In mid-November, Mustang Brewing Co. floated a new beer label on Facebook, promising in December to unveil a new beer and new distribution agreement. Now the details are out: Mustang’s Session ’33 will be a line of 3.2 percent craft beers available in metro-area grocery and convenience stores.
Mustang president Tim Schoelen said much research went into the decision to plunge his 2-year-old Oklahoma City beer company into the grocery/convenience store market.
“The decision to launch a grocery/convenience store line came after several months of evaluating the local beer scene and respective laws,” Schoelen said. “A walk through any liquor store is a testament to the craft beer explosion over the past several years. Grocery stores in Oklahoma are no different. Look at the shelves and you will see Boulevard, Shiner, Blue Moon, Shock Top, etc.”
Schoelen said he feels having his beers in grocery stores can serve as a point of entry for beer fans looking to step up to Mustang’s existing, stronger beers, which now are available only at liquor stores, bars and restaurants.
“Mustang beers are a great tool to segue domestic drinkers to craft beers,” he said. “The Session ’33 line will be craft beers, but separate from our strong line. Our hopes are to introduce grocery store beer shoppers to Mustang with our Session ’33 line and, ultimately, entice them to visit a liquor store, bar or restaurant and try our core, award-winning, strong Mustang line.”
Mustang’s strong line includes beers like Washita Wheat, Pawnee Pale, Golden Ale and Harvest Lager.
The name of the new beer line — Session ’33 — is an homage to the year prohibition was lifted.
“Our ’33 beers celebrate the 1933 law that permitted America’s breweries to start brewing again after Prohibition — at that time, at 3.2 percent strength, hence the reference to ’33,” Mustang brewmaster Gary Shellman said.
“These beers will be 4.06 percent alcohol by volume, or 3.2 percent alcohol by weight,” Shellman said. “We believe everyone should have access to good craft beer, not just liquor store visitors.”
Schoelen said the move to add lower-strength beer will also help get his beer into the hands of customers who aren’t visiting stores.
“It allows us to be served more easily as happy-hour specials and at outdoor events such as concerts, bike nights, fundraisers, tailgate parties, etc.,” Schoelen said. “Most of our marketing is event-driven, so this is a big plus. In the end, it’s about finding innovative ways to introduce people to craft beers.”
Shellman said the first beer in the line will be a light hybrid ale.
The beer will feature “Some mild fruity notes coming from the ale yeast and a slightly higher fermentation temperature, and a slightly stronger hop presence,” he said.
“This beer will be very similar to a Kolsch, so it provides an alternative ale that is not all that common in our market — not any specific beers I know that match it in our area, other than Franconia Kolsch on tap at McNellie’s, and this would be a slightly lighter version of that beer,” the brewmaster said.
Shellman said they will use Oklahoma grains to brew the beer — an effort that will support local growers.
“This grain addition allows us to stay in touch with our homebrewing roots and at the same time, support Oklahoma grain growers,” said Shellman, an avid homebrewer prior to taking the brewmaster job at Mustang. “We anticipate using Oklahoma grain in each of our ’33 beers to continue this support.”
The beer is expected to be available in cans and bottles in late January or early February at all major Oklahoma City-area grocery and convenience store chains, Schoelen said.
There’s an old saying — I think — that says something about a man not being able to survive on beer alone. That was most certainly not the case for an Alaskan man whose truck became stuck in a snowdrift off a deserted highway. The man survived for three days by eating frozen Coors Light he had in the back of his truck. I guess I won’t be able to keep saying that Coors Light is good for nothing. Oh, who am I kidding. Yes I will.
Either way, here’s the story.
1. Kansas (2-10, last week — bye): Wanted — coach not afraid to have his team beaten down repeatedly for two or three years. You may be fired before we find out about year three.
2. Texas Tech (5-7, last week — bye): Prediction: If Tech finds itself out of the bowl picture again next year, Tuberville will find his way out of Lubbock.
3. Iowa State (6-6, last week — lost to Kansas State 30-23): Scrappy Cyclones scrapped to the end against scrappy Kansas State in the Scrappy McScrapperson Bowl.
4. Texas A&M (6-6, last week — bye): Talk about heading off to the SEC West on a high note, right?
5. Texas (7-5, last week — lost to Baylor 48-24): Bowl eligibility is nice, but I don’t think this was the type of bounce-back season the Longhorns were hoping for. In fact, I’m pretty sure 12-12 over the past two seasons is pretty much a disaster in Austin.
6. Missouri (7-5, last week — bye): Say hello — and goodbye — to America’s quietest team. They put together a somehow way-under-the-radar 10-win season a year ago, put up an unmemorable 7-win season this year and now quietly slink off to the SEC.
7. Oklahoma (9-3, last week — lost to Oklahoma State 9-3): Tough close to the regular season for OU. In the end, they didn’t bring enough fight to the field in Bedlam.
8. Baylor (9-3, last week — beat Texas 48-24): It pains me to rank Baylor this low in the poll. The Sooners leave me no choice.
9. Kansas State (10-2, last week — beat Iowa State 30-23): A lot like how OSU came from nowhere the year before, Kansas State really came from nowhere this year. Who would have thought after they opened the season by barely squeaking by Eastern Kentucky?
10. Oklahoma State (11-1, last week — beat Oklahoma 44-10): A near dream season for OSU capped with a dream win. Cowboys will need to fight the “We’re just happy to be here mentality.” The BCS snub should do just the trick to light a fire over the next month.