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Chama River Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chama River Brewing CompanyChama River Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.69/5
Based on:
19 Beers
104 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 49
Reviews: 35
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%
Taps: --
Bottles: --
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
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Ratings: 49 | Reviews: 35 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of buckyp
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Pidgurtle
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of Painmob
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of naweir
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of hophead505
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%

Photo of sholland119
4.41/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

$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.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of Reagan1984
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

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.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of jdense
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of mistaya
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

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.

Photo of BretSikkink
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

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.

Photo of jcurtis55
4.58/5  rDev +12.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

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.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of LittleDon
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

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.

Photo of hiikeeba
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped in on the way to NHC in Oakland. Atmosphere was more upscale than I anticipated, but all the customers were dressed casually. Staff was very friendly. Our waiter was attentive and knew his beer.

Although we showed up with, we were seated quickly. The waiter spent a little extra attention on the kids, offering aIm ice cream dessert if they cleaned their plate. They didn't, but got ice cream anyway. The chicken fried scallops were good. Portion size was good, not a huge plate of food I would never finish.

I don't get this way often, but I will be back

Photo of mphopkins99
3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 2

Visited here while on business last week. I enjoyed two of the beers, their Sleeping Dog Stout and one of their Ales, the name of which escapes me.

I thought both beers were very good. Unfortunately, this was a business dinner and I did not take specific notes. However, I would definitely go back if in the area again for the beer.

The food was a different story. We shared appetizers (wings, nachos, calamari) and they were good, about what you would expect as typical bar fare.

I had a NY strip steak which was average at best, as was the accompanying side dish. At $30, this seemed like a rip-off to me.

Long story short, I'd be back for the beer in a heartbeat, but I would not eat here.

Photo of tonyfugere
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I try to go to Chama River at least once per season to enjoy their seasonal brews as well as their everyday brews. The beer is very good. Their food is also delicious, but a bit pricey for Albuquerque. Unfortunately, their service is hit or miss. Mostly it is good, but there is the occasional bad server. The atmosphere is eclectic for a brewpub. I usually prefer the hole-in-the-wall style pubs, but it is nice to take the lady out to a "fancier" joint for some good food and beer. I have not had a bad glass of any of their beer. If you visit from out of town, this is a sure stop along the way. Beware of the frontage roads on I-25. They tend to confuse people at first.

Photo of cggarcia
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Great beer! The brewpub is a nice new building with that nondescript cookie cutter feel of the mass produced yuppie infill. However, the beer produced is superior well-crafted by someone who loves brewing. I've tried all the styles and they are fine examples of each. When I'm in the area I always pick-up a few growlers to enjoy at home. The restraunt serves good food and service is average. Prices are a little high, but is normal for what brew-pubs seem to think is expected these days. The beer, however, is worth the price.

Photo of chileman13
3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The location of Chama River is odd. It can been seen off the interstate however difficult to get there for anyone who is not familiar with ABQ. You must turn on Jefferson and then take the frontage road on the west side of the interstate. It is one way heading south.
Once there you are faced with a sea of compact car parking spaces. The building is well maintained, with a patio facing the mountains. The bar is to the left, with several seperated areas of seating, which probably helps keep noise down. The bar is dark brown wood and copper. The ceiling is also copper stamped reminescent of late 1800's early 1900's. It felt like a synthesis of brewpub and Santa Fe snob.
I sat at the bar. The place was slow and so was the service. The bartender didn't seem to want to be there. I had to ask twice for a lunch menu.
I had the lunch special which was a lamb curry pot pie and salad ($10.00). The salad was very fresh and presented perfectly. I had the chipolte vingerette, which was spicy yet flavorful. The pot pie could have used a little more curry for me. I was presented well using a puff pastry covering an oval dish. Food service was fast, and the server was polite. There was however no follow up.
Now for the brew. I tasted the IPA and either I wasn't in the mood for it or something because I was unimpressed. I had heard good things about it. I decided to have a 16 oz Hefeweisen ($3.97). It seeemed to follow the traditional Hefe recipe. It started with a banana-vanilla note. The taste was an average Hefe. I really like Hefe's. This one I could take or leave.
Overall I'll return to Chama River when in ABQ.

Photo of sleazo
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Got the rec to go here from Rblwthacoz. As a bit of a Albuquerque swami he said this was better tha Kelly's and I think I agree with him.

Chamas is located right off of I25 just north of downtown. They have outside seating with a good view of the mountains and a nice outdoor fireplace by the entrance. When you walk in there are booths to the right, a long U shaped bar right ahead and tables to the far left. There also is another private room which looks onto the brew tanks. The bar itself is mainly dark brown wood and looks nice without being cheesy. The copper ceiling tiles are a nice touch.

The beers themselves were all above average for brew pub fare. I had their IPA, Brown Ale and Stout which were all very good. They had around 10 of their own beers on tap all of which were fresh. I didn't see any other beers available but I did not really look.

Foodwise they do an upscale pub type of thing. I had a bowl of chili and their house salad. The chili was good but nothing mind blowing. There were a number of other entrees available such as coffee crusted pork chops, squash pasta and some more typical pub stuff.

Service was mediocre at best. The bartender really wasn't attentive or friendly but he did check in every so often. The bill was about $24 for three beers and the two food items which I supposeis expensive for NM, but wasnt bad for me.

All in all Chama's is a good place to grab a brew and some dinner.

Photo of tcbl1007
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I was definately caught off guard when I sat down and looked at the Chama River menu. When I go to a place that brews their own beer, I expect a brewpub atmosphere, etc. This is far from it. My wife and I are a blue collar type of people, so we opted for appetizers instead of any of the $22 plus meals (which is the low end for meals there).

Let's start with the beer. The beer was very good. My wife had the Broken Spoke Honey Wheat Ale, which was a very refreshing beer. It had a very nice lightly spiced taste, with nice floral aroma. It was a very nice light beer to have with a meal.

I started out with the Jackrabbit IPA, which was excellent. It was lighter than what I expected, but the hops came exploding out of that bad boy. This would be an excellent summer ale.

Second, I had the Sleeping Dog Stout, which was also excellent. It had an excellent full bodied texture, with nice coffee and chocolate tones, without the overly smokey aftertaste that some stouts tend to have. This was a superb stout.

The appetizers were to die for! The chicken wings were very large, and the buffalo sauce was absolutely fantastic. The rib appetizers were as tender as tender could be, and they fell right off the bone. The BBQ sauce was delicious.

If you're looking for a reasonably priced place for dinner, then I do not suggest going here. This is definately a high-end establishment when it comes to dinner. Any decent dinner will cost you at least $22 a plate. I can't say if the meals are good, or not, but price-wise it didn't float our boat (we prefer a pub grub menu). But if you're looking for excellent beer, with excellent appetizers, and excellent service, then you will not be dissapointed by Chama River. And if you remember to, ask for a table that Isaac is working - he did an outstanding job (very friendly, and very efficient).

Photo of jim102864
4/5  rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Visited this large brewpub located right off the highway in dusty, windy Albuquerque last month while on business (actually in Santa Fe). New in appearance and looking somewhat like a Texas steakhouse, I looked forward to the visit and was not dissapointed. In case you've never been to New Mexico, there is precious little quality beer available. I don't think there's a single beer bar in the entire state, so you're left with a select few brewpubs such as this. A large outdoor fireplace and patio was found right at the entrance. Nice touch. The interior was large and roomy with a high post and beam ceiling and a sizeable rectangular bar dominating the space as you enter. The copper topped surface and tin ceiling over the bar made for a clean, attractive and pleasing atmoshere. I'm guessing the bar sat upwards of 40 people, it was just that big. A row of curved silver armed taps with uniform white handles were in the middle of the space within the rectangle. Two flat screens in the same space were perfectly located for viewing. The beer was well crafted. I enjoyed the Munchener Dunkel(5.3%) first. I then followed up with the Double IPA - "Dangerous Intentions, " which was served in a pint glass even at 8.4%. Grassy and herbal nose and aggessive hopping made this the best of the three. I also found the Broken Spoke Golden Ale crisp and refeshing. Efficient service from the barkeeps, too. All in all a solid brewpub in the high desert that is Albuquerque. Will visit again on my next business trip and stay at the best Embassy Suites I've been to right down the road.

Photo of russpowell
3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Had the sampler on a Friday evening: The barleywine was the best of the bunch, also liked the ESB & IPA

The place reminded me of a upscale rock bottom in many ways. A little too fancy for me to be truly comfortable

Our waiter was great, very attentive, despite the fact it was a busy Friday night

Most of the beers were average to above average, but the barley wine was the only beer I'd call good.

9 beers on tap to include a farmhouse ale & a few lagers, not too mind blowing IMO

The food was pretty tasty albeit a bit pricey. The Chimchuri steak was tasty but smallish. Some nice regional touches.

Not a bad stop, but nothing to to get too excited about. I expected a little more from the beer to be honest

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Chama River Brewing Company in Albuquerque, NM
91 out of 100 based on 49 ratings.