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Blog posts tagged with 'cottonwood wine and brewing'

Washington Ranch Beer and Music Festival

Washington Ranch is a hidden jewel in southeastern New Mexico. Located south of Carlsbad, the old ranch house and grounds forms an oasis in the Desert. Owned by a local group, the ranch has been expanding to includean atrium with exotic plants, hotel rooms, a conference center, RV spaces, a bunk house, rustic cabins, dorms, and a dining hall and kitchen. Most important of all, Washington Ranch just held their first beer and music festival.

My wife and I drove our 5th Wheel camping trailer down to attend the new event. We were also accompanied by my wife’s father, the production manager for Inn of the Mountains Gods Resort and Casino, in his coach.The three of us parked our vehicles in the provided dry-camping spaces and headed for the festival.

Breweries from all over New Mexico attended. One of the key sponsors was Carlsbad’s local brewery, Milton’s Brewing. Eachticket came with a free t-shirt, a beer glass, a coupon for onepint and, best of all, UNLIMITED free samples. The samples ranged in size from the small amount one would expect, to up to half a glass. A few other guys and I concluded that the women tended to get the biggest fills. My wife really enjoyed the Milk Stout from The Spotted Dog out of Mesilla, New Mexico.

The stage was a raised grassy area with a tent covering and the sound equipment was supplied by one of the bands, Secret Circus. Secret Circus also has a studio in Roswell, New Mexico where they record both their own work and albums for a number of bands around the area. 

The mixing was done wirelessly by linked sound equipment and a tablet. This method does make mixing a little easier, but it also can create some issues which later became evident.

The first band, Earth Bothers, was a primarily instrumental,alternative rock band. Next was Highland Blues and Jazz Band. As the name states, they had more of a Jazz and Blues style.Around this time is when the tablet mixing became an issue.

Technology has come a long way. The tablets, apps, and Bluetooth technology has helped a lot of the small bands. It gives them the ability to mix on the fly without the need to hire more people. It also eliminates the need for costly, cumbersome, and expansive mixing consoles. Unfortunately, when the wireless connection has an issue like it did that night, the mixer must be manually hard wired for it to continue to function. It took some time to get issue resolved, so we decided to eat.

The festival had a number of food wagons serving a variety of dishes from smoked BBQ to some more exotic foods, like rattlesnake. I stuck with the more traditional, wood fired pizza from Patio Pizza. My wife had the chicken bombs from C-N-G BBQ that she enjoys. For some reason,“Schwety Balls”, another C-N-G BBQ menu item, did not appeal to her.

Once everything was back in order with the sound,it was time for the next performance: Secret Circus. We have heard them a few times before, but mostly in small, indoor venues like Milton’s Brewing. They sound much better in the open. Secret Circus is comprised of two twin brothers from Sweden. It is hard to exactly describe their music. I find it to be more of a modern, alternative, pop with a touch of blues. Regardless, we really enjoyed them.

Once everything was back in order with the sound,it was time for the next performance: Secret Circus. We have heard them a few times before, but mostly in small, indoor venues like Milton’s Brewing. They sound much better in the open. Secret Circus is comprised of two twin brothers from Sweden. It is hard to exactly describe their music. I find it to be more of a modern, alternative, pop with a touch of blues. Regardless, we really enjoyed them.

Up next, was the classic rock band Gleewood. The couple thatforms the band was accompanied by the wife’s father on lead guitarand one of the brothers from Secret Circus on drums. The group played a variety of classic rock covers and some original songs. The singer has a deep voice that, in my opinion,would be a great fit for some of the classic blues songs.

The last band was the Robin Scott Trio. You could tell why they were the closing band: Great sound, excellent mixing, a good variety of both blues and classic rock, and some wonderful original pieces. My wife was up dancing to most of the band’s songs with Robin Scott’s wife.

By the end of the night, we were exhausted and grateful to be staying so close. My wife and I really enjoyed ourselves and hope to attend next year.

Washington Ranch

Breweries:
Spotted Dog Brewery
Tractor Brewing Co.
Cottonwood Wine and Brewing
Drylands Brewing Company
Milton's Brewing

Bands:
Earth Brothers
Secret Circus
Gleewood
Robin Scott Trio

Food:
Patio Pizza
C-N-G BBQ