By: Lauren Klansek
I have made a very important decision; I have decided the very best way to attend a craft beer festival is to work the craft beer festival. From behind the pitcher you get to watch, pour, listen, explain, learn, and drink with enthusiasts of all types.
Of course, the best part of working a beer event is the opportunity to taste what everyone else is proud to pour. I must warn you, I make no claim to hold a refined pallet. I still hang out in the beginning stages of craft brew enthusiasm, any words I use to describe what I like about something is strictly an opinion of a novice. Also, I don’t even have a pretzel necklace, so I’m not half as qualified as most of the people who were there.
Let me tell you some of what I tried:
Kona Brewing Co – Lemongrass Luau
Analysis: I’d drink this beer all summer long, I had to try it, because the lemon/ginger combo sounded too interesting to pass up. Also, because my travels recently took me to Kona, and if their beer is 1/8 as nice as their sunsets then I knew I’d be in for a treat.
Santa Fe Brewing Co – State Pen Porter
Abita Brewing Co – Bourbon Street Chocolate Stout | Bourbon Street Old Fashion
Avery Brewing – Uncle Jacobs
Left Hand – A Blessing and a Curse Double IPA
Analysis: I’m currently trying to decipher my flavor preference when it comes to IPA’s and this one is one of the more solid DIPA’s I have had the pleasure of experiencing. If someone wants to point me to where I can find this in OKC so I can try it again I’d be pretty stoked.
Bricktown Brewery – Single String Stout
COOP Ale Works – Well, all of them. My drinks of choice: Pilot Batch 2 | Cask-it DNR
If you saw me on Saturday, and you tried the Pilot Batch 2 then you probably heard my description of the deliciously smooth lactose, coffee, vanilla, and cocoa. It’s like the milk left in the bowl after you eat your favorite cereal- in beer form. Sounds weird and intriguing?
Yum yum yum.
Cabin Boys Brewery – The Bearded Theologian Belgian Quad (Coming soon to Tulsa if you’re near there!)
Tallgrass Brewing Co – Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout
Stonecloud Brewing Co – Turtlehead Imperial Coffee Stout
Vanessa House Beer Co – R&D Imperial Stout
The Big Friendly – Dark Chocolate Coconut Imperial Stout
Analysis: So Maybe I was a little partial to the Imperial Stout game last weekend. My clear and decisive favorite? The Big Friendly. I want to drink that dark chocolate wonderland every day just to remind myself of all the good in life. I’d say they went above and beyond just “OK”
Crazy Mountain Brewing Co – Rum Barrel Aged Dark with Ginger & Lime
Angry Scotsman Brewing – Night Terror Black IPA | Industry Standard Double IPA | Prince of Persia- Hibiscus & Saffron Witbier
Analysis: I was absolutely not expecting the flavor I got from Prince of Persia. I must say, I am a fan. I don’t like the idea of a liquid flower, and so I tried it in an attempt to be polite but man, this is not the floral mouth bomb I anticipated. All of his brews were inspired by flavors from all over the world, I’m excited to see him in OKC in the next year!
Sean McCanne – Passive Aggressive Pilsner | Aye Laddie Scottish Export | Nor-easter Sunrise.
Analysis: I discovered all too late the home brewer’s section of the festival, but talking to Sean made up for what I’d been missing. This guy is stoked about making beer, and excited about the way it’s transitioning in OKC. His Passive Aggressive Pilsner was not only my favorite beer name of the festival, but it was extremely drinkable and full of flavor.
I love seeing all these crafters take pride in their brews. Talking to people who are excited about what they do is what gets me excited about this budding industry! Between the patrons, brewers, and pretzel-necklace-wearing enthusiasts the Oklahoma Craft Beer culture was very much alive on Saturday. What an excellent way to kick off a summer of great beer and great community.
Don’t miss next month’s blog, I’ll be gracing you with an appearance from the ones who started it all (for me). My delightful parents will be in town and, as it happens, neither of them have an enthusiasm for beer. What better to do than make them try what OKC’s beer scene has to offer and record the experience? I’m very sure the commentary will not disappoint.
As always, find me on:
Oklahoma Craft Beer Podcast