Preparing to shoot a few segments of Big Jon in 5 for BEER2WHISKEY in our upstairs studio at Barley's Taproom in downtown Greenville. That's owner Josh Beebe preparing for his closeup.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Parting Shot, er Beer, in New Mexico

I took a break from penning adventures from assorted New Mexico microbreweries to concentrate on issues of greater import like the clowns wearing TSA uniforms in San Francisco. Now that I have that out of my system, back to the brew!

When I was in Santa Fe a couple of weeks ago with Volkswagen, our lunch stop at the end of the Jetta Hybrid ride and drive was at the Luminaria restaurant at the Inn and Spa at Loretto in downtown Santa Fe.

Lunch was Mexican-infused fare served on the restaurant's open patio. It was good, but I opted for a cheeseburger minus the guacamole and some other Mexicana-fringe accoutrements that I had no interest in consuming. The burger was delicious and the home-cut fries outstanding. They, however, left me with a powerful thirst.

VW offered to have me driven to my sister's rather than she and my brother-in-law having to make the 80-mile hike up to get me. I had a couple of hours to kill before my car was scheduled to depart, so I decided to head to the Plaza that was a couple of blocks away. I had heard rumors of a microbrewery in the area; my mission was clear.

One of the VW PR types told me that she thought it was right on the Plaza. I struck out from the restaurant with a song in my heart and dark brew on my mind. Two hikes around the Plaza and short jaunts a couple of blocks down side streets produced zero results.

I walked back to the hotel the restaurant is in and asked the concierge for help. She looked it up and reported that it is indeed on the Plaza on the second floor of the Arcade Building. I remembered passing by the Arcade Building, but never saw a sign for the brewery.

I strolled the two blocks back to the Plaza and the additional block of the Plaza to the Arcade Building. Sure enough, there was a tiny sign over the entrance that said Marble Brewery Tap Room with an arrow pointing up.

I climbed the stairs and hit the Mother Lode. This isn't the brewery -- that's in Albuquerque -- it's a tap room owned by the brewery and featuring its beers.

I ordered a pint of Oatmeal Stout. It was loaded with chocolate and coffee flavor. Good stuff! I also sampled the Red Ale and some sort of wheat/porter ale that was surprisingly good. Generally I don't like wheat beer, but this wasn't bad at all.

I chatted up the bartender who was completing her third week in the job, purchased the obligatory tee-shirt, and headed for my ride.

I plan on visiting the brewery itself during my Christmas New Mexico stay.

When I visit my sister, her family always tries to put together a family dinner at Sadie’s in Albuquerque, my favorite Mexican restaurant. I coerced my sister and her husband to stop at another brewery I found online on our way to our Sadie's dinner. Actually, no coercion was involved; they go out of their way to show me a good time whenever I visit. I'm fairly low maintenance, so I don't make many requests beyond Sadie's and a particular dinner or two that my sister makes like our mother did. We informed other family members of our intention in case they wanted to join us.

The microbrewery in question is La Cumbre Brewing Company. As many micro breweries are, it is located in the belly of an industrial warehouse area. It doesn't look like much on the outside, but is rather inviting inside.

No too shocking, I opted for the Malpais Stout: truly wonderful.

One of the reasons I chose La Cumbre over the couple of other Albuquerque breweries is because of its truly colorful logo. I always try to buy a shirt when I'm visiting a new brewery and I consider the La Cumbre logo to be one of the better brewery logos I've seen. I thought it would look great on the back of a black or navy-blue shirt.

Although several tee-shirts were displayed behind the bar, none of the men's shirts had the logo on the back. I was really disappointed. Glad the beer was good.

That's the latest suds report.

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