The town of Bernalillo is brewing some summertime fun for its Mountain West Brew Fest.
More than a dozen breweries, wineries, distilleries and cideries will be participating in the event on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Loretto Park. They include Bosque Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Broken Trail Spirits & Brew, Desert Valley Brewing Co., Dialogue Brewery, Enchanted Circle Brewing Co., Kaktus Brewing Co., Kilt Check Brewing Co., Palmer Brewery and Cider House, The 377 Brewery, 1933 Brewing Co., Steel Bender Brewyard, Second Alarm Brewhouse, Left Turn Distillery, Sandia Hard Cider, Noisy Water Winery and Sheehan Winery. Ticketholders over age 21 will receive a commemorative glass for tastings or pint purchases. Participants also will be selling growlers and crowlers to take home.
“Our situation in Bernalillo, the event location at Loretto Park is not a very large venue,” said Mike Kloeppel, director of economic and community development for Bernalillo. “So it’s hard to fit in all the brewers that are wanting to come, and the brewers are starting to call us, ‘Hey, we want to go to your event.’ Which is a really good thing to have. I think they see value in this event and we try to do it so it’s a tasting event but a lot of fun.”
Entertainers will perform a variety of music styles throughout the day. Performers are Calvin & Jazz Trio, Hillary Smith & Chillhouse, the Brandon Saiz Band, and Black Pearl.
“We have a very large music tent we put there for shade and chairs and a dance floor, and people can sit under there and enjoy the day, have a beer,” Kloeppel said. “And if they want to get up and dance and enjoy that, we’ll have that going on as well.”
A number of food trucks will be spread around the park. They include Punchy’s Pizza; CCR Roasting, which offers roasted corn; La Riva’s Food Truck; Snow Cone Express; Sparky’s Chicano Dawgs; Mr. Powdrell’s Barbecue; El Sazon de la Tia; Ortiz Jerky; Tikka Spice; Castañedas Kitchen; and New Mexico Best Kettle Korn.
Children can burn off some energy in a designated kids area. It will feature jumpers and games such as Connect 4, giant Jenga and cornhole. Young attendees can jump on a mini-firetruck and get a ride through the park. Adults can show off their bull riding skills on a bucking-bull ride or their ax-throwing expertise at the ABQ Ax station.
You never know what will pop up at the festival. Last year’s event was the setting for a wedding.
“Last year, we were excited because we had a couple that wanted to be married at the Brew Fest,” Kloeppel said. “So it was the first time ever, I think, we had a wedding at the Brew Fest. It’s cool how they did it. The whole thing. They both enjoyed craft beer, and that’s kind of how they met, and they decided to do it at the Brew Fest. We had a local judge perform the ceremony, and everybody that was at the Brew Fest was invited to the wedding because they were all there. That was pretty cool.”
Mountain West Brew Fest is more than just craft beer.
“We’re trying to make it one of those events that people just continually come to,” Kloeppel said. “We want to showcase that Bernalillo can do a lot of cool stuff, and this is just one of those many events that we put on here in Bernalillo. That, we hope, brings people to enjoy our beautiful community here.”