Quarter Celtic enjoyed the surprise of claiming WBC gold with a red lager

Quarter Celtic’s Brady McKeown points to where his World Beer Cup gold award will soon be displayed.

The Quarter Celtic crew did not make the trek to Nashville for this year’s Craft Brewers Conference, as busy work and family schedules kept them at home. So instead they invited a few friends over to the main brewpub to watch the World Beer Cup awards ceremony, held in conjunction with CBC.

Windy weather forced them inside after they had planned to show the online stream on their new projector screen on the patio. It was a bit loud with the happy hour and dinner crowd filling up the place, but co-owner/head brewer Brady McKeown was still doing his best to keep track of each category in which he entered a beer.

“There (were) people talking at the bar, you couldn’t hear it, but then I heard Capri-derhosen, and I’m thinking, ‘Nobody else names their beer that!’ That was great,” he said.

Capri-derhosen, a German-style red lager that debuted back at the end of December, was suddenly a major award winner, taking home gold in the German-Style Maerzen or Franconian-Style Rotbier category. It beat out 82 other entries to take the top spot at the WBC.

“The World Beer Cup, you have to assume there’s some German breweries there,” McKeown said. “It seemed like there was a low turnout for German breweries this year, but you still have to assume that Germans don’t expect to win in the American IPA category, so why should we expect to win in a German category. In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking are we just throwing away an entry. But, it was a good beer. The guys talked me into it. You’ve got to look at what you have. Sometimes you don’t have time to brew something special. I figured why not, people liked it.”

It was the second Quarter Celtic beer to bring home a WBC award, after Pedro O’Flannigan’s Mexican Lager took bronze in 2018, when it was the lone New Mexico brew to medal. This time around, Capri-derhosen was one of four local beers to pick up an award, though it was the only gold.

“Going back to your first question, what made us think about doing that, the thought was we have a bunch of house beers and only one lager,” McKeown said. “In a best-case scenario, (we want to) have a light, amber, and a dark lager on tap whenever we can. It was just one of those amber lagers that seemed like it could be a hit. We did a bunch of research, saw where it fit into a category from Germany. We tried to brew it (as close to the style) as we can; there was a ton of information out there about it. That was the first time we ever brewed it.”

The winning batch of Capri-derhosen was tapped out about a week or so before it captured gold, but do not worry, it will be brewed again. McKeown said next up is a Vienna lager, since he already had the pre-milled specialty malt ready to go for that, but Capri-derhosen should follow later this summer.

We fully expect a classic Quarter Celtic video promoting its eventual return on social media, and since McKeown’s nephew Keegan is a huge fan of Capri-derhosen and is in charge of making most of those videos, we feel confident that it will be another all-time classic. Just like the beer, of course.

A big thanks to Brady for taking the time to chat mid-brew-day, and congrats to him and everyone at Quarter Celtic on bringing a little gold back to New Mexico.

Keep supporting local!

— Stoutmeister

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