Saturday, February 27, 2010

New Glarus' Cherry Stout is Back in Town

Earlier this month, New Glarus Brewing brought back their much loved Cherry Stout and now you can get it in Oshkosh! It’s been brought out as part of their Unplugged series of limited release beers, so it’ll probably be around for just the next couple months.

It’s a great beer and one you ought to try. In 2005 and 2006 the beer won a Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Wood and Barrel Aged category. If you’re not a fan of barrel-aged beers, don’t let the medals put you off. The barrel aspect of this beer is slight. Mostly what comes across is ripe, tart Montmorency cherries bathed in dark-caramel malt sweetness. The stout part of it is a little misleading, too, as the beer is nearly devoid of the roastiness you’d expect in the style.

Whatever you call it, this is an excellent beer and it won’t be around for too long so you might want to give it a pour while you can. Four-packs are on the shelves at Festival Foods for $8.49 and at Pick 'n Save for $8.99 (where at North Side store it sits under a set of intense fluorescent lights that can't be doing the beer any favors).

Here, with much respect to Wörtwurst at A Roughneck's Take On Beer, is a little, lo-fi pouring.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hops & Props & Beer & Food

The VIP pre-event at this year’s Hops & Props will be a “Beer School" and dinner put together by Becket’s Chef Mike Buckarma and Brian Van Zandbergan from Merchant du Vin. If you’ve been on the fence about this one, check out the menu below. It’ll get you moving.

Let the drooling begin.
Gathering beer: Samuel Smith Organic Lager
1st Course
Fresh greens and herb salad with shaved radish and jicama, tossed in a pomegranite vinaigrette with pistachios.
• Paired with: Ayinger Brau Weisse

2nd Course
Ale cheese soup with grilled sausage and pretzel bread.
• Paired with: Samuel Smith Pale Ale

3rd Course
Spicy seared tuna, served rare over curried rice pilaf.
• Paired with: Samuel Smith India Pale Ale

4th Course
Stout braised beef short ribs with glazed root vegetables.
• Paired with: Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

5th Course
Triple chocolate cake & vanilla bean ice cream with raspberry sauce and white chocolate ganache
• Paired with: Lindeman's Framboise
Here’s some more on Brian Van Zandbergen.

For ticket information and details see the EAA’s Hops & Props site.

And HERE’S a short video about the event by the people at Next Age News.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

That Good Old Lager Beer

Earlier this week we were sent an email giving us a hard time about the sort of beer we’ve been covering here. We were accused of being “beer snobs” and “wasting time talking about beer nobody even drinks.”

It’s easy enough to dismiss ignorance of this sort, but I think the person may have a point buried in there somewhere. It is true, after all, that ales such as Bourbon Barrel Stout, La Folie and Fox River Reserve are subculture brews aimed at a minority of beer drinkers. But if the impression we’ve given is that we’re only interested in high-octane, palate-pounders then we’ll correct that now. Let’s take a look at some of that good old lager beer that’s currently pouring around town.

Supper Club Lager on tap at Barley & Hops and Becket's Restaurant

Here's a classic American Lager that resulted from a collaboration between Capital Brewery’s Kirby Nelson and Rob LoBreglio of the Great Dane Pub. Nelson describes it as a beer, "Harking back to an era where Supper Clubs were in vogue and Wisconsin had numerous regional breweries." Sounds about right. The beer is crisp, malty and clean and probably not too far from the sort of lagers made by Peoples or Oshkosh Brewing back in the 50s. This would be a great beer to use when trying to ween a friend off of the prevailing fizzy, flavorless brews that all us "snobs" love to despise.

Wisconsin Amber on tap at Dublin's Irish Pub

Another fine Capital Brewery beer. Can’t say I’m a big fan of this one from a bottle, but I've really enjoyed it every time I’ve had it on tap. Call it an American style Vienna lager, the beer is smooth and malty with a hop bite that’s slightly more assertive than you’d expect. Still, it has a nice balance. Very drinkable.

Coney Island Lager on tap at O'Marro's Public House

Made by Shmaltz Brewing in San Francisco, here's another red/amber lager, but this one is a tad bigger than usual for the style. The malt comes across thick, almost honey-like. The hops are strictly west coast, bitter and heavy on the citrus notes. Not your typical lager by any means, but certainly worth checking out.

Lizard Lager on tap at Peabody's Ale House

Originating at the old Lizard Lounge, this is Peabody’s house beer. It’s made for them by Point Brewing and some will tell you it tastes suspiciously similar to Point Amber Classic. I don’t know about that, but I do know this could be the poster child for session beer. It’s light-bodied and smooth with enough caramel-like malt flavor and fruity esters to keep you interested.

Schlitz on tap at Oblio's Lounge

Let the beer-snob groaning begin. I don’t care, I like it! It reminds me of the kind of beer I used to thieve when I was still too young to buy it for myself. Fizzy, light, pale, watery, hollow... whatever. I can’t be impartial when it comes to this one. And I swear I’ve actually tasted that "kiss of the hops" crap they like to yammer about. At Oblio's they serve it up in a beautiful pilsner glass. It's perfect for this beer; low-brow and high-falutin' all at once.

So there you have it. Lager Beer is alive and well in Oshkosh... and not just the fizzy kind, either.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Who's Pouring at Hops & Props?

Hops & Props, the annual beer tasting event at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, is March 6th and the roster of breweries and beers that will be on hand has begun to firm up.

Here’s the list showing who and what will be pouring. Please, keep in mind, this line-up remains subject to change. In addition to all that great beer, there’ll be music, food and the chance to meet a few brewers. And if you want to go all the way in, there will be a Beer School dinner put together by Becket’s Chef Mike Buckarma and Merchant du Vin’s Brian Van Zandbergan.

It’s just 10 days away! Ticket and all the vital info can be found at the EAA’s site.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Best Pint of Guinness in the Entire State

Visiting Ireland and tasting Guinness Draught on its home turf left a black, liquid hex on Shawn O’Marro. He says, “Before I came back, I knew I wanted to have Guinness on tap in my house.” That wasn’t to be. Guinness doesn’t sell kegs to non-licensed consumers and finding a reliable source for bootleg kegs is next to impossible. There was just one thing to do. Shawn quit his job at Impromed and started a pub.

Five years later, O’Marro’s Irish Pub often pours more Guinness on any given month than any other tavern in Wisconsin. “We’re not always at the top,” Shawn says. “Sometimes we are. Sometimes we’re not. We’re almost always in the top five.” It’s fairly amazing any way you look at it. Considering the size of the market and the beers that have been historically dominate in Oshkosh, the prospects for a pitch-black ale would seem limited at best. At least until you try this one, at this pub.

At O’Marro’s Guinness is served at 48º. Not quite as warm as Shawn would like it, but close enough so that the uninitiated can belly up to a pint without thinking something has gone wrong with their beer. The multi-step pour is the difference maker. It may take a bit longer than an ordinary pint, but it’s worth waiting for. Shawn says, “We serve the best pint of Guinness in the entire state.”

He’s got a thirsty gang of advocates to back him up on that. Currently O’Marro’s has 1227 members in its Genius Club. Ten from this pack of Guinness lovers have drank their way into the elite 1759 Society, meaning they’ve downed at least 1,759 pints of Guinness at the pub. It’s a staggering number, but not an arbitrary one. 1759 was the year Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000-year lease on the abandoned brewery at St. James’s Gate, Dublin and started brewing his beer. Now here we are, 3,600 miles and 250 years away downing pint after pint of it. Arthur Guinness wouldn’t have dreamed it. Five years ago, Shawn O’Marro probably wouldn’t have, either.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Beer Man’s Wisconsin

As an overview of the Wisconsin beer scene, Beer Man’s Wisconsin is about the best thing currently going. Written by Todd Haefer, whose Beer Man column appears in the Post Crescent, the book touches on everything from homebrew to Miller. Haefer calls it, “a snapshot of the current brewing industry in the state.”

The meat of it, though, concerns Wisconsin craft beer. There’s a lot of handy information here on small Wisconsin breweries, brew pubs, homebrew clubs, and a nice overview of some of the better craft beers to be found around the state. Oshkosh and the Fox Valley are particularly well represented. Haefer was a member of the Society Of Oshkosh Brewers in the early 90s and his roots are clearly on display in the pieces he’s included on Stone Cellar, Fratellos and Appleton homebrewer Mike Fairservice.

The book is relatively brief at 74 pages and it looks great with full color pictures throughout. I like that Haefer avoids the beer snobbery that often dogs this kind of writing. His tone is conversational and inviting. The book would be particularly helpful to someone just getting into this stuff.

The cover proclaims this the First Edition. Does that mean there’ll be a second? We’ll see. The shelf life for books of this type is notoriously short as the velocity of change in the beer world dates them quickly. If you want to get a jump on the 2nd edition go to the section where Brian Allen is listed as the brewmaster at Fratellos. Cross that out and write in Kevin Bowen. You’ll be a step ahead.

If you’d like to pick up a copy of Beer Man’s Wisconsin you can get it online HERE. Or you might be able to find a copy at Festival Foods in Oshkosh or in Appleton at Woodman’s and Flanagan’s Liquor.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Bourbon Barrel Binge: Part 2

Two weeks ago we posted this about the run on Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout that was taking place at Festival Foods in Oshkosh. So what’s happened since?

On Wednesday I talked with Tom at Festival. He said the first 7 cases of the beer sold out within 24 hours. Luckily, their distributor was able to locate an additional 5 cases the following week. Tom said the 12 cases that came to the Oshkosh store were the most any outlet in the state received.

This is all fairly amazing when you consider Oshkosh’s history as a hardcore lager town. That a beer as big and rich as Bourbon Barrel Stout has developed such an intense following in such a short time is a good example of the changing tastes of beer drinkers around here.

Postscript: Just checked in with Festival. There's a case and one 4-pack remaining. Get it while you can!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Hoppy Guide to Oshkosh Tap Beer

We thought it might be best to follow yesterday’s post about growing hops with something about the ultimate purpose of those lively vines: Beer. So here’s a quick tour of some of the more hop forward beers you can find on tap in Oshkosh this weekend.

Abita’s Jockamo IPA at Becket’s
A good gateway beer for would-be hopheads. Not aggressively bitter, but it comes across with plenty of American hop aroma and spiciness.

Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA at Dublin’s
The people at Dogfish Head call this a “session beer for hardcore beer enthusiasts.” This beer is loaded with citrus-like American hop flavor. Juicy and bitter. A classic American IPA.

Lagunitas IPA at Oblio’s
Never shy of hyperbole, Lagunitas claims to use “43 different hops and 65 various malts.” Don’t let that fool you. Though this beer has plenty of piney hop bitterness, it’s balanced with enough bready malt to save you from involuntary puckering.

New Belgium Ranger IPA at O’Marro’s
A new entry on the hop scene and one you should check out. Almost a study in Simcoe, the American hop known for its distinctive citrus aroma and flavor. Plenty bitter, but not harsh. I think it comes across better on tap than it does from the bottle.

Pilsner Urquell at Oblio’s
These days when people talk about hoppy beers they tend to mean American hoppy beers. That’s understandable, but a beer like this shouldn't be forgotten. There isn’t a better example of the mellow, earthy flavors of European noble hops than Pilsner Urquell. Much more subtle than the flavors you’ll find in American hoppy beers. Go for the tap version. The bottled beer is often notoriously skunky.

Sierra Nevada Anniversary Ale at O’Marro’s
I’m getting very thirsty. This is a beautiful beer, practically glowing with the aroma of Cascade hops. The firm hop bitterness and toasty, malty body go so well together. Order two and let the other warm a bit as you have your first. The second will be even better.

Can you guess what I'll be drinking tonight?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's Time to Think About Growing Hops

Your yard is smothered by grungy February snow... which means it’s time to think about planting hops! Really, this is the season to decide upon the homegrown you’ll be brewing with next fall.

Homebrew Market in Appleton is now taking pre-orders for hop rhizomes, the gnarly little root that rapidly grows into a tenacious vine. All orders have to be placed by March 1st for shipping later that month. This year, Homebrew Market is offering 12 varieties of hop rhizomes, each priced at $5.99. It’s a great deal on high-quality, Hop Union rhizomes.

If you’ve ever had the urge to grow hops, you really ought to give it a shot. It’s so easy and there’s nothing like brewing your own beer with your own hop cones.

Although they’d prefer you stop in at their shop, Homebrew market will take orders by phone Monday through Thursday. You pay when your hops come in. Growing instructions will be included with your order.

I talked to Robert at Homebrew Market and he suggested you do a little research before putting your order in. The European hops tend to be less resilient so you’ll want to start with varieties that grow best in our area. I’ve had great success with Cascade and Nugget, but this year I’m going to branch out and try some Fuggle as well, though they’re not quite as hardy.

To get started, here’s a LINK to more information from Homebrew Market. This’ll give you a concise rundown of the rhizomes they’re offering and how the program works.

Hell, even if you don’t brew beer, hops are a cheap, impressive plant and a great addition to your landscape. If you like beer, you'll love walking into your own back yard and being greeted by the smell of fresh hops.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dave Oldenburg of Titletown Brewing

Titletown Brewing in Green Bay has quietly become one of the great beer spots in Wisconsin. That you can get there from Oshkosh in under an hour makes it even better.

Over at Barleypopmaker's Beer Blog, they’ve just put up an exhaustive interview with Titletown brewmaster, Dave Oldenburg. Both a transcript and an MP3 of the interview are there for your consumption.

If you’re a homebrewer it’ll inspire you, if you’re a beer drinker it’ll make you crazy thirsty.

Here's a LINK to the interview.

Titletown Brewing Company

Monday, February 15, 2010

Historic Oshkosh Beer Home For Sale on Craigslist

“Whether you are a Chief Oshkosh beer collector or simply want a gorgeous water view from your master bedroom, this specialty home will deliver.”

That’s from the Craigslist ad. It also notes that the home was “built for the brewmaster of Chief Oshkosh Beer in 1879.”

I suppose that’s close enough for real estate. The actual story, though, is quite a bit more involved. In 1879 there was no such thing as the Oshkosh Brewing Company and the man for whom this house was built, was definitely not a brewmaster.

Here’s what happened: In 1879 the Horn and Schwalm Brewery, aka the Brooklyn Brewery, in the 1600 block of Doty Street burned to the ground. The wood-framed building wasn’t just a brewery. It was also home to brewery owners August Horn (seen below) and Lenhardt Schwalm, a brewmaster trained in Germany who handled brewing operations for the company. The brewery probably housed a few of their employees as well.

After the fire, Horn and Schwalm immediately rebuilt their brewery. This time they used Cream City brick. I’m guessing that Horn, who had been trained as a stone mason in Bavaria, was a fan of Cream City brick because he also used it to build his new home - the one being sold on Craigslist.

The Oshkosh Brewing Company was still about 15 years off at this time. It came together in 1894 when Horn and Schwalm merged their stock with that of two other breweries owned by John Glatz and Lorenz Kuenzl. This was the beginning of the Oshkosh Brewing Company.

Aside from all that, the house at 1662 Doty Street is beautiful. If you’ve any interest in the history of beer in Oshkosh you owe it to yourself to go take a look. And if you do, keep your eyes open because just up the street you’ll be able to see what’s left of the old Horn & Schwalm brewery. Imagine what this all must have been like in the late 1800s!

Here's a LINK to the Craigslist ad.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Oshkosh Beer Geek Circa 1906

I spent a couple good hours in the Oshkosh Public Library this afternoon doing research on a post we’ll have here in a day or two about the early days of the Oshkosh Brewing Company. With that in mind, I thought it might be fitting to put up another picture from Paul Esslinger’s collection of Oshkosh Breweriana.

This is an Oshkosh Brewing Company beer tray from 1906. Oshkosh Special Old Lager was the company’s premium bottled beer. Their zippy tag-line for the brew claimed that it was “aged, ripened and matured to develop rare zest, sparkle and bouquet.”

I get a kick out of the guy sampling the beer on this tray. Here’s the 1906 model of the Oshkosh Beer Geek. He shows the well-mannered, dignified look of a true aficionado. The loving gaze and dainty glass only help to emphasize his robust girth. That and the flesh rolling under his chin leave no doubt that he’s swallowed much in his tireless pursuit of good beer. Click on the tray and you’ll see they’ve hammered the point home by stamping “A GOOD JUDGE” over the orb of his tortured liver. We should all be so dedicated.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Peoples Beer Makes Cameo in Beer Wars Documentary

Beer Wars, a documentary about the beer making and distribution business in America, was released on DVD at the beginning of February. Of course, no beer documentary would ever be considered complete without the inclusion of some brief recognition of Oshkosh’s contribution to the culture of suds.

In Beer Wars, that fleeting nod comes at about the eight minute mark. During a segment where the film is attempting a thumbnail sketch of how the big breweries went about killing off the regionals, there’s a short montage of collectables from breweries that are long gone. And it’s here that we get to see a People’s Beer playing card, quickly followed by a People’s Beer tray. It all goes by pretty damned quick so if you want to see it, you’d better keep your thumb poised over the pause button.

Beer Wars has gotten some mixed reviews (especially among the beer geeks), but it’s definitely worth a look if you’re interested in the baroque cosmology of American beer and how the beer you drink finds its way to you. Aside from that, it’s just nice to see one of our lost, local breweries remembered, if for only a moment.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Three New Beers at Fratellos

Fratellos in Oshkosh recently put on three new beers that you might want to check out: Seroogy's Chocolate Stout, Red of Winter and Fox River Reserve.

The Seroogy’s beer has been brought out for Valentines Day and is brewed with dark chocolate from Seroogy's in De Pere. This isn’t so much a desert beer as it is a highly drinkable stout where the smokey, chocolate flavors are not overtly dominant. You could have a few of these.

Red of Winter is is a nicely balanced ale with the firm hop character of an English bitter. At 6% it’s just warm enough to have the heft you look for in a winter session brew.

The sleeper of the flight is undoubtedly the Fox River Reserve. Fratellos has it listed on the fruit beer board, but it’s nothing like the light, sweet beers that are often featured there. This is Fratellos Brewmaster Kevin Bowen’s take on a Belgian Grand Cru, a blend of two aged beers that is dry and rich with a tartness that verges on sour. If you like deeply flavored, assertive beer you’ll go for this one.

Kevin has been good enough to supply us with detailed notes on his brews. They’ll give you a good idea of his approach to the beer he’s making. You can read those HERE.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oshkosh Hop Prices Are Coming Down

If you’ve been brewing beer for the past few years, here’s a story you’re painfully familiar with: In 2007 word started going out that the hop harvest would be a miserable one. The cost of hops immediately spiked. All through 2008 and the first half of 2009 prices continues to climb. There were shortages of most hop varieties. Others weren’t available at all.

That’s all changed. 2008 and 2009 saw great harvests. Last fall, some Oregon hop growers said they weren’t even harvesting their full crop due to a glut.  And this new state of affairs is beginning to be reflected in hop prices here in Oshkosh.

Jon at Nutrition Discount Center says the price of his hops has been steadily decreasing. Most of the hops in his store are now selling for about $1.99 an ounce, off from peak prices last year of $3.00 or more an ounce. He said last week, “I decreased eight specialty hops to the $1.99 an ounce price including Chinook and Simcoe,  two previously much more expensive varieties.”

The upshot of all this is that if you brew beer, now is the time to stock-up on hops. The hop market, after years of relative stability, is going the way of most other agricultural markets  where extreme volatility is a way of life. And that’s no fun when you’re dying to brew an IPA and all you can get your hands on are  few lousy packs of low-alpha, Argentinean Cascades.

Nutrition Discount Center - Oshkosh
Good summary of what’s been happening with Oregon hop growers.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Keven Jelic & the Art of Freestyle Brewing

If Reinheitsgebot is a word you cherish, you may want to look away.

Homebrewer Keven Jelic makes beer that would send a Purity Law enthusiast into convulsions. His ingredient list alone is dizzying: kiwi, pomegranate, papaya, chili peppers... And if that doesn’t get you, the strength of his brews will. “A 7% beer is light for us,” he says.

Keven, a member of the Society of Oshkosh Brewers, started brewing in 2006 and from the start he’s been going his own way. His first batch was his own interpretation of a Weizenbock, hardly the kind of beer most first-time brewers attempt. But it worked. The beer, named Zeven-Bock, for his son Zeven, “met with rave reviews.” After that he was hooked. From there the beers only grew bigger and more distinct.

Plenty of homebrewers go down this path at some point. They get caught up in the unlimited possibilities of homebrewing and start concocting beers that would be impossible to brew outside the realm of small batch brewing. A lot of it turns out wretched. Keven’s got a knack for it, though.

I recently tried a “Belgian inspired” beer he makes named Clowns & Jugglers. The beer comes in at a hefty 12%. Among other things, it includes ginger, mango and red chili peppers. It wasn’t what you’d expect from the recipe. For all it’s bombast, the beer was surprisingly drinkable. The alcohol, though distinct and present, didn’t burn. The body was light and slightly fruity. The peppers came in at the end giving off a touch of heat that clears the palate in a fashion similar to the hop bitterness found in an American pale ale. It’s a complex beer, for sure. Better yet, it’s a good beer.

His success with this kind of brewing results from the way he approaches his recipes. He isn’t just throwing together whatever he finds lying around. “I research everything before I make a beer,” He says. And his goal isn’t simply to flout beer styles. “I’m not trying to be outrageous,” Keven says. Instead, he’s trying to “make beers that interest me.”

If you’re interested in trying some of Keven’s beer, you’ll find him pouring at the Hops & Props festival on March 6th at the Society Of Oshkosh Brewers table. It’s a rare opportunity to taste the sort of beer you’re unlikely to find anywhere else. Or, for that matter, ever again.

To keep up with Keven and his brewing adventures (and to see some of the great bottle labels he makes) check out his Twelve Steppe Brews page on Facebook.

Monday, February 8, 2010

David V. Uihlein

In the scurry to get the blog up and running we neglected to mention the passing of David V. Uihlein on January 29, 2010. Uihlein owned and was president of the Oshkosh Brewing Company from 1961 to 1969.

Uihlein was an interesting person. He was a cousin to the Milwaukee family that owned Schlitz and he worked for Schlitz for several years in “practically every department,” he said. At some point that wasn’t enough. He was serious about beer and in 1961 he earned a Master Brewer license and began producing beer in Oshkosh.

The Uihlein years were bleak ones for the Oshkosh Brewing Company. During his tenure, production fell by nearly 30%. At the time of his departure, Oshkosh Brewing was producing just 40,000 barrels of beer a year, well under the 100,000 barrel capacity of its brewery.

Blaming Uihlein for the failure of the Oshkosh Brewing Company is really too simple, though. The 60s were a bad time for regional brewers. Most found themselves unable to compete in a market that had grown increasingly dominated by large, national beer makers.

Uihlein did what he could to keep the company afloat. He updated the breweries refrigeration and fermentation systems and in 1966 bought out Green Bay’s Rahr Brewing in an attempt to expand Oshkosh Brewing’s reach into Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. It wouldn’t be enough. And Uihlein didn’t appear to have any illusions about what he was up against. In ‘68 he was quoted as saying he considered himself to be in a “life and death struggle” against the giants of the industry.

Death it would be. Two years after selling his brewery to a group of Oshkosh residents, the Oshkosh Brewing Company went broke. Production was stopped October 17, 1971. In the winter of 1986 the stately brewery at 1631 Doty Street was smashed to bits.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Bourbon Barrel Binge at Festival Foods

Last night Randy from Omro sent out a hot tip that Festival Foods in Oshkosh had just gotten their allotment of Central Waters Bourbon Barrel Stout and Peruvian Morning Stout (also a bourbon barrel beer). If you’ve tasted these beers, you know why they’re so highly sought after. And If you haven’t, good luck finding them now. As of 2 p.m. this afternoon there were just three 4-packs of each beer remaining.

Jonathan at Festival said they'd received 11 (turns out it was actually 7) cases of the  Bourbon Barrel and four cases of the Peruvian on Friday afternoon. He said they’d been going out the door at a steady clip ever since.

Aside from the fact that these are great beers, it’s good to see that the bond between Oshkosh beer drinkers and this close-to-home brewery is so tight that it takes little more than word of mouth to spur such high demand for their beer. Now, if they'd only send us more.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Pucker-Up To A Sour Brown Ale At O’Marro’s

Randy from Omro has checked in to recommend La Folie from New Belgium, which is currently being served at O'Marro's. "Very good, you have to like sour, but they did a nice job," says Randy.

La Folie is a sour brown ale, conditioned in French Oak barrels for at least a year before bottling. If you’re the sort of person who likes malt vinegar on their French fries and you’ve yet to experience sour beer, this would be a great one to start with.

It’s a rare style for our area. In fact, I can’t think of another sour beer being served in Oshkosh. Considering that New Belgium bottles just a single batch of this a year, you might want to get on it before it disappears.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Extract Kit Sale at Nutrition Discount Center

If you’re a homebrewer who likes to brew with extract, you ought to check out the sale Nutrition Discount Center in Oshkosh is having on some of their Brewer’s Best kits.

There’s a good selection of styles - European Bock, Robust Porter, German Altbier, Dunkelweizen - all for around $26.99 or about $6 off the standard price of these kits.

If you haven’t tried brewing your own beer before, these kits are a great place to start. They come with all the ingredients you’ll need along with clear instructions for making good beer. It’s not that hard. Like they say, if you can bake a cake, you can make beer. Give it a shot!

Nutrition Discount Center on the web.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Irish Potato Beer at Dublin's

Dublin's just brought in a new beer on tap that looks interesting. Finnegans Irish Amber is made with all the standard beer bits including "three varieties of imported two-row malt" and to that they add POTATOES. I'm interested in tasting what flavors the potatoes contribute. Maybe it's what brings the Irish to their amber.

Another aspect worth noting is that profits from the sale of this beer go directly into a charitable fund. Here's what the company says:
Finnegans Irish Amber is the only non-profit beer company in the world. 100% of the profits from sales and merchandise go to the Finnegans Community Fund, which distributes to programs helping the working poor and at-risk youth.
There you go, potatoes and philanthropy. Sounds like dinner to me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Barley & Hops' Capital Kick-Off is Tomorrow Night!

Barley & Hops will be hosting a Capital Brewery tasting February 3rd from 7 to 10 p.m..

Ten dollars gets a you a Capital pint glass and free run of the beers Capital Brewery will be bringing in.

Also on the tasting list will be Fat Ass Tequila, Makers Mark Bourbon and a selection of other beers offered by distributors to Barley & Hops.

If you haven't made your way to Barley & Hops in a while, this would be a great time to check them out. The people behind the bar are enthusiastic about good beer and they're making it a point to feature some interesting Wisconsin breweries in their tap and bottle line-up.

Glad to say, we'll soon be adding Barley and Hops to the Currently Pouring list here at Oshkosh Beer.

Directions to Barley & Hops HERE.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Fond du Lac Brewfest is this Saturday

And it looks like it's going to be a good one. They'll have 20 Wisconsin breweries pouring and, according to co-organizer Jay Humfeld, the most recent count puts the total number of beers at 70. For $25 (advance ticket) you can't beat the price.

If you're in Oshkosh, you can pick up your tickets at O'Marro's. They'll also be chartering a bus to the fest. Check with O'Marros to see if seats on the bus are still available.

For details about who'll be pouring, location, food, music, times and all the rest see the Brewfest Web Page.