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Taproom with taste
Tuesday, 07 May 2013
ImageBy Justin De La Rosa
I met a guy the other day at a bar, and we got to chatting. He bought me a drink, so I offered to share my bar snacks with him. His reply? “I don’t like to mix food with my alcohol.” Fair enough, but if you find yourself at Bosque Brewing Company, I strongly encourage mixing beer and bar food.

The time, care, creativity and science that goes into brewing has made beer not just a drink, but an art or craft, if you will. With great beer should come great food, right? Bosque opened in the later part of last year and brought Albuquerque yet another taproom with terrific tastes.

The focus of any brewery is, of course, the beer, but the food at Bosque does not disappoint. Their motto? “Flavor is boss.” Food offerings at the brewery are simple but sumptuous and relegated to sandwiches and snacks. There’s not a kitchen hiding in the back of the place — your food is all prepared behind the bar in plain view.

On my most recent visit to Bosque Brewing Company, I started with the vegetarian flatbread ($6) from the “Lighter Fare” side of the menu. It is a lightly toasted pita topped with hummus, arugula, red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds and a bit of shaved gruyere. It is an easy, enjoyable and healthy alternative from bar food that isn’t greasy and deep fried. Paired with a pint of Bosque Brewing’s seasonal pale ale ($5), and I enjoyed a superb spring snack.

ImageThe hardest part about eating at Bosque is that each menu item sounds too damn good. Luckily, you can get a half panini with your choice of salad or green chile stew for $7, allowing you to enjoy both sides of the menu. I was dining alone, so I tried a number of items at the expense of my own body weight.

The first sandwich I went for was the pastrami. It’s prepared on a panini grill with melted gruyere and whole grain mustard, then garnished with arugula. The panini presses the sandwich into a thin, toasted and tasty piece of perfection. The pastrami and whole grain mustard pack a rich, flavorful punch that is complemented by the creamy gruyere. I washed it down with a pint of Brewer’s Boot Amber Ale ($5) which features toasted, caramel and earthy tones that paired nicely with the toasted sandwich.

I ordered the half pastrami with a cup of Bosque Brewing’s version of green chile stew. The green chile had a nice bite to it with great flavor, and I could easily see myself getting in there for a bowl of green with a pour of the Scotia Scotch Ale ($5) for some New Mexican-style, soul-warming satiation.

Next, I tried the smoked salmon sandwich, which was much lighter on the palate but offered cool, fresh flavors. It is served cold with muenster cheese, jalapeño ranch, an Arcadian mix and sliced tomatoes. With the salmon, I enjoyed a mixed green salad with candied walnuts, dried cranberries and a Greek feta vinaigrette.

Though the first two sandwiches were instant favorites, it was the pretzel brat sandwich ($7.50) that stole the show. This sandwich isn’t available for the half-sandwich deal. They say it’s because they use the pretzel roll, but I really think it’s because after the first bite, you can’t imagine your life without the whole sandwich. The jalapeño cheddar bratwurst is sliced in half and grilled before being placed on the toasted pretzel roll and slathered with a chipotle aioli. It is every bit as delicious as you could imagine.

Bosque Brewing Company has done something great in their short time since opening. Their beers are unique among Albuquerque’s breweries and their food sets them apart as not just a brewery but a restaurant. It’s a great place to get off the beaten path for a beer and a bite. 

Bosque Brewing Company

8900 San Mateo NE, 505.433.3889
Hours: 11a-10p, Mon.-Thu.; 11a-11p, Fri.-Sat.; Noon-8p, Sun.

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