Choc Brewery - Krebs, Oklahoma
I have heard quite a lot of chatter from my brethren living north of the Red River of superior beer being produced by the Choc Brewery in Krebs, Oklahoma. Krebs? Sounds like a tiny critter that lives in your underbritches. So we make the trip to this mythical place hidden in a land known for watery, crappy beer.
The experience was surrealistic and strange, but in some ways was appropriate when you take into consideration where the brewery is located. The brewery is attached to and part of a locally famous restaurant called Pete's Place. As that the only way to get beer from the brewery on site is to eat at the restaurant we ended up getting a lot more than we came for. A separate review for the restaurant is below.
The beer was originally brewed by an Italian immigrant named Pete Prichard (changed from Pietro Piegari years before) and was said to be from a local Indian recipe. I was not aware that native American culture included the making of beer... color me enlightened. The 18th amendement outlawed (but did not stop) brewing at Pete's until the Prichard family started again in 1995 when Oklahoma liquor laws finally relaxed enough to make brewing worth their while.
We entered the brewery through the front door of the restaurant. When asked where the brewery was a kindly served pointed me to a door and said "through there". Sure enough, it was the entry to the brewery and it took several seconds after entering for us to realize that we were the only ones there. Just a couple of strangers wondering uncontested through their clean little brewery. Upon exiting we asked another harried server where we could go to sample the brews. Her furrowed eyebrows indicated that this was not a common question. "You can order it with dinner" she suggested. So, we were seated for dinner and still wish even now that we had not stayed.
Waving Wheat Witbier - 5.3% ABV
The Waving Wheat is an unfiltered (give it a swirl to stir up the goodies), decent, harmless summertime brew. Lightly colored with the taste of coriander, wheat and citrus it goes down smoothly and quickly. Even though it smells yeasty you will not really taste much. Not bad, not great.
Miners Mishap Black Lager - 5.3% ABV
Pietro Piegari Amber Ale - 5% ABV
Pietro Piegari (Pete) is an amber ale named for the original founder of Choc in the early part of the 20th century. The aromais quite strong with the malts, citrus and lightly hops leading you to believe that this will be a monster brew. It is really quite tame. Slightly sweet like caramel with the citrus notes following along. The hops at the finish are just enough to balance us out. Not bad.
Super Saison - 7% ABV
We found that if you were to order a beer at Pete's Place as a draught beer you will get typical Oklahoma 3.2% swill, so stay with the bottles, and get them from here if possible as the the trip to the brewery is really not worth your while. All in all the beers are not bad and a few were quite good but the flavors, while good, are quite muted, probably due to the relatively unsophisticated beer market where they are located. We hope that the brewers continue on down the path that they have started on and not fall into the 'that's good enough' trap.
120 Southwest 8th
Krebs, OK 74554