1. Bud Light
2. Stella Artois
3. Beck’s Oktoberfest
4. Red Hook ESB
5. Widmer Hefeweizen
6. COOP Oktoberfest
7. COOP Zeppelin German Wheat
8. COOP DNR
9. Spaten Premium
10. Spaten Oktoberfest
11. Spaten Munchen Dunkel
12. Spaten Optimator
13. Franziskaner Hefe Weisse
14. Franziskaner Hefe Weisse Dunkel
15. Schneider Edel Weis
16. Schneider Eisbock
17. Sam Adams Octoberfest
18. Shiner Oktoberfest
19. Stiegl Goldbrau
20. Paulaner Wiesen Blonde
21. Paulaner Hefe
22. Paulaner Oktoberfest
23. Ayinger Oktoberfest
24. Ayinger Brau Weiss
25. Ayinger Celebrator
26. Erdinger Hefe
27. Erdinger Dunkel
28. Erdinger Oktoberfest
29. Warsteiner Premium
30. Warsteiner Oktoberfest
31. Warsteiner Dunkel
32. Konig Ludwig Weiss
33. Franconia Dunkel
34. Franconia Kolsch
35. Blvd. Bob’s 47
36. Lienenkugel Oktoberfest
37. Bitburger Pils
38. Kostritzer Black
39. Weihenstephan Kristall
40. Weihenstephan Lager
41. Point Oktoberfest
Today The Thirsty Beagle blog brings you a conversation with Mike Turek, owner of Old Germany restaurant and the main man behind the annual Choctaw Oktoberfest celebration. This year will be the 21st annual celebration, and some big things are in store. First and foremost, Turek has expanded the festival to seven days this year. It will run over two weekends: Sept. 2-4 and 7-10. Second, Turek has secured 44 beers on tap this year, a figure he believes is the largest selection for any Oktoberfest celebration in the country. But I’ll let him fill you in on the details.
1. The Thirsty Beagle: The festival this year will be held over seven days and cover two weekends – is this the first time you’ve done that? If so, why did you decide to expand it?
Mike Turek: Yes it is, mostly to weatherproof the event. It costs so much to stage this event — if my Friday and Saturday get rained out on a four-day event it would hurt severely financially. Also many people have events scheduled that prevented them from attending the festival, so this gives them an opportunity to finally see the Choctaw Oktoberfest.
2. TTB: The festival will have 44 beers on tap. You mentioned to me that may be the most of any Oktoberfest in the country. Will that include local brews, or anything exotic or special for the occasion?
MT:Yes some local, even some 3.2 percent beers, but a whole bunch of awesome imports from Germany, like the original Paulaner Wies’n Bier. Wiesen (long form) Bier is the very beer served at the Munich Oktoberfest Theresien Wies’n Platz (Therese’s Meadows Place) where the original Munich Oktoberfest is held for 16 days each year. Also, Stiegl Lager from Salzburg, Austria, is a new addition. But there are so many great beers.
3. TTB: Could you provide an explanation of the purpose of Oktoberfest celebrations, generally speaking, for someone who doesn’t know about the history?
MT: It was a celebration for King Ludwig’s wedding and a celebration of harvest season. There were horse races, lots of dancing, food and of course Oktoberfest bier! In March of every year the monks brewed a slightly stronger, more amber-colored beer that would survive the warm summer months a little better. During Oktoberfest they would drink the remaining “March-brewed” beer. That is why Oktoberfest beer is often called “Maerzen Bier” (March Beer). “The wedding party and this celebration should last until the last guy drops,” King Ludwig proclaimed! It turned out to be 16 days. Today they generally find the first Sunday in October, back up 16 days and that is usually the beginning of the Munich Oktoberfest. They add a day here and there to accommodate special occasions, but that is the gist of it.
4. TTB: This is the 21st Choctaw Oktoberfest. How has the festival changed over the years? Has the increase in Oklahoma beers the last three or four years been a big boost?
MT:It is now 21, it has come of age! There is now more music, more food variety, certainly more beers to choose from. Yes, Oklahoma brewers have stepped up and are making some really great beers. I always look forward to COOP’s Oktoberfest brew; it’s awesome!
5. TTB: When you’re talking about dozens of beers on tap, tons of food, tents, parking, the whole works, how hard is this event to pull off? How early do you have to start preparing? Why is it worth it for you?
MT: We literally start the day after the Oktoberfest ends. You have to book the tents, bands, tables and chairs early on. It is a yearlong process. Then when the festival starts it takes about 400 volunteers to stage the event. As for the city of Choctaw, it quadruples the population by 400 percent, plus sales tax revenue jumps dramatically. Of course it has to be good for Old Germany to go out on that financial limb. No one remembers that we lost $30,000 in 1999 and in 2001 when the storms hit us on Friday nights and killed attendance. No one except my banker, who had to bail us out, that is. It is a tremendous undertaking with all kinds of risks and rewards but the overall publicity for Old Germany is worth all the effort. Maybe that is why we are the longest running German restaurant and Oktoberfest in central Oklahoma.
Thanks Mike! As usual, Choctaw Oktoberfest will include all the music, fun and food you’ve come to expect. Mike also reports on the Oktoberfest Facebook page that organizers are looking for volunteers and booster clubs who want to man booths in exchange for donations to their clubs. You can learn more about those opportunities, and the fest in general, at www.oldgermany.com. And coming up tomorrow, I’ll post an excellent list of all 44 beers set to be on tap at the event.
The latest entry in the Brewer’s Blog series — where I let local brewers and beer experts guest blog – comes from Marshall Brewing’s Wes Alexander. Today’s topic is beer and food pairings. Note Wes’ great tip about using beer as a palate scrubber. Enjoy!
Certainly we are all aware that beer pairs well with pizza, sausages and hamburgers. But this is more of a pairing based on where than why. By this I mean, you are watching a football game, grilling hamburgers and this situation historically calls for beer. The purpose of this article will be to delve further into why beer actually pairs well with many foods based on flavor profile.
Match craft beer to food with similar intensity.
Considering craft beer provides numerous choices in style and flavor, you should search for a pairing that is not overpowering either beer or food. For instance, American, German and Belgian wheat beer styles all offer a lighter feel on the palate along with a good amount of carbonation and little to no bitterness. This makes wheat beer a perfect pairing for delicate seafoods, shell fish, salads, and my favorite, omelets. Further, Belgian wheat or wit beer are spiced with orange peel and coriander. You can think of pairing with any lighter fare that you would normally add citrus to. The Belgian wit will provide the same zest and brightness.
Look for similarities in flavor profile.
American amber ale and English brown ales get their color from the roasting of malted barley. In most cases, this roasting produces flavors that are caramel, nutty and bread-like. Choose foods that have some caramelization on the exterior for pairing.
Classically, roast chicken is a perfect pair for American amber ales. Further, India pale ales have a forward bitterness and spiciness that serve as perfect mates for spicy foods such as Indian curries and Mexican dishes offering a good bit of heat. Pairing IPAs and spicy foods is also an example of matching intensities. I know, most of us think of light lager for pairing with our Mexican meals, but try a more intensely flavored beer next time and see if the flavors are not complimentary.
Pair regional beers with regional dishes.
IPA and Indian food have already been mentioned. Other obvious choices would be English bitters and brown ales with fish & chips and meat pies, Belgian golden ales with mussels and frites, and German bocks and other malty lagers with bratwurst, latkes, and other German favorites. Looking for home-grown favorites? Try American amber ales with barbecue and hamburgers.
Tip: Carbonation in beer makes for a great palate scrubber. This is a distinctive advantage that beer has over wine in the world of pairing. Think of having a rich ribeye steak and how the fat coats the tongue. This can in fact mute your taste from bite to bite. Have a small drink of beer to reset the palate, scrubbing away the rich fat and making your next bite taste as good as the first.
Pairing food and beer is fun. Additionally, with the multitude of complex flavors in beer, and the number of craft breweries available, there are hundreds of choices and combinations. Be inventive and adventuresome. Cheers!
The Oklahoma City Zoo today announced that ZooBrew III will be Sept. 30 at the zoo. A new twist has been added this year: Pre-Brew, a special early tasting featuring more exotic beers and appetizers. The zoo describes it like this:
Pre-Brew is an early “taste” of ZooBrew. Be among the 75 individuals admitted early to taste high-end specialty beers and appetizers not being offered during regular ZooBrew hours! From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., talk to master brewers and enjoy VIP treatment and then stay and enjoy ZooBrew. Pre-Brew tickets may only be purchased by phone at 425-0612. Tickets on sale now.
Regular ZooBrew then kicks off at 6:30 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 for general admission, $30 for ZooFriends members and $10 for designated drivers. Only 625 tickets are on sale this year. They can be ordered at 425-0612 or at www.zoofriends.com.
The event will feature beers provided by local breweries and distributors, a live band and $3 meal deals. Proceeds from ZooBrew will benefit the Patrica & Byron J. Gambulos ZooZeum.
It’s like Christmas in August folks! Well, if you took away the oppressive heat. And added Christmas lights and the Bing Crosby station on my Pandora app. You get the idea. Today is International IPA Day! So raise a glass of the hoppiest brew you can find. Wondering how you can celebrate the occasion? Your best bet is the IPA Day celebration tonight at Tapwerks.
The bar will feature as many as 25 different kinds of IPAs and IPA-infused culinary offerings. In addition, Choc, COOP and Marshall have produced special firkins to commemorate the event.
-Choc: Double black IPA
-COOP: Special dry-hopped F5 IPA
-Marshall: Cask-conditioned, dry-hopped Atlas IPA
The firkins will be tapped at 5:15 p.m.
Beer news and links
-McNellie’s OKC’s Firkin Friday this week will feature a dry-hopped Pale Ale from Redbud. The cask will be tapped at 6 p.m.
-Reminder that Saturday is Beerfest VII at Remington Park. Here’s a blog I did recently about the event.
-We’ve found someone who prefers Budweiser over all other beers.
-We know today is International IPA Day; apparently tomorrow is International Beer Day. According to the interactive map, there are no bars in Oklahoma celebrating the day.
Budweiser can fans can expect a new look when they pick up a case of Buds this summer.
Full disclosure: I’m not likely to buy or consume any cans of Budweiser this summer, so this blog post is probably about as close as I’ll get to one of these cans. That being said, I think it’s a decent enough look. What I found even more interesting, though, was the history of the Budweiser can. You can see it here:
Notice the second can from the left. That was created in the “olive drab” color to give it a camouflage effect for troops overseas during World War II.
If you want more nuggets like that, you can click on this link and scroll down to the interactive display at the bottom of the page.
When I started this blog back in September 2008, I planned to include beer reviews as part of my regular lineup of blog post offerings. After a few months and a smattering of beer reviews, something occurred to me: I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. I never claimed to be a beer expert when I started the blog, but a beer fan? Certainly. And I figured that was enough to be able to “review” some beers. I learned it was one thing to have an opinion about a beer — did I like it or not — and another thing entirely to be able to articulate what made a beer good or not. Since those early pup days, The Thirsty Beagle has come a long way in beer knowledge. I still wouldn’t call myself any kind of supreme expert, but I know a lot more than I did. Stuff that I hadn’t quite grasped — all the different styles and sub-styles, what goes into making a beer, etc. — is a lot more clear now. Another boost came when I started studying the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines. I mean, who knew there were three different types of English brown ales, right? So, nearly three years later, I feel like I’m ready to take another shot at this. I’m basing my reviews mainly on BJCP guidelines. Of course a true, certified beer judge may interpret things differently (read: more accurately) than me, but I’m going to give it my best shot and hopefully someone out there will find these reviews useful.
-Aroma: Werewolf has a slight roasted malt aroma. Not too strong.
-Appearance: The beer falls somewhere in the copper to light brown range.
-Taste: The predominant taste is lightly roasted malts. Not very sweet.
-Mouthfeel: The beer feels fairly carbonated, producing a little kick on the front end. Has a light feel to it. Fairly easy to drink and with little aftertaste.
-Overall impression: This is a pretty easy-drinking beer that doesn’t take a lot of risk. Good flavor and drinking experience overall. Beware of advertising claims: Newcastle states it is “Naturally blood red in color,” but red hues were not detected. Another claim: “This … fall ale produces a combination of sweet berry overtones and a sudden bite of bitterness.” I didn’t pick up any berry, and the bite for me came more from the carbonation and less from any hop qualities.
Thirsty Beagle score: 7 points (out of 10)
The Thirsty Beagle is pleased today to announce an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Tapwerks for the Beer Championship Series. The fourth annual Tapwerks Beer Championship Series will be held in November.
The BCS features a 64-beer bracket where beer fans vote in head-to-head match-ups to see which beer will win the crown of Oklahoma’s favorite beer and claim the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy.
Beer conference action was held last week to determine 28 automatic qualifiers for the bracket. The final 36 at-large spots will be decided by the Beer Selection Committee. At the start of November, the bracket will be unveiled and online poll match-ups will be posted on The Thirsty Beagle blog, where readers will be able to vote for their favorite beers.
Tapwerks is located at 121 E Sheridan Ave. in Bricktown. The bar features 212 beer taps and more than 100 choices of bottles. More information can be found at www.tapwerks.com.
Past Tapwerks Beer Championship Series winners:
-2010: Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale (Defeated Mustang Washita Wheat)
-2009: Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale (Defeated New Belgium Fat Tire)
-2008: Flying Dog Tire Bite (Defeated Choc 1919)