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VORTEX ALLEY BREWING: Craft beer comes to Ponca City

Photos courtesy David Thomas
Vortex Alley Brewing in Ponca City
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PONCA CITY, Okla. -- In the popular television show of the 1960’s, The Untouchables, which was set in Chicago during the Prohibition era, scenes of trucks driven by Untouchable agents crashing through wooden doors of illegal breweries were common.

The fact that the particular brewery being raided by those often axe-wielding agents were set up in response to the public demand for beer after previous ones had been shut down was never addressed in the series.

And if a latter day contingent of “Untouchables” were to venture into the Sooner State on similar missions they would need several new fleets of trucks and agents to drive them due to the increasing number of craft beer breweries that are located here.

While many of them are in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas, an increasing number of breweries are now found in Oklahoma’s smaller communities where they are developing a customer base that enjoys their particular combination of malt and hops and often intriguing assortment of other ingredients.

One such establishment is currently being constructed in Ponca City that will be known as the “Vortex Alley Brewery and Tap Room ” and will be operated by David Thomas, Spencer Boatmun, Jimmy Allen, and Marc Spaulding who are a group of aspiring brewmasters there who will concoct the amber brew in unique flavors such as “key lime”.

David Thomas reports that the project has been ongoing for over a year.

Like most new undertakings, the brewery has been the subject of numerous setbacks that have delayed its official opening , but Thomas asserts that he and his associates have maintained their commitment to its opening, and that they could not have overcome those daunting hurdles without the support of the people of Ponca City.

Vortex Alley has been partially financed through a “GoFundMe” account that brought in funding from a wide variety of individuals. And many residents there follow the progress made that has been documented on the Vortex Alley Brewery Facebook Page where pictures have been posted of the walls that have been lacquered and the logo that will adorn the glasses in which the beer will be served.

That page also details the grain that will be purchased to make the beverage and includes numerous comments made by local residents who are eager to sample it.

The brewers have previously dispensed beer at events held in the Ponca City area, including the town’s annual Oktoberfest, and Thomas reports that many of those who follow the Vortex Alley’s construction on Facebook had sampled their beer at that event.

Another gathering that served as a catalyst for the breweries construction was the invitation that was extended to the craft beer makers to attend the first “Battle of the Burgers” event that was held in Ponca City in June of last year and was sponsored by the Ponca City Main Street organization, and the warm reception that their concoctions had at that gathering convinced them that their dream of opening a brewery could in fact become a reality.

And Chelsea McConnell of Ponca City Main Street reports that that entity looks forward to working with the Vortex Alley Brewery and Tap Room in more events in the future.

Vortex Alley Brewing
220 E. Central Ave.
Ponca City, OK 74601

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Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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