State Fair will feature some of state’s best brews, wines

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The frozé, a frozen wine slush, is a new offering at the New Mexico State Fair. (SOURCE: New Mexico Wine)

Four State Fair happy hours will showcase some of New Mexico’s treasured wineries and breweries.

Happy hours will be on Fridays and Saturdays in the Agricultural Building courtyard. Broken Trail Spirits + Brew, Marble Brewery, Canteen Brewhouse, Quarter Celtic Brewpub, Corrales Winery, Luna Rossa Winery, Black Mesa Winery and Noisy Water Winery will be featured. Attendees ages 21 and older can sample and purchase craft beer and wine.

Marble Brewery’s Hazy Pale Ale is this year’s New Mexico State Fair beer.

“The new beer is a hazy pale ale, because it is such a trendy style of beer and Ted Rice (Marble president and brewmaster) wanted to do something that would be more steered toward a craft beer enthusiast than we’ve done in the past, so a bit more hoppy, a bit more aggressive. And I think every year the beers are steering away from mainstream beer and steering more toward craft.”

This is the fourth State Fair beer, and it will be available at bars throughout the fair. A percentage of each purchase goes to support the local craft beer industry.

“This all started because the State Fair is to celebrate our culture and our arts and livestock, but it’s also about industry, and craft beer being one of our largest industries, we wanted to give it highly visible promotion,” Goblet said. “… What I love is the graphics this year. Our graphic design team came up with the bandanna-themed beer can, or as we call it, the ‘Candanna,’ and it’s white, because it’s neutral; it’s not a color. And the bandanna is sort of an ubiquitous icon of the cowboy and of the rancher, so for the rodeo fans and the agricultural folks, we thought the ‘Candanna’ really would strike a chord, and it’s really eye-catching for the 80th anniversary of the State Fair.”

Grape Day, on Thursday, Sept. 13, is all about New Mexico wine. Grape Day is meant to give people the basics of grape growing and winemaking, and guests will be tasting some grapes as well as sorting and crushing grapes.

“I like to refer to it as the grape awareness project, and this is our new initiative to make everybody aware that New Mexico is a grape-growing state,” Goblet said of Grape Day. “It’s the oldest grape-growing state in the country. We need to grow more grapes in New Mexico in order to build the industry, in order to increase our overall production.”

An educator from New Mexico State University will be teaching people how to grow grapes in their yard. Jens Deichman of Victor’s Grape Arbor will be teaching eventgoers how to make wine at home. Sean Sheehan will provide low-cost winemaking tips and give the “down and dirty” on how to make wine with household appliances from your kitchen. Grape Day will all be capped off with a tasting of wines from Sheehan Family Winery and St. Clair Winery will be featuring the “frozé,” a frozen wine drink.

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