In 2011, we placed Albuquerque, NM, at the top of our Unexpected Beer Cities list. Back then, the city’s beer scene was largely undiscovered, but breweries in Albuquerque have quickly emerged, garnering accolades from beer snobs and helping attract a batch of beer tourists. A closer examination of the beer culture in Albuquerque reveals that residents have a deep affection for local brews and one of the highest beer consumption rates in the country. These factors helped Albuquerque claim the No. 4 spot on our list of the best beer cities.
Breweries like La Cumbe Brewing Co., Marble Brewery and Chama River Brewing Co., have helped bring home a slew of Great American Beer Festival medals in recent years, including seven golds since 2011. The more than 10 breweries located in and around Albuquerque offer plenty of variety and often let loyal customers try sneak tastes of experimental brews. Four local home brewing supply stores help beer lovers start their own batches.
Some of the best restaurants in Albuquerque specialize in spicy meals, which all but require a swig of beer to put out the flavorful fires they create. The city experiences an average of 310 days of sunshine each year, making almost every day in Albuquerque the perfect day for high desert adventures like horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, rafting or hiking. Both residents and vacationers often intersperse their activities with a drink at a local pub.