New Mexican Beers

One thing you learn almost as soon as you land in Albuquerque is that craft beer is alive and well in New Mexico.

Of course, the farther you get from urban outposts like ABQ and Santa Fe, the fewer the breweries, but that doesn’t mean you have to look far to find good beer.

Santa Fe Brewing is one I’ve seen everywhere. Restaurants. Grocery stores. Package stores. The packaging is simple and appealing. I especially like the blue of the State Penn Porter.

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But let’s get serious. We don’t buy beer for the packaging. The porter was solid. The Happy Camper IPA was not a favorite. I have yet to try the 7K IPA, but if it’s anything like La Cumbre’s Elevated IPA — meaning way, way hoppy — then I’ll love it.

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A quick hop over to Santa Fe and I tried Second Street Brewery in The Railyard neighborhood. There’s actually three of these breweries across the city. I enjoyed the Diablo Canyon Belgian pale ale alright — another malty one — and hope to get back soon for more.

Albuquerque, tho. The barrel aged quad at Marble Brewery was out of this world. Hands down best beer on this trip so far. I’ve seen their cans at a couple shops for an IPA and something else. It’s just a matter of time.

Here in the boonies, I’m blessed with Taos Mesa Brewing. I’ve only been to the in-town tap room so far; the so-called Mother Ship sits on the edge of town: brewery, restaurant, live music venue. Way too intimidating for a newbie/loner/introvert like me right now.

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Which is more important in the desert: water or beer?

But thank God they’re here. I already have several favorites: Deep Thought #42 IPA, Great Scot Scottish ale, Cross Eye Rye, Bell End British IPA. I have to say, Pig Pounder beats their barleywine, and I still haven’t had better biere de gardes than at Joymongers and Bhramari. NC ftw.

Thanks to a generous donor, I’ll be heading back to both SF and ABQ to try more beer. I’ve heard good things about Basque, and I want to get back to Marble. All in good time.

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