Wild Brew Takes Flight

The largest annual fundraiser event for Bartlesville-based Sutton Avian Research Center will hatch Saturday, Aug. 1 at Central Park Hall at Expo Square. The event, known for more than a decade as Wild Brew, starts at 5 p.m., with a patron-only hour starting at 4 p.m.
The food-and-beer event will feature nearly seven dozen different beers from around the world, including those from Tulsa’s own Marshall Brewing Company.
In addition to the complete lineup of Marshall Brewing Company beers, one of Tulsa’s favorite reasons to eat and drink will feature labels like Amber Fritsch, Stella Artois, Bass, Beck’s, Hoegaarden, Leffe, Lowenbrau, Checvar, Boulevard, Peroni, Pilsner Urquell, Leinenkugel, Tecate Light, Dos Equis Lager, Sol, Bohemia, Maisel’s Weiss, Warsteiner, Konig Ludwig Weiss, Samuel Smith, Lindeman’s, Ayinger, Unibroue, Choc 1919 and Basement Batch.
Wild Brew will also feature food from a selection of Tulsa’s best restaurants, as well as live music from Shelby Eicher and Mark Bruner, and the Mid-Life Crisis Band.
Participating restaurants are Albert G’s Bar-B-Q, Bodean Seafood Restaurant, Brother’s Pizza, Caz’s Chowhouse, Charleston’s, Cosmo Cafe, Council Creek Cheese and Cuisine, Dilly Deli, El Guapo, Expo Square, Herbert’s Speciality Meats, In the Raw, Leon’s, McNellie’s Public House, Mexicali Border Cafe, Panera Bread and The Brook.
Jim Langdon, publisher of Tulsa People Magazine, is the honorary chair for the event, and Toni Garrison and Kari Culp are the event co-chairs.
Marshall Brewing Company was founded in 2008 by Eric Marshall, a Tulsa Business Journal 40 Under 40 honoree. Marshall Brewing Company is known for its Tulsa-centric labels Atlas IPA, McNellie’s Pub Ale, Sundown Wheat, Old Pavillion Pilsner and Marshall Oktoberfest.
Tickets are $50 and must be purchased in advance. Attendees must be 21 or older. To purchase tickets or become a sponsor visit www.wildbrew.org or call (918) 633-1308. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.
The Sutton Center was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit dedicated to finding cooperative conservation solutions for birds and the natural world through science and education. All Wild Brew proceeds help to support conservation, education and research on endangered, rare and neglected species of birds and their habitats.

OK Homebrewers Cream of Crop
When more than 1,200 home brewers from across the nation attended the 31st annual American Homebrewers Association National Homebrewers Conference in Oakland, Calif., late last month, three Oklahoma brewers took top marks.
Shawn Scott of McAlester won third place out of 172 entrants with his Bohemian Pilsner in the Pilsner category; Peter Polczynski of Tulsa took third place out of 164 competitors with his Weizen/Weissbier in the German Wheat and Rye Beer category; and Jeffrey Swearengin of Tulsa took first out of 75 entries with his Semi-sweet Mead in the Traditional Mead category.
Each of the Oklahoma winners is a member of FOAM, or Fellowship of Oklahoma Ale Makers.
An estimated 750,000 U.S. beer lovers make their own home brew, according to the AHA. About 1,300 homebrewers, representing all 50 states, submitted 5,166 entries in the first round, which was judged in 10 regional sites across the U.S. and Canada.
The final round, held at the conference, boasted 760 entries from 422 brewers.
A total of 74,211 beers have been evaluated in the 31 years of the NHC. The competition has grown from 37 entries in 1979 to become the largest beer competition, amateur or professional, in the world.

Smashburger to Sear T-Town
Smashburger, the Denver-based fast-casual restaurant concept that’s home to the ball-shaped beef patty smashed to the grill to sear in flavor, will land in Tulsa later this week.
The Tulsa venture, launched and funded with $15 million by private equity and concept development firm Consumer Capital Partners, will open July 29 at 7329 Olympia Ave. in the Tulsa Hills Shopping Center, near 71st Street and US 75. A second Tulsa store is scheduled to open this fall.
Smashburger offers one-third and half-pound burgers, all served on butter-toasted buns and topped with a selection of real cheeses, produce and other toppings, including haystack onions, guacamole or even fried egg.
The Smashburger concept offers Smashchicken sandwiches, Smashdogs and Smashsalads alongside its trademark burgers, as well as sides like veggie frites and rosemary and garlic-seasoned Smashfries.
A menu available at the Tulsa location customized to Oklahoma tastes will include the OK Smashburger or OK Smashchicken, made with fried pickles, pepper jack cheese, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato and ranch dressing on an egg bun; fried pickles on the Smashside menu; and Tulsa’s local brew from Marshall Brewing Company.
Smashburger comes to Tulsa as a joint venture of area real estate developers and a multi-unit franchise operator under the umbrella Smashburger WTO Acquisition LLC. Locations in Wichita and Oklahoma City are planned in addition to the Tulsa location in the works.
Consumer Capital Partners, along with other joint ventures and franchise development deals, are part of Smashburger’s national expansion plan to open 500 restaurants across the country, with 30-60 of those scheduled for 2009 and 200-plus over the next five years.

Choc, Funnel Brew Competitors Under Table
Krebs-based Choc Beer Company and Oklahoma City-based Funnel Design Group took home two top prizes at the 2008 World Beer Championships Packaging Competition earlier this month.
The World Beer Championships, based in Chicago, is America’s oldest international beer competition. The contest is open to all commercially produced beers the world over. Choc Beer’s Story Line series were awarded “Best Case Series,” as well as “Best Label Series.” Judges based their selections on creativity, graphic design, form, style and functional innovation. More than 200 companies entered the contest.
The Story Line series includes six beers based on the story of Choc Beer founder Pietro Piegari, later known as Pete Prichard and grandfather of Joe Prichard, who today heads up the Choc operation.
“We developed the Story Line series to tell my grandfather’s story of immigration and American opportunity, and to pay homage to Choc’s heritage,” Prichard said.
Piegari traveled with his family to the coal mining community of Krebs in 1903 where, 16 years later, he began to brew his own beer under the Choc banner. Soon after, Piegary opened Pete’s Place, which is still in business today.
Oklahoma City-based branding firm Funnel Design Group helped to develop the Story Line series and is behind the packaging design.

Grills Gone Wild II
Rib Crib BBQ & Grill, a Tulsa-based barbecue restaurant chain, kicked off a promotion last week to entice fans of the grill marks.
The Grills Gone Wild: Volume 2 event, highlighting Rib Crib’s grilled menu items like the CribFire Burger, the Classic and Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburgers and the Upside-Down Chili Cheeseburger, runs through August restaurants throughout Oklahoma and in surrounding states.
During the promotion, Rib Crib patrons can sign up to participate in the 2009 Grate Grill Giveaway. Registration is available online at RibCrib.com or at select restaurants. At stake is a chance to win one of 25 Hasty Bake charcoal grills, valued at more than $1,000 each.
“Last year’s ‘Grate Grill Giveaway’ was a huge success, so we decided to bring it back for another run,” said Bret Chandler, Rib Crib founder and president.
The featured menu items start at $5.99 and include up to two side items.
The 44-unit barbecue chain offers a menu designed to be family-friendly, featuring hickory-smoked meats served in sandwiches, dinners, salads and combination platters. Each restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner, dining in, carry out our catering.

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