There’s been an explosion in the state of New Mexico.
No, not like our famous atomic blast at the Trinity Site in White Sands. This has been one of a more hoppy, sudsy, crowd-pleasing variety.
Over the past decade, the craft beer scene in the Land of Enchantment has blown up, becoming one of the hottest beer-producing regions in America with nearly three dozen established microbreweries and brew pubs dotting scenic byways and Main Streets across the state. With a cadre of gifted brewers churning out amazing, award-winning beers, distinct flavors, and barrel-aged brilliance, craft beer aficionados have plenty of brewing territory to explore.
While the total number of breweries remains small compared to more established states, New Mexico’s tight-knit group of brewmasters have earned a reputation for their innovative, distinct creations, making the Land of Enchantment the new “Beer Frontier.”
Examples range from the gold-medal IPAs at La Cumbre Brewery in Albuquerque to the IPAs and cactus stout offered by Santa Fe Brewing Co., the lager made with house-roasted green chilies at Roosevelt Brewing Co. in Portales and the native-hops-infused brews crafted by the monks at the Christ in the Desert Monastery in northern New Mexico.
After a long day on the slopes, winter sports enthusiasts throughout the state don’t have to go far to enjoy a tasty local brew. Every ski area is proud to carry New Mexico craft beer and the New Mexico’s Ale Trail website offers a downloadable map and information about every microbrewery in the state so visitors can find the perfect spot for them and even their families.
Meanwhile, many of the state’s ski resorts boast entertaining, beer-centric events that cater to both the serious connoisseur and the casual taster. Check out some of the upcoming “BrewSki” events below!
Santa Fe Brewing Happy Hops Hunt
Santa Fe Brewing sends you on a mountain-wide scavenger hunt in search of SFB cans stuffed with prizes. Redeem your prizes at the base area. And while you’re here, FREE telemark clinics and personal instruction are available all day as part of our annual Telemark Festival sponsored by Black Diamond Equipment. And don’t miss Freeheel Fray, the skin-up, ski-down race after the lifts close. Plus, Santa Fe Brewing will be at the finish line with beer specials all evening.
Date & Time: January 17 & February 14 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Taos Ski Valley
The 19th Annual Brew Master’s Festival
Come enjoy an afternoon sampling beer from around the region and local food as Taos Ski Valley presents the 19th Annual Brew Master’s Festival on Saturday, December 20, 2014 from 4:30-7pm. The event will be held in Tenderfoot Katie’s and the Martini Tree, located at the base of Chair 1. The Brew Master’s Festival is a 21 and over event, no infants or children.
Date & Time: December 20 | 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Cost: Admission is $25, includes souvenir sampling glass, food and fun! Tickets may be bought at the door the day of the event.
Spring Beer Festival
Bring your friends and sample beers from across the Southwest and sample food from some of Taos’ best restaurants. Located in Tenderfoot Katie’s Cafeteria and the Martini Tree Bar from 4:30 to 7 p.m., this is a 21 and over event, no infants or children.
Date & Time: March 7 | 4:30 – 7 p.m.
Cost: $25 entry fee.
New Mexico Brewers Guild celebrates a new year for craft beer at the 4th Annual WinterBrew. Join 16 local breweries and a half dozen food vendors for a cozy winter evening inside the Santa Fe Farmers Market hall. Tickets for WinterBrew 2014 sold out one week before the event, so grab them early.
Date & Time: January 23 | 4-9 p.m.
Take a VIP Tour of Albuquerque’s Best Microbreweries. Join Routes Bicycle Rentals & Tours for a unique bicycle experience that combines the spectacular scenery of Albuquerque’s bike paths with professionally guided beer sampling, local culture, and VIP back-room brewery tours.
Date & Time: December 21 & January 18 | 1 p.m.
Cost: $60 with Bike Rental; $50 BYO(B)ike