The best way to cool the burn from all that red and green chile? A pint of craft beer like only Albuquerque can brew. And when you’re done biking the city’s best breweries, you’ll be ready for another plate.
THE SHORT RIDE
Route: Ogle the Sandia Mountains along Albuquerque’s industrial North Channel Trail. Distance: 3.1 miles
STOP 1 | Il Vicino Brewery Canteen
2381 Aztec Rd. NE
This sparse, modern taproom plays host to local musicians, sandwiches served with beer-infused condiments, and you-pick-’em beer samplers priced to sell ($4.50 for six tasters!). Browse the big chalkboard menu (strategically placed near the brewery’s slew of awards) for something seasonal, and jump on the subtly fruity apricot saison if it’s pouring.
STOP 2 | Nexus Brewing
4730 Pan American E Fwy. NE, Suite D
You’re halfway done when you hit this energetic, soul-food-meets-New-Mexican hub: Fuel up on chicken and waffles, and down a super-sessionable ESB (the brewmaster’s from Burton-on-Trent, after all). Have time to kill? Ease into the 10.2%- ABV Imperial Cream Ale, which just medaled at the World Beer Cup.
STOP 3 | La Cumbre
3313 Girard Blvd. NE
La Cumbre’s big and always buzzing, but plenty of seating makes the place oddly intimate. It’s easy to make friends here: Order the top-tier Elevated IPA, and wonder with the stranger next to you how brewer Jeff Erway managed to squeeze all of hop heaven into a single glass.
THE LONG HAUL
Route: From Il Vicino, cycle southwest along the University of New Mexico campus. Distance: 4.6 miles
STOP 4 | Marble Brewing
111 Marble Ave. NW
Marble’s chill crowd, pichenotte games and easily the city’s best patio (it’s dog-friendly, too!) means you could stay all day, tipping back East Coast transplant Ted Rice’s barrel-aged genius. The star of the show, though, is the 6.2%-ABV Marble Red, a glass of earth-caramel-citrus poetry that’s arguably the nation’s best version of the style.
STOP 5 | Chama River Micro Bar
106 2nd St. SW
This tiny dive’s a world away from the brewery’s buttoned-up steakhouse uptown, but it pours the same staple beers alongside rotating seasonals. Hopheads, endure the pine-grapefruit smack of Jackalope IPA; maltsters, savor the oatmeal smoothness of the cocoa-brushed Sleeping Dog Stout.