Taller than a typical pint glass, heavier than a plate of nachos, able to destroy sobriety in a single serving! Look, on the bar! It’s a tube of tennis balls! It’s a cylinder of Pringles! No, it’s the new 19.2 ounce cans from Oskar Blues! Yes, the extra-tallboy cans of Dale’s Pale Ale, strange visitors from the Tasty Weasel Tap Room who came to Blake Street Tavern last Thursday after GABF with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal beers. 19.2 ounce cans, which can change the course of the craft beer industry, strain beer geeks’ biceps with its mighty size, and who, disguised as two Dale’s Pale Ales stacked atop each other, not-so-mild-mannered flagship beer for a great American brewery, fights a never ending battle for fun, revelry, and the Colorado way.
The Thursday night session of Great American Beer Festival had concluded, and because I had eaten a hearty meal prior, kept myself hydrated, and adequately paced myself, I wasn’t completely trashed by the time I walked out the convention center doors. I needed a little more beer in me so I caught a ride to Blake Street Tavern (I rode with a friend but others opted for the Oskar Blues golf carts that shuttled guests from the convention center) for Oskar Blues’ It’s All About the Package launch and GABF after party.
I descended into the basement, the walls and my ears pulsating from the groovy tunes of Halden Wofford & The Hi*Beams and the crowd energy that had concentrated in that subterranean space. Negotiating the sea of beer geeks, I bellied-up to a table of people I recognized and my eyes fell upon the majesty of the new “royal pint” cans; my God, is that a beer can or one of those canisters drive-up bankers send through pneumatic tubes?
Oskar Blues was the first American craft brewery to can their beer and now they’re the first in America to sell cans of such enormous size. The royal pints of Dale’s Pale Ale will be available as single servings in the bomber bottle section of your local liquor store. Oskar Blues never before had the opportunity to sell bomber bottles, because they’re all cans all the time but these new aluminum monsters offer essentially the same experience. As if their hugeness wasn’t easy enough to spot, the cans also feature ten tally marks representing the brewery’s tenth anniversary.
There was more to the party than just giant Dale’s, though; the bar was also serving The Deuce, the second Oskar Blues/Sun King collaboration after Chaka. Both The Deuce and Chaka are canned in resealable, artillery shell-shaped cans but the beers inside couldn’t be more different: Chaka is a Belgian-style ale while The Deuce is a “hopped up brown ale” although the “hopped up” designation is much more obvious than that of “brown ale”; The Deuce is all piney, minty hops and hardly a touch of the sweet, chocolate-y, caramel-y, nutty flavors often associated with browns. It might as well be called a “Brown IPA.” It’s a genre defying beer and hop-heads will love it.
If you think you can handle the Superman of craft beer cans, check your neighborhood liquor store; 19.2 ounces of Oskar Blues awesomeness should be there soon.