Ozark Beer Company Purchases New
Location in Downtown Rogers
New location is more
than 50% larger than current space and reflects
rapid growth in the beer
segment of AR’s economy.
|Photo Credit: Marty Shutter|
After two and a half years of brewing beer at its 1700 S. 1st
St. location, Ozark Beer Co. has purchased a new location. The current brewery has already reached the
capacity owners Lacie Bray, Andy Coates and Jefferson Baldwin envisioned in
year five of the young brewery. “We have
quickly outgrown this space,” says Bray. “It was never going to be our
permanent home though,” says Andy Coates. Year one saw Ozark canning its first beer,
their American Pale Ale. Year two saw
the the addition of an all-American canning line and a 200% increase in tank capacity
from 3 to 9 tanks and canning two other beers; the Cream Stout and Belgian
“Most breweries start out like this,” says Coates, referring
to an initial focus on getting beer into the market and then, “putting more
into the retail space and tasting room.”
The purchase of the property reflects the rapid growth in
the beer segment of Arkansas economy. On
track to outpace last years estimated $324 million in economic impact, beer in
Arkansas is big business and growing.
“We really want to be part of the growing downtown
community,” owner Lacie Bray says.“The purchase of a property in downtown Rogers was a
conscious decision to further integrate Ozark Beer Co. into the Northwest
Arkansas community, specifically downtown Rogers,” says chief of Marketing and
Parties, Marty Shutter. “This was our only shot at being downtown,” Coates says of
the building that was not even for sale when Ozark approached the former
owner. “We could have bought
a larger, newer facility for 2/3rds of the price,” says Coates, “but it would
have been on the edge of town.”
“We had a map and
looked at every building of a certain size,” says Bray. “This building was made
to be a brewery.”
“If this building was in the middle of nowhere it would
still be perfect for a brewery,” says Coates.
By relocating the business to downtown Rogers, the young
brewery that has already gained impressive national attention from outlets such
as Beer Advocate, Men’s Journal, Martha Stewart Living, USA Today, Southern
Living, Paste Magazine, Food & Wine and a host of others is assuming a
direct role in the future of its community.
The larger facility also reflects larger demand, so the
10,000 sq./ft. warehouse space means more beer. Currently Ozark Beer Co.’s demand has meant
limited distribution. The brewery’s beer
is currently only available in Benton and Washington counties in NWA and
Pulaski and Saline in central Arkansas.
Higher ceilings allow for larger tanks which will in turn allow for
larger batches and a greater distribution.
For now, the OBC team will continue to brew at 1700 S. 1st
Street in Rogers pending City approval of their plans. Once approved and a modest buildout is
complete, OBC plans to begin brewing in the new space as early as the end of
|Photo Credit: Marty Shutter|
The new location, 109 N. Arkansas Street in Rogers was built
around 1886 as a flour mill and was opened as Rogers Flour Milling. Newspaper clippings from the era point to a
business that was built and paid for by some of the most influential Northwest
Arkansans of the day.
The lumber that comprises the original structure, long-leaf
pine, was milled at the former Van Winkle Mill on what is now Hobbs State
Park. The mill and lumber was responsible
for many of the early buildings of our era including The University of
Arkansas’ Old Main and the Benton County Courthouse.
A fire on April, 30th of 1914 destroyed much of
the building and it was subsequently rebuilt.
Over the years the facility has only had a few owners. It has served as Rogers Transfer Co., a
public scales facility and most recently a storage facility for eco-friendly
A grand opening and public viewing is being planned for
sometime in the coming months and the OBC team plans to be brewing in the new
space by the end of Summer.