Oskar Blues Brewing Company has been turning heads since 1998 when Dale Katechis began brewing beer is the basement of his Lyons, Colo. restaurant. The brewery really began as a side-project to provide fresh beer to hos restaurant, but soon Katechis decided to convert his restaurant to a brewpub. His brews were never timid; they always grabbed the drinker by the throat and let them know they were drinking a brew made with passion. A year after establishing the brewery, Katechis’ little brewery captured a bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival for “The Reverend Sandi’s Sinful Stout.” Demand for the brews grew and a few years later in 2002, Oskar Blues shook up the craft beer world again by doing the unthinkable and canning their beers.
Over the next 10 years, the craft brew movement grew and Oskar Blues expanded with it. Today the company operates a brewery in Longmont, Colo. and another in North Carolina. In 2012 they produced 95,000 barrels of brew, that’s a far cry from the 760 they rolled out in 2002.
This year, the brewery is making a few changes to its lineup. Gubna, a malty, hopped-up Imperial Rye IPA is about to get a formula change. Until now the brew that accomplished it’s outrageous 100 IBUs of bitterness and 10% ABV through the use of three types of malt and just one hop; Summit. This year Cascade hops are being added to the already challenging brew. The brew is also being taken from a year-round offering to a seasonal spring offering to be available in March, April, and May.
Gubna is being moved to seasonal status because the brewery is planning the debut of a new seasonal brew in July. While the brewery is not saying what the brew will be, it has been introducing new cans to the market including a modern version of the old cone top can made of aluminum that has a twist-off aluminum top. The last beer packaged in that can was The Deuce an Imperial Brown that was available during the fall of 2012.
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- The first Oskar Blues Hops and Heifers Burger Night at Dutch’s (2/7; 6:00 PM) (queencitydrinks.com)