Matt Anthony, Anthem’s owner and brewer, started with a Mr. Beer kit in 2000 as a hobby beer maker. Over the years, he said, he came to view craft brewing as means of self-expression.
“Anthem Brewing’s beers are my anthem to the world,” he said, “expressing not only my individualism, but also my love for this craft.”
Anthony said he’s always preferred beers from Belgium or Belgian-style beers from U.S. breweries like Avery, Russian River and Lost Abbey.
“Many of those beers either make a long trip to get here or aren’t shipped here at all,” he said. “So why not brew the kinds of beers I love, and brew them for the public here in Oklahoma? What’s better than fresh and local?” Along with Redbud Brewing Co., Anthem is one of the first breweries to take advantage of an innovative startup in the metro.
OKCity Brewing Company, 1354 W. Sheridan, a cooperative space for brewers. The brainchild of Sibyl Kang, it allows craft brewers to lease equipment and space, saving thousands of dollars in startup costs.
Chase Healey, Redbud owner and brewer, said Kang’s model allows brewers with insufficient capital to produce their own craft beers and get them to the market.
“We complain a lot about Oklahoma’s liquor laws, but in this case, our laws allow for a great deal of freedom in packaging and marketing,” Healey said. “This concept wouldn’t even be legal in Texas. ... It allows for the making and selling of more local beer; it’s a good situation for everyone.”
Anthony said he hopes to have his own facility eventually, but Kang’s company allowed him to get started far sooner than he would have otherwise. In keeping with his Belgian roots, he would like a true farmhouse-style brewery.
For now, Anthem has only shipped the Golden One in kegs, although Anthony said the next batch will be divided between kegs and 750 ml bottles. White Flame, a Belgian wheat beer, will ship in July, and Anthony said to expect sour and wood-aged beers in the fall.
As for OKCity Brewing, the next brewer, Chris Sanders, will begin making his new Black Mesa Brewing Co. beers there soon.