Food Briefs: Urban Agrarian, Elk Valley Brewing Co., Made in Oklahoma Expo and more 

 

click to enlarge Urban Agrarian in the Farmer's Market District, 5-3-2013. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Urban Agrarian in the Farmer's Market District, 5-3-2013.

Urban Agrarian

The best sales year in almost a decade wasn’t enough to keep farm-to-consumer store Urban Agrarian open, said founder Matt Burch.

In a Jan. 9 letter to supporters, Burch said that a bad fall season and major equipment failures forced him to close his business at 1235 SW Second St.

“Over the past nine years, I’ve enjoyed very much serving you all and working to solve the problem of local food access in our city,” he said. “The solution that I tried to implement has had many successes, but at the end of the day, I failed to gather the resources necessary for our business to succeed.”

Urban Agrarian worked with local farmers and ranchers to offer fresh produce, meat and other locally sourced products to consumers. What started as a garage-based business in 2008 grew into to a permanent Farmers Market District retail location in 2011.

In his letter, Burch lamented the challenges local producers face when earning a living and thanked them and his customers for years of cooperation and patronage.

“To anyone that comes after us, it is certainly possible to reshape the food system,” he wrote. “Look me up if you think I can help.”

New brews

As Elk Valley Brewing Co. moves out of its shared space with Mustang Brewing Company and prepares to open its own facility, owner John Elkins continues to release beers at a cap-popping pace.

The first Movin’ On Out event noon-4 p.m. Saturday at 520 N. Meridian Ave. features the release of two new beers: Blackberry Bruin and Plum Le Ferme.

Both barrel-aged brews focus on fruit, Elkins said. Blackberry Bruin is a brown ale that spent months in oak barrels before being aged with blackberries. Plum Le Ferme is a farmhouse ale aged in chardonnay barrels before being bottle-conditioned with wild Brettanomyces yeast.

A limited number of bottles are available, so Elkins said he must limit how many each customer can purchase. Bottles are $7 each. The necessity became apparent during the December release of Elk Valley’s Whiskey Mole Nemesis beer, which sold out of bottles in a single afternoon.

Food truck Wicked Hangry also will be on site.

The brewery’s next release is Jan. 28, when it debuts Rum Barrel Coconut Nemesis for $18 per four-pack and Blanc, a Belgian-inspired white beer. The Nemesis stout beer was aged in rum barrels for four months before Elkins added coconut to the mix.

Visit elkvalleybrew.com.

Local love

The path to Oklahoman stomachs runs through Goldsby, said Made in Oklahoma Coalition board member David L. Boswell.

About 50 emerging and established Oklahoma food producers meet Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Southwind Hills Barn & Estate, 468 SW 24th Ave., in Goldsby for the Made in Oklahoma (MIO) Expo.

“It’s a chance for some of these smaller companies to get in front of buyers they might not otherwise have,” Boswell said.

The invite-only event is limited to buyers for grocery and retail stores, but it is a step toward the distribution of local products to the general public, Boswell said. A list of Made in Oklahoma Coalition members and recipes using locally made products is available at miocoalition.com.

Weather woes

The threat of icy weather forced last weekend’s planned Cocoaphilia chocolate tasting event and second annual Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit events to be rescheduled.

“It just didn’t make sense,” said Oak & Ore owner Micah Andrews, who created the conference. “Forty percent of our panelists are coming from out of town, and we had to make a difficult call.”

Both events were planned for Jan. 14.

New Oklahoma Craft Beer Summit dates and locations will be posted at oklahomacraftbeersummit.com. Because of the logistics of getting 20 breweries, a keynote speaker, home brewing clubs, the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and District 22 State Sen. Stephanie Bice scheduled, Andrews said it won’t be in the next few weeks.

The Cocoaphilia chocolate tasting event is rescheduled for 6-8 p.m. Saturday at the store, 1878 Church Ave., in Harrah. Visit www.cocoaphiliaokc.com or call 405-323-1787.

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