The Thirsty Beagle: June 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

It's Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week Eve!

The countdown is on for the week of the year in Oklahoma City craft beer.

We're officially one day away from the start of Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week 2016. There's a huge number of events going down, but let me hit you with some of the highlights.

We start things off tomorrow at 2 p.m. with the LOCAL/S&B Burgers/Hillbilly's Block Party. They're shutting down NW 9 from the train tracks to Broadway for a full-on street party. Further north, Republic is hosting a COOP Tap Takeover at 4 p.m.

On Sunday, Oak & Ore kicks off a week of events with a Prairie Beer Brunch, while Packard's holds it own beer brunch, featuring COOP.

I'm especially excited about Monday night. That's because in May, I got together with Roughtail brewmaster Tony Tielli to brew a Roughtail/Thirsty Beagle collaboration beer. We did a dry-hopped double black IPA featuring a Citra and Comet hop blend, and aged it on raspberries and Anaheim, ancho and habanero peppers. This is essentially the exact type of beer I would brew at home -- except I was able to do it with the expertise of a real-deal brewer in a real-deal brewery. So, score, right?

Only 10 gallons of the beer was made. Roughtail is going to serve up one keg at their taphouse on Monday night, starting at 6 p.m., and then you should be able to find the other keg at the Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival. Of course, that's one keg for three sessions, so your best bet if you want to try the beer is to hit up Roughtail on Monday.

I'll be out at Roughtail that night, so feel free to stop by to try the beer, and I'd be happy to chat you up about OKC Craft Beer Week, beer in general, alcohol legislation, Toronto sports teams -- really just about anything.

Also on Monday, TapWerks kicks off it's full week of events with a Roughtail Adaptation 4 tapping, Pub W up on Memorial Road will release the new Prairie Paradise, and McNellie's-OKC will begin a full week of offering 25 percent off Oklahoma drafts.

On Tuesday, The Wedge Deep Deuce will hold one of its famous local beer parties, and TapWerks will debut the first public offering of Elk Valley Chardonnay-barrel-aged apricot Le Ferme.

Wednesday sees Oak & Ore get in on the Elk Valley Le Ferme act, while TapWerks will offer a three-year Marshall Black Dolphin vertical, The Patriarch will showcase COOP alongside a showing of "The Big Lebowski" and Slaughter's Hall will hold an Anthem Pint Night.

Thursday brings us another great vertical from TapWerks -- a four-year selection of COOP's Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout. Then we also have a trio of Anthem events (at The Bluegarten, The Patriarch and Republic) and a 405 Simple Tart release at McNellie's-OKC.

On Friday, we get the first public session of the sixth annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival (tickets still available at, plus an Anthem vintage barrel-aged beer night at TapWerks.

The fun only continues on Saturday. We've got two more OCBF sessions (VIP and public No. 2) and an absolutely epic Deep Deuce pub crawl, featuring Anthem at Aloft; COOP at Anchor Down; Iron Monk at Urban Johnnie's; Black Mesa at The Wedge; Prairie at Slaughter's Hall; and COOP at Leaf and Bean. That starts at 2 p.m., so if you're not going to OCBF on Saturday, it doesn't mean you can't still enjoy a great time with some nice local beers.

Finally, Oak & Ore will bring things home on Sunday with a Founders Father's Day Recovery Brunch at 11 a.m., featuring a great selection of Founders beer and a even free bacon for dads.

I also want to give a quick shout out to The Oklahoman and the Gazette for their coverage of OKC Craft Beer Week. I spoke to the Gazette's Greg Elwell for his story in this week's edition -- you can see that article right here.

Hope everyone has a great week -- Cheers!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Governor signs SBs 383, 424

Can we go ahead and declare Thursday, Aug. 25 to be #OKBeerDay?

That's the day Senate Bill 424 will go into effect, after Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed the bill into law.

SB 424 allows Oklahoma's craft brewers to sell beer produced at their breweries directly to the public, either for on-premise (pints, etc.) or off-premise (bottles/cans/growlers) consumption.

It's hard to overstate how huge of a deal this is for Oklahoma craft brewers. Think about how most six packs of beer go from anywhere from $8 to $12 at your local liquor store. That's anywhere from $1.50 to $2 per bottle, and that's after at least two levels of mark-ups before the beer goes from brewer to consumer. You can pretty easily see the economic advantages of selling one beer for $5 or $6 right out the brewery.

SB 424 also will likely give us exclusive brewery-only bottle releases, insane pint nights, more jobs, more beer tourism and ultimately more breweries.

So all in all, it's a pretty big deal.

Now, there were some questions on social media today about when SB 424 would go into effect and also how it interplays with Senate Joint Resolution 68 and Senate Bill 383.

(By the way, SB 383 was also signed into law by Fallin on Monday, although it does not go into effect unless SJR 68 is passed by voters in November.)

As some savvy political insiders have noted, SB 424 had an emergency date of July 1, but the legislature did not approve the emergency clause. The bill did not include any other date. By rule, any bill with no specified date goes into effect 90 after the adjournment of the legislative session -- not 90 days after the governor signs it, as some have speculated.

The legislature adjourned on May 27, and 90 days after that is Aug. 25. And you can bet Oklahoma's craft brewers will have some crazy stuff ready to roll out on that date!

In terms of SJR 68 and SB 383, they do not directly relate to SB 424. It is true that the gains for craft brewers won in SB 424 are also included in SB 383. Sen. Stephanie Bice has said the main intent of SB 424 was to score some immediate wins for craft brewers prior to the possible implementation of SJR 68/SB 383 in October 2018. And of course it also creates a better landscape for craft brewers should SJR 68 not be passed by voters.

So, mark Aug. 25 on your calendar -- by my count it's only 80 days away now.

Pints and Pins

-The complete events schedule for Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week 2016 was released today. You can check that out right here. Looks like it will be a great week!

-Republic is hosting an Oskar Blues Beer Dinner, set for Tuesday night. Looks like a solid lineup featuring a four-course "backyard barbecue" paired with a selection of Oskar Blues beers. You can get your tickets here.

-McNellie's-OKC is holding an Anthem Beer Dinner on June 21. Four courses, four beers -- you can email to reserve a spot.

-Black Mesa today announced the release of a new beer, and one you don't really see very often in today's craft beer world:

Black Mesa's new Altbier will be released at 5 p.m. on Thursday at TapWerks Ale House. Here's a little write-up from the Black Mesa guys about the beer:

"With a 3,000 year brewing tradition along the Rhine River in Germany, Altbier is possibly the oldest continually brewed style in the world. "Alt" or "old" refers to the longer conditioning time required to achieve the supremely mellow balance of cereal malts and brisk hop bitterness. At 4.9% ABV don't overthink this one, just get to a patio. You can call it "Alt" to impress your friends. Like the original brewers, we just call it beer."

-Skinny Slim's Edmond is hosting a Destihl Pint Night on Thursday, set for 5:30 p.m., and including special glassware.