A unique brewpub is just weeks away from opening in downtown Tulsa.
Not only is the food gluten free, but the beer is, too!
The owner of Tulsa’s newest brewpub has Celiac Disease and knew this town was the perfect place to turn his passion into profits.
“All of my friends were into craft beer. Prairie was just blowing up the scene in Tulsa, producing great beers,” said Johnathan Neff from New Era Fine Fermentations. “I wanted to be a part of it, but I couldn’t drink the beer.”
Until the chemistry graduate started brewing his own gluten-free beer.
“It’s kind of fun to play around with that and combine the brewing sciences with my chemistry background,” Neff said. “Today, we’re working on our Belgian Pale Ale.”
Neff is now crafting 18 combinations using quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and rice.
“This is the only gluten-free brewpub within a couple of thousand miles,” he said.
It’s not easy to find gluten-free beer at the store, either.
“Generally, not always, but generally, they are gluten-reduced beers,” stated Neff. “So, they use barley, which contains gluten. They produce the beer and then they’ll add in an enzyme that will reduce the gluten.”
It’s not cheap. Neff says these ingredients are 30 times the cost of barley and other normal malts.
“In order for us to make a profit on the beer, we had to be able to distribute the beer ourself and keep that markup that generally the distributors will get,” he said.
That’s why he planned to open New Era after the new liquor laws went into effect, with 27 taps, a full restaurant menu, and a covered outdoor patio.
“There’s new businesses left and right,” stated Neff. “We’re really excited to be a part of the booming district of East Village.”
He says he plans to start with a small menu – all gluten free.
When it opens in a few weeks, there will be live music, games, and a projection screen for movies outside.