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Storm damage leaves three Oklahoma City beer brewers in the dark

May 31 storms collapsed the roof of the brewhouse at the OKCity Brewing Cooperative.
BY NICK TROUGAKOS Published: June 13, 2013

“We luckily had just delivered two- to three-months' supply to distributors in Oklahoma earlier in the week,” Schoelen said.

In addition, Mustang has brewed or still does brew under contracts with breweries in Wisconsin, Tennessee and Krebs. Schoelen said they will shuffle and shift production to those locations.

“We were on track to have 40 percent-plus growth this year,” he said. “That may slow down a bit, but we do not foresee any major hiccups in production.”

The situation is a little trickier for Anthem and Black Mesa.

Both companies brew all their beer at the cooperative. Black Mesa's Brad Stumph said other local brewers have extended invitations to brew at their facilities during the rebuilding process, but that won't help with the nearly 1,400 gallons of beer still in three of the tanks at the co-op.

Stumph said all three batches may be lost. By the time the brewhouse is deemed safe to access, the beer will likely have been in the tanks too long to fit within Black Mesa's desired freshness window, he said.

Anthony did not have beer in any of the tanks, but he said he planned to brew several batches at the co-op in the coming weeks.

“We have beer in stock at the distributor for the time being,” he said, “but it looks like it will be gone before we get to brew again.”

Anthony recently announced the purchase of his own brewery building near downtown Oklahoma City, and said his hope now is that the permit and licensing process will proceed swiftly so he can begin brewing at the new location.

Schoelen said he aims to rebuild the brewhouse structure, but the future of the brewing system itself remains up in the air until crews are allowed to access the area and remove debris.

“A visual inspection indicates damage to much of the system, but we need visits from salvage and sanitary equipment experts to determine the full extent,” he said.

Despite that uncertainty, Schoelen said the recovery process is off to a strong start.

“Everyone has been incredibly helpful,” he said. “It looks like we could be brewing again by fall.

“We'll be back — bigger and better than before.”