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Route 66 News

Tulsa soon will see a distillery open on Route 66

Red Fork Distillery in southwest Tulsa hopes to have its products of the shelves of liquor stores by the end of the year.

The distillery at 3310 Southwest Blvd. (aka Route 66) plans to produce vodka, whiskey, gin and even moonshine, according to the What the Ale blog published by the Tulsa World newspaper.

Red Fork Distillery’s owners are Michael and Dana Hoey, who have planned it for nearly four years and hope to give samples of their products by October 2018. The couple has to go through the licensing process, which is time-consuming.

Alas, Red Fork Distillery at this time cannot sell their products on-site even if it could, thanks to Oklahoma’s restrictive alcohol laws. The Hoeys hope the state legislature will loosen such regulations by the time their business is up and running.

Michael Hooey explained his interest in creating distilled spirits:

“I read an article in a magazine called Garden and Gun about a south Georgia distillery that was making rum from sugar cane and from there it just piqued my interest,” he said. “So that evolved into researching it more, studying it more and then we decided to create Red Fork Distillery.”
The Hoeys still have some work to do on the former manufacturing facility that will be the home for the distillery. The front office’s walls will be torn out to make room for a gift shop and tasting room. A vent has to be made for the distiller, and fermentation tanks will need to be purchased. They bought a 250-gallon copper distiller. […]
The couple is using a local artist for the label artwork. Jenks artist Josh Stout has created the labels for Southern Journey Vodka, Lonesome Arrow Whiskey, War Dance Cinnamon Moonshine and White Bison Moonshine. Each work of art has ties to native America.

And here’s a report from Tulsa’s KTUL-TV, filed Tuesday night:

Red Fork Distillery reputedly is the first distillery in Tulsa since Prohibition, which ended more than 80 years ago. The name for the business comes from the town that was nestled on the southwest side of Tulsa County and produced one of the state’s first oil wells. Tulsa annexed the town in 1927, but many locals still call the neighborhood Red Fork today.

The site for Red Fork Distillery might be a bit of a challenge for its owners. It sits in the middle of an industrial area, which is no big deal. More than a few successful microbreweries thrive in what might be considered less-than-optimal locations.

A potentially bigger problem is the odor from the nearby oil refineries that might not make a good first impression to visitors. The Hoeys had better use a good ventilation system to keep the outdoor stench from permeating their liquors.

Then again, the rough-and-tumble vibe of the area might work in a reverse-psychology way. Red Fork Distillery might turn out to be a bit of a memorable oasis amid the blue-collar landscape.

(Image of Red Fork Distillery label via Facebook)

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