I had a religious experience! This past week, I had the opportunity to sit down and have a beer with the Reverend. No, I did not confess all my sins (I’m a saint), but I did sit down with Rev. Mason Beecroft who is the brewmaster for Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing. Yes, I said Reverend. Mason was a Lutheran pastor for 11 years and has been brewing for over 17 years. He learned how to brew in seminary, started a “How to Brew” class, and began teaching his parishioners the lovely art of brewing.
Despite what you may think, this is not an act of rebellion against one’s beliefs. In fact, beer and religion actually have a storied history. Many may know the story of Saint Arnulf of Metz, the Patron Saint of Brewing. Legend has it that on a hot day in July 642 his parishioners traveled to Remiremont to recover his remains and had little to drink. Unfortunately, there was but a small remnant of beer remaining at the bottom of a pot, which is always a bad feeling. So, what else do you do in your time of need? Pray for help! One of Saint Arnulf’s parishioners, Duc Notto, prayed “By his powerful intercession the Blessed Arnold will bring us what we lack.” The minimal amount of beer in the pot multiplied into enough beer for the pilgrims to quench their dying thirsts and they were able to travel safely back to Metz (in high spirits I presume).
Thankfully, we don’t have to pray to any Gods to get our beer from Dead Armadillo, but the Gods have been good to us! Their flagship beer is their Amber, which can be found on tap in many fine local establishments such as Main Street Tavern, both Tulsa McNellie’s locations, R Bar, College Bar (Stillwater), Wedge Pizza (OKC), etc. I am sure there are plenty of other locations that pour this fine brew. Also, be on the lookout for their IPA, wheat and mouth-watering Black IPA they have teased the masses with at local events.
We can also thank the heavens for Tony Peck. It was just within the past 2 years that Tony, one of Mason’s parishioners and fellow home brewer, had the great idea that they should take their brewing to the next level and begin brewing commercially. Mason acknowledges the struggle, “It is definitely a big step going from home brewing to commercial.” This is especially true when you have become as popular as Dead Armadillo has in such a short amount of time. “We began getting invites to do private events and our first public event was Wild Brew and then Harvest Festival .” Seeing as how they started Dead Armadillo in April of 2012, Wild Brew was that following July, and Harvest Fest in September…Tony and Mason were definitely busting their humps to provide us with their amazing creations.
As for future endeavors, be on the lookout for Dead Armadillo at Harvest Fest September 21st, Wedge Pizza October 1st, and First Draft in early November. They will be bringing some different beers to Harvest Fest including some experiments such as a watermelon infused version of their Black IPA. They also have a can design coming. Mason gave me a sneak peak at the designs and they look really awesome. The black and yellow color, which relates to the Yield sign, is a real eye-catcher. He told me they will also be producing more swag like their t-shirts, work shirts, trucker hats, and a can glass. They are currently sharing space with RoughTail Brewing Company, but recently put an offer on a location here in T-town.
We here at Beer Is OK wish Dead Armadillo nothing but success in the future. They have had an awesome start to their commercial career and I do not see things slowing up for them any time soon. Be sure to stop by and see them at Harvest Festival this Saturday (9/21) or at any of the other events we have talked about already. Stop by, imbibe, and enjoy the sweet fruits of their labor.
See you guys at Harvest Fest!
Cheers! – D’Wain