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ABQ Beer Week: New Mexico's Top Beer Experience

Dripping with cultural attractions and historical landmarks, Albuquerque is a must-visit destination during any trip to New Mexico. The city features some of the best weather in America with an annual average temperature of 70℉ and more than 310 days of sunshine annually. All visitors should make their way to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway which offers bird's eye views of the city and Rio Grande Valley.  


The ABQ Beer Week brings hundreds of beer-themed activities and events to Albuquerque each year. This year, the event will take place May 25 - June 4 at various venues throughout the city. The Beer Week contains more than 100 separate events from pairing demonstrations at top tier restaurants to concerts at the city's top nightspots. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample a variety of locally-produced and national beers, ciders, meads, and more. Patrons can also eat some of the city's best cuisine from participating restaurants, vendors, and food trucks. Proceeds from the event go to charitable organizations including the American Lung Association, Make A Wish, UNM Children's Hospital, and more. We got the chance to interview Marne Gaston, a representative of the event, to learn more about this great beer celebration.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

MG: ABQ Beer Week is kicking off its 7th year. Our Inaugural ABQ Beer Week took place in 2011, and we’ve been celebrating ever since.  


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

MG: We estimate about 12,000 attendees to all of the events. Some are small, more intimate events with 15 people, while the ABQ Blues & Brews is a big festival with an average of 3,000 people in attendance.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract?

MG: We attract people over the age of 21 since the majority of our events are at breweries, bars, and restaurants. We get a lot of couples for the food pairing events, and the festival-type events attract more of a variety.


RAL: What makes this event unique?

MG: This is the only event in Albuquerque that highlights all of our great beer, and the places where people enjoy them.


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

MG: There are multiple events each day and over 100 events in 11 days. You could do some free sampling, then stop in for a fun food and beer pairing, finishing the day with a great musical experience.


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?

MG: There are multiple course meals paired with beer, food truck events, grilled cheese/beer pairings, tapas/beer pairings, chocolate/beer pairings, beer/cheese pairings (my favorites), and more.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

MG: We have some special rates on our site, but some fun boutique-type hotels are Hotel Andaluz, Los Poblanos Historic Inn, and more.


RAL: Is there maybe one place in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?

MG: There are always favorite events. ABQ Blues & Brews sells out every year as well as the Beer & Cheese, Beer & Grilled Cheese, and Beer & Sausage events. Other favorites include the Battle of the Beer Geeks and the Tower of Sour.


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

MG: The event helps out the economy by creating large new revenue streams. Beer Week attendees stay in hotels, eat at local restaurants, visit attractions, and more.


RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?

MG: Multiple charities benefit from ABQ Beer Week including El Ranchito de Los Ninos, American Lung Association, Make A Wish, UNM Children's Hospital, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Watermelon Mountain Ranch Animal Shelter, and more.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

MG: ABQ Beer Week is a way to cram in all kinds of experiences into just a few days. You can try new beers, new foods, check out art, music, and different areas of the city.

For more information about the ABQ Beer Week, please visit the event website.