February 16, 2018
Broken Arrow Brewery Opening Soon
History is in the making in Broken Arrow. The first official brewery is nearly complete in the former and historic Broken Arrow Light and Power Co. and Ice House building, 333 W. Dallas St.
Broken Arrow Brewing Co. is owned by Broken Arrow residents Austin Ferguson, Jason Northern and Bud Farris. Ferguson is the head brewer, and Northern also brews beer.
They worked to restore the building that was built in 1906, keeping it as original as possible, including the windows.
“We want you to feel like we do when we walk in, like you are going back in history, you are going to be drinking a beer in something that has been around before BA was even a city,” he said.
Building construction is always a challenge, but they have also had to sweat the name of the brewery.
“Our original name in 2011 was Indian Brewing Co. The reason I loved that name is I am a very proud Native American. I love that part of my history and my heritage that I came from the native side of really hardworking craftsmen,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson thought the name fit and even went to his tribe to get its blessing.
“Coming up with the name and talking with family and friends and talking with the tribe, they said they just didn’t want us to use a specific tribal name. So we thought everything was fine. We love the name being in the middle of Broken Arrow. It was just a love of our culture. There were some that were offended, so we didn’t want to offend anyone so we decided to become the Broken Arrow Brewing Co. We are still proud we are natively owned and operated,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has been brewing since he got his first homebrew kit when he was 21. That was about 11 years ago. It has been a passion ever since. He teamed up with Northern, whom he taught to brew. Northern has a background in mechanical engineering and Ferguson has a background in electrical engineering, and they did a lot of the labor to put the brewery together.
“Just putting our two heads together really made this take off for us,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson has been looking for the right location for the first Broken Arrow brewery since 2011.
“About five years ago, I looked around Main Street, I joked that I saw a tumbleweed blow down,” Ferguson said.
Now, the Rose District in downtown Broken Arrow is at capacity, with many restaurants and shops. The good thing for Broken Arrow Brewing Co.’s investment is that the city of Broken Arrow built 150 public parking spots right in front of the planned brewery.
The five-barrel brewhouse is from Portland Kettle Works, and they also have four 10-barrel fermentation vessels and one 10-barrel brite tank. The taproom will have 12 tap handles but likely won’t use all of them until they are able to brew more. The taproom capacity is at 50, with overflow to the patio at 30.
“The reason we wanted to start off small is we wanted to grow, as most companies, as organically as possible, starting small and making sure that we are meeting the needs, that everyone enjoys the beer and we grow with our community. The Rose District is blowing up right now; we want to be there with them,” Ferguson said.
Plans are in place to open at the end of February or the first of March.
They plan on starting with traditional styles — a brown ale, Saison, a traditional India pale ale and a New England-style IPA, a stout and an Imperial Porter — and will add other varieties later.
They also plan on distributing three to six months after opening, catering to the Rose District and then to neighboring states in a year and a half.
“We are going to be a customer service company that brews beer. Talking with local business guys, if you have an issue, you talk to them. It is a small-town feel. I want that to be a part of our culture here. When you come in here, you talk to us,” Ferguson said.
“The love for doing something with your hands and getting to enjoy and share with other people, that is our passion. At the end of the day, we get to share that,” Ferguson said.