We talked about COOP’s recent win in the Beer Championship Series, plans to put F5 IPA in cans, the future expansion of COOP’s brewhouse and the return of James Harden to Oklahoma City.
Check it out!
The Thirsty Beagle is fully recovered and recharged from the Beer Championship Series and the Thanksgiving holiday — and has somewhat shaken off the effects of yet another Bedlam gut punch — it’s time to get some posts up on this ol’ blog!
I had the chance recently to pick up some winter/Christmas seasonals, and thought I’d share some details on one particular beer that is generating a lot of interest right now. That would be the 2012 Fantome Hiver Saison.
I’d have to classify this as one of the more unique/interesting beers I’ve had in some time. The reaction in the beer social media world has been all over the map. Like, way all over. Here are some samples of the descriptions people have handed out:
-Tastes like moss.
-It’s funky but I can’t really identify the flavors in it. It smells like dirty dishwater and tastes like I don’t know what.
-Super strange, almost smoky. I thought of peat and moss.
-Feel it’s really metallic, I feel like I’ve had a penny in mouth.
-Strong in cow patty. That’s my review.
-Oil, gasoline and burnt match take hold from the middle all the way through the finish.
And then there was this comment, which shows it’s not all bad:
-There was no gas, oil, or serious sulfurous phenols in that bottle … Hiver seemed rather tame and certainly nothing spectacular.
So, all in all, not exactly any ringing endorsements, unless you count “smells like dirty dishwater,” “super strange” or “strong in cow patty” as positive verdicts.
When I had it, I was immediately confused. I thought it tasted earthy and mossy, and certainly not like anything I could describe. For the record, I didn’t think it was terrible. I wouldn’t classify it as a beer I would rush out to grab another, but certainly wouldn’t mind sampling with four or five other beer fans to see what everyone thinks.
Regardless, several who have had it believe it is below par. So much so that some doubts have been raised about Oklahoma potentially getting a bad batch or at the least some bad bottles.
In the end, this is probably a classic case of different strokes for different folks. I’d love to hear what you think about the beer.
(Blogger’s note: This post was edited from an earlier version)
The fifth annual Beer Championship Series wrapped up Thursday night, and the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy will remain in the possession of Oklahoma City’s COOP Ale Works.
COOP’s Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout claimed the 2012 title as Okahoma’s favorite beer by defeating defending champion COOP Native Amber by a margin of 76 percent to 24 percent.
-Round 1: defeated Huebert Raspberry Wheat – 63 percent to 37 percent
-Round 2: defeated Anthem Golden One – 89 percent to 11 percent
-Sweet 16: defeated COOP DNR – 64 percent to 36 percent
-Elite Eight: defeated Marshall Atlas IPA – 62 percent to 38 percent
-Final Four: defeated St. Bernardus Abt 12 – 70 percent to 30 percent
-Final: defeated COOP Native Amber – 76 percent to 24 percent
Now COOP has claimed two consecutive Beer Championship Series titles, joining Marshall Brewing Co. as a two-time-winning brewery.
COOP is the first brewery to have two different beers win the title (Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010).
Here’s a statement from COOP’s JD Merryweather in response to the win:
“COOP Ale Works would like to thank all the other players in the bracket and all the voters for this year’s competition. We were please to see both Native Amber and our Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout go head-to-head in the final. We were proud to have four of our best in the 64-beer run off.
“The 2011 TROAIS was aged in Jack Daniels barrels for six months. It was quite flavorful and well-received both on draft and in the 750 ml limited-edition bottles. This year’s offering is resting peacefully in Evan Williams barrels waiting for it’s packaging date. Look for an early December release.
“COOP really appreciates the growth that we have seen in the Oklahoma craft beer market. All of the local breweries have benefited from the craft beer community stepping up and supporting made-in-Oklahoma beers.”
The Thirsty Beagle would like to thank all the beer fans who voted during the competition, as well as the members of the Beer Selection Committee for their help in assembling the bracket this year. And let’s not forget all the Oklahoma brewers who made beers we could include in the bracket.
Until next year, cheers!
One thing we know for sure is that COOP Ale Works will be the champion brewery. Two COOP beers — Native Amber and Territorial Reserve Oak Aged Imperial Stout — have survived through nearly three weeks of voting to advance to the finals.
This is a first in the five years of the BCS. Never have we had two finalists from the same brewery. So, congrats to COOP on this historic feat!
We know they’ll raise a toast tonight, but which of their beers will have its name engraved on the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy? That’s where your votes come into play.
Vote in the poll below to crown our winner — Oklahoma’s favorite beer for 2012. Polls will close at 9 p.m., and I’ve hidden the results to help build up the suspense!
Our last four standing: COOP Native Amber, COOP Oak Aged Imperial Stout, St. Bernardus Abt 12 and Great Divide Yeti.
Congrats to all the beers for making it this far. Alas, there can be only one crowned Oklahoma’s favorite beer. Only one can have its name inscribed on the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy.
Which beer will that be? Your votes today will help decide who advances to tomorrow’s final. So scroll down and cast your vote. Polls close at 9 p.m. and you may vote up to 10 times for any one beer today. Please keep the voting clean!
You can see the updated bracket right here.
Mustang officials said the three companies operating at the cooperative now — Redbud, Anthem and Black Mesa brewing companies — will continue to do so.
Plans call for Mustang to move a portion of its brewing into the facility, 1354 W Sheridan Ave., as well.
“Moving our brewing operations in-house has always been the plan, it was just a matter of finding the best situation for the company,” Mustang President Tim Schoelen said. “We are extremely excited to enter into this phase of our business plan.”
Mustang has been in business for roughly three and a half years. It currently produces its beer under contracts at breweries in Wisconsin and Tennessee and at Choc Beer Co. in Krebs.
The plan calls for Mustang to produce 100 percent of its kegs at OKCity Brewing, as well as its newly launched Saddlebag Series line of beers, officials said. Some bottle production will continue out-of-state.
“This will be a gradual process,” Mustang brewmaster Gary Shellman said. “Bringing all keg production in-house is step one. … Step two will be expanding capacity and adding a bottling and canning line that can accommodate our growing production needs.”
Schoelen said Mustang looks forward to working with the companies already using the brewing set-up at OKCity.
“It will operate as a true Oklahoma brewing co-op, not just one in name,” he said. “We plan to further expand the cooperative aspect by bulk-buying materials we share, such as base grain, packaging and chemicals and ultimately sharing in the savings.”
Anthem president and brewmaster Matt Anthony said the move is an exciting development.
“Mustang’s purchase of OKCity means even greater opportunities for collaboration on all levels between the breweries there,” Anthony said. “This truly embodies what the craft beer movement is all about.”
Brad Stumph, sales and marketing director for Black Mesa, said the purchase should help smaller beer companies grow.
“We are excited about the transition because Mustang understands the challenges start-up breweries face,” Stumph said. “We believe they will provide the business savvy needed to give the cooperative a stable platform. For Black Mesa, this means that we are able to dedicate 100 percent of the efforts of our nano-brewery to developing and brewing great beer.”
Former OKCity Brewing owner Sibyl Kang said the timing was right for the sale.
“I have enjoyed learning the craft brewing business and want to see it continue to grow,” Kang said. “I believe everything happens for a reason and when the opportunity presented itself we knew it was the right thing to do at the right time. I think Mustang will be able to take it to the next level and continue what has been started.”
OKCity was formed with Redbud Brewing Co. as its chief tenant. In August, Redbud brewmaster Chase Healey announced he was leaving the company. Healey resurfaced recently when he was named brewmaster at Prairie Artisan Ales, which started operations in Oklahoma this summer.
At the time of Healey’s departure, Kang said Redbud planned to hire a new brewmaster and continue production.
Mustang marketing and promotions manager Eric Pennell said Redbud will remain a part of the cooperative and continue to be distributed throughout Oklahoma, although it has not been determined who will brew the beer.
A sale price for the building was not disclosed due to a confidentiality agreement. Oklahoma County property records show the building previously sold for $170,000.
We’re down to the final eight in the fifth annual Beer Championship Series. We had several incredibly close races in yesterday’s Sweet 16 — if that is any indication, today’s voting should be even more exciting!
Moving on, the polls are now open in Elite Eight voting, so cast your ballot to decide which beer will be crowned Oklahoma’s favorite and claim the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy.
Polls close at 9 p.m. You can vote for any one beer up to 10 times per day. Let’s keep the voting clean and have a great race!
Here is The Thirsty Beagle’s take on news in the sporting world:
Pull your plastic fold-up chairs up to the kiddie table, guys
Action: College football officials announce developments in the plan for the upcoming playoff. Part of the announcement: The Big East has been relegated to a group of conferences known as the “Group of Five,” which also includes Conference USA and the Mountain West, Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences. One school from the “Group of Five” will earn an automatic spot in one of the top six postseason bowls.
Reaction: Oh snap. When the powers that be decide you’re on par with the Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences, you know you suck.
What could go wrong?
Action: One of the many early-season college basketball games scheduled to take place outdoors on the deck of a ship or aircraft carrier was canceled after officials couldn’t stop condensation from forming on the court. Another such game was delayed because of the threat of inclement weather.
Reaction: Who would think any problems would crop up when planning an outdoor basketball game in November?
What? Bitter? Me?
Action: Lance Armstrong posted a Twitter picture that served as a
subtle totally, blatantly and completely obvious giant middle finger to cycling and doping authorities.
Reaction: Hey, why don’t you take a picture of me kicked back on the couch and staring off into the distance. Make sure to get all my yellow jerseys in the frame. No one will think that makes me look like a total douche bag.
If only more than 14 schools played college football
Action: ESPN experts and analysts argue that a one-loss Alabama should leapfrog an unbeaten team and grab a spot in the national title game if the Crimson Tide wins the SEC championship.
Reaction: Let. It. Go. We get it, ESPN loves the SEC. ESPN types defended the system last year when it got Alabama in — can’t criticize it this year if it keeps an SEC team out.
Action: Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is upset that his one-loss Seminoles are ranked so low in the BCS standings, thanks in large part to the computer rankings — two computers don’t have the Seminoles ranked, owing in large part to their uninspiring strength of schedule. Fisher says college football should go back to the olden days, and that coaches should be entrusted to decide the national champion. Fisher then revealed that his ballot has the Seminoles at No. 4, behind only the three unbeaten teams.
Reaction: Right. Coaches would never do anything like rank their own team too high.
A launch party hosted by Andolini’s Pizzeria, 1552 E 15th, in Tulsa, is set for 8 p.m. this Thursday. According to a news release issued by Marshall, the event will feature a special pizza conceived by Andolini’s owner Mike Bausch that will include Big Jamoke Porter as an ingredient in the crust. Further, a special cask of bourbon and vanilla infused Big Jamoke Porter will be available, in addition to regular Big Jamoke on tap.
Here’s some additional information on Big Jamoke from Marshall:
The 2012 Big Jamoke Porter marks the fourth release of the popular winter seasonal by Marshall Brewing. Kegs began leaving the brewery Nov. 8 and have made their way around Oklahoma to a limited number of locations. Six packs will be available throughout Marshall’s distribution network in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri beginning Nov. 15.
“Demand for seasonal beers continues to be a strong area of growth for Marshall,” said Wes Alexander, Marshall Brewing’s director of sales. “Craft beer fans ask us to make Big Jamoke available year round.”
Big Jamoke Porter will be available from Nov. 15 through Feb. 28.
“We have no plans to make Big Jamoke year round at present, but as we continue to grow our business, we consider input from our fans,” Alexander said.
Big Jamoke is an American Robust Porter named for the B-25 that Brewmaster Eric Marshall’s grandfather flew in World War II. A blend of five malts from Munich to Chocolate provide a deep mahogany color and aroma of toffee and roasted coffee. On the palate this beer is full-bodied with hints of bittersweet chocolate and toffee, while finishing smooth and dry from the addition of earthy hops.
The battle to be crowned Oklahoma’s favorite beer and claim the coveted Golden Taphandle Trophy will really heat up now.
You can see the updated bracket by clicking right here.
Make sure to have your say by voting in today’s polls. Remember, you can vote up to 10 times per day for any one beer, so feel free to support your favorite — but please keep the voting clean. Polls close at 9 p.m.