Chocolate, coffee, and beer (oh my)
Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest (2016)
Posted on 4/7/2016 by Chops
Having made the somewhat obsessive transition from craft beer to coffee, I have been searching the region for coffee-related events. Imagine my excitement to find the annual Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest, a celebration of coffee, chocolate, and other delectable goodness, including craft beer. What? Seriously? Now that's just too much awesome contained in one space.
The event was held at the Expo Fairgrounds in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From the second I stepped inside, my senses were assaulted from every direction. It did not take long to fill my hands with an assortment of treats. Chocolates and coffees were a given, but the festival also featured several other pleasantries like pastries, spices, jerky, cheeses, and of course, beer. In other words, they had pretty much everything that makes life worth living.
A lovely representation of the local craft beer scene included Santa Fe, Tractor, Bosque, and Boxing Bear. As far as notable highlights, the Xocolatl confections company featured mind-blowing chocolate morsels that were almost too pretty to eat (almost). I discovered a few new local coffee roasters that I really enjoyed. Bosque Coffee Roasters featured a New Guinea roast that was especially delicious. And then there was Death Wish Coffee, branded as the strongest coffee in the world, both by flavor and caffeine. Needless to say, I went home with a bag of beans.
On top of pleasing the eyes, nose, and mouth, the festival also pleased the ears. A crop of local musicians served up sweet melodies alongside sweet morsels. It was not uncommon to find attendees nodding to pleasant tunes with chocolate in one hand and a beer in the other.
Overall, the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest was a lot of fun. I enjoyed getting to meet several local entrepreneurs, as well as sample their delightful wares. I tend to enjoy festivals much more when the majority of vendors are local businesses, and this one certainly qualified. After several hours of browsing the best delicacies the Southwest had to offer, my stomach waved the white flag of defeat and I denoted the event as a must-attend from thereon after. Time for the Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest? Why yes, BrewChief shall be there.