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New buzz for State Fair

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Marble Brewery has produced this year’s official New Mexico State Fair beer, it was announced Monday at a news conference at Marble Brewery’s Downtown location.

New Mexico State Fair Pale Ale will be available at the State Fair, which runs Sept. 7-17, but beer lovers don’t have to wait that long to try it. It is being sold now at retail outlets throughout the state, said State Fair general manager Dan Mourning.

“This is the only packaged state fair beer in the country,” he said, adding that the partnership with Marble Brewery is representative of one of the State Fair’s missions – to highlight and promote New Mexico products.

“I’m honored that we were selected to brew the beer this year,” said Ted Rice, who owns and operates the three Marble Brewery locations in Albuquerque. “This beer is a pale ale, so it features four different hop varieties, highlighting citrus and floral aromas, and it features New Mexico wildflower honey to further accentuate those floral characteristics.”

He described the beer as fruity, crisp, balanced, bright “and a great refresher.”

About 4,000 cases of the limited edition beer have been produced, Rice said. The cans are easily recognizable by their bright yellow-and-black-bee color motif.

John Gozigian, executive director of the New Mexico Brewers Guild, said one of the guild’s primary goals is to “vertically integrate beer production in New Mexico by using as many local ingredients as possible.” Marble Brewery’s State Fair beer “reflects this initiative by featuring local honey as a signature ingredient.”

New Mexico has more than 60 established microbreweries and brewpubs, which make a significant contribution to the state’s economy, he said.

Marble Brewery was named “Small Brewery of the Year” in 2014 at the Great American Brew Festival.