I do a ton of research before traveling to a new place, and these days a fair chunk of that research is devoted to breweries. When we decided to visit New Mexico and I learned that we were flying into Albuquerque, my first thought was Breaking Bad. What I’d soon discover is that there is a relatively robust craft beer scene in the city, and I ended up with far too many breweries on my list for the two days we’d be in town. We had a full afternoon to visit a pair of breweries but we needed to stay near the airport so that we could pick up another couple that was arriving that evening. With the sun high and our throats dry we set out for Marble Brewery.
I’ve got to admit that I didn’t expect much out of Marble Brewery, and it wasn’t near the top of my list. The photos on their website were solely of people, and Google Maps had a mess of shots that didn’t really give me the feel of the place. On the upside, they had three locations in Albuquerque so I figured at the bare minimum they would have some good beer. Once we pulled into their dusty parking lot across the street and gazed at our destination I wondered how I’d gotten my impression of the place so wrong.
The first thing I noticed was their rooftop deck. My anticipation at being in the warm New Mexico sun with some cold craft beers had just went up a few notches! I also began to see details that eluded my eye when I’d done my research online. There was a large shaded paver patio, a food truck, custom seating and lighting throughout, and a beautiful multicolor mural. I’d later learn that their special release bottles feature murals from around the area which is an awesome collaboration between local artists and craftsmen.
We’d arrived shortly after they had opened so there were only a handful of patrons dotting the various seating areas. I inquired about a flight and the bartender handed me a sheet of paper to write my choices on. With 17 beers on tap there was plenty of time for my wife and our friend to each order a drink before I had my list. I was soon leading our group up the steps to the rooftop where we had our choice of tables. There was a wide variety of seating and we took a simple table in the shade. With views of the surrounding hills and downtown Albuquerque we’d found the perfect spot to spend our first couple of hours.
Since we’d been on a plane over lunch, it wasn’t long before Kitsune beckoned. I was skeptical of Japanese Tacos but they were fantastic and their Asian poutine was a wonderful surprise. It was honestly one of the better meals I had while in New Mexico which is saying a lot since we had several other excellent meals.
So what did I drink? My flight consisted of a Wildflower Wheat, Passionate Gose, Tickle Factory, Rita Gose, Pilsner Anejo, and Kentucky Julep. And after that I had one half pint of the Marble Red Ale. While Tickle Factory is a fantastic name, out of the entire flight the Passionate Gose was my favorite. I’m a sucker for passion fruit and this had it in spades with heavy aroma and a deep clean flavor. Finished with a slight pucker and had a bright yellow haze. This made for the perfect beer for 80 degrees in the desert! The rest of the beers were pretty crazy and while they were all brewed well none of them really captured my taste buds quite like the Passionate Gose. Their Marble Red was a solid Amber Ale that was malt forward with some floral notes throughout.
It was getting quiet on the rooftop so for our second drinks we retreated indoors. Some small tables near an open garage door intrigued me we first arrived and I was pleased that there was one available when we went downstairs. We rounded out our visit on this level, with me in full travel mode taking a hundred photos and copious notes while my wife and her friend caught up on their lives.
When we left the energy was high and the taproom was beginning to get busy. We did head to one other brewery yet we enjoyed our time at Marble so much that after we picked up our friends at the airport we had to take them back to share the experience. That second visit was spent on their rooftop patio, under the stars, with good friends and great beer.