Wait, it's already February? Ugh, and I'm another year older and time is rushing by. However, it's not without accomplishing some more podcasts and nailing down a new gig. As of January I will be the Oklahoma correspondent for Southwest Brewing News, a bi-monthly newspaper covering brewery, home brew and regional craft beer news. Established in 1992, they have 6 other publications that cover the rest of the U.S. and 3 provinces in Canada. It's a grand network of writers that appreciate craft beer and promote their regions. I first learned about them after picking up a FREE issue at High Gravity home brew supplies. I've also seen copies at Mustang/Elk Valley tap room. It is a great publication for sponsors and a resource for those traveling through the southwest with a full map and directory.
My goal is to bring more eyes and most importantly more bodies to this fine state to enjoy the taprooms and quality beer bars that have sprung up these past few years. We are all crafting a community of educated and responsible imbibers of quality craft beer and while I will do my best to bring light to the latest news I am always in need of your intel. Below are some links where you will be able to read my upcoming articles and how you may contact me with news, beer releases, events and anything else we need to broadcast to the craft beer community. Thanks as always for your continued support and Crafting a Community.
Well, unless you've been cooped up these past couple of months spring is practically here, irregardless of COOP Ale Works releasing their rebranded Territorial Reserve, a big, boozy imperial stout and Alpha Hive buzzing out of the brewery in 4 packs. These heavy hitters are perfect for winter which we really haven't seen yet again in this state, however COOP has been producing something brand new for 2017. I visited the large production brewery that now serves 6 states and infiltrating Texas as we speak and picked the brain of Blake Jarolim, COOP's head brewer. Formerly a teacher, brewing was just a random hobby that later led to a part time summer gig. We're hearing these types of stories around Oklahoma more and more where curious interest turns hobby into a career. With more barrel production and 3 new types of releases coming out, COOP is shedding off the F5 moniker just a tad and stretching their market reach ever further.
I can't thank Blake enough for his time as the brewery was bustling that day with Alpha Hive rolling off the canning line. I sure am anxious about this new hoppy pilsner seasonal coming out soon. If it's anything like their experimental beer I had in the taproom, it will surely ignite a great upcoming summer with a refreshing beer. Their taproom will be bustling on March 4 for their 8 year anniversary party and raising funds for the Humane Society of OKC. Tickets are going fast for 2 sessions so don't miss out.
My next pop up shop will be at the Industry Flea in OKC on March 25th, be sure to join the event on Facebook to see all the new items we have coming. As always please leave us feedback on iTunes/Stitcher/GooglePlay, Like our facebook page Beer is OK and follow me on Twitter @beerisok. All your support helps others learn about the show and keeps me motivated to continue on this journey to help cultivate the OK craft beer industry. Until next time, Cheers!
This is exactly what I predicted when SB424 was being talked about and put into place. Small, neighborhood taprooms in Oklahoma looking to fill a niche market that is growing nationally like wild fire. And we know a lot about wildfires here. Vortex Alley Brewing fits the nano brewery description with a planned 1.5 bbls scale production to serve in downtown Ponca City, OK slated for late summer/fall. Like so many other homebrewers I can't help but imagine they will usher in a new wave of microbreweries unlike anything we've seen in this state before. So, David Thomas and Spencer Boatmun sat down with me to help document why they thought this was the perfect idea to bring their hobby of a combined 33 years amongst their four members you in Oklahoma.
I can't tell you how much fun it is to invite these people into your life and really communicate about something so passionately like beer. It's a great feeling to see more people get bit by the bug and trying something new. I completely agree with David in respects to how we approach these new ventures. We are constantly learning and you don't know what you don't know so we must be patient and support those who want to bring craft to the spotlight. I ask you to support them through their GoFundMe account, volunteer information or skills because we are paving a path for those behind them as we are cultivating the craft of good beer in Oklahoma.