photos by Stephanie Cameron

For those hesitant to venture outside the Albuquerque-Santa Fe bubble, wait no more. Tucked away in a strip mall not two miles away from the legendary Los Alamos National Labs is a pint of beer to rival your favorite local craft brewery. Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op., Los Alamos’ first craft brewery, partnered with Laura Hamilton of Pig + Fig to design a specially tailored menu for their monthly beer dinner.

Last weekend the edible team trekked to snowy Los Alamos for their “winter wonderland”-themed January Food and Beer Pairing at the Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op. The dinner featured 6 beers paired with 6 small plates by chef Laura Hamilton from local eatery Pig + Fig.

Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op, opened in 2015, was one of the first breweries in the US to be cooperatively run. Member-owned and run democratically, the co-op opened its doors in 2015. Nic Boyden, the brewer at Bathtub Row, is partial to complex beers. For this dinner, he opted for a less hoppy, generously spiced flavor profile. He said, “I chose beers that I’ll sit and think about and sip slowly,” like a “Holiday Bock” with cinnamon and allspice flavors, and a “Spearmint Stout,” a rich coffee and chocolate brew with a subtle nod to the dessert-flavoring favorite.

Laura Hamilton is a Texas native who found her way to New Mexico by way of Paris, Houston and Las Vegas, where she held a string of positions at critically acclaimed restaurants and won recognition as a pastry chef. Since then Hamilton has taught and volunteered across the Southwest, finally opening her own business in White Rock. Hamilton says the Pig + Fig, which serves gourmet breakfast, lunch, and desserts, has been warmly received by both the local Los Alamos Lab community and the summer site-seeing crowd.

Hamilton chose to feature a “white” ingredient in each of her plates that night. The small dishes included, respectively, white bread, white beans, white cheddar and white chocolate. Together, the food choices complimented the beers masterfully. Bathrub Row’s “Little Bird Blonde” was crisp and refreshing, providing a welcome partner to a mild yet rich scallops with saffron sauce on toast. A Honey DIPA (Double IPA) served as a bright, floral foil to the tiny trio of white cheddar pimento cheese, white cheddar fricos, and a white cheddar scone.

Hamilton will host a February 4th fundraising wine dinner for Self Help, Inc., a local non-profit dedicated to providing emergency funds and grants to those in need to develop self-reliance. She will also hold another fundraising dinner on February 9th for the Anita Salas Memorial Fund, which assists women diagnosed with breast cancer to pay their medical expenses. The next beer dinner will be February 14, Valentine’s Day.

Below is the menu from the night. Check out Pig + Fig’s and Bathtub Row’s website or Facebook pages to score tickets for the monthly beer dinners and even more frequent winemaker dinners.

Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op
163 Central Park Square
Los Alamos, NM 87545

Pig + Fig
35 Rover Blvd Suite G
White Rock, NM 87544

February 4th wine dinner
February 9th wine dinner
February 14th beer dinner

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Sophie Putka is a Massachusetts transplant in love with New Mexico. She writes, makes lattes, and haunts Albuquerque eateries in search of a good bagel. She can usually be found in the kitchen trying to use up as many leftovers as possible and plotting her next adventure.