Muskogee Brewing Company treats people ‘like family’
The Muskogee Brewing Company, at 121 S. Second St., has 15 craft beers on tap inside its taproom. The room includes a bar, tables for seating and a stage for live music. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Muskogee Brewing Company houses several 500-gallon brewing tanks and is visible to patrons from the taproom. All Muskogee Brewing Company beer is made on site. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The original bell that hung in the fire station is now on the wall that separates Station 1 and the taproom at the Muskogee Brewing Company. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A beer menu is hand-written to show what the taproom’s current selections. It is seen on garage doors that were kept from the old fire station in which the Muskogee Brewing Company resides in for nostalgia. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A Muskogee Brewing Company employee brews a batch of beer in one of several 500-gallon brew tanks seen inside the building. MARK DREADFULWATER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
MUSKOGEE – When Cherokee Nation citizen Bill Parris first saw the tattered and dilapidated firehouse in 2015, he saw the potential of reviving it into the business it is today, a vibrant restaurant and brewery.
“My partners wanted to build new, and the city was showing me lots to build new, but you can’t build history, Parris said. “This building is exactly what we needed and have served us well. I absolutely love this building, and I would flip it again. It was hard but I enjoyed it. Everyone that comes in, every time they show up, you’ll find something different because it’s just full of details. It’s just a special building.”
Built in 1904, it was the first brick firehouse in Oklahoma.
“Muskogee burned down in 1898, and it burned their firehouse and it was wood,” Parris said. “So when Muskogee built it back, they built it out of brick. This building was built as the first brick firehouse in the state. Rather it predated statehood by three years. It was an active firehouse all the way up to 2000, and it sat empty for 15 years.”
Parris said renovations were done in phases and took three years. He said the restaurant, Station 1, was finished first and took a year and a half.
“We have no fried foods,” he said. “We are basically a sandwich shop and we have sandwiches, croissants, salads, panini’s. My favorite here is the baked potato. We throw the kitchen sink at that baked potato and it’s really good.”
The restaurant is on the firehouse side where the offices and common areas were, and its décor is firefighter themed. Parris said firemen have asked to hang their jackets in the building.
“We have the ’97 coat and then the 2019 guys started signing coats, and we’ve got one of their jackets hanging now,” he said.
There are also antique firefighter-themed items on display such as an early 1900s firefight hat, axes and fire extinguisher.
“We now have the original bell that hung in this station,” he said. “We have it back and I have it hanging up. Non-operable, of course.”
On the Muskogee Brewing Company side, half the room that housed the fire truck and equipment now houses large brewing tanks. The other half is the bar area that features original brick flooring, a bar face made from repurposed bricks and a sitting area with tables and 15 craft beer taps. There is also a patio that seats nearly 40 people.
There is also a stage for live music on which there are performances Thursdays and Fridays.
“Thursday night is open mic night and not karaoke. We have good turnouts for those and it is good music,” Parris said. “All the guys that I pay to perform here, I would pay to watch them perform somewhere else. They’re all talented and they are just waiting for their big break.”
The brewery has 15 beers on tap daily, however, they do not always stay the same. Parris said they have a few beers that are constant and the others change due to seasonality or popularity.
Patrons can also purchase the company’s beer in other locations, and Parris said distribution sales have grown and kept them in business during the COVID-19 shutdown.
“Our distribution sales have picked up. We signed with A&B Distributors’ special brands out of Muskogee and they have us in over 300 locations right now and growing every day,” he said. “We’ve picked up Reasor’s, Wal-Mart and Quick Trip. Also, there’s 22 marinas in the state and we picked up all 22 of them.”
They offer eight beer varieties at those locations.
Parris said although they are growing every day he wants the business to stay small.
“We’re growing, but it’s baby steps but we are growing like we wanted to grow,” he said. “We didn’t want to grow fast. I am not a big fan of corporation. I am a big fan of local. I don’t want to be a corporation. In corporations, you lose too much. You lose your sense of family and you lose your sense of where you come from. It’s not always about the money. I want a small business where I know everybody. I know when they walk through the door, I’ll know what they’re going to drink. When they walk through the door, I’ll know 99% of the time what they are going to eat. I don’t want to sit in an office somewhere and look down to see what everyone else is doing. I’ll stay small and be content. This place is like a family. If you walk in here, you’re treated like family, that’s how we want you to feel. We want you to come back.”
The Muskogee Brewing Company and Station 1 Restaurant is at 121 S. Second St. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to midnight on weekends. For information, visit muskogeebrewingcompany.com
or its Facebook page.
ᎫᏐᎢ – Bill Parris ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ ᎠᎬᏱ ᎤᎪᎭ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᏲᎬ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏭᎪᎮ ᏰᎵᏊ ᎢᎪᏢᎯᏐᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏗᎦᎬᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᏥᏄᏍᏗ ᎪᎯᏴ ᏥᎩ, ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎪᏗᎢ.
“ᎣᎦᎵᎪᎯᏃ ᎢᏤ ᎣᎦᏁᏍᎨᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎫᏐᏃ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎦᏓ ᏚᏂᎲ ᎠᏁᏍᎨᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏝᏰᎵ ᏱᎦᏲᏁᏍᎬᎳ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏓᏂᏙᎸᎢ, ᎠᏗ Parris.” ᎯᎾᎾ ᏣᏓᏁᎳ ᎥᏍᎩᏛ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎣᎩᏂᎬᏤᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏭᏟᎢᎶᏟ. ᎤᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏗ ᎯᎾ ᏦᎦᏓᏁᎸ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏏᏊ ᏲᏦᏢᎯᏌ. ᏍᏓᎢᏳ ᎨᏒ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓᏅᎢ. ᏂᎦᏗᏳ ᎾᏁᏙᎵᏒ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᏁᏟᏴᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎣᎩᎿᎥᎢ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᏄᏓᎴᏒ ᎣᎩᎿᎥᎢ. ᎤᏤᎵᏛ ᏦᎦᏓᏁᎳ.”
ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᏅᎩ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᏗ, ᎠᎬᏱ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎲᏛᏅᎯ ᎪᏢᏔᏅᎯ ᎨᏎ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎻ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎫᏐ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎪᏁ ᏁᎳᏚ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏣᏁᎳ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏢᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᎪᏁᎴᎢ ᎠᏓ ᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᎨᏎᎢ,” ᎠᏗ Parris. “ᎫᏐᏃ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎾᏁᏍᎨᎯ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎲᏛᏅᎯ ᏚᏅᏔᏁᎢ.” ᎥᏍᎩᏰᏃ ᏄᎵᏍᏙᏔᏁ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎲᏛᏅᎯ ᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᏗᎾᏢᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎴ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎻ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᏂ. ᏦᎢ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏗ ᎠᏏ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎻ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏄᏙᏢᏒᎾ ᏥᎨᏎᎢ. ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎤᎾᏙᏗ ᎨᏎ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎢᏍᏗ, ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏗ ᎢᎪᎯᏗ ᎤᏏᏩ ᎨᏒᎢ.”
ᎢᎤᏃᏢᎯᏌᏂᏃ ᏍᏗᎬᎭᏗ ᎤᏂᎯᎸᏎᎢ ᏦᎢ ᎢᏧᏕᏘᏴᏗ ᏚᏟᎢᎵᏙᎴᎢ. ᎠᎬᏱ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏕᎢ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᎪᎯᏗ ᏚᏟᎢᎵᏙᎴᎢ.
“ᏝᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏣᏝᏅ ᏲᎩᎰᎢ,” ᎠᏗ. “ᎭᏫᏯ ᏗᏍᏛᎭᏝᏅ ᏙᎩᎰ, ᎢᎸᏍᎩᏃ ᏧᏓᎴᎿᎢ ᎦᏚ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏑᏰᏗ. ᎠᏯ ᏩᎩᎸᏉᏛ ᎨᏒ ᏄᎾ ᎦᏚᏅᎢ. ᏄᏓᎴᏒ ᎣᏥᏐᏫᎸᏍᎪ ᎢᎦᏲᎪ ᎣᏍᏓ.”
ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗᏃ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎸ ᎢᏗᏟ ᎪᏢ ᏧᎾᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏃ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎢᏊ ᎩᎶ ᎦᏳᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎿᎾ, ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏓᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏂᎬ ᏗᎬᎪᏩᏛᏗ. Parris ᏂᎦᏪᏍᎬ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏗᎦᏌᎴᏂ ᏧᎾᏂᏬᎥ ᏧᎾᏛᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎭᏫᏂ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᎢ.
“ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪᎯ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎩᎶ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᏄᏬᎥ ᎦᏌᎴᏂ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎣᎦᏓ ᎾᏃ ᏔᎵᏍᏦᎯ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲ ᏓᏃᏪᎵᏍᎬ ᏚᎾᏙᎥ ᎦᏌᎴᏂ ᎣᎦᏓᎥᎢ ᎪᎯᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎤᎾᏂᏬᎥ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎣᎦᏓᎢ,” ᎠᏗ.
“ᎤᎪᏗᏗ ᏧᏪᏘ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᏅᏓᏂᏙᎸ ᎢᎬᏱᎨᏍᏗ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎲᏥᏈ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎣᎩᎿᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᎵᏍᏇᏚᏬ, ᎦᎷᏯᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎪᎯᏂᏓᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏪᎳᎩᏍᎬ ᎬᏝᏗᏍᏙᏗ.
“ᎾᏃ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎭᎸᏂ ᏧᎾᏖ ᎠᏯᏃ ᏃᏊ ᎣᎦᏓᏁᎸ ᎣᎦᏔ,”ᎠᏗ. ”ᏬᎩᎩᏗ ᎣᎦᏔ ᎣᎦᏓᏁᎸᎢ. ᎠᏎᏃ ᎥᏝ ᎬᎦᏙᏗ ᏱᎩ.”
ᎫᏐ ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎤᏂᏅᏑᎸ ᎢᏗᏟ, ᎠᏰᏟᏴ ᎧᏅᏑᎸ ᏧᏔᏅ ᏗᏅᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏦᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏅᏓᏂᏗᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏅᏗᎢ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎾᏊᏃ ᏥᎩ ᏧᏔᏅ ᎠᏬᎩᏢᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎪᏙᏗ ᏚᏂᎭ. ᏭᏩᎦᏛᏃ ᎧᏅᏑᎸ ᏧᎾᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᎪᏢ ᏯᏖᏃᎢᏃ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎲᏛᏅᎯ ᏓᏰᏍᏛᏗ, ᎾᏃ ᏧᎾᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᎠᎬᏱᏗᏢ ᎥᏍᏊ ᏅᏯ ᏗᎲᏛᏅᎯ ᎪᏢᏔᏅᎯ ᎢᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎳ ᎠᎵᏍᏛᏡᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎢᏧᏓᎴᎩ ᏗᏬᎩᏢᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏁᎭ. ᏙᏯᏗᏟᏃ ᎥᏍᏊ ᏚᏂᏍᎩᎳ ᏰᎵᏊ ᏅᎩᏍᎪᎯ ᎢᏯᏂ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎤᏝᏅᏗ. ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎤᏃᏢᎢ ᏅᎩᏁ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎩᎶᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏂᏝᏅᏙᎢ ᎥᏍᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᏅᎩᏁ ᎤᏒ ᎩᎶ ᏧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏳᏚᎵ ᎤᏂᏝᏅᏙᎢ. ᎤᏂᎪᏗ ᏓᏁᏙᎰ ᎥᏍᎩ ᎤᎬᏩᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏓᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᏍᎪᎢ,” ᎠᏗ Parris. “ᏗᎦᏗ ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎦᏥᏈᏴᎡ ᎥᏍᏊ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᏱᏓᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏱᎦᏈᏱ ᎦᏥᏴᏛᏓᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎥᏍᎩᏰᏃ ᎾᏃᎯ”. ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎢᏧᏓᎴᎩ ᏗᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᏚᏂᏁᎰ ᏂᏚᏙᏓᏈᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏗᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᏧᏠᏱ ᎨᏐ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎢᎦᏛᏃ ᏳᏓᎵᎭ ᏓᏂᏁᏟᏴᏍᎪᎢ ᏅᏗᎦᏂᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᏧᏍᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏚᏂᎸᏉᏛᎢ.
ᎤᏣᏘᏂᏃ ᏰᎮᏊ ᏗᎬᏳᏂᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᏬᎩᏢᏍᎩ ᎤᎿᏅ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᏧᏂᎦᏅᎢ, ᎯᎾᏃ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏗ ᏓᎪᎩᎾᏗᏅᏗ ᏄᎵᏓᏂᏙᎸ ᏝᎠᏎ ᎣᎩᏍᏚᎩ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎣᎦᏓᏡᎬ ᎯᎠᎾ ᎥᏳᎩ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᏣᏱᎵᏙᎯ, ᎠᏗᎢ.
“ᎠᎪᏙᏍᎩ ᏙᏥᎾᏕᎬᎢ. A&B ᏧᎾᏙᎢᏛ ᎫᏐ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᏦᎦᏓᏁᏤᎸ ᎪᏪᎵᏃ ᏙᎪᏪᎳᏂ ᏦᎢᏥᏈ ᏓᏓᎾᏅ ᏚᏃᏢᏒ ᏧᏂᎾᏗᏅᏗᎢ ᏃᏊᏃ ᏥᎩ Reasor’s, Wal-Mart, ᎠᎴ Qick Trip ᎥᏍᏊ ᏓᏂᎾᏕᎨᏍᏗ. ᎠᎴᏍᏊ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏔᎵ ᏚᏃᏢᏒ ᏥᏳ ᎠᎹᏱ ᏤᏙᎯ ᏧᏂᏗᏍᏗ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎻ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎢᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᏓᏂᎾᏕᎨᏍᏗ.”
ᏣᏁᎳ ᎢᏧᏓᎴᎩ ᏗᏬᎩᏢᏍᎩ ᏓᏂᎾᏕᎨᏍᏗ ᎤᎿᎾᎢ.
“ᎤᏁᎳᎩ ᏥᏙᏣᏛᏍᎩ ᎣᎬᏓᏡᎬ ᎤᏍᏗᎯᏊ ᏲᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᎭ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᎲᎢᏊ ᎢᎦ ᏙᏣᏛᏍᎩ,” ᎠᏗᎢ. “ᏝᏰᏃ ᎦᏣᏄᎳ ᎣᎦᏛᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᎦᏚᎵ. ᎡᏉᎯ ᏲᏓᏡᎬ ᏥᏈᏍᏗ ᎣᏲᎱᏎᏗ ᎨᏐᎢ. ᏲᏩᎨᏫᏍᏗ ᎢᏗᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎨᏒ ᏐᎢᏃ ᏲᏩᎨᏫ ᎾᎿ ᏂᏓᏲᎦᎶᏒᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏝᏰᏃ ᎠᏕᎳᏊ ᎢᎦ ᎦᎪᏢᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏱᎨᏐᎢ. ᎣᎦᏍᏗᏊ ᏲᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏆᏚᎵ ᏂᎦᏗᏳ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᏙ ᎦᏥᏲᎵᎩ ᏱᎩ. ᎠᏆᏅᏙ ᏳᏂᏴᏟᎵ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏗᏔᏍᏗ ᏛᎾᏗᏔᎯᏒᎢ. ᏐᎢᏃ ᎨᏒ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏆᏅᏙ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᏛᏂᎩᏏᏒᎢ. ᏝᏃ ᏯᏆᏚᎵ ᏗᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎧᏅᏑᎸ ᏗᏥᏍᏛᏡᎬ ᎦᏥᎦᏙᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎡᎳᏗᏟ. ᏍᏗᎢᏊ ᏲᎦᏓᏡᎬ ᏱᏓᏤᏟ ᏱᏂᏥᏰᎸᎾ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᎣᎦᏓᏡᎬ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢᏊ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏐᎢ. ᏱᏣᏴᏟᎵᏃ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏱᏨᏰᎸᎾ, ᎥᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏣᏓᏅᏓᏗᏍᏗ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᏍᎪᎢ. ᎣᎦᏚᎵᎭ ᏰᏃ ᎢᏤᏓᏍᏗᎢ.”
ᎫᏐ ᎠᏂᎪᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎬᏱ ᏗᎾᏝᏗᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏁᎸ ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗᏃ 121 ᎤᎦᎾᏭ ᎢᏗᏟ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎦᎳᏅᏛᎢ. ᏑᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏌᏚ ᏑᎾᎴ ᎠᏂᏍᏚᎢᏍᎪ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎢᎪᎯᏗ ᎤᏒᎢ. ᏑᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏛ ᏌᏚ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᎠᏂᏍᏚᎢᏍᎪ ᏔᎵᏚ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏒᏃᏱ ᎢᎪᎯᏗ. ᎤᎪᏛᏃ ᏣᏕᎳᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏱᏣᏚᎵ ᎯᎾᎾ ᎤᎬᏩᎵ, ᎠᎭᏂ ᏳᏫᏣᎦᏛᎲᎩ.
Muskogeebrewingcompany.com ᎯᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᎧᏛ ᎤᎦᏅᏓᏛᎢ.
– TRANSLATED BY DENNIS SIXKILLER