And the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Ladies and gentlemen I bring you, straight from Indiana, my parents:
So I mentioned last month my parents don’t dabble on the beer side of the fermentation spectrum. Well, let me unpack the reality of our starting blocks. My Mother, when so inclined to partake in a beverage, would pick a fruity cocktail or a dry Riesling- in her own words, “I am NOT a beer drinker.” My dad is a man of red wine preference, his enjoyment of beer is limited to the one or two times a year when we have family in town and a pack of Coors Light shows up in the fridge. Overall, craft beer is a mystery to their palate, and today we shed light on a world of flavors they’ve never visited.
By the end I will have properly overwhelmed them with brews, so keep in mind the beer overload they were willingly subjected to. We started the day at Oak and Oar, and with an extremely patient “beertender” named Keely.
#1 Anthem Power Pilsner
Mom- “Oh, (laughing) it’s bad, it has a terrible after taste.”
Not a strong jump off the starting blocks for mom.
#2 Black Mesa Power ESB
And here is when I realize the commentary may require some interpretation:
Dad- “It tastes like it smells”
#3 Vanessa House 401k
#4 Prarie BOMB!
Mom- Immediate face of delight “Smells like coffee!”
Dad- Immediate face of horror “Ugh, Tastes like coffee”
Keely took time to listen to the kind of stuff my parents like, brought a wide range of samples, and then proceeded to tell them all about the beers and answer their questions. She tailored the experience to them and brought out a selection I may have totally overlooked.
#5 Tilquin Belgian style sour
Mom- “Woo, it smells vinegary, it tastes like something you’d pour over your salad”
#6 Clown shoes, black currant Saison
Mom- “This Smells Awesome. Write that down.”
Dad- “It’s a 6, not a 2.”
#7 Lefthand milk stout
Mom- “Oh I could drink that. I could definitely drink that. And it’s mild, it doesn’t have a really bad aftertaste”
Not even an hour in and we found a beer my mom says she could “definitely drink,” I’m feeling pretty victorious at this point.
#8 Founders Sumatran Brown
Dad- (Ordering a diet coke) “I’d rather be excluded from the testing, it just smells like coffee”
Alright, maybe not a total victory.
Dad- “I ordered a custom blend”
Mom is a little more willing of a participant
Mom- “I think the more taprooms we go to the more quotable we’ll be”
#9 Propolus Saison
Mom- “This tastes more like a cider, I like that, I like that a lot.”
Dad-“Yeah it’s a little more tart, it’s okay”
#10 Golden Spike
Mom- “This is too yeasty tasting for me”
Dad- “Yeah, it smells more yeasty, boy it’s a little scary mom and I like the same things.”
After 36 years of marriage I’d think that might not be so surprising anymore.
#11 Prairie hop Saison
#12 Prairie Birthday Bomb
As we rounded out our time at Oak and Oar I asked them for a mid-experiment evaluation:
Mom- “Well it was very interesting. I thought Keely was very nice, and it was an interesting experience to see all the different types of beers even though most of them I wouldn’t drink in a lifetime.”
Dad- “Well the process was interesting, didn’t convert me to a regular beer drinker. It’s nice to know there are choices.”
Off to COOP we go! I gave them a very mediocre and sweaty tour which I’m glad no one who actually knows what they are talking about witnessed, and then we sat in the taproom where I properly attacked their taste buds.
#13 Grapefruit F5
#14 Raspberry Hefeweizen
Dad- “It’s very raspberry” “It’s fine, not very beer-like, so that’s why it’s alright”
…If anyone wonders where I get my sass, wonder no more.
#15 Horny toad
Dad- “Light beer like, it was okay, I mean, I can drink light beer. It didn’t have very much bite to it”
And we came full circle, back to a beer mom hates, and dad just tolerates.
#16 Plum DNR
Mom “I don’t taste much of the plum, but actually, that’s not bad. If you put anything over ice cream I could probably handle it, that can be a direct quote”
Noted, beer ice cream is a go for mom.
#17 Blood orange HT
#18 Cherry DNR
Mom- “Actually, that’s not bad.
Me-“Mom I’m finding beers you like!”
Mom- “Yeah, If I don’t have to taste the yeast and the hops then I’m good.”
So just mute two of the four ingredients in beer and mom is set.
#19 Cherry Brandy Barrel aged DNR
It’s somewhere around this point in the experiment when dad voices what he’s been thinking since he bought the diet coke at oak and oar, “I think I’ve had all the beer I care for today.”
#20 Elevator wheat
#21 Saturday Siren
And finally, when the commentary is dwindling, and they are just suffering through at this point, I stop bringing them sips.
What have we learned from this whole experience?
Beer is not for everyone. That’s okay, beer shouldn’t be for everyone. If everyone always picked beer then what incentive would there be for the experimenters and creators to define it as a craft.
There is a beer for everyone. Contradictory? Nah, let me explain. I found several beers my mom not only tolerated, but liked. I feel I’ve earned some sort of victory here, she might not order a beer, but if wine or a fruity cocktail isn’t an option, I could find her something in the beer realm to satisfy.
Options. If for some insane reason you didn’t know of the selection you had open to you before, now you have no excuse. Find something you like, find something your girlfriend, uncle, father-in-law, grandmother, and best friend like! There is no shortage of choices, and you’re silly to not give it a whirl.
A very special thank you to Keely at Oak and Oar for your patience and overall awesomeness. Also, to my parents for allowing me to subject them to this experiment, and my aunt who witnessed the whole thing.
As always, you can find me on
My personal blog: lcmklansek.blogspot.com
Oklahoma Craft Beer Podcast