Tasty Brews and Party Tunes
Get hoppin’ with hops at NM Brew Fest
By Rebecca Gonzales
Compfight cc via Lauren Polinsky
If you’ve eaten your deep-fried Twinkie, visited the arts exhibits and had your fill of livestock competitions, consider a new addition to your Expo New Mexico experience. The Fourth Annual New Mexico Brew Fest and Music Showcase will be held in Villa Hispana (300 San Pedro NE) this Saturday, Oct. 5, from 1 to 6pm.
The festival promises to be full of fun, eclectic music and, of course, beer from all around the state and even the nation. This year’s music lineup includes the Keltic Cowboys, Todd and the Fox, Mondo Vibrations and Die Polka-schlingel.
The event began four years ago when wine festivals were in vogue, but beer fests were few and far between. Fest founder Kevin Hopper decided to “ride the wave” by creating a picnic-style, family-friendly autumn brew fest. And what goes great with beer (and everything else)? Music.
The lineup for the fest varies from year to year. Originally the showcase focused on country music, but it has evolved to highlight everything that qualifies as “party music.” Each band brings a different sonic flavor to the event.
Todd and the Fox self identifies as “roots-rock and electronic” and consists of Todd Eric Lovato and Erik Sawyer. With a five-string banjo, a five-piece drum kit and electronic software, the pair produces songs like “Blessed Christine,” which won an award for its Americana feel three years ago. Fans of TatF appreciate the act’s combination of “dust and neon,” of head-bobbing beats and introspective lyrics.
Mondo Vibrations, on the other hand, is reggae-rock with soul roots. The band would appear to be a typical rock group, with guitar, drums and bass—if not for its addition of the “crazy dread-locked guy playing piano, organ, synth, sax, strings, etc.” Among the band's influences are Crazy Fool, Sublime and, of course, Bob Marley. According to their Twitter account, Mondo aims to “vibrate you.”
Prepare to grab a pint and do a jig when Irish rock band Keltic Cowboys hit the stage. The Arizona natives set the brew fest mood with their rock twist on pub music. Upbeat, lighthearted tunes like “Pay for our Sins Tomorrow” call to mind the stylings of Flogging Molly and The Dubliners. Together, New Mexicans can toast to Ireland whilst enjoying these performers.
In between sets, audiences will hear from Die Polka-schlingel, an 11-piece German polka band that has been involved in the event from its start. Apart from Keltic Cowboys, all the bands featured at this year’s fest hail from the Land of Enchantment. The festival will also feature local food trucks and primarily New Mexican breweries.
Every year more restaurants, breweries, and bands are added to the ticket and, along with them, a larger audience. For this year’s event, 3,000 tickets are available and selling fast.
Advance tickets go for $25, and it’s $50 for a VIP ticket. Designated driver tickets will be sold at the event as well. The fest is all ages, and children get in free. You can purchase tickets at bit.ly/nmbfest4.
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