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Brewer to move to McAlester with help of state grant

Plans for Krebs Brewing Co.'s new production plant in McAlester are show. [Drawing provided]

Plans for Krebs Brewing Co.'s new production plant in McAlester are show. [Drawing provided]

MCALESTER — The Oklahoma Commerce Department awarded the city of McAlester a $1 million grant to buy a building for the expansion of the craft brewer Krebs Brewing Co.

Krebs Brewing plans to create 30 jobs over the next three years at its new brewery. The jobs will pay a minimum average annual salary of $41,000, as well as benefits, the city said.

The new building in McAlester will give Krebs Brewing room for future growth, said Zach Prichard, president of Krebs Brewing.

“This building makes so much sense, because it gives us a chance to grow incrementally without having to take a large step like this for at least a decade," Prichard said in a statement. "It has twice as much space as we need today."

Krebs Brewing is providing $994,951 in matching funds for the grant, which will be spent on leasehold improvements and equipment.

The business will bring new jobs to McAlester, as well as other economic benefits, Leroy Alsup, McAlester's community and economic development director, said in a statement.

“We're excited about working with Mr. Prichard and his company. We are excited about his business savvy. It has been a joy working with him on this project, and we look forward to the growth of Krebs Brewing Co.,” Alsup said.

The grant will be used to purchase the former QFI building, a 52,000-square-foot building at the McAlester industrial park, and 17 acres of land.

The city will lease the property to Krebs Brewing. McAlester is giving Krebs Brewing free rent for 18 months to help with the company's startup expenses.

Krebs Brewing will be responsible for property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and repairs during the lease. The brewer will also have the option to purchase the building for a nominal fee in 20 years.

The Prichard family has produced choc beer in Krebs since 1919, and founded Krebs Brewing Co. in 2004.

The company distributes beer in 22 states, in 15 countries, and on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.

Krebs Brewing has made numerous renovations to its original facility at the Prichard family's famous Italian restaurant, Pete's Place, but they have outgrown it, the company said.

Pete's Place and the on-site brewery will be maintained, but the bulk of beer production and finished goods storage will be relocated to the new building in McAlester.

Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›