As a native Saint Louisian, I have a lot of opinions about beer. Actually, as a bartender from a city whose water supply is cleaned by Budweiser, I have a lot of opinions on booze in general. Beer, however, has always been a tumultuous relationship for me.
I have to be in a mood for beer. Sours, Mexican Lagers, or a light Pilsner in the summertime. A warm Stout or rich Porter in the winter. Only on occasion, because life is too short to only drink beer when the world contains such gems as mezcal and brandy and wine.
You’ll notice that I completely left out “Ale” and “IPA” off of that list. Truthfully, I hate them. I am of the opinion that anyone who claims to love drinking an IPA really is just trying to cry for help in an uncaring world. Double IPA drinkers must just especially loathe having tastebuds if they have tastebuds at all.
Nevertheless, when my raucous friend decided to visit me from out of town, I begrudgingly agreed to do a brief tour of Albuquerque’s breweries. He conceded that we could also enjoy a margarita or two - after all, when in Rome, right?
That’s how, on our first stop, this self-proclaimed IPA hater extraordinaire ended up drinking not one but two entire glasses of Sour IPA - no coercion or force required.
(IMG provided by Author)
An Experimental Brew Pub, Right Downtown
Gravity Bound Brewing is a newer brewery located on the outskirts of downtown Albuquerque. They officially opened their doors on June 20th, 2020, and have been adapting to the trying times ever since.
After finding a renovating a small northside space, the Gravity Bound team turned it into a sustainability-centric watering hole inspired by the famous Earthships of Taos, New Mexico. The space includes design by local artists, a large, shaded patio, and even a wall handmade by the owner from recycled glass beer bottles.
The most impressive aspect of this space though, is the beer and kombucha brewed onsite. All of the beers are creative, experimental, and ever-changing. The beers themselves mix pleasant, fan-favorite flavors with unexpected twists perfect for exploring.
The current on-tap selection includes a cherry wood smoked Porter, a raspberry cacao Sour, a green mango and pineapple Northeastern double IPA, and a chocolate and coffee Imperial Stout, among others. There is always at least one kombucha made in-house available on tap. The current selection is a robust blueberry mint selection made with Palo Santo wood.
All tap beers are available to be taken home in crowlers if one of them strikes your fancy (one will). Crowlers come $8 a can or $15 for a two-pack. There are also growler sizes available for those days when you need something a bit stronger than coffee.
While I was visiting the brewery, I was honestly surprised it wasn’t a bit more ‘hoppin. Granted, I stopped by on a chilly afternoon in the middle of a pandemic. However, the spacious outdoor patio was perfect for social distancing. I came prepared and bundled up, as did the handful of others lounging in the sun.
The cheerful bartender inside was incredibly helpful. Considering the times, and how hard it would be to justify hiring a bartender during the middle of a pandemic, I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the dark-haired, knowledgeable young man was in fact the owner of the establishment. He generously offered to pour us several small samples of the brews, which was particularly perfect because the beer I thought I was going to love was not the beer I ended up drinking.
As previously stated, I am in fact a Stout Girl. I love malty, rich, dark beers. So when the bartender poured me a sample of the light, yellowish-green Shade Valley Sour IPA I was dubious. It was love at first sip!
The Sour IPA is a matcha latte-sour IPA mash-up of epic proportions. Malt, raw wheat, and oat flakes are the base of the beer, which give it a dreamy, creamy mouthfeel. Next, Strata and Sabro hops provide tropical notes to the brew. Organic matcha is hot and then cold-steeped during fermentation - bringing those dreamy fruity and herbal matcha notes that any tea drinker can immediately identify. The beer itself is aged with Tahitian vanilla bean - an amazing choice that rounds out the entire experience. The beer sits at 6% ABV, which is higher than an average store-bought beer but not unusual for a microbrew.
So New Mexico - what are you waiting for? This is one local brewery that you absolutely cannot let disappear from the city. Go sit on the patio of Gravity Bound and marvel at the latest creations of this dynamic, friendly hotspot. Take home a few, and send some to me while you’re at it, ok?
Gravity Bound doesn’t have a website, but feel free to visit them on Instagram here or @gravityboundbrewing. They’re located at 816 3rd St NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102. Patio and pickup hours are from Monday through Friday 3 pm until 9 pm; Saturday and Sunday 12 pm until 9 pm.