ENID, Okla. (KFOR) – The old building on the courthouse square has seen a lot of businesses come and go since 1900, but nothing like what Justin Blasier has been doing lately, brewing and canning beer at the Enid Brewing Company headquarters.
“Brewing beer was the one thing that was the release that never felt like a job to me,” he says.
Looking at this operation now it’s hard for even Justin to recall his small beginnings as a home brewer.
He recalls, “It took forever to make eight bottles of beer so we thought, ‘let’s crack them open to taste it.’ We actually liked it a lot.”
But a chance meeting over, what else, beer with Brady Sidwell created a partnership that might have started something even bigger.
The idea, says Justin, is, “We’re already in the heart of wheat country.”
Justin had the know how to make good suds.
Sidwell, who owns a family farm 20 miles west, a grain company, and a seed company, supplied all the stuff they needed to put in their huge brewing tanks.
“It’s a bridge between rural and urban,” argues Sidwell. “Between producer and consumer.”
The Enid Brewing Company is already expanding next door which is good because the bar has become a popular night spot.
Sidwell isn’t stopping with his push to open more local markets for producers.
The spent grains from the beer making go right back to his cattle that produce beef for Oklahoma restaurants.
A lot of other grain will go toward making break in his new craft bakery.
Sidwell states, “We already offer that as an experience here as a product that’s on the menu, but our whole idea from a supply chain perspective is to be able to offer this to other restaurants as ingredients.”
You can start a lot of fruitful conversations over a cold glass of brew.
Bringing farmers and cattlemen, and bakers into one big room might be just the nourishment northwest Oklahoma needs.