The Thirsty Beagle: October 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Marshall, TapWerks offer Bound for Glory duet

Fans of Marshall Brewing's Bound for Glory should plan to head on down to TapWerks this Thursday.

That's the night TapWerks is offering up a duet featuring the 2014 and 2015 vintages of Marshall's barrel-aged Belgian IPA.

Here's more from Marshall sales and marketing director Wes Alexander:

"2015 Bound for Glory is the same recipe as 2014. However, as barrel-aging is affected by temperature and climate, variances can be found in each year’s release. The base for Bound for Glory is This Machine IPA, our Belgian-style IPA featuring the complexity created during fermentation using a Belgian yeast strain, and the light citrus aroma and flavor of the Nelson Sauvin hop. 

"This Machine IPA is added to whiskey barrels previously containing Black Dolphin Stout and aged for a period of six months. The result is a complex ale with the nose of sweet whiskey, caramel, and vanilla following a flavor on the palate of soft oak and hop in harmony over a smooth malty base. 2015 Bound for Glory is topped with dark green wax."

So that sounds pretty good, right?

One other thing to note: If you know anything about music and Woody Guthrie, you'll know the name This Machine IPA, with its guitar label, is a tribute to Woody Guthrie. Alexander added this about Marshall's hat tip to the Oklahoma musician:

"Just as This Machine IPA pays homage to Oklahoma son Woody Guthrie, Bound for Glory echoes the sentiment as 'Bound for Glory' is the title of Woody’s partly fictionalized autobiography.

"Marshall Brewing is proud to be able to share the story of Woody Guthrie to new generations of Oklahomans and enjoys a partnership with the Woody Guthrie Center."

The Woody Guthrie Center is located at 102 E Brady St., in Tulsa. More info can be had at


Moving on, I got up to Stillwater over the weekend for the Homecoming game against Kansas. I want to extend sympathy to all OSU alums and students, but especially all those directly impacted by the parade crash.

I was an assistant sports editor at the O'Colly during the men's basketball plane crash, and although I was out of school for some time before the women's basketball plane crash, I had known coach Kurt Budke for several years, dating back to my time going to school in Texas when he coached there.

Point being, the OSU community and family really knows how to rally to hold each other up. We've done it before. But just like a lot of people I talked to, we wish we didn't have to keep coming together this way.

So best wishes for healing and recovery to everyone in the OSU family. And here's hoping people like me can stop writing about OSU tragedies.

Tap room open

I was able to stop by Iron Monk Brewing prior to Saturday's football game to check out their new tap room, which officially opened on Thursday.

If you're in Stillwater, be sure to get over to 5th and Husband and check it out for yourself. They've paid a lot of attention to detail and have created a pretty nice spot.

The coolest feature is probably the huge windows that let you look from the bar top straight through to the brewhouse. They have several low-point beers on tap, including from COOP and Roughtail, in addition to their own, and also offer flights featuring samples of their high-point beers -- Payne County Imperial IPA and Milk Stout.

There's a good atmosphere there and everyone was super-friendly and welcoming, so cheers to another Oklahoma brewery making its way up in the world.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Brew Shop primed for grand-opening celebration

During the summer I was part of a team of helpers assisting The Brew Shop owner Gail White move her shop from her old location on north Penn to her new location on north Penn (just a couple miles down the road).

Now White is ready to celebrate the move; she's hosting a combo grand-opening/20th anniversary party for the new location on Sunday at the store, 2916 N Pennsylvania Ave.

Festivities will kick off at 1 p.m. and run through 4 p.m., with food, music and homebrewed beer, wine, cider and mead to sample.

If you haven't checked out the new Brew Shop, you owe it to yourself to get by there. It's a huge upgrade in space, and that allows White to really display her products in a way not possible in the old shop.

If you can't make it by The Brew Shop on Sunday, but you're still looking to get your beer fix, fear not. There are plenty of other events coming up on the local beer calendar.

For starters, if you're in Stillwater today or tomorrow, Iron Monk announced their new tap room is now open for business.

Doors officially opened on Thursday, and they'll welcome guests at 1 p.m. today (Friday) and bright and early at 10 a.m. Saturday ahead of OSU's homecoming game against Kansas, which is set for a 2:30 p..m. kick-off.

Also happening today, Marshall Brewing will be open from noon to 7 p.m. for growler fills, pints and flights. Creole Food Truck will be there for lunch and dinner.

If you're looking for something located a little more in Oklahoma City, consider swinging by COOP Ale Works on Saturday. They're planning a Halloween Party at 1 p.m., featuring a special fundraiser by the group Made Possible By Us. You can learn more here.

Looking ahead a little bit, mark Thursday, Oct. 29 on your calendar. That's the day Pub W-Memorial Road will host an Omnipollo Fatamorgana Release Party, set to begin at 6 p.m. And on that same night, The Patriarch will host a Founders Pint Night at Tap Takeover, also at 6 p.m. 

You can also head over to The Patriarch the night before, Wednesday, Oct. 28, for a Black Mesa Kolsch Pint Night. Interesting story about Black Mesa Kolsch -- the beer is the same recipe as Black Mesa's Blonde Ale. When Black Mesa first unveiled the beer, they feared calling it by its true name, Kolsch, may have deterred some less-craft-aware fans from drinking the beer. Fast forward a few years, and they feel confident Oklahoma's beer palate has expanded enough to accept the beer for what it really is. Thus the rebranding to Black Mesa Kolsch.

Pints and Pins

-The most excellent Beer Yoga, Brooke Larson, will teach a yoga class at The Patriarch tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. They're calling it "Detox so you can Retox."

-The Mustang Brewing taproom is open from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight for pints, growler fills and shuffleboard.

-Anthem has bottled its newest beer, Domestique, and it should be on shelves in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can score some of the Belgian quad on draft at TapWerks.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pat's Backcountry Beverages a novel addition to camping trip

Pat, I'm sorry.

Sometimes all you can do is ask for forgiveness. That's what I'm doing when it comes to Pat Tatera, the creator and founder of Pat's Backcountry Beverages.

The company sells make-your-own beer kits targeted to hikers and campers who are in the backcountry and don't want to carry several cans or bottles of beer with them.

Tatera's system features a special carbonator bottle and cap, beer concentrate packets and pouches of citric acid and potassium bicarbonate used to carbonate the beer.

I know this because Tatera sent all of this to me. Last year. But up until this weekend, I hadn't put any of it to use. Yikes.

So that's why I'm sorry. I honestly did intend to take all the gear out and give it a test run right when Tatera sent it to me. But I forgot to pack it for a camping trip, and then just kept putting it off. Well, I feel pretty lousy about that.

This past weekend, with a trip to Red Rock Canyon State Park on the slate, I made sure to add the kit to my packing list and finally put it to the test.

So, it's much delayed, but here is my better-late-than-never review of Pat's Backcountry Beverages.

The kit is simple enough, and the advantages for hiking or backpacking are easy enough to see. If you can provide the water -- either through carrying your own water or sourcing and filtering water you find on the trail -- then you have very little that will weigh you down.

Your first step is to add a little water to the bottle, screw on the cap, flip the bottle upside down and prime the cap to bring water into the chamber. 

Then you add your beer concentrate and top the bottle off to the 16 oz. mark.

Next, you add your carbonation powders to the small carbonation chamber, screw it into the bottom of the lid and attach both back to the bottle.

You then prime the lid again to add water to the small chamber to activate the carbonation powders, shake the bottle back and forth for two minutes, and then let it sit for another two minutes.

And when you're done with that, you pop the lid and the beer is ready to drink:

The whole process took no more than five or so minutes -- it was really simple to execute. All that is fine and dandy, but of course you're asking the main question: Is the beer any good?

I found the carbonation to be spot on, which was impressive considering I just fired it up in like five minutes. I tried two flavors -- Pale Rail and Black Hops. I found a common theme with both was that the beers lacked a little bit in the body/mouthfeel department, but in the all-important flavor category, these actually came off pretty well -- and my concentrate packs had been sitting at room temperature for about a year, so there's no telling how much better fresh product would taste.

The beers were quite drinkable, and while they may have lacked the pizazz of a freshly canned IPA, they certainly were better than some beers you could pick up at your local liquor store.

And of course they were just kind of fun to do -- it really was pretty novel to fire up a beer from scratch in five minutes at the campsite.

So, thanks Pat, even though I'm way late.

You can find more info, including how to order, at the Pat's Backcountry Beverages website.

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's Beer Label Friday, Vol. 5

Happy Friday y'all!

Let's take a look at some of the latest Oklahoma beer labels approved by the feds.

First, we have a pair of new labels from Prairie Artisan Ales.

Prairie Flare is a 7% ABV Gose brewed with orange and coriander:

Then there is this interesting offering: Prairie Abracadabra, a 9% ABV dark wild ale aged in sherry barrels:

Next, we have a beer I've mentioned before on the blog, Iron Monk's Stilly Wheat:

This low-point offering is available on draft in several locations around Stillwater, and it looks like Iron Monk is now rolling out 12 oz. bottles. I was able to sample some of this beer fresh at the brewery, and it's a good one.

And lastly we have another new offering from Beavers Bend Brewery in the Broken Bow/Idabel area, Red Slough Amber Ale:

This is the second low-point, bomber-sized label approved for Beavers Bend, which has been brewing low-point beer on draft only for at least a couple years. I'll be camping down at Beavers Bend State Park this month, and I'm going to try and seek out a few bottles if they're available.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Twisted Spike Brewing unveils new logo

Work is moving ahead on Oklahoma City's newest craft brewery, Twisted Spike Brewing, located on NW 10 near Broadway in Automobile Alley.

Brewery founder and brewmaster Bruce Sanchez reports that permits for the building were approved by the Oklahoma City council on Sept. 29, and his lease went into effect on Oct. 1.

Shortly after that, it was time to begin demolition on the inside of the building:

Photo provided by Bruce Sanchez
Sanchez reports that demolition will take quite some time. It's a process being carried out primarily by Sanchez himself, along with friends, family and investors.

While all that is going on, some other work is being done as well, particularly in branding for the new brewery.

This week, Twisted Spike unveiled its new logo and color scheme:

And also an alternate, text-centric version:

Sanchez earlier explaind on this blog the idea behing the railroad-spike theme. You can read about that here.

I'll keep you up to date as Twisted Spike moves forward in the development process, but as of right now, it appears things are full steam ahead for the Oklahoma City business.

Pints and Pins

-A couple new local Oktoberfest celebrations are planned for the metro area. The first is Hair of the Dog Oktoberfest, set for this Friday night in Norman. The event is set to benefit the Bella Foundation, a pet rescue charity. Participating breweries are (405), Anthem, Coach's, COOP, Elk Valley, Iron Monk and Mustang. Festivities are due to kick off at 6 p.m. at Stash, 412 E Main St. The fest is open to dogs that are comfortable among large crowds. For more details or ticket info, check the event page on FB.

Then next week we have a new Oktoberfest celebration set for the Midtown area of Oklahoma City. Saintoberfest is set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. Oct. 16 at the corner of NW 9 and Walker at St. Anthony Hospital's Midtown campus. The event will benefit patient care at St. Anthony. This 21-and-up outdoor event will feature beer samples, food trucks, live music and games like cornhole and oversized Jenga. No specific list of participating breweries is a available at this point, but more info about the fest can be found at the St. Anthony Foundation website.

-TapWerks concludes its four-day 20th anniversary celebration this week with a series of special cellar beer releases and visits from the COOP and Marshall teams. More details on that here.

-The first Roughtoberfest celebration set to kick off tomorrow and run through Sunday at the Roughtail Taphouse in Midwest City. Here's a blurb from their FB page:

"ROUGHTOBERFEST IS COMING! October 9-11, we celebrate Roughtail style! Special Release brews like Oktoberfest, Pumpkin Stout, Hefeweizen, Pilsner, and more! Growler fills all weekend, Stein hoisting contest on Saturday and did we mention a costume contest! Get that lederhosen out and see you at Roughtoberfest 2015!!!"

More details right here.

-A scheduling note for your drinking adventures: The Patriarch is now closed on Sundays, but has extended hours until 1 a.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

-The next Beer University at McNelle's OKC is set for Oct. 20 and will feature wheat beers. The cost to participate is $20 and you need to email to reserve a spot.

Monday, October 5, 2015

TapWerks rolls out red carpet for 20-year annivesary

It's kinda hard to believe, but TapWerks -- the place where my conversion to craft beer was initiated more than a decade ago thanks to a simple Belgian witbier -- is turning 20 years old.

To mark the occasion, TapWerks has planned a four-day birthday celebration, starting tonight.
The specifics: TapWerks is pulling special beers out of the cellar each night and will also feature a different local brewery each night. The local guys will bring special glassware. That schedule goes like this:

-Monday: Anthem
-Tuesday: Prairie
-Wednesday: Roughtail
-Thursday: COOP and Marshall

So how about the cellar specials? Here's that list:

-Monday: Anthem Babalon, Avery Samaels (2014), Boulevard Rye on Rye (2012, 2013), COOP Territorial Reserve Wild Wheat Wine (2012), Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel, Prairie Apple Brandy Noir, Prairie Bomb (gold wax), Unibroue 17th (2011).

-Tuesday: Avery Beast (2014), Avery/Russian River Collaboration Not Litigation (2013), Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad (2013), Choc Whiskey Barrel Quad (2014), Prairie Bomb (blue wax), Prairie Vanilla Noir (silver wax), Rodenbach 2011 vintage Oak Aged Ale Barrel No. 95, Timmerman's Oud Gueze.

-Wednesday: Avery Uncle Jacob's Stout (2014), Boulevard Love Child No. 4, Boulevard/Sierra Nevada Terra Incognita (2013), COOP Barleywine (2012), Prairie Bomb (green wax), Prairie Okie (2015), Prairie/Omnipollo Potlatch, Roughtail Rock Tsar (first bottling).

-Thursday: Avery Mephistopheles (2014), Boulevard Saison Brett (2013-15), COOP DNR (2011, first bottling), Laughing Dog Barrel-Aged Dogfather (2013), Marshall 5, Mikkeller/Prairie American Style IPA, Prairie Noir (maroon wax), Prairie OK-Si, Prairie Wine Barrel Noir (2014).

That, my friends, is an impressive list. I think you will likely find me there on Thursday to scoop up some of that 2011 COOP DNR. I'm super-curious to see how that beer has aged. But really, you can't go wrong on any of the nights. Looks like this will be one heck of a party.

Happy birthday TapWerks!