitment, patience, creativity, a methodical and meticulous temperament, and—most importantly—a willingness to experiment. Brewing is not difficult, but it is technical and complex. It requires a certain level of precision and involves many different variables, so I won’t attempt to detail the process here. Instead, I hope to provide resources and encouragement for anyone who is curious about making the leap into home brewing.

The idea of making your own alcohol may evoke images of backwoods stills and moonshine-swilling hillbillies, but in reality, home brewing appeals to people from many different backgrounds for many different reasons. Some relish the ability to preserve local ingredients and put an abundant harvest to good use. Santa Fe Brewing Company Barrel Artist Leif Rotsaert discloses, “I will go out to nature to harvest, climb trees, dig around in bushes, as well as grow my own herbs and flowers. It is the perfect hobby for the farmer/hunter-gatherer in all of us.”
For others, it’s about creativity, personalization and independence. As Jami Nordby, owner of Santa Fe Homebrew Supply explains, “It has the appeal of science, sometimes the necessity of engineering, and always the freedom of art and cuisine. I can tailor the product to my own taste or make something no one has ever tried before. I just had a customer tell me he made a mango red-chili cider that was fantastic.” He continues, “I think many people are intrigued by the novelty of making their own beer, and many are surprised by early success. After that, they can brew whatever type of beer they can dream of, both flavor-wise and strength-wise.” Members of the Sangre de Cristo Craft Brewers club agree, saying, “Home brewing allows for lots of creativity. Once you get the basics figured out, you can pretty much brew with any kind of ingredient you can imagine. It also allows you to take your favorite style of beer and tweak in ways that make it your own, and if all goes well, it becomes even better.” Continue reading

Let’s Grab a Beer

HappyNewBeer-1As New Mexico beer culture continues to thrive, it seems new breweries open their doors on a weekly basis; meanwhile, the established brewers are constantly turning out new styles, playful seasonals and experimental batches. It can be hard to keep up and try them all. What’s a committed New Mexico beer aficionado to do?

The answer, my beer enthusiast friends, is simple: Visit a beer bar. More and more local drinking establishments have come to our rescue, swooping in and catering to craft beer drinkers. These bars, bistros and even a movie theater offer a variety of local taps, and often some exotic options, too, so they are perfect for expansive sampling. By offering a mix of the novel and the familiar, they are crowd-pleasing in their scope. The broad variety makes them ideal for visitors who would like to try as many different New Mexico brews as possible, for novice beer drinkers hoping to try a range of styles and breweries, or for any group of beer-drinking pals who simply cannot agree on which is the best brewery to visit on any given night.

In Albuquerque, locavore restaurant Bistronomy B2B has been an ardent supporter of local breweries and wineries since they opened back in 2013. Today, in addition to their own line of house-brewed beers they have 22 taps from other New Mexico breweries. Bistronomy Marketing Associate Micah Merriman proudly proclaims, “We pick award-winning beers from only the best local New Mexico breweries. Many places offer large selections of beers from big name corporations, but we believe that New Mexico has far too many quality selections not to feature local breweries first.” She elaborates, “We want to cater to the taste of many different kinds of beer drinkers, and offer something for everyone.”   

More recently, two Austin originals have found like-minded compatriots in Santa Fe beer drinkers. Violet Crown Cinemas and Whole Foods have both augmented their primary businesses with a tantalizing array of beers to enhance their customers’ experiences. Now patrons can enjoy a frothy cold one while watching a movie, or during their regular stop at the grocer.

Violet Crown Cinemas’ Bar Manager Steven Anderson explains the reasoning behind the theater’s beer selection; how offering 30 varieties of craft beers—both popular and obscure—mirrors the cinema’s concept of showing both indie and mainstream movies. “Not everyone is going to like a barrel-aged Belgian-style Grand Cru, but those that do are very appreciative of it,” he says. “I know not everyone has acquired a taste for bold, American hops, but Elevated IPA from La Cumbre is far and away our bestseller beer wise, and there is a reason for that; it’s reflective of New Mexico’s beer culture as a whole.”
Whole Foods Market is also seizing the opportunity to tap into the beer-drinking market with last fall’s addition of the Piñon Pub to their Cerrillos location. The pub has 24 diverse taps ranging from local standbys to wild imports. As Benji Fitts, Whole Foods’ metro marketing team leader, says, “We feel that a wide selection is important to our customers, who are seeking novel culinary and sensory experiences.” Continue reading

Taos Mesa Brewing

TMBtl_8Frankenbrew. Among brewers of craft beer, frankenbrew is a self-deprecating boast. Their beer-making rig didn’t arrive on a truck, as a turnkey system, with shiny copper domes and temperature controls. It was hammered together, improvised, with moxie not money. Taos Mesa Brewing’s original brewhouse, cobbled together from used dairy equipment, is a classic of the type. And the hip, happening and slightly radical beer-and-music venue preserves a strong spirit of frankenbrew in its business culture.

Four diverse partners, with disparate skills, shared a vision of “a brewery on the mesa” that could be driven by live music shows, great beer and a joyful atmosphere. Gary Feuerman, the lawyer in the group (because there’s always a lawyer in the group), first teamed with music man, Dan Irion, who had pioneered, in the mid-aughts, underground music shows in a warehouse out on the overly apt Tune Road. Dan, in turn, familiar with the skill of the well-known local craft brew stalwart, Jayson Wylie, brought the beer guy into the mix, and builder/developer Peter Kolshorn completed the band. Not quite John, Paul, George and Ringo, but a formidable collection of imagination and undaunted determination. In 2007, they bought the land that would host their vision and confidently strode off. Straight into the buzzsaw of fierce resistance that is the Taos County Commission. (Insert plaintive violin solo here.) “Taos hazing” is the term Gary philosophically applies to the experience in retrospect, allowing that all ventures come with a price, and being put through hell for a year by an obstructionist governing board is a price one pays in Taos. A wedgie from the upperclassmen, if you will. Ultimately, the commissioners came through with the permits and have since become regulars. ‘Everyone loves us, now,’ says brewer Jayson Wylie. Taos hazing.

With the hazing period over, the frankenbrew-ing of TMB could begin in earnest and, true to form, building materials were scavenged from salvage yards and defunct commercial properties. The former Borders Books location at Sanbusco Market Center in Santa Fe, yielded a rich treasure trove of recyclable fixtures, some repurposed as wall treatments and trims, while a buddy at 3M turned them on to a massive and free cache of foam that became critical to managing the building’s acoustics. “Managing acoustics” might evoke images of hanging a few decorous panels of highly engineered, space-age material to tweak the direction of a wave or two. Nope. Their building is a Quonset hut, those military staples, semi-circular in section. Music in a half-pipe is awesome if it’s you and your earbuds rocking the reverb. But fill that space with brewing equipment, a bar and large numbers of people who insist on being able to move at will. Top it off with five band-members doing mic-checks, and things become very complex. That’s before you attach a very large, straight-lined greenhouse to the south side of your curved-wall building. Now go manage those acoustics. Continue reading

New Mexico’s Artisanal Hard Ciders

 

NM-CiderEach fall, my thoughts return to the apple orchards and cider presses of my childhood. The first hints of a chill in the air, crisp as a freshly picked apple, takes me right back to leaves crunching underfoot and warming my hands on a mug of hot cider.

So imagine my delight, then, at the soaring popularity of hard ciders in recent years, which let my adult self get in on the action and celebrate autumn in grown-up style. Even more exciting, over the past three months, local New Mexico ciders have become increasingly available at local breweries. This is due in large part to SB 440, commonly called the reciprocity law that went into effect on July 1. The new law allows local breweries to sell local wines (not just beers), and vice-versa. It’s had a hugely positive impact on local cider businesses, since ciders are considered wine under state law. It’s also a boon for the cider-drinking consumer, who can now enjoy a glass of the charismatic elixir with their beer-drinking friends.

New Mexico cideries are about more than making delicious beverages, though. The real mission behind these cideries is a fundamental commitment to strengthening our agriculture, our economy and our culture.

For centuries, apples have been an integral part of our state’s history. In the past, New Mexico orchards were full of heirloom apple varieties brought over from Spain. In fact, a survey conducted by the Manzano Forest Reserve in 1926 identified a tree that’s believed to have been planted by Franciscan friars before 1676, making New Mexico home to the oldest apple orchard in the United States! Continue reading

New Mexico Beer and Wine at New Mexico State Fair

For the first time, adult fairgoers this year will be able to find a favorite among several New Mexico-made beers and wines during the New Mexico State Fair, happening Sept. 10-20 in Albuquerque.

The New Mexico Department of Agriculture (NMDA) and the New Mexico State Fair are partnering with the New Mexico Brewers Guild and New Mexico Wine Growers Association to kick off a first-of-its-kind series of events at the fair: The Reds, Whites, and Brews Mini-Fest, where people of legal drinking age can buy New Mexico beer by the can and New Mexico wine by the glass. NMDA will offer samples of New Mexico cheese to pair with the wines, as well as samples of New Mexico pecans, pistachios, and peanuts for fairgoers to snack on during the mini-fest.

“If you want to taste New Mexico in one place, The Reds, Whites, and Brews Mini-Fest is a good time and place to do it,” said New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte.

The series of Reds, Whites, and Brews Mini-Fest events kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building, located across from the Manuel Lujan Commercial Building. The mini-fest returns – same time, same place – Friday, Sept. 11; Saturday, Sept. 12; Thursday, Sept. 17; Friday, Sept. 18; and Saturday, Sept. 19.

NMDA will host four other events to offer fairgoers a taste of New Mexico-grown and New Mexico-made foods. Each of the four events happens from 1 to 3 p.m. in the courtyard of the Agriculture Building:
· Saturday, Sept. 12: Sample 30+ commercially made New Mexico salsas and pick your favorite during the Battle of the Salsas
· Sunday, Sept. 13: New Mexico tacos featuring local grass-fed beef, salsas, cheese, and lettuce – all served in a locally made mini-taco shell
· Friday, Sept. 18: Gourmet mini-grilled cheese sandwiches featuring New Mexico cheese and a variety of ingredients
· Saturday, Sept. 19: New Mexico onion rings featuring locally grown sweet onions, as well as a variety of New Mexico-made dipping sauces

No matter what day you go to the fair, you’ll be able to find New Mexico foods there. That’s because NMDA is once again featuring its New Mexico Country Store – a one-stop shop where you can find several hundred New Mexico-made salsas and sauces, honeys, jams and jellies, and more – inside the Agriculture Building. The store will be open every day of the fair from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Store proceeds go to the food companies themselves and to the Rio Rancho Rotary Club. The club operates the store and puts its share of the proceeds enitrely toward philanthropic projects.

For more information about NMDA and its support of New Mexico farming, ranching, and food- and beverage-making, please visit www.nmda.nmsu.edu, as well as, NMDA’s NEW MEXICO-Taste the Tradition® program, whose logos were designed to promote New Mexico-grown and New Mexico-made food and other agricultural products.