Posted in beer, drinking

It’s October[fest Time] in Oklahoma! Get ’em While You Can! (Prosit!)

Oktoberfest in Germany has come and gone, but it’s just starting here in Oklahoma.

Ok, Old Germany and the Choctaw Oktoberfest have already happened, but shhh!

It’s not really time to drink those less citrusy, marzen-style beers until I can wear a hoodie with a pair of shorts and swig it around a backyard fire pit. But the beer companies insist on shoving cooler weather beer at us during the hottest time of the year, end of July/early August, so we’re going to celebrate it whenever we want.

Before they start lugging in the spicy winter warmers, that is.

Most of these German beers are created so that you don’t get full and wasted while you’re day drinking at the fest. They have a bit of hop, a bit of malt, and they are fairly light in flavor and in alcohol. ayin

 

 

 

 

 

 

The American marzen-style tend to be a bit sweeter, have a little more malt, more caramel and toffee notes. They tend to have a bit more flavor. I’m a big fan of those kinds, myself. Shiner has a great Oktoberfest.

shiner

Not all marzen-style beers are low in alcohol, either. Check out the Imperial Oktoberfest lager from Avery’s Dictator series. The Kaiser weighs in at 9.5% APV  (definitely a little heftier than Ayinger’s 5.8%) and has the feel of a traditional beer, but the flavor of an American…with a punch.

kai

Oklahoma kind of knows what it’s doing in Beer Land now, so it only stands to reason that they have a toe in that lake, too. Coop Ale Works  has got a marzen-style worthy of the title, while Anthem Brewing has a Vienna-style lager that is roasty and malty–AND they’ve even got one that’s been aged in bourbon barrels, if you want to get nerdy about it!

 

So enjoy this beers while they are here…I think I see the Sam Adams Winter Lager there on the horizon!

 

 

 

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Sale Rack Spotlight

As many of you know (or don’t know), we have a sale rack. And on this sale rack are products that, for whatever reason, haven’t sold. They aren’t bad products. They aren’t expired or just awful. They might have been bought once and never again, or just fallen out of favor. Or they were just products that were special ordered for someone who a) never came to pick them up or b) moved to Australia (that actually happened).

Oftentimes, if there’s a lot of something on the sale rack, like a beer that just didn’t go over well, I’ll take it home and give it a try. Contrary to popular belief, those of us who work in liquor stores don’t always try everything. We can’t. We’d be in the Oklahoma equivalent of Betty Ford. So we do a lot of research in other ways.

Well, there wasn’t any other way to get around trying this one. With wines, you can get some easy tasting notes: black pepper, currant, shoe leather, pencil lead, what have you. But beer is a little bit more difficult.

I thought I was ahead of the sour beer trend when I brought in the Urban Family Brewing Herr Kinski’s Blackberry Thought Forms. Yeesh. The name alone should have warded me off. But no, it was a new brand of beer to the state, so hey, let’s grab one and see what’s up.

Well, what was up was the price. Originally retailing at $11.99, the poor thing just sat on the shelf gathering dust. But there were a few hardy souls willing to shell out the $12 for this 12 oz bottle.

Usually, if a beer comes in a single 12 oz bottle, the alcohol content is pretty high. See BrewDog’s Tokyo. It’s odd to see a single beer this size for this price with such a low percentage of alcohol.

So it sat. And sat. Went through markdowns. Then finally, it got moved to the closeout rack. We put a couple in Level 2 Mystery Beer Bags, but nothing moved the folks to purchase.

Months later, and there are finally 6 left. Out of 12. I took one home for myself to try. I didn’t let it linger, like I’ve done in the past with random and various beers.

I opened it, poured a little out to check the color–a lovely pinky/purply color–and then smelled it…then, tasted it. I was expecting a full-bodied, tart blackberry, with a hint of those sour beers everyone is going crazy for today. Blackberry lemonade, basically.

Well, that’s exactly what I got. Minus the whole lemonade thing. It was a really nice drink. It’s chuggable, it’s sippable, it’s almost like a Lambic or a tiny bottle of wine, what with that low alcohol content.

It was SO GOOD. I just can’t advocate the purchase of it just because of the low alcohol content, BUT it is a very well done product, so maybe THAT and the experience is worth $10.

But there are only 4 left, so I’ll leave it to those 4 people to tell me if it is worth it or not.

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s the Deal With SQ 791 & SQ 792?

There seems to be a great deal of confusion about these two State Questions. They both have to do with retail liquor…cold beer, wine in grocery stores, etc. But there are some major differences.

Here’s one of those differences:

SQ 792 is corporate-backed, whereas SQ 791 comes from the local retailers & the RLAO (Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma).

Money and Power vs The Little Guy. It’s an age old battle, isn’t it?

Our friends at Edmond Wine Shop can tell the story very well. They’ve been doing a great job at getting the word of 791 out there. Here’s an excerpt of a post on their Facebook page:

[The featured image above is from that post.]

In the photo are two very different things that you may have been asked to sign. The option on the left is paid for in part by Walmart. The people who distribute this glossy info in your neighborhoods are volunteers or employees of the Yes on SQ792 campaign, which is funded by Walmart. You may see them at festivals or the upcoming Oklahoma State Fair. If you have signed anything related to the option on the left, you have given Walmart and others the right to use your name to promote the Yes on SQ792 campaign in social and print media. You have every right to sign whatever you like. You’ll get no judgement or argument from us. We are sorry, though, if you were misled.

The document pictured on the right is the petition for SQ791, which is another option for alcohol modernization that many consumers and local retail liquor stores support. We were unable to obtain 124,000 signatures in less than 30 days, so you will not see our option on the ballot in November. However, signature collection continues. We still have the opportunity to make an appearance on a future ballot. Why try? SQ792 may not pass in November or may not survive a constitutional review, which is why we will continue to gather signatures for SQ791.

By signing the petition for SQ791 you are showing your support for Edmond Wine Shop. We will NOT use your name in social or print media to promote our cause, but you will help us inspire legislators to write legislation that promotes fair competition.

It appears as if those backing SQ 792 haven’t been totally transparent.

Further down in the article is a quote from Bryan Kerr, the president of RLAO:

And, no, my hands are not clean. I clearly tried to negotiate something that would minimize the damage to the local businesses I represent. That would include license restrictions that might not give some consumers 100% of what they desire. I definitely tried to highlight all of the social and economic negatives of expanding strong sales to thousands of new locations; and will continue to do so. But I came with a compromise and rewrote that compromise a dozen times based on feedback from Senators Bice and Jolley. I came ready to find a balance between convenience, local business and public safety. I actually asked for consumer-friendly measures that were not included like growler fills in liquor stores, local delivery of alcohol from liquor stores and the opening of liquor stores in Sundays. And from Day 1, I was on board for single-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores.

It seems there’s a good deal of incorrect information floating out there, and this post we’re putting in the spotlight seems to help clear the air a little.

To read the post in full, go to Edmond Wine Shop‘s FB page.

To sign a petition allowing another option on the ballot or to talk about SQ 791, stop by Cork & Bottle, Edmond Wine Shop, or contact your favorite store.

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It’s Beer O’Clock Everywhere

Congratulations, Beer Geeks, Nerds, & Connoisseurs! You are now ABLE (tee hee) to drink that high proof local beer RIGHT FROM THE SOURCE.

Pretty much.

You can order a beer to enjoy there, all nice and cold and whatnot. And then you can buy beer from them in cans, in bottles, and in GROWLERS.  <insert jealous/excited “oooOooo” here>

Change is coming. The public is ready for it. Some of us in the retail side of the liquor business…well, let’s save that story for another day. Let’s just celebrate the W the local brewers got.

Raise a toast at 4:24pm for the end of this prohibition.

And check out your favorite local brew’s Twitter/Facebook/Instagram and see where the party is!