The Quest for the Wurst

Do you sit down regularly and drink a LITER of beer? Liter mugs of good lager are usually reserved for a trip to a German biergarten and restaurant. My love of German restaurants began a few years ago, after going to a great German restaurant in Moore, Oklahoma, of all places.  I thought that if this place was so good then these types of restaurants must be everywhere.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.

A good German restaurant is actually a gem and, like a gem, is not only quite rare, but most have slight imperfections even when you do find a good one. I travel quite a bit, either through work or just for vacations, and I scout out German restaurants wherever I go. I have not been everywhere, obviously, but I have a tried a fair few. With my experience I have determined what you should look for at every German restaurant:

  1. Sausages that are made in the restaurant.
  2. At least one house beer.
  3. Handmade schnitzel and spaetzle.
  4. And, at least one a night a week, they should have someone playing live German music (how else can you chug your liter of beer?!).

There are more needs to a German restaurant to make it successful, but I am not here to talk about how to have adequate service staff or to pay your cooks and waitresses appropriate incomes.  I am here to talk about beer and bratwurst.  Oh, and schnitzel… schnitzel can be amazing.

Now, as a frame of reference, in Austria at 2:00 in the morning you can buy a sausage that is about a foot and a half long, wrapped in a single slice of white sandwich bread (you know, the square kind with polka dots on the bag.) So, to say authentic German food, what we really want to look for is what we Americans have come to consider authentic German food. For me, this food list includes: grilled bratwursts, chewy pretzels, salty pork schnitzel, house-made spaetzle, real sauerkraut, and flaky apple strudel with whipped cream.

Four restaurants are on my list and some of them hit all the marks and some don’t, but remember my gem reference: perfection is almost mythical (I mean, there is a reason the a bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay and the Hope Diamond are in the Smithsonian Museum).

My tour of German restaurants include:

  • The Royal Bavaria in Moore, Oklahoma
  • The Schnitzelbank Restaurant in Jasper, Indiana
  • The Hofbräuhaus in Chicago, Illinois
  • The Biergarten Restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida

Each of my above restaurants hits the marks on most but some are trying harder than others. The Royal Bavaria is making multiple in-house brews; Schnitzelbank has started brewing their own but they have already been bringing people in with just their food; the Hofbräuhaus has location and schnitzel but need to step it up; and, lastly, the Biergatren in Disney hitting the marks but remains a tourist spot.

I will be going through my highs and lows of each restaurant in my next blog posts in the upcoming weeks.  Please check out my first review of The Royal Bavaria here.

 

Prairie Artisan Ales, Prairie Ale… 4.5/5

So I have been lax in getting a review or three posted.  I have been to the Brewpub a couple of times and not completed the reviews from the first trip.  Getting that done now!  So let’s just call this the time of Prairie Artisan Ales for me.  I also went and edited the Brewpub review (click here) with some new info.  The first beer I reviewed was the Dad Bod (review) an exclusive to the brew pub.  The second beer I had on that trip was the Prairie Ale, reviewed below.  The Prairie Ale is a Belgian Style Saison or Farmhouse Ale.  This style is characterized as a complex style, fruity in both aroma and flavor, a bit tart with earthy yeast tones.

From the Brewery…

Prairie Ale“A Belgian Style Saison Ale

Prairie Ale is our classic saison. We brew this beer with pilsner malt, wheat malt, flaked wheat, and cane sugar. A healthy dose of saaz hops are used to add a spicy element to the beer. Prairie Ale is fermented with a mix of ale yeast, wine yeast, and brettanomyces. Notes of black pepper and pineapple can be found in this beer.”
  • ABV: 8.2%
  • IBUs: 25 

Tasting…

The beer, when delivered, had a nice white frothy head that laced well.  The color was a deep orangy gold and a bit hazy.  The nose was dominated by the yeast with a slight fruity smell.  As it warmed a little more of the fruity/yeast funk came out of the beer.  The taste was a bit tart and again yeast dominated.  Flavors included a citrus with a sweeter touch than fully expected.  There was a bit of malt come though but not much.  The finish was dry and clean.  The ABV is a bit higher and contributed to the dry finish.  At the finish of the drink the hops came out in the taste.  Mouth feel was good and full. Carbonation lasted throughout the drink.

Summary

Felt like this beer fit its style very well.  The funkiness from the yeast and the dryness from the hops worked well together.  Overall a good balanced beer.  I rated it as 4.5 out of 5.  I will drink it again, depending on if there are other new choices I have not had yet.  As always.  With the updates to the ownership/management of the brewery this week I am also looking forward to see what happens with new beers.

So look to the future, enjoy the beer, sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


Give us some feedback or a comment below, thanks.

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Prairie Artisan Ales, Dad Bod (Exclusive???)… 4.5/5

I went to the Prairie Brewpub, downtown Tulsa, for a business meeting.  You can see my review of the Brewpub by clicking here.  While there I picked out a couple of beers to drink.  I would have probably had more, but time was short.  The first beer I had was the Dad Bod (reviewed here) and the second the Prairie Ale (review to come).  The Dad Bod is Prairie’s Belgian IPA.  I found that the beer fits the Belgian IPA style.

From the Brewery…

Beer Menu1OK, a first for me… The Dad Bod is a new beer.  At the time of this writing there are only 88 check-ins for the beer on Untappd and all of them have been at the Brewpub.  So I would say this is a house beer for now.  It was not advertised as such, but after the little research I have done I am so happy that I selected to drink it.  The first post on Untappd for this beer was on June 10, 2016.  I had it on the 13th.  Woot!!!!

As for information from the Brewery? I only have what is printed on the menu.  “Prairie Artisan Ales Dad Bod, Belgian IPA, Tulsa OK”

ABV:  7.0%

I could not find anything else on Prairie Artisan Ales’ website.  If I find that the beer has been added to their site I will update this review.  (Let me know if they need a Social Media Dude… I have availability.) Of course anyone with more reliable information on this beer please comment and share with the rest of us.  I didn’t know it’s status when I ordered and did not quiz Andi, my server.  I wish I had been a little more inquisitive now.

Tasting…

The beer has a deep golden color with a clear white head.  There was good lacing on the glass from the head during drinking.  The first nose hit I got off of the beer was the sour/tang smell of yeast.  As expected when picking up a beer listed as a Belgium.  Then a hit off of the hops.

The first taste gave a sharp tang from the yeast and then the hops kicked in giving a slight dry finish.  The taste very much matches the nose.  There was very little malt taste to me.  Throughout the drink there was good carbonation.  The mouth feel was full with strong flavors, making this one of my new favorite beers.

Summary

I like this beer.  It is one that I would drink over and over.  If it is on tap at the Brewpub when I make it back there I will probably drink it over and over.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5 on my drink-ability scale.  This is a good beer that was a bit unique to drink and hope to see stand the test of time.

So if you get to the Brewpub, relax, sit back and have ABigBeer of Dad Bod.


Please send us some feedback or comment below…  Thanks

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Prairie Brewpub… So Glad to See Ya!

I had a quick business meeting with some old friends/business partners and suggested we meet at the Prairie Artisan Ales‘ Brewpub.  The Brewpub had recently opened and having seen some articles from the local paper and posts on Facebook I knew that I needed to get there soon… Yes, needed, as in an imperative.

(Went back the other night with a friend.  There were some updates so see below.)

Location…

The Brewpub is located in the Brady District of Downtown Tulsa area.  It is great having more options such as this in Tulsa and especially in an area with a number of entertainment and dining options.  Helping to make the Brady District a destination.

Specifically the Brewpub is located across the street from the Vanguard and Hunt Clubs and down the street from Cain’s Ballroom.  What I would consider the middle the busiest part of the downtown entertainment district, with the Old Lady on Brady to the West and the Drillers’ Ballpark to the East.  Specifically it is located at:

223 N Main Street
Tulsa, OK
(918) 936-4395

Services…

There are laws being changed in Oklahoma and that also means changes to how breweries can sell their beer on site/cold.  So once those laws go into effect we should see the full Brewpub up and running and have more options. We hope that Growlers will be filled on site also. I know mine is needs to be filled soon. I may just have to run across the river to the Brewery to get it done.  The brewing is getting set up on the south side of the space.

In addition, the Brewpub in a grand fashion has food.  There are options of traditional bar food and even some selections from another notable restaurant in town, Burn Co Ribs.  We had the chicken cheese fries and they had a nice spicy bite to them.  Very Good suggestion from our server Andi.  She did a great job taking care of all of her customers.

Atmosphere & Taps…

PB Inside2The center piece of the bar is the Huge Barrel housing customized taps with the bar surrounding it.

Multiple areas in and around the bar are available for you or your group:

  1. Bar Area – The bar where you can sit and a few long/tall tables that accommodate large or multiple parties.
  2. Dining area North of the bar.  Table service for the food menu, most of the tables 4 tops.
  3. PB Inside1More intimate seating area around the fireplace south of the bar.  Reminiscent of a coffee-house seating with couches and stuffed chairs.
  4. To the south of the building is an outside bier garden between the buildings.  Well done but with the heat of OK it will probably only be populated on cool night.
  5. Meeting Room on the north side.  A glass room like a fishbowl.  Visible from the street.  Would be a good place for a meeting.  Missed this the first time. (update)

This is not a dive bar, it is a brewpub and as such is clean and crisp. It does not have the feel of an old warehouse building redone into a bar/brewpub.  There are more pictures on their Facebook page (excuse me for grabbing a couple to use here).

Beers…

What I found unique about the brewpub was that they had other regional craft beer options available on tap.  Did I drink any of them?  No, stuck with Prairie this visit but may in future visits.  I only had 2 beers on this trip.  It was for a business meeting after all:

The most up to date draft menu is posted to a couple of chalk board areas on either side of the bar.  Use these to make sure a beer is available off of the provided paper menus.

Beer BoardBeer Menu1Beer Menu2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing that Prairie does their experimentation and beer development across the river, at their Brewery, and most of their major production at other facilities, I am really looking forward to see if they do some small batch experimentation at this site in the future.  I would love to have a chance to taste and critique a small barrel batch of an experimental brew someday.  (If anyone knows the size of the system being installed please let us know in the comments.)

Update, Flights:  On the first trip they did not have flights of beers.  On our second visit they had just started them that night, essentially while we were sitting at the bar.  If you want to do some tasting this would be the way to go.  Here is their flight menu:

PAA Flights

Summary

GO… Go often and enjoy the quality beer, food, and atmosphere at this brewpub.  This is going to be a place that will definitely be a destination to visit when visiting the district for a night of concerts, craft beer, dining, vodka, etc…  I believe it will only get better with time.

So sit back, relax and drink ABigBeer at the Brewpub.


Please give us your thoughts in the comments below or send us some feedback.

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Sixpoint Brewery’s – Bengali IPA – 4.725+/5

Stopped though the Midtown Liquor Store to do some beer shopping for the house and picked up a 6 of Bengali IPA. Why?  Because I like IPA and had never had it before… Good choice.   The Bengali IPA is classified as an American IPA, more flavor than the English version with floral/citric hops and flavor, medium bodied.

From the Brewery…

bengali_angleBengali

“…While we could suggest what food this beer pairs well with,
or which glass to serve it in, the most important thing to remember is: even though we may take beer very seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. It’s Mad Science.”
  • ABV 6.5%
  • IBU 69
  • SRM 11

Tasting…

So here is my take on the salient points of the tasting…

  1. Pour:  A orangish brown pour.
  2. Head:  An off-white to light tan head with a good lacing appearance.  The pour was into a traditional pint glass with an initial ½ inch of head that lasted for the first 3 to 4 swallows, at least 90 seconds, and then dissipated to just the rim edge.
  3. Nose:  An IPA that hearkens to a traditional English nose with plenty of malt.  Yet there was no doubt of the IPA and a hoppy aroma that is big but subtle.
  4. Taste 1: The first taste is floral hop that stays steady with a sweet malt and finishes balanced, with a medium bitterness.
  5. Taste 2: It was full-bodied with caramel flavor supported by a strong foundation of rich malts.
  6. Carbonation:  It was mildly carbonated and remained good throughout the drink.
  7. Mouth Feel:  Smooth soft feel.

Summary

Being a mad scientist… or at least a mildly irritated scientist on a bad day, I like the description of the beer.  I also liked the beer a lot.  I rate it a 4.72569318 out of 5 (like I said, I’m a scientist).  This is a beer I have put on my drink again list and I suggest you go find it yourself.  You can’t have any of mine.


Please send us some feedback or comment below…

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6-Pack Living in Pittsburgh or “da Burgh n’dat”… Elsewhere Too!

I live in Pittsburgh. I love living in Pittsburgh. There are some really great things about Pittsburgh.

Life in The City…

We have the relevant again Pirates (finally). We have the Penguins playing in the Stanley Cup finals right now. We also have the perennial Super Bowl contending Steelers.  I realize about half of you are done with this article by now, hang in here it will get better for you.  Pittsburgh has great culture with museums and theaters, wonderful dining options with new places opening up seemingly weekly.  All of which fit any budget and taste.  It is a great time to be living here.

On the flip side of all of this good vibe, Pittsburghers has 13 minutes of Spring. We go from -5 before the wind chill directly to 95 and humid.  That gives you, during that aforementioned 13 minutes of Spring, oodles of time to get your garden planted.  I’m sure we all have things we would change where we live.

Alcohol Laws…

We also have very strange alcohol laws. The state of Pennsylvania owns all of the liqueur stores. You want wine? You want liqueur? Head on over to the state-run store to pick that up. Remember, the store is state-run so you can imagine the hours they are open. Oh and you can’t buy beer there.

There are also bar licenses, case distributor licenses (cases of beer), and six-pack shop licenses (12 packs or less). It makes shopping for a party… interesting and exhausting.

6-Pack Shops…

The latter (the six-pack shop) is what I want to talk about today. While you cannot walk into the corner store or gas station to pick up beer in Pennsylvania, we do have the wonderful six-pack shop and the phenomenal mixed six-pack.  A six-pack shop is the way to go for those after beer diversity, out to try something new without getting stuck with a case.  (You probably have something similar in your area.)

How many times have you bought a case of beer, got two beers into it and wondered what project around your house needed done?  That way you could invite some friends over to help with project using an offer of paying in beer.  Winner got get rid of the rest of that case. How many times have you said to yourself “I would love to try that new Cherry Stout, but I remember that last case I hated after investing $52 in it”. It took you for ever to drink it.  The SO was all “Let’s just throw it out.”  What about that Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. That sounds great but do you really want 24 of them?  Probably not, even if it is fabulous.

This is the beauty of the six-pack shop. People can walk into an establishment like the one I work in and select individual bottles to try. You don’t like that Hibiscus IPA? You only had to buy and suffer through one. Much better investment. Not so sure about that Orange Blossom Cream Ale… What is a $3.50 investment in a potential new seasonal favorite?  Try it.  See if you like it.

How to Shop for a 6-Pack…

My tips for those shoppers that are new to the “make your own six-pack” world are these:

  1. Have fun. Relax. Plan on spending a good amount of time looking over the options. The shop I work in has 800 different beers to choose from. THAT is right 800!  Plan the trip to give you enough time to notice that once a year release from many craft breweries.
  2. Have a beverage while browsing. Most six-pack shops in Pittsburgh will have drafts available. Grab a draft of something hopefully you have never had before while shopping. I mean, you can’t do that in Macy’s!
  3. Ask questions. People that work in craft shops love to talk beer. Ask. Give feedback to the beerista about brands and styles that you have enjoyed in the past. It provides us with insight into other recommendations we can make to help you find something you will enjoy.  (some of us are certified by Cicerone and can make some very good suggestions)
  4. Go in with an open mind but at the same time, have a plan. Yeah, this sounds like an oxymoron but really it isn’t. Have a plan. Know what you are in the mood for as far as a style. Do you want to go on a hop trip? Feeling “dark and stouty”? Going out on the boat and need light and refreshing? Let the beerista know your thoughts up front. It helps get you into the right beer styles. At the same time, go in with an open mind in the sense that the beerista is around this stuff all the time. He/she may have some suggestions that may seem odd to you. Be open to taking a chance, which leads to my last tip…
  5. Take a chance! Have three or four favorites? Pick those old standbys and then get two you have never had. Expand your beer horizons. Discover your next old favorite.

Guess what, Pick-A-Six is not just a PA thing either.  So get out and find its mutation in your area.  Use the resources available to you to get the beers that are best for you.

Wrap UP!!!

Pittsburgh is great, PA laws are not.  Six Pack Shops are a fabulous place for a beer lover to explore and find new loves.   Each trip can be different exploration of your mood or to match your upcoming activities.

Finally, if you are in Pittsburgh stop in my shop and have a beer with me while we root for the Steelers!  (Send me a message to connect.)

So take your time, Relax, and have ABigBeer.


Please send a message or comment below.

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Chocolate Martinis Aren’t Gay, Okay?

I’m not sure most straight men will own up to it, but chocolate martinis are pretty freaking delicious. I mean it is essentially booze-filled chocolate milk. I try to get into the kitchen a few times a week and just experiment with different recipes I find online and I think I have come up with a winner on this particular cocktail.

Yeah, you’re going to look at this recipe below and go “He makes his own chocolate syrup?! Why??? Why would anyone do that?” The short answer is that you don’t have to. Go buy your chocolate syrup, leave me to my kitchen chemistry experiments, and just make the cocktail. I like to cook and tinker so, thus, there is a recipe for chocolate syrup. Judge me in your head, if you must, and leave me to my kitchen!

Have them with a cookie, cake, straight up, on the rocks, who cares!

Chocolate Martini Cocktail Recipe

1 oz Creme de Cacao Liqueur
1 oz Vodka or Vanilla Vodka
0.5 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
2.5 oz Whole Milk or Half-and-Half
Chocolate Syrup for the glass

First, prepare your martini glasses by taking chocolate syrup in a squeeze bottle and squeezing along the inside of each glass. Be decorative!

Next, place the liqueurs, vodka, and dairy into a cocktail shaker halfway filled with ice, put on the lid, and shake for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into prepared chocolate lined martini glasses. Drink up!

 

Chocolate Syrup Recipe

3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
2 teaspoons vanilla exctract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon corn syrup

In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil and whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup. Whisk until all of the solids have dissolved. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened. Strain and cool to room temperature. Pour into squeeze bottles.

Chocolate Syrup recipe derived from: Alton Brown Cocoa Syrup

Let me know in the comments if you try out the recipes.

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Buffalo Butt… Beer from the Crack? 3.5/5

Had some leftover pizza for dinner and what best to go with pizza? Beer.  In this case the American Amber/Red Ale Buffalo Butt beer from Rahr & Sons.  An American Amber/Red Ale is classified as a catch-all for beers that do not fit the pale and can’t be classified as a Dark beer.  Typically a balance between hop and malt with maybe a bit more malt in most.

From the Brewery…

Everything it's cracked up to be
Buffalo Butt

“A group of cowboys hanging out at one of the many bars in Fort Worth’s “Hell’s Half Acre” would quench their thirst while telling tales of their buffalo hunting days. When one of the cowboys said a nice, cold beer was the only thing that could make him forget the sight of a buffalo’s butt, the local brewmaster laughed and vowed to create a beer to commemorate the posterior of the majestic beast. Today, Rahr & Sons Brewing Co. continues this tradition with our own recipe for Buffalo Butt beer – a rich, amber lager that doesn’t require months on a dusty trail to be enjoyed.

  • ABV: 5%
  • IBUS: 27
  • Color/SRM: Amber
  • Hop Varieties: Warrior, Tettnanger
  • Serving Temp:  45 F

Food Pairings:  Buffalo Butt pairs well with Cajun and Mexican food. Of course we also think it’s the perfect beer to be served with a rump roast, but that’s only because we’ve never really grown up.”

The Tasting…

After the pour the head on the beer was decent and the amber color was almost a surprise.  I really wasn’t sure what the beer would be prior to pouring.  I immediately got a hit of hops from the nose that faded as time went on.  Upon first taste the hops and bitterness were present with a hint of the darker roasted malts in the background.  A pleasant accompaniment with the leftover pizza.  I sent a text with the bottle pic to one of my fellow imbibers and then went and looked up the website.  I noticed the serving temp so I decided to let it sit for a bit and warm (which I normally let a beer warm before finishing anyway).  I noticed the carbonation held in fine and the hop bitterness and smell dissipated a lot as it got warmer.  May have just been the hops wearing down.  Overall when it got a bit warmer the malt really came out more and a sweetness grew with the flavors of the malt become more prominent.  Got a text back and we discussed to essentially the same rating as I was giving it.

Summary

I picked this beer up from a U-Pick 6 at a local liquor store.  Not a huge selection in beers but still decent enough to easily get 6 that I wanted to try.  Still have a few to drink and review.   As for the “Buffalo Butt, Everything It’s Cracked Up To Be”, it was a good beer that got better with the drinking.  Mainly because it was much better after it had warmed up a little, as suggested by the brewer per the serving temp. I give it a 3.5 out of 5 and is a beer I would drink again.  Note; the beer bottle is not labeled with any beer style that I could find.  So that may throw some confusion to the consumer/purchaser.

So sit back, relax, and have ABigBeer.


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Hazzah There Be Beers… The Castle of Muskogee – Summer Shandy 3.25/5 & Shiner Bock 3.25/5

We made our annual pilgrimage to The Castle of Muskogee for the Renaissance Festival this past weekend and I was pleasantly surprised on the draft beer choices.  Not as much on the beers themselves as the number of them.  In the past, I only remember a couple of draft beer options available.  Perhaps there were more last year and I just didn’t notice.  This year I first ventured into The Cave and at the Cavern Tavern found 6 beers on draft:

The Beers:


MillerCoors Brewing; A number of beers under this corporate shell.

and

As I went through the day’s festivities I drank two of the beers.  The first was the Summer Shandy and the second the Shiner Bock. In The Cave was the only place I found the Summer Shandy and Blue Moon offerings.  They may have been in other places around the Festival, but most of the drink stations I saw only had the other 4 on draft.

From the Breweries…

leinesummer_largeLeinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

“Our own unique take on Franz Kugler’s original Munich tavern tradition. Leinenkugel’s® Summer Shandy® is our traditional weiss beer with refreshing natural lemonade flavor that makes it the perfect summer beer. As we like to say, it’s fresh-squeezed Wisconsin-brewed beer.

Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Wheat, Corn syrup (Maltose), Yeast, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hops, Honey, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors”

ABV. 4.2%
IBU. 11
AVAIL. Mar – Aug

Pairs with: BBQ chicken, fruit salads, watermelon and freshly caught, grilled fish.

shinerbockShiner Bock

“Tip back a Bock.  Brewed with rich roasted barley malt and German specialty hops, this lightly hopped American-style dark lager always goes down easy.  Originally a seasonal beer, fans have demanded it year-round since 1973.”

ABV: 4.4%
IBU: 13

The Tastings…

Summer Shandy:

I selected the Summer Shandy because I hadn’t had it before and we had just walked into The Cave and “Wolgemuf” was about to start playing.   Wolgemuf means “happy” and is a German Folk music group.  This being a German inspired beer I felt it appropriate.  The first thing you smell and taste from this beer is LEMON. Major lemon taste that smacks you right in the mouth.  Yes, it is beer and there is a malt taste to it too, but you are getting lemon.  I think this beer is perfectly advertised for being a high heat summer beer.  I would drink it again during the heat and especially with grilled fish.  No bitter to note and good carbonation throughout the drinking.

I may need to see if I can use this beer for a beer bread/cake recipe or other cooking recipes where lemon would be a good complement.

Bock:

I had a late lunch, as most of the eating establishments had long lines during the lunch hour and I didn’t want to mess with it.  Besides I always stop in at the Pauper’s Eatery (in the Harbor) for Chicken Poppers and Waffle cut fries and have never been disappointed.  What’s best to go with seasoned chicken wrapped with bacon and deep-fried, but another draft beer.  This time the Bock by Shiner.  I have had Shiner Bock several times, it being the only “Imported Beer” on draft in many beer bars in Oklahoma.  It still is that in a lot of the OK bars.  Overall the beer is a nice change from a traditional American Pale Ale/Pilsner and when those are the only choices I will go for the Bock.  Definitely a malt centric beer with very little bitter or hop flavor. No strong flavors or lasting aftertaste for this beer.  Good carbonation that lasts throughout the drink.

Summary

Summer Shandy: A beer I would repeat if it is high summer.  For its style and what it advertises itself as, I have no problem with it.  I wouldn’t get this beer unless you like lemon flavor.

Bock: Let’s just say there needs to be some wholesale cleansing of the alcohol laws in this state.  All that aside, I have enjoyed Shiner Bock more than once in the past.  Would it be my first choice in a beer, no.  Is it many times the best choice in the dive bars, yes.  As such it is a solid beer, just nothing overly special.

I give both beers a 3.25 out of 5.  They both met their expectations.

So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


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Marshall’s Black Dolphin Imperial Stout… 4/5

So this is the final review out of four beers I had while out drinking with my buddy at The Fur Shop (see review of bar here) in downtown Tulsa.  Marshall Brewing Company‘s Black Dolphin Stout is one I have had several times while at The Fur Shop and is from a local Tulsa brewery.

From the Brewery? Nope…

Marshall Black Dolphin StoutThere isn’t any information on the Black Dolphin Stout on Marshall’s website (at least not when I started this review).  I was able to find one page (here) talking about a kickoff event for it back in Feb. 2015. Nothing actually said about the beer.  It would be nice to have some info because you can still buy the beer locally, even if it was a seasonal offering (brewed at least 2 seasons).  I hope past offerings will eventually be listed under their beers section.  I have collected the following information from around the web.

Tulsa World Beer Blog post describes as:

“Black Dolphin is a Russian imperial stout that has been aged for about four months in whiskey barrels. At 9 percent alcohol by volume, it is definitely a stout beer. With a rich, roasted flavor and great malty taste, Black Dolphin is a great beer selection for this time of year.”

Untappd:

“Whiskey barrel aged Russian Imperial Stout. Named for the world most severe maximum security prison in Russia.”

ABV: 8.3-9%

Tasting…

First off served in a shaker glass, with a nutty brown head that did dissipate.  A dark/stout/black-brown in color beer with plenty of malt smell. The barrel aging added some unique flavors to the drink and really brings a nice extra taste to the beer.  There is that hint of a kick that you get from taking a shot of whiskey when you look for it. To me the flavors that come out the most are of the dark roasted malts, chocolates and vanilla.  I did not get much of a hop feel from the beer.

Although the head disappeared the carbonation stayed with the beer throughout the drinking. Giving it a good rich/creamy mouth feel at the start of the drink.  Not as rich and creamy as a regular stout throughout because the Imperial comes through with the higher ABV and dryer finish to the drink.

Summary

The higher ABV did give it a bit of a kick.  Not a beer I would have more than 2 of in a short period of time.  Luckily it was the last beer of the night at The Fur Shop.  I have had this beer more than once and like it for an Imperial Stout.  I would love to have a taste test of a beer barrel aged and not barrel aged side by side sometime. I will have to start watching the local breweries to see if this options appears on their schedule. I rated this beer a 4 out of 5.  It appeals to my tastes.

So sit back, relax and have ABigBeer.


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