If you’re interested in attending the fifth annual ZooBrew beer tasting next week, it’s not too late to scoop up tickets — but you’ll need to act fast.
Roughly 100 tickets remain available as of today for next Friday’s event at the Oklahoma City Zoo. (Tickets for PreBrew, which precedes the main event, are sold out.)
Aside from getting to visit with local brewers and sampling dozens of beers and food, you’ll also have the chance to try a special offering made exclusively for ZooBrew by Roughtail Brewing: Bamboo IPA.
Roughtail brewmaster Tony Tielli dreamed up the Bamboo IPA recipe as a way to help support ZooFriends.
“We were trying to come up with something we could use in the beer that would tie in to the zoo animals, so our first thought was to go to some of the foods that they eat,” Tielli said. “We talked about some different fruits and vegetables, but nothing really jumped out at me.
“When we got to the elephants eating bamboo, I saw this really clear connection between the Asian elephants (from India) that live in the zoo and a historic India Pale Ale theme. Originally my concept was to make a classic British style IPA and age it on bamboo wood. I knew that it wouldn’t get much flavor from the wood alone, so I had the thought to use the leaves also.
“After some Internet searching, I found a website that specialized in bamboo leaf tea, which I thought would be perfect to use in brewing. I contacted the owner of the site and found out that she also brews beer and uses the bamboo leaves in the beer. Being an animal lover, she was excited to hear about the collaboration with the ZooFriends and she volunteered to send me several pounds of dried leaves to use in the brewing.
“After reading about the flavor profile of the bamboo leaves when used as a tea, I decided to scrap the traditional IPA approach and use New Zealand hops and an American IPA approach. I also decided to skip the wood, as the sheer amount of bamboo leaves in the beer should contribute a ton of flavor and aroma.”
Tielli said he used “a ton” of bamboo in the beer, hoping to really have it show through as the star of the brew. He said the Nelson Sauvin hops should provide nice grape and bright citrus notes to play off the earthiness of the bamboo leaves.
Roughtail’s plan to is to produce Bamboo IPA as a special festival-only release this year, and then continue to collaborate with ZooFriends next year and produce a full-scale bottle release at that time.
If you’d really like to try Bamboo IPA and can’t make ZooBrew, you’re not out of luck. A small amount of the beer will be offered up this Thursday night during a special Roughtail pint night at TapWerks, with a portion of proceeds going to benefit ZooFriends.
So, two chances to try the beer, two chances to help support programs at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Can’t go wrong there. For more information about ZooBrew, or to buy tickets, click here to visit the ZooFriends website.