Crafty brews 

The first Red River Craft Beer Festival will feature more than 80 beers, including brews from many Oklahoma breweries. The event, which will be held in Lawton, grew from a conversation between J.P. and Megan Richard, the father/daughter owners of Cache Road Liquor, Wine & Beer, 2002 NW Cache Road, in Lawton.

“Dad and I were discussing the amazing selection of beers available in Lawton, and he mentioned that it was a shame we have to go so far for beer festivals,” Megan Richard said. “As soon as he said it, we knew we had to do something.”

The first thing J.P. Richard did was approach Armed Services YMCA of Lawton Fort Sill, an organization Richard has supported for many years, about sponsoring the event. All of the proceeds from the festival will go to support the programs at Armed Services YMCA, including direct financial aid to soldiers’ families who have substantial need, youth programs, Secret Santa and an affordable child care center.

Among the breweries represented at the festival will be Black Mesa Brewing Company. Black Mesa co-owner Brad Stumph said he is looking forward to introducing southern Oklahoma to his beers.

“Lawton is really an untapped market for us,” Stumph said. “We have great visibility in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, so we’re excited about the chance to increase Black Mesa’s exposure.”

Prairie Artisan Ales, Chase Healey’s line of creative and innovative beers, are popular around the country and will be available at the festival.

Choc Beer Company, COOP Ale Works, Marshall Brewing Company and Mustang Brewing Company will also be represented.

In addition to the excellent selection of Oklahoma beers, breweries from around the country will bring their brews to Lawton.

Travis Fogelstrom, the beer manager for Cache Road Liquor, said they are particularly excited about Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Founders Brewing Company’s preview, which will include Centennial IPA; All Day IPA; and Dirty Bastard, a dark, ruby-colored beer brewed with seven varieties of malt.

“We will also have Ivan the Terrible Imperial Stout,” Fogelstrom said. “It’s a pretty rare beer, and it’s only available at festivals in Oklahoma.”

Ivan the Terrible is made by Montana-based Big Sky Brewing Co., and is one of the most highly rated beers in the world, according to Fogelstrom.

The event will feature music from two Lawton bands, The Brothers Dupree and The JuJu Beans, as well as food from local vendors.

Even those who don’t plan to down any suds can have a good time and save a little money.

“We have a special entry price of $10 for designated drivers, too,” Megan Richard said. “They get a special armband that gives them access to the food, nonalcoholic drinks and music.”

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Greg Horton

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