Oskar Blues takes credit for being the first craft brewery to can its own beer, way back in 2002. While canned cocktails have a considerably longer history (are you old enough to remember cans of Purple Passion in the 1980s?), Oskar Blues is jumping into that market, too, with its own distinct Colorado style.
The Longmont company just launched Moskow Mule, a canned concoction made with vodka, lime juice and ginger beer. "We've been working on it for about a year and have been trying to get the Moskow Mule dialed in," Oskar Blues spokesman Chad Melis says.
Dialing in means far more than mixing a few ingredients together; typical for Oskar Blues, the Moskow Mule starts with quality raw ingredients and includes some of the company's other housemade products. While the vodka is outsourced for the moment, Melis notes that Oskar Blues will have its own distillery up and running on its Longmont campus sometime in the first half of 2018. The ginger beer, made with fresh ginger root, comes from B. Stiff & Sons Old Fashioned Soda Company, one of the many side companies founder Dale Katechis has spun off over the years. The only other ingredients are lime juice and cane sugar.
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This is the first offering in the Spirits by Oskar Blues (or Spirits BYOB, for short) lineup, which Melis says will soon include two other products. The exact details are still under wraps, but he points out that B. Stiff & Sons makes several soda flavors, including black cherry and orange cream, that would make good bases for mixed drinks.
"We've put in a lot of effort to connect the can to Colorado," Melis adds, pointing out that canned beers and cocktails are portable, environmentally friendly and perfect for topping off the wide range of outdoor activities Coloradans enjoy.
All of the Oskar Blues dining establishments now carry the Moskow Mule, and distribution has begun throughout Colorado. While availability is still limited in Denver, check the cold case at Argonaut Liquors, 700 East Colfax Avenue.
Oskar Blues also just opened a new taproom in Boulder at 921 Pearl Street and is unveiling its Colorado Springs restaurant in October, with a downtown Denver eatery at 1624 Market Street not far behind.