February 1, 2012 at 9:03 AM
"WinterBrew, a highlight of the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta, celebrates award-winning New Mexico craft beer and Santa Fe comfort food"
By Lynn Cline
Lynn Cline is a former food editor and the author of two books – Romantic Days and Nights in Santa Fe and Literary Pilgrims: The Santa Fe and Taos Writers' Colonies, 1915-1950. She also loves to cook, when not dining out.
WinterBrew and Comfort Food Festival
WinterBrew, a highlight of the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta, celebrates award-winning New Mexico craft beer and Santa Fe comfort food from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb 3 at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market Pavilion. Presented by the City of Santa Fe and the New Mexico Brewers Guild, WinterBrew pairs New Mexico breweries with Santa Fe chefs, who will serve up duck meatloaf, New Mexico classics, chocolate stout donuts and more.
Participating breweries include Santa Fe Brewing Company, Second Street Brewery, Marble Brewery, Blue Corn Café & Brewery, Chama River Brewing Company, Tractor Brewing Company, Il Vicino Wood Oven Pizza & Brewery, Turtle Mountain Brewing Company, La Cumbre Brewing Company, Nexus Brewery, Sierra Blanca Brewing Company, Rio Grande Brewing Company and Monks' Ale. Santa Fe Spirits also will offer some drinks featuring its apple brandy.
Food vendors include Whoo's Donuts, Rio Chama, Slurp, Zia Diner, Junction, Epazote, Second Street Brewery, Flying Star and local food truck specializing in jerk chicken with beans and rice.
WinterBrew has its roots in an earlier beer festival held in Santa Fe. "We decided we needed a kick-ass beer festival," says Chris Goblet of the New Mexico Brewers Guild. "So I created one with Scott Hutton, of Hutton Broadcasting. "It was the lowbrow version of the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta and we held it at the Santa Fe Musik Festival, featuring beer and nuts. Trying to find a way to capture the spirit of Winter Fiesta, we thought that dark beer paired with comfort food sounded like a slightly more refined version of hot dogs and beer nuts."
KBAC will broadcast WinterBrew live, featuring KBAC's Honey Harris as master of ceremonies. Second Street Brewery at the Railyard hosts the WinterBrew after party, featuring the banjo-driven, award-winning, venue-shaking roots-rock and electronic music of Todd and the Fox, along with brown ale specials.
Admission is $15, or $10 with the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta Adventure Pass, and includes a commemorative WinterBrew glass and free samples of craft beer made in New Mexico and local comfort food. Click here for more info.
SantaFe.com Editor Todd Lovato spoke with Chris Goblet about WinterBrew and New Mexico's growing reputation as a premiere craft beer producer.
SFDC: Tell us more about WinterBrew.
Goblet: Well, I'm really excited. The New Mexico Brewers Guild (NMBG) has recently hired me as executive director for 2012 and this is our first event of the year. We've created a festival that coincides with the Winter Fiesta and focuses on styles of beer that are prevalent during the winter: porter, stouts, barley and wine, winter lager and brown ales. These beers are often darker and heavier, and have a higher alcohol volume, plus richer flavor profiles like coffee, molasses and chocolate.
SFDC: What do you hope that WinterBrew brings to Santa Fe?
Goblet: I'd like to make this a higher-end beer and food event for the whole state. It's not Wine and Chile, it's not tequila and tacos. It's an opportunity for people to get into new genres of beer from New Mexico and enable them to get to know more about the local companies making them.
SFDC: Why should people take note of craft beer made in New Mexico?
Goblet: Well, New Mexico beer-makers have a lot of momentum right now. The world is starting to pay serious attention to our craft beers. In 2011, New Mexico brought home a number of prizes during the Great American Beer Festival: La Cumbre Brewing Co. won gold for its IPA (India Pale Ale), Marble Brewery took bronze for its pilsner. People are really excited about these honors because they were selected as the winners out of 173 entries countrywide.
SFDC: Is it true that beer is recession-proof?
Goblet: It's an industry in our state that has not suffered during the recession, which is really interesting. It says a lot about the quality of New Mexico craft beer and its growing reputation worldwide. Breweries throughout the state have been bubbling up recently. Five new breweries opened up in Albuquerque alone last year. More breweries are in the works. Santa Fe Brewing Company is exporting to different states, generating its own energy. Marble Brewery is now doubling its production size in Albuquerque. It's just explosive growth.
SFDC: How did beer become a career for you?
Goblet: I've been putting on beer festivals since 2006 in New Mexico. I studied language and marketing overseas in Munich, Germany and I started drinking beer in the '90s in German beer halls. My undergrad is in German and marketing, so I have this marketing background, event planning. I'm just a devoted craft beer drinker who likes to put on festivals and help the industry grow.
SFDC: Are New Mexicans sophisticated beer drinkers, as a whole?
Goblet: Yes, they have a good palate, especially the devotees who attend the festivals. These are your usual suspects—they are beer enthusiasts. They enjoy a good gathering, and they enjoy educating themselves on different styles and beers. The whole idea is to convince more people to drink local. Buying a local six-pack versus an import or a macro brew keeps our dollars local.
SFDC: Expand on this “buy beer locally” idea.
Goblet: I encourage people to drink local. It tastes better. I heard a gentleman on TV say that the word “artisan” translates into finding different and specialized ways of doing something even more difficult than it was originally done. I like that description. Craft brewing is a difficult process and a lot of personal identity goes into brewing beer. Also, there's camaraderie between local beer drinkers. These are the kind of people who are community-minded and aren't afraid to experiment with different beer. When you go into a local brewery, it's not just a bar, it's a taproom and you find a whole community of interesting people. There's, of course, the economic side of all this. These breweries employ locals, brewery staff and bartenders—it's an industry that stimulates our local economies. These dollars get reinvested into local communities.
SFDC: What advice do you have for people who might not be familiar with small batch beer?
Goblet: People who aren't familiar with microbreweries should start with those in their neighborhoods. In this case, Santa Fe. You can often get a “flight” of beers (little samples). Try one of each and see if you don't like something. Most breweries will do that for free. Maybe you'll find one you like. Each brewery has a different flavor profile so you can try out different beers as you go and you'll never run out different things to try.
SFDC: What's in store for the future of New Mexico Brewers Guild?
Goblet: Well, for one we'll be putting on more festivals, including WinterBrew, an IPA challenge, a September-fest and two more, to be announced. When it comes to New Mexico's craft beer, the sky is the limit.
Valentine's Day Aphrodisiacs
Throughout history, people have turned to the foods of love for seduction, pleasure, stimulation and relaxation. From oysters to chocolate, honey, champagne and caviar, aphrodisiacs have played a big role in the art of love for centuries.
This Valentine's Day, try serving some of these foods to your Valentine. They have long been considered aphrodisiacs, featured in the feasts of ancient Egypt and the Roman Empire to celebratory dinners of our contemporary time.
Chocolate, also known as the food of the gods, contains phenylethylamine and seratonin, which light up the brain's pleasure areas. Chocolate also was thought to contain a stimulant that increases the desire for physical contact, prompting ancient monasteries to ban it.
According to legend, Casanova consumed 50 oysters a day, and that was just for breakfast. Oysters are loaded with zinc, which raises the libido and testosterone levels. Because oysters can switch their sex from male to female, it was believed that eating an oyster allowed one to experience both the feminine and masculine aspects of love.
Pine nuts are loaded with zinc. Even in medieval times, people ate pine nuts to stimulate their libido.
Honey's natural sugars can elevate your energy levels. In medieval times, mead, a fermented drink made with honey, was served as an aphrodisiac and couples on their honeymoons drank it to sweeten their marriage.
Caviar and champagne go well together as caviar is high in zinc, which raises the libido, and champagne can lower inhibitions and induce a warm glow in the body.
Truffles were thought to arouse the physical senses, possibly because of their musty aroma and their scarcity.
The ancient Romans and Greeks used lavender as a natural way to enhance beauty. Women often kept a fresh sprig by their bed as a way to ignite desire in their partners.
Cooking with Kids in National Spotlight
Cooking with Kids, a hands-on nutrition education program for Santa Fe school children launched 16 years ago by Lynn Walters, owner of the greatly missed Natural Foods Café in Santa Fe, has made national headlines. Chef Jamie Oliver, whose Food Revolution movement educates children about nutritious food and fights obesity, chose Cooking With Kids' recipe for Green and White Fettucine with Tomato Basil Sauce and Green Salad as the best school lunch of the last semester!
First cooked up by pre-kindergarten through sixth grade students in their Santa Fe classrooms, the recipe includes handmade spinach fettucine and white fettucine, tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil leaves, parmesan, salt, pepper and olive oil. The recipe was then adapted for school cafeterias.