1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Chama River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chama River Brewing CompanyChama River Brewing Company
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

47 Ratings
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 4.09
pDev: 10.27%
Active Beers: 23
Beer Ratings: 111
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

4939 Pan American Fwy NE
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87109-2230
United States
phone: (505) 342-1800

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @chamariverbrew

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: Jason)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Wolfsdenbrew:
Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%

03/29/05:

Decided to visit again since they have changed their name from Blue Corn Cafe to Chama River. The have changed the format also, went from southwest flare to an uncommonly good steakhouse. Still very casual and reasonable prices but the menu is impressive and the steaks are fantastic.

Same brewer but they have expanded the brewing capacity and the quality of the beers seems to have improved. Upped their taps to 10 on tap at a time.

Closed in the patio and made that area somewhat of a cigar bar now. Definitely spent some bucks upgrading the interior, real nice atmosphere now!

I will definitely spend more time there!

12/05/04:
I have visited Blue Corn several times since moving here, and I have yet to be impressed with the food. basically the food is just marginal when compared to other southwestern cuisine present in the area. Fortunately I hear that they are converting the Albuquerque location to more of an upscale steak house.

As for their beers, their regular lineup beers (Atomic Blonde, End of Trail Brown, High Altitude pale, etc) are just moderately good and haven't warranted my returning often. However, their specials or seasonals seem to be of much higher caliper. There Pumpkin Ale and Jack Rabbit IPA were quite the step up from their regulars.
I will continue to frequent Blue Corn if only to try whatever seasonal they happen to have at the moment.

Wolfsdenbrew, Dec 05, 2004
More User Reviews:
Photo of taospowder
3.6/5  rDev -12%

taospowder, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of BcOneSeven
4/5  rDev -2.2%

BcOneSeven, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of SouthwestBreweries
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

SouthwestBreweries, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of kingjohnh
3/5  rDev -26.7%

kingjohnh, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of rpsedillo
3/5  rDev -26.7%

rpsedillo, Jul 02, 2014
Photo of Ashford
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Ashford, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of timlyon
4/5  rDev -2.2%

timlyon, Jun 18, 2014
Photo of kvnklingler
4/5  rDev -2.2%

kvnklingler, Feb 10, 2014
Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

buckyp, Jan 16, 2014
Photo of Pidgurtle
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Pidgurtle, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of Painmob
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Painmob, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of naweir
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

naweir, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of hophead505
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

hophead505, Nov 05, 2013
Photo of sholland119
4.41/5  rDev +7.8%

Our first stop in New Mexico and boy was it a great one. After a 6 hour drive from Phoenix we were hungry and thirsty. Flipped a coin between here and Marble, knowing La Cumbre had, at best, just a food truck, but we could hit it for a nightcap.

A very nice place indeed. A long bar with plenty of seating on the left. We sat in a very nice high walled booth in the dining room. Eight beers on tap, ranging from respectable to excellent. Standouts were the brown ale (rarely my thing), the amber and, most of all the Jackalope IPA. The second best IPA I had in NM, but only because they share the state with La Cumbre.

Food was outstanding, two or even three cuts above bar food. Steak, fish, chicken, all perfectly prepared and served. We particularly enjoyed the regular visits by the bread man.

Service was friendly and quick. A great stop, and a big surprise.

HV

sholland119, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%

$1-2 sample 4oz glasses. Or $5 flights of five 4oz glasses. Free tastes. They sell growlers and fills for around $15-20, depending on the beer I suppose.

They had 10 beers on tap when I went, so you can try every beer with two flights, so about $10, unless you buy the samples separately like I did. Wonder why the bartender didn't consolidate it since I specifically said I wanted a flight, just one beer at a time so the head on the beers wouldn't die before I got to them. Oh well, easy error and only a few bucks difference. I say it's worth it just to support craft beer.

They will cut you off after a certain number of beers, which is responsible and more places should do this. The menu tells you which beers (higher ABV, like 7%+) count as "two beers" towards your cut-off limit.

I believe they'll let you have a bit more to drink if you're eating there also. I didn't try the food because it was a bit pricey, but the waitress offered me some free bread and butter in a tray. Sourdough and a couple other fancy varieties. Helped cleanse the palate.

I like how the bartender immediately placed water glasses infront of us as soon as we sat down, without us having to ask. This should also be standard practice at bars. Not only does it help out the liver and quench thirst, but it's pretty much required to rinse the mouth between beers.

The place was pretty clean and well decorated. Dozens of Great American and international beer festival plaques/medals decorated the wall by the entrance. I don't think any of the gold medal winners of the past were currently on tap when I went.

The staff is all very attractive - it must be a prerequisite for hire there. It's nice to have people who are easy on the eyes when sitting at the bar.

Good recommendations. One bartendress was very sweet and offered a little banter. Recommended the Brown Ale as it was her favorite and asked if I could tell her what I thought of it. Turned out to be a good pick, one of the best in the lot.

Most of the beers are all pretty decent. The only one I didn't enjoy was the pale ale. 9 out of 10 beers being good is a pretty good putting average.

I highly recommend checking the place out.

ZenAgnostic, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

This place is dog friendly on their patio, which is a huge plus in my household! Our server was very friendly to us and our pooch, and quickly brought out some water for the dog to drink. We were there for lunch on a weekday, and the food was decent. Prices were extremely reasonable, and we were able to order a plain chicken breast for the dog to eat. Beer was very good, and they had a good range of styles. Their sampler is of all their offerings, including seasonal/special brews, and their growler fills were very affordable ($9 for reg, $14 for seasonal/special). Also, they fill outside growlers, which was fantastic! Seems like they had a lot of events planned, and the inside was very open and welcoming. Good sized horseshoe bar with plenty of seating. You are able to view the brew area through big windows...not sure about tours because we didn't ask.

GarthDanielson, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Reagan1984
4.06/5  rDev -0.7%

Really nice atmosphere and much more upscale than I expected. Certainly more upscale vs. most brew pubs. I sat at the bar late afternoon and the service was friendly and quick. One of the two bartenders was very knowledgeable about beer and happy to chat about styles, hop selection etc. They were nice enough to write down the hop selection in one of their beers after I asked.

The selection of brews was very nice and the menu looked fantastic. I did not eat, but all the food I saw & smelled looked appetizing. Wednesday afternoon/evening they have a 2.50 draft special which was great.

Good spot and among the better beer spots I've hit in Albuquerque.

Reagan1984, Mar 10, 2011
Photo of htomsirveaux
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%

A and I escaped from the group here, 3 Feb 2011.

We were on our way back to Taos from Albuquerque, a little late for after lunch drinks, a little early for dinner. The bar was just crowded enough that we asked for a table.

Relatively upscale as brewpubs go. Lots of wood, some metal, some leather. Waiter was fairly attentive, not sure if he really knew much about the beers because we didn't ask him.

We ordered the sampler and a couple of appetizers. A got the chipotle corn soup while I got the red chile. The red chile was quite filling, considering it was just the appetizer. There was also a young lady bringing fresh rolls to the tables.

We wanted to get a logo glass but they only had them available for mug club members ($25/yr), and they had to stay at the brewery. So we didn't get any.

htomsirveaux, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of jdense
4.05/5  rDev -1%

Stop #2 on ABQ beer tour, 2.11.11.

Located on Albuquerque's north end beside I-25, Chama River Brewing Co. (CRBC) is a bustling beer destination in the Land of Enchantment appealing to an up-scale crowd. The bar features a rectangular 40-seat copper-topped bar, and during busy times it's hard to find a seat. The beer list featured only CRBC products, 6 regulars and 4 seasonals. $4.25 pints except for the specialty/seasonals which went for $5-6. High end pub grub, everything I saw come out of the kitchen looked really tasty. Small 'bar bites' menu featured meatball sliders and duck quesadillas. Service is a bit hit and miss, the first time I had trouble corralling a server, the next visit they were very attentive. Didn't seem like a real beer geek clientele, a lot of families and couples coming in for a meal and a beer. Certainly worth a visit, but to be honest the CRBC Microbar downtown had a much cooler hipster vibe. Worth a try if passing through the area.

jdense, Feb 13, 2011
Photo of mistaya
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%

Great selection of beers. I had the Rye, which was one of the best I've had since Steelhead's in Eugene at the KLCC Brew Fest last February. Also had the Citra Red. Nice Citra hops taste, not as citrusy as at the Fresh Hops Fest in Eugene. Refills on growlers very reasonable. Less expensive than Oregon and a bit more than Montana. Take a growler when you go. Food also good. Altogether a great experience. Waiter, Eric, exceptionally informed about beers and beer culture. The deserts are to die for. Pinon pine nuts where great with the Citra.

mistaya, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%

Located off a frontage road - very eastern Southwest - in a large building among several other large buildings. Everything appears quite new, and is in excellent condition (clean).

Business casual was the order of the day, and the average client was on the older-and-established side. Prices reflected the new building and yuppy patrons. The menu is small, but with two excellent and unusual vegetarian dishes, quite good. Expensive, but worth it in my estimation. The wait staff walks around with a basket of muffins and breads, and everything was uniformly delicious.

The beer menu was about 8 strong, although the Foreign Export Stout touted on the chalkboard menu was already blown. There were about five standard styles, with two experimental beers on rotation - I like to see that. I enjoyed the best-selling Jackalope IPA, and then an after-dinner stout, and both were of sufficient quality as to recommend the place for dinner and drinks.

Within the ranks of the brewpub, I give Chama River points for not being a national chain and for having an excellent and focused menu. Their beers are well-brewed, if slightly unremarkable, and they are far from running on auto-pilot, with a variety of experiments and seasonals. It might look like a BJ's and smell like Gordon Biersch, but Chama River is definitely a cut above. Highly recommended in the ABQ area.

BretSikkink, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of jcurtis55
4.58/5  rDev +12%

I'm in New Mexico on business and always like to check out the local breweries and brew pubs. I picked up my wife at the airport and headed over to Chama River for dinner. I had a coupon from Avis for a free 'suprise' and that turned out to be a 5-beer sampler. I tried three seasonals, none of which are listed on BeerAdvocate yet for review. I had the Class VI Lager, the Rio Lodo Brown, and the seasonals were an Extra Stout, Imperisl Red and a Raspberry Heffi. All were very good, but the food itself was exceptional. The nachos were some of the best I've had with actual chunks of roast beef included. I had the oven fried chicken with a honey-pecan glaze and my wife had the prime rib. No desert, but I did pick up a bomber of there High Five Anniversary Barleywine, which can only be purchased at the brewery and one other retail spot. I think I'm going to cellar that one for a while.

I highly recommend Chama River for the beer, the food and the atmosphere.

jcurtis55, Sep 18, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

Probably my favorite place to get a brewpub beer in ABQ. Food is good, but a bit pricey...usually Americanized New Mexican cuisine...AKA they will please a green chile craving but dont expect enchiladas or tacos. Upscale decor and atmosphere, but pretty comfortable sitting at the large rectangular bar in a t-shirt and shorts on a weeknight. Beer can range from average to excellent, especially their one-offs. Bartenders are pretty friendly and are generally a little knowledgeable, not enough to please most hard core beer geeks though. Highly recommended if you find yourself staying a night in Albuquerque.

twiggamortis420, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of LittleDon
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%

An upscale brewpub with exceptional food. Located in the typical modern big-box retail type space just off I-25 (e.g., there's a Texas Land & Cattle next door and a large movie theater in the same complex). It has a corporate concept feel, think BJ's but better done, so don't expect any unique funkiness. The atmosphere is comfortable, even if a bit predictable. Not too loud, which is a plus these days. It was full on a Wednesday night (short wait for a table). The food was inventive and well prepared. I had the fries with truffle oil, blue cheese, and bacon (needed more blue cheese and less truffle oil) and a green chile chicken pot pie (nice balance of shell to filling). Price were reasonable for what you got, but maybe a bit pricey for a brewpub in Albuquerque. The entrees ran from about 17 to 35. The beer was very good. Service was good, despite having to ask for bread and water. I'd return if I was up for a good meal and good beer, but might look elsewhere if I was only interested in good beer.

LittleDon, Feb 13, 2010
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Chama River Brewing Company in Albuquerque, NM
91 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.