The New Mexico Brewers Guild is returning to some normalcy after its in-person events in 2020 had to be put on hold due to the pandemic.
Its golf tournament, Beer Premier and IPA Challenge are some of the events that will be held in 2021. The guild depends on the events to raise money for its organization that promotes and protects New Mexico breweries. More information on the New Mexico Brewers Guild can be found at facebook.com/newmexicobrewersguild and instagram.com/nmbrewersguild.
The golf tournament will be held on July 26 at Tanoan Country Club, 10801 Academy NE. The event is open to the public as well as breweries. Participants can register as a single player, two-person team or four-person team. Check in and breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and the tournament starts at 8 a.m. To register for the golf tournament, visit nmbeer.org/golf.
“There will be New Mexico craft beer all day long when you come to this golf tournament,” said Leah Black, executive director of the New Mexico Brewers Guild. “It’s one of the (more fun) golf tournaments of the year, I would say in my humble opinion, because you get such a variety of different craft beer from all over the state. … They’ll be golfing; they get a bunch of prizes; we have a goodie bag. We’re also having raffles for a bunch of giveaways. … And, you know, golf around with some of your favorite brewers that are going to be golfing that day, too. So it’s kind of a fun environment.”
Black is seeking more sponsorship for the tournament.
“We really need is sponsorship of prizes,” Black said. “… If there’s somebody that wants to get in with the brewing industry, this is a great platform, you know, to try to get some sponsorship or prizes donated or that sort of thing.”
Also returning is the popular Beer Premier, on Oct. 31. Participating breweries go out of their way to brew something special for the premier each year. The 2020 event did not take place due to the pandemic. The 2019 event showcased 21 beers that had never been released by the breweries that created them. Attendees were allowed to sample the beers and received a commemorative pint glass to take home.
Returning in its original format is the guild’s IPA Challenge. The event, which was held at various breweries throughout the state, was transformed into a COVID-safe event in 2020. Participants did blind tastings of IPA entries at home. The IPA entries were canned and placed into different packs for participants to purchase, try at home, and vote for their favorite online. Rio Bravo Brewing Co. won the 2020 New Mexico Brewers Guild IPA Challenge with its Dice Roll Imperial Hazy IPA.
This year’s competition will begin on Nov. 7. The 2021 IPA challenge will take place in person at different breweries in Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. In 2019, the New Mexico Brewers Guild held a private event with a representative from each brewery that submitted an entry into the IPA Challenge. The representatives then did a blind tasting and eliminated 38 entries and narrowed down the list of entries to 15. The 15 entries moved on to the public IPA Challenge events, which were held at several breweries around the state.
“Brewing schedules are crazy anyway,” Black said. “You know, some people are short-staffed; we are low on staff. As you know, everyone’s hiring. So we’re giving them plenty of time to be able to order supplies and ingredients. … Everybody is just so elated. And we just want to give them enough time to get, you know, their staff (back) up and all the ingredients and have the time to brew that beer to be in these fun new things that we’re bringing back.”