Monthly Archives: May 2009
I have to say that it is about time we in Oklahoma had some good craft beer brewed in the state! And we now have at least two breweries doing just that. Marshall Brewing Company ( http://www.marshallbrewing.com ) out of Tulsa and Choc ( http://www.chocbeer.com )out of Krebs (yes Krebs, look it up, and if you don’t find it, well, just trust me it is there. Google Pete’s Place) are both brewing some good and different stuff.
This weekend I purchased the three Marshall beers I could find at Cellars down the road, Atlas IPA (6.5 ABV), McNellie’s Pub Ale (5 ABV), and Sundown Wheat. Had them all! The Pub Ale is the go to for someone wanting to enjoy an evening of drinking, great balance and flavor that keeps you coming back for more. The Sundown Wheat is a mix of American Wheat and Belgium Wit, so it is wheaty with a bit of spice and a must have during the hot Oklahoma summers. I must say that at first drink the Atlas seems a bit more earthy than one would normally find in an IPA. Usually one prepares for a big blast of hops in an IPA, and this one has the hops, they are just well balanced and not as overpowering as some might find in other beers. At first I was taken aback by that and even commented to the other beer man about it, but then I drank on and enjoyed the beer so much that I will have it stocked in the beer fridge year round along with the Pub Ale and the Sundown Wheat. Great Work Marshall!
On to Choc. For those that are not familiar with the Choc line of beer, get familiar with it! They have a great story and seem to have been around awhile, they have a line of standard issues such as the Basement Batch Pale Ale, 1919 classic Choc (which is a wheat), Waving Wheat Belgian style wheat, Miner Mishap Black German Schwarzbier, Pietro Piegari American Amber, and The Last Laugh American White Ale. If you noticed a wheat theme you should, it is Oklahoma, Wheat is in the state song! They are also trying their hand at a few signature beers. I picked up the new Last Laugh, a signature Belgian Double and Belgian Amber, as well as their Specialty beer a German Style Hef, Kuehner Weiss. I do have to say that I do enjoy the other beers from this brewery so thought I would enjoy these new adventures just as much, and for the most part I did. The Last Laugh was a great addition to their wheat line-up. It combined well the Belgian and American styles, pick up one or six when you can! The German Hef was tasty and had good flavor, you might expect them to do well with a Hef since they do such a great job on wheat beers. The Belgian Double was very good well balanced, good flavor, and texture. My disappointment came in the Belgian Amber, a style they attempted to make by mixing two different styles and they should have left them alone. It just fell flat for me, missed any texture, had a very distinct Belgian taste but seems to me a little wanting for something like body. But that is me and you might enjoy it. They do say it is a twofold experiment on their website, and I do have to say that I applaud them for attempting something new!
I have found a new brewery in OKC and we are looking forward to try COOP!
And they kept on Dancing!
As some of you have read on Twitter, I attended a Dead show in Chicago (Rosemont) this week, and one of the best shows I have ever experienced! Two events stuck out in my mind, and maybe, just maybe some others that were there will let me know their version.
Well, for all those who have been to a Grateful Dead show knows that the Parking lot has a few things going on in it pre and post show. Now, you can probably find whatever you want to find out there from a Veggie Burrito to a hand carved bust of Jerry Garcia, but I look for the craft beer. Many stations have coolers of beer for a buck or two, and you can usually find some good stuff around there. As a matter of fact I found myself, after a few many beers, with three open beers and buying more! I finally stopped when I bent down and spilled the one I was holding against my side down my arm! But I had collected a Bell’s Amber, Two-Brothers Bitter End, and a Fat Tire. (Spilled the Fat Tire down my arm, dang!) The bad thing is the bathrooms are few and far between, so into the show we went!
Once inside the show, the beer selection is very reduced by comparison to the parking lot. The good thing was I could find some Goose Island product in there, the bad thing, it was $12 a beer (24 oz). Needless to say, I drank a few of those, and even made some guy’s night by getting him a couple! I hope that comes back to me at some point! So, guy if you are out there and read this, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed giving it to you! And if someone else feels like buying me a beer or two for Karma sake, well, thanks in advance!
Someone on twitter (@BrockAlanTaylor ) ask me what Barleywine I liked, which reminded me how much I enjoyed the Barleywine style! So, since it was a cold Friday night with some rain, which means that I was inside with our 5 month old, I went to the beer fridge to see what I could find. And behold! I had a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 08 and an Avery Hog Heaven! Talk about a great find!
Both of course were great, and the Bigfoot 08 had a little something extra on it it seemed. Think it got a bit stronger over the year in the fridge! Which was not a bad thing, it did, however, make me drink it a bit slower. The Avery Hog was fantastic! Again with something up around 9-10% you don’t want to slam it down, and you probably should not go out and drive after drinking both that is for sure!
Being in the same style, which does not always mean much in the beer world, these two actually were close to each other in color, aroma, and taste. Both were a reddish brown, I think they call it garnet(?), with a clear hop nose that balanced well with the malt, fruit, and the alcohol (After all, these are Barleywines and are on the top end of the ABV chart, and you can put these bad boys away for up to three years to mature! Don’t try that with all beers!) But seriously, don’t drink this out of the bottle please, get a glass so you can enjoy the aroma and the color! Not many beers out there that are this much of a sensory blast so enjoy!
There, I said it. While it is true that large brewing companies are telling the truth, as no one would lie in an ad right?, people that drink craft beer laugh at their attempt to capture the beer flavored water crowd. You all know who I am talking about, heck we have all probably been in that crowd at some point, most in college when we needed to get cheap beer. (I will even admit that when it is 100 degrees outside and I have been working in the yard I will reach for a “domestic” before I go with the Imperial Stout, probably because it is close to water.)
We all know their pitches, Taste Great…Less Filling, Drinkability, The Banquet Beer, Triple Hops, Bottle Beer Taste in a can, Bitter Beer Face, The Champagne of Beers, Frogs, Horses, Dogs, Trains, Wide Mouth Cans (seriously? Like you can’t drink it fast enough?), Silver Bullets, Girls, Guys, blah, blah, blah. And we as a human race fell for it. (We fell for it so much that “imports” are trying to get in on the action, and the big three “domestics” are now “imports”.) For some it is a tradition, their dads and grandparent drank whatever watching whatever sports team while grilling some burgers on the Weber grill, for others it is because they have been drinking it since they started drinking and don’t see a reason to change. I fell into both kind of, my dad and grandpa drank Budweiser in Missouri listening to the Cardinals baseball games outside, and because of that I drank Bud products in college when I started drinking, or sometime around there. I even had the “Bud line of products is better than the whatever line of products because…” discussion (In college this usually centered over Natural Light vs. Keystone because we were poor, just to show you how far I have come!) But no more does this have to be the case!
Welcome to the beer matrix! We have been freed from our cocoon of slumber believing that those companies make the best beer in the world! For me it came from my brother introducing me to other “weird beers” at the liquor store, Thanks Ryan!, for others it comes in the form of a skiing trip to CO and having no other choice in beer that the local “stuff”. But whatever the reason, we are thankful, and there is a growing movement to increase the visibility of Craft Beer all over the world. These statistics from the Brewers Association are a taste of that growth.
- Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2008 was 5.8% by volume and 10.5% by dollars.
- The craft brewing industry produced nearly 8.6 million barrels of craft beer in the U.S. in 2008.
- The fastest growing sector craft brewing sector continues to be microbreweries, showing customer support for local breweries.
- The craft brewing sales share as of December ’08 is 4% by volume and 6.3% by dollars.
- Total U.S. craft brewing industry annual dollar volume is $6.3 billion.
These are exciting times for Craft Beer brewers and Craft Beer drinkers alike. It is a revolution from “The Man” and to remind yourself of that fact just watch this video http://www.vimeo.com/4298464 and see if you don’t find yourself in front of a nice Craft Beer.
And so to all of us out there making it happen, I say Cheers and stay tuned for some crazy stats on beer that will make you happy!
The words are yours I am done with mine,