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Roughtail Beer Adds Something Truly Unique to the Craft Beer Scene in Oklahoma City

By S. Mathur

Roughtail Beer is part of the growing local craft beer scene in Oklahoma City. The brewery produces a variety of special beers from light blonde to IPAs, with year-round and seasonal brews, as well as new releases. Most offerings are described as being on the bold hop-a-licious side, but kolsch and pilsner drinkers will find plenty to enjoy too.

Blaine Stansel, CEO, Co-founder and Owner, says that his love of beer and brewing developed through his home brewing experiences: "My partner and I were both homebrewers, so we really developed a love for brewing and making beer that we liked. At the time there really wasn't a whole lot of good craft IPA's in the market and basically no locally made IPA's. So we really recognized a need for a hop-forward brewery in the market."

A holiday in Germany in 2007 helped to crystallize the love of beer around the idea of opening his own brewery and in 2010, Roughtail was born. While they track trends in beer across the country, Stansel says that "We also try and make beers that we like. So much of brewing now comes down to technique and ingredients and so while we take inspiration from other breweries a lot of it comes down to what you have available and what you specialize in. We've been doing a bunch of IPA's and really hoppy pale ales recently and instead of focusing on bitterness we've been focusing on aroma."

There are a number of factors that differentiate beers, such as water, yeast, types of malt, brand of malt, etc. Roughtail beers stand out, Stansel says, by going hop heavy, and the market has responded favorably. His personal favorite kind of beer is "Doppelbock, since it's so far removed from anything we do at the brewery. It's also one of those styles that I had before I homebrewed that really got me into homebrewing, so i've got a lot of emotional ties to that style."

The beers are made to be consumed fresh. One of the advantages of being a smaller brewery is that it's easier to put new ideas into practice and to have a fun new idea for beer ready in a few weeks. Popular beers include the Hoptometrist, Everything Rhymes with Orange and the Adaptation Series.

The location, in a small industrial park, is a little out of the way but doesn't prevent fans from finding the brewery. The small taproom is always crowded and brewery tours are hugely popular. Tours are held on Saturdays and last around an hour.Visitors can sample beers, learn about the brewing process, and they also get 12 ounces of beer. Actually, they get a three-ounce cup with a brewery logo with four free refills, and they get to keep the cup.

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