Oskar Blues Comes to Town

10934081_1037102432984874_7968853305114062187_nThe Quad Cities Area recently welcomed Oskar Blues products, newly distributed to the Illinois side of town. As for the Iowa side, their beers are available in some locations in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids now, so soon they should slowly trickle down our way.

The first two beers to drop in the QCA were at an event at Rock Island Brewing Co. (RIBCO) on Friday, January 16th. That evening

RIBCO tapped a keg of Ten Fidy – a seasonal Imperial Stout and Deviant Dale’s IPA. Over the weekend, O’Keefe’s tapped those two brews as well as Mama’s Yellow Pils, the brewery’s small batch German-style pilsner, and Old Chub, a Scottish Ale.

It is these four brews as well as the G’Knight Imperial Red Ale and Dale’s Pale Ale that were featured in the area’s first Oskar Blues Tap Takeover, held at Radicle Effect Brewerks on Tuesday, January 20th. There were also several pallets of various cans delivered to the Illinois Hy-Vees, some Nitro, some not, all of which sold out quickly.

Oskar Blues was started at a brewpub in Lyons, Colorado in 1997, with the first batch of beer brewed in the basement in 1999. Oskar Blues released its flagship ale, Dale’s Pale Ale, in cans for the first time in November of 2002 and is currently the largest canning craft brewery in the country. In 2008, a production facility with a new canning line was opened up in Longmont, Colorado, that now also houses a brewpub. In 2013, Oskar Blues opened their second production facility in Brevard, North Carolina, undoubtedly to continue expanding their distribution range and increasing their capacity by 120,000 barrels a year.

Out of the six beers listed, the G’Knight Imperial Red Ale was my favorite. I am a sucker for a red ale, especially one that is dry-hopped with Amarillo hops; brewed with 6 kinds of malt, 3 kinds of hops the beer comes in at 8.7% ABV and 60 IBU, touting a 2012 World Beer Cup Gold Medal. An amazing aroma. I like the story behind it too. The name G’Knight comes from Gordon Knight, a Colorado brewer who lost his life to fighting a wildfire in Lyons, Colorado. Oskar Blues brewed this as a tribute to him and has had nothing but outstanding reviews from coast to coast.

My second favorite, you may be wondering? Definitely the Ten Fidy the 10% ABV, 98 IBU, Imperial Stout that pours a gorgeous, thick, chocolate covered head atop a dark, black and roasty stout. A beautiful beer though can be dangerous with how smooth it is, you get no alcohol burn from it whatsoever.

As for the rest, you should get out and try some. I know for a fact that right now (2.5.15 at 4:30pm) Radicle Effect Brewerks has Dale’s Pale Ale on tap and RIBCO has Oskar Blues Pinner Throwback IPA on tap. This is the brewery’s newest addition to their year-round line-up. I haven’t had a chance to try it but I may swing down this evening and change that. Oskar Blues makes a great product and is an environmentally sound, community focused and supported brewing operation; I welcome them to the QCA and look forward to enjoying many of their brews.

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