Oskar Blues Brewery

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Oskar Blues Brewery
Location Longmont, Colorado
Opened 1997
Barrels per year 120,000 barrels in 2013
Owner(s) Dale Katechis
Website www.oskarblues.com
Active beers
Name Type
Dale's Pale Ale Pale Ale
Old Chub Scotch Ale
G'Knight Imperial Red
Ten FIDY Imperial Stout
Gubna Imperial IPA
Mama's Little Yella Pils Pilsner

Oskar Blues Brewery is a craft brewery located in Longmont, Colorado. The company began as a restaurant in Lyons in 1997 and began brewing beer in the basement in 1999. Five years later, they became one of the first to issue craft beer in cans. In 2012, they began marketing craft beer in resealable aluminum containers, and in 2013, they expanded and established another brewery in Brevard, North Carolina. They are unusual in the business because all of their production is canned.

History[edit]

Oskar Blues Restaurant was founded by Dick Dale Katechis in Lyons, Colorado in 1997.[1] Two years later, they began brewing beer in the basement of the restaurant.[1]

Some credit Oskar Blues as the creator of the "first released canned craft beer in the United States"[2]:99[3] with the release of their Dale's Pale Ale in November 2002.[4] Other writers point to an earlier beer, Chief Oshkosh Red Lager which was brewed and canned at an existing brewery, as the "first canned craft beer" in June 17, 1991, although its producer, the Mid-Coast Brewing company, closed in 1994.[5] Four other companies produced canned craft beers prior to Oskar Blues, although the canning was done by larger companies under contract.[5] Regardless of the first, by 2011 about 50 U.S. craft brewers were issuing craft beer in cans.[6] In 2009, Oskar Blues Brewery sponsored an event called "Burning Can" which brought together other craft brewers who were using cans for their beers.[2]:100

In 2012 Oskar Blues Brewery began using resealable aluminum containers for craft beer.[4] Advertising Age named them one of the hottest brands of the year in 2010; Inc. magazine put them on the list of fastest-growing companies and they were featured on the cover of Market Watch magazine.[2]:100

They are the largest craft brewery (by volume) in the U.S. to eschew glass bottles.[4] In 2011, they produced and canned 59,000 barrels of beer.[4] In 2013, they employed over 275 people and distributed to 32 states.[1] The company was ranked Colorado's second largest craft brewery and the 27th largest in the U.S. in 2012. and predicted they would brew 141,000 barrels of beer in 2013.[7][8] The Colorado facility grew to 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2) by 2013.[1]

In 2013, they opened a satellite brewery in Brevard, North Carolina,[9][10] with an initial production of 40,000 barrels which could be enlarged to 85,000.[7]

Eighty-five thousand barrels were actually brewed at Brevard in 2012 and the company plans to increase that to 120,000.[8] The Longmont factory is available for tours,[2]:101 and features the Oscar Tasty Weasel Taproom overlooking the brewery.[11] The original Oscar Blues Grill and Bar is still located in Lyons, with 45 beers on tap.[11]

Beers[edit]

Oskar Blues Brewery brews six production beers in 100 and 200 barrel batches. The original brew pub provides a variety of smaller batches for consumption at the Lyons and Longmont locations.

  • Dale's Pale Ale was Oskar Blues' first beer. It is somewhere between an American pale ale and an India Pale Ale brewed with European malts and American hops. In 2005 Dale's Pale Ale was named "Best Pale Ale by the New York Times.[12][13] Esquire magazine selected Dale's as one of the "Best Canned Beers to Drink Now" in a February 2012 article.[14] Dale's is 6.5% alcohol by volume, and features 65 International Bittering Units (IBUs).[15] Dale Katechis first brewed Dale's Pale Ale in his bathtub while a student at Auburn University.[16]
  • Old Chub is a Scotch ale brewed with seven different malts, including crystal and chocolate malts. Old Chub also gets a dash of beechwood-smoked grains imported from Bamburg, Germany. Old Chub is 8% alcohol by volume.[15] Among other medals Old Chub won a bronze medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival Scotch Ale Category. It was originally named HYA (for "here's your ass") and renamed "Old Chub" when it went into production.[2]:99
  • G'Knight is a hybrid version of strong ale, somewhere between an Imperial Red and a Double IPA. Oskar Blues makes it with six different malts and three types of hops, then dry-hopped it with Amarillo hops. It is 8.7% alcohol by volume, and has 60 International Bittering Units. G'Knight is brewed in tribute to the late Gordon Knight. In addition to opening some of Colorado’s first microbreweries, Knight was a Vietnam vet and huge promoter of craft beer. He lost his life in 2002 while fighting a wild fire outside of Lyons, Colorado.[17] In 2013, Oskar Blues Brewery had to change the name of this beer from Gordon Knight to G'Knight following actions from the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Group seven years after the beer was first produced.[17]
  • Ten FIDY Imperial Stout[11] is Oskar Blues' seasonal beer with flavors of chocolate, malt, coffee, cocoa and oats. Ten FIDY is about 10% ABV and is made with two-row malts, chocolate malts, roasted barley, flaked oats and hops with 98 IBUs.
  • Mama's Little Yella Pils[3] is a small-batch pilsner. Mama’s is made with pale malt, German specialty malts, and traditional (Saaz) and 21st century Bavarian hops. It is also fermented at cool temperatures with a German yeast and has 5.3% ABV and 35 IBUs. Mama's Little Yella Pils won a Silver Medal in the 2011 Great American Beer Festival Bohemian Style Pilsener Category.[18]
  • Gubna is an Imperial IPA and is made with 3 malts and Summit hops. Summit hops are also used for post-fermentation dry hopping with 10% ABV and 100 IBUs.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Murphy, Jen (May 6, 2013). "Dale Katechis of Oskar Blues Brewery Mixes Exercise With Beer". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Sealover, Ed (2011). Mountain Brew: A Guide to Colorado's Breweries. The History Press. pp. 97–101. ISBN 978-1-60949-177-2. 
  3. ^ a b Williams, Lee (18 December 2012). Beer Lover's Colorado. Globe Pequot. pp. 113–115. ISBN 978-0-7627-8098-3. :113
  4. ^ a b c d "Sun King and Oskar Blues Collaborate on CHAKA". Retrieved 21 January 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Acitelli, Tom (August 1, 2013). "Debunking the Misperceptions of Craft Beer in Cans". All About Beer Magazine 34 (4). 
  6. ^ The Oxford Companion to Beer. Oxford University Press. 9 September 2011. pp. 216–. ISBN 978-0-19-991210-0. 
  7. ^ a b "Oskar Blues Brews Inaugural Batch in Brevard". Brewbound.com. December 18, 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Gorski, Eric (November 18, 2013). "Eddyline Brewing snags Oskar Blues head brewer, launching big expansion in Buena Vista". The Denver Post. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  9. ^ Benn, Evan S. (September 12, 2013). "Beer of the week: Oskar Blues Deviant Dale’s IPA". Miami Herald. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  10. ^ Frank, John (February 26, 2013). "Oskar Blues’ new Brevard brewery signals future of North Carolina craft beer scene". News & Observer. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Christian DeBenedetti (2011). The Great American Ale Trail: The Craft Beer Lover's Guide to the Best Watering Holes in the Nation. Running Press. pp. 109–110. ISBN 978-0-7624-4476-2. 
  12. ^ Azimov, Eric (June 28, 2010). "Sampling American Pale Ales". New York Times. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Yawn, Andrew (July 13, 2013). "Oskar Blue and Orange: How an Auburn alumnus revolutionized the beer industry". The Auburn Plainsman. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Best Canned Beers to Drink Now". Esquire magazine via Yahoo news website. 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-02-22. 
  15. ^ a b DK Publishing (20 October 2008). The Beer Book. DK Publishing. pp. 60–. ISBN 978-0-7566-5007-0. 
  16. ^ Top American craft beer was first brewed in an Auburn bathtub: The War Eagle Reader
  17. ^ a b Nason, Adam (January 13, 2013). "Oskar Blues G'Knight: Gordon name changed after cease and desist". Beerpulse. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  18. ^ "GABF Awards 2011". Beer Drinkers Guide to Colorado. 2012. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]