Automobile Alley and Oklahoma Contemporary present Art of Beer, a giant free party celebrating the art, beer, food and fun of the district
Art of Beer will feel like a massive block party, a chance for Oklahoma Contemporary to team up with friends in the Automobile Alley district and throw an art- and beer-centric extravaganza for the neighborhood. This Saturday’s party, 2-8 p.m. outdoors on our campus, will be a great chance to indulge in creative arts and enjoy creatively crafted beers.
Free fun from our Youth and Family staff begins at 2: Sun-made “brewprints” and design-your-own-drink-label activities will be on tap until 6 p.m. Throughout the day, guests can sidewalk chalk, explore our new outdoor exhibitions, Maren Hassinger’s Nature, Sweet Nature
and Chakaia Booker’s Shaved Portions, play Pandemic Plinko (on an board designed by local artists Denise Duong and Gabriel Friedman) and
collaborate on a paint-by-color mural wall designed by Aditi Heins. From 4-6, the artist herself will be on hand to guide you. Prefer to play along at home? Visitors can pick up their own make-and-take art kits from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
The day’s soundtrack will be provided by Oklahoma Contemporary’s DJ School (2-4 p.m.), DJ Reni (4-6 p.m) and the OKC brewers’ band Foxburrows, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hooplahoma, a juggling and acrobatic group, will astound your eyes and ears from 5 to 7 p.m.
On-site games include bocce ball, cornhole, Kubb, Jenga, giant Connect Four and a disc golf putting green. Café Contemporary, Psycho Taco and Big Biang Theory Noodles will serve a variety of munchable foods.
Then, of course, is the beer, available for purchase for attendees 21+. According to District Manager Joe Hudson, Automobile Alley is becoming a key destination for taproom enthusiasts, and Art of Beer is a delicious showcase for these local brewers.
“I think people associate Automobile Alley with historic buildings, but now we have a good food and coffee culture, and we now have a brew scene that is amazing,” Hudson said. “We have four distinct breweries — Prairie Artisan Ales is one of if not the biggest Oklahoma brewery recognized internationally. In Automobile Alley, we have Prairie as well as Vanessa House, Twisted Spike Brewing Company and then a really cool, brand-new one, which is going to be Skydance Brewing Company. That's a Native American-owned brewery opening up on Seventh Street.”
The principal owners of Vanessa House Brewing Co. started brewing while they were studying at the University of Oklahoma in the 2000s, then sold their first beer in 2016. Since, Vanessa House moved into its tap room at 118 NW 8th St., buoyed by the success of year-round offerings like its Broken Tile Hazy Double IPA and its 401-K Cream Ale. Soon it began offering an expanding line of its “Slush Fund” fruity varietals. Vanessa House even partnered with us to brew a one-time Bright Golden Haze beer, tied to our opening.
At Art of Beer, Vanessa House sales and marketing partner Andrew Carrales said the “Slush” will keep flowing along with some other seasonal flavors.
“They just throw super-bold and bright flavors,” Carrales said. “One of the things we are going to do is definitely bring it with the Oktoberfest season beer. Ours will be our German lager, which is called Awkward Encounters of the Festival Kind.”
Hudson said Art of Beer is just the latest chapter in Automobile Alley’s development. With Oklahoma Contemporary officially part of the district, which now extends to 13th Street, Hudson expects the neighborhood to continue its upward trajectory.
“Automobile Alley is fortunate that we have the long, beautiful Broadway to build on,” he said. “We've sort of got that mix right: We've got, retail, and we've got offices, creative services. We also have some of the top restaurants in the city. And now we're seeing even more infill from Broadway to Oklahoma Avenue, and that's even more exciting. Then we get things like Oklahoma Contemporary, a world-class creative arts center, as sort of a crown jewel within it. I don't know if I'm surprised, but I'm always excited and intrigued to see what developments are going to come to Automobile Alley.”
Join us for all the fun this Saturday! Tickets aren't required, but more info is at okcontemp.org/artofbeer.
Images: Chakaia Booker, Shaved Portions, 2021. Deconstructed steel belted and bias tires on stainless steel armatures mounted on C-Channel steel base frames. Photo: Lori Brooks. Hooplahoma, photo courtesy Hooplahoma. Pandemic Plinko, photo courtesy Gabriel Friedman.
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