With craft brewing becoming a trend, we’re practically swimming in small-batch suds. Thanks to groups like Marshall, Prairie and others, our cups are running over with porters, IPAs and session ales.
The Tulsa craft beer scene is booming, with breweries and taprooms popping up left and right, embraced with open arms by the beer lovers of Green Country. The love for craft brews was apparent in November, when Oklahomans voted to update laws to allow wine and full-strength beer to be sold in grocery stores and convenience stores — laws that hadn’t been updated since the days of Prohibition, in some cases.
Okies have to wait until 2018 for the measure to go into effect, but “the times they are a-changin’,” as is evidenced by the brewmaster pioneers in our hometown.
We may be late to the game, but it’s not like Oklahoma brewers are starting at the bottom of the barrel.
Though smaller in size and limited in scope to some of the larger areas in the country, the 918 microbrewery boom here is less about being commercial and more about community with like-minded folks getting together to share a few pints.
Beer lovers from nearby “beer snob” states are now even coming to the Sooner State to take our delicious brews back home.
“I have a customer who comes into town and buys cases of Prairie to take home for himself and his friends in Colorado,” says Alex Rector, beer manager at Modern Spirits. “That’s something I never would have imagined in my younger years, especially considering that Colorado is one of the most craft beer loving states in the country.”
1004 E. 4th St. | Tulsa
Sunday-Wednesday: Closed Thursday: 4-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday: 2-9 p.m.
Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing is another local favorite giving Colorado brewers a run for their money.
“The name Dead Armadillo came about while Tony [Dead Armadillo founder] was helping his mom move some things on her property in Kansas,” Dead Armadillo taproom manager Emily Nelson says. “He lifted up a piece of wood and saw a dead armadillo and said ‘What if we named the brewery Dead Armadillo?’ No one took him seriously, but he kept going back to that and it just stuck.”
Weird name, maybe. Excellent brews, for sure.
“Their Amber knocks Fat Tire out of the water,” Rector says. According to Nelson, Rector’s right. “Amber is our flagship beer; the No. 1 requested and our biggest seller,” Nelson says. DA’s Amber Ale is 6.3% ABV and 37 IBU, with a bold, crisp nose and subtle fruit flavors which give a caramel sweetness and a dry, bitter finish.
“We have four year-round beers including Amber Ale, Nine Band IPA, Breakaway APA and our Hanson Brothers Beer Company collaboration beer, the Inland Porter,” says Nelson.
Prairie Artisan Ales
223 N. Main | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 4-11 p.m. Friday: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Sunday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Prairie Artisan Ales, arguably one of the region’s top contenders in craft beer brewing, offers other local favorites and an out-of-towner or two on tap, along with a wide selection of their own creations, from Belgian ales to imperial stouts, light crisp session ales and IPAs, at their brewpub in Tulsa.
“Prairie Bomb! has always been one of the top-selling beers in the shop,” Rector says. “I keep back stock on that. Any self- respecting beer manager in the area should do the same.”
Prairie Bomb! is a 13% ABV (alcohol by volume) imperial stout with a 65 IBU (international bittering unit). It’s aged on espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans and ancho chile peppers.
Rector says another Prairie favorite is Phantasmagoria, their double IPA. It is 8% ABV and 70 IBU, low in malt flavors and high in citrusy and piney hops. In addition to packing a hoppy punch, Rector says many appreciate the beer’s name.
618 S. Wheeling Ave. | Tulsa
Thursday: 2-7 p.m.
Friday: Noon-7 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-4 p.m.
Marshall Brewing Company, Tulsa’s fi rst production craft microbrewery, was founded by Eric Marshall, a fourth generation Tulsan with a degree in international business and German language from the University of Tulsa, and it began operations in 2008.
“Sundown Wheat is our top Marshall seller,” Rector says. “They have some really good seasonals, like the Revival Red Ale. When they come out, they sell out pretty immediately.” Sundown Wheat is an American wheat beer with Belgian inspiration. Light and slightly sweet with hints of hops, coriander and sweet orange peel, Sundown won’t knock you down, with an ABV of 4.7%.
Arrowhead Pale Ale is one of the favorite seasonal releases. It’s an American Pale Ale with a little more kick at 5.2% ABV and hints of citrus and oral hops, sweet malt and a hint of caramel malt.
1801 S. 49th W. Ave. | Tulsa
Monday-Tuesday: Closed Wednesday-Thursday: 5-8 p.m. Friday: 4-9 p.m. Saturday: Noon-9 p.m.
Did you know one of Tulsa’s own was named Best New Brewery in the U.S. and second best in the world by RateBeer in 2016? American Solera is quickly making its name in town. At their taproom, they serve up a wide selection of their brewed-on-site beers.
Solera creates masterpieces ranging in ABV percentages from the 4% Terroir Study, an American pale ale, to the aptly named 15% ABV Man-Made Earthquake, a triple. They brew farmhouse ales, imperial IPAs and stouts, barley wine, bitters and most crafts in between.
Their 6% ABV Foeder Cerise, an American wild ale is among the most popular, closely followed by Raspbarrel, another ale with raspberry hints.
For now, their beers are only available straight from the source at the taproom.
1147 S. Lewis Ave. | Tulsa
Renaissance Brewing Company is a tad lesser known brewer available in most liquor stores and drinking establishments, but holds its own with favorites like the Indian Wheat, 4.8% ABV and 12 IBU. It’s a traditional Southern German Hefeweizen with peppery and oral notes that accompany its banana and clove flavor.
“I hear really good things about them, and I love their artwork,” Rector says. “I really liked the Indian Wheat. It’s a solid, easy drinking beer. Lately it’s been flying off the shelves, along with Black Gold.”
Black Gold is Renaissance’s hybrid stout, which is often referred to as a chocolate stout because of the addition of chocolate roasted malt alongside heavy doses of black patent and roasted barley, aged in whiskey barrels with cherries, chocolate nibs and coffee. It’s 5% ABV and 27 IBU.
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