Oskar Blues Brewery Trip – January 2014

Brand manager Kristin Kaschak and sales reps Guy Potts, Aaron Kahn, Seth Osten and Sean O’Donnell all had the opportunity to visit Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado this month. Here’s a recap of their week from Kristin, Guy and Aaron. Sounds like they had a blast!

 

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Oskar Blues really does it right when it comes to entertaining. Besides having a beautiful production brewery (complete with the biggest canning line I’ve seen), they also had other places that all tied into what Oskar Blues is all about.

The first day we got to their brewery and had an unwind session at their tasting room before we headed to OB HMLS (Homemade Liquids and Solids) for some food and beer. There we sampled some of their cuisine as well as OB and other craft beers. HMLS is set up to be the bar you want to go to in Longmont if you want a great beer selection and a freshly prepared meal. (I had a pork chop that had probably taken a few steps a day or two ago. Yum.) GuyPotts

Next morning it was out of the hotel early and off to the brewery. Spent the morning with the head brewer Tim. It was great tour, learning about their brewing operations and the little things that make it different than all the other breweries. They are crazy about their raw ingredients, more so than any other company I’ve meet. We did analysis on the malts and compared malting companies, smelt new varieties of hops and discussed more efficient mashing techniques.

One of the highlights of the production side was the canning line, it was mind blowing the machine they use. First time I’ve ever seen a canning line of that magnitude in a craft brewery. Oh, and highlight of the trip for me was drinking a Dales straight off the canning line, before it even had a lid attached!!! – Aaron Kahn

 

The bottom of the Dales cans coming off the production line included a little detail that was ridiculously entertaining and just another tiny thing that made our stay feel so special – Canned on 1/10/2014 with a special date stamp just for our crew!

In the picture below, Tim is going over the raw materials. He told us about the impending switch from Crisp to Simpson malts and we tried each back to back to see the difference. Tim seemed really excited to see what the switch will bring to the beer. He said he expects more roundness in all products, a stickier body in Gubna, and better consistency overall in everything that comes out once the switch is complete. – Kristin Kaschak

After we saw how an OB beer is born we had a small barrel tasting with some of their aged brews. We tried things like a rum barrel aged Ten Fidy, to a port barrel aged Mama’s. All were very good and left us wanting more.
After the tour, we headed to ChuBurger for lunch. A few beers and delicious burgers later and we were on our way to Hops And Heifers Farm. During our farm visit we had the chance to take 7 people in a 4 passenger ATV/buggie to their hop farm. The ride was awesome and maybe a little death defying, but a great time, especially when we went down a hill so steep Farmer Jeff said “everybody lean back” before we tackled it! – Guy Potts

We finished up at the farm and heading straight up to Lyons, CO to see the original brewery and hang with some good ol’ Lyons, CO locals at their brewpub. I was glad to get up there, since I used to spend a lot of time in Lyons when I lived in CO, and was really sad to hear about all the flooding. The town looks okay though, seems to be building back nicely, or at least what I can see.

After Lyons, it was back to Longmont to check out yet another Oskar Blues operation, their custom bike shop, tequila bar and tacoria. Unreal, Dale is a genius Like all of their other operations, the place was packed! We got a VIP room table and hung out with the whole crew from earlier that day, including Dale bringing us top shelf tequila shots.
-Aaron Kahn

I can’t say enough about Dale. He seems to never stop, yet still so passionate about what he’s doing. There is attention to every detail in all of the OB endeavors. That being said, on brewery trips, you don’t often have real face time with the owners. Maybe a shake of the hand of a wave and hello…not a dinner finished by a round of tequila shots. His taking time of his CLEARLY busy schedule was so appreciated and I think played a big part in this trip being such a special one. – Kristin Kaschak

A big thank you to everyone at Oskar Blues for showing our team such a great time! They couldn’t say enough about your hospitality, kindness and most of all… great beer!

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