The Thirsty Beagle: April 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lagunitas set for Oklahoma debut; more OKC Craft Beer Week news

Get ready to put another feather in your cap, Oklahoma beer fans.

Lagunitas Brewing Co. is heading to the state.



To celebrate, TapWerks is hosting a Lagunitas release party at 6 p.m. Friday, and the R Bar & Grill in Tulsa will hold a release party at 5 p.m. Friday. And if you can't make it out to either of those events, go ahead and snap up your tickets to the 5th annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival, because Lagunitas will be on tap there as well. According to the official Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival beer list, the following Lagunitas brews will be available:

-IPA
-Equinox
-Shut Down
-Pilsner

So what's left for us in Oklahoma? Stone and Dogfish Head would be on my short list. And if you recall my blogging on the old Thirsty Beagle site, New Belgium is all but certain if the refrigeration legislation makes it into play.

Pints and Pins

-How about we announce the events for the final three days of Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week?

Friday, May 15

-Roughtail Holes and Hops Cornhole Tourney at Roughtail Brewing Co. Here's a flier for the event:



-Anthem Brewing Co. tapping at TapWerks Ale House (6 p.m.)
-Boulevard Brewing Co. tapping at TapWerks Ale House (8 p.m.)
-Tap Invasion Redux at Oak & Ore

Saturday, May 16

-5th annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival at TapWerks Ale House

Sunday, May 17

-Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival Hangover Party at Oak & Ore

I'll have more specific details on all the events in the upcoming days.

-Speaking of Oak & Ore, they are hosting a Founders tapping at 5 p.m. today, featuring KBS, Curmudgeon and Rubaeus. They're also featuring beer-braised pulled pork street tacos, while supplies last.

-Black Mesa Brewing Co. just added an event to the OKC Craft Beer Week calendar: Black Mesa Beer Dinner at Lobby Cafe and Bar on Wednesday, May 13.

-Yours truly has signed on to be the moderator for the brewers panel at the Red Earth Brewers' Oklahoma Beer Forum on May 10. You have to be a Red Earth Brewers member to attend this fun event -- I'm looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big day nears for The Patriarch, plus more OKC Craft Beer Week events

After several months of construction, an opening date is nearing for The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn.

I was able to get out to the historic Edmond house -- and future craft beer bar -- late last week for a walk-through and tour, and after checking it out, I can report that this promises to be one of the cooler beer venues to open up in the metro.


Simply put, there's not really anything like The Patriarch in the Oklahoma City area.
Co-owners Bryce Thompson and Steven Russell have maintained much of the character of the 111-year-old house, including keeping original siding on the wall in the main-floor restroom:


And when they did tear down walls -- they brought down some interior walls to open up the space -- they saved the wood to construct the bar-top and apply decorative touches to the inside.
The Patriarch, 9 E Edwards, promises 48 taps, all serving American-made beer. Many local brands will be on tap, and there will even be a few notable twists to their offerings -- one in particular will generate a lot of buzz. (I've been sworn to secrecy on that one.)


The bar will feature an expansive open patio, a smaller covered patio and ordering stations so you can purchase drinks while outside. There's also room for two to three food trucks, since the bar will not serve food. (It also cannot allow minors, due to more than 50 percent of sales coming from alcohol.) Thompson told me the interest level from the food truck community has been high, so he expects to have a good variety of trucks on hand.

The inside of the house offers a comfortable, quaint place to hang out and enjoy a drink. It practically exudes the words "laid back."

So, how about an opening date? I know the finishing phases of construction are moving ahead at a rapid pace. For example, this video shows huge changes from just last Thursday when I toured. Alas, a specific opening date has not been set. Word is it will be within the next two weeks. I hope to keep you updated when plans are finalized.

Pints and Pins

-So, how about some additional news on Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week? Here are your Wednesday and Thursday events:

Wednesday, May 13

-Founders Blushing Monk tapping at TapWerks Ale House (6 p.m)
-Great Divide tapping at TapWerks Ale House (8 p.m.)
-COOP Ale Works Pint Night at Library Bar & Grill-Norman
-Prairie Tap Invasion at Oak & Ore

Thursday, May 14

-Anthem Brewing Tour and Tasting at Anthem Brewing Co.
-COOP Ale Works tapping at TapWerks Ale House (6 p.m.)
-Greenflash Silva Stout tapping at TapWerks Ale House (8 p.m.)
-Roof Top Brew Hop at Broadway Wine Merchants/Automobile Alley(6 p.m.)
-Anthem Tap Invasion at Oak & Ore

I'll reveal Friday, Saturday and Sunday events later this week!

-There's a Black Mesa Brewing Co. Tap Takeover set for Thursday night at The Bleu Garten.

-Tickets are now on sale for the kickoff event for OKC Craft Beer Week -- the Chili Cookoff and Mustang Craft Beer Block Party on May 9.

-In case you hadn't heard, The Brew Shop homebrew supply store is moving -- a few blocks south. The shop will open at 2916 N Penn Ave. in a few weeks.

-There were a couple new labels approved by the feds recently, one for Hanson Bros./Mustang (a farmhouse ale) and one for Iron Monk (an imperial IPA):



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

OKC Craft Beer Week events, and big news for Elk Valley, Mustang

It's that time of year -- we're about to dive head-first into spring beer festival season. So let's take a look at a few more events for the second annual Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week.


Monday, May 11

-Plaza District Triple Pub Pint Night

-Marshall Brewing Co. Pint Night at TapWerks Ale House. Tapping set for 6 p.m.

-COOP Ale Works Tap Takeover at Pizza 23 (May 11-17)

Tuesday, May 12

-Wedge Local Beer Party at The Wedge Deep Deuce

-COOP Ale Works Beer Dinner at McNellie's OKC

-Left Hand Brewing Barrel Aged Wake Up Dead Pint Night at TapWerks (6 p.m.)

-Mustang Brewing Co. Pint Night at TapWerks (8 p.m.)

-Founders Beer Dinner at Empire Slice

-COOP Ale Works Tap Takeover at Pizza 23 (May 11-17)

-Pint Night at Oak & Ore. Beer and time TBD

Yes, things are getting serious now. More details to come!

Pints and Pins

-Mustang Brewing Co. is taking what's old and making it new again. Almost two years after the May 31, 2013, storms heavily damaged the original OKCity Brewing Cooperative on Sheridan Avenue, Mustang announced that they would again open up the co-op. The original building on Sheridan was home to Mustang, Anthem and Black Mesa. After the storm, Mustang moved to a location near Meridian and NW 5, Anthem opened up its brewery on SW 4, and Black Mesa started contract brewing with O'Fallon in Missouri. The new co-op will be in Mustang's current headquarters on Meridian, and the first tenant will be Elk Valley Brewing Co. Elk Valley reports they have moved equipment into the building and will transition all brewing away from the Choc and Battered Boar and into the Mustang building. I even have it on good word that Elk Valley will be brewing in the building as early as this week.

-The annual Broadway and Brew beer tasting to benefit Lyric Theater is back again at the Myriad Gardens. This year's event is set for May 1. Here's a blurb from the event FB page: "Lyric’s Broadway & Brew 2015 will be an unprecedented night of fun in the city featuring beers from Oklahoma breweries along with tasty treats from local eateries. Live music is bound to get you grooving and showcases from a few of the upcoming Summer/Fall shows will leave you wanting more. There will also be a raffle for some fantastic prizes! Attendees must be 21 to enter and tickets must be purchased in advance online or by calling (405) 524-9310."

-TapWerks has remodeled its third floor, and it looks pretty snazzy, if I do say so. You can email events@tapwerks.com to inquire about booking the space.

-Oak & Ore just tapped the last keg of COOP Alpha Hive Double IPA Test Batch. If you're into that kind of thing. Also, O&O announces they are hiring. Inquire in person or at OakAndOre@gmail.com.

-Mustang announced they are brewing up some Farmhouse Ale Session Saison for a May release in bottles and kegs.

-If you had plans to be in Dallas this weekend, Prairie founder Chase Healey will be at a beer dinner at the Meddlesome Moth on Sunday.

-Tulsa Craft Beer Week begins this Thursday! Details here.

-The Patriarch Craft Beer House & Lawn in Edmond is nearing completion. I'm taking a tour later this week and hope to post about it soon. Can't wait for this concept!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Brewed the hard way?

When I saw the 3.2 Goose Island IPA pop up in my local grocery store a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist.
I snapped a pic of the stack of six-packs and posted it on Facebook, with the caption "Brewed the hard way, no doubt."
Of course that was a jab at Anheuser-Busch's Superbowl commercial for Budweiser. The fury of "Brewed the Hard Way" was at its peak right after the Superbowl -- it essentially ignited a fire storm in the craft beer world.


After all, if you've ever watched a craft brewer start a brewery from the ground up, you know what making beer the hard way is all about.
This concept was pointed out by many a craft brewer in the aftermath.
One thing that really hit home for me was the obvious hypocrisy in a company knocking down craft beer when said company owns several popular craft beer brands.
Just like Anheuser-Busch InBev owns Goose Island. So of course it was interesting, to say the least, to see AB adding another "craft" label to the grocery store shelves.
On Sunday, I found myself almost out of homebrew or any other sessionable beers, so I bit the bullet and picked up a six pack of Goose IPA. You know, for science.


And here's the thing -- the beer isn't really that bad. For a 3.2 grocery store beer, you could do a lot worse. But of course AB won't pour ad money into Goose Island -- they'd rather backhandedly smack it down while boosting their golden child.
That to me is the best thing about the influx in the past year of 3.2 beers from Oklahoma's craft brewers. With Goose IPA, Blue Moon and Boulevard Pop-Up IPA all sharing mega-beer parental tendencies, you can still get low-point beer brewed the hard way while supporting the small guy.

Pints and Pins

-The McNellie's OKC Pub Run is set for May 2. Four miles, four beers. You can sign up at www.mcnelliespubrun.com.

-Speaking of McNellie's, here's your Monday pint nights at the McNellie's pubs: Kronenbourg Blanc in Oklahoma City; Left Hand Milk Stout in Tulsa; Green Flash in Norman; and Abita Purple Haze at Tulsa-South.

-Good information here on how to make a yeast starter.

-One follow-up from Friday's post about Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week. The Oklahoma Brewers Forum on May 10 is open only to members of the Red Earth Brewers homebrew club and other select homebrew clubs in the state. It should be a really cool event, and if you want in, maybe now's the time to pull the trigger on that homebrew club membership.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Get a peek at the schedule for Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week

We're roughly three weeks out from the start of Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week, so what better time than now to start revealing some of the events scheduled for the week?


Let's get started!

Saturday, May 9

-LOCAL Chili Cook-Off and Craft Beer Block Party at Mustang Brewing Co. Event details here. Here's a blurb from the FB event page: "Join LOCAL at Mustang Brewing Company on May 9th for a #CraftBeerBlockParty and Chili Cookoff fundraiser! There will be up to 30 competitors, all cooking great chili to taste and vote on, plus Mustang Beer available by the pint and growler! Individual and team competitors are welcome, plus up to 250 folks to party with us and taste the chili! Live music, games, local food vendors, & more. Noon-6PM with Chili tasting beginning at 3:30pm."

-Beginner's Brewing Class at Learn To Brew-Moore. Call ahead at 793-2337 to reserve a spot for the noon class.

Sunday, May 10

-Oklahoma Brewers Forum hosted by Red Earth Brewers. This inaugural beer-tasting festival will be 2 to 5 p.m. at DC on Film Row, 609 W Sheridan Ave. in Oklahoma City. There will be a mix of homebrew and commercial beer, plus light snacks for purchase, a silent auction and a panel discussion featuring several Oklahoma pro brewers. More event details and info on admission will be coming soon.

Those are just the first two days -- there are plenty more events to be unveiled, and I'll post more next week.

Pints and Pins

-I got beer mail recently from Boulevard. They sent a 2015 Saison Brett and a Love Child No. 5. Both are due in stores any time, if not already on shelves now. Saison Brett was solid, but honestly I preferred the 2014 vintage. Love Child No. 5 was quite good. It was definitely pucker-worthy, and just really complex. I felt like there were a lot of layers to it, which is not surprising since it was aged in whiskey and wine barrels. It's worth picking up.

-Also got the chance to try Elk Valley's Midnight Ryed. I'm a huge sucker for black IPAs, so I was pretty much hooked before I even tried this one. After tasting it, I can say I enjoyed the spiciness imparted by the rye and the dry-hops.

-Anthem Brewing reports that Pappy Burleson Batch 2 is now in Jack Daniels barrels with an expected early 2016 release. In addition, Anthem has a tour a tasting and 3.2 growler fills set at the brewery for 1 p.m. Saturday. More details here.

-Speaking of Anthem, here's an interesting tidbit: FOAM and Anthem are teaming up this year for the annual Wild Brew collaboration beer -- a Belgian tripel. This is the first time an Oklahoma City brewery has taken part in this project. Past participants were Choc and Marshall.

-I wrote a lot about this year's beer legislation before I took my blog hiatus. A lot has happened since then, but the big news is that SB 383 -- the refrigeration bill -- appears shelved for the year. But that bill may just end up being the vehicle that leads to a vote of the people on reforming the state constitution. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Thirsty Beagle: Back in business

Good day, beer fans.
So, remember that Facebook post back in February about retiring my blog? If you'll remember, there was a tiny out-clause in there: I may start the blog back up if the lure of free beer proved too much to overcome.
It's been about two months now, and I can tell you, the lure of free beer is a powerful and alluring force. Free beer -- sweet, sweet free beer -- isn't the only reason, however, that I'm sitting here at the house writing this out.
When I decided to stop the blog, it came at the conclusion of a 12-plus-year career at The Oklahoman.
I love the news business and enjoyed working with the people at the paper, and I really appreciated the chance to start up the blog in 2008 and grow it into something that reached a lot of people.
But it was time for me to move on.
Now I'm working at a media relations firm in Oklahoma City and really enjoying it. When I left the paper, I knew I needed to clear my mind and not have so many irons in the fire. I wanted to be able to dedicate all my time and energy to learning the ropes at the new gig. It made sense at the time to break away from the blog.
Now I'm somewhat more settled in -- things are really slowing down. And it occurred to me recently that I missed the writing. I missed being more involved in the beer community. I missed doing the blog, essentially.
So, if the fact that I had my wife design me a new website and I took the time to write and post this blog hasn't tipped it off, let me spell it out for you: The Thirsty Beagle is back.
That's right, I'm starting the blog back up. Save the address -- thirstybeaglebeerblog.com -- and stay tuned.
Cheers!