There is plenty to raise your glass to this October.
The fun kicks off this week, with the New Mexico Brew Fest and the beginning of Lift Your Spirits, a weeklong celebration of local New Mexico craft spirits.
Beer enthusiasts have plenty to enjoy at the New Mexico Brew Fest on Saturday, Oct. 1, being held at Villa Hispana at Expo New Mexico. The festival, which celebrates local beer, returns after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID pandemic.
“Obviously, the pandemic had a great effect on the event industry,” Kevin Hopper, founder of the New Mexico Brew Fest, stated in a news release. “As an annual event holder, the pandemic had a smaller effect on us; infinitely smaller than the effect it had on the national and statewide craft brewing industry, which has thankfully survived and is thriving once again.”
This will be the 11th year for the New Mexico Brew Fest, which was first held in 2010.
This year’s event will feature several New Mexico breweries, cideries and a distillery. The lineup includes Brew Lab 101, Canteen Brewhouse, Downshift Brewing Co., Enchanted Circle Brewing Co., Flix Brewhouse Albuquerque, Lava Rock Brewing Co., Leaf & Hive Brew Lab, Left Turn Distilling, Lizard Tail Brewing, Marble Brewery, Palmer Brewery and Cider House, Red Door Brewing Co., ReSource Brewing Co., Rio Bravo Brewing Co., Sandia Hard Cider, Sobremesa Brewery, Tractor Brewing Co., and Turtle Mountain Brewing Co.
VIP/Early entry ticketholders will be allowed into the festival at noon with general admission entry beginning at 1 p.m. Ticketholders will receive a commemorative glass for tasting and to sip on purchased pint fills.
VIP/Early entry ticketholders will receive an additional taster glass courtesy of All the Things Craft Cocktails & Mixers, which will be pouring samples of craft cocktails. The cocktail samples will be paired with small bites from title sponsor New Mexico Harvest.
“New Mexico Harvest is working with dozens of local farmers and ranchers throughout the state,” owner Thomas Swendson stated in the news release. “We deliver the freshest local ingredients possible to our customers, and will do the same at the New Mexico Brew Fest.”
Distilled spirits lovers will want to be part of Lift Your Spirits. The weeklong celebration will feature various events at Hollow Spirits Distillery and Troubled Minds Distilling-Wells Park. Events include Balloon Bartending Class, Tacos and Tequila Tuesday, a four-course spirits pairing with Taste of Love NM, and a Cigar and Whisky affair. A schedule of events can be found at nmdistillers.org/liftyourspirits.
It will conclude with the Lift Your Spirits Craft Cocktail Festival at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
The New Mexico Distillers Guild partnered with the city of Albuquerque Department of Arts & Culture for the craft cocktail festival. Attendees will be able to purchase drinks from participating distilleries that will be mixing up signature concoctions and educating eventgoers about their creations and methods, according to the event website.
Distilleries attending the event include 505 Spirits, Algodones Distillery, Altar Spirits, Happy Accidents, Left Turn Distilling, Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery, One Distillery, Rolling Still Distillery, Safe House Distilling Co., Santa Fe Spirits, Still Spirits, Taylor Garrett Spirits, Troubled Minds Distilling and Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery.
Guests can grab a bite from local food trucks, shop from an assortment of handmade wares from local artisans, and listen to the garage-pop music of Red Light Cameras, reggae beats of Reviva, and the salsa sounds of Ivon Ulibarri & Cafe Mocha while enjoying the view of the Balloon Glow and fireworks during Balloon Fiesta.