Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Last Saturday, the Society of Oshkosh Brewers and the Fox River Brewing Company got together for a group brew at Fratellos in Oshkosh. Working with Fox River brewmaster Kevin Bowen, the SOBs helped make a 375-gallon batch of Buffalo Mike’s Pumpernickel Rye.

This is a beer that Mike Engel of the SOBs has been brewing and serving at festivals around here for years. And this is the second time, Mike has had his beer made on a commercial scale. He describes the brew as tasting almost like liquid rye bread. That’s about right, I’d say. I’ve had Mike’s homebrewed version a few times. I’m looking forward to seeing how the FRBC brew compares. It’s not so easy ramping these small batch brews up to this size.

Look for Buffalo Mike’s Pumpernickel Rye to begin flowing from the draught lines at Fratellos in Oshkosh sometime around mid-November. I’ll send a shout out here when it hits.

Personally, I’m glad this happened. There was a period after the brewery opened in 1995 and extending into the 2000s when the SOBs and Fox River Brewing had a fairly tight bond. That gradually eroded as circumstances changed for both the club and the brewery.

It’s time for that relationship to be rebuilt. The SOBs are a large and influential homebrewing club and Kevin Bowen at Fox River is a two-time World Beer Cup Medal winner. It’s great to have them come together.

Here’s a few shots from the brew day, courtesy of Mike Engel. As always, click to enlarge.

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