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Pondering the future of beer festivals in New Mexico

Do huge festivals with unlimited sampling still have a place in the future of craft beer?

During stretches without much in the way of brewery news, big or small, I tend to find myself stepping back and taking a big-picture look at the state of the craft beer scene in New Mexico.

Perusing the latest slate of beer-related emails, I took note of the fact that Hopfest, returning this Saturday, is now 10 years old. That is a fairly remarkable accomplishment for any annual festival, particularly in the constantly shifting craft beer scene.

Consider the landscape when Hopfest first began. At that time, Marble Brewery was only a few months old. The only other operational breweries in Albuquerque were Chama River, Il Vicino (now Canteen), and Kellys, with Tractor in Los Lunas and Turtle Mountain in Rio Rancho comprising the totality of the metro area’s craft beer options.

Hopfest has changed quite a bit over time, up to 70-plus breweries now, moving to successively larger venues, and so on. Wha

Source: NM Dark Side Brew Crew

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