By Angelo Orona
You’ve probably noticed that when it comes to beer, Albuquerque is becoming a player on the national craft beer scene. We have a strong tradition of top notch breweries and the awards keep rolling in. From making TOP Beer City lists to raking in medals at this year’s Great American Brew Fest, Albuquerque breweries are putting the Duke City on the map. I say this is a cause for celebration and there’s no better way to do it than to lift a glass with your friends on the most celebratory evening of the year.
If you’re like me these days, craft beer is the way to go for any well intentioned celebration. Here’s the liquid breakdown of my suggestions for a successful New Year’s Eve.
You’re probably starting to think about your game plan for the night. Maybe you’ll hit a couple spots or camp out at one of the casino or hotel parties. May I suggest Nob Hill? At this pensive moment, it’s best to keep it mellow and start off with something crisp and invigorating. La Cumbre’s BEER is a good choice here. At 4.7% ABV and 23 IBUs (International Bitterness Units) this is the perfect beer to drink while you iron your bow tie or pencil on your eye brows. It sets the stage for the night. It’s approachable and well made, the perfect aperitif.
Now you’re out the door and ready to grab a bite to the set the foundation for the night. I suggest stopping by Bosque Brewing Company’s Nob Hill Public House if you’re going for something informal. The menu is great but you’re really here for the beer. If you’re in the mood for something more hop forward, try Bosque IPA (6.5% ABV, 90 IBU). Tropical and citrus hop character are the stars of the show.
In the mood for something more exotic? You’ve probably seen one of your friends wearing a t shirt with a pink saddled, bucking elephant and wondered what the hell it was? Well, that’s Elephants on Parade (5.5% ABV, 12 IBU) and it would be a great choice here as well. EOP is basically a beer fruit smoothie. Cranberry, cherry and raspberry add its distinctive pink hue.
Now it’s time to take it up a notch. Take in the NYE sites and walk on down to Matanza Beer Kitchen. Matanza has a massive selection of local craft beers, but we’re only after the best. I would suggest we switch gears and go dark here. Sierra Blanca’s Whiskey Stout (11% ABV, 20 IBU) is a good choice. Deep, rich and complex bourbon notes intermingle with cherry and oak for a great beer that satisfies the senses. You might want to get an appetizer here too, you’ll be glad you did.
Find a clock somewhere and start staring. At his point, you can also try to read Kathy Griffin’s lips and imagine what she is saying that is making Anderson Cooper demonstrate every facial expression known to man. You should be finished with your last beer by now and preparing for the beer you’ll have in your hands at the stroke of midnight. Who knows where you are at this point, but if you can find it, you want to order something effervescent and dry. We’re thinking champagne here. A saison or Belgian Golden Strong Ale is a good choice if you can find one. I’d make some suggestions here, but the idea is for you to spread your wings and fly now. It’s going to be 2017 in a couple minutes after all, shouldn’t this be the year that you resolve to know more about beer than all your friends?
Start your count down from 10. The idea is to scream louder and more obnoxiously than anyone in your vicinity. Made it to midnight? Great, give your sweetheart a smooch, down the last of that beer you ordered 15 minutes ago and hum along to Auld Lang Syne like it’s nobody’s business.
12:09a.m. January 1, 2017
Order an Uber and start contemplating what your life will be like in 2017. Resolve to learn more about beer, to contribute to your community or hit those personal goals you’ve been putting off.
Now, enough with the self-reflection, you have to get to bed. After all, you have a brewery yoga session to attend in the morning.
Angelo Orona is the president and owner of Craft King Consulting LLC, a craft beer consultancy. He is an avid craft beer enthusiast and Certified Cicerone®.