Posts Tagged ‘Casa Vieja Brewery’

One last time into the breach, dear friends, one last time!

Well, this is it. Eleven days of fun have come down to one final day’s worth of events.

The final slate includes a sold-out golf tournament, a breakfast special, a brunch, an anniversary party, a celebration of casks, a unique charity drive, and one final sensory experience to close it all out. Thanks for being along for the ride with us!

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Le Cask Lunatique. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Once again, the Steel Bender brewers have gone a little overboard (in a good way) with six special casks on the patio bar. The Witty Gin is made from The Village Wit infused with the same botanicals and spices that Left Turn Distilling uses for its Old Tom Gin. Mulvaney’s Old Fashioned features the Irish red infused with cinnamon, orange peel, nutmeg, clove, allspice, and sweet cherries. Compa-rinha uses Compa Los Ranchos Lager conditioned with palm sugar, lime zest and juice. Stay Golden Sunrise utilizes the new Stay Golden Ale with maraschino cherries and fresh orange zest and juice. Funky George Porter adds a little brettanomyces for some proper funk. Finally, we cannot wait for Blue Bullet’s Wood-Aged Irish Whiskey, where the brewers took oak chips soaked in Left Turn’s NM Blue Corn Whiskey and added them to a cask of the Irish dry stout. Oh, and Le Chat Lunatique will be playing inside from 3:30 to 5:30.

Why you should go: If you can’t find a cask you like here, we’re not sure you really like beer.

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You can watch soccer and drink beer, or just drink beer today.

Ah, it’s the big day. No, not about beer, though there’s plenty of that, but it’s the Champions League final today at 1 p.m. We’re all rooting for Tottenham to upset Liverpool, but no matter the outcome, it should be a fun finale for the European soccer season.

For all the non-soccer fans out there, fear not, there’s plenty for you, too.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: IPAiring. Where: Marble Westside. When: 3-6 p.m. Cost: $20 (mug club), $25 (general admission).

Details: Marble is teaming up with Savor by Chef Stephen Ormsby for a special lineup of three food dishes paired up with three 7-ounce pours of IPA. The hoppy lineup includes the classic IPA, Desert Fog Hazy IPA, and Double IPA. Tickets for mug club members can only be purchased at the taproom, while everyone else can buy theirs online.

Why you should go: If you love hops, you know Marble has you covered, and if you love food, Savor has you covered.

All the other great events

What: Farm House Ale Event. Where: Loretto Park, Bernalillo. When: Noon. Cost: $10. Details: We already previewed this fun celebration of farmhouse ales and country music, with beers from Kaktus and Bosque. Why you should go: If you like your beers funky and your music country, this is the one for you.

What: Brut IPA Release. Where: Canteen Brewhouse and Taproom. When: Noon. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Brewtus the Younger makes its debut at both locations. Why you should go: If you have a hankering for this style, go get it.

What: Worthogs Homebrew Demo. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 1 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: The local homebrew club is offering up demonstrations on how to brew your own beer at home. This will be followed by a brewery tour at 4 p.m., and live music with Dan O’Brien on the patio from 6 to 9. Why you should go: If you have any interest in homebrewing, this is a good introduction, plus you can watch while sipping on a pint of Casa Vieja’s beer.

What: Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Strawberry Blonde Collaboration. Where: Rio Bravo Brewing. When: 2 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Rio Bravo and High and Dry have collaborated on a new Strawberry Blonde Ale, and they are pairing it with paletas from Pop Fizz. Why you should go: Indulge your sweet tooth and support two breweries for the price of one.

What: Super Smash Brews Tournament. Where: Kilt Check Brewing. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Test your Super Smash Brothers skills against other local fans. Sign-ups start at 5, tournament starts at 6. Why you should go: Video games go quite well with beer.

What: Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone. Where: Canteen Brewhouse. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $10 per pairing. Details: Join advanced Cicerone Asa Stone for a special series of three pairings, each with two 5-ounce pours of Canteen beers, where you determine which one is the better fit. The pairings are smoked shrimp with Social Capital vs. Dougie Style Amber, pulled pork with Pecos Trail Brown vs. Irish Red, and short ribs with Brewtus the Younger IPA vs. Dark ‘n Lusty Stout. Why you should go: So much good food, so many good beers.

What: Steel Bender Beer Dinner. Where: Artichoke Cafe. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $65. Details: It’s a four-course meal paired with Steel Bender beers. RSVP to (505) 243-0200. Why you should go: If it’s not sold out already, go ahead, indulge yourselves for once.

What: Prism Bitch Unplugged. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 8 p.m. Cost: $5. Details: As we previewed in our roundup of Tractor’s events, the popular local band will be performing in front of a limited crowd of 75 people, so get those tickets in advance. Why you should go: Support local musicians while drinking local beer/cider/spirits. It’s a win-win.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.
Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.
Cheers!
— Stoutmeister

Beer is on the move, beer and foods continue to be paired up, and it all ends with bingo.

The final weekend begins with a selection of eight events spread across town.

Ex Novo fans who haven’t made the trek to Corrales can try the beers at Nob Hill Bar & Grill. M’tucci’s fans who don’t want to cross the river can try some pairings at Dialogue. There are additional beer-and-food pairings with Marble at Jubilation, and at Canteen, plus a special tapping at Two Fools, comedy at Kilt Check, and fun and games at Tractor Wells Park.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Ex Novo Brewing Taste the Rainbow. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 5-11 p.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: Taste any of six Ex Novo beers — Mass Ascension IPA, Cadillac Dreams Hazy IPA, Perle Haggard Pilsner, Cactus Wins the Lottery, Hello My Name is Indigo Montoya, The Most Interesting Lager in the World — in the friendly confines of NHBG.

Why you should go: Well, if you have not been to the brewery in Corrales yet, let this be your final preview of what’s to be found out there.

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Enjoy a collaboration, a couple beer dinners, and a whole lot more on Day Eight.

First, we are terribly sorry for that rhyming headline, but, we could not resist. Moving on …

As we inch closer to the second and final weekend of Beer Week, the number of events takes a jump today.

There are two beer dinners on opposite sides of town, a special collaboration beer release from two local breweries, a trip back in time at Tractor, and a whole lot of other unique events.

Featured Event

Every day we will pick what we consider the biggest, most interesting, most unique event. This does not mean you should go to only this event and ignore the rest. All of them deserve your attention, but realistically, you can probably only attend a few. So we will make our daily pick, and you can either jump on it, or declare the Crew is foolish (we kinda are) and pick your own.

What: Saison de Luxe Bottle Release. Where: Steel Bender Brewyard. When: 11 a.m. Cost: No cover charge.

Details: The brewers from Steel Bender and Ex Novo teamed up a few months back to brew up a brett saison that was then refermented with both house strains of brett and dry-hopped with Southern Passion hops from South Africa. There will be bottles for sale, plus a special food pairing available of grilled lengua served on a grilled polenta cake topped with salsa verde and served with calabacitas.

Why you should go: If you like the funk, we got a feeling this is your kind of beer. Plus, that food pairing looks delightful.

All the other great events

What: Upslope Brewing Sampling. Where: Jubilation. When: 4 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Taste a number of Upslope’s outstanding regular beers and maybe some seasonal/specialty beers as well. Why you should go: Free beer, plus you can buy your favorites and take them home.

What: The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz. Where: Tractor Wells Park. When: 5 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Tractor celebrates the roaring 20’s with special Prohibition era beers and cocktails, with live music from Le Chat Lunatique and Eddie Brewer and the Manic Episodes. Why you should go: Go old-school and enjoy some classic drinks and jazz tunes.

What: Bell’s Brewery Tappening. Where: O’Niell’s Heights. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: It’s a summery beer takeover with Official Hazy IPA, Hopsolution Ale, and Pooltime Ale on tap. Why you should go: Enjoy some Bell’s on the patio and avoid all that rush hour traffic.

What: Special Charity Event. Where: The County Line. When: 5-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Free live music as part of the summer music series benefitting Meals on Wheels, with food and beer specials. Why you should go: Chow down on some BBQ while helping a charity.

What: Odell Brewing Pint Night. Where: Billy’s Long Bar. When: 5-7 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Hammer Chain Fresh Grind DIPA will be among the featured Odell beers on tap. Why you should go: If you are an Odell fan, this event is for you.

What: Pints & Paintbrushes Night. Where: Canteen Taproom. When: 6 p.m. Cost: $30. Details: Host Carisa Otero will lead you in this fun paint night, with one pint included along with all of your materials. Email canteentaproom@gmail.com for reservations, as this one is limited to 20 patrons. Why you should go: Show off your artistic side while enjoying some delicious beer.

What: La Cumbre Beer Dinner. Where: Nob Hill Bar & Grill. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: La Cumbre is teaming up with NHBG for a four-course beer dinner featuring Helles Lager, Boysenberry Brut, Strawberry Gose, and Brut IPA. Call NHBG at (505) 266-4455 to make a reservation. Why you should go: That’s a tempting price for a beer dinner, and those are some excellent beers to enjoy.

What: Mysteries and History Tour. Where: Casa Vieja Brewery. When: 6-9 p.m. Cost: No cover charge. Details: Come visit Casa Vieja and ask for a free tour of the 250-year-old building to learn more of its history. Then grab a pint and head to the patio for live music. Why you should go: Chill out in Corrales, because why not?

What: Toltec Brewing Dinner and Beer Pairing. Where: Toltec Brewing. When: 6:30 p.m. Cost: $40. Details: Toltec will have four special courses paired up with four beers. Email brewingteam@toltecbrewing.com to make your reservation. Why you should go: Another affordable beer dinner (it’s about time!) beckons if you are out on the westside.

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Got any questions, comments, complaints? Send them to nmdarksidebrewcrew@gmail.com, or leave them here on our site, on Facebook, on Twitter (@nmdarksidebc), or on Instagram.

Enjoy yourselves out there, but please, do it responsibly.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

It’s go-time, again, and we will help prepare you for all that is to come.

Some mornings you glance at the old beer calendar and try to figure out what to write about. Well, at least that’s how it works for us, and our glance today brought us to the stark realization that ABQ Beer Week 2019 is just 10 days away. Guess we should probably get our annual early preview up, right?

Most of these events can be found here at the official site, but if we list any below that do not appear there, fear not, someone just has to upload the final details. For each day we picked at least one event to highlight. When Beer Week starts next Thursday, we will have a daily preview for each and every day, plus some breakout features on certain events.

As we do every year, we seriously advise saving up some money for Lyft/Uber usage, or take this opportunity to cash in any owed rides from friends/family.

Thursday, May 23

This is definitely a double-event day, at minimum. Start your day at Marble Heights for the annual Beer, Cheese & More. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. It sells out, so get ’em early. You get a tray of delicious Marble beers paired with select cheeses and other foods from Whole Foods Market. The event runs from 5 to 7 p.m. When you are done, grab a ride down to Tractor Wells Park for Sour Hour with Rowley Farmhouse Ales. This one also starts at 5 but runs until 10, so they should have plenty of beer left after you are done at Marble. Grab a tray of select RFA and Tractor sours and enjoy the sounds of McMahon & Littlebird, who perform at 8.

Other events to consider: Firestone Walker tasting at Stone Face Liquors, 4 p.m.; Bell’s Brewery tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Laid Back Lager Jogger 5K at Canteen Brewhouse, 5 p.m.; Beer Making 101 Class at Casa Vieja Brewery, 6:30 p.m.; Drinking Songs Themed Karaoke at Red Door Candelaria, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 24

The opening weekend is pretty packed, in case you have not looked at the schedule yourselves. Once again, we have two events in two different parts of town that are both worth checking out. The order you go in is up to you, but for these two, we definitely recommend you do not drive. Nob Hill Bar & Grill is hosting the 21 and Over event this year (it was at Sister last time), which features a collection of national craft breweries that are 21 years old or older (get it?). Each will be offering up some of their rarer one-offs rather than just the same old stuff. The one that has us the most excited is Firestone Walker’s Maple Parabola Imperial Stout. We will unveil the other seven entries soon. Meanwhile, at the same time over at Tractor Wells Park, Truth or Consequences Brewing is engineering at tap takeover and bomber sale. If you have not made it down to T or C to try this excellent brewery, now is your chance, plus you can take home beers like Truth Serum Barleywine.

Other events to consider: Social Capital Key-Lime Pie release at both Canteen locations, noon; High and Dry Brewing and Taos Energy Bar collab release, noon; Wild & Sour Beer Tasting with Steel Bender, Rowley Farmhouse Ales, and Bow & Arrow at Jubilation, 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 25

This day is nice, as the events are more spread out across the day. Start your day off with the Mini-Cask Fest at Quarter Celtic, which starts when it opens at 11 a.m. Four select QC beers will be served in firkins, and you can sample all for just $5, and/or grab a pint of your favorite. Don’t fill up too much on food, though, as the Annual Food Truck Battle is going down at Red Door Candelaria at 1 p.m. After a potential afternoon siesta, head downtown to Sister for the Ex Novo Brewing Release Party at 6 p.m. If you have not been lucky enough to try the beers from the original in Oregon, enjoy the first tasty offerings from the new Corrales brewery.

Other events to consider: Donuts & Beer Pairing with Bristol Doughnut Co. at Steel Bender Brewyard, 11 a.m.; Cider Day Night Fever at Tractor Nob Hill, all day

Sunday, May 26

There’s really just the annual Blues & Brews Festival at Sandia Casino. We will have a full preview of that one soon.

Monday, May 27

Double up on the Memorial Day activities with Marble’s annual music festival at 2 p.m. You can also hit the all-day Smoke-Out at Steel Bender, though that only goes until the delicious smoked meats run out. We would honestly recommend you fatten up at Steel Bender first, then dance it off at Marble later.

Other events to consider: Tamarind Sour Release and Karaoke at Cantero Brewing, 11 a.m.; Karaoke for a Cause at Red Door Downtown, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 28

Things start slowing down a bit now that the holiday weekend is over. If you missed Ex Novo at Sister, head over to Jubilation at 4 p.m. for a tasting of their packaged offerings. Then motor down to Canteen Brewhouse for a Scholarly Happy Hour with Asa Stone at 6. She is the only certified advanced Cicerone in the state, so she might have some insight into taking your love of beer to the next level.

Other events to consider: Special Release of Mangose at Quarter Celtic, all day; Beer and Grilled Cheese Pairing with Cheesy Street at Tractor Westside, 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 29

Another relatively quiet day, so kick back and relax with the Rebel Donut and Beer Pairing at Tractor Four Hills at 4 p.m. This one ran out of donuts in a hurry last year, so while more will be on hand this year, do not expect them to last. Then you can head down to Red Door Candelaria for a lecture on hops and climate in New Mexico at 7 p.m.

Other events to consider: Steel Bender Tap Takeover at M’tucci’s Market & Pizzeria, all day; Founders Barrel-Aged Beer Dinner at the Salt Yard, TBA

Thursday, May 30

This is another busy day. Start it off at any time at Steel Bender for the Saison de Luxe release party. This collaboration with Ex Novo is a barrel-aged brett saison. There’s a Bell’s Brewery Tappening at O’Niell’s Heights from 5 to 7 p.m. You can also sign up for two beer dinners featuring La Cumbre at Nob Hill Bar & Grill and one at Toltec Brewing on the westside, starting at 6 and 6:30, respectively.

Other events to consider: Upslope Brewing tasting at Jubilation, 4 p.m.; Odell Pint Night at Billy’s Long Bar, 5 p.m.; The Great Gatsby Edition of Gin & Jazz at Tractor Wells Park, 5 p.m.

Friday, May 31

Close out the month of May with all sorts of beer-and-food-pairing events. Marble will have a beer and cheese pairing at Jubilation at 4 p.m. Canteen Brewhouse is hosting a beer and taco pairing at 6 p.m. Dialogue Brewing is hosting at beer and food pairing with M’tucci’s at 6 p.m.

Other events to consider: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout tapping at Two Fools Tavern, 5 p.m.; Drag Queen Bingo: Pride Edition at Tractor Wells Park, 8 p.m.

Saturday, June 1

The new month begins with Kaktus Brewing hosting the Farm House Ale Event at Loretto Park in Bernalillo from noon to 6 p.m. We will have a full preview of this mix of beer, food, live country music, and more.

Other events to consider: Worthogs Homebrew Club Demonstration at Casa Vieja Brewery, 1 p.m.; Pop Fizz Paleta Pairing with Rio Bravo and host High and Dry, 2 p.m.; Beer, BBQ and Bites Pairing with Asa Stone at Canteen Brewhouse, 6 p.m.; Steel Bender Beer Dinner at Artichoke Cafe, 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 2

It all wraps up, finally, with plenty of concluding events. If you still have a hankering for cask beers with some mangy jazz, hit up Le Cask Lunatique at Steel Bender at noon and enjoy some brews with Le Chat Lunatique.

Other events to consider: Hoppy Birthday to Us! anniversary party at Casa Vieja Brewery, noon; Bike Part Drive benefiting Esperanza Bike Shop at Canteen Brewhouse, 2 p.m.; Green Jeans Farmery Beer Week Event, TBA

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That is all from us for now, but look for a lot more info starting next Thursday. We will see you all out and about during Beer Week.

Cheers!

— Stoutmeister

Corrales has its own small brewery tucked inside this historic building.

Casa Vieja, located on Corrales Road in the heart of Corrales, is just what the name says — a very old house. Established in 1770, it has been many different things over the centuries, including a church and a small hospital. It is best known for its long tradition as a popular fine dining restaurant. It was a bit of a surprise, then, when we learned they started brewing beer and became a taproom.

As part of our Look Back/Look Ahead Series, I met with Gary Socha, owner and brewer at this new iteration of Casa Vieja, although his business card says his title is “Beer Whisperer.” It is this bit of whimsy that makes you want to root for him out of the gate. All throughout the interview, it was clear to see Gary has an impish way about him, and his passion for this project is evident. But, there is also a calmness that has helped him weather both the usual and unusual types of issues that have come up along the way.

Gary was a homebrewer and a member of the Dukes of Ale Homebrew Club, and won a gold medal in the 2015 New Mexico Pro-Am in the German Wheat category. The word Duke was soon to gain a whole new importance for Gary. But, we will get to that. First, I wanted to know the history of how Gary obtained ownership of the place, and how it came to be the newest brewery (until Ex Novo opens) in the area.

In 2011, Casa Vieja fell victim to the area’s economic hard times and repair issues. The long-time restaurant, a one-time home to some notable Albuquerque chefs such as Jim White and Jean-Pierre Gozard, closed its doors. Casa Vieja always held a special place in the hearts of Gary and his wife of over 40 years. In fact, they went there on their honeymoon.

In 2016, Gary’s family purchased the property, restored it, and turned it into an event space. They spent a great deal of money on renovation, and did not want to have to spend much more on a liquor license. Well, Gary was already a brewer, right? So a small brewer license made much more sense. Plus, the addition of a taproom meant the locals could have a relaxed and charming space in which to grab a craft beer.

The commercial kitchen was removed during the renovation, and now Casa Vieja has only a catering kitchen (for the events, mainly). Gary figured that many breweries rely on food trucks, so that should not be a big deal. Unfortunately, it proved difficult to book any trucks due to the location, amount of patrons, and being the last guy in line to request a truck. The only way to get them was to supplement them with a guaranteed amount. Luckily, another chef alumnus from Casa Vieja, Jon Young of ABQ BBQ, came to the rescue to provide catering. Eventually, they plan to park Jon’s bus that has seating as well as a kitchen in it right in the catering driveway attached to the catering kitchen. It is a win for everyone involved.

Most of Casa Vieja’s equipment had to be lowered into the brewing space through the roof.

One of the more unusual hurdles that Gary faced had to do with the brewing equipment. Old houses tend to have smaller entrances and challenges with preservation. Therefore, Gary special ordered brewing equipment to meet the specs of the house’s brew space. Unfortunately, a long battle ensued with the manufacturer regarding delivery of the equipment, and when it finally arrived many months late, it was two to three times the size it was supposed to be. The boil kettle was supposed to be 800 pounds, and it is 2,000 pounds. To sum up, they had to drop it in through the roof using a crane. The upside to this, I suppose, is that he has a larger brewing capacity (3-to-4 barrels) if he needs it. In July 2018, the taproom somewhat quietly opened to the public with limited hours.

Gary faced another annoying (to say the least) challenge over the Thanksgiving holiday. There is an “out building” behind the main house that was built as a walk-in cooler for the restaurant. This would serve as Gary’s keg storage area. Over the holiday, the control decided to fail. The building turned from a walk-in cooler to a freezer. All the kegs froze. He came back to find exploding kegs. He was also storing his yeast in there, so all the yeast died.

You never know what you might run in to in and around older properties. That said, not all of the surprises were troublesome ones. Prior to Gary’s purchase of the property, Casa Vieja developed a roof leak that needed repair. Like something out of a novel, the contractors found an old portrait painting in the wall. It was in pretty bad shape. The age and subject of the painting were unknown at the time. The previous owner stated the painting had to stay with the building and Gary agreed. The painting was evaluated in Santa Fe and carefully restored. The evaluation determined that the painting was likely done in Spain in the 1600s. It is an oil portrait of Jean Louis de Nogaret de la Valette, a French nobleman who held the title of Duke d’Epernon. And thus, the reference to Duke literally resurfaces! The painting is now prominently displayed near the entrance. In tribute to this French duke, Duke (of Ale) Gary brewed a house beer known as “Duke’s Red Ale.”

The taproom area is a charming space.

Gary said his plan for the rest of the year is to continue brewing and have around six of his own taps online, as well as a few guest taps. At the time of my visit, there were three Casa Vieja brews available — a hefeweisen, a lager, and Duke’s Red. Guest taps that day included a cider from Steel Bender, Steel Bender’s Blue Bullet Stout on nitro, and La Cumbre’s Elevated IPA. Current taproom hours are 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

If any of our readers would like to visit the Duke (either of them, really) and try the beer, this Sunday is Arts Alive! in Corrales. Gary will be performing Art of Brewing demonstrations at 2 and 4 p.m. at Casa Vieja. The brewery will also feature art by Dave Sabo and Wanda Blake.

As the Duke d’Epernon himself might say …

À votre santé,

— AmyO