Intoxicating Harvest Guide 2014

Ty Bannerman
4 min read
Intoxicating Harvest Guide 2014
He knows where the party’s at. ( christian senger )
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We’re lucky: In New Mexico the weather is generally good enough that we can, and do, have festivals all year round. But even so, there’s something about fall—the crispness in the air or the golden honey light or the smell of roasting chile—that makes it extra celebration-worthy. And maybe it’s just me and a few million Germans, but the encroach of twilight and the primal satisfaction of harvest seems to bring up a longing for well-crafted, complexly flavored libations of grape and barley.

This year, we’ve decided to combine these two hallmarks of autumn into an Intoxicating Harvest Guide. So flip through these pages and you’ll find a comprehensive look at Albuquerque’s best vineyards and breweries, a meditation on the history of viticulture in our own Rio Grande Valley and a profile of a brand new, crowd-funded brewery that hopes to bring democracy to Albuquerque’s craft beer scene.

And, of course, you’ll want to celebrate your love of beer and wine with a few thousand of your closest friends, so check out some of these upcoming festivals that have caught our eye.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

(Sept. 24-28)

Plenty of chile, wine and, almost certainly, chile wine will be on hand at this five-day-long extravaganza. Dozens of wineries will be pouring their finest at cooking demos, dinners and tastings. The events are individually ticketed (and it ain’t cheap), but if you’ve got a hankering for the finer things in life, this is the festival for you.

More information, including schedule, maps and pricing, at

Albuquerque Hopfest

(Sept. 20, 3-6pm)

This is New Mexico’s biggest beer festival, and it’s conveniently located just on the edge of town at Isleta Casino & Resort (11000 Broadway SE). A huge number of breweries, both local and national, will be attending and offering samples of their brews. Live music will provide the perfect soundtrack as you work your way through the crowd, becoming happier and happier as you go. But what about drinking and driving? No worries, the casino is offering free shuttle service from the Isleta Rail Runner station, so drink up and get home safe. $25 gets you in the door, and a free tasting glass gets you 30 samples worth of fun.

Lions, Tigers & Beers

(Oct. 4, 6-9pm)

The zoo is one of the all-time classic family activities, but haven’t you ever wanted to ditch the kids and check out the animals with a more adult crowd? Now’s your chance to get tipsy with the tigers, as the BioPark (903 10th Street SW) will open its gates to age 21-plus attendees who’d like to sample some of New Mexico’s finest craft beers and then go watch the seals swim round-and-round. $25 gets you in the door with a free souvenir glass and plenty of sampling. $45 adds on some free food. For $10, your designated driver can come and have a sober good time too.

Info at

5th Annual New Mexico Brew Fest and Music Showcase

(Oct. 11, 1-6pm)

See what I wrote about the Hopfest up above? This is pretty much the same kind of deal, only smaller and at the Fairgrounds (I mean Expo New Mexico). Also, in addition to the usual breweries and live music, there will be some of the city’s best food trucks and, the website promises, loads of people wearing lederhosen. $25 to enter, $35 to start sampling an hour early. $10 for your designated driver.

Check out for info.
Intoxicating Harvest Guide 2014

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