Here’s the last part of my interview with Tim Schoelen, founder of Mustang Brewing Co. and its flagship beer, Mustang Golden Ale. If you missed parts 1 and 2, Schoelen’s company will be based in Mustang and he hopes to have MGA on taps in metro-area bars this spring. Now, on with the interview:
The Thirsty Beagle: You mentioned you received your final label approval from the TTB; what’s that’s all about?
Tim Schoelen: The beer business is highly regulated by the federal and state government. Some of the laws overlap and some seem to compete. To make things a little more difficult, the “process” for getting approval is not necessarily linear. We have been very diligent in making sure we follow all the prescribed steps in getting our beer approved to be sold and manufactured in Oklahoma. That being said, gaining approval of our label by the Alcohol Tobacco and Trade Bureau, or TTB, was the first, big step. To put it into perspective, we have been working on getting Mustang Brewing off the ground for two years and we just received our federal label approval two weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about the Oklahoma ABLE Commission. They understand the complexities and have been a great help in getting through all of this. We are working with them now to complete the necessary steps for our licenses, which will enable us to be on tap in Oklahoma.
TTB: You mentioned that MGA will be available in kegs in late spring; can you give us any hints as to which bars/restaurants we’ll be able to find it at?
TS: Since we are still working with the state on licensure, we have not begun any kind of formal sales process. I can say, though, that the local places that specialize in craft beers have all expressed an interest.
TTB: Do you guys have any plans for merchandising and/or apparel?
TS: Merchandising is a fun part of this business. My wife has been working on some really cool ways to get (our) name and brand out in the market. While the flavor of our beers will speak for themselves, we have to find innovative ways to cut through the noise of the big beer companies. We are in the process of seriously revamping our website. A big piece of that is merchandising and e-commerce. We are working with vendors on shirts and hats, but are also looking at some non-traditional products.
TTB: Any last thoughts or messages you’d like to pass along to beer drinkers?
TS: Mustang Brewing Company is more to us than just good beer. We joke that Mustang Brewing wants to make the world a better place, one beer at a time; but there is something to that. We want our beers to be embraced locally, but also appreciated regionally as something “Made in Oklahoma.” For anyone who has not done so, please sign up on the website mailing list. We will be sending more detailed communications as we move forward.
So there you have it. Thanks, Tim, for keeping the readers informed. I’ve asked Tim to keep me updated as the process moves forward, and I’ll pass along whatever I learn to you. You can join his mailing list at www.mustangbrewing.com. The Thirsty Beagle for one thinks it’ll be great to have another Oklahoma beer enter the marketplace.