True Brews: Exploring the Large Craft Beer Scene in Oklahoma City
All across the country, craft beer brewing has been having something of a moment. Well, let’s be honest — it’s been having a really big moment! In fact, for almost two decades, the once small niche of hobbyist home brewers and devoted enthusiasts has burgeoned into a huge national scene, with store shelves bursting with beers hailing from regional breweries and samples from just about every state. Micropubs and tasting rooms have popped up all over, often serving only their own product. The real beer lovers are always looking for the latest delicious suds lovingly tended by dedicated crafters seeking the most sublime product. If you’re one of those folks, Oklahoma City has good news.
OKC is a happy home to any number of craft beer spots. Whether you’re looking for a gastropub offering tasty victuals to accompany your bubbled barley, or you’re looking for rotating taps that can bring you back week after week to sample new concoctions, this town has it for you. Catering to folks with advanced tastes and those seeking a more casual glass alike, you are guaranteed to find everything from a plucky Pilsner to a tempting Tripel. There are great neighborhoods for extended pub crawls. Out-of-the-way spots make the trek for something very special well worth it. You can opt for comfortable family-style surroundings or seek out the fancy spots for a night of elegant beer drinking. Grab your steins! We’re taking a look at the Oklahoma City craft beer scene.
There’s no question about the best place to start your pub crawl in OKC. The Business District has a lovely concentration just at its western edge, clustered around the area where West Sheridan Avenue and North Lee Avenue meet. From that corner, you can go a couple of blocks in any direction but east and find a nice sampling of some fine beers. Here, you will find Core4 Brewing (7 N Lee Ave.) offering such esoteric selections as White Chocolate Witbier and Black IPAs.
The Angry Scotsman (704 W Reno Ave.) specializes in Scottish-style ales, some so red, you’ll think you’re wearing a plaid kilt! Lively Beerworks (815 SW 2nd St.) experiments with passion fruit-infused sour ales and easy-drinking milk stouts. It’s a world of flavor out there, and there’s even a place offering bike-powered beer tours in case you want to be safely peddled from tasting to tasting.
Brick by Brick
If you travel just to the eastern edge of the Business District and stray on over to Bricktown, a whole new world of possibilities opens up for all you beer chasers! You will find the venerable Bricktown Brewery (1 N Oklahoma Ave.), a legendary spot that launched a craft beer empire.
Middle of the Road
Over in two adjacent neighborhoods that's just a tad north of the Business District is another patch of Oklahoma City prairie sporting some serious craft brew joints that you will have to check out. Midtown and the Flatiron District are right next to each other and both home to some fine artisan beer establishments. Stop by Twisted Spike Brewing (1 NW 10th St.) and you will find some fantastical fruity experiments including cherry vanilla tart sour ales and a brew with such heavy Mojito flavors, we wouldn’t blame you if you thought you were in a Cuban restaurant.
Another spot in the area gets more European traditional in their selections. Over at the Elk Valley Brewery (1210 N Hudson Ave.), they serve up a cold Kolsch in the true German tradition and an authentically styled farmhouse Saison worthy of the finest recipes in Belgium. If that won’t do the trick for you, then how about the rooftop garden Elk Valley sports, serving up their own custom suds? Picture the view as you enjoy a wide variety of American IPA styles, bringing your taste buds from coast to coast with both New England and California recipes making their mark.
Out and About
There are several other places to check out all over Oklahoma City to discover the best beer the town has to offer. Take a drive over to COOP Ale Works (4745 Council Heights Road) for a wide variety of amazing craft brews. Spin your wheels to the Automobile Alley district and grab a nice glass over at Prairie OKC (3 NE 8th St.) and enjoy its lovely airy ambiance. There are loads more to explore, so prepare to embark on a journey of beery goodness discovery!