Poppin’ and Hoppin’

The Man. The Legend. The Durantula.

Is it Monday? That means it’s time for another installment of Beer Review Monday! The virtuous, backpack-clad Thunder play the hated (boo!) LA Lakers in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, and OKC.NET is ready to roll. Beer at 11 a.m.? It’s in the name of journalism (and preparation for the game this evening…you don’t want to remember tonight, do you?) We’re so excited about Lakers-Thunder tonight that our eyes are bleeding. SCIENCE FACT: an off-label use for beer is to stop eye-bleeds.

He wishes it was Miller Time.

David Cronenberg jokes aside, we tried some beers today. All of the following brews are available at the McNellie’s in Midtown. Go there! It’s really cool and they have beer and food and a friendly bar/wait-staff. Also tonight is pint night and you’ll get a Coop Ale glass with your Native Amber, but Hanna the bartender says you gotta come early because they go quick. It’s also nice to see that the McNellie’s in Midtown is now offering an Oklahoma Flight with selections such as Mustang Summer, Marshall Revival Red, Redbud Pale Ale, Choc Spring IPA, and Coop F-5 IPA. It costs $9.00, which isn’t a bad price for it all either.

Now for the poppin’…


I tried this beer because of the high recommendation by my roommate Kyle, who studied abroad in Germany for a year, and as such is an enormous beer snob. I didn’t expect too much, because I”ve tried a couple of Boulevard’s standard line of beers. It turns out I had not yet been exposed to their Smokestack Series, which is their line of premium (and very, very tasty) beers that explore a higher plane of beer-dom than your average Boulevard Wheat. People that drink Boulevard Wheat may not like this Smokestack beer, because their flagship beer is sweet and not too beer-y, and purists may scoff at the fact that Boulevard does in fact make some fantastic beer. Whatever side of that divide you fall on, the Tank 7 is excellent no matter your criteria.

Also, Tank 7 is a steal at $4.50, because it has a distinctly Belgian influence, with a pleasing maltiness and a rich and complex sweetness (it reminds me of Dutch brewery Koenigshoeven’s trappist beers). It’s pleasantly cloudy, and eminently drinkable.

Boulevard Tank 7-On Draft
Origin: Kansas City, Missouri


Would I Drink It Again? Absolutely. I can’t articulate how impressed I am by this Kansas City beer. While not soaring to the same heights as New York’s craft brewery Ommegang and their incredible Abbey-style ales, Boulevard’s Tank 7 is still one you have to try.

The Smokestack Series: Devils to some, Angels to others.

Which leads to the hoppin’…

Damn, that Daniel Page is a hard act to follow.

Alright. I had some pretty strong beers today. For whatever reason I was feeling in an IPA kind of mood. So I started out with Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum, which was recommend to me by bartender Hanna. For the price it’s a pretty good deal considering it’s $4.50 for a 12 ounce bottle of 10 point beer. It has wonderful citrus notes, but a lot smoother finish than other IPAs I’ve had. The bitterness on the back end is tempered by the alcohol. You wouldn’t think this was a 10 point beer on the forward, but the aftertaste belies its true strength and what could result in bitter beer face, ends up being more of a pleasant lip-smacker, and ok, maybe you might experience a little eye-narrowing and slight twitch of the lips as it goes down. But more or less, your taste buds don’t want to implode after each sip as it really is an enjoyable IPA.

Sierra Nevada Hoptimum
Origin: Chico, California


Would you order it again?

Yes, it pains me to say that I would probably order Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum before Coop’s F5, because it has a smoother finish and I’m not saying how I know this, but from what I understand hop heads who may also be pot heads (the latter would be that portion of the demographic who are uppity enough to smoke premium California weed out of a vaporizer thus enjoying a smooth herbaceous flavor unencumbered by acrid smoke) would probably like this beer in combination. So, if you fall into that second category may I suggest a freezer-cold glass with this freezer-cold beer in it whilst you puff away on your vaporized medical-grade glaucoma medication. Also, you can learn a little about a lot just cruising the interwebz.

Left to Right: Daniel's Boulevard Tank 7, Helen's Sierra Nevada Hoptimum, and Colin's Great Divide Yeti Chocolate Oatmeal Stout.



Emboldened by the Tank 7, I decided to reconsider Boulevard’s standard line of beers. As a result, I tried their Maibock, Boss Tom’s. The Maibock is a German style that is lighter and hoppier than more traditional bocks. It tastes very similar to an Marzen beer (with less cloying sweetness), and reminds me more of an Oktoberfest style than something like a Spaten Optimator (a doppelbock).

Boulevard Boss Tom’s Bock-On
Origin: Kansas City, Missouri



Would I Drink It Again? Yeah, I’d probably drink this beer again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to find it. It’s a serviceable German-style beer, but don’t be fooled by the name. It really doesn’t strike me as a bock style much at all, and I probably wouldn’t have guessed it was a bock if I wasn’t told beforehand.


This beard can't withstand stouts of that magnitude!



I may not like the Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale, but as far as this IPA goes, it’s much more palatable a beer than what little I’ve sampled from Marshall’s other offerings. It’s not as flavorful as a stronger IPA like Coop’s F5, Choc’s Spring IPA nor is it even in the same realm as Sierra Nevada’s Hoptimum, although I noticed it’s cloudier and just as dark orange as the Hoptimum, but Atlas has no where near the same level of hoppy intensity. In fact, I think India Pale Ale shouldn’t be the label for this one. Daniel and I were discussing how this would have been better suited as an English-style Pale Ale. If your expecting a strong double-hopped flavor like a proper IPA should be, you’ll be disappointed with this. However, this would be perfect for someone who may be on the fence about extraordinarily hoppy beer in general. This beer would be like the “training wheel” of IPAs.

Marshall’s Atlas India Pale Ale
Origin: Tulsa, OK


$4.50/ 6.5%

Would you order it again?

No, not really. It’s not bad. And if someone offered it to me while I was at their house, I wouldn’t turn it down necessarily, but I like really strong IPAs. So if I’m going to spend $4.50 I’m getting the Hoptimum.


Great Divide Chocolate Oatmeal Yeti Stout tastes like a bar of dark chocolate submerged in a pint of Guinness. It’s easy to imagine it coming out of a faucet in the adults-only annex of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. If you love a rich, syrupy malt and don’t mind flavored beers, this concoction is right up your alley. Best paired with a plate of white cheese or a night of regrets. I recommend the cheese, less drama that way, unless you are lactose intolerant. Then the night of regrets is just a bonus.

Great Divide Chocolate Oatmeal Yeti Stout



Would you order it again?
Yes, on a cold, cloudy, rainy day.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *