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ABQ Hopfest kicks it up a notch with 73 breweries

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Fill up your tasting glass with offerings from 10 more breweries this year at the seventh annual Albuquerque Hopfest.

The event continues to step it up and will feature 73 breweries compared to last year’s 63, according to event organizer Marne Gaston. The event also will feature seven bands on three stages. A portion of the proceeds will benefit some local charities.

New Mexico breweries as well as those from around the country will be represented. World-class ciders from Scotland and Europe also will be part of Hopfest.

“There are some new local breweries participating this year, including Taos Mesa Brewing, Red Door Brewing Company and Pi Brewing,” Gaston said.

Other local breweries who are taking part include Chama River Brewing Company, Marble, Cazuela’s, Rio Grande Brewing Co., Santa Fe Brewing Co., The Stumbling Steer, Kellys, Sandia Chile Grill & Brewery, Back Alley Draft House and Tractor Brewing Co.

Gaston is excited about the variety of ciders being offered at this year’s event.

“Ciders are huge right now,” she said. “We have quite a few different ciders at this event, world-class ciders from Europe and local ciders from Santa Fe such as San Sidra hard cider. We also have Stella Artois Cidré, Strongbow cider, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Angry Orchard Hard Cider and so many ciders. For a beer festival that is kind of a new thing.”

Montejo Cerveza Clara, which originates from Mexico’s Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula, will make its debut. The beer is currently brewed in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Anheuser-Busch recently teamed up to distribute it in the Southwestern United States including New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. Montejo is a bright, smooth and full-flavored lager with a crisp finish, according to Montejo head brewmaster César Enrique López Pineda.

Also making an appearance is Deschutes Brewery out of Bend, Ore. It will be pouring its Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Fresh Squeezed IPA and newly released winter seasonal, Jubelale.

“Inside the bottle, fans will find the flavor they’ve come to know that hearkens in the cooler months of fall: layered flavors of warm spiciness, dried fruit and a hoppy finish,” according to a Deschutes media release.

Kiss Mix Cocktails will offer an alternative to the beer offerings. Kiss Mix Cocktails are made with all natural ingredients and offer the quality of a professionally mixed drink in a can. Kiss Mix comes in a variety of flavors: Cosmopolitan, a vodka with cranberry and a hint of pomegranate concoction; Lemon Drop, a vodka with lemon and a hint of lime mix; Screwdriver, a vodka with orange and a hint of passion fruit blend; Margarita, a tequila with lime juice and triple sec mix and G&T, which is gin with sparkling tonic water, according to Laura Harris, operations and marketing director for JAG Distribution.

Kiss Mix is available at independent liquor stores in New Mexico as well as Imbibe Cigar Bar in Nob Hill as well as The Copper Lounge in East Downtown Albuquerque.