I was sitting at work one day brainstorming for a client’s promotional product, when my brain drifted to beer, as you do. If you know me, you know that I spend a lot of time thinking about beer. Drinking it, brewing it, discovering new varieties of it. It all ranks very highly with me. Stuck in a state of mind between beer and promotion, I had an idea.
The panhandle of Oklahoma would make an excellent bottle opener. Our state was the perfect shape to help me crack open a cold one and I could see the design clearly in my head. But if the bottle opener is a promotional product, what am I promoting? What logo am I designing here? And like a punch in the face, it hit me. Beer is OK.
Of course, I know beer is more than just okay. As a native of suds-loving St. Louis, I was initially shocked by Oklahoma’s quirky alcohol laws. (Why can’t I buy quality beer on a Sunday???) But the sentiment of Beer Is OK was perfect. Around Tulsa, I see a lot of products marketed as “Made in Oklahoma” and I see a lot of support for local retailers. T-shirts and bumper stickers are all telling me that Oklahoma is OK.
Whether Oklahomans realize it or not, Beer is OK, too. I had my first sip of Choc 1919 at a Drillers game at the old stadium on Yale, and I was hooked. Marshall Brewing opened about the same time I moved to Tulsa, and I just couldn't get enough. From there the love grew to Coop’s Imperial Stouts and now I am enamored with Dead Armadillo’s Black IPA. Oklahoma is booming in the craft beer business. Every day, new local brewers are stepping up their game and getting serious about craft beer. Oklahoma is beginning to feel more like my home. And the craft beer industry here is beginning to feel more like the craft beer industry in St. Louis. Quality local choices give us something to be proud of.
I still want to have the bottle openers made some day, but that little idea led to a much larger one. I want to support our local brewers. I want to get people excited about another Oklahoma product they should be proud of. Beer Is OK is the organization I've founded to help me do it. As a club, we're going to tour brewing facilities and help our members fall in love with Oklahoma craft beer. We’re going to offer a pretty decent beer education, and hang out with people who are excited about what's happening in Oklahoma beer culture. We’ll talk to the brewers and cheer them on. And most importantly, we’ll drink some delicious Oklahoma craft beer.