BY TY BANNERMAN
Breaking fastThere’s an old joke about beer not being just for breakfast that has adorned a million dad T-shirts over the years. The punchline: it’s probably not a sign of health and happiness if a brew is the first thing you reach for upon waking. But look, we’re all grown-ups here, and a substantial minority of my readers have probably downed a pick-me-up pint before noontime at least once in their lives. And the brunch tipple certainly has its place across cultures. In fact, I remember one Eastern European bar I lived near that — I kid you not — closed for the day at noon. It’s no surprise that one of the most stalwart promoters of this a.m. ale tradition are the Bavarian Germans, who, naturally, have gone so far as to invent a word for it: Frühschoppen. As far as the Bavarians are concerned, it’s a no-brainer: why not take the edge off and settle the digestion with a touch of the old Heffeweizen? The folks over at Kaktus Brewing Company (2929 Monte Vista NE) pay homage to this tradition with their latest offering, a heffeweizen called the Brumoso Heavy. The taproom doesn’t open until 11:30 a.m., so you can’t go full-on breakfast with your habit. I can, however, report from personal experience that this Kaktus beer tastes the same no matter what time of day you indulge. It’s a bright and full-bodied Weizen with distinct citrusy and banana-esque currents. And it’s made even better by an accompanying plate of Manchego cheese, pretzel bites and wild game sausage.
Raising the roofMarble’s Downtown brewery (111 Marble NW) finally opened its rooftop patio. Stop by when the sun is low in the sky, and catch one of our famous Albuquerque sunsets with a famous Albuquerque beer in hand. And Red Door Brewing Company (400 Gold SW #105) has debuted a satellite location in the heart of Downtown in the old Simms Building at Fourth and Gold. Meanwhile, despite some internal dirty laundry aired dramatically on Facebook, culminating in a brief closure in June, the Firkin BrewHouse (3351 Columbia NE) has overcome its difficulties and re-opened. The server I spoke with assured me they’ll maintain their regular hours for now. You could always stop by to conduct some important research.
Bittersweet companyWhen this column sees ink, we’ll be in Week Two of the New Mexico Brewers Guild IPA Challenge. This month-long event is exactly what it sounds like: a chance for New Mexico brewers to throw down and serve up their best hopped-up pale ales, finding out who will emerge IPA Imperious. The next rounds happen: in Santa Fe on Saturday, July 16, at Santa Fe Brewing Company (35 Fire Place); in Farmington on Wednesday, July 20, at Three Rivers Eatery and Brewhouse (101 East Main Street); and in Albuquerque on Saturday, July 23 at Tractor Brewing Co.-Wells Park (1800 Fourth Street NW). Whether you want info on becoming part of the judging process or simply need to purchase tickets, visit the Brewers’ Guild comprehensive website, nmbeer.org Ty Bannerman is a beer drinker, co-host of the City on the Edge podcast, and author of “Forgotten Albuquerque” as well as a forthcoming memoir. He most recently served as feature and food editor at Weekly Alibi.
The article Beer Town: Breakfast & Champions is republished from ABQ Free Press Blog