The Thirsty Beagle: October 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Patriarch, TapWerks plan Stout Day festivities

It may still be warm and sunny outside, but the annual International Stout Day is upon us -- it's set for Thursday, Nov. 3 -- and a pair of metro-area bars are rolling out impressive lineups to mark the occasion.

In Edmond, The Patriarch is starting things off at 3 p.m. with hourly tappings lasting through the night. Their stout list for the day includes:

-Marshall Black Dolphin
-Elk Valley Nemesis
-Elk Valley Coffee Nemesis
-Oskar Blues Ten Fidy
-Prairie Bomb!
-Prairie Birthday Bomb!
-Founders KBS
-Anthem Uroboros
-Great Divide Oak Aged Yeti
-Clown Shoes Amandine Exorcism
-Clown Shoes Coffee Unidragon
-Avery Tweak
-Mustang Peanut Butter Stout
-Iron Monk Milk Stout Nitro
-Avery Czar
-Big Sky Ivan the Terrible

The Patriarch is expected to post a tapping schedule early this week.

Meanwhile, TapWerks will continue its tradition of hosting Stout Day, this year featuring 16 stouts offered in flights of four on the hour, starting at 5 p.m.

TapWerks list will include:

-COOP Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2011
-COOP Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2012
-COOP Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2013
-COOP Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout 2014
-COOP Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout w/coconut
-Omnipollo Yellow Belly
-Prairie Pirate Bomb!
-Special releases TBA from Anthem, Iron Monk and Marshall

Look for the tapping schedule from TapWerks early this week as well. I'll share both bars' plans once they are posted.

Pints and Pins

-In case you missed it, I rolled out a new feature on the blog last week. My new GAB (Grab a Beer) Ratings can be found right here. I'm building out a list of rankings for places in the metro where you might like to grab a beer. Check out the page, and feel free to email me a rating if you like.

-Your McNellie's group pint nights for Oct. 31 (Happy Halloween, by the way!): Rogue Dead Guy at Oklahoma City; Guinness Special Edition Gilroy Glass at Tulsa; Elysian Space Dust IPA at Tulsa-South; and Anthem Uroboros at Norman.

-The Patriarch is busy this week. Not only are the taking on Stout Day, but they are hosting a Founder PC Pils Night at 6 p.m. Wednesday. And the first OK Ale Trail beer run is set for Saturday.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Mountain Fork Brewery going high-point

As you would know if you were a loyal reader of this space, there are two commercial breweries in southeastern Oklahoma.

Both Beavers Bend Brewery and Mountain Fork Brewery -- located in Hochatown, just north of Broken Bow -- started off producing low-point offerings. That was a reflection of the fact that McCurtain County had not authorized liquor by the drink until 2015.

With that change in hand, and with the enactment earlier this year of Senate Bill 424, the question was, how long would they stay low-point?

We have an answer now as far as Mountain Fork is concerned.

Brewmaster Aaron Preston told me this past weekend that Mountain Fork's taproom is going high-point within the next couple weeks.

While they will continue to produce some low-point offerings on draft for local restaurants, Preston has plans for at least four different high-point beers so far. Check out the labels:

The latter two labels are currently offered at the tap room in low-point style. I was able to try a flight of all the offerings this weekend, and I enjoyed the Hop Time Gal, as well as Tabb's Dirt Road Stout, which carried great coffee notes for a low-point beer.

One other Mountain Fork item worth passing along: Preston is working right now on a two-barrel brew system, but by 2017, he expects to be on a 20-barrel system in an expanded brewery building. Seems like there's plenty of room for growth on the Hochatown beer scene.

Meanwhile, Mountain Fork is not the only state brewery with plans for new beers. Dead Armadillo looks like they also will be busy, brewing for themselves and for another beer company.

According to federal label-filing records, Dead Armadillo is looking to brew a Dunkelweizen, which I don't believe they have done up to this point, although I have been wrong one time before.

I think Dunkelweizen -- in today's IPA and sour ale craze -- is one of the more underrated and under-appreciated beer styles. 

At the same time, according to label filings, it appears Dead Armadillo will also be taking on a project for Hanson Brothers Beer Co.

Hanson as you may remember worked with Mustang Brewing once upon a time to brew Mmmhops, and now it looks like they're moving a little closer to their Tulsa roots.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Man-Made Earthquake, Plaza Beer Walk highlight upcoming calendar

I just spent a good amount of time scouring through the Internets to find out what all the upcoming beer events are, so you don't have to. Apologies to anyone I missed. Enjoy!

-The Root in the Paseo is hosting a Vanessa House pint night at 6 p.m. today. The night will feature musical performances by Buddy South, Carter Sampson, Gentry Counce and Brad Fielder.

-The Patriarch is hosting an Elk Valley Flight Night at 6 p.m. on Thursday, featuring at least six Elk Valley beers, including 2016 Pumpion.

-American Solera is hosting back-to-back Man-Made Earthquake release dates this week. The two-pack of parties is set for 4 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday at the Tulsa brewery. This is one of the more intriguing beers we've seen in a while. It's a 15% ABV tripel aged in whiskey and cognac barrels for 18 months, and then bottle-conditioned for a year. Bottles are $16 a pop, and there's a six-bottle limit.

-Marshall is debuting Bound for Glory Bourbon Barrel Belgian IPA on Friday at their taproom. You can stop by from noon to 7 p.m.

-Roughtail is hosting a session of Bend & Brew yoga at 11 a.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20 and are available here.

-Next Wednesday, Oct. 26, is the monthly Plaza Beer Walk. This month the featured brewery is Kansas' Tallgrass Brewing. The lineup of beers is: Top Rope IPA and Big RICC Imperial Stout at Empire Slice; Pub Ale English Brown and Flyin' Hawaiian Pineapple IPA at Saints; 8-Bit Pale Ale and Buffalo Sweat Stout at The Mule; and Songbird Saison, Zombie Monkey Robust Porter and a cask of Apple Cinnamon-spice Pub Ale at Oak & Ore.

-Anthem is hosting a taproom pint night on Oct. 27, featuring Ogletoberfest. Festivities run from 5 to 9 p.m.

-COOP is holding a party to celebrate the 2016 release of Grand Sport Porter. The event is set for 4 to 8 p.m. More details available here.

-Did you know the Iron Monk taproom is now open Monday through Saturday? Hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 1 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Also, tours are set for 2 and 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

-Keep your eyes open for an announcement coming soon on the opening of Twisted Spike Brewing. They've got their first set of beers brewed at the Automobile Alley location, so it appears only a matter of time before they can flip the lights on at the tap room.

-Choc/Prairie is hiring a new brewer for its Automobile Alley brewpub location. More info on that here.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Review: Roughtail Adaptation No. 6

So, here I am. It's past 11:45 p.m. on Friday, and I'm sitting here at my kitchen table savoring a glass of Roughtail Adaptation No. 6. I may or may not be listening to Vince Guaraldi Trio Charlie Brown Christmas music, but that's really none of your business.

Point is, I grabbed a four pack of Roughtail's Adaptation No. 6 today. What's that? You don't have your own four pack yet? Sorry about that.

The beer is set to be released tomorrow -- Saturday, Oct. 15 at the brewery during the Adaptation No. 6 release party. High noon.

Be there or be square.

So, how about Adaptation No. 6? Let's cut to the chase -- it is good.

You will probably want to get out to the brewery tomorrow at high noon, because this may be one of the most aromatic beers I've ever seen, or smelled, in my life.

Seriously though, the aroma will straight up knock your socks off. I'm talking serious, serious tropical fruit aroma. Plus some mango. I might be inclined to say this is like dry-hopped Citra on steroids. (Although the main hops are fresh Mosaic flown in from the hop fields and added to the whirlpool the next day. Roughtail brewmaster Tony Tielli told me they watched for the UPS tracking notification, and timed the brew to match up with the hops' arrival.)

The appearance is a nice, golden orange that's actually a lot less hazy than I anticipated.

As far as mouthfeel goes, this beer is very satisfying. It's got a certain creamy, fullness to it that just hits the spot and lets you know you're not drinking some stupid fake "craft" beer at Chili's.

The taste of the beer is outstanding. The tropical fruit carries the day, I would say. It's obvious up front and carries through nicely, lingering on the end in a pleasing way. The beer is not overly bitter, so if your wife or girlfriend doesn't like IPAs, you should have her drink this. I'm serious.

Overall, the beer is dank, massively aromatic, hoppy and not overly bitter. Late-addition hops are the star of the day. It's aggressive, yet restrained, if that makes sense.

Tielli told me this beer is very similar to Adaptation No. 2. If you liked that, than you will almost undoubtedly like this.

Roughtail has produced 260 cases of this. I'm sure many of those cases will be snapped up tomorrow, so you'll want to act fast.

There will be a few kegs on tap at the brewery, but Tielli said he wasn't yet certain if any kegs would hit the open market. He also wasn't sure how many cases of cans would be sent out to distribution. My feeling was he was going to see what happened on Saturday before making that decision.

You definitely can do worse than heading out to Roughtail at noon to score yourself a few cans.

Catching up with Vanessa House

Congrats on making it to Friday beer fans! 

Today, I'm bringing you an interview with Andrew Carrales, head of sales and marketing for Vanessa House Beer Co.

Following a whirlwind last couple weeks, with launch events in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, I asked Carrales to reflect on how things are going for the new beer company.

The Thirsty Beagle: Now that you've had a minute to sit back and reflect on your opening events and introduction to the consumer market, how do you assess how everything went?

Andrew Carrales: We have been out at various events, for a little over a year now, telling our story and sampling out the beer we hoped to produce. We made a lot of new friends/fans along the way. To see people we’ve connected with, like Steven and Maggie at our Slaughter’s Hall party and David and Jenny at our Roosevelt’s party in Tulsa, was amazing. Those are people we didn’t know a year ago. We had hoped to create those types of connections, but to actually see people choose to come hang out with us was a very humbling feeling. At both those events the beer moved very well. Slaughter’s Hall was particularly amazing, moving 15 cases in under an hour. We have also been hearing very positive things from liquor stores as well. We know many have put in multiple orders already. So overall we feel that things have gone great so far. We still have plenty to learn, for sure, and it seems like we are learning something new every day. We really cannot thank the craft beer community enough. The consumers, the homebrew clubs, our great local breweries, everyone really, have all been very supportive.

TTB: You guys brewed your first batch at O'Fallon -- do the plans call for that relationship to continue, and if so, what's the next thing you're looking to brew?

AC: Yes, O’Fallon has been great to work with and we are still working on our “forever home,” so to speak. We really can’t say enough good things about them and about how much they have helped us through the process. We are targeting our next beer release to be in January, which will be the 5th Keg Milk Brown. It is the first beer our brewer, Evan Smith, came up with. It is a beer that started as a brown, but with the addition of lactose and light and dark candi sugar, became its own thing. It is a very smooth, sweet, and complex beer that comes in at about 8% ABV. We take this beer everywhere we can, and it always gets a rave reviews. We played around with releasing it first, but with it being a bigger, dark beer we saved it for the colder months. We are really excited to get the beer out. We call it the 5th keg, because we literally lost a whole keg of it. Classic Vanessa House. It was back in the early days when we didn’t really label things well. We could only find 4 kegs (none of which contained the brown we so craved) and there was some debate between the VHBC crew on whether we owned 4 or 5 kegs. Depending on who you ask, it either got dumped down the drain or the 5th keg disappeared somewhere into the mystic, never to be drank from again.

TTB: Are you guys eventually eyeing your own Oklahoma City brewing facility?

AC: Yes, that is our end goal for sure. Do you know someone with a building with super low rent? Oklahoma is a crazy state to start in brewery in right now. We have been in the planning mode for seems like 4 or 5 years, where the last 2 years has been us really making tangible progress toward our opening. Early on, we were constantly changing up our business model. We started thinking we would just buy a place, build our production brewery, and go to work. We realized pretty quick with our access to funds that was not feasible. We played around with taproom models, but at that time it would have to be 3.2. We just didn’t see a 3.2 taproom model working in the long run. With the uncertainty in our laws, we decided the best way to move forward was to contract. Now that we have some more clarity on what we can and can’t do, we are actively looking for a spot and hope to nail something down sooner rather than later.

TTB: I'm sure you're following the potential changes in our state's alcohol laws. Are you guys taking somewhat of a wait-and- see approach on your future growth/plans depending on how things shake out?

AC: We have been kind of playing the “wait and see” game as we figured out how to open. Now, with 424 in effect, we know we can have a taproom, and that in and of itself is huge for us. So right now we have more clarity on what we are going to do, even with the things still left to be decided in November. One thing that I think will help us in the long run with all the legal uncertainties is the O’Fallon relationship. We can open a small taproom brewery, and still have larger production coming out of O’Fallon. Ultimately we’d like to have our own production facility, so I’m not sure that is where it will be in the long run, but that is an option that I think is a benefit to us. Also, it gives us a reason to take a beer trip to St. Louis every once in a while. They have this really cool brewery up there, maybe you have heard of Budweiser? Amongst others like Side Project, Perennial, and 4 Hands.

TTB: With the law changes, a lot of people are planning or thinking about starting up breweries. What advice do you have for those who are just starting to get into the game?

AC: Do your research, be patient, and don’t get discouraged! This is a very complex industry. Like I mentioned earlier, we are still figuring things out, and that is with years of planning. Talk to breweries, sign up with the Brewers Association (you gain access to a ton of great info), meet as many people in the industry as you can, and ask questions. I think the biggest thing is fighting through all the setbacks. Once you really get into the process of opening you will have more 90 degree turns than you can count. There were so many times I was SURE we were going to be brewing in the next month but then something changed or something didn’t get done in time. Those type of things can get you down, but just remember they happen to every other brewery as well. Also be willing and ready to accept negative feedback. When you are out talking to people you will get the truth, and that’s not always going to be positive (and that’s OK). Knowing what to take seriously and what to dismiss is important. Hearing those things, the unexpected delays, and just things not happening how you want can be very discouraging. We are still very new and have not hit the point that more establish brewers would tell you “makes it all worth it,” but man we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. I will say that just seeing our beer on tap and on the shelves is pretty awesome though, and that does make it seem like it has been worth it so far.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Patriarch plans CF fundraiser

Happy hump day, beer fans!

If you're looking for something to do this week, you can have some beer and support a good cause at The Patriarch on Thursday.

The Edmond pub is hosting a ping pong fundraiser tournament to benefit The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Oklahoma.

The event is set for 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Here are some details from The Patriarch's FB page:

"Fellow good Samaritans! Our community has a proven track record of stepping up to help each other in difficult times and circumstances. To continue in this spirit, we're hosting a charity ping pong tournament Thursday, October 13th to benefit the Siler family and their daughter Hayden through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The entry fee is $20 and can be paid in cash or check at the time of the event, or at Roughtail Brewing Company and Anthem Brewing Company have partnered with us by donating entire kegs of beer for the event! 100% of the proceeds from the donated kegs, 100% of the tournament entry fees, and a percentage of The Patriarch's sales for the day will be given to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to help support the foundation and families like Hayden's."

On another Patriarch-related note, be sure to mark Nov. 5 on your calendar -- that's the date of the city of Edmond's first pub run, The OK Ale Trail. The 5K run includes local beer on the course, live bands and food trucks. You can get more info here.

Pints and Pins

-One of our better annual beer-tasting events is rapidly approaching. The fourth OKBio Brewfest is set for Nov. 10, and they'll once again host the event at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. You can find out more about that here.

-The Cigar Box in Midwest City is hosting a COOP tap takeover on Friday. Details here.

-In case you missed the OKCTalk article on Prairie's new Automobile Alley location, you can see that here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

COOP eyes string of new low-point variants?

You know, I'm glad COOP Spare Rib exists. For a low-point beer, it's a solid pale ale with a nice hop character -- it shows brewers can indeed make good low-point beer.

And, more importantly, I can stock up on four-packs of Spare Rib while I'm at my local grocery store on Sunday morning.

So I was especially intrigued recently when I came across a string of potential new low-point recipes from COOP, many appearing to be variants of Spare Rib, Briefcase Brown and Negative Split.

Federal beer label approval records show COOP may be scheming a number of interesting new flavor profiles -- some that look as if they ripped the pages right out of my homebrewing playbook (Hello, peppers and raspberries!).

All the approvals were for keg collars, so these may not be items that make it to the grocery store. I asked a COOP rep what the exact plans are for these beers, but have not yet heard back. One can speculate that they may be intended for taproom and public event purposes.

So what do we have? Let's first look at the Spare Rib variants: Pad Thai Pale Ale (pale ale with coconut, cumin and peppers), Spicy Hawaiian (pale ale with pineapples and peppers) and Beermosa (pale ale with orange peel, tea and cinnamon).

Next we have the Briefcase Brown variants: Cacao Coconut Briefcase Brown (brown ale with chocolate and coconut) and Mumbai Business Meeting (brown ale with tea, cinnamon, clove, ginger and all-spice). 

And finally there are the Negative Split variants: Sometimes Love Burns (Belgian-style ale with raspberries and peppers) and Waiting For My Kokosnoot (Belgian-style ale with coconut).

Definitely some interesting stuff there! And how about a bonus item: Label records show that COOP may also be pointing toward a full-strength Horny Toad off-shoot featuring blood orange:

I'll keep you updated if/when I hear back from COOP on any potential distribution plans for these beers. It's important to remember that these label approvals do not necessarily mean the beer will ever make it to market. But they generally are a good indicator of a brewery's likely plans. Stay tuned, and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: 2016 Elk Valley Pumpion

Elk Valley's 2016 Pumpion is set to drop from the brewery tomorrow afternoon, and if you already have plans for 3 p.m., you may want to adjust your schedule.

I had the chance to try this year's vintage tonight, and it scores high marks for me.

First, some details: Elk Valley is holding a special release event with a food truck from 3 to 8 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday, Oct. 6) at the brewery, 520 N Meridian Ave.

They will make available 45 cases of the beer at the brewery. They're setting a one-case-per-person limit, while reserving the right to adjust the limit depending on what kind of line might form prior to 3 p.m.

Another 80 cases will ship out on Friday to liquor stores in Oklahoma and Arkansas. In addition, a pair of kegs will be on tap at the brewery. Six other kegs will find their way to Oklahoma bars -- likely two to Tulsa and four to Oklahoma City. So you get the idea -- not a lot of this beer will be available.

OK, so what about the beer?

I thoroughly enjoyed it -- actually still enjoying the last couple sips as I type. Here's my review:

-Aroma: I found it to be boozy, alcoholy (is that a word? It is now), sweet and delivering a roasty caramel undertone.

-Appearance: It's got a wonderfully rich, brown copper color. Very little to no head retention.

-Mouthfeel: Maybe this sounds kind of weird, but I expected the beer to have a thin mouthfeel. However, it absolutely did not. In contrast, I thought it had a sort of creamy mouthfeel that coated your tongue and lingered nicely. There is very little carbonation in this beer.

-Taste: Bourbon, bourbon and bourbon. It had very subtle notes of oak and spices, just a touch of alcohol heat, and hints of sweetness, raisin and nutmeg. As it warms, the sweetness comes out a little more.

-Overall: This is an exceptionally smooth, tasty and warming drink. It was easy to drink for a 12.4% ABV beer. The pumpkin and spices are very subtly present -- they're definitely not the star of the beer. The star is the bourbon.

And no wonder -- the beer was aged for one full year on oak bourbon barrels. In fact, that aging -- in my estimation -- makes this a superior beer to the 2015 vintage. To me, the 2015 version drank hot, maybe even a touch abrasive.

The 2016 Pumpion has had time to smooth out and fully develop its roundness. Elk Valley brewmaster John Elkins told me that he is very pleased with this year's beer. He intentionally dialed down the spices compared to 2015 and sought to make this beer as smooth as possible.

I would say he hit the mark.

Oh, and a bonus: How about Mrs. Beagle's review?

"Tastes like fall deliciousness. Pairs well with a campfire. Shut your mouth."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Will AB InBev merger impact Oklahoma's small brewers?

News came out last week that shareholders for both Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller overwhelmingly approved AB's $103 billion takeover of SABMiller, thereby clearing the last major hurdle standing in the way of the mega-merger.

It got me thinking about that usual question: What does it mean for small brewers in Oklahoma? That answer is actually a little nuanced.

For starters, what does it mean on its face?

When all is said and done, AB will fortify its role as the world's largest beer company, controlling almost a third of the planet's beer sales, according to news reports. AB will become the fifth-largest consumer goods company in the world.

The beer behemoth will also gain access or increase access in the African, Latin American and European markets.

The merger is actually expected to have little immediate impact in North America, however. The reason? In order to get the blessing of the U.S. Justice Department for the merger, AB had to agree to sell SABMiller's interest in MillerCoors North America. That means any growth in the latter company will be realized by Molson, not AB.

Besides, those in the know report that the apple of AB's eye in this takeover is really Africa, a particularly strong market for SABMiller.

But that doesn't mean there won't be an eventual impact closer to home. The conventional thinking is that as AB grows and expands into new markets, its power and clout will grow. And then all the things AB is doing that craft beer purists don't like -- buying up successful craft breweries, putting out "crafty" products and trying to eat up space on grocery store shelves with exclusivity deals -- it will continue to do those things and possibly do them more and in more aggressive ways.

In order to get a feel on how things will shake out for those within the industry here in Oklahoma, I put the question to a pair of local beer professionals.

Wes Alexander of Tulsa's Marshall Brewing Co. said the issue he's eyeing is distribution, noting that since AB wasn't able to have MillerCoors North America in its portfolio, it may look to use its new international might to trounce the company in order to elevate its own brands in the market place.

"Here in the Midwest, many craft brewers use MillerCoors houses for (distribution)," Alexander said. "Clearly AB will look to crush MillerCoors brewery and distro with price in North America."

So while the consumer may enjoy low prices for the Goose Islands of the world, an AB price war could force some MillerCoors distribution business to shutter. The result?

"Less access to to market for craft," Alexander said.

Meanwhile, back across the state in Midwest City, Roughtail Brewing Co.'s Blaine Stansel said he believes the impact on small brewers may not be that significant, citing the idea that AB and local craft brewers are seeking to serve two distinct sets of customers.

"Make good beer and consumers will buy it -- end of story," Stansel said.

Stansel specifically addressed the pay-for-play issue.

"Who cares if a bar owner gets paid to feature a product?" he said. "Grocery stores get paid to carry certain cereals and jam, and whatever else, and you don't hear people whining about that."

Stansel said the area that would concern him would be if the new and more massive AB started to play political games and lobbied to have the laws changed to blatantly disadvantage small brewers. Even then, Stansel said, that's something AB could do now if it wanted.

The mega-merger is expected to become official on Oct. 10. Beer observers in Oklahoma, and around the world, will be watching to see what happens.

So, what else is going on?

A lot of local eyes will be on Elk Valley Brewing Co. this Thursday, as brewmaster John Elkins releases his 2016 vintage of Pumpion, the popular imperial ale brewed with pumpkin spices and aged on oak bourbon barrels.

The release is set for 3 to 8 p.m. at the brewery, 520 N Meridian Ave. Only a relatively small amount of the beer will be available to take home, as Elk Valley is making 45 cases available from the brewery on Thursday, with a one-case-per-person limit set as of right now.

The beer will be available on tap at the brewery as well, and is expected to be released to liquor stores on Friday for regular package distribution.

Many people have just now -- if you watch the Untappd feeds -- been cracking open their 2015 Pumpion. I myself have one set back in the fridge and am looking to do a side-by-side with the 2016 version.

The 2016 vintage has been in barrels for a year, and early reports suggest it will be drinking very well on Thursday.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Choc to move bulk of production to McAlester

Now fully in control of the production of all Prairie beers, Choc Beer Co. is finding things a little cramped at the Pete's Place brewery in Krebs.

In a move that has been building for some time as Choc has grown its production, company officials have finalized a deal to move the bulk of production and storage to McAlester.

The move is being aided by a $1 million grant from the state Commerce Department, buoyed by plans by Choc to add 30 jobs over the next three years, according to a report in The Oklahoman.

Choc also is putting up nearly $1 million in matching funds.

This move is not surprising -- Choc has been on an upward growth curve for several years, memorably adding a 50-barrel brewing system a few years back that the company purchased from Sweetwater Brewing Co.

This development of course raises the question of what will become of the original brewery attached to Pete's Place? According to the report, Choc plans to maintain the restaurant and original brewery. Perhaps we will see a situation similar to Boston Beer Co., where the original brewery serves as a space for recipe development and public tours.

So what else is going on in the beer world?

Roughtail Brewing hosted yet another successful special can release on Friday. This time, beer drinkers lined up for a chance to purchase a Citra wet-hopped IPA -- the base beer was Everything Rhymes with Orange, but the regular hop bill was swapped for fresh hops flown right in from the hop fields and canned a few hours before folks started lining up.

Yes, as you may have suspected, the beer is delicious.

The entire supply of cans, 60 cases, was gone in less than 40 minutes. Clearly Roughtail is taking full advantage of SB 424. Curious about what they've got coming up next? Adaptation 6, wet-hopped with Mosaic, is due for release on Saturday, Oct. 15.

Meanwhile, the latest Oklahoma beermaker to make a commercial release, Vanessa House Beer Co., held their official launch party on Friday at Slaughter's Hall in Deep Deuce. They also burned through some beer, to the tune of 15 cases in under an hour. If you missed that, their debut beer -- 401K Cream Ale -- will be on tap at The Patriarch this Thursday. The same night, they'll hold a Tulsa release party at Roosevelt's. Keep your eye on the blog for more on Vanessa House.