Oskar Blues Brewery is part of the Oskar Blues Grill and Brew restaurant and
is located in Lyons, Colorado, near the city of Boulder. Oskar Blues is unique
in that it serves craft-brewed beer in cans, contrary to the normal practice of
bottling micro brews. The brewery is owned by Dale Katechis, a native of
Florence, Alabama who brought canned beer and southern fried foods together for
an interesting twist on the micro-brew pub.
Oskar Blues Brewery opened in 1997 and became a brewpub in 1999. Today it plays
host to some of the nation's best beers, live blues, and southern and cajun-inspired
foods that reflect Dale's southern roots. The brewpub welcomes Lyons and Boulder
locals, high country visitors from across the nation and globe.
Great canned beer
Great canned beer? The term has been an oxymoron for craft beer lovers used
to getting their full-flavored beers from bottles only. But in November of 2002,
Oskar Blues Brewery (in tiny Lyons, Colorado, pop.1400) changed that by
launching its “Canned Beer Apocalypse.”
The brewery began hand-canning its hoppy, assertive-but-elegant Dale’s Pale Ale
on a table-top machine that sealed just one can at a time. The move made Oskar
Blues the first US craft brewer to brew and can its own beer.
Why cans? “We thought the idea of our big, luscious pale ale in a can was
hilarious,” recalls founder Dale Katechis. “And it made our beer immensely
portable for outdoor enjoyment fun.” Katechis and his crew then discovered other
bennies of aluminum cans. “Cans keep beer incredibly fresh by fully protecting
it from light and oxygen.”
And unlike cans of old, the modern aluminum can is lined with a coating so beer
and metal never touch. Cans are also easier to recycle, free of glass breakage
issues, and less fuel-consuming to ship. (35% of the weight of a bottle of beer
is the bottle itself.)
But it’s the beers inside of the Oskar Blues cans that have wowed beer experts
and consumers. The many honors for Dale’s Pale Ale include Top American Pale Ale
from the New York Times and World’s Best Canned Beer from Details magazine.
Honors for Oskar Blues’ Old Chub Scottish Style Ale — an 8% ABV, semi-sweet dark
beer with luxurious flavors of coffee, chocolate and a kiss of smoke — include
Top Rated Scottish Ale from Beeradvocate.com.
Gordon is an imperial red ale (8.7% ABV) with an intense aroma, a rich middle of
malts and hops, and a surprisingly comfy finish for a beer of its size. Its
honors include a 2008 World Beer Cup medal, “Top 5 US Extreme Beers” from the
New York Times and “Best in Show” at the 2009 International Canned Beer
The brewery’s new Mama’s Little Yella Pils is an all-malt pilsner (5.3% ABV)
made with hearty amounts of pale malt, German specialty malts, and a blend of
“We’re in this to have fun and put some extra joy on the planet,” Katechis says.
“We love the way people’s heads spin around after they try one of our
four-dimensional canned beers. ‘That came out of a can?’ We hear it all the
time.” Get more details at www.oskarblues.com
Unlike beer cans of the past, today’s aluminum can and its lid are lined with a
water-based coating. Beer and metal never touch and there is no exchange of
Aluminum can keeps beer fresher for longer by fully eliminating the damages of
light and ingressed oxygen.
Lightweight cans enable Oskar Blues to reduce its fuel costs and carbon
footprint for shipped beer by 35%.
Highly portable, unbreakable cans enable craft beer lovers to easily enjoy great
beer in places where glass bottles are not welcome or allowed: the beach, pool,
boat, trail, river, slope, tub, golf course, backpack and others.
Cans are the most easily and frequently recycled beverage package in the world.
A recycled aluminum can generates 95% less pollution than one made from scratch
and requires 96% less energy.
One recycled can saves the energy equivalent of 6 ounces of gas or the
electricity to power a guitar amplifier for two hours.