Written By Barney Gumbel
With the Albuquerque winter here without much notice, stronger and darker ales are popping up at all the breweries around town. I found myself wandering into Rio Bravo Brewing located in Albuquerque’s increasingly popular “brewery district” just North of downtown. I was pleasantly surprised by their enormous selection with a brew for everyone (lagers, hefes, stouts, IPAs, and many more.) But there were 3 new ales that caught my attention.
First off was the Piñon Coffee Porter. A harmonious blend of velvety maltiness and bold, roasty coffee flavors. This beer is a collaboration with the New Mexico Piñon Coffee Co. using their cold brew coffee and roasted beans. Rocking a 5.4% ABV, this ale is sessionable and almost feels like drinking a carbonated cold brew that provides a warm buzz.
The Oatmeal Stout was a perfect follow up. (5.9%). A robust ale with cacao and mild coffee notes that perfectly compliment the frigid weather.
I wanted to end my time at Rio Bravo on a strong note. The Belgian Ale was my answer. It yields a hefty 10.5%. It had all the desirable traits of a Belgian-style ale. Prominent and complimentary flavors of coriander, honey, and citrus hide the bold ABV brilliantly. It is a beautiful ale to drink on a cold Albuquerque night.
Rio Bravo not only offers fantastic beers, but exciting events. This Friday, December 9 Rio Bravo Brewing Company will be celebrating the release of these beers as well as the can release of the Piñon Coffee Porter. The facility is enormous with a huge outdoor area equipped with a gorgeous outdoor stage that are available for private events. The Noms will be playing music in the actual brewery, a unique and exciting way to see music and enjoy local beer.