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.
A strange new development is popping up in Tulsa, heck all over the state lately. Breweries are selling beer, a full pint, at the brewery.
I'll give you a minute to let that settle in.
Good, now close your jaw and keep listening. Visiting the Marshall brewery on a Saturday I'm able to sample 4 different beers, all 3.2 that the Oklahoma state law limits them to serve. Marshall serves a Lil Belg, a spin off of their This Machine IPA available in 4 packs. Another line of beers, pale ales are so versatile they are able to use one hop and completely change the nature of the beer. All at 3.2.
Again, I'll give you a second to process that.
And the people they continuously have to turn away are here on Friday from 12-7 (new spring-summer hours) where you can fill 32oz growlettes and 64oz growlers to drink at home. Close your mouth son or you'll catch flies.
So far I've seen bikers on a long journey over Tulsa asphalt and 40 mph winds make Marshalls their destination for a cold draft to families with several generations in attendance.
Welcome to the new watering hole. A bill in the Oklahoma senate that my friends at Local are pushing, #424 would allow Marshall and other breweries to sell high point beer on premise. A pint of strong point beer at the source. Friends, the concepts are endless. Once Dead Armadillo and Renaissance open up hopefully in the next year or so, you have an excellent start of an ale trail and tourism boost that almost all major cities have and surpassed already.
I put all you Oklahomans to the challenge to brave the unknown and support another local industry.
ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?! Of course you are. As Brian and I began nearing the weekend we felt it would be best if we got together and worked on a podcast...and drank beer(for research purposes). With all of the delicious Oklahoma brews that have been hitting our shelves as of late, especially from Roughtail Brewing Co.(Split Decision, Polar Night, 12th Round, Roughtail IPA) we thought it would be great to review their newest offering, Rock Tsar. Having just released within the past week we were eager to see what we were in for. Neither of us had heard anything about the brew prior to drinking it, there were actually only 26 check-ins for it on Untappd, so we were in for a true beer adventure. We were fortunate enough to have Jonathan and Trae from 405 Brewing Co. join us via phone for a virtual toast and review.
The first thing you notice before even opening the 750mL bottle is the vibrant label. Sitting on a canary yellow background is a grey Tsar atop a horse. Both figures being statue-esque, the Tsar is draped in bright yellow tassels, pink beard and hair, pink boots, and wielding a neon pink and blue dual neck Dean Dave Mustaine guitar. This dude IS the party. And what a terrific introduction to this beer.
If ever you could judge a book, er...beer by its cover label this is the point at which you can do so. The cool thing about Roughtail, among other things, is that they have a guide for serving temperature, glassware, food pairings, and in the case of this beer..MUSIC PAIRING! For all you headbangers out there you can now throw on some proper heavy metal tunes while you enjoy the proper beer. I for one think this is really cool. As a music lover and beer lover, I really like what Roughtail did. Rock Tsar’s is labeled as a Double Oatmeal Russian Imperial Stout. The tasting guide says that the beer is aggressive with lots of bitterness. Instantly, I’m thinking coffee, chocolate, roasty notes….but interested to see where the bitterness comes.
So here we go! We cracked our bottles and we were ready to ROCK! You definitely get the traditional chocolatey roasty Russian Imp. Stout notes in the nose. The beer pours a nice opaque black with a caramel head. With a clink of the glasses and cheers to our pals in Norman, we entered the moshpit. Boy, did we ever. To put this into perspective, imagine you are drinking an imperial stout. Nice. Chewy. Chocolatey. Roasty. And out of nowhere Axl Rose busts through the wall (Kool-Aid style) and asks “DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU AHHHH?!” That’s the hops and bitterness on the back-end of this beer. This is definitely one of the most unique beers I have had in quite some time. But the bitterness and hops are balanced out nicely with the traditional Imperial Stout flavors. Everyone was in agreement that Rock Tsar is very delicious. As it warmed, you got more of the roasty notes. One review on Untappd said it has heavy coffee flavor and was spicy. Between the 4 of us many of us are black coffee drinkers and not one person could point to any coffee and certainly no spice. You can cellar this beer for up to 5 years. It would be interesting to see how this mellows with some age on it. Right now, it is not overly bitter, but The Tsar will definitely catch you slipping in the mosh-pit. Protect your neck.
*Note We had a wonderful podcast with Jonathan and Trae as well as a great interview, but unfortunately we lost the hard drive containing that podcast via theft. Hopefully, we will get that back *fingers crossed* and we can present it for you guys, but either way we will bring you more info on 405 Brewing in the near-future.
Wonderful piece D’Wain. While we are dealing with a set back I wanted to thank D’Wain and the boys of 405 for their time and we will certainly get a show recorded. It’s a shame we have to deal with desperate crimes these days. I don’t want to dwell but pass along a message to take the extra time and dollar to be safe and secure in your home. I am blessed and fortunate to have amazing friends in times of trouble and want to thank them for all their help.
On a brighter note, we were picked up on Stitcher Radio. Hopefully we will get back soon with fresh episodes, in the mean time please download the Stitcher app and subscribe to our show.
Here’s to a better start to 2014 and “Cultivating the Craft!”
For many years the traditional boys hang out was sitting around watching the game, sharing a few beers and discussing which movie had the best quotes. With the ever evolving craft beer market we have crept out of the primordial ooze of tradition and ventured on to test our palettes. This past Saturday my wife and I were invited to a blind IPA taste test. A sidebar here, I was never the biggest fan of IPA's and hops when first exploring craft beer but like all things my palette soon took to liking the slap to the face flavor these beers can pack.
With 8 attendees, 6 guys and 2 ladies, we were poured 27 different IPA's from around the country. Every participant brought at least 2 unique IPA's. A score sheet was created to rate Appearance of the beer, Aroma that the beer gave off, Flavor the beer presented and Taste of the beer and if you would purchase again. There were side bets as well to guess the actual beer you were drinking and how many IBU's (International Bitterness Units) each one had. We arrived a tad late and missed the first 5 but still had 22 beers of about 3 oz each to sample, not too shabby.
I can't tell you how much more fun I've had by simply enjoying a beer with friends and trying to guess exactly what I am drinking. Several good points came up throughout about not seeing a beer label and having a preconceived notion of what may be inside. Such a case was the surprise of the evening when everyone's overall scores were averaged and 2 Oklahoma craft beers beat out Pliny the Elder in the blind tasting. (Those beers were COOP F5 and Roughtail's IPA.) Again an example of heavily sought after beer that either did not live up to the hype or has found new and unexpected competition. A question of freshness was brought up but I do believe nothing was over a couple months old.
One of the disadvantages of the quantity consumed was that of our palette's constantly being tossed around. Near the end many participants felt they couldn't give an accurate grading no matter how many mozzarella sticks and pretzels they consumed. Our highly talented servers caught on to this and incorporated an interesting experiment. Our first and last beer was exactly the same, Schlafly's Tasmanian IPA. A world class IPA in my opinion and most scored it either the same or lower.
So next time you want to have some friends over, maybe get a little creative and challenge your taste buds. You may find your next go to beer or discover a whole new style of beer you never tried before.
Keep challenging your taste buds and Cultivate the Craft!