What to Expect at a Jackie O’s Bottle Release

Yesterday Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery had one of their bottle releases and I finally made the trip over to Athens to check it out. Luckily I was also able to talk to head brewer Brad Clark for a few minutes about the process. First a bit about Jackie O’s. There was originally a small brewpub in Athens named O’Hooley’s that went under and was resurrected as Jackie O’s in 2005. For the past 8 years they’ve been serving the students of OU fantastic draft beers and for the past 5 they’ve been doing these bottle releases 3 to 4 times a year.

Jackie O's Bottle Release

Starting last August new cans of their beer started to appear across Ohio. Mystic Mama, Firefly, Chomolungma, and Hop Ryot (just released last week) are all delicious beers and will soon be joined by cans of Razz Wheat. However these beers only represent the tip of the iceberg of awesome that is Jackie O’s beer.

The next level of that iceberg can sometimes be found on draft around Cincinnati but is mainly only available on draft at Jackie O’s brew pub and public house (a restaurant right next to the brew pub). These bottle releases reveal a large chunk of their awesomeness with amazing sours and astounding barrel aging.

Continue reading “What to Expect at a Jackie O’s Bottle Release”

Introducing Jackie O’s to Cincinnati!

Up until today, the only (as far as I’m aware) place to get Jackie O’s in Cincinnati was at Dutch’s in Hyde Park. Jay Ashmore, the owner of Dutch’s, said that he’d been making the trip out to Athen’s, having them bring it all the way, or somewhere in between. Now that they’ve signed with Cavalier life will be getting easier for Jay and we’ll all be getting more Jackie O’s. 

 

Starting today, August 7th, cans of Firefly and Chomo-Lungma will be available across Cincinnati. However, draft will be limited and I have a feeling Dutch’s may still be the hot spot for  Jackie O’s.

First Josh has some background info on Jackie O’s, after that I’m taking a look at their Firefly Amber and Chomo-Lungma brown. First off here’s Josh:

If you don’t know about Jackie O’s out east in picturesque Athens, Ohio and you are an enjoyer of well-crafted beer, you are doing yourself a disservice. Located in and next door to the old, long-time O’Hooley’s spot on West Union Street, Brad Clark has been kicking out some high-quality, extremely unique beers since 2006 or so. Well-known to the small undercurrent of craft beer enthusiasts interested in non-run-of -the-mill sours and barrel aged beers, the small Brewpub blew up after being featured on the cover of Beer Advocate magazine a couple years ago.

If you’re interested, a full, in-depth history of Jackie O’s can be found on their website.  Their bottle releases are legendary in the craft beer scene and are one of those things you just have to do at least once if  you’re into good company and even better beer. They are typically very well attended and in the four or so I’ve been to, you encounter people from all over  the United States. In the last year or so, they had acquired property and were getting setup to package their product in can format. It looks like that time is upon us.


Beer: Firefly Amber
ABV: 4.5%
Malt: American 2-row, Maris Otter, Pilsen, White Wheat, Special Roast, Cara 8
Hops: Hallertau, Athantum, Cascade

Firefly is our lightest offering at Jackie O’s. We like to refer to it as our gateway ale. Introducing macro drinkers to this beer has proved to be effective in converting them into craft beer drinkers. Seasoned craft beer drinkers also admire the drinkability and soft but wide rage of flavors embedded within this Amber ale. A fusion of Maris Otter, Belgian Pilsen, and American 2-row provide an interesting and complex malty base for this refreshing ale. Lightly roasted malt gives Firefly a biscuit-like finish. Carefully selected hops provide an herbal and mildly citrus aroma and flavor.

Very forward malt aroma of caramel and grains. Initially only a hint of citrus/grass hops that increases as it warms.

Looks like a penny that’s been around for a bit showing off a dingy copper color. Nice third-inch off-white head that hung around for a wee bit before skimming down.

Caramel is the dominate flavor with some citrus hop action, light sweetness, and a moderate level of very balanced bitterness.

Body is medium and has a fair bit of carbonation with it.

Very nice amber ale, not amazing or top of the style by any means but still highly enjoyable and worth trying.


Beer: Chomo-Lungma
ABV: 6.5%
Malt: 2-row, Munich, Crystal 60, Chocolate, Biscuit, Belgian Aromatic, White Wheat, Cara 45
Hops: Warrior, Mt. Hood

This brown ale was brewed to commemorate the Lungevity Everest Expedition. Brian Oestrike the brother of Jackie O’s owner Art, sumitted the unforgiving mountain on May 22nd, 2007. The climb was a vehicle to raise money and awareness about lung cancer. The people of Tibet call Mt. Everest “Chomolungma” this exceptional ale carries on the spirit of the climb. 8 Malts, 2 hops, and twenty pounds of wild flower honey give this ale an exceptional character. Baked muffins, dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, rich honey and earthy subtle hops caress the palate. Booze soaked chocolate raisins round out the warm finish. Now available in cans.

Very pretty very dark brown with a nice light-tan head showing no signs of going anywhere.

Aroma definitely gives off plenty of malt and nice signs of that honey the description talks about.

Flavor is a bit of a toffee and caramel malt bomb. Some light herbal notes with a fair bit of honey that tastes a little weird, I’m guessing that’s cause it’s wildflower honey.

Body is much lighter than I expected based on color and malt profile.

Not sure I’ve ever heard a better story for naming a beer. Just being named after Mt. Everest alone is pretty sweet in my opinion then on top of that you’ve got the dude climbing Mt. Everest for a lung cancer fund raiser. In the end it’s a nice beer but not one I would quest after and it leaves me questioning why some people get so worked up over Jackie O’s brews.


Details on Jackie O’s 7th Anniversary Bottle Release (December 15)

Details have been released at Rick Armon’s “Ohio Breweries” blog concerning Jackie O’s 7th Anniversary bottle release on December 15. For those of you not in the know, Jackie O’s is a brewpub located in Athens, Ohio. Their head brewer, Brad Clark, is one of the most creative and talented brewers in the United States. He is big on barrel treatments and sours, which has drawn a large amount of attention in the national craft beer scene (he was featured on the cover of Beer Advocate Magazine). These events tend to be “beer geek” pilgrimages, with folks coming from all over the U.S. to gather, share great beers Friday and Saturday, and then buy bottles on Saturday.

This will be my third release I’ve attended and I’ve had a fantastic time at all of them. I will have more details/background next week, since I’ll be bunking with a fellow local beer blogger and will be putting together a joint post covering the event afterwords.

Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery in Athens will hold its seventh anniversary party combined with a bottle release Dec. 15. The brewpub will have an eye-popping 40 Jackie O’s beers on draft for the celebration and will have seven bottled beers available for purchase.

“We’re going to have a big weekend,” brewer Brad Clark told me during a visit to Athens this week. “We’re packaging a ton of barrel aged beers.”

The seven bottled beers will be: Bourbon Barrel Aged Dark Apparition, Bourbon Barrel Aged Brick Kiln, Rum Barrel Aged Brick Kiln, Bourbon Barrel Aged Skipping Stone, Rum Barrel Aged Oil of Aphrodite, Thorogood and Oaky Golden Pucker, a sour that was aged for 46 months.

As usual, the brewpub has several tasty and unusual beers on draft. They include Dark Apparition Nuts, a Russian imperial stout aged with pecans, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds; Dark Apparition Kopi Luwak, the imperial stout aged on the world’s most expensive coffee; and Moustache Melter, a pale ale infused with habanero peppers. (If you’re not familiar with Kopi Luwak, it’s the coffee bean gathered from the excrement of the civet, a wild cat-like animal.)

Meanwhile, the Jackie O’s production brewery is getting closer to opening. The majority of eqiupment is in place, including the 20-barrel Newlands Systems brewhouse. Owner Art Oestrike said he hopes to be producing beer there before the end of the year but wouldn’t be surprised if it’s early next year.

The production brewery will include a tap room — which features a gorgeous bar crafted by American Elm Workshops — and outdoor patio area. The plan is still to distribute draft beer at first to the Athens and Columbus areas, and then in a month or so offer cans as well. When asked when Jackie O’s might hit the Cincinnati, Cleveland another other markets, Oestrike said it’s important to serve the local community first and not overextend the brewery. The production brewery will offer three beers initially for distribution: Firefly Amber Ale, Mystic Mama and Chomolungma.

Hat tip to Rick Armon’s “Ohio Breweries”