Wait, it's already February? Ugh, and I'm another year older and time is rushing by. However, it's not without accomplishing some more podcasts and nailing down a new gig. As of January I will be the Oklahoma correspondent for Southwest Brewing News, a bi-monthly newspaper covering brewery, home brew and regional craft beer news. Established in 1992, they have 6 other publications that cover the rest of the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada. It's a grand network of writers that appreciate craft beer and promote their regions. I first learned about them after picking up a FREE issue at High Gravity home brew supplies. I've also seen copies at Mustang/Elk Valley tap room. It is a great publication for sponsors and a resource for those traveling through the southwest with a full map and directory.
My goal is to bring more eyes and most importantly more bodies to this fine state to enjoy the taprooms and quality beer bars that have sprung up these past few years. We are all crafting a community of educated and responsible imbibers of quality craft beer and while I will do my best to bring light to the latest news I am always in need of your intel. Below are some links where you will be able to read my upcoming articles and how you may contact me with news, beer releases, events and anything else we need to broadcast to the craft beer community. Thanks as always for your continued support and Crafting a Community.
What a year. Cliche, but 2016 left a mark for everyone I know, good or bad and we'll all take away something that impacted our life. I've been blessed to have such great support over the year and want to thank you for listening and reading (although not much) from me this past year. So much has happened in our state it's almost overwhelming and that's a good thing! We've had our voice heard and changed our archaic alcohol laws in the state. Albeit baby steps it is something we can build onto it and make this state well known for making exceptional local craft beer. So I'd like to take this this as a time to reflect and resolve to you what I will bring to 2017.
Being a side business I never imagined all that would be involved and my consistency has suffered. I now have a structure that works for me and excited to provide podcasts of local breweries and the people behind them. We have great online sources that broadcast the news of what happens, I'd like to take you further and open the doors to transparency that we see in the industry. We love to see 'how the craft beer is made' and it brings us closer as a community. I am humbled to call many I have met over these years friends and building a better community around beer. (There is a reason it has been around for 9,000 years and saved the world countless times.)
Everyone wanders for beer and with over 5,000 breweries in the US it's gonna be tough to hit them all. I'll be covering places that celebrate and make craft beer that should be on your radar. These may be a blog or podcast with short reviews and interviews of my travels throughout the year.
At a time of reflection I'd like to thank LOCAL for allowing me to create some inspiring art to help the mission of education to the well educated consumers. I'd also like to thank all the places that carry my creations. Okie Crowe for being the first to take a chance on me right from the start. Ida Red, Blue7, STASH, HighGravity, and DNA Galleries, thank you for your words of praise and encouragment. Be sure to keep watch on my Instagram (@beerisok) for new product updates, events and where you can get your Hoplahoma gear.
I'll wrap this up as I go watch my Blues take on Suck-hawks in the Winter Classic. I look forward to what this year brings and ever grateful for your support on this journey. Have a happy, healthy, and crafty new year. Cheers!
That's right, you heard me. It's easier than ever to volunteer and enjoy a beer tasting, festival or Oktoberfest in the greater Tulsa area. Oklahoma has progressed nicely with venues offering unique and delectable events throughout the year that puts local beer especially on the grand pedestal it deserves. Like you dear reader I have attended my fair share of attending and imbibing these brews over the years. After a couple years I befriended many in the industry like breweries and distributors and realized many times they need volunteers to help pour beer.
Summer is the busiest times for local breweries as events occur almost every other week and full staff is hard to support. Responsible volunteers often enjoy beer as they hand out samples to patrons, enjoy free meals and exclusive merchandise as well. The trifecta of those are rare but you typically enjoy it more as you represent your local brewery and make your friends jealous. OK, that may be exaggerating but after I have worked for several distributors and breweries it has given me a better idea of what they go through to make their small business flourish. It's the best way for the brewery to be in front of the consumer and they won't forget an outstanding volunteer. I've enjoyed a good amount of after parties and bottle shares thus growing my appreciation for these men and women that are building a great brand for this state of Oklahoma. So with that said please view some upcoming events and watch out for volunteer opportunities. You can thank me later with a beer.
We whine and complain about our old, archaic alcohol laws and rightly so! But do we have it as bad as everyone else in the U.S.? I don't believe we do with these crazy and inconvenient laws I'm proud to be a part of Oklahoma and behind the coalition of change in this state. Read the list below, thank your stars we live in a progressive state and vote YES on 792 this November!
Connecticut - Residents already face the third highest state and local tax burden in the country.
Pennsylvania - 6 packs of beer may only be sold in liquor stores, supermarkets and bars. Yes, a bar. But the prices will be considerably higher than typical prices. But you can only purchase a 12 pack at a time. Wow.
New Jersey - Their laws and regulations are ultimately governed by the Attorney General under the Alcohol Beverage Control. This is the ultimate state of total alcohol lock down. So pretty much each outlet is state run. Retail licenses are limited by population so be sure you are in a highly populated area. The sale of a new license is held by auction and can be highly expensive.
Georgia - Beer above ABV 14% is illegal.
Indiana - Licensing is dictated on per capita so new breweries and brewpubs may pay an exorbitant fee to take over an old license. All places serving beer in Indiana must serve food. I can only imagine this hurts a lot of entrepreneurs while you can team up with food trucks it doesn't always work out for most. Also, there are no sales of cold beer in grocery or convenience stores.
Utah - It is illegal to sell draft beer over 4% regardless of brewery or bar. Beer can be purchased from a Utah state liquor store or package company. They share a lot of Oklahoma's hardships as well and don't see much change in the future.
So I've been following the +BeerDisciples Ross for some time watching their beer reviews and endless tweets about the craft beer industry. I noticed a posting for bloggers who wanted free swag. I'm hardly one to turn anything down so of course I jumped at the opportunity. Ross is a marketing/social media guru and partners with B2B on advertising their products that range from these openers to necklaces and apparel. Once we connected, a .50 caliber, matte black shell with my Beer Is OK logo showed up.
This thing is simply incredible. Completely upcycled from a once fired bullet it is hefty and well crafted. The logo embossed in gold is a nice touch with sharp quality.
Bullets 2 Bandages started as a way to give thanks to the U.S. veterans and eventually give back to programs that support them.
Head on over towww.bullets2bandages.org and check out their vast array of openers in many sizes and finishes. Check out their local partners like Beer Disciples and pick up their bourbon barrel bullet opener. The best part about these items is they are all handcrafted here in America, just like your favorite craft beer.