I had a chance to meet up with Mustang Brewing Co. president Tim Schoelen the other day to chat about his company, the music series they’re sponsoring and what’s shaping up as a pretty insane month of July for the 2-year-old company. The purpose of our meeting primarily was to talk about the music series, which is called “Mustang Brewing Presents.” The series features one concert a month on a Thursday at the 51st Street Speakeasy. There’s no cover to attend the shows, the bar features Mustang beer specials, and local bands get a chance to earn a little publicity.
They held the first show June 23, featuring the band Defining Times. Next in the series is The Damn Quails, set for 9 p.m. July 21. What’s cool about the series for me is the reason Schoelen decided to start it up in the first place. As a small Oklahoma-based start-up, Schoelen worked a lot of pint nights and tastings to help generate buzz for his company. In doing so, he got to meet a lot of bands out at local bars and restaurants. It wasn’t long before he realized there was a certain synergy between his company and the bands he saw each night. Mustang and the bands were both local guys looking for a chance. And it didn’t hurt that the bands were pulling people into the bars who just might order up a couple Mustang beers. So this year, Schoelen decided to turn it around and use his company’s name to pull people in to see the bands.
I asked Schoelen what was in it for him in the end. Getting his brand in the public eye and selling a few beers was definitely a plus, but he said giving some great local bands a chance to make a bigger name for themselves, to live their dream, was the real deal.
And Schoelen should know about living the dream. After all, Mustang’s second anniversary is coming up this Saturday. If you know the Mustang Brewing story, it’s hard not to describe the past two years as anything but a meteoric rise. I think I’ve shared this story before in some version, but if you haven’t read Schoelen’s explanation of the history of Mustang, you really should. To summarize: Unhappy at his job, Schoelen decided he wanted to live his dream and start a beer company. He researched several business models, decided on a plan, sold his house, cashed his 401K and got the ball rolling. As you can read in his description, a short two years later, Mustang now sells tens of thousands of cases of beer each year, will be brewed soon in four different states and has hired a brewmaster and additional staff. Schoelen even was able to quit his day job recently to focus 100 percent of his effort on the beer business.
So what do you do when you’ve pulled all this off? Well, you celebrate. Saturday (July 16) is Mustang’s second anniversary party. The event is set for 9 p.m. at the Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktown. The evening will feature music by The Turnpike Troubadours and beer specials. Tickets are $8 and can be had at www.wormydog.com. And there’s a contest to win free tickets at this link.
Mustang will also be at Eskimo Joe’s 35-year anniversary celebration on July 18 in Stillwater. As part of the celebration, Mustang cans will be on sale for $2.25 all that week. You gotta love college-town beer prices.
And Mustang will wrap up its celebrating with a special two-part firkin at the OKC (July 22) and Tulsa (July 28) McNellie’s locations. On tap will be Mustang’s newest beer, Crimson and Cream Ale. You can read more about that beer at this blog post from last week.
The Thirsty Beagle would like to offer congrats to Mustang on its first two years — here’s hoping for many more brews in the years to come.
Beer news and links
-Are you a fan of COOP DNR? Dumb question. Of course you are. You’ll be happy to hear that COOP plans to release DNR in 750 ml bottles in about a month.
-If you subscribe to Beer Advocate magazine, the latest issue has a story on Marshall Brewing.
-Speaking of Marshall, here’s a neat video of their bottling line. These guys are making cargo shorts and rubber boots look good!