Your Guide to Tulsa's Thriving Craft Beer Scene
By Bea Baker, Matt Carney, Zack Reeves & Madeline Roper
About This List
When it comes to breweries, bigger isn’t necessarily better.
America’s in the middle of a bottom-up craft beer boom, if you didn’t already know. Large corporate brewers still hold the lion’s share of the beer market, sure, but the total number of the nation’s breweries and brewery workers have both increased dramatically since 2006, cooking up smaller and more sophisticated batches for consumers who expect richer flavors from their grog.
Tulsa’s no exception to this nationwide trend. Brewers here are innovating left and right, opening new establishments and experimenting with flavors across the spectrum. Marshall Brewing Company’s been at it the longest, Dead Armadillo’s flagship Amber Ale is one of the city’s most popular beers, Prairie Artisan Ales slings its latest creations from its beautiful downtown Brewpub and American Solera—which specializes in sours—was named the country’s best new brewery in 2017.
So start your Tulsa craft beer journey with the places in this guide. Just don’t forget to tip your local taproom worker, bartender or whoever refills that growler up for you! And, of course, practice social distancing and bring a mask wherever you visit. —Matt Carney
1702 E. 6th St., Tulsa, OK 74104
A place where beers young and old can get together, American Solera is a blend of unique beers created by brewer Chase Healey, co-founder of Prairie Artisan Ales. The brewery's focus is on wild and sour ales aged in oak barrels and foeders.
Walking into their brewery at 6th St. and Utica, there's plenty to catch your eye: the large expanse of seafoam colored flooring, the just-as-large expanse of windows and whimsical, soft colors everywhere you look.
And while a variety of traditional beers dot the menu, skip straight to Solera's iconic sours. Try their wine/beer hybrids, a fruity foeder ale or their take on barleywine for an intensely flavorful experience. —Bea Baker
1742 E. 6th St., Tulsa, OK 74104
After apprenticing in German breweries, Eric Marshall brought his love of beer and brewing techniques back to Tulsa. He founded Marshall Brewing Company in 2008 to highlight the art and enjoyment of craft beer.
The Marshall Brewing Company taproom is where to go to enjoy Marshall’s many styles of beer. Located in Tulsa’s Pearl District, the taproom space is a mix of modern and rustic style with long wooden tables and benches for sharing drinks and conversation. You can enjoy a cold pint inside, or venture outside to Marshall’s German-style biergarten, which offers a stage for live music.
On the menu, you’ll find 24 rotating taps of local beer. From Sundown Wheats to This Land Lager to Marshall’s Oktoberfest, the taproom offers a wide variety of draft and seasonal brews. The taproom also carries ciders, wines and non-alcoholic beverages.
All the beer is brewed on-site, and Marshall's offers monthly tours of the brewhouse. On tour, Marshall’s fans can get an in-depth look into the detailed process of brewing quality beer. The tours are free and don’t require you to sign up in advance. Just check the taproom website for dates and times.
Noteworthy tips: The taproom is kid- and dog-friendly, so bring the whole family! —Madeline Roper
2113 E. Admiral Blvd., Tulsa, OK 74110
This lively craft brewery in the Kendall Whittier District will make you feel like you’re on a magical woodland excursion. With a sleek, white tile backsplash, a mural depicting various grasses, tall ceilings, big open windows, a garage door and a natural wood wall behind the bar, Heirloom is an elegant, breezy space to sip beers, especially when the weather’s pleasant.
In addition to the flora inside the brewery, Heirloom’s brewers proudly pack their beer with fresh outdoor ingredients, from foraged mulberries to dandelions. Grab a seat at the bar and read all about them on Heirloom’s menu. They take great care to describe the process behind each glass of beer, as well as the many tastes and flavors they create. —Bea Baker
1004 E. 4th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
At Dead Armadillo, it all starts with their amber ale. In many ways, the craft beer scene in Tulsa has grown up knowing this very popular beer, which Dead Armadillo first brewed in 2013. These days you can find it in plenty of local bars, restaurants and grocery stores. It’s a nutty, carmelly gem with a nice medium body that pairs wonderfully with a hamburger and fries or tastes great by its lonesome.
But you’d be shortchanging yourself if you didn’t make it out to Dead Armadillo’s 4th St. tap room from time to try out their other tasty beers by the flight. There you’ll find a patio and warehouse space with an excellent view of the downtown Tulsa skyline, where they regularly host food trucks, musicians and other events. —Matt Carney
409 E. 1st St., Tulsa, OK 74120
While studying abroad in Dublin Ireland, Elliot Nelson fell in love with the country’s unique hospitality and their classic pubs. After graduating college and returning to Tulsa, Nelson brought the community and comfort of the Irish pub back to his hometown in the form of James E. McNellie’s Public House. The restaurant—which everybody around here just calls “McNellie’s”—opened in 2004 and helped spur the downtown Tulsa’s revitalization and food scene.
The proto-restaurant in the McNellie’s Group, McNellie’s serves classic pub food such as well-seasoned burgers and fish and chips to go with their extensive menu of draft, bottled and canned beers including selections from local brewers. Even the most experienced craft beer geeks are bound to find something they've never tried before on McNellie's rotating beer menu. —Madeline Roper
323 E. Reconciliation Way, Tulsa, OK 74120
This restaurant located directly across the street from ONEOK Field—which is home to the Tulsa Drillers AA baseball franchise and FC Tulsa of the USL Championship—has become a staple among local sports fans for its proximity to the stadium and daily specials on pizza, wings and house-brewed beer.
Definitely try the Spicy Pizza Pie with a Put Me In Kolsch for a hot-cold combination fit for Babe Ruth himself. —Matt Carney
1147 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa, OK 74104
The quaint brick building on the corner of 12th St. and Lewis Ave. is home to this humble brewery. At Renaissance, you'll find twelve taps behind the bar, a few of them staples. These include Renaissance Gold (a German golden ale,) Indian Wheat (a spiced Heifeweizen) and their Gamma Ray IPA.
Rotating seasonal beers can be straightforward like their lager and brown ale. Weirder options include El Jefe, named after boss man Glenn Hall. This beer is a Mexican lager but darker with more caramel notes added than most. Try the Dragon’s Breath pepper beer, the golden ale fermented with serrano peppers. —Bea Baker
321 S. Frankfort Ave. Ste. #2, Tulsa, OK 74120
Beer without gluten? New Era: Fine Fermentations proves that it's not only possible, it's delicious. Owner Jonathan Neff brews with gluten-free ingredients including rice, buckwheat, millet, and quinoa.
Try their Apollo Blonde Ale, made with rice and millet, or the G Force Grapefruit IPA made with sorghum and beet sugar. —Bea Baker
They’re best friends with Weird Al, throw the annual Hop Jam Beer and Music Festival every year in their Tulsa Arts District headquarters and have maintained a strong international following since their massive late 90’s hit "MMMBop." It’s Hanson, Tulsa's band of brothers.
Definitely do not leave Tulsa without trying the Hanson Brothers Beer Co.'s flagship brew, Mmmhops. It's an English-style pale ale with a full body and plenty of flavor. —Root staff
1502 E. 6th St., Tulsa, OK 74120
This Texaco station-turned-brewery in Tulsa’s Pearl District joined the beer scene when—in terms of names—there was just “nothing left.” Some of their smaller release batches include Porter peaches, lemon, sage, verbena and even Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Their Strawberry Blonde that is usually on the tap list is jam-packed (pun intended) with over a pound of strawberry puree per gallon. —Bea Baker
114 W. Archer St., Tulsa, OK 74103
Located in the thriving Tulsa Arts District, Welltown Brewing offers a laid-back space to try out a variety of locally brewed beers. You can stop by Welltown and enjoy a cold brew on the comfy couches in the taproom or take in the city lights from the rooftop patio.
With tongue-in-cheek names like “Feeling Peachy?” and “Sandy Jorts,” Welltown beers pack a tasty punch. Brewed from three main ingredients—hops, malt and water—their beers become greater than the sum of their parts.
Noteworthy tips: The rooftop and taproom are dog friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged friends.—Madeline Roper
7031 S. Zurich Ave., Tulsa, OK 74136
Beer mugs line the walls of the south Tulsa branch of this local institution, which is styled after the classic pubs of Ireland. Make no mistake: McNellie's is one of the most beer-centric spots in the whole city.
With over 200 taps behind the bar—including both local brews and those from as far away as Slovakia and Japan—and a full menu to pair with, the possible combinations at South City are practically infinite. —Zack Reeves
6808 S. Memorial Dr. #144, Tulsa, OK 74113
This taproom in south Tulsa serves small-batch craft beer that ranges from watermelon goses to a pineapple New England India pale ale, but you'll also find supplies for full-service homebrewing and winemaking next door at High Gravity Fermenting Supplies. It's a great visit for craft beer enthusiasts, homebrewers or anyone curious about expanding their beer worldview, knowledge and experience.
Special events at Pippin's include one-off randal and firkin (cask ale) tastings, food truck visits and family game days. —Bea Baker
1724 E. 7th St. Ste. D, Tulsa, OK, 74104
While not technically a brewery, Local Cider and its adjacent Angry Bear Mead taproom is definitely worth the visit if homemade alcohol is your jam. Local Cider distinguishes itself by producing dry cider that isn't anything like the sticky, sweet bottles you might find at the grocery store.
Their process? Local Cider boasts quality ingredients, lengthy aging (at least six months), and strive to “be weird,” using flavors that push culinary boundaries. That last point cannot be contested. With Thai coconut green curry, Foolish Things’ cold brew aged on oak, and mint julep, there is a world of imaginative recipes that will excite your taste buds. —Bea Baker
418 S. Peoria Ave. Tulsa, OK 74120
Part-taproom, part-playground for grown-ups, Pearl Beach Brew Pub always has something fun brewing, whether it’s behind the bar or out on the sand volleyball courts in its sprawling, patioed backyard.
Trivia, group yoga and live music are weekly occurrences at this bustling establishment, which is also a great spot to sample some intensely flavorful beers. Brewer Larry Herriman loves playing around with stouts and sours, many reaching well above 7% alcohol by volume. —Root staff
Locally owned and operated, Pearl Brewery Tours offers daily driving tours of Tulsa’s blossoming beer scene. Choose a tour package or create your own for a party of 12 or more. Tour locations include American Solera, Cabin Boys, Dead Armadillo, Heirloom Rustic Ales, Renaissance Brewing Co., Marshall Brewing Co., Nothing’s Left Brewing Company, Elgin Park, Broken Arrow Brewery, Willow Family Ales, Prairie Brew Pub, High Gravity MicroBrewery and Welltown Brewing.
Let Pearl Brewery Tours do the driving and parking. You do the drinking. —Root staff