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Going dark


Two local breweries unveil new doppelbock and stout beers for summer.

Greg Horton July 9th, 2014

Local brewers are expanding production, purchasing equipment and facilities and releasing new brews as Oklahoma’s craft beer industry continues to expand. Oklahoma City-based Black Mesa Brewing Company, fresh off its gold medal at the World Beer Festival, released a new beer, Alexander Supertramp Dopplebock, in June.

Traditional dopplebocks are made with lager yeast, but Alexander Supertramp is made in a different style to highlight the theme behind the name. Brad Stumph, co-founder and co-owner, said the name is an homage to Christopher McCandless, the American hiker memorialized in Jon Krakauer’s 1996 best-selling nonfiction book Into the Wild. McCandless adopts the name as a pseudonym.

“We used ale yeast in the Alexander Supertramp because we wanted to wander from the original style as a tribute to McCandless’ psuedonym in the story,” Stumph said. “McCandless regularly uses the Tolkien quote, ‘Not all who wander are lost,’ a sentiment we included on our logo, so this is our tribute.”

Alexander Supertramp is what Stumph calls “a dark beer for summer.” The ale yeast adds fruit notes and brightens the beer’s aromatics. Like the other Black Mesa beers, the dopplebock has excellent balance. It’s only available in .750s and is already widely available in the metro, including Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway Ave.; Spirit Shop, 1117 Garver St., in Norman; and Edmond Wine Shop, 1520 S. Boulevard.

Black Mesa also sells three other beers: Endless Skyway Bitter, Double ESB and Blonde.

Roughtail Brewing Company in Midwest City has had tremendous success in the past year, as well, most notably with its four year-round beers: Polar Night, Roughtail IPA, Red Republic and 12th Round. Roughtail released Rock Tsar, an Imperial Russian Stout, earlier this year, but Blaine Stansel, co-owner along with Tony Tielli, said the company is focused on catching up with current demand.

“We’ve ordered enough equipment that we should be able to double our production beginning in early August,” Stansel said. “The new equipment will also allow us to do more specialty releases.”

Roughtail has faced increased demand since releasing beer in cans in December of last year, and part of its equipment has been dedicated to helping Tulsa-based Dead Armadillo brew locally. New equipment will include two 30-barrel tanks (a barrel is roughly equal to 31 gallons of beer), and the larger equipment will be used to produce the year-round brews, freeing up the smaller tanks to focus on seasonal and limited-release beers.

Stansel said Roughtail focuses on West Coast-style beers, which are hoppy, flavorful and clean.

“Really, we brew what we like to drink,” he said.

Roughtail is available in many locations in Oklahoma City, including all locations of The Garage, where the beer is on tap. The Garage in midtown is located at 1117 N. Robinson Ave.

Dead Armadillo, owned by Tony Peck and brewmaster Mason Beecroft, is in the process of purchasing a 7,000-square-foot permanent facility at 1004 E. Fourth St. in Tulsa. Currently, Dead Armadillo has three beers on the market, the flagship of which is its Amber Ale. It’s an American-style ale with fairly low alcohol (6.3 percent ABV) and solid balance.

Peck said Dead Armadillo has purchased some equipment from Roughtail, helping the latter make room for their new equipment this summer.

“We’ve also ordered a system similar to theirs, so we’ll be upping production in the new facility this year,” Peck said.

Dead Armadillo is widely available at shops around the metro, including Spirit Shop; Grand Cru Wine & Spirits, 9275 N. May Ave.; and Sean’s Wine & Spirits, 6969 Northwest Expressway.

 
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