The EAA’s Hops & Props beer fest is Saturday, March 7 at the AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh. But if the $75 ticket to Hops & Props is more than you care to part with, you’re not without options. Both Dublin’s Irish Pub and O’Marro’s Public House will host beer events on Saturday in Oshkosh. Let’s check them out.
Cask Ale and More at Dublin’s
We’ll start at Dublin’s where Saturday night will start early. Danny McMahon, brewmaster at Door County Brewing, will stop by Dublin’s Saturday afternoon with a cask of Door County’s Your Mom Told Me You Like Hops IPA. This is an 8% ABV beer brewed with Simcoe and Columbus hops and bolstered by a generous dry hopping in the cask.
McMahon is scheduled to arrive in Oshkosh by 2 p.m. and they expect to have the beer flowing at or before 3 p.m. They’re looking forward to it at Dublin’s. “This beer sounds really cool,” says Jon Cameron of Dublin’s. “I’m pretty excited about it.”
That’s just the start of things at the pub. Saturday night, they’ll swap out their current tap line-up for a full compliment of special tappings. Here’s a small sampling of what’s in store.
Upland Let’s Get Weird: a hybrid Belgian-style Golden Ale / Oatmeal Milk Stout aged on black currants. 6% ABV.
3 Sheeps Noble Lips Nimble Tongue Vol. 5, Imperial IPA with Ghost Chili Peppers: A potent IPA featuring Chinook hops and an alcohol-driven sweetness balanced by mild heat from ghost peppers. 11.2% ABV.
Lake Louie Mr. Mephisto: A sweet, strong and smooth Russian Imperial Stout from the Arena, WI brewery. 8% ABV.
Hinterland Bourbon Barrel Grand Cru: An amber, full-bodied Trappist-style ale featuring rich malt and dark fruit flavors. 9.5% ABV.
New Glarus Enigma: A rare opportunity to try the Wisconsin brewery’s much sought after oak-aged Sour Brown Ale on draft. 5.5% ABV (or thereabouts).
Horny Goat Chocolate Peanut-Butter Porter: The name pretty much says it all. 6.5% ABV.
They’ll have plenty of other beers joining these. You can get warmed up for it by stopping by Dublin’s Friday night when they’ll have a Southern Tier tap takeover with four beers from the New York Brewery on draft.
Ommegang Tap Takeover and Party at O’Marro’s Public House
O’Marro’s originated the Hops & Props co-party in 2006, the year after the first Hops & Props beer fest. “People were coming up to us after that first Hops & Props asking if we were going to have an after party,” says Shawn O’Marro, publican of O’Marro’s. “So, the next year we did. We’ve been doing something like it ever since.”
Only now, the party starts early and goes all night. O’Marro’s will feature a series of special tappings of beers from Brewery Ommegang, a highly-regarded New York brewery specializing in Belgian-style ales. The first two beers will be tapped at 5 p.m. and will be followed by tappings at 7 p.m., 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. It’s an excellent line-up. To see the full list, visit this link.
In addition to the special tappings, the pub will have live music by Zen Franklin beginning around 8 p.m. with guest musicians sitting in throughout the night. O’Marro doesn’t see his event as competing with Hops & Props; rather he considers it an alternative for those not going to the EAA’s beer fest.
“There are a lot of people who can’t afford to go to Hops & Props,” O’Marro says. “We’re doing something for those people. And these are beers you won’t be able to get there. You can sample those or any of our other 200 beers without having to pay $75 to get in.”
Whether you attend Hops & Props or not, as beer lovers we all benefit from the event. It invigorates our beer scene. Saturday night will be proof of that. If you can’t find a good beer in Oshkosh this weekend, you’re just not looking.
Image from the author’s collection.