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Mountain West Brew Fest’s beverage selection will include wine, liquor

Visitors to last year’s Mountain West Brew Fest in Bernalillo get a couple of pints at the Tractor Brewery tent. This year’s version of the event takes place next weekend. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Visitors to last year’s Mountain West Brew Fest in Bernalillo get a couple of pints at the Tractor Brewery tent. This year’s version of the event takes place next weekend. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Take in Bernalillo’s mountain views and sample New Mexico wine, beer and liquor at this year’s Labor Day weekend brew fest.

The town of Bernalillo opted last year to replace its longstanding wine festival with the Mountain West Brew Fest. In its second year, the two-day festival has expanded to include a much larger beverage selection.

“Even amongst couples, one person likes wine and the other likes beer,” said Maria Rinaldi, Bernalillo community planning and development director. “We’re trying to expand the general attendance of the festival.”

The festival brings together 16 breweries, six wineries and one distillery, all based in New Mexico, two based in Bernalillo.

“Last year, we attempted to bring in a range of breweries from the region, and people were most interested in the New Mexico breweries,” Rinaldi said. “So we decided to focus on New Mexico.”

She said it’s a chance for the 5,000 beer and wine drinkers who are expected to attend to taste beverages they might not try otherwise.

“It’s such a popular industry,” she said. “It’s to get (breweries) exposure in the market also, but to bring the breweries together in a festival atmosphere for the public.”

Along with drinks samples, attendees can listen to local music and snack on food from booths, trucks and carts. Vendors will offer arts and crafts, jewelry and clothing for sale and a farmers market will offer fresh fruit, veggies and nuts.

Set in Loretto Park, the festival shows off Bernalillo’s scenery and view of the Sandias.

“Bernalillo is such a beautiful place to be this time of the year,” Rinaldi said.

The park offers seven acres of grass, with plenty of shade trees and tents

“We have the most beautiful festival grounds in the state of New Mexico,” Rinaldi said.

Tickets are $20 per person or $40 for VIP admission, only those 21 and over are allowed to attend. They are available online at mountainwestbrewfest.com or at the gate, which accepts only cash.

The Rail Runner commuter train is offering expanded service to accommodate brew fest attendees. Those who arrive by train can walk to the festival or catch a free shuttle from the Sandoval County/U.S. 550 stop.

School and church groups offer nearby parking for a fee.

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