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BEER O’ THE WEEK

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By J.T. Wampler

Wamp’s Wisdom

PHOTO: JT WAMPLER

Miner Mishap Black Lager from Choc Beer Co. in Krebs, Okla., pours with a thin, tan head that recedes leaving a coating of lace that slides down the glass.

Color is black with dark cherry on the back-lit edges. Aroma has hints of brown sugar and roasted malts. Body is substantial with ample carbonation. Taste is of roasted malts with hints of chocolate. It finishes clean with chocolate and coffee notes.

This is an easy to drink Oklahoma version of a traditional German schwarzbier. Miner Mishap would be a good beer to ease a non-craft beer drinker in to the realm of dark beers.

Pair with pork chops and brown gravy.

Rico’s Reaction

The first dark brew for Beer O’ The Week is definitely an easy drink and a welcome change of pace with a 5.3 percent alcohol by volume content.

The bottle-advertised “caramel & chocolate malts” turned out to be a welcome addition rather than a spoiler. Nothing ruins a beer for me faster than the inclusion of a sickly sweet taste a la Breckenridge’s Vanilla Porter or Dundee’s Honey Brown Lager. Luckily, Miner Mishap manages to evoke chocolate and caramel flavors without turning the beer into a bottle of syrup. If you want to add Torani flavoring to coffee, that’s fine, but keep that goo out of my beer.

Miner Mishap is one of Choc’s “story beers.” My bottle had Chapter 2 of the tale printed on the label with this opening sentence: “Three years after his arrival, at the tender age of 11, Pietro signed on to work in the coal mines, changing his name officially to ‘Pete Prichard.’” It ends with “To read more of Pete’s story, visit www.chocbeer.com.”

Logging on to chocbeer.com, one can read … Chapter 2. WHERE THE HELL IS CHAPTER 1? Or Chapter 3 or 4?

Fortunately, the beer is absolutely delicious, and the real story is more interesting. Choc’s version is an adaptation from one of their homebrewing friend’s recipes, award-winner and certified beer judge William Scott.

“It seemed only fitting that since we started out as a homebrewery, we would try and recreate one of Scotty’s homebrews (which are typically 5 or 10 gallon batched) here in our 15 barrel (465 gallon) brewhouse.

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