Tony Peck was in Chanute, Kansas, to help his family clean out an old shed.
As he was moving some lumber, between two pieces of wood, he discovered a perfectly preserved dead armadillo. He joked about what a funny name that would be for his planned brewery, and he added Dead Armadillo to a page-long list of names he was considering.
A few weeks later, Dead Armadillo emerged as the winning name.
Peck, who is the brewery’s co-owner and managing partner, says the company started as a contract brewer in an Oklahoma City facility. In November 2014, it began renovations at East Fourth Street and South Madison Avenue, in a 7,000-square-foot former garage in what used to be the Fourth Street Auto building. (In fact, if you look closely the next time you're in the Dead Armadillo tap room, you'll notice that Peck couldn't bring himself to scrape off the old Fourth Street Auto signage from an interior window.)
By September 2015, the facility brewed its first batches.
No doubt about it, most fans of Dead Armadillo Craft Brewing are humans, but the brewery even has a following of four-legged fans: Rex Koelsch’s 25 head of dairy cattle that live on Tulsa’s west side. Every week or so, Koelsch picks up 700-800 pounds of spent grain, which is the wet grain left after the sugar is removed on its way to becoming beer. The cows, Koelsch says, love eating the grain and drinking the water, which provides them with extra protein.
Nothing, it seems, goes to waste in a local brewery.
Dead Armadillo produces three year-round varieties and has created three special releases to date. The amber ale is its flagship brew.
Keep an eye on dabrewery.com for information about hours for the taproom at 1002 E. Fourth St.
This article was adapted from The Tulsa Voice.