The Thirsty Beagle: Bricktown Brewery celebrates 25 years

Monday, October 16, 2017

Bricktown Brewery celebrates 25 years

Can you remember what you were doing 25 years ago?

Personally, I was rocking Hypercolor T-shirts as a freshman in high school. And while that's exciting and all, there was something else notable happening in 1992.

That was the year Bricktown Brewery opened for business in downtown Oklahoma City. Hard to believe that much time has passed, but now BTB is celebrating its milestone 25th birthday.

They are hosting a series of events from Wednesday through Friday this week. To get the scoop on what's going on, and to dive into the history of BTB, I caught up with general manager Charles Stout for a Q&A.

Thirsty Beagle: Bricktown Brewery is celebrating a big anniversary -- 25 years. For people who may not know, does that represent 25 years at the existing location on the corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma?

Charles Stout: Yes the original Bricktown location has been open for 25 years!

TB: What do you guys have planned to commemorate the occasion?

CS: We are tapping a 25th Anniversary Ale that honors our most popular beer in our history (Copperhead Amber Ale) on Wednesday, October 18. Then on the 19th we are hosting a Brew Crew Reunion to honor all past and current employees over the years (oh, and the Thunder open at home that day!). On Friday the 20th we will have a VIP reception to honor our anniversary and then throw a huge party with original DJ Cliff Davis and the always popular Superfreak playing a concert on the second floor.

TB: Has anything changed in the Bricktown Brewery philosophy over the years when it comes to making beer? Or do you guys have a formula/approach you've tried to be loyal to over the years?

CS: We stayed true to 1992 original recipes and added several seasonal beers up until 2011. Then with new ownership and leadership we made a move to improve and elevate all of our products, from beer to food. We have made an even-more-focused effort on consistency of each of our flagship beers.

TB: Speaking of formula, a lot of people want to know what will happen on Oct. 1, 2018, when the statutory distinction between high- and low-point beer goes away. Will Bricktown Brewery begin making stronger beers?

CS: When the law changes we are excited to brew beers that have an ABV that is style-appropriate. Some beers, like the IPAs and the browns and stouts, will see an increase in ABV along with our limited-time-offering seasonal beers. We have learned to embrace the "session" style (below 5.0%) and some of the lighter beers will stay in that category to promote a longer drinking session to enjoy in our restaurants.

TB: Bricktown Brewery seems to be quite active lately in terms of pouring beer at festivals and tastings. Why do you feel those types of event are important to attend?

CS: We are being approached more, and with the current ownership group have the resources to participate in more festivals. We love festivals and hanging out with the public and our brewery friends in Oklahoma.

TB: Tell us a little bit about the 25th Anniversary Ale you will unveil -- what is that beer all about?

CS: The 25th Anniversary Ale is an homage to our original "Copperhead" brand. Copperhead was our biggest-selling beer for the longest time and really kept people coming to visit. The style is classic amber ale, a beer with distinct malt profile and a balance of Fuggles hops that is unique and flavorful. This beer has a crisp body and an upfront sweet taste that finishes with a Fuggles hit.

TB: Lastly, as someone who has been a witness and participant in the Oklahoma beer scene for more than 20 years, what are your feelings now on where the industry is going in Oklahoma?

CS: Things are very exciting! Just seeing our own success in each Oklahoma market we come to, along with the fun crowds at all the taprooms it is clear Oklahoma is becoming a beer state. We are seeing a more diverse craft beer crowd to include those from rural Oklahoma, women, and of course all the many travelers to our state. The dedication to hard work and quality that we are seeing from the new surge of breweries is very refreshing and a good sign that beer is a viable Oklahoma industry!

You can find details on all of BTB's events this week at their Facebook page.

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