Who doesn’t love a good play on words?
Oskar Blues Brewery in Longmont, Colorado brews a canned Imperial Stout named Ten FIDY. At first read, the name comes from the alcohol content of this boozer – 10.5% abv, or ten fifty. But, there’s a hidden meaning in the name that gets at the brewery’s deeper ethos, attitude, and accomplishments.
Back in 2002, Oskar Blues was founded as a small brewpub in tiny Colorado town of Lyons.
Today, the brewery is known far beyond the town’s borders, however, because they’ve been credited with starting the “craft-beer-in-a-can” trend.
It may be hard to believe because canned craft beer is everywhere these days, but just over a decade ago, cans had a really bad rep. Not only were they thought to give beers a metallic taste, they were also seen as cheap, or not premium enough for the craft beer consumer.
Back then, glass was the only way to go.
Glass bottles weren’t quite cutting it for Dave Katechis, Oskar Blues’ founder, however. He found them to be a cramp on his outdoor lifestyle of biking, hiking, and camping. Cans were much lighter and easier to travel with, but none of the beers he wanted to drink were available in this packaging.
So, Dale took it upon himself and began canning the beers that he was producing at his Colorado brewpub – in effect, starting the canned craft beer movement.
Today, canning has become so popular most breweries are adding cans to their packaging portfolio, mobile canning operations have blown up in popularity, and there are breweries that can almost-exclusively (like Beavertown in London and Oskar Blues in Colorado).
Additionally, canning’s reputation has significantly improved. Cans have been touted for keeping beer fresher for a longer period of time because they prevent all light and oxygen exposure, two factors which significantly shorten a beer’s shelf life. Plus, they’re super portable and easily recyclable.
So what’s the other meaning behind the name Ten FIDY?
“Fuck the Industry. Do it Yourself.” Because Oskar Blues did just that. And the industry is forever changed because of it.
One other point worth noting – most canned beers are portable, sessionable styles made for a day out at the beach, park, or on the trail. Ten FIDY is not one of those beers. At 10.5% abv, this monster of a stout is dark, roasty, and boozy. So don’t take this one out on the trail with you unless you’re sharing!
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