The Hop Jam was jam packed full of great beers.
In addition to all the great Oklahoma breweries. Taylor Hanson brought in some brewers from as far off as New Zealand. That is some dedication to the industry.
The Hanson brothers are all about their own beer, as well as their music, but they are also about growing the craft beer industry. A lot of the people who attended The Hop Jam weren’t necessarily craft beer fans. That is a good thing. This festival gave them the opportunity to try a lot of different types of beers.
The Hansons are growing the craft beer industry not just in Tulsa but all over the world. They are using their worldwide fan base to spread the word that Oklahoma has great beers. They are also using their travels to recruit great brewers to Oklahoma, and hopefully to have their beers sold here.
The sea of green hats that swarmed all the tents during the opening of the VIP portion of the beer tasting was proof they have gotten the word out.
“We are excited to be hosting the Hop Jam with all these amazing brewers from all over Oklahoma as well as across the United States and some international beers as well,” Isaac Hanson said.
I know a lot of people were excited. I followed Isaac around to get photos of brewers signing the Hop Jam guitar, and he was stopped every five feet for a “quick photo.” He was very gracious. That is why Hanson can pull people from all over the world to come to Tulsa.
They love our town, and I for one want to thank them for all they do for it.
When Hanson tours they also tour breweries and find out what is going on in the rest of the world. Taylor invited Stephan Michel — owner of Mahrs Bräu brewery in Bamberg, Germany — to pour his beer at this year’s Hop Jam. Michel said yes. He also has a different approach to brewing that fits right in with most of the Hanson fan base.
“I brew beer for women. Women tell you the truth. When they take one sip, they tell you if they like it or not, the guys are different they drink it down, they don’t care,” Michel said.
In other Hop Jam-related news, Iron Monk’s Milk Stout won the What the Ale voting for favorite Hop Jam beer. During every voting opportunity, it won by a wide margin. They have some loyal fans.
“I think it had a lot to do with Stillwater itself. Our community is really loyal to local stuff. The word spread that our beer was on there, and it just kind of took off,” said Jerod Millirons co-founder of Iron Monk Brewing Co.
This year’s Hop Jam was bigger and better than last year’s. Lets hope next year’s is bigger, too.