The last twelve months have been a great time for Prairie. We have created great new beers, shipped to new markets, benefited from the modernization of Oklahoma beer laws, opened a brewpub in Tulsa, announced a new OKC brewery, began a large but reasonable expansion in McAlester, and were recognized as on the top brewers in the world by Rate Beer.
Prairie has always been defined by variety and ever changing beers. Over the past year we have expanded on that idea with numerous beers. The one that stands out the most is Pirate Paradise, a rum barrel aged stout with coconut and vanilla. It was our first ever brewery only release. It is a sublimely smooth and complex beer that demands attention. I have also been very pleased with Phantasmagoria. In every way it is completely different than Pirate Paradise. It is a big, bold, juicy double IPA. We also celebrated our 4th Anniversary with bold ginger spices in a sour ale.
In 2016 Oklahoma breweries were finally able to sell beer from their taprooms. After a few years of asking, the legislature finally accepted our proposal by passing SB 424. Since the law became effective in August we have hosted two bottle releases and numerous other private events at the Krebs brewery. We also announced the opening a small brewery and taproom in Oklahoma City. The OKC brewery will feature 3.5 barrel system. It will allow us room for even more experimentation. Look for some awesome things from there around late spring or early summer.
Another major project for 2016 was beginning a facilities expansion of the Krebs brewery. For a while our production has been seriously limited by space. We simply did not have enough room for new tanks, packaging equipment, barrels, or anything else. Through a partnership with the City of McAlester we have secured a much larger facility just a few miles from our existing brewery. We should begin renovation in March and be operational by the middle of the year. This space will allow us to comfortably add capacity as needed. We will be able to brew and expand at our own pace.
Last month RateBeer announced their awards for 2016. Prairie was honored to win 6 awards including Top 100 Brewery in the World, Top Brewery in Oklahoma, and the inclusion of three beers on the Top 100 Beers in the World list. Only six brewers in the world had more beers named to the Top 100 list. The RateBeer awards are epically meaningful since they are based upon the reviews of users. RateBeer’s users are a serious community that provide meaningful feedback. It is an honor to be mentioned on their list with some the best brewers it the world.
2017 is already shaping up to be even more exciting. We are looking forward to sharing the OKC space with everyone, releasing some longer term wood aged sour beers, and are working to expand our spirits barrel aging. I look forward to sharing a beer with you one of our breweries or at one of our special events.