The Thirsty Beagle: Prairie OKC brewery taking shape

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Prairie OKC brewery taking shape

I had a chance last week to stop by and tour the new Prairie OKC brewery, and things are really starting to take shape there as they near an opening date for the facility on NE 8 near downtown.

The major components of the brewery -- walls, windows, doors, floors, walk-in cooler, etc. -- are complete and you can really get a feel for the layout and possibilities for the space.

Some finish work still remains, including the bar top and tap area, tables and chairs and artwork.

But all the brewing equipment is in the brewhouse (although not in its final arrangement when I was there) and brewery general manager Greg Powell said they are looking at a possible mid-September opening, pending any last-minute delays.

Powell said they plan to feature at least eight beers at opening, and told me OKC fans should typically expect to see beers that are unique to the OKC location.

One notable exception will be Prairie Bomb!, which will likely be on tap year-round. Powell said because of space and storage constraints at the OKC facility, the Bomb! wort will likely be produced in McAlester or Krebs and then shipped to Oklahoma City, where it will be fermented and spiced.

He said fans should expect multiple Bomb! variants throughout the year.

Maybe the best way to get feel for how things look is to take a little photo tour. Here we go!

First, you have a look at the entry on the west side of the building. This is directly to the east of the train tracks:


Next you have a look at the bar area. Two rows of taps will be located under the shelves: 


Here you have a view looking west at what will be the main seating area:


Similar view as above here, but now you can see the west entry and the large roll-up garage door:


Here's a look inside the brewhouse. In the back, you can see a staircase that leads up to an upstairs area that will likely be used for private events:


More brewhouse and fermenter action. Powell said one of the neatest features of the brewery will be its serving tanks, where beer lines will run directly from the brewhouse to the taps. He said this is a great way to protect beer integrity because it limits the amount of time beer is moved around from vessel to vessel:


A look at the walk-in cooler. This view will actually be obstructed by some fermenters and/or tanks that will eventually be moved into that area:


A different angle of the brewhouse:


Here's a look at the brewhouse from the staircase that heads up to the private event area:


And here is said area. The windows with the blue Xs look out over the bar and seating area:


Here's the view of the brewhouse from the private event area:


And here's what you will see when you're enjoying drinks in the main seating area:


And finally here's a wider view with the bar at the right, the seating area straight ahead and the private area upstairs. You can see the space will allow for a ton of natural light:


What you can't see from the pictures is the rest of the building. Prairie will be one of several tenants in an indoor-open-air concept that developers hope will eventually hold restaurants and art galleries. With the right mix of businesses, this could quickly become a destination area for locals and out-of-towners.

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