Wednesday, November 4, 2009

003.Choc 'Last Laugh' American White Ale

Choc Beer Company
Produced in Krebs, Oklahoma
Claim: "The Tradition Continues"
$7.99, before taxes, for six 12-ounces bottles
5% alcohol by volume (4.9 b
Ingredients: malted barley, malted and unmalted red wheat, American Cascade and Centennial hops, Indian coriander.

And water, presumably.

"Malt beverage brewed with coriander seed," reads the fine print. The style of American White is a curious one. It's essentially an Americanized version of the classic Belgian white style, of which Hoegaarden and, later, Austin-based Celis White are two hallmarks (both, by the way, the product of Pierre Celis; Celis White is now part of the Michigan Brewing Company arsenal).

I don't normally buy beer at Reasor's but steak would soon get cooking, as would the Yanks and Phils, and the cupboard was bare.

Note the 5 percent alcohol by volume. That's above the legal limit (3.2) that Oklahoma grocers are allowed to sell. I can't imagine that Choc is brewing both a liquor shop and grocery version of its ales. But I'll check.

"Last Laugh" is a somewhat pale version of the style. Admittedly, the bar was set high by Hoegaarden. The Choc beer has little of the bouquet of its model, and only a hint of the intense flavor. An unfiltered wheat beer, Belgian white has a somewhat tart acidity mellowed by fruity esters. It's head tends toward pure white and the body is an opaque yellow. Choc's forms little head and remains, for the most part, clear.

As for the alcohol, I drank about two and half bottles and was well enough within my capacities to realize that the Yankees had an answer for just about everything the Phillies threw at them. Namely Johnny Damon.

The "tradition continues" line is a storyline developed by Choc to sell its rather interesting back story. Pietro Piegari – later to become Pete Prichard – went to jail twice in the 1930s for selling ale out of his Krebs restaurant, Pete's Place. While the food has edged toward pedestrian over the years, the brewery at Krebs – in the hands of brewmaster Michael Lalli – has grown in stature and recognition. It's Signature Dubbel, a Belgian Abbey ale, won gold at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival.


  1. Johnny Damon is a turncoat bastard. My hope was that when he sold out and cut his hair, he'd lost the source of all his power. Alas.

  2. That said, the bastard child of George Steinbrenner has another ring — this one NOT with the good men in Red.