Tulsa Craft Brewer Is Selling Big Flavors
One of this state's newest businesses is run by an O.U. grad, who got his start making beer for his friends at school.Now he's making specialty beers with ingredients that range from coffee and chocolate, to fruit and chili peppers.His company is called Prairie Artisan Ales and it's part of a craft brewing explosion in this state.There are at least 10 craft brewers operating in Oklahoma.One of the newest is based in Tulsa, but currently works out of the Choc Brewery in Krebs.In just 8 months, their beer has spread to 18 states and several European countries.Owner and Brewmaster, Chase Healey, says they're a boutique brewery.While they make an every-day beer they call their Standard, the rest of their products are consumed more like a wine.They're packaged in big bottles with a cork and wire, to secure it like it's champagne.Their beers have a higher alcohol content and much more flavor, than what's offered by the giant beer companies.They age some of their beers in oak barrels, after adding special yeasts and ingredients.Healey says there are endless options."If we're using an old whiskey barrel you're getting flavor from the whiskey and the wood.If we're using apricots, we're pulling that flavor from the beer.We're trying to find real unique flavorful beer, instead of brewing bland watery beer."He says most of what they make, comes under the heading of farmhouse ales.They're using concepts originated by Belgian farmers.For hundreds of years, they've used leftover crops they had on hand."We want refreshing flavorful beers that aren't too big thick and intense.Something that's complex, but suitable for the heat of Oklahoma."Healey has purchased or ordered most of his own brewing equipment.As soon as they find a suitable space in Tulsa, they're going to open up their own facility.He says they're anxious to become a part of the community and get involved with the areas events.