Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Vortex Alley Brewing Company
Vortex Alley Brewing Company

Ponca City has a craft brewery!

I stopped in on Wednesday afternoon to check out their beers and was pleasantly surprised. I was also hopeful for their success as at 3:30 PM they were nearly full of patrons. Yes, I understand the brewery had only been open a couple weeks at this point so there was the “new factor” in play, but still optimistic for their long-term success. Their smoked stout was good and the specialty holiday beer, a cranberry gose, was also quite tasty. In fact, I took home a growler to share with the family.

We returned on Saturday night to another packed house and a sure sign of potential success for a new brewery: running out of beer. Several of the varieties were gone by Saturday evening, including the wheat beer that I assumed my father would be able to drink… he thinks most craft beers are “too wangy”.

I don’t envy the owners in gauging the ongoing demand for their product in an area where people will drive 20+ miles to shop at WalMart because they have green beans for a nickel per can cheaper. I also don’t envy their having to navigate Oklahoma’s strange and obscure liquor laws. Nobody under 21 years of age can enter the premises, even just to deliver food; apparently they cannot open on Sunday; closing time is 9 PM; growlers must be sealed with tape (???). I suppose the people of Oklahoma should be happy they can actually consume the product on the premises, something that wasn’t allowed before this year. I also understand there are more taproom-friendly law changes coming in 2018.

Opening over a holiday weekend ensures good crowds but puts the pressure on to keep plenty of beer on-hand. They have also already learned that food trucks often cancel at the last minute, and my question about bringing my dogs in the taproom had not yet been anticipated. Judging from photos online they did allow a small dog inside later. One of my favorite aspects of Colorado breweries is an outdoor patio area but I don’t know where they would put a patio in their limited space.

I wish them nothing but continued success and pan to return over the Christmas holidays.

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