breaking: Millwood High School pulls basketball team off court amid COVID 'super-spreader' at Community Christian

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

When Bricktown Sought to Attract Yuppies

David Dishman had a great story on Sunday about the growth of breweries and taprooms downtown and made mention the Bricktown Brewery got it all started way back in 1992.

I assisted in that history and provided him this story from 1992 announcing the venue, which remains a vibrant part of downtown. The brewery has undergone several transformations over the years and its brand has spread to five states under current CEO Buck Warfield.

The brewery, is unique to the original location. The the craft beer menu and the restaurants have expanded to locations at Remington Park Racetrack and Casino, Edmond, Midwest City, Shawnee, Owasso, Brookside and Woodland Hills in Tulsa, Fort Smith, Ark., Wichita, Springfield, Mo., Wichita Falls, Texas and El Paso, Texas.

Bricktown Site of City's First Brewpub

By Bill Johnson, Sun. Sep 13, 1992

Oklahoma's first brew pub is taking shape in the historic Bricktown area of Oklahoma City, a miniature brewery that will provide the golden draft for diners in the pub's restaurant.

Bryan Jester, managing partner of the Bricktown Brewery, says he foresees the operation as being much more than just a restaurant with its own brands of beer brewed just feet from the bar.

"I think it will promote tourism to Oklahoma City, and especially to Bricktown," says Jester, a political science major in college. "We will offer tours and show people just how a handcrafted beer is made. "

A pre-statehood building that has housed a wholesale grocery operation, a coffee roaster and a candy warehouse is being renovated for the brew pub. The massive vats where the actual brewing will take place have been installed and brew meister Luke DiMichele, 31, says he anticipates the first run in the coming week.

That will mark the first commercial beer brewing in Oklahoma since the Lone Star Brewery closed in 1971. Unlike the products from that brewery, which began life as a brewery for Progress beer, the beers produced by the brew pub must be consumed only on the premises.

The beer goes from the brewing vats to eight serving tanks, which will be connected directly to the bar.

Beers produced at the brew pub will be made only of natural grains, water yeast and hops.

The brewing process begins when crushed malted barley is added to a tank of hot water. From there to the end, the process is self-contained and no preservatives are used.

Jester said the use of only natural products "sticks to the German purity law. " Carl Straus, an 80-year-old graduate of a German brewing school who has been in the brewing business for 60 years, is consultant to the brewery and is formulating the beers that will be produced.

Although brewpubs have been in operation for a number of years on the East and West Coasts, it took a change in law to make brew pubs legal in Oklahoma.

Jester and partner Tom McLain believed the concept would fit into Bricktown, which has become a major place to go for the area's Yuppies.

It might seem a strange decision for someone who majored in political science. But Jester points out he worked his way through college by running a small hot dog stand in the downtown Oklahoma City concourse.

He continued in the restaurant business after college and, by the time he decided to devote full time to the brew pub, had eight fast-food and one dining operation in the downtown area. His parents have taken those over.

For DiMichele, however, its the first venture into commercial beer production.

He holds a master's degree in fermentation science from the University of California at Davis.

DiMichele said he has been a home brewer for three years.

Related Photos
<figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure>