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Winning brews: Cazuela’s oatmeal & other local brews came out on top

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Cazuela’s brewmaster Mike Campbell won bronze in the Oatmeal Stout Category for his Beer for My Horses at the World Beer Cup held in Denver. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Cazuela’s brewmaster Mike Campbell won bronze in the Oatmeal Stout Category for his Beer for My Horses at the World Beer Cup held in Denver. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

Cazuela’s Mexican Grill & Brewery has been around for just more than 15 months, but its brewmaster Mike Campbell, who has been brewing for about 20 years, is putting Cazuela’s on the beer map.

A couple of weeks ago, Campbell brought home a bronze medal for his Beer for My Horses in the oatmeal stout category at the World Beer Cup awards held in Denver. There were 57 beers entered in that category.

The event draws thousands of breweries, large and small, from around the world who compete against each other in various categories. Albuquerque’s Marble Brewery took home the gold for its Marble Pilsner in the Kellerbier or Zwickelbier category, which had 60 entries. Il Vicino Brewing Company brought home the silver for its Panama Joe’s Coffee Stout in the Coffee Beer category, which had 109 entries.

“It’s very dark and very rich,” Campbell said of Beer for My Horses. “I use chocolate malt and buy oats at the Corrales Mercantile. It’s horse food so there’s how it got the name, Beer for My Horses.”

In addition to Beer for My Horses, Campbell entered two other craft beers that he brews at Cazuela’s. He entered his Acapulco Gold in a lager category and his Piedra de Fuego in the American-Style Cream Ale category. Campbell said he is particularly fond of the Piedra de Fuego.

“I named it rock of fire because I use a traditional method of dropping red-hot rocks in it on brew day,” Campbell said. “It caramelizes it and gives it a toffee, nutty-like flavor. I’m very proud of it.”

Campbell said most of his beers take about three to five weeks to brew. He also recently created a double IPA that has become a customer favorite. His single IPA is named Chupacabra and a friend suggested that Campbell name the double IPA Papacabra. The name stuck.

During his career, Campbell has brewed for a few other New Mexico breweries, as well as in Memphis, Tenn. Campbell has won awards for his craft beers at the New Mexico State Fair and the Great American Beer Festival.

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