Roughtail holds first OKC brewery tour since state laws relaxed

With the pour of a glass history is made.

Brewery tours may be common around the country, but Saturday Roughtail Brewing Company held the first in the Metro since state laws changed.

Related: Photos from the Roughtail Brewing Company tour.

Unlike wineries, breweries were not allowed to offer samples to customers.

"For us not to be able to do any of that, it's a big hindrance to us starting up," said Roughtail owner Blaine Stansel who opened the Oklahoma City brewery earlier this year.

Now brewers can give free 12 oz samples of their beer. It's a change that helps get people in the door.

"I've traveled around and done it in lots of other states so now it's nice to have it here at home," said tour attendee Ben Childers.

Right now craft beer is booming. It's a $10 billion industry, growing at nearly 20 percent a year, according to the Brewers Association.

"I like the flavors, I like the innovation, I like the craft idea behind it that we've got people who are making this, you know, and it's their profession and it's their ideas," said Childers.

These guys don't tip their glasses for mass-produced light beer or what they call 'fizzy yellow water.'

"There's a lot of room for growth especially in Oklahoma because it's a relatively untapped market with the 95 percent plus being yellow fizzy water drinkers," Stansel said.

Stansel has his MBA and began brewing at home in 5 gallon tanks. He's doing what he loves but building a business from scratch can be tough. Especially when making a single batch to sell takes 2 weeks.

That's why they hope more tours will help grow the business. Convincing people to think local when they fill their fridge with beer.

"We kind of feel if you make great beer people will come," Stansel said.

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