Mark McDaniel and Chuck Wilson had a good problem to have when they opened Mountain Fork Brewery in 2015.
The problem? Demand was high.
They opened the brewery in their shopping center at 89 N. Lukfata Trail Road in the Hochatown area of Broken Bow. The shopping center also includes The Noodle Shop, Okie Girls Coffee & Ice Cream, Knotted Rope Winery and Hochatown Distilling Co.
The brewery started as a two-barrel setup, but as demand increased, they increased the size to a 20-barrel system.
“People wanted that local feel of craft beer. They found out real quick that they didn’t have enough supply. So the goal was to find a way to make more beer, and they went up to making more beer for sure,” said Mountain Fork Brewery’s brewmaster, Johann Fultz.
“We’re in the Texas market, all the way into Houston and Austin and Oklahoma, very heavy with Oklahoma City, as well as Tulsa. Tulsa has very strong support. We’re excited about that growth and keeping the brand and the loyalty that people have come to find with the quality of the beer here.”
With a brewery, winery and distillery right next to one another, they have their bases covered in the adult beverage scene.
“We have the adult playground. We got burgers, we got pizza, we got wine, liquor. We got a bar that’s owned by one of the other brother’s wives that has the late-night bar that makes everything under the sun and a tasting room,” Fultz said.
The owners grew up in the area and know what people want to drink. It is right next to Broken Bow Lake, so lots of “lake beers” are in their production. But they also have easy access to bourbon barrels that are used at Hochatown Distilling.
“We have a lot of light beers, which is unusual for a brewery, but we’re also on a lake. So you know, Mr. Mark really wanted us to go after a carb-light beer. And we did that. Mountain Fork Light is actually done with brown rice flakes. So it’s real ingredients, real product. We got it down to 6½ grams of carbs, which was really low for a commercial nonlab kind of craft beer with no enzymes,” Fultz said.
They have light beers, but they also have the other spectrum of beers — barrel-aged stouts, porters and Belgian strong ales that will keep your beer flights constantly rotating. The alcohol content ranges from 4% up to 11% in their lineups.
“Our Mountain Fork 9.0 is our stout, and we use that for barrel-aging projects and that does really well. It got a silver recently in the OSU beer competition,” Fultz said.
“It’s a sipping beer actually, it takes about an hour to drink a can,” said Chuck Wilson about the Mountain Fork 9.0.
“We pour the whiskey out one day and immediately put the beer in it. The path is we do it twice in that barrel, leave it for six months and then redo it again, for more of a sipping beer. It almost tastes like a mixed drink. Like you took a barrel with Old Charter in it,” said owner Mark McDaniel.
Mountain Fork is currently being distributed in Texas and Oklahoma and will soon ship to Louisiana and then Arkansas.
“We make the core beers that you want in your fridge every day. Our main core brand is to have great solid craft beer that is for everyday drinking,” Fultz said.
“We’ve got some really great loyal fans and that’s been a great thing to grow into.”
See a gallery of the beautiful fall foliage at Beavers Bend State Park