We’re officially one month out from the annual Wild Brew beer fest, which is set for 5 to 8 p.m. July 30 (with a patron’s hour from 4 to 5 p.m.) at the Central Park Expo Square in Tulsa. To preview the event, I thought I’d touch base with the good people in charge of Wild Brew over at Tulsa’s Sutton Avian Research Center. Here is the latest installment of Five Questions With…, featuring Hillary Parkhurst, the Sutton Center’s director of development, and Victor Wandres, the Wild Brew beer committee chairman.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: It’s one month out from the event, how is planning going? Everything coming together well?
Hillary Parkhurst: Planning is going great so far! This is an event that we have been doing for many years now, so with a talented committee, and past experience mixed with new ideas, this year will be a success!
2. TTB: How many years have you guys done Wild Brew? Are you seeing a growing following?
HP: The Sutton Center has been the beneficiary of Wild Brew since 2005 and we are so excited to be involved with this great event every year. It is amazing how much it has grown over the years and now we are the largest beer tasting event in the state, with nearly 2,000 people in attendance and over 100 domestic and international beers and over 60 local restaurants. Mid Life Crisis will be playing at the event again this year, and if you buy tickets to the patron hour, you will get to experience a bird show. Also new this year is a special patron zone filled with custom food and beer pairings. That will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the upstairs area.
3. TTB: What should beer fans expect in terms of selection? Any unique brews/offerings?
Victor Wandres: There will be over 100 different beers available for sampling at the event, many of them served draft style, directly from the keg, the preferred tasting method of beer enthusiasts. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample all styles of beers from lagers to porters, and everything between. Fans of unique flavored beers will enjoy trying the Samuel Smith Organic Cherry, the Sea Dog Blueberry, and Wells Banana Bread. A complete list of all beers being served is available at www.wildbrew.org. This year, Wild Brew is pleased to announce that all seven of the licensed Oklahoma breweries will be sampling their craft beer. This year, for the first time, VIP patron ticketholders will get an additional opportunity to visit with the Oklahoma brewers in a special tasting room overlooking the event floor. Also new this year, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers (FOAM) homebrew club will also have information about how to get started brewing your own beer as well as beers available to sample.
4. TTB: How does Wild Brew benefit the center? What kinds of things are the funds used for?
Hillary Parkhurst: Wild Brew benefits the Sutton Center greatly. (Parkhurst sent me a fact sheet with some causes the center works on, including bald eagle re-establishment, research of the lesser prairie chicken, prairie songbird conservation and several educational programs.)
5. TTB: How has it helped to have a beer brewed by Choc and friends especially for the festival?
HP: This year Choc and FOAM, the Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers, collaborated to create the 2011 Wild Brew beer. The Wild Brew beer is a great way to get the word out about the event and start to get a taste of what attendees will have in store. And as an added bonus, Choc and FOAM are graciously donating a portion of the profits to the Sutton Center. We cannot thank them enough for all that they do to support us.
If you’re interested in Wild Brew, tickets can be had starting at $60 for general admission. The patron level starts at $125. Tickets and info are available at www.wildbrew.org.
Beer news and links
-There will be no McNellie’s OKC firkin this Friday; they plan to pick things back up on July 8.
-Day 2 of Marshall’s Arrowhead Pale Ale release party is tonight at Leon’s Brookside in Tulsa. 5 p.m. Get it while it’s hot!
-Speaking of firkins, Mustang has announced a second anniversary double firkin night at McNellie’s OKC and Tulsa on July 22. 6 to 9 p.m. The beer: Crimson and Cream Ale.
-General admission tickets are on sale today for the Great American Beer Festival. You can buy tix at this link. The festival is Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.