The brewing world has lost an icon and pillar of our community. Mike “Tasty” McDole passed away this fall after losing his battle with cancer. Mike, also known affectionately as Tasty, was a member of the DOZE homebrew club here in the Bay Area, and it was there that he started his illustrious brewing journey.
The name Tasty came about as he would come on the Brewing Network’s show “The Session” to hang out and would pour the other brewcasters and guests samples of his homebrew. Justin Crossley, the host, tasted his homebrews and said they were “tasty” and the name stuck and came just as naturally as that. It struck me how incredible the beers were and also the amount of information with stats and ingredients he had on those vertical labels that ran down the entire length of those 22-ounce bomber bottles. He also made incredible Tasty cookies, and would hand those out, if you had one you know what I’m talking about.
After those appearances on The Session and being a regular, he became this bigger than life public brewing figure and would attend events where everyone wanted to meet and take a picture with Tasty. He was involved in so many beer events and collaborations and meetups around the world. Tasty was the type of guy that would make everyone feel welcomed. He drew people into our industry and gave them a sense of community. He had an eye for talent and was responsible for countless brewers and bartenders alike devoting their careers to Craft Beer.
Back in 2007, he won the Sam Adams Longshot Beer competition and had his beer brewed and distributed across the country. I can remember traveling and seeing the iconic Tasty sticker that his son Mark created, at Malmö Brewing in Sweden, at a craft beer bar in Paris and in any city in the United States where good beer was being served. That sticker in many ways became the seal of approval, that Tasty had been there and it was a good place with good people.
Mike met so many people in his travels and he has touched so many professional brewers with his beer collaborations. At the 21st Amendment, we first brewed a beer with him back in 2008 as part of the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am competition for the Great American Beer Festival. In 2018, we collaborated again on Tasty IPA, a beer that was released in a six pack across the country. The image on the label was of Mike from his famous sticker, but in a new setting with his bare-chested body floating in a sea of hops which was a nod to the movie “American Beauty” but without the red roses. The beer was well received, and it was an honor to travel around the country with him attending events promoting the beer and meeting all the fans of Tasty with folks fawning over him. It was quite a sight to see. He was truly an ambassador of great beer and goodwill throughout our entire community.
Because of the success of Tasty IPA, which originally was to be just a single release, we decided to put it into our core lineup of beers. We had to adjust the image to fit into our brand look and transitioned the Tasty image into Benjamin Franklin. I talked to Mike about the idea and explained to him what we had to do and he was always so understanding of the needs of a business and what was required and adjustments needed to be made. We chose Ben Franklin as the updated character, which fit into our 21A look. Like Tasty, Ben Franklin was a renaissance man and had so many varied and different interests and was well loved and appreciated, just like Mike.
To honor this great man and as part of his celebration we are including the Tasty IPA recipe that we collaborated with him on. Feel free to brew it, and to donate some of the proceeds from the beer or any celebratory beer you make honoring Tasty to your local homebrew club, as that’s where Mike got his start and with Tasty it was always about the beer.
Cheers and keep brewing,
21st Amendment Tasty IPA Collaboration Recipe
Original Gravity 15.0˚P/1.0611 SG
Final Gravity 2.7˚P/1.0105 SG
Boil: 60 min
ABV Spec: 6.75%
Wort BUs: 78.2
BU Final Spec: 53
Color Spec: 6.5 SRM
Dry Hop Rate: 2 lbs/bbl - 1.032 ounces/gallon
Packaged Vol/Co2 2.62
2-Row Malt 76.00%
German Pilsner Malt 14.00%
Munich Light Malt 10.00%
Kettle Hops Time BUs %
Columbus 60 52.0 66
Mosaic 10 4.3 5
Ekuanot 10 12.5 16
Mosaic WP 5.6 7
Ekuanot WP 3.8 5