It wouldn’t have been possible as recently as two years ago to have a yoga lesson in the brew house at Roughtail Brewing Co.
Or to host a painting and beer sampling session for 50 people alongside the fermenting tanks in Anthem Brewing Co.’s building.
That’s because those breweries, in Midwest City and Oklahoma City, respectively, didn’t exist two years ago. Now, Roughtail and Anthem are part of a growing number of commercial breweries in the Oklahoma City area — at least half a dozen are in operation now, with several newcomers in the planning stages.
While the number of local breweries producing small batches of handcrafted beers has grown, so has the fan base for such beers and the culture that surrounds their consumption.
That culture will be on display during the inaugural Oklahoma City Craft Beer Week, a series of nearly 30 events set for Sunday through May 18. The week will coincide with American Craft Beer Week and is meant to highlight Oklahoma City’s brewers and beer culture.
The events include the yoga and painting sessions — which will be paired with beer samplings — and also brewery tours, tastings, pint nights and dinners at local bars and restaurants, and homebrewing lessons hosted by the area’s two homebrew supply stores.
The week culminates with its centerpiece event: the fourth annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival. The outdoor beer-tasting festival, which will feature samples of more than 200 beers, is set for 1 and 5 p.m. May 17 next to TapWerks Ale House in Bricktown.
“It’s great to see Oklahoma City embracing craft beer on this level,” said Greg Powell, general manager at TapWerks and lead organizer of the Oklahoma Craft Beer Festival. “It is amazing to see how the support for local breweries grows every year. Five years ago, no one would have ever dreamed of having multiple events at multiple locations throughout the city all in support of local breweries.”