Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Another round at Marble

I'm not a gusher. When I review beers or discuss breweries, I try to temper my praise so I don't sound like a fanboy. If beer bloggers aren't careful, they can sound a little like Justin Bieber fans reviewing a new single.

Which brings me to Marble Brewery. A few months ago, Beer at 6512 took a look at Marble, noticing the Albuquerque brewery's range of solid and often excellent beers.

Still, Marble hasn't gotten much attention. The only national attention it's received, really, was a mention in Draft magazine's top 25 beers of the year list for From the Wood, a ridiculously smooth barrel-aged ale that the lucky among us sampled at Ska's 15th anniversary party last summer.

Marble's beers are available only in New Mexico, for now. Marble was just founded in 2008 and is still expanding in its own backyard.

For Durangoans, the closest place to find a selection of their beers is Distil, a high-end liquor store in Farmington. Marble has its production facility and pub in Albu-quirky, and another pub on the plaza in Santa Fe.

Recently, after working up a thirst touristing around Santa Fe, Marble beckoned. I'd already enjoyed their well-crafted IPA and stunning Red, so I was looking for something different.

An imperial pint of Marble Brewery's English-style
pale ale at the pub in Santa Fe.
The pub had two pale ales on tap; one called Marble Pale Ale, the other was an English-style pale ale. A sample of Marble Pale Ale was bracing; it was just brutally bitter. It reminded me of the first time I tried Modus Hoperandi — way more hop presence than you would expect even for a frequently hoppy style. Hopheads no doubt would love it, but I was looking for something a little more refreshing.

So I opted for a pint of the English-style pale ale. It was caramelly and nutty in a beautiful amber body, with a nice balanced hop profile. It was an accomplished and flavorful English-style pale ale.

I took home a few bottles of various Marble beers, and was most impressed by their Oatmeal Stout. The style isn't always pulled off well, and can be so characterless that it turns boring.

Not Marble's. As I've come to expect from them, it was superb. Creamy all day long, and carrying more depth and flavor than one has a right to expect.

Every one of Marble's beers is flavorful, even the pedestrian styles that can be found at most craft breweries. Head Brewer Ted Rice does not do boring, mediocre or average.

I've been circling around it for a while now, and I'm ready to sit: Marble has surpassed Santa Fe Brewing as the best packaging brewery in New Mexico, and their beers would go toe-to-toe with what you would expect from consistently high-quality Colorado breweries like Ska, Avery, Left Hand, etc.

It's time to sit up and take notice of Marble Brewery.


  1. You freaking love santa fe. When is your next Denver trip. Big party april 2, big party. Opening day is the 1st.

  2. My wife and I went to the Marble Brewpub on a recent trip to ABQ and the atmosphere and beers were great! The food options are extremely limited, but we shared a turkey panini that was delicious! We brought back a growler and quickly devoured it...the IPA, if I remember correctly.