Chama River Brewing Company
Active Beers: 23
Beer Ratings: 104
Beer Avg: 3.75
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 44 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
4.41/5 rDev +7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Our first stop in New Mexico and boy was it a great one. After a 6 hour drive from Phoenix we were hungry and thirsty. Flipped a coin between here and Marble, knowing La Cumbre had, at best, just a food truck, but we could hit it for a nightcap.
A very nice place indeed. A long bar with plenty of seating on the left. We sat in a very nice high walled booth in the dining room. Eight beers on tap, ranging from respectable to excellent. Standouts were the brown ale (rarely my thing), the amber and, most of all the Jackalope IPA. The second best IPA I had in NM, but only because they share the state with La Cumbre.
Food was outstanding, two or even three cuts above bar food. Steak, fish, chicken, all perfectly prepared and served. We particularly enjoyed the regular visits by the bread man.
Service was friendly and quick. A great stop, and a big surprise.
06-10-2013 18:39:16 | More by sholland119
4.3/5 rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
$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.
12-11-2011 09:02:13 | More by ZenAgnostic
4.25/5 rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This place is dog friendly on their patio, which is a huge plus in my household! Our server was very friendly to us and our pooch, and quickly brought out some water for the dog to drink. We were there for lunch on a weekday, and the food was decent. Prices were extremely reasonable, and we were able to order a plain chicken breast for the dog to eat. Beer was very good, and they had a good range of styles. Their sampler is of all their offerings, including seasonal/special brews, and their growler fills were very affordable ($9 for reg, $14 for seasonal/special). Also, they fill outside growlers, which was fantastic! Seems like they had a lot of events planned, and the inside was very open and welcoming. Good sized horseshoe bar with plenty of seating. You are able to view the brew area through big windows...not sure about tours because we didn't ask.
04-29-2011 21:29:30 | More by GarthDanielson
4.06/5 rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
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.
03-10-2011 21:42:10 | More by Reagan1984
3.88/5 rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
A and I escaped from the group here, 3 Feb 2011.
We were on our way back to Taos from Albuquerque, a little late for after lunch drinks, a little early for dinner. The bar was just crowded enough that we asked for a table.
Relatively upscale as brewpubs go. Lots of wood, some metal, some leather. Waiter was fairly attentive, not sure if he really knew much about the beers because we didn't ask him.
We ordered the sampler and a couple of appetizers. A got the chipotle corn soup while I got the red chile. The red chile was quite filling, considering it was just the appetizer. There was also a young lady bringing fresh rolls to the tables.
We wanted to get a logo glass but they only had them available for mug club members ($25/yr), and they had to stay at the brewery. So we didn't get any.
02-15-2011 04:59:55 | More by htomsirveaux
4.05/5 rDev -1.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
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.
02-13-2011 18:16:52 | More by jdense
4.53/5 rDev +10%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Great selection of beers. I had the Rye, which was one of the best I've had since Steelhead's in Eugene at the KLCC Brew Fest last February. Also had the Citra Red. Nice Citra hops taste, not as citrusy as at the Fresh Hops Fest in Eugene. Refills on growlers very reasonable. Less expensive than Oregon and a bit more than Montana. Take a growler when you go. Food also good. Altogether a great experience. Waiter, Eric, exceptionally informed about beers and beer culture. The deserts are to die for. Pinon pine nuts where great with the Citra.
12-12-2010 20:50:12 | More by mistaya
4.2/5 rDev +1.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
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.
10-10-2010 17:07:26 | More by BretSikkink
4.58/5 rDev +11.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$$
I'm in New Mexico on business and always like to check out the local breweries and brew pubs. I picked up my wife at the airport and headed over to Chama River for dinner. I had a coupon from Avis for a free 'suprise' and that turned out to be a 5-beer sampler. I tried three seasonals, none of which are listed on BeerAdvocate yet for review. I had the Class VI Lager, the Rio Lodo Brown, and the seasonals were an Extra Stout, Imperisl Red and a Raspberry Heffi. All were very good, but the food itself was exceptional. The nachos were some of the best I've had with actual chunks of roast beef included. I had the oven fried chicken with a honey-pecan glaze and my wife had the prime rib. No desert, but I did pick up a bomber of there High Five Anniversary Barleywine, which can only be purchased at the brewery and one other retail spot. I think I'm going to cellar that one for a while.
I highly recommend Chama River for the beer, the food and the atmosphere.
09-18-2010 14:29:57 | More by jcurtis55
4.28/5 rDev +3.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
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.
08-01-2010 04:08:40 | More by twiggamortis420
Chama River Brewing Company in Albuquerque, NM
92 out of 100 based on 44 ratings.