The Thirsty Beagle: April 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Black Mesa to launch first IPA

As I reported last month, Black Mesa is shaking things up with the planned releases of two new beers and a new arrangement to produce some of its beers at Anthem's brewhouse in Oklahoma City.

To celebrate this new direction, Black Mesa has planned a release party and fifth anniversary celebration for May 6.

The party will feature the debut of the brewing company's first IPA -- the East Coast-style Big Wheel IPA -- and also a concert performance by Taddy Porter.

The event is set for 6 to 11 p.m. May 6 at the ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E Sheridan Ave. Taddy Porter will debut the new album "Big Wheel" and special guests Bread and Butter Band and Katie Williams will also be there.

Attendance is free, but guests must be 21 or older.

Black Mesa owner/operator Chris Sanders has been working behind the scenes lately to drive a re-brand of the company's labels, bringing a noticeably more artistic/graphic approach to the designs.


That new approach is visible on new labels for Black ESB and Kolsch, and also for the new Cave Dweller Hoppy Red Ale:


All four of the aforementioned beers are set to be brewed and packaged at Anthem, while some production will continue at O'Fallon Brewing in Missouri, Sanders has confirmed.

So what else is going on?

-If you're looking to learn a little bit about homebrewing, or just a enjoy a good time and some good beer, swing by The Brew Shop on Sunday for the American Homebrewers Association Big Brew Day. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and guests are encouraged to bring their own brewing set-up to churn out a batch. More info available here.

-If you haven't already, it's not too late to register for the annual McNellie's Pub Run. The race is set for 3 p.m. May 6 and includes a post-race party at McNellie's, as well as the Guinness Challenge, where runners attempt to finish three pours of Guinness spread out over the course of the 4-mile race. More details on that here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Patriarch ready for 2nd anniversary

Stopping Edmond from being a craft beer black hole takes a lot of work, so there definitely is a soft spot in my heart for The Patriarch.

After all, there are few places in Edmond where you can find a really good selection of beer on tap, and perhaps none of those quite exemplifies the spirit and soul of local craft beer the way that The Patriarch does.

So there's really no reason not to be excited about what the bar has planned next week to celebrate its second anniversary.

To commemorate the occasion, they're going all-Oklahoma on all 56 taps for the first week in May, and they'll feature specials from a number of local breweries.

Here's the rundown:

Monday, May 1
-Nothing's Left: Honey Dew Me (Honeydew SMASH), Watermelon Gose, Galaxy Pale Ale, Strawberry Blonde
-Elk Valley: Old Grizzly, IPA, Coffee Nemesis, Le Ferme

Tuesday, May 2
-Mustang: Rocket Fuel, Udderly Awesome, plus TBA
-405 Brewing: FDR (Batch 3), BBW, BA ESP,  LFN

Wednesday, May 3
-Twisted Spike: Twisted Spike IPA (Randalled through fresh hops), Twisted Spike Pale Ale, Crew Kolsch, Golden Spike Saison, Black Snake Russian Imperial Stout
-Marshall: Big Jamoke, CBAO Pale Ale, Atlas, This Machine, plus TBA
-Live music from Edgar Cruz at 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 4
-Roughtail: TBA
-Iron Monk: TBA
-Live music from Hosty at 7 p.m.

Friday, May 5
-Anthem: Arjuna, Golden One, Uroboros, Coffee Uroboros, CBAO Eureka Pale Ale
-Prairie: Blood Orange Phantasmagoria, Phantasmagoria, 4th Anniversary, Paradise, Bomb!, CBAO Saison, Pe-Kan, 2016 Christmas Bomb!
-Live music from Rachel "Goldie" Lahr at 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 6
-COOP: The Patriarch Black IPA, Saturday Siren, Horny Toad, CBAO Pale Ale, Native Amber, Alpha Hive, DNR, Cask-It Series Brandy-Barrel-Aged DNR with cherries, F5
-Vanessa House: Broken Tile IPA, 5th Keg Milk Brown, 401K
-Live music from Culture Cinematic at 8 p.m.

Check The Patriarch's FB page for additional details, changes and additions.

So what else is going on?

-The Root is hosting a 405 Brewing pint night today (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. for the official non-taproom release of 405's first IPA, Last Friday Night (LFN). The beer was produced and sold as a taproom-only offering at first, but the response was overwhelming and now the beverage will hits taps out in the public.

-Roughtail is releasing its collaboration beer with Central Standard Brewing -- Homie Hookup -- on Friday at the brewery. From Roughtail's FB page: "The rumors are true and it's dropping this Friday. Our homies at Central Standard Brewing hooked us up. Those guys came down and we brewed the same base recipe we did up north. Then we turned around and added pink guava, mango and apricot after fermentation." Cans will go on sale at 4 p.m. ($13/four cans), and crowler and growler fills will also be available on a limited basis.

-American Solera has a three-pack of events coming up next week. At 4:30 p.m. on May 2 they are hosting a happy hour for the local Maple Ridge Neighborhood; at 5 p.m. on May 3 they are hosting a Fruit Beer Night featuring five different fruit beers; and at 5 p.m. on May 4 they are releasing the much-anticipated Farmtruck, a beer made in collaboration with Evil Twin Brewing.

-Anthem is hosting International Tabletop Gaming Day on Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. This is about what it sounds like -- bring your favorite board or tabletop game and enjoy a relaxing day of gaming and beer. Only problem is that I've never played a game of Risk that lasted less than 14 hours, so they're gonna need to stay open late, right?

-Iron Monk is helping out AMBUCS tonight (Tuesday) by donating 15 percent of proceeds from beer sales to the nonprofit, which works to create mobility and independence for people with disabilities.

-Pretty big news from Prairie as they recently canned Prairie Paradise. It's the first canned beer for them. You should expect to see cans hits stores around June. In addition, you should expect to see cans of Flare around the same time as well. Also, Prairie is taking part in a special event Thursday night at Special Care in Oklahoma City. From their FB page: "April is Autism Awareness month, a cause that is very near and dear to the Prairie Artisan Ales family and friends. This year we wanted to re-introduce a new twist to one of our beloved beers, Spectrum, to help raise awareness and funds for a special needs establishment doing wondrous things right here in our own backyard. Special Care is by all means the word special. The facility is one of few in the country that provides high quality early childhood education, specialized care, and therapeutic services for children and adults with special needs. The compassionate program is designed for each child to address particular areas for cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. Please join us for an evening of beers, family, friends, and education as we help raise money for such a worthy cause. Your generous $20 donation will include a limited Prairie glass, 4 world class beers, snacks, and open doors to the world of Special Care." You can get tickets here.

-Neat deal from Twisted Spike: Anyone who stops by the brewery from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday with their Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon or Half-Marathon race bib can get a free "Run OKC" branded pint glass, no beer purchase necessary.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Marshall plans inaugural Earth Day Celebration

Tulsa's Marshall Brewing Co. is keeping it green this year, announcing its first Earth Day Celebration, set for Saturday at the brewery.

The event is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. and will include a community clean-up volunteer opportunity, a new brewery-only beer release, local food and live music and brewery tours.

Here's a news release from Marshall spelling out the details:

Tulsa, Oklahoma – Marshall Brewing Co., lead by German-trained brewmaster Eric Marshall, has planned a celebration Saturday, April 22nd in honor of Earth Day.

The brewery, located at 618 S. Wheeling Ave., will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for persons 21 years of age and older and will focus on celebrating the bounty mother earth provides for brewing, neighborhood beautification, and educate visitors of the brewery’s ongoing sustainability practices.

Earth Day Amber Ale

Earth Day Amber Ale was conceived as a sessionable post neighborhood clean-up beer offering a bread-like malt sweetness and a refreshingly smooth finish . Brewery only release. Available by-the- glass or growler. ABV - 4.0 %

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Marshall Brewing recycles 90% of all dry waste. Marshall Brewing donates their spent grain, a byproduct of the brewing process, to a local rancher. 

Customers are invited to return six pack carriers for recycling via a map located on the bottom of each package.

These are just practices that are at the core of Marshall’s commitment to responsibly operating their brewery with respect for the earth. 

As part of the celebration, Marshall will organize a beautification of the Kendall Whittier neighborhood. Groups will leave from the brewery for designated locations to beautify and clean the neighborhood. If you are interested in participating in the neighborhood beautification and clean-up please send an email to info@marshallbrewing.com.

Local Food & Local Music

Local Food – VegHead Food Truck will be on hand offering delicious vegetable based meals.

Local Music – Local musicians CROW will be live in the brew house.

Brewery Tours

Free brewery tours will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Learn first hand about brewery operation and sustainability from Marshall employees.

Ride Your Bike

Marshall Brewing is bike friendly and located conveniently just a few blocks from the Midland Valley Bike Trail. Marshall offers a bike rack for convenient and safe bike parking.

http://www.incog.org/Transportation/trailguide/MidlandValley/midlandvalley.htm

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Vanessa House to launch third beer

Big night for Vanessa House tonight as the company will officially unveil the third beer in its lineup, Broken Tile Double IPA.


You can get your fill starting at 6 tonight at all three Pub W locations, where limited glassware will also be available.

Vanessa House will then take the show on the road for a Tulsa release on Saturday, stopping in at the downtown McNellie's at 1 p.m.

If you can't make it out tonight or Saturday, fear not, because the beer will also be available at 6 p.m. April 27 at The Root, along with live music and food trucks, and then again at 5 p.m. May 6 at The Patriarch. That night, Vanessa House will stage a cornhole tourney with entry fees supporting the Lupus Foundation.

Broken Tile is set for wide release in June.

So what else is going on?

-Speaking of The Root, they are hosting a Stone Enjoy By 4/20/17 release tonight at 6 p.m. I know there are only a limited amount of kegs of this beer in the state, and I've been scouring to see who else has one. Please feel free to chime in in the comments if you know where it's on tap today.

-McNellie's OKC is holding a Samuel Smith Salute tonight at 6 p.m., featuring special glassware.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Who's on the Mount Rushmore of Oklahoma beer?

If you like to consume sports talk, you've probably played the Mount Rushmore game with the NFL or NBA.

You know the drill -- who are the big four? Who would be carved on the mountainside as the most prominent, accomplished and significant members of any particular sports league, profession or walk of life?


I've been tossing the Mount Rushmore idea around for a few months now when it comes to Oklahoma beer. After much consideration, I've narrowed down my list. So without further delay, here is my Mount Rushmore of Oklahoma beer:

-Michael Lalli, Krebs Brewing: Lalli, the longtime brewmaster at Krebs (formerly Choc Beer Co.), is often considered the godfather of the modern Oklahoma craft beer movement. Many an aspiring brewer trekked to Krebs to see what Choc was doing. To this day, Lalli remains the only Oklahoma brewer to win a gold medal at the Great American Craft Beer Festival. The win came in 2008 as Choc Signature Dubbel took top spot in the Belgian Abby Ale Category. Here's what I wrote about the beer in 2009 (when a locally brewed, 8 percent ABV beer was still kind of a novel idea).

-Eric Marshall, Marshall Brewing: Marshall -- classically trained in brewing in Germany -- holds the distinction of opening Tulsa's first modern production craft brewery, opening his doors on the east side of downtown in 2008. Like Lalli, Marshall has served as a key adviser and coach for many brewers who have opened commercially in the past decade, and has also been a highly influential advocate for craft beer legislation in Oklahoma. I should add as an aside that without Marshall opening his brewery, we wouldn't have Wes Alexander. He's Marshall's sales and marketing director and has played as active a role as anybody in educating the public about the nuances of craft beer over the years. Here's a feature on Marshall published in 2007 (that was the year before I started my blog).

-Chase Healey, American Solera: While Healey may lack a one-brewery resume like Lalli and Marshall -- he's led brewing at COOP, Redbud, Prairie and American Solera over the years -- he can make a serious claim to being Oklahoma's most influential modern brewmaster. As COOP's founding brewmaster, Healey was part of the team that developed all of COOP's current mainline beers, including the iconic F5 IPA. As the founder of Prairie, his Bomb! imperial stout put Oklahoma on the international beer map. After Prairie was acquired by Krebs Brewing, Healey started American Solera, focusing on aged and blended beers. Once again, his beers have drawn raves from national beer critics. Here's a feature I wrote about Healey in 2014.

-Rick Huebert, Huebert Brewing: Some of you young whippersnappers out there may not know who Rick Huebert is, but the guys at Krebs and Marshall certainly do. In fact, his role in where Oklahoma beer now finds itself cannot be understated. From 1972 to 2003, there were no production craft breweries in the state. That changed in August 2003, when Huebert opened Huebert Brewing in southwest Oklahoma City. In March of 2004, Huebert became the first Oklahoma brewery to produce high-point beer in more than 30 years. And even then, that was thanks to legislation that Huebert helped create and pass in order to loosen some of the Prohibition-era restrictions still in place at the time. While the Huebert beer line has faded from the Oklahoma scene, Rick Huebert's likeness certainly deserves a spot on Mount Rushmore. Here's a story on him from 2004.

So what do you think? If you've got a different Mount Rushmore, post it in the comments here or on my Facebook page. I'd love to see what everyone thinks.

Also considered (in no particular order):

-Zach Prichard, Krebs Brewing
-Freddy Lamport, Craft & Barrel
-Gail White, The Brew Shop
-Daniel Mercer, COOP Ale Works
-Stephanie Bice, state senator

So, what else is in the news?

-The official event list for Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week 2017 is coming together nicely, and we're getting ready to release the list soon. If you're a bar or brewery manager who wants an event on the list, send it my way as soon as you can.

-Speaking of beer events, there's one coming up in Enid this weekend. The second annual Land Run Beer Fest is set for Saturday at Central National Bank Center, with a VIP session at 4:30 p.m. and the general event beginning at 5. Tickets are $35 for general admission and $60 for VIP access, with proceeds benefiting local charities. You can get more info here.

-Oak & Ore is hosting a special Crazy Mountain Brewing night today, with tickets for special glassware going out at 5 p.m., and beer dropping at 6. Featured beers are Double India Red Ale, Strawberry Kiwi IPA, Sweet Potato Ale, Imperial Marzen and Rum Barrel Aged Dark Ale. More info here.

-Anthem is hosting a Beer Paws pop-up shop on Thursday at 4 p.m., and then a pretty cool event at 6 p.m. on Saturday as they team up with Waters Edge Winery to introduce Against the Grain, what they are billing as the state's first brewery-winery collaboration brew. You can get more on that here.

-The Patriarch and Twisted Spike are teaming up Saturday for a pint day from 2 to 6 p.m. featuring four TS beers, including the previously brewery-only Black Snake Russian Imperial Stout. That beer will also be Randalled through Hoboken Coffee beans. The day features a special co-branded pint glass, as well.

-Lastly, on a personal note: Happy anniversary to my super wife! It's 14 years for us today -- I couldn't ask for a better beer-tasting partner! (And I'm so glad I was able to bring you along to the magical land of the hop-forward IPA!)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Iconic brewery to ship to Oklahoma

The hits keep coming for Oklahoma beer fans!

The Thirsty Beagle has confirmed today that Dogfish Head is heading to Oklahoma, with an anticipated mid-June arrival.


This marks another in a string of iconic beer brands to land -- or to be announced -- in Oklahoma this year, following New Belgium, Stone and Ballast Point.

The first two dropped in early February, while Ballast Point is expected next month.

This also marks another big win for distributor Oklahoma Beer Imports, which has brokered all four of these high-value brands.

Dogfish Head is of course widely known for its 60-, 90- and 120-Minute IPAs, but has produced a huge array of memorable and sought-after offerings.

I will update this post shortly with a list of labels expected to hit Oklahoma in Dogfish Head's first shipment to the state.

Update:

I have now received the list of beers DFH is expected to ship -- it's quite the haul. Here you go:

(Note: Some labels are seasonal and will not ship in June)

-60 Minute IPA (package, draft)
-90 Minute IPA (package, draft)
-120 Minute IPA (package, draft)
-Beer to Drink Music To (package, draft)
-Burton Baton (package, draft)
-Festina Peche (package, draft)
-Flesh and Blood IPA (package, draft)
-India Brown Ale (package, draft)
-Midas Touch (package)
-Namaste (package, draft)
-Palo Santo Marron (package, draft)
-Pennsylvania Tuxedo (package, draft)
-Punkin' Ale (package, draft)
-Romantic Chemistry (package, draft)
-Saison du Buff (package, draft)
-Seaquench (package, draft)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Five-pack of alcohol bills advances at Legislature

Thursday is an important day legislatively speaking. That's the deadline day for bills in this year's legislative session to get a committee hearing in the opposite chamber.

If you're watching the news, you're probably seeing a lot of stories about bills being dead for the year because of being voted down or not receiving committee hearings.

That type of situation will not effect the various alcohol-related bills working their way through the Capitol this year.

There are a five-pack of such bills, all originated in the Senate, and the last of the five were passed through the House Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee earlier today.

That means all five bills will now move no for debate and votes in the full House. With an affirmative House vote -- barring any amendments or new versions of the legislation -- the bills will then move on to the governor.

Let's take a look at the bills, which all work to expand on or clarify aspects of State Question 792:

(Hat tip to the advocacy group Modernize Oklahoma for helping summarize these bills)

Senate Bill 174: Allowing both spouses to own two liquor stores

SQ 792 raised the limit for liquor store ownership from one to two stores beginning in October 2018. SB 174 clarifies that both spouses may own two liquor stores (four per couple).

Senate Bill 211: Allowing a county option for Sunday sales (noon to midnight) in liquor stores

Beginning in October 2018, grocery and convenience stores can sell cold, regular strength beer and wine on Sundays while liquor stores cannot. SB 211 gives counties the option of allowing Sunday sales at liquor stores. A countywide vote on Sunday sales would be triggered either by a successful initiative petition or the support of a majority of county commissioners.

Senate Bill 297: Clarifying the rights of local wineries

SB 297 eliminates ambiguity surrounding the rights of local wineries. It clarifies the Legislature’s intent that, 1) wineries can give away limited free samples of wine, and 2) wineries can sell wine by the glass.

Senate Bill 411: Expanded hours of operation for local breweries and liquor stores

Currently, Oklahoma breweries can only remain open between the hours of noon and 9 p.m. SB 411 allows these breweries the same operating hours as bars: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. It allows liquor stores to be open from 8 a.m. to midnight and grocery/convenience stores to sell cold, regular strength beer and wine from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Senate Bill 646: Updates licensing laws to support implementation of SQ 792

SB 646 allows the ABLE commission to issue interim licenses to beer, wine and liquor distributors to support the transition to single-strength beer under State Question 792. SB 646 aims to assure successful implementation of SQ 792 by the October 2018 implementation date.

One other bonus note I should add: I blogged earlier this year about House Bill 1686 -- that's the bill that would have increased the excise tax on beer and liquor producers. Much to the relief of many in the industry, that bill died out earlier this session and will not advance this year.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Utah brewery shipping to Oklahoma

Add another in the list of out-of-state brewers to add Oklahoma to their portfolios this year.

Local distributor Oklahoma Beer Imports announced today that Utah's Uinta Brewing will arrive here this month.

The Salt Lake City brewery will start off with four offerings:

-Uinta Golden Ale
-Uinta Hopnosh
-Uinta Tangerine IPA
-Uinta Lime Pilsner

All four will be available in cans, and you should also expect some draft offerings.

I tried Hopnosh a few years back and, according to my Untappd account, thought very highly of the beer -- giving it four bottle caps (out of five).

OBI announced the beers were released to wholesalers today, so you should expect to see them show up in stores in the next few days.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The week in Oklahoma beer

There aren't too many breweries that have a day of the year named after them -- are there any? -- so that's what makes Wednesday pretty cool for 405 Brewing.

In case you're not following, tomorrow is April 5, or 4/05, and the team of 405 has decided to celebrate the occasion.

They'll be opening up the taproom from 4 to 8 p.m. for a mid-week party, featuring special tappings, growler fills and giveaways.

The Meating Place BBQ food truck will be on hand for grub, and a pair of vendors -- Beer Paws and BeerIsOK -- will be there as well.

405 Brewing is located at 1716 Topeka St. in Norman.

So, what else is going on?

-Tickets for the seventh annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival are now on sale. You can click here to get yours. And remember, OCBF is the kick-off event for this year's Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week.

-Myself and Mrs. Beagle got out to Roughtail's fourth anniversary party this past Saturday. Much beer was consumed and a good time was had by all. I can report that the curry Hoptometrist was as good as I hoped it would be. I can also report that I tried Wheat Dreams for the first time, and dang, that is a good beer! Congrats once again to the Roughtail crew on four great years!

-The Fur Shop is hosting a Marshall pint night today at 4 p.m. featuring Eukanot Pale Ale -- that's Marshall's version of the recent Craft Brewers Association of Oklahoma collaboration beer. I had the beer at Oak & Ore a couple weeks back and it's a good one!

-Speaking of the CBAO collab, The Patriarch has all four versions of the beer on tap -- joining Marshall are offerings from Prairie, COOP and Anthem.

-Oak & Ore is welcoming one of the newest brewers to arrive in Oklahoma with a special tap takeover on Wednesday. O&O will pour seven different beers from Almanac Beer Co. starting at 6 p.m. You can see the list of beers here.

-The Root is holding a release party on Wednesday for the latest from Rahr & Sons, Dadgum IPA. Special glassware is available.

-The fourth annual Red River Craft Beer Festival is set for Saturday in Lawton. More info on that can be found here.

-Mark April 15 on your calendar. On that day, COOP is unveiling its DNR Cask-It Series. The event is set for noon to 8 p.m. at the brewery. This first iteration was fermented with cherries and then aged on brandy barrels for 10 months. You can learn more here.

-American Solera is staging a brewery concert on April 11 featuring Lowland Hum. You can see more details here.

-The Brew Shop is hosting a free beginner's brewing class at 11 a.m. Saturday. Call or email to register: (405) 528-5193 or brewshop@juno.com.

-Learn to Brew-Edmond is also hosting a beginner's brewing class on Saturday. This one is set for noon and costs $10. You can call (405) 286-9505 to sign up.