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Choc Beer Co. to dive into barrel-aged game

by Nick Trougakos Modified: July 11, 2013 at 12:20 pm •  Published: July 11, 2013

The third variation in Choc Beer Co.’s seasonal OPA lineup is set to arrive in liquor stores any day now, maybe as early as today or tomorrow. The latest offering is Rye OPA.

That follows in the footsteps of two other OPA seasonals: Black OPA and Belgian OPA. A while back when Choc devised its seasonal OPA lineup, it had anticipated adding a curry-spiced OPA. Choc made a firkin of curry-spiced IPA for the 2012 IPA Day at TapWerks that was met with good reviews, and so it seemed a natural to select that as one of the spin-offs to the regular OPA.

Now Choc says it is holding off on the curry-spiced version in favor of something else: whiskey-barrel-aged OPA.

Choc President Zach Prichard confirms the barrel-aged OPA is resting right now in Heaven Hill whiskey barrels in anticipation of an October release date. I don’t think it’s hard to predict that that item will be a hot seller.

(On a side note, Choc’s 2013 release of Oak-Aged Quad is also being aged in barrels for the first time, also in Heaven Hill barrels, due for a late fall/early winter release.)

As for the current release, Rye OPA, Choc brewmaster Michael Lalli said he is “very happy” with how the beer turned out.

“The seasonal OPAs have been a fun project for me and my crew,” Lalli said. “This, however, has up to this point been the one where we deviated the most from the OPA base beer.”

Lalli provided these specs for the beer:

-Color: Deep gold

-Ingredients: Domestic pilsner, Belgian special B, golden naked oats

-Hops: Columbus, dry hops Columbus, Summit

-Yeast: American ale

-IBUs: 65

-Notes: unfiltered, dry-hopping level 1.5 pounds per barrel

“Overall the rye character, although prominent, was really smoothed out and emphasized with the choice of specialty malts, which may seem like an odd choice for a pale ale, but kept the rye character from being harsh and unruly, which can be the case style-wise,” Lalli said.

I’d have to say the seasonal OPA program has been a big hit overall — the next two in the lineup seem primed to deliver similar results.

Daily Pints

-TapWerks’ Thursday pint night set for tonight features Dead Armadillo. 6 p.m. start time.

-Tonight is Randall Night at The College Bar in Stillwater, featuring Marshall Brewing Co.’s Arrowhead Pale Ale. The beer will be filtered through a blend of whole-leaf Cascade and Citra hops as well as fresh Porter peaches. Wow. The event starts at 6 p.m.

-The latest from Prairie Artisan Ales, Tulsa Rugby Ale — an American pale ale — is due to hit the shelves tomorrow.

-The ever-dependable Freddy from the BierGarten shared some good news on new releases expected soon for Oklahoma: Anchor Fort Ross Farmhouse (22 oz.), Anderson Valley Wild Turkey Oatmeal Stout, Moylans Hopsickle Imperial IPA, Great Divide Rumble six-packs, Great Divide Wolfgang Doppelbock (22 oz.).

-Reminder that Mustang will feature casks of an IPA rescued from the storm-damaged OKCity Brewing Co-op on Friday at McNellie’s OKC and on Saturday at McNellie’s Norman.


by Nick Trougakos
Local Editor
Local Editor Nick Trougakos has been with The Oklahoman since 2002. Trougakos covered the military, federal agencies and courts before becoming an editor in 2005. Prior to joining The Oklahoman, Trougakos was a reporter for the Oklahoma City...
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