There are a lot of great reasons to visit Oklahoma City. Many visitors think about dining at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, exploring the history at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, or watching the NCAA’s Women’s College World Series at the OGE Energy Field at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex. There are countless other things people think about when they consider visiting OKC (see a full list here).
When people think about destinations to visit for craft beer, Oklahoma City probably isn’t on that list. However, considering recent changes in the state’s beer laws and the growth of breweries in the city, Oklahoma City should be on beer drinkers’ list of must-visit cities. There are a number of craft beer bars in the city and a dozen breweries to visit, but if you want to get the best beer visitors should go directly to the source.
Anthem Brewing Co. (908 SW 4th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73109)
After relocating to its current location in 2014, Anthem Brewing has gradually become one of the state’s premier breweries. The brewery’s four core beers cover the bases for novice and experienced craft beer drinkers. Arjuna and and Golden One are both lighter-body beers that are less hoppy, which makes them great choices for newcomers to craft beer. For people who enjoy hops and heavy-bodied beers, Anthem offers an IPA and Uroboros, an American stout. The taproom is incorporated into the brewery, so visitors have the opportunity to watch the brewing process while enjoying a freshly-tapped brew.
Coop Ale Works (4745 Council Heights Rd., Oklahoma City, OK 73179)
One of the earliest craft breweries in the state, Coop Ale Works helped pave the way for the growth of craft brewing in Oklahoma. Coop offers eight year-round beers, so no matter your tastes in beer you will find something that suites your palate. Among the core, you find an amber, a blonde, a brown, an IPA, and a wheat. My favorite beer name is hands down the F5 IPA, which plays off the state’s history as part of “Tornado Alley” and the scale that measures the intensity of tornadoes. To me, the name epitomizes the localism movement that The brewery’s location west of downtown Oklahoma City provides it with more entertainment space. So visitors can visit the backyard and play bocce, cornhole, or horseshoes in addition to lounging at the picnic tables.
Prairie Artisan Ales (3 NE 8th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73104)
One of the most recent additions to the craft beer scene in Oklahoma City is Prairie Artisan Ales. Prairie began in Tulsa, and opened its new brewery and taproom in Oklahoma City as the anchor tenant of a mixed-use development in Automobile Alley. Prairie is best known for Bomb!, which ranks among the top-100 beers according to BeerAdvocate and RateBeer), and its many variations. If you don’t like heavier beer like stouts, Prairie also brews some amazing farmhouse ales, which are a great choices for people who want something lighter but also flavorful.
Stonecloud Brewing Co. (1012 NW 1st St., Suite 101, Oklahoma City, OK 73106)
Oklahoma-native Joel Irby spent nine years working in the Colorado craft brewing industry before returning home and opening Stonecloud Brewing. The brewery has 19 taps that feature a variety of beers, and other fermented beverages. For example, people who don’t drink beer could have Stonecloud’s peach seltzer water or kombucha from Oklahoma City’s Big Oak Kombucha. One of the brewery’s benchmark beers (seen below) is Turtlehead, which is a coffee imperial stout that checks in at 11.0% ABV.
Twisted Spike Brewing Co. (1 NW 10th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73103)
One of the first breweries to open in the state specifically with the objective of taking advantage of the state’s more progressive beer laws was Twisted Spike Brewing, which opened in Automobile Alley. Bruce Sanchez spent over twenty years as a home brewer before opening Twisted Spike in 2016. The brewery offers Dirty Blonde and Crew, which are great beers for first-time craft beer drinkers. However, there are also more complex options like Two Bean or Not Two Bean, which is a vanilla coffee porter. The taproom is an elongated building, so there is plenty of space to hang out and enjoy eats from the occasional food truck that visits the brewery.
Regardless of what brings you to Oklahoma City, there are some excellent breweries for the experienced and novice beer drinkers to enjoy while exploring town. Additionally, many of the breweries are in the Midtown Oklahoma City, so visitors can sample several beers at different breweries.