We’re back in the taproom baby!
“There’s something good about the brewing scene. What it does for people and what it does for community.”– Christian from Lazarus Brewing
When April and I first hit the road in our RV, I had only two real “hit list” breweries: BrewDog in Ohio and Dogfish Head in Delaware. We made it to both and neither disappointed, but there were a few others along the way that I was hoping to get to if they worked into our route. One such brewery was Prairie Artisan Ales.
The allure to Prairie for me was the brewery’s reputation for big, bold stouts like Bomb! as well as its funky farmhouse ales like Standard.
When we found that we would be routing through Oklahoma City, Prairie’s OKC taproom was a no-brainer. We stopped. We marveled at the beer. The taproom was cool, in a funky hipster sort of way, but didn’t really fall into our wheelhouse.
We had a bit more time and had noticed that there was another little brewery just a couple blocks away from Prairie.
“You wanna go check out this Twisted Spike place?”
“Sure, why not?”
And that’s how we dumbed our way into what is now one of our favorite breweries in Tornado Alley (It’s twisted, I’m telling you.) Not to mention, it isn’t all that far from our friends at Superior Bathhouse Brewery in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
There’s good beer in Tornado Alley!
The night we stepped into Twisted Spike, we immediately knew we had chosen well. Twisted Spike is housed in a nearly 100-year-old building in Downtown OKC. The inside features old brick and exposed wooden beams with a shipping container motif that is a bit more than just a nod to the nearby railroad tracks.
But if you know us at all, you know that as important as ambiance is, there’s also got to be really good beer coupled with really good people.
Check – and – mate!
The beer covers the gamut. Twisted Spike has everything from a German Kolsch to a Blood Orange IPA; a Belgian Blonde to a Ginger/Peppercorn Saison; a Belgian Quad to a Russian Imperial Stout; a straight-up American Pale Ale to a Vanilla/Coffee Porter; and quite a bit more. With 20-plus tap handles, they cover a lot of ground, and it’s all good.
The beer that really put a stamp on it for April was La Gitana, a Lime and Mint Mexican Lager. Basically, this is the closest you’ll ever get to a Mojito beer. And it’s a beer that April will never pass up. In fact, it is an absolute must that we walk away with multiple six packs whenever we can get it, because we’re rarely in OKC.
Twisted Spike is about good beer and good people!
What really seals the deal is the people. Twisted Spike is a Mom and Pop shop started by Bruce and Donna Sanchez. They opened the doors on Dec. 10, 2016. We walked through said doors on May 2, 2019, and never looked back.
Greeted by Bobby, Michael and Kiara, we ended up staying way beyond our allotted window. Yes, we do sometimes give ourselves a curfew. And yes, we break that curfew almost religiously. How the heck do you justify leaving when you’ve been bit by the Holy Snake?
Wait, what?! Yes, a Holy Snake. That being the locals 50/50 blend of Twisted Spike’s Holy Beer and Black Snake. Holy Beer is Bruce’s award-winning Belgian Quad. Black Snake is his decadent Russian Imperial Stout. When the two are blended together, the venom is spectacular.
We were on the road back to Denver, but as we chatted with Bobby, Michael, and Kiara, we learned they too were soon headed to Colorado. By the end of the night, we were exchanging numbers, hoping to meet up again in Colorado. That unfortunately never happened.
We once again found ourselves in the Southeastern part of the country this year for the RV Entrepreneur Summit. Unfortunately, like so many other things, the conference was forced to pivot into a virtual format because of the restrictions put in place to try and slow the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, as the world went into lockdown mode and travel restrictions were morphing by the day, we found ourselves hunkered down with my brother and his kids near Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Having sheltered in place for far too long – there are so many words and phrases from all of this that I have come to despise – we finally found ourselves once again en route to Denver, our home base.
Superior Bathhouse: Another home away from home
We couldn’t help but stop in Hot Springs to visit our good friends Jimm and Rose at Superior Bathhouse. We hoped to swing by and show them a little love by getting some beer to go, which we did, but we were also fortunate enough to pass through on the first day that they were able to open the brewpub to indoor seating.
It was of course limited with a plethora of precautions put in place, but it was rather nice to actually sit down and have a beer and chat with friends. Oh hell, who am I kidding, we just love hanging with Jimm and Rose whenever we can.
We don’t plan all that well, but as we figured our route from Hot Springs to Denver, it dawned on us that Oklahoma City was smack dab in the way of our getting home. Plot the course Mr. Checkov!
So we planned to swing through OKC and picking up some Twisted Spike six packs to show our support for our friends. And I’ll be damned if April would pass up her Mojito beer!
As we cruised down the highway, I checked to make sure they would be open for to-go sales.
Twisted Spike brings us back to the taproom!
“What? Are they not open?”
“Better. Today is their first day of in-taproom service. Score!”
Marveling at our good fortune, we made a beeline for the brewery.
As had Superior, Twisted Spike opened with precautions. There was hand sanitizer at the ready upon entry and throughout, tables were physically distanced, and all that jazz; our friends were hardly recognizable behind their stylish COVID-19 masks.
I joke, but kid you not, Bobby, Michael, and Kiara – plus a new face, Nick – were all behind the bar, where we were actually allowed to sit! (I know, shocker. And yes, we were distanced. I’m really hating that word.)
It had been a little over a year since we’d seen these guys, yet they all recognized us almost immediately. I felt like Norm! Everybody knew my name.
Needless to say, we once again blew through our self-imposed curfew, but how could we not. We hadn’t been allowed in a true taproom-centric brewery in a couple of months, and these guys were too much fun to be around to just pop in and out.
I shit you not, it was like the clouds parted and the sun shown gloriously down upon us. It felt that good to feel normal, even if we were normal with stipulations.
Thank you, Twisted Spike!
A big part of #DrinkTheStory is about telling the story of a favorite brewery and promising to go back. We were fortunate enough that we got to roll both ends of the story into one at Twisted Spike. Again… we don’t plan so well.
So now, all I can say, as long as Twisted Spike is in OKC, we always have a reason to return!
What are some of the breweries you are looking forward to returning to? Or maybe you already have?
How do I support them now?
- This one’s easy since Twisted Spike’s taproom is open for business.
- If you’re still not feeling the taproom scene, that’s okay too. Twisted Spike has a wide variety of beers already in six packs or you can get a growler feel as easy to-go options.
Since #DrinkTheStory launched, many great stories and positive messages have come from it. Bloggers and beer friends have banded together in a Facebook group and we want to make sure to highlight stories that have emerged. Linked below are posts that we encourage you to read. There’s also a fantastic campaign going from an organization called Drink Local Think Global that has emerged as a craft brewery employee assistance relief campaign. Please consider donating to the DLTG campaign.
More #DrinkTheStory Articles:
- Three Strikes, and They’re Still Not Out – TheCraftBeerConcierge.com
- They Have Peacocks – AlcoholByVolumeBlog.com
- From Warehouse to Farmhouse; Throwback Brewery – TheCraftBeerConcierge.com
- NanoBrewing Big Dreams in Boulder – LivingAStoutLife.com
- Urban Growler Brewing Company – AlcoholByVolumeBlog.com
- 4 Small Town Breweries with Big Hearts – LivingAStoutLife.com
- 105 West Brewing Shows What it Means to Support the Community – BottleMakesThree.com
- Craft Breweries We Consider Home – LivingAStoutLife.com
Many wonderful things come from bringing beer and people together. There is also some great discussion on our Facebook group, which you can join here.
We urge you to #DrinkTheStory by sharing your own brewery stories and photos on social media, in the comments below, and on your own blog if you have one. Don’t forget to support as many local businesses as you can. We’re all in this together.
Ken & April