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Chilling out: ‘Cozy’ WinterBrew showcases craft beers from 18 NM breweries

The new year is the perfect time for a new beer.

Attendees raise their pints at a previous WinterBrew. The event is held each January at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion. (Courtesy of the New Mexico Brewers Guild)

WinterBrew showcases craft beers from 18 New Mexico breweries. Guests will be able to taste the offerings from the participating breweries as well as enjoy a pint of their favorite at the event on Jan. 17 at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion in Santa Fe. The cozy space allows for 700 New Mexico beer lovers to mingle with one another and with representatives of each of the breweries.

“It’s cozy,” Leah Black, executive director of the New Mexico Brewers Guild, said of the event. “I keep calling it the coziest winter fest around.”

Each year, many New Mexico breweries are interested in being part of the event. The participating breweries are randomly selected through a lottery. WinterBrew showcases 18 New Mexico breweries. This year’s event will feature four of the five 2019 Great American Beer Festival medal winners from New Mexico. They are Albuquerque’s La Cumbre Brewing Co. and Toltec Brewing, Moriarty’s Sierra Blanca Brewing Co. and Santa Fe’s Rowley Farmhouse Ales, which was also named Small Brewpub & Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year at the 2019 GABF.

Santa Fe’s Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery also received medals at the GABF but was not selected in this year’s WinterBrew lottery. Other 2020 WinterBrew participants are Albuquerque’s Bosque Brewing Co., Bow & Arrow Brewing Co., Boxing Bear Brewing Co., Canteen Brewhouse, Marble Brewery, Sidetrack Brewing Co., Tractor Brewing Co.; Farmington’s Lauter Haus Brewing Co.; Las Cruces’ Spotted Dog Brewery; Santa Fe’s Beer Creek Brewing Co., Blue Corn Brewery, Santa Fe Brewing Co., and Second Street Brewery and Silver City’s Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery.

Second Street will have some of its beers to sample and will be preparing and selling food at the event. The menu includes pork belly chalupas, chalupas with calabacitas and green chile and its Jack Plane Porter macaroni and cheese.

“They’ve created a special menu for the festgoers, so they’re not only having their beer there but also providing the food, so that’s going to be really cool,” Black said. “… They made this truncated specialized menu. It sounds great. Second Street always has really good food.”

WinterBrew ticket-holders will receive a commemorative pint glass featuring the New Mexico Brewers Guild’s new logo, sampling tickets and a ticket to exchange for a full pint of craft beer from a brewery at the event.

“They’re cool glasses this year,” Black said of the commemorative pint glass. “It’s a really neat kind of slender-looking, elongated pint glass. It’s really cool. We have our new logo now, so we put a snowman inside our logo. It’s really cute.”

Sampling tickets are new to the event.

“For the format this year, we just want it to be responsible sampling, so we’re going to give tickets out,” Black said. “… We just want to be monitoring that people are being safe, responsible. I think what we’ll probably be doing is 18 tickets so 18 samples whether you want to use them all at the same brewery or a couple breweries, that’s totally your call.”

WinterBrew tickets are available online only. Designated driver tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds from the event benefit the New Mexico Brewers Guild.

“It is a fundraiser, so it will be $10 (for designated drivers), and we’ll have nonalcoholic beverages for them so everybody has their safe driver with them and they can have fun too,” Black said.

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