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Steel Bender event features cask beers, live music

Steel Bender Brewyard is ending ABQ Beer Week 2018 with its Le Cask Lunatique event, showcasing unique cask beers and good music.

Steel Bender Brewyard will be showcasing six casks on Sunday, June 3. (SOURCE: Steel Bender Brewyard)

Head brewer Bob Haggerty ventured into the cider realm and made two ciders for the event, on Sunday, June 3. They are Steel Bender cider with Cascade hops and raw sugar, and Steel Bender cider with cinnamon sticks and maple syrup. Other cask offerings will be The Village Wit with honey and grapefruit, Sparkfitter Amber with molasses and ginger, and Brickie American Stout with raspberry purée. Kettle Run – A Solo Hop Sour was created and released for the opening of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” on May 24 at Violet Crown Cinema in Santa Fe. Sunday’s cask version will feature Wakatu hops with agave and the juice and zest of a dozen limes.

“One thing that cask beer allows us to do is make small batches of our base beers and add different flavors to it,” co-owner Ethan Chant said. “The reason we’re adding something with beer like sugar is it’s used to enhance the beer. We wanted to do (cask) barrels because it allows us to experiment and have fun.”

Le Cask Lunatique was somewhat inspired by bad weather.

“I think the idea came from Bob,” said co-owner Shelby Chant, who is married to Ethan Chant. “For our (first) anniversary, the last day of our anniversary, we put all of our sours and our wild beers out on the patio and we had great pairings with M’tucci’s and everything. It was the ultimate bad day of weather, and so we had people show up and it went great and everything, but it just didn’t go as well as we were hoping for. It was terrible weather. I think it was kind of fresh on Bob’s mind, ‘You know what? Let’s have fun; let’s fill up six casks. I’ll just kind of do these great blends and everything and let’s do it out on our patio again.'”

The Chants recruited longtime friend Muni Kulasinghe’s band, Le Chat Lunatique, to provide entertainment from 1 to 3 p.m. at the event.

“We all went to school together,” Shelby Chant said. “We were, like, ‘Whenever we open this place and have live music, you guys have to play, so we got them, and someone in the middle of a meeting said let’s call it Le Cask Lunatique, and I ran it by Muni, and he said it was totally fine to call it that.”

Kitchen manager and chef Jason Baczkiewicz will be serving summer sausage at the event.

“This is drool-worthy,” Shelby Chant said. “We’re smoking beef, then grinding it and combining it with pork and seasonings. “We’re smoking the whole sausage in the smoker, chilling it, slicing it and serving it with stone-ground mustard, sliced baguette from M’tucci’s and pickled Hatch green chile.”