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Bernalillo festival features New Mexico brewers, food, music

The list of breweries keeps growing at the Mountain West Brew Fest in Bernalillo.

This year, the event on Saturday, Aug, 25, will feature 15 New Mexico breweries, distilleries and cideries in the open, grassy setting of Loretto Park. Participants include Bosque Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Broken Trail Spirits + Brew, Kaktus Brewing Co., Kilt Check Brewing Co., Palmer Brewery, Starr Brothers Brewing Co., and Steel Bender Brewyard, as well as Angel Fire’s Enchanted Circle Brewing and Ruidoso’s Lost Hiker Brewing Co. Food vendors also will be on hand, including CCR Roasting, La Rivas Food Truck, Mr. Powdrell’s Barbecue and Sparky’s Chicano Dawgs, as well as a few arts and crafts vendors.

“We’ve added a few more brewers,” said Mike Kloeppel, director of economic and community development for the town of Bernalillo. “You know, the brewers, there are many of them popping up around Albuquerque and New Mexico, and we’re fortunate that we’ve been able to attract a few more.”

Eventgoers will receive seven free samples from the brewery, distillery or cidery of their choice. They also will be able to purchase pints of craft beer for $5. Prices will vary for spirits and ciders. Guests will be able to enjoy live music as they sample. The entertainment runs from noon to 7:45 p.m.

“We have a lot of New Mexico music, as we’ve had in the past,” Kloeppel said. “We like to keep as much of the New Mexico flavor in the program, and so we have an assortment of different music for people to enjoy. … We have a large entertainment tent that will be put up pretty much in the middle of the park. … All of the brewers will be situated around the music tent, so it doesn’t matter if you’re under the tent or sampling the beer, you’re going to be able to hear all the music and enjoy all the fun.”

Attendees also will be able to sample and vote for their favorite barbecue as part of the Backyard Barbecue Takeover, presented by radio station 99.9 The Beat.

“The Beat runs an Albuquerque backyard barbecue competition, and the three winners from there will be situated here at the Brew Fest, and people can come in and sample it and vote on the winner of the Albuquerque Backyard Barbecue Takeover,” Kloeppel said.

The Mountain West Brew Fest is held by the town of Bernalillo.

“This is our fourth annual Mountain West Brew Fest, and we’re hoping to keep it alive and strong, and we’re hoping to have as many people come out and actually support the local brewers that will be here,” Kloeppel said. “Many of these brewers work extremely hard, and it’s always good to support our local businesses.”