Celebrating suds: Festival features more than 20 brewers, food, arts and crafts

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Crowds check out a number of brewery tents to taste and purchase craft beers at a past New Mexico Brew Fest. (Courtesy of Daniel Hulsbos)

New Mexico Brew Fest will have a different layout this year, but it will still offer great beer and fun as in past years.

The event, in its eighth year, will be held on South Main Street at Expo New Mexico. The event is usually held at Expo New Mexico’s Villa Hispana, but that area is being used by the New Mexico Chinese Lantern Festival this year.

“It’s going to be a different layout, a lot more open, lots of grass,” said Kevin Hopper, New Mexico Brew Fest co-founder. “And we’ve got a number of craft vendors this year, so people selling food, arts, crafts, that kind of thing. It’s going to be a lot more spread-out. You’ve got more to look at and kind of wander around. It should be pretty interesting.”

More than 20 New Mexico brewers will be part of this year’s event. Newcomers include Broken Trail Spirits + Brew, Palmer Brewery and Cider House, Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., Sidetrack Brewing Co., Starr Brothers Brewing Co. and Steel Bender Brewyard. A number of returning breweries also will be on hand, including Bosque Brewing Co, Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Drafty Kilt Brewing Co., La Cumbre Brewing Co., Marble Brewery, Rio Bravo Brewing Co., Tractor Brewing Co., Turtle Mountain Brewing Co. and others. Left Turn Distilling will have its spirits for tasting. Food trucks include Soo Bak, Krazy Lizard Taqueria, Nomad’s Barbecue and Street Food Institute.

Some of these breweries will be returning from the Great American Beer Festival in Denver. Several breweries participating in New Mexico Brew Fest are GABF award winners.

“We try to work with those guys and kind of say if it does win we’d love to have those beers available, but it’s not always possible,” Hopper said. “I’m just happy that they make time for us. It’s tough on these breweries. There’s so many events that they’re supposed to go to and the fact that it’s coming off the tail of GABF, it’s nice that they’re willing to send some people out and pour some beers.”

Blues guitarist Zack Quintana, DJ Flo Fader, and the country-western group Michael Moxey and the Easy Sinners will entertain on the Boxcar Stage.

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