Ahead of American Craft Brew Week, which is celebrated May 15-21, local purveyors have tapped into which of the distinctive brews are most popular among customers.

Jacob Martin, manager at Mary’s Liquor, said craft beer is broken up into different categories, which include porters, IPAs – India Pale Ales – blonde ales, stouts, Belgium-style ales, lagers, wheat ales, and sours.

Martin said craft beers, which are typically made in smaller breweries, offer greater options for flavor profiles, whereas regular beer have more general appeal.

“[Being a craft beer] doesn’t really mean it’s going to be more intense or more alcoholic. It’s like the difference between buying a bottle of soda or making your own at the fountain,” said Martin.

Martin said sours have been growing a lot in popularity.

“I’ve seen a lot served at Kroner [& Baer],” said Martin.

Martin said Prairie Artisan Ales is the “premiere” sour brand.

“Their Rainbow Sherbet [sour ale] tastes like an ambiguous SweeTart,” said Martin.

Thomas McKinney, Rum Runners store owner, said sours are a big thing right now. McKinney said Prairie Artisan Ales is popular in the state, as it is an Oklahoma City-based brand.

Jordyn Lehnick, Rum Runners store manager, said Stonecloud Brewing Company, based in Stillwater, produces fruit-forward and “hazy” brews. McKinney explained “hazy” describes beers that are typically unfiltered with sediment still at the bottom.

“There’s still yeast in the beer, but it’s not still conditioning it,” said McKinney.

Instead, the yeast imparts a unique flavor to the beverage. McKinney recommends sours to anyone who likes the taste of kombucha. As for a fruited ale, he thinks “almost anyone can get behind it.”

“Some of these don’t even drink like beer,” he said.

Lehnick said another pick from Prairie, “Tiny Esses,” tastes like a bag of Skittles. According to her, Prairie used to make the beer with actual Skittles but stopped because little pieces of candy were ending up in the final product.

“So they made their own concentrate and it’s probably one of the best I’ve had,” said Lehnick.

At The Y carries several craft beer brands, including Iron Monk, Prairie, 903 Brewers, Cabin Boys Brewery, and more.

“The most popular ones are the ones that are gone [from the shelves],” said Betty Paden, who co-owns At The Y with her son, Joey Paden.

On May 9, Muskogee Brewing Co.’s “Old Vlad Putin” stout and “42 Double IPA” were out of stock at the liquor store.

Craft beers can contain eccentric flavor combinations and Lehnick said those with some spice to them are some of the most interesting she’s had. She pointed out a brew from Iron Monk flavored with habanero pepper and chocolate.

“It’s so good, but I wasn’t expecting it,” she said. “I don’t like stouts.”

Lehnick said this beer can even be used to make chili and has a regular customer who swears by it.

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