TREE + LEAF

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Anthem Brewing Factory Tour

Adventures, ART, LocalSteven SilvaComment

Last week, @trudust and myself had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain of one of Oklahoma City’s great local beer-makers. Dusty live-painted the artwork from their seasonal Rye’d or Die IPA to celebrate its re-release.

Yum

Yum

After downing a few beers, Anthem Brewing’s Ben Childers gave us an impromptu, how-it’s-made factory tour of the works.

All Aboard

All Aboard

There are monster silver tanks visible from the taproom floor, but once you slip through the Warehouse door, it’s another ballgame – big bags of hops, bits of cans, and barrels galore.

We also raided the refrigerator room with ready-to-go kegs and cold variety packs. 

Hollywood-induced fear of getting trapped in here and freezing...free beer though

Hollywood-induced fear of getting trapped in here and freezing...free beer though

The mixing process starts with a recipe, combing through hop varieties and specialty ingredients to be fed into what I can only assume is a giant blender. The mix shoots through pipes running along the ceiling, returns to the main floor,  and ends up in these fat-cat silver tanks for a soak.

The tanks are apparently filled with really hot water, so of course we touched them immediately. Good thing they’re insulated! 

The tanks are apparently filled with really hot water, so of course we touched them immediately. Good thing they’re insulated! 

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Fun fact: after soaking, hoppy remains are picked up by super-farmers to be used as feed. It’s a symbiotic service – Anthem stays clear of hoppy leftovers, and hogs get free food. I think Ben said they go through something like 5 tons a week. Pigs must be feasting.

Runoff is pumped away, and perfect beer is delivered to the cannery system. The cannery machine was a straight up robot – little arms and and conveyor belts popping the tops onto cans. Lots of smarts, effort, and technology goes into your Friday night buzz. Who knew!


The tour was great, but the really great thing about Anthem has been how engaged they are in the community. They’ve supported and sponsored all kinds of events for us and for other local businesses. No kidding, they chipped in coldies right after this for our humble Retro Game Night.

Drink up!

Drink up!

So thanks to Ben and all the guys at Anthem. Crack open a fresh IPA! Cheers!

 

    

Lambo Goes to Boston.

LamboComment

     I'm not much of a traveler, but my girlfriend is always pressuring me to to see the world. After weeks of trying to convince me, we finally snagged some cheap tickets to Boston, MA. We didn't really have a game plan going in, so the whole trip was basically just us doing whatever sounded cool at that moment. 

     Staying in Boston was really expensive, but we were able to find an affordable Air B n B in the suburbs of Dorchester, just south of the city.

     Staying in Boston was really expensive, but we were able to find an affordable Air B n B in the suburbs of Dorchester, just south of the city.

     I'm not really a big fan of taking photos of buildings. It makes the fact that you are a tourist way more obvious, and honestly it's very boring. But when you're a "photographer" apparently it's crucial to a blog. So here you go ya filthy animals.

     The first place we headed when we finally got off the plane was Chinatown. There were definitely a lot of weird smells coming from this place........

     When you're in Boston you HAVE to hit the Freedom Trail or else our forefathers will haunt you for the rest of your life. Is that what you want? Good ol' Benny Frank hiding under your bed? We started at the historic grave sites, and finished off at Bunker Hill just in time for the rain. 

     A very polite bridge.

     During our trek on the Freedom Trail we stumbled into the Boston Farmer's Market. Nothing like hearing old ladies with Boston accents yelling at you to buy their fruit. 

     One of the several beautiful monuments built for the Jews killed in the Holocaust.

     One of the several beautiful monuments built for the Jews killed in the Holocaust.

     Hit up Little Italy and enjoyed an authentic canolli. Very enjoyable.

     Hit up Little Italy and enjoyed an authentic canolli. Very enjoyable.

     Boston, where everybody knows your name.

     Boston, where everybody knows your name.

     I had always seen the steaming sewer grates in movies and was pleasantly surprised to get to see them in person.

     I had always seen the steaming sewer grates in movies and was pleasantly surprised to get to see them in person.

     While in the Public Market we saw this Australian stuntman juggling machetes while holding a spinning blade contraption in his mouth. I wonder if his middle name was Danger?

     This guy wins at life.

     This guy wins at life.

     Paige wanted to venture to Salem so we could see the Hocus Pocus House and all the witchy stuff. Personally I didn't really enjoy Salem and I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to see it. All the witch landmarks are very anti-climactic and Salem in general just seems like a town with a gimmick. We did explore some of the wilderness and visited one of the country's oldest graveyards though.

     While we were in Salem we checked out Kirk Hammett's extensive collection of classic horror and sci-fi art at one of the local art museums. If you don't know who Kirk Hammett is, he is the guitarist for Metallica. Most of the collection was movie posters, but their were a few old horror movie costume pieces. Being the classic horror movie buff that I am, I give the exhibit 5 stars!

     The actual art museum had some dazzling pieces as well.

     The actual art museum had some dazzling pieces as well.

       Taking public transportation everywhere kind of seemed like a drag at first, but it wasn't all that bad. You definitely get to see some weird things on a train/bus.

     On our last night in Boston they had this trippy light show flashing on the side of an apartment building that went on for hours. 

     On the day of our departing flight back to OKC we spent the morning in the Boston Common Park. City squirells are way more friendly than country squirells FYI.

Black Mesa Skateboard's 1st Hand Screened Batch

Dusty GilpinComment

     Working for a business that boasts being a printshop has it's pros and cons. We have people come in everyday asking to print their designs, or to print on anything from door mats to rowing oars. Usually we turn most people down, but when Dan Bibb and Ryan Wells from Black Mesa Skateboards asked if we could help them out with silk screening their boards,  we couldn't refuse. Black Mesa Skateboards was started a few years back by several of the guys from the old Oklahoma skate crew TDS (The Death Squad.) Like most local (and even some large corporate) board companies, Black Mesa designs their graphics, sends them to a skateboard manufacturer, and that manufacturer prints the graphic for them. Nowadays it's a lot more uncommon for manufacturers and skateboard companies to print decks with the traditional silk screen technique due to time, cost, and larger margins for error. Buuuuuuut there's just something badass about printing your own skateboards that makes you want to kick those heat transfered graphics to the curb. Bibb and Ryan did a lot of research on their own and Dan even crafted his own skateboard deck screen. We snagged the screen from them and got it emulsioned and ready for action. To be honest that screen was pretty on point. Nice job Dan! Now keep in mind that printing boards was a first for both of us so it was a learning experience. Dan rigged up a little deck press in his garage and we were good to go. During the printing process we had a few technical difficulties that made some of the decks a little rough looking, but now we can take what we learned from this batch and apply it to the next! As a whole we didn't do a perfect job, but the boards came out legible and each one had its own one of a kind distressed DIY look. Black Mesa Skateboards premiered the silk screened decks at Core Extreme Sport's Halloween Jam last weekend and sold over half of the inventory. That's a success in my book. Hit us up for round 2 next time Dan!

We had to create our own tools to emulsion this bad boy. It was a little sloppy, but it got the job done.

We had to create our own tools to emulsion this bad boy. It was a little sloppy, but it got the job done.

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We printed 2 different sizes of decks, so Dan had to get a little technical with the "locking system."

We printed 2 different sizes of decks, so Dan had to get a little technical with the "locking system."

Bibbfratu.

Bibbfratu.

Locked and loaded.

Locked and loaded.

Once we got the press all set up we realized that the frame needed to be several inches wider to give the screen more stretch to hit the concave of the board. At this point it was way to late so we had to hit from the side which made the print come out a tad rough. Rough is cool though........

Once we got the press all set up we realized that the frame needed to be several inches wider to give the screen more stretch to hit the concave of the board. At this point it was way to late so we had to hit from the side which made the print come out a tad rough. Rough is cool though........

Not bad for a couple o' first timers.

Not bad for a couple o' first timers.

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These were the few mess ups of the first batch. Oooops. 

These were the few mess ups of the first batch. Oooops. 

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The best of the best!

The best of the best!

     Whether you're a fan of these decks or not, Black Mesa has several graphics that they run pretty regularly along with new designs every few months. Check out www.blackmesaskateboards.com for the goods!