-A Firkin Friday is planned this week at McNellie’s OKC. The beer is called Rich Dick’s Ale (I’m not making that up). Here’s how Mustang describes the beer:
“This is a historic recipe from a beer commonly brewed in the mid-1700s, using ingredients that were common for beer-making at that time, brewed again (in) 2006 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Ben Franklin’s birth in 1706. The beer is closest in style to a Strong Ale/Olde Ale. The aroma displays a toasty malt and mild corn sweetness with mild fruity esters up front, with a very mild hop bitterness supporting the malt. A caramel, toffee and slightly nutty taste with a smoky, grainy finish comes from an addition of molasses late in the boiling process. The beer is unfiltered, as were the beers of that time, is dark amber to light brown in color with a very slight haze, and weighs in at 7.5% ABV with 32 IBUs.”
-Another firkin, also featuring Rich Dick’s Ale, is planned for May 3 at McNellie’s Tulsa.
-A Summer Lager pint night is planned for May 7 at McNellie’s OKC.
-Mustang’s first beer dinner is planned for May 20 at Hensley’s Top Shelf Grill in Yukon. Tickets are $50 and can be had by calling Hensley’s. Contact info is at www.htsdining.com.
-Mustang’s third anniversary party will take the form of a three-day, three-city beer and music tour. Festivities will kick of July 19 in Forth Smith, Ark., continue the next day in Tulsa and wind up on July 21 in Oklahoma City. More details can be found by clicking right here.
We’ve got yet another new player on the Oklahoma craft beer scene: Say hello to Anthem Brewing. You’ll start to see Anthem beers here in the next month, most notably at the Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival on May 19, where brewmaster Matt Anthony will serve up his first two offerings, Golden One and White Flame. I thought I would give my readers a chance to get to know Anthem, so here’s my interview with Matt:
The Thirsty Beagle: Where did you grow up?
Matt Anthony: I’m originally from the Tulsa area. We lived in a tiny town called Liberty Mounds during grade school, before moving to Sapulpa my freshman year. That’s where I graduated from high school. After that, Tulsa was home for the next few years before moving to Oklahoma City back in 2000.
TTB: How old are you?
MA: I turn 33 next Friday. That day will hold extra special meaning for me this year, because it is also the same day I leave my job of 11 years to run Anthem full time.
TTB: Are you coming to the beer biz from a different line of work?
MA: I am indeed. I’ve worked as a motion graphics artist, editor and photographer for the last 12 years.
TTB: Tell me a little bit about your beer history. Longtime homebrewer?
MA: My story is probably like a lot of brewers. My then girlfriend, now wife, gave me a Mr. Beer kit for Christmas in 2000. In retrospect, I’m sure those first batches weren’t that great, but at that time it was the best beer I’d ever had. At the very least it began my exploration of the world of beer. A year later a coworker invited me over to help him brew an extract batch using a kit he bought from The Brew Shop. We brewed another batch together before I went and bought a kit of my own. My homebrewing was sporadic over the next few years, opting to spend more time at places like TapWerks trying different beers instead of brewing them. It wasn’t until 2004 that I started brewing more regularly. In 2005 I had brewed a batch for a Festivus party we were hosting. I was in the middle of bottling that beer when something clicked inside my brain. I’ll never forget that moment, standing behind my bar filling a bottle. That was when I realized that brewing and starting a brewery of my own was what I was supposed to do. A fire was lit in that moment, and my passion for beer hasn’t stopped growing since.
TTB: How long has Anthem been in the works? And tell me a little about Anthem as well.
MA: Technically it was that moment in December, 2005, but I knew that I had a lot to learn on the brewing side before making inroads on the brewery. I started devouring every trade magazine, book and podcast I could find. In April of 2006 I made the move to all grain brewing, after buying Gary Shellman’s old all-grain system. Gary is now the brewmaster for Mustang Brewing, so there must be something special about that old system. Since then I’ve worked on honing my craft, always looking to learn something new. 2009 was when I decided it was time to start thinking about the brewery more seriously. The next two years I started traveling to beer events and breweries across the U.S. and Europe, in an effort to get a feel for the industry. After gathering copious notes and ideas, I started on the business plan in the beginning in of 2011 and finished it towards the end of that year. With Anthem my goal was and is to blend the things I love from the old world with the unrestricted passion for innovation of the new world. To make beers that are an expression of myself and what I love most, without regard for rigid style guides. Beers that are a tribute to individualism. These beers are my anthem to the world. What I love most are wood-aged and sour beers, so that is going to be our focus. Naturally, those are beers that take some time to make and mature, so it won’t be until later this year that you’ll see some of those released. In the meantime, I wanted to make and release what I consider my go-to beers. Beers that I never tire of and fit just about any occasion. The first is Golden One. It’s a take on a Belgian blonde ale. Bright and crisp, with a slightly fruity and peppery nose that comes from the yeast. Golden One pairs awesomely with foods like tikka masala, frites or a good burger. The second beer is White Flame, which is my interpretation of a Belgian witbier. I’m drawn to wits like a moth to the flame, especially in the summertime. Hence the name. There’s just something magical about that blend of orange peel and coriander, that seems to strip away any thirst. White Flame is my favorite beer for pairing with breakfast, especially bacon and eggs. It’s also good with choices like seafood and orange crêpes.
TTB: Do you have a brewhouse? What kind of capacity do you have at the moment?
MA: I do not have my own brewhouse. I’m what you would call a gypsy brewer, like Mikkeller from Denmark. I’m contract brewing my beer out of OKCity Brewing Company’s brewery here in Oklahoma City. They have a great facility and have been incredible to work with. Theirs is a 15-barrel brewhouse with several 15- and 30-barrel fermenters. The goal is to gypsy brew for a while and eventually buy or build our own space. It’s a model that has worked well for a lot of breweries.
TTB: In terms of size/model, is there another craft brewer in the state you would compare yourself to?
MA: In terms of size and model, I’d say we’re closest to Redbud Brewing. They got their start in a similar way. Chase from Redbud has been really helpful along the way. For that matter, so has every Oklahoma craft brewery. Everyone has been super supportive, and it’s an honor to be a part of the Oklahoma craft beer movement and to be standing on the shoulders of giants.
TTB: So when/where can we expect to see Golden One and White Flame? I understand OCBF, right? Are you keg-only right now?
MA: That’s right, we will be pouring both beers at OCBF. That’s going to be a really fun day and we’re looking forward to sharing our beer with everyone. Besides there, it will be available on draught around town either a few days before or after OCBF. We are just doing kegs for the first month, and if everything goes as planned we’ll start offering the beer in bottles towards the end of June.
TTB: Tell me about your logo, as well. Maybe I’m not looking at it the right way, but to me, it sort of looks like a person wearing an old WWII gas mask.
MA: Ha ha. It’s been interesting hearing people’s responses to the logo. I get a lot of complements on it, and everyone sees it a little differently. It was created by my very talented designer and friend, Marc Bostian. I started working with Marc early on in the planning stages. One day we met for him to show me several different ideas and designs he had. From the instant I saw it I fell in love and knew that was going to be the logo. The hand drawn organic figure balanced with the clean lines of the text were a perfect example of what I was shooting for with the beer: handmade sophistication. Now, I don’t see a person wearing a WWII gas mask, but I can certainly appreciate everyone’s interpretation. That said, it is a person. The misshapen eyes, star mouth and giant star on his forehead, all make me think of some imaginary place where he came from. Where everyone was “perfect,” symmetrical and identical. A place where everyone was expected to follow the same path in life. But this little guy knew he wanted something different. He knew he wanted to strike out and follow his own path, no matter the risk. What I see in him is a person, perfect in his imperfection. A true individual. He has no name, at least not yet. Marc and I have just been calling him The Imp. Maybe one day he’ll get a name. Until then, I think people will have an easier time seeing what he is when they see our tap handles next month.
There you have it, folks. Make sure to stop by Matt’s booth at OCBF. I say the more the merrier with the craft beer scene here in the state, so welcome to party, Matt!
Big happenings over at Mustang Brewing Co. Tim, Carmen, Gary et al have moved up the street from their old headquarters to their new brew house and corporate office. I had a brief tour before the move-in, and I can tell you it’s going to be pretty sweet — especially the way they’ll be incorporating Tim and Carmen’s love of music into the building. I’ll have more details on that later, but trust me, it’s going to be a great development for Oklahoma City’s beer-culture scene.
In other Mustang news, the company launched a new website today. You can check it out at www.mustangbrewing.com.
And the company’s latest monthly newsletter is out today as well. That has more details on the website and the move to new headquarters. You can read that right here at this handy link.
I posted last week about the new rye saison Choc and FOAM will unveil for Wild Brew 2012. Got a few more details — mainly technical — on the brew to pass your way, courtesy of Choc’s Zach Prichard:
-It will be 7 percent ABV. They used marynka, saaz and styrian golding hops. They are all eastern European hop varieties.
-It’s all Weyermann (German) malt, with 30 percent of the grist coming from rye.
-It’s being fermented with white labs WLP 566 yeast, a Belgian saison strain.
-It has been fermenting “like a champ,” Prichard said. It will be in stores by early June in 750 ml corked-and-caged bottles and limited draft.
The Brewers Association this morning released its annual lists of the top 50 craft breweries and top 50 overall beer companies. Looks like we’re still waiting for an Oklahoma brewery to crack the top 50. The complete rankings — extending past 50 — are due out in late May.
Here’s the top 10 craft breweries:
1. Boston Beer Co., Boston
2. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif.
3. New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
4. The Gambrinus Co., San Antonio
5. Deschutes Brewery, Bend, Oreg.
6. Matt Brewing Co., Utica, N.Y.
7. Bell’s Brewery Inc., Galesburg, Mich.
8. Harpoon Brewery, Boston
9. Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, Calif.
10. Boulevard Brewing Co., Kansas City, Mo.
And here are the top 10 overall beer companies:
1. Anheuser-Busch Inc., St. Louis, Mo.
2. MillerCoors, Chicago
3. Pabst Brewing Co., Woodbridge, Ill.
4. D.G. Yeungling and Son Inc., Pottsville, Pa.
5. Boston Beer Co., Boston
6. North American Breweries, Rochester, N.Y.
7. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, Calif.
8. New Belgium Brewing Co., Fort Collins, Colo.
9. Craft Brewers Alliance Inc., Portland, Oreg.
10. The Gambrinus Co., San Antonio
You can see the complete list at this link.
Be sure to pick up a copy of The Oklahoman on Wednesday to see my article on the creation of Choc’s Gratzer beer. I was able to visit Krebs on Gratzer brew day, interview all the key players and snap some photos. I think the piece turned out nicely.
Here’s an excerpt:
KREBS — If you want to revive a rare Polish beer that has been commercially extinct for nearly 20 years, it helps to have the right people on your brew team.
It’s that serendipity that set Choc Beer Co. down the path to recreating a traditional Gratzer beer — once the national beer of Poland, now a relic last commercially brewed in 1994.
“There were a whole bunch of things that had to come together to make it happen,” Choc Brewmaster Michael Lalli said.
Most importantly was Lalli’s friendship with William Shawn Scott, the aforementioned homebrewer who adopted the Krebs brewery as a second beer-brewing home and whose knowledge and contacts made the project fly.
You can check out the full story and photos in Wednesday’s Food Section, or you can click this here link to read it online right now.
The second annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival is set for May 19 this year, and organizers recently released the preliminary beer list. Looks like there will be many more added, as you will see. Lead organizer and TapWerks general manager Greg Powell said he expects more than 150 beers before all is said and done.
Here’s the list:
-Abita Brewing.: Strawberry Harvest, Jockamo IPA, Purple Haze
-Anchor Brewing: Anchor Stream, Brekles Brown, Old Foghorn, Liberty, Summer Ale
-Anderson Valley: Boont Amber, Hop Ottin IPA, Oatmeal Stout, Brother David’s Triple Abbey, Summer Solstice
-Angry Orchard: Crisp Apple Cider
-Anthem Brewing: TBD
-Battered Boar: Heartbreak Hefeweizen, Coconut Cream Stout, Ultimo Hombre, Blueface Scotch Ale, Company Man Pale Ale, special offerings
-Belle Isle Brewery: TBD
-Big Sky Brewing: Moose Drool, Troutslayer, IPA, Scapegoat Pale, special offerings
-Bison Brewing: TBD
-Blue Moon Brewing: Blue Moon, Blue Moon Summer
-Boston Beer Co.: Cinder Bock, Dark Depths, Griffin’s Bow, Tasman Red, Imperial White, Double Bock, Wee Heavy, Boston Lager
-Boulevard Brewing: Irish Ale, Wheat, Tank 7, Double Wide IPA, Dark Truth Stout, Sixth Glass Quad, Long Strange Tripel, special offerings
-Bricktown Brewery: Bricktown Brown, Bluesberry Ale, special offering
-Bridgeport Brewing: Summer Squeeze, Stumptown Tart, Dark Rain, Hop Czar, Kingpin
-Caldera Brewing: Amber Ale, IPA, Pale Ale
-Choc Beer Co.: TBD
-COOP Ale Works: Native Amber, F5 IPA, Zeppelin German Wheat, DNR, Gransport Porter, Horny Toad, special offerings
-Flying Dog Brewery: Tire Biter, In-Heat Wheat, Doggie Style, Old Scratch, Snake Dog
-Full Sail Brewing: Session, Session Black, Amber Ale
-Great Divide Brewing: Chocolate Yeti, 18th Anniversary, Colette, Claymore, Hoss, Hercules, Hades, Wild Raspberry
-Huebert Brewing: Deep Deuce Porter, Tucker’s Pale, Wild Pony Wheat, Rasenmaher Lager, special offering
-Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales: Oro de Calabaza, Bam Biere, La Roja (maybe)
-Laughing Dog Brewery: Dogzilla Black IPA, Dogfather Bourbon, Sneaky Pete’s Imperial IPA, Alpha Dog IPA
-Left Hand Brewing: Biere de Garde, St. Vrain Tripel, Widdershins Barleywine, Smoke Jumper Imperial Porter, Wake Up Dead, 400-lb Monkey, Black Jack Porter, Polestar Pilsner, Milk Stout
-Leinenkugel: Sunset Wheat, Red
-Lost Coast: TBD
-Marshall Brewing: Atlas IPA, Revival Red, Sundown Wheat, Pavilion Pilsner, special offerings
-McSorley’s: Black Lager
-Moylan’s Brewing: Kiltlifter Scotch Ale
-North Coast: TBD
-Brewery Ommegang: Abbey Ale, Hennepin, Adoration, Seduction, Aphrodite
-Point: Black Ale, Cascade, Nude Beach
-Pyramid Breweries: Apricot Wheat, Thunderhead IPA
-Red Bud Brewing: TBD
-Rogue Ales: TBD
-Royal Bavaria: TBD
-Sante Fe Brewing: Happy Camper IPA, Java Stout
-Sea Dog Brewing: Apricot Wheat, Raspberry Wheat, Blueberry Wheat
-Shipyard Brewing: Export Ale, Old Thumper
-Sierra Nevada: Torpedo Extra IPA, Pale Ale, Porter, Summerfest, Bigfoot (maybe)
-Southampton: Double White, IPA
-Spanish Peaks: Peach Wheat, Big Bite IPA
-Shiner: Ruby Redbird, Light Blonde
-Stegmaier: IPA, Honeysuckle, Pale Ale
-Tallgrass Brewing: 8 Bit Pale, Velvet Rooster, IPA, Oasis, Halcyon, Buffalo Sweat
-Widmer Bros.: TBD
What, the idea of essentially being in the middle of a field in Choctaw on Saturday when giant-sized hail and tornadoes come barreling in doesn’t sound like fun? Apparently for the organizers of Beer Sprocket, there are better ideas. Seriously, though, I don’t blame organizers for making the official decision today to postpone the annual Beer Sprocket fundraiser. The new date for the event will be May 12. If you’re out and about on Saturday afternoon/evening, be safe people.
Seems like just yesterday that Republic Gastropub opened its doors on Classen Curve. Of course, it wasn’t just yesterday; it was two years ago. And now the pub is holding a second anniversary party to celebrate.
The bash will be 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Republic and includes:
-Music all day from TheSpyFM.com and their The Spy Wagon
-Kids’ area with family activities and treats
-Limited run anniversary T-shirt for sale
-Live music from 4 to 9 p.m. from Black Canyon, Student Film and The Boom Bang!
In other Republic news, the pub this week launched a new iPhone app. The free app features a handy search feature where you can pop in a beer and see if Republic has it or filter by beer region or style to see a list of available beers. You can also journal your beers and keep track of what you’ve tried. Looks like a pretty cool deal.
Here’s a flyer for the party on Sunday:
We all know that craft beer is growing like crazy here in the U.S. of A., but did you know just how popular craft beer is outside our borders? A report released today by the Brewers Association shows that American craft beer exports increased 86 percent by volume and 97 percent by dollars in 2011, compared to 2010 figures.
Those are some pretty staggering numbers, especially in light of the lingering global recession. Turns out American craft brewers exported more than $23 million worth of beer to foreign markets in 2011.
You can read the Brewers Association report at this link. And you can check out this handy infographic below: