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Mobile feast: Festival brings food trucks, craft beers to balloon museum grounds

A blend of beers with a large variety of cuisines is what the Great New Mexico Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival tries to offer its patrons.

The festival returns for its fourth year on March 31 to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum grounds.

“We always say we want to have a great mix of the beers that people know from their hometown – you know, the ones they love – and then some regional and national ones that they might have heard about but not necessarily as prevalent in the area,” event co-founder Janet Prensky said.

Beer offerings will be available from a number of breweries, including locals Monks’ Ale, Rio Bravo Brewing Co., Santa Fe Brewing Co., Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. Also at the event will be Ballast Point Brewing Co., Dogfish Head Brewery, Great Divide Brewing Co., Lagunitas Brewing Co., Ska Brewing Co. and many others.

The same variety goes for food trucks at the event. The festival offers many types of cuisine, including New Mexican, Cuban, European, German, Hawaiian, Mediterranean, and Japanese. Offerings run the gamut from tacos, macaroni and cheese, barbecue, waffles, ice cream and desserts. Participating vendors include Europa Roaming Kitchen, Kimo’s Hawaiian BBQ, Pop Fizz, Sparky Chicano Dog, Street Food Institute, What the Truck, With Love Waffles, and Loretta’s Lattes.

“This year, we are going to have 20 food truck and craft beer festivals that we are producing,” Prensky said. “Albuquerque is our second of 2018. And we try to choose markets that get it, that have strong craft beer identities, have a very vibrant food truck community and is a community that likes to eat and likes to drink. Albuquerque has always been a perfect fit for our festivals; that’s why we come back. It’s just a great community for us.”

Prensky encourages people to visit the festival’s website or Facebook page to plan for the event.

“There’s a couple of strategies; one is to go online on either our Facebook page or our website and you’ll see a list of the trucks and people can kind of pre-plan,” she said. “Then you come, if possible with friends, and you break up, you know, one goes to one line, one goes to another. You buy all the food and then you meet again and you have your blanket and your chair and you have a feast.”

The event also will feature an artisan market full of arts and crafts vendors as well as children’s activities and lawn games on the balloon museum grounds.

“We love Albuquerque,” Prensky said. “We just love the balloon museum. What a fantastically gorgeous site the balloon museum is. Those grounds. Oh my lord. We’re just so blessed to have that sort of backdrop. It’s beautiful.”