Out in the Permian Basin, not too far from the Texas border, sits a little New Mexican town with an image problem. Unlike its larger and flashier sister to the north, Roswell--of UFO conspiracy theories fame--Artesia can only claim oil wells. Lots and lots of oil wells. Most days the town smells like a permanent fart from all the sulfur dioxide floating around. Most times I've passed through this little burgh, it was with the intent of getting to the mountains to the west. However, I noticed The Wellhead on the way through this last time, and my wife and I decided we had time to stop for a pint or two. Good decision! Their brewer (whose name escapes me just now) knows her stuff. This stout poured black as--well, you know--with a tan head, and had a delicious smoky aroma. Smoky and sweet flavor, with a nice hops balance. Very refreshing indeed. Should you find yourself in this dusty little corner of New Mexico, don't just hold your nose and keep driving. Stop off at The Wellhead and let them pour you a pint.
Reviewed: June 24, 2006