The Thirsty Beagle: August 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Black Mesa set to return coffee stout

One of my favorite beers is about to make its annual appearance as Black Mesa has announced it will once again team up with Elemental Coffee for a seasonal coffee stout.

This will be the third straight year for the two Oklahoma companies to team up, and once again Black Mesa will offer fans the chance to weigh in on the variety of coffee bean used in the beer.

A coffee stout pre-release party will be held at Elemental from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10.

Invited guests will taste three versions of coffee stout to determine which beer will be released as the annual collaboration. The coffee stout receiving the most votes will be released as Black Mesa’s winter seasonal sometime in either November or December.

Because of its popularity last year, Ethiopian Ardi Stout will return as a choice for this year:

Other coffee varieties in the running this year are Elemental's Sheer and Yippee IA roasts, made with Colombia Naranjos and Rwanda Kairizi beans, respectively.

Those hoping to attend the pre-release party should look for invite information on Black Mesa's social media channels beginning Monday.

Pints and Pins

-Anthem Brewing is making a beer for some obscure local blog. They're calling it Ogletoberfest. Not sure what that name is all about. Anyway, I hear there will be a release party next Wednesday at TapWerks. Or something like that. No, of course I'm not bitter that I've been blogging about Oklahoma craft beer since 2008 and nobody has made a beer for me. Ha. Of course not.

-Speaking of TapWerks, mark you calendar for Sept. 3. They're hosting a 2012-15 Boulevard Saison Brett Vertical night featuring a Smokestack tulip glassware giveaway. That will certainly be a good night.

-Elk Valley Pale Ale cans have hit liquor stores.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Oklahoma primed for Mikkeller beer flood

Oklahoma beer fans -- specifically fans of Mikkeller -- are about to hit the jackpot.

There's big news coming out of Tulsa, from Provisions Fine Beverage Purveyors. Provisions, Oklahoma's broker for the Shelton Bros. portfolio, has announced they will bring as many as eight new Mikkeller beers into the state in September, including the first Mikkeller cans to hit Oklahoma.

The roll-out will include launch parties in Oklahoma City and Tulsa next month, with several offerings expected in liquor stores and on draft. All this information comes courtesy of Provisions owner Scott Large, who told me that as exciting as September will be, October may be even better:

"October sees the list widen to include some of the most exciting and sought-after beers in the world making their Oklahoma debut," Large said.

Pretty nice, right?

So how about the September beers? Large was kind enough to share some label art. First, we have the Mikkeller/Hill Farmstead/Grass Roots collaboration beer, Wheat is the New Hops. It's an IPA brewed with wheat and aged in Chardonnay barrels. This one is expected in bottles:

The highly sought after Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel is due Sept. 1:

 Then there's Mikkeller Better Half IPA:

Two imperial IPAs -- Mikkeller Citra and Mikkeller Simcoe:

Mikkeller Fit Wit is a hoppy witbier:

Mikkeller Keeper is an American pilsner:

And lastly you have Mikkeller SpontanCassis, a sour ale brewed with cassis berries and aged in oak barrels, and Mikkeller SpontanDoubleBlueBerry, a sour ale brewed with blueberries and aged in oak barrels.

I mean, will Oklahoma's liquor stores have enough room on their shelves? I'm sure they will find a way. In the meantime, Large said launch events are being planned for Oak & Ore in the second week of September, and at R-Bar in Tulsa on Sept. 2.

Pints and Pins

-This seems great and all, but then how will I get my shoulders and traps worked out?

-Growler fills and pints from noon to 7 p.m. Friday at Marshall Brewing.

-Roughtail Taphouse is hosting its first Sunday Funday on Sept. 6, featuring $2 low-point beers and $1.50 hot dogs. Wow!

-Speaking of Roughtail Taphouse, this weekend they are celebrating the year-round release of Hoptometrist by offering up $4 Hoptometrist cans and serving up Hoptometrist through a double randall loaded with hops.

-Oak & Ore has announced a Green Flash Brewing/Alpine Brewing tap invasion and glassware night for September. No additional specific details available at this time.

-The Patriarch is tapping a keg of Evil Twin James Beer at 6 p.m. tonight. This is a Berliner Weissebier brewed with strawberry and olives. Interesting.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Roughtail Blog Takeover: One more year-rounder to be offered

I've had a lot of fun sharing all the exciting news coming out of Roughtail Brewing Co. this week, but today it's time to wrap up our Roughtail Blog Takeover.

To close things out, how about the announcement of another beer being added to the growing list of Roughtail's year-round offerings?

Let's welcome Roughtail Pale Ale to the team:

Roughtail's Blaine Stansel reports this beer will check in at 5% ABV and should be on store shelves in cans -- for the first time -- in about two to three weeks.

So, let's review: We learned this week that Roughtail is hosting its own Oktoberfest, called Roughtoberfest; that they're producing a special banana IPA for ZooBrew called Monkey Shines IPA; that Hoptometrist is being released as a year-round offering starting next weekend; and that Roughtail Pale Ale will be released in cans, also as a year-round offering.

I'd say that's a good amount of news! Cheers to Roughtail for owning the blog this week -- that was fun!

Pints and Pins

-Marshall Oktoberfest and Bound for Glory are expected in stores today.

-Today is Elk Valley Tap and Glassware night at Oak & Ore.

-Caldera Pale Ale is on special all week for $3.75 at McNellie's-OKC.

-If you buy a Warsteiner boot at Fassler Hall-OKC on Aug. 27, they'll donate proceeds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Roughtail Blog Takeover: Big news for Hoptometrist

If you follow the online beer chatter like I do, you know a lot of excitement always builds when a fresh batch of Roughtail Hoptometrist makes its way to liquor store shelves.

The problem has been that there hasn't really been any consistency of when you can expect it to hit the shelves. It's been an occasional seasonal -- until now.

Here's your next Roughtail scoop: Starting next week, Hoptometrist is moving to a full, year-round release schedule.

To celebrate the occasion, the Roughtail Taphouse is a hosting a Hoptometrist weekend on Aug. 27-29, featuring $4 Hoptometrist cans all weekend, and a special Hoptometrist through a double-randall featuring two different dry-hops on the night of Aug. 27.

Hop heads rejoice!

Until then, tune in tomorrow for the exciting conclusion of Roughtail Blog Takeover week.

Pints and Pins

-Head over to Oak & Ore at 5 p.m. Thursday for an Elk Valley Tap Night and glassware giveaway.

-Republic is hosting a Founders beer dinner at 6 p.m. Aug. 25. The cost is $50. Visit the bar to RSVP, or email

-Marshall has bottled a batch of Bound for Glory Belgian IPA and says the beer should be in stores as early as Thursday.

-A few weeks ago I took part in a promotional video for Energy FC and Anthem Brewing. You can see that video here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Roughtail Blog Takeover: Roughtail to create new beer for ZooBrew

True story: A few years ago, I brokered a meeting between the organizers of ZooBrew and Roughtail Brewing Co. to devise a specially made brew for the beer-tasting event.

The result was maybe one of my favorite one-off beers made by Roughtail -- Bamboo IPA.

For ZooBrew this year, Roughtail is rekindling the partnership and creating a rather unique beer:

Although some of the details are still unavailable, I can report that Monkey Shines will be a banana IPA.

Certainly an intriguing proposition. Will it taste like a hoppy hefeweizen? How will the banana be incorporated? Will it score the full 18 points for aggressiveness on the 18-point Roughtail flavor rating scale?

As per usual, I will share more details when I have them. And ZooBrew? Now in its seventh year, it's set for Sept. 25 and you can get tickets right here.

Pints and Pins

-Tours and tastings at 1 p.m. this Saturday at Anthem Brewing.

-It's not too late to RSVP for the Roughtail/Lottinvilles beer dinner on Wednesday night.

-Ommegang White is the beer of the week this week the Republic. On sale for $3.50.

-Mustang announced they will make a high-point version of Udderly Awesome Peanut Butter Milk Stout.

-The Patriarch is hosting a cystic fibrosis fundraiser tonight. More details here.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Roughtail Blog Takeover: Get ready for Roughtoberfest

We've all heard of tap takeovers, but how often do we have blog takeovers?

I was chatting with Roughtail Brewing Co.'s Blaine Stansel recently about several tidbits of news coming out of the Midwest City brewery, and all the sudden it just made sense.

Roughtail has all this cool news to share, why not just use the blog this week to share all of it?

So let's get started today with an exclusive announcement: Get ready for Roughtoberfest!

Mark your calendar for Oct. 9-11 for Roughtoberfest, a three-day celebration of German beer hosted by Roughtail Taphouse.

In addition to the all the regular Roughtail beers you can score at the Taphouse, the following special-releases will be available at Roughtoberfest:

-Hoppy Oktoberfest
-Pumpkin Porter
-Pumpkin Latte Stout

The weekend will also feature:

-Growler fills of Pumpkin Latte Stout and Oktoberfest
-1/2-liter and 1-liter steins for purchase and fill with select beers
-A stein-hoisting contest
-A costume contest (David Hasselhoff costumes will be considered)
-German music
-Brats and pretzels

Sounds like it will be an excellent time! You can get more details at the Roughtail Taphouse FB page.

Pints and Pins

-Tickets are still available for the first Oklahoma Born & Brewed beer tasting, set for Friday, to benefit the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Craft Brewers Guild. More details available here.

-Some big idiot stole the draft trailer from the parking lot at Prairie Artisan Ales. Come on, people -- can't we just be good to one another? You can find more details about that at Prairie's Facebook page.

-Big news announced recently that Shmaltz Brewing Co. -- maker of Hop Manna IPA and Funky Jewbelation, among others -- will be coming soon to Oklahoma.

-Keep your eyes on the social media channels for the Oklahoma State Fair -- they're promising some new stuff at this year's fair for those who like craft beer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Local Oktoberfest beers due in stores soon

We all know that 100-plus-degree weather doesn't stop the arrival of Oktoberfest beers.

Even still, we do have some local Oktoberfests that are worth stockpiling for those more climate-appropriate days.

On Saturday, COOP Ale Works held a release party for its 2015 Oktoberfest. You can expect to see this beer hit liquor stores in cans this year:

Love that logo! Do they not need to put that on a T-shirt? Word is that will appear in stores in roughly the third week of September.

And not to be outdone, Marshall Brewing Co. has announced its Oktoberfest -- one of the better Oktoberfests you'll find -- is due to hit liquor stores in six packs on Aug. 20. (Mrs. Beagle's birthday! Coincidence? I think not!)

Kegs will follow the next week, and Marshall will hold an Oktoberfest release party at Fassler Hall-Tulsa on Sept. 3.

Bonus side note: Tulsa Oktoberfest is set for Oct. 21-25.

Extra-bonus side note: Choctaw Oktoberfest is Sept. 4-12.

Pints and Pins

-Where was this deal when I was in college??? COOP Ale Works' low-point beers will be featured for $2 a pop on Friday at The College Bar in Stillwater, starting at 8 p.m.

-Oak & Ore is holding an Evil Twin/Stillwater Artisanal Tap Invasion at 5 p.m. today.

-The Patriarch is holding a Prairie Hop tapping at 6 p.m. today, a table tennis tourney on Thursday and a cornhole tourney on Saturday (more details on their FB page). Meanwhile, here is their food truck sked for the rest of the week:

Wednesday: MT Express 
Thursday: The Saucee Sicilian & Big Shorty's
Friday: Pagoda Pizza & Hawk's Hotdogs
Saturday: MT Express for lunch & St. Paddy Cakes for dinnerSunday: Foodies

-The next Beer University at McNellie's OKC is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 18. The cost is $25 and this round will feature Sam Smith beers. Email for reservations.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lazy Magnolia now available in Oklahoma

Yet another out-of-state brewery has made its way into the Oklahoma beer market.

Mississippi's Lazy Magnolia is now available -- or should be available soon -- at Oklahoma liquor stores.

Lazy Magnolia is best known for its Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale, but also offers a lineup featuring Jefferson Stout Sweet Potato Cream Stout, Lazy Saison Belgian Pale Wheat Ale, Southern Hops'pitality IPA and Timber Beast Rye IPA.

They also feature some seasonal releases, like Backwoods Belgian Golden Ale. Lazy Magnolia officially launched in Oklahoma on Aug. 3, but it appears the beers are making a somewhat slow roll-out across the state. As usual, call ahead to your local liquor store if you're interested.

In other local beer news, couple interesting tid-bits to pass your way from the beer rumor mill. First, word on the street is that Republic Gastropub will build a new location in Chisholm Creek -- that's the massive development going in on the south side of Memorial between Penn and Western, where the Top Golf is.

Second, I heard that The Patriarch may be looking into filing some new paperwork to amend the way they deal with their food trucks. What does that mean to you? It means they could take a page out of the Bleu Garten's business playbook, which would lead to The Patriarch becoming a kid-friendly location. Stay tuned for more info on that.

Moving on, before heading off to today's bullet points, I wanted to give a tip o' the ol' cap to TapWerks for hosting an excellent IPA Day celebration last Thursday. The approach of having the beers served in waves, and with the option to buy flights, was great. And it was great to see how many Oklahoma beers were available. I believe 18 out of the 20 special IPAs offered were Oklahoman. Wasn't too long ago that we barely had 18 Oklahoma-made beers, let alone 18 IPAs.

Pints and Pins

-The Anthem/Prairie beer dinner set for Aug. 17 at Oak & Ore is sold out. Just a heads up: This is a private event and the restaurant will be closed to the public from 7 to 10 p.m. that night.

-Your lineup of pint nights today for the McNellie's pubs: Belhaven Scottish in Oklahoma City; Roughtail Pale Ale in Tulsa; Marshall Tough Love IPA at Tulsa-South; and in the "Are we even trying anymore?" category, Carlsberg in Norman.

-The Patriarch is hosting a pretty darn nifty Boulevard Cornhole Tournament -- top prize is a VIP tour of the Boulevard brewery, a hotel stay and gas money. More info here.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

New Oklahoma brewery eyes debut

News came out recently that we will have yet another brewer enter the fray in Oklahoma.

Award-winning homebrewer Bruce Sanchez has decided to make the leap to the commercial ranks.

His brewery will be named Twisted Spike, and it will be interesting for a couple of reasons, aside from the obvious fact that it's interesting to have new beer made in the state.

First is the location. Twisted Spike will set up shop just off Automobile Alley, on NW 10 right beside the train tracks.

This will be the first Oklahoma City-area full-strength brewery to set up show in one of the city's entertainment districts -- that's a trend that is long overdue, I'm sure we can all agree.

Second is the technique Sanchez will use to make his beer: a cooperative agreement with COOP Ale Works. Twisted Spike's wort -- think beer before the yeast is added -- will be produced at COOP's brewery in far west Oklahoma City.

Sanchez will then truck the wort back over to NW 10 (talk about a nerve-wracking truck ride!), where he'll transfer it into his own fermenters. This is not an unheard-of arrangement; in fact, other craft brewers have done it before. This may be the first example of a such a practice in Oklahoma, however.

Sanchez will then bottle and keg his beer at his brewery, with plans for 375 ml bottles.

So, what about some of the other obvious questions, like what kind of beer will Twisted Spike produce and when will it hit the market? Sanchez was kind enough to take part in a Q and A. Here's how that went:

The Thirsty Beagle: You've been a very talented homebrewer for several years. Explain how the idea to scale up to a commercial level came about. Have you been planning this for some time?

Bruce Sanchez: For many years I have been asked, “When are you going to start a brewery?” or “Why haven’t you started a brewery?” For me, the timing just hasn’t been right. In order to turn my passion into a business, especially the beer business in Oklahoma, many factors needed to change.

About a year ago, we decided that it was a good time to start to develop a business plan. Oklahoma laws have begun to change in favor of beer and the laws relate directly to profitability. Brewery startup costs are also very high. To reduce my startup costs, I have partnered with COOP Ale Works, to produce my wort using some of their excess capacity.

TTB: What's the origin of the name Twisted Spike?

Sanchez: We tried for months to come up with an original name that had a connection with the location. We researched Oklahoma City history, Automobile Alley and railroad-related themes and elements hoping to come up with a killer name. Being adjacent to the railroad provided extra inspiration. We looked at thousands of antique cars, railroad engines, tracks, boxcars, and related images. While researching the difference between stainless steel and railroad spike steel, I was looking at railroad spike images. When I viewed a picture of a railroad spike that had been worked by a blacksmith, I said to myself, “That’s a cool twisted spike.” A giant light bulb went off in my head. After a couple of Internet searches to see if the name was already in use, I called my wife to bounce it off of her. Within five minutes of coming up with the name, the Internet domain was secured.

TTB: What should beer fans expect to see stylistically from Twisted Spike? Will you brew a line of flagship beers, or focus more on seasonals and one-offs?

Sanchez: We are going to establish several flagship beers as well as produce seasonal beers. I don’t have a “favorite” beer, but I do have many favorite beer styles. Many of my favorites are American- and Belgian-style ales. Before the tap room opens I plan to have at least 12 beers in our profile. Our initial releases will cover a broad spectrum of flavors and strengths. We will produce K├Âlsch, Pale Ale, IPA, Porter, Sweet Stout, Russian Imperial Stout, Belgian Blonde, Dubbel, Quadruple and Belgian Specialty ales. I also brew many sour beers. Those take longer to produce and will make their debuts down the road. The tap room will be a great place to get feedback on beers that have the potential for making it into the profile.

TTB: Talk about your location. This looks like a prime spot in the heart of Automobile Alley -- why was that spot the one for you?

Sanchez: OKC is experiencing rapid development in several areas and it is important to place the brewery in a high-growth area. I did a ton of research on several different areas of OKC. I was looking for THE perfect spot, which I could also afford. The 10th St. location has a lot going for it. It is probably the fastest-growing area of downtown. There are many housing developments planned and under construction that will maintain growth. The MAPS 3 2-rail stop on 10th & Broadway will be 1 block away and improve accessibility. We want to create THE OKC beer destination.

TTB: Lastly, let's talk time frame. Clearly there are a lot of steps left to play out, but what's your rough expectation on getting open and getting beer on the market?

Sanchez: The Oklahoma City Council will vote on the permits that we have submitted for the brewery and tap room on September 29th. After the permits have been approved, the lease contingencies will be satisfied. With lease in hand, we can begin the state and federal brewing licensing process. That process will take eight to 10 months. During the licensing process time, we will start the brewery construction. Our plan is to start brewing our first batches in July of 2016.

So there you have it, folks. I'm impressed with Sanchez's sense of a restrained time frame. In covering the Oklahoma craft beer scene for the past seven years, I can tell you that these types of things always take longer than expected, so playing it cool on the time frame is definitely the way to go.

Either way, it'll be great to see Twisted Spike get on its feet and start selling some beer.

Pints and Pins

-Tickets are now on sale for the annual ZooBrew beer tasting at the Oklahoma City Zoo. The event is set for Sept. 25. You can scoop up your tix at

-Lottinvilles is hosting a Roughtail Brewing beer dinner on Aug. 19. You can call 341-2244 to make reservations.

-Republic Gastropub is offering half-off Prairie Gold all week.

-Here's an interesting history of Oktoberfest beers.

-Mustang is hosting another Craft Beer Block Party from 4 to 9 p.m. at the brewery.

-Get a load of these Anthem hats!

Yes, please. These are available at the brewery for $15.

-Finally, a reminder that today is the annual IPA Day celebration at TapWerks. You can read up on the beer lineup right here.