Citing unchecked rising beer prices, the Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit to stymie ABI’s $20.1 billion purchase of Grupo Modelo, which makes Corona.
Pretty interesting stuff, although it’s a little sad as a craft beer fan when you have to yet again realize the sway that ABI holds over the beer world. You can read more about the story here and here.
Then you can read this more-industry-centered piece, which suggests the Justice Department believes Oklahoma City especially would be a victim of unfair price increases if ABI were to gain such a large chunk of market share.
-My blog post yesterday mentioned a Feb. 7 pint night at TapWerks. That pint night will feature Mustang’s new Imperial Court Stout. The Anthem Brewing pint night is now scheduled for Feb. 21.
-Speaking of TapWerks, tonight at 6 is the highly anticipated Great Divide Yeti tap takeover. You can read more about that here.
-I’ve mentioned this event before, but the Firkin Friday at McNellie’s OKC this week features Mustang’s Imperial Court Stout.
-Some interesting new beer labels were posted recently, and we could see some of these beers filter their way into Oklahoma in the near future:
7. Widmer Brothers Ginger Brrrbon Bourbon Barrel Aged Ale (No label art available)
-Things will get rolling Thursday night with an event TapWerks general manager Greg Powell has been planning out for months: A Great Divide Yeti tap takeover. The event will feature Yeti, Oak Aged Yeti, Espresso Oak Aged Yeti, Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and Belgian Yeti on draft. TapWerks will sell a sample tray with 5 oz. pours of all five, or drinkers can purchase a standard 12 oz. pour. Plus you can get the sweet beer glass pictured at right.
-Monday, TapWerks will hold a Brewdog release party featuring bottles of all the current Brewdog offerings.
-They’ll follow that up on Wednesday with a Green Flash release party with Hop Head Red and West Coast IPA on draft.
-On Feb. 7, TapWerks will host an Anthem Brewing Co. pint night featuring some “sweet tulips,” Powell said.
-Had enough yet? No? Good, because on the next Thursday — Valentine’s Day — TapWerks will warm your heart with a special firkin of COOP DNR on cocoa nibs.
That, my friends, is what you call bringing it.
-A loyal reader recently alerted me to the Homebrew Finds Twitter feed. Some pretty cool homebrewing/beer deals to be had.
-New beers from Sierra Nevada.
-Boulevard announced this morning it is signing on to sponsor MLS’ Sporting KC.
-Interesting blog post here on light infiltration and bottle color.
-Stevens Point Brewery is expanding.
Big news for Choc this week as they were announced as one of 76 breweries from around the country that will take part in SAVOR 2013. SAVOR, a craft beer and food tasting event, is quickly becoming one of the hottest and most prestigious beer events in the nation.
Breweries are selected through a lottery process, with more than 200 applying this year. Sixty were selected and will be joined by 16 supporting/sponsor breweries.
Choc President Zach Prichard offered this statement after learning of Choc’s inclusion:
We are very excited to be one of the 60 breweries selected to pour at this year’s SAVOR! This year over 200 breweries entered the SAVOR lottery. Chef Adam Dulye of the Monk’s Kettle in San Francisco will create food pairings for all the beers at the event. We will be pouring Signature Dubbel and Gose. This event is really a celebration of the possibilities of beer and beer culture. It is designed to showcase beer in a unique way. Even today, beer is often times defined in a very narrow spectrum. SAVOR challenges that concept by providing a wide range of unique and interesting beers paired with amazing foods. We are very excited to be able to add to that with our Dubbel and Gose. On top to that it will be really cool to pour Choc beers in New York City!
The event is June 14-15 in New York. The list of supporting/sponsor breweries can be found right here. And the list of all brewers involved is right here. General information about SAVOR can be found by clicking here.
Choc will not be the first Oklahoma brewer to take part. SAVOR 2012 in Washington, D.C., featured Oklahoma City’s COOP Ale Works.
-Here’s the newest label artwork from Prairie Artisan Ales: Prairie Merica American Farmhouse Ale.
-Mustang is now up and running and brewing several batches at the OKCity Brewing facility.
-Here are the brains behind Roughtail’s new brewing set-up. It’s almost as advanced as my homebrew set-up.
-Where do we stand in the sports world now that I don’t find this story particularly shocking?
-For those of you in the northwest Oklahoma County/Edmond area, I can report the new Upper Crust at Western/178th has a pretty decent selection of craft beer. As far as the pizza goes, try the Flying Pig.
In case you hadn’t heard, the Super Bowl is coming up on Sunday. I’ll be watching the game mostly to see who wins. But of course I take some interest in the commercials as well. And in my position as one of the leading northwest Oklahoma County-based beer bloggers, I’ll pay special attention to the beer commercials. It’s no secret that the beer ads are often the funniest of all the spots. To get you ready for this weekend, let’s look at the Will Ferrell/Old Milwaukee classic from last year’s Super Bowl. In a bit of understated guerrilla marketing genius, the commercial aired only in the TV market in North Platte, Neb. Of course the video went viral and a legend was born, without having to spend like $3 million for a 30-second spot on the national feed. Granted, it didn’t make me buy any Old Milwaukee. You can’t win ‘em all, I guess.
-Tonight’s McNellie’s pint nights are as follows:
OKC: Boulevard Nutcracker
Tulsa: Old Golden Hen
Norman: Marshall Big Jamoke (The Jamoke will be on special starting tomorrow for $3/pint — the special will then continue for a week, and then a special offering of bourbon-oaked Big Jamoke will be offered Saturday)
-Black Mesa’s Kickstarter project, like Roughtail’s before it, failed to reach it’s funding goal.
-Speaking of Roughtail, here’s a blog post that details why they had to move from Oklahoma City to Midwest City.
-Direct from the BierGarten in Jenks, here’s the list of new beers posted for sale in Oklahoma in February:
1. Prairie Somewhere Sour Citrus Saison
2. Anchor Bock 6-Packs
3. Anderson Valley Heelch O’Hops 4-Packs
4. Brewdog 5AM Saint 4-Packs
5. Brewdog Dogma 750ML
6. Brewdoh Hardcore DIPA 4-Pack
7. Brewdog Punk IPA 4-Pack
8. Brewdog Tokyo 12oz
9. Czechvar Dark 6-Packs
10. Green Flash Double Stout 4-Packs
11. Green Flash Hop Head Red Bombers
12. Green Flash Hop Head Red 4-Packs
13. Green Flash DIPA Bombers
14. Green Flash Trippel Bombers
15. Green Flash West Coast IPA Bombers
16. Green Flash West Coast IPA 4-Packs
17. Shipyard Monkeyfist IPA 6-Packs
18. Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout 6-Pack Cans
19. Choc Belgian OPA
20. Bridgeport Smooth Rye’d
21. Boulevard Smokestack Grainstorm Black Rye IPA
22. Dieu du Ciel Solstice de Hiver (American Barleywine)
23. Leinenkugel Big Eddy Wee Heavy
24. Tallgrass Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat
25. Mustang Imperial Court Stout (Raspberry Imperial Stout)
26. Mustang Dopplehopper Imperial IPA
27. Leinenkugel Canoe Paddler Kolsch
28. Redhook Mudslinger Brown Ale
29. Tall Grass Ethos DIPA
30. Sam Adams Tasman Red IPA Bombers
31. Sam Adams Third Voyage Double IPA
32. Sierra Nevada Bigfoot 4-Packs
Thoughts? Of course the big news is the much-anticipated debuts of BrewDog and Green Flash. I’m also looking forward to Choc’s Belgian OPA — they have such a strong track record with Belgian-style beers! Also, keep your eye on the Kansas connection; I’ve heard good things about both Boulevard’s Grainstorm IPA and Tallgrass’ Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat.
Prairie and the Tarpon Springs, Fla., brewery are combining for three saisons, two of which are expected to be poured in March at the annual Craft Brewers Conference in Washington, D.C.
As part of the collaboration, Prairie brewed a sour saison with various citrus zests, and Saint Somewhere will brew one featuring persimmons and elderberry flowers.
In March, Healey will head to Florida for a joint brewing session of a third saison, which will include a blend of the two states’ ingredients.
Healey said he traded ideas on saisons with Saint Somewhere owner and brewmaster Bob Sylvester several years ago, and when he discovered both brewers were part of the Shelton Bros. distribution portfolio, it seemed like a good match for a collaboration.
Healey said the plan is for a limited amount of the sour-citrus saison — about 100 cases — to be released in Oklahoma in early March. He also will attempt to get Saint Somewhere’s saison and the jointly brewed beer into Oklahoma as well.
-Great FB post this afternoon from Freddy at the BierGarten in Jenks:
TGIF!! Man, I sure am glad this week is on the WAY OUT!! Because that means, BrewDog and Green Flash Brewing Co. are closer to their release!! Very excited about these new brews!! We should have an additional 25-30 New BEERS in the coming month!! That will put us VERY close to the 700 Mark!! That is 700 Quality Brews (with very few) sub-par beers on our shelves! Stay tuned for updates!!
It’s a good time for beer in Oklahoma!
-Old Germany is holding an Ayinger and Pinkus tasting at 7 p.m. Monday in its wine cellar room. The cost is $25, and food is included. Reservations are required by calling 390-8647.
-RateBeer has named Marshall Brewing the state’s top brewer and Redbud Cuvee 4 the state’s top beer.
-Full Sail is releasing a bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout.
-Speaking of Green Flash, here’s some news on new beers they are rolling out this year.
-Awesome news that just came down the chute from TapWerks: Next Thursday’s pint night is being taken over by the Yeti! Five different Great Divide Yetis on tap! Wow!
Let this logo wash over you:
Yes, that is a real logo for a real minor league baseball team in Oregon. The Class A Hillsboro Hops, from Hillsboro, Ore., are set to start play in June and as you would hope, they are expected to have some kick-ass beer on tap at their new 4,500-seat stadium. The Hops, formerly the Yakima Bears, play in the short-season Northwest League and are a farm team of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If I don’t end up buying either or shirt or hat, or both, it will be a miracle.
-I reported yesterday that Mustang Brewing recently finalized its purchase of the OKCity Brewing cooperative. Today, they will be brewing their first batch on their new system, and will be posting live updates to their Instagram account (@MustangBrewing).
-Great Divide circulated this video, which has a subtle connection to one of its flagship beers.
-You have until just before noon today to score this two-for-one deal on 6-gallon plastic carboys.
-Rumors circulating that OSU is planning a 110-foot-long video board for BPS. Will be attached to the outside of GIA. Sounds good to me.
-I sure do hope all our local start-up breweries are securing trademark rights for their company and beer names.
-So, can someone tell me how the Manti T’eo story can get any more strange?
There’s a lot going on these days with Mustang Brewing. Probably the most notable is that Mustang President Tim Schoelen recently signed paperwork to finalize the sale/purchase of the OKCity Brewing cooperative to Mustang. In the company’s latest newsletter, Schoelen shared some details. Here’s an excerpt:
Mustang Brewing Company was started in a rental house garage in 2008. We had a grand vision of what we wanted it to become — and believed in it wholeheartedly — but it has always been a pleasant surprise to see portions of that dream become reality. We outgrew our garage pretty quickly and have brewed at various locations over the past few years to continue. We were an Oklahoma gypsy brewer years before it became as acceptable as it is now. There were many — beer fans and local breweries — who knocked us for our choice of not having our own brewery. We took it on the chin and kept plowing ahead. Last year, somewhere around 55,000 case equivalents of Mustang beer were sold in Oklahoma. That doesn’t count what we sold in Kansas and Arkansas! We could not be more proud of what we have accomplished and are extremely excited at what lays ahead.
Today, I signed paperwork to finalize Mustang Brewing Company’s purchase of the Oklahoma City-based brewing cooperative, OKCity Brewing. Effective immediately, we will begin transitioning all kegging to our Oklahoma City location. A bit of our bottling will transition, as well.
You can read more by clicking right here.
My commentary? No need to brush over the obvious here. Mustang has been criticized repeatedly and openly in some circles for not brewing any/some/more/enough of its beer in Oklahoma. Whatever your stance on this is, my take is that it’s an old story line. Let’s move along and just enjoy the beer, people.
Other Mustang news? Their latest beer, Imperial Court Stout — a raspberry-infused Russian imperial stout — is set to make its debut. Several tastings/pint nights have been set:
-5 p.m. Jan. 31 at McNellie’s Tulsa
-5 p.m. Feb. 1 at McNellie’s OKC
-6 p.m. Feb. 1 at Main Street Tavern, Broken Arrow
-6 p.m. Feb. 2 at The Mule
-6 p.m. Feb. 7 at TapWerks
-6 p.m. Feb. 9 and Abner’s Ale House, Norman
And in more new beer news, Mustang will release its first IPA, probably around March. Brewmaster Gary Shellman is working on the recipe right now, Mustang reports, and you can expect the beer to be a double IPA style in the 7% to 8% ABV range. Could this be the new label art?
-I reported recently that Brew Dog will soon be coming to Oklahoma. Word is one of Brew Dog’s most extreme offerings is also on its way. That would be the 41% ABV Sink the Bismarck. It’s more a spirit and less a beer, but I’m sure all the beer geeks out there won’t be any less excited.
-I know we don’t get Dogfish Head here in Oklahoma, but this news of the growing popularity of beer-wine hybrids is pretty interesting. Will this be the newest trend to overtake sours and barrel-aged beers?
-New Belgium is opening a new brewery in North Carolina. I would say we still shouldn’t expect to see their beers on Oklahoma shelves any time soon.
-Flying Dog will release a new single-hop IPA this year, and will re-release three others. The hops are Sirachi Ace, El Dorado, Citra and Simcoe.
Choc Beer Co. has found it’s way out of a legal dispute with a Minnesota-based soda pop company by agreeing to stop using the name 1919.
I reported on this issue last year. To sum up, Minnesota’s New Ulm Brewing and Beverage Co. also uses the name 1919 for a root beer, and started legal actions against Choc to stop Choc from using the 1919 name, citing trademark infringement. You can read a story from Minneapolis here (which, by the way, has two terrible spelling errors, but who’s counting?).
So where does Choc go from here? The wheat beer known as Choc 1919 will now be known simply as Choc. Here’s what the new label is expected to look like:
Choc President Zach Prichard said this action brings an end to New Ulm’s lawsuit, and that the decision was a “mutually agreeable solution.” Prichard said the company views the new label as a return to Choc’s roots. Consumers should expect to start seeing the new packaging around March.
-MillerCoors sales were better in the last quarter, but are still on the decline overall. *Wipes tear*
-Black Mesa Brewing’s Kickstarter project ends Saturday. So far, they’ve reached roughly a third of their goal.
-Tulsa’s Dead Armadillo Brewing is hawking some decent-looking St. Pat’s Day shirts.
-The upstairs smoking bar at TapWerks is now open seven days a week.
Remember that time OSU fans got all worked up because the refs handed Texas a phantom, game-winning touchdown? Remember that time OU pulled a no-show at the Cotton Bowl? Those were probably low points for the collective fan bases. Pretty much all college football teams will come out of a season with at least one lasting negative memory. For Notre Dame, it was the championship game, where they pulled their own no-show against Alabama and the evil overlord Nick Saban.
Now Notre Dame and its fan base can only wish the beat-down they took in Miami was the lowest point of their season. If you haven’t heard about the Manti Te’o fake-girlfriend-hoax story, set aside 20 minutes immediately and go read this story, from Deadspin.
Put simply, I’ve consumed every bit of sports news I could get my hands on since I was reading box scores in the newspaper as a 10-year-old, and this by far has to be the most bizarre sports story I can remember. In a nutshell:
-Te’o, the star linebacker and top NFL prospect, said that his girlfriend had died, coincidentally on the same day his grandmother died.
-Media around the country reported about the amazing circumstances of Te’o continuing to play and succeed despite his immense grief.
-A rumor circulated that perhaps Te’o's girlfriend wasn’t actually a real person. The Deadspin reporters went to work.
-Deadspin broke its story on Wednesday, declaring that the girlfriend never existed, there certainly was no death and that Te’o was more than likely in on the hoax in an effort to attract publicity.
-Te’o and Notre Dame issued statements saying Te’o is the victim of an elaborate hoax, with Te’o claiming he thought he was in an emotional online relationship and he was taken advantage of.
The story could end there. Everyone agrees a hoax has occurred. The question remains, is Te’o on the take, or is he legitimately a victim? There are compelling arguments on both sides.
My take: I want to say Te’o is guilty as charged. It’s just too bizarre, and there are too many questions, to believe he could have legitimately become the victim of such a hoax. How could he have cared so deeply about someone he had never met in person? What about all the interviews where he talked about meeting her? How do you explain his chummy relationship with the guy reported to be at the center of the hoax?
But one thing lingers.
The apparent motive for taking part in the hoax was to generate publicity. But he absolutely did not need any more publicity then he already had. He was the star of an undefeated Notre Dame football team. That’s going to bring you all the attention you could ask for and more. Plus, his grandmother in real life did die. He already could play the sympathy/playing-through-grief card without having to make up a story about a fake girlfriend dying. So doesn’t it seem a little unnecessary that he would help perpetuate the fake story? Not to mention he should have known that as the star player for an undefeated football Notre Dame football team, everything he did would be subject to scrutiny and attention.
Alas, I can’t fence-sit on this one. I can’t disregard the Deadspin reporting. I’m throwing my hat in the “he’s in on it” ring. As much as it would seem improbable that he was help orchestrate this deal, there’s just too much stuff going on that is way too weird.
Te’o is apparently going to grant a one-time, one-on-one TV interview sometime this week.
Will he stick to his story about being a victim, or set the record straight about what would be one of the craziest hoaxes the sports world has seen?
-Prairie Artisan Ales is working on a series of collaboration beers with Saint Somewhere Brewing of Tarpon Springs, Fla. I’ll bring you more details on that soon.
-Remember when everyone thought Al Jazeera was a terrorist mouthpiece organization? When did they become a legitimate news source? And how long have they been reporting on beer?
-Boulevard is set to release the 23rd edition of its spring Irish Ale.
-I guess talk about conference realignment will never end.
Shiner recently announced the addition of a new beer to its line-up, FM 966 Farmhouse Ale. The spring seasonal will be available through March and is the second ale to be produced by Shiner, following Wild Hare Pale Ale.
Shiner describes the beer like this:
A few centuries ago, during the cold winter months, farmhands in Europe brewed a “seasonal provision” Farmhouse Ale to be enjoyed once spring rolled around. In the farmlands of Shiner, Texas, that tradition lives on. Which is why our tribute to this style uses Golding, Sterling and Meridian hops for a sweet yet lightly spiced flavor. Our incredibly refreshing Farmhouse Ale bears the name of the farm to market road just south of where our brewery has proudly stood for over 100 years.
As someone who spent a couple years whipping up and down farm-to-market roads in East Texas, I can appreciate the name. And I can appreciate the people who explained to a 19-year-old Canadian what all those “FM 1706″ road signs were all about.
-Sam Adams barrel-aged New World, Stony Brook Red and Thirteenth Hour are now appearing on liquor store shelves.
-As mentioned yesterday, Choc’s newest offering, Spring Pilsner, hits the shelves today. Expect kegs soon, too.
-Rogue Ales will release a couple new beers just in time for Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Stout and Double Chocolate Stout.
-Neat article here on Alaskan Brewing using spent grain as a fuel source.
-Just in time for Mardi Gras, here’s a new offering from Abita.
-If you know me, you know I like beer and Disney World. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered this! The Internet. Let it wash over you.