Good Beer Hunting

no. 473


It’s just a few minutes from Tulsa, Oklahoma's Cabin Boys Brewery to Heirloom Rustic Ales. Less than a mile. So it makes sense that Cabin Boys founder Austin McIlroy [above, right] and I should head to Heirloom after trying nearly everything at his place of business.

Turns out, Heirloom co-founder Jake Miller [above, left] is happy to let us try nearly everything at his place of business, too. While doing so, he tells us about a beer he recently made by putting 100-degree wort in a barrel and just kind of…waiting to see what would happen.

While Cabin Boys’ beers are clean and consistent every time, Heirloom takes a more experimental approach. A lot of Heirloom's beer names end in “Batch X.” Their beer will never be the same as the last time they made it. And it won’t be the same the next time they make it, either.

It’s during my third visit to Tulsa—a city that, two years ago, had just four breweries—that I have a revelation about what makes the still-nascent brewing scene here so special. McIlroy’s and Miller’s hearts are in the same place, despite the fact that what they’re brewing is so different.

To think that a gin-barrel-aged Wild Ale can be followed up by a crispy Kölsch by taking a short scooter ride between breweries! It makes my big-city-sprawl, “What-IPAs-do-you-have?" heart ache just a bit.