The Thirsty Beagle: December 2017

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Release the hounds -- Beagle Beer is here!

It only took more than nine years of tirelessly documenting the Oklahoma craft beer scene, but finally I have reached the mountaintop of craft beer glory.

A Thirsty Beagle beer will be released to the market.

It's Beagle Beer, to be precise, and it comes from the mind and brewing tanks of Elk Valley Brewing and brewmaster John Elkins.

The beer -- a super-dry-hopped tart farmhouse ale conditioned with Brett -- will be released on Saturday at the OK City Brewing Co-op, 520 N Meridian. You can see details of the release here. It's set for noon, with 150 cases of 500 ml bottles going on sale for $6-a-pop.

The idea for the beer was born this spring, when Elkins and I brainstormed ideas for a collaboration beer to celebrate Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week.

My initial suggestion was something dry-hopped, maybe with some fruit added and, if possible, with the obligatory hot peppers that I try to finagle into every beer I make at home. In other words, some kind of complete monstrosity.

Fortunately someone with actual brewing skill -- Elkins -- stepped in and suggested using a Le Ferme saison base, super-charging it with Mosaic and Citra hops and conditioning it with Brett to add tartness and a subtle, spicy pop.

Only one keg of the beer was made last May for OKC Craft Beer Week, but Elkins was so pleased with the result that he decided he would re-create the beer and scale it up for a commercial release.

Now you can score some to take home for yourself. And even better, if you can't make the release on Saturday, a limited amount of the beer will be sent out to distribution in bottles and on tap.

And then lastly, if you want to learn a little more about the beer, you can check out the podcast I recorded with Elkins earlier this year. That's includes a good interview about the beer and about Elk Valley in general:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

What's brewing? New labels from Cabin Boys, Vanessa House, COOP and more

It's been awhile since I checked in and reported on new beer labels being submitted to the feds by Oklahoma brewers, so I figured this would be as good a time as any to do a wrap on what was shaking in November.

Most notably, we saw Cabin Boys get into the act with their first batch of product labels.

Just a reminder that these label approvals do not always provide an accurate reading on when a beer will be released, or even that it will be released at all. But they generally are pretty indicative of a brewer's production plans, and are just fun to look at either way.

First, we have Bearded Theologian, a 9.5% ABV Belgian quad that appears headed for 22 oz. bottles. The beer is described as having "deep aromas and flavors of raisins and caramel" and "hints of cinnamon and spices."

Cabin Boys also has Cornerstone Saison, checking in at 6.2% ABV. They describe this beer as "unforgiving and unaplogetic" with spicy flavors and a solid malt foundation.

And the new Tulsa brewery may deliver one of the more creative beers we've seen in a while with Felix Et Tenebris (Latin for "happy and dark"). This is an American orange stout that checks in at 8.7% ABV and is described as being a "roasty, chocolatey best." It was brewed with orange slices in the boil. 

We have a couple new offerings from Vanessa House filed in November as well, presumably to be brewed at the co-op. First, is 1st Anny Pina Colada Ale. This is a 7.5% ABV beer brewed with pineapple, coconut, vanilla and lactose.

Next we have Power's Out, a 10% ABV imperial stout brewed with vanilla beans.

We had a couple labels submitted from COOP in November, one that I am especially excited about. That would be Bourbon Barrel Aged DNR with Chocolate. This next iteration in the Cask-It Series sounds incredible. I'll definitely be on the look-out for these bottles when they drop.

And then we also had 2017 BBA TROAIS. This version has been aged in bourbon barrels, promising a "spirit-forward experience."

Down in southeastern Oklahoma, we can see that Mountain Fork is expanding its product line-up. The McCurtain County brewery filed a couple labels in November. The first is Crumpet, a 4% ABV English-style brown ale.

Also we have Sneaky Snake. This Belgian-style golden ale checks in 9% ABV.

Up in Stillwater, Iron Monk looks to be working on what I think would be the strongest beer they've produced to date. Nel'd It is a 12.5% imperial stout brewed with molasses.

Back to OKC, we have a label from Twisted Spike. Rose Rock is a 5.5% ABV Irish red-style ale. And don't forget, this beer is actually being released this Friday night at The Patriarch.

Finally, we have one more newcomer -- the first label filing I've seen from Heirloom Rustic Ales. Plains Beer is an open-fermented and bottle-conditioned saison, checking in at 6% ABV. Typically you would see bar codes on labels intended for package-store distribution, so I'm not 100 percent clear on the avenue to market for this beer -- it may be brewery-only. This also could be a non-final version of the label.

Also worth noting, Prairie filed about three dozen labels in November -- mostly for imperial stouts with a range of variants. According to Prairie officials, those are a series of special beers for Prairie Dawgs members. I won't bog down this post with images and descriptions unless I get an indication that any of those beers are intended for public distribution.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week in beer: Roughtail, Prairie OKC and COOP grab the spotlight

Happy Monday beer fans. I know you're all counting down the days until Saturday -- that's the day both Prairie OKC and Roughtail are set for big releases. But there's a lot going on this week all over the local beer scene.

Check out the week in beer!

-TapWerks is hosting a COOP Cellar Night at 6 p.m. today (Monday), and a Founders CBS release at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

-COOP and Pub W are teaming up for charity on Tuesday with the Paws for Purpose Give Back Night. This fundraising event is set for 5 p.m. at the south OKC Pub W location and will feature a trio of COOP release on tap: 2016 Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout, 2017 Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Rye Wine, and Ryesling. Ten percent of all food sales from the evening will be donated to Paws for Purpose, the pet therapy program at The Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.

-Oak & Ore is sending its 2017 Fried Chicken Tuesday calendar out with a bang by teaming up with Founders on Tuesdays this month. They'll feature $4 Founders Centennial IPA each week along with chicken and waffles. Note that you should mark your schedule for Dec. 12 when O&O offers Founders Breakfast Stout, KBS and CBS.

-The Patriarch is teaming up with Stonecloud to host an Ugly Sweater Party at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The event will celebrate Stonecloud's draft release in the market and also award some cool prizes for the coolest/craziest/ugliest sweaters.

-You can head back to The Patriarch on Friday for a Twisted Spike Double Release set for 5 p.m. This will feature Rose Rock Irish Red Ale and Monk's Crossing Dubbel, plus special glassware with purchase.

-Get ready for a crazy day at Roughtail on Saturday as they'll release four different beers at the brewery in Midwest City: A triple-dry-hopped Everything Rhymes with Orange, a collaboration with American Solera, a collaboration with Central Standard Brewing, and a Milkshake ERWO. The release is set for noon.

-Saturday is a big day for Prairie OKC, too, as they open at 10 a.m. for a brewery-only Barrel Aged Christmas Bomb release. There will also be Barrel Aged Bomb and Whisk(e)y Noir in bottles, and limited special glassware with barrel-aged beers on tap.

-The inaugural OKC Santa Crawl is set for 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. You can find the list of participating venues right here. Looks like this will be a fun Santa-themed drinking event, although its beer credentials may be a little lean. On the plus, proceeds go to charity.

-The Brew Shop is hosting a free Brewing Beer 101 glass at 10 a.m. on Saturday, while Learn to Brew's Edmond location is hosting a Basic Brew Class at noon Saturday.

-Anthem is hosting a Beers & Boards board game meet-up from 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday at the taproom.

-McNellie's Tulsa is hosting a very cool beer dinner at 6 p.m. Sunday featuring some rare, aged Christmas beers. Reservations are required. More details here.