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1155 McCurdy Rd.

Duncan, OK 73533

CONTACT US

580-252-BEER (2337)

info@kochendorferbrewing.com

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A cure for all your ale-ments; Brewery coming to Duncan in 2019

By Charlene Belew The Duncan Banner Oct 8, 2018

If you don’t like beer, you just haven’t tasted the right one.”

That’s what the owners of Kochendorfer Brewing Company might say to you when you walk in the doors to the area’s first brewing company in 2019.

Lenny and Kathryn Cripps and Chris and Laura (Coast) Kochendorfer began working on the Kochendorfer Brewing Company several years ago. When the two couples first met, they discovered they shared one thing in common: the dream of one day opening a brewery.

The company began in Oklahoma City and was birthed by the “entrepreneurial spirit” of the Kochendorfers and the Cripps’ intellect on the craft beer industry.

Lenny’s education on craft beer began shortly before 1990 while he and Kathryn, who served as an Army dentist at the time, spent time in Germany. During Kathryn’s first tour in northern Bavaria, Lenny “quickly realized that he was no longer content with typical American light beers.” So in 1990, he began to brew his own, and the more beer he crafted, the more he realized this is what he wanted to do with his life.

Lenny, who has brewed his own beer for nearly 30 years, helped establish numerous breweries throughout the U.S. and Europe, including JD Nicks (Illinois), Jeremiah’s (Kentucky), Downtown (Asheville), and Yellow Rose (San Antonio).

During Kathryn’s second tour in Germany, Lenny interned at Park Brauerei in Germany and Hook Norton Brewery in England, while researching extensively on the nuances of European and British beer styles. Upon Kathryn’s retirement in 2005, the couple settled down in Stephens County where Lenny continued focusing on his craft.

According to Lenny, who has now mastered about 20 types of brews, several key factors play into crafting the best beer. These include a love of beer and a passion for brewing, sanitation and cleanliness, meticulous record keeping, creativity, research styles from all countries, a desire to try new things and research how they came to be, keeping up with the craft beer industry, learning from repetition to build experience, developing a good sense of taste and smell to build taste memory, and having lots of friends who enjoy different styles of beer and are up to trying new things to provide feedback on how it tastes.

Chris, who began brewing his own beer in 2011, continued to grow into the craft beer scene after meeting Lenny, who inspired Chris through his passion for brewing. Throughout the last seven years, Chris has also been able to travel to many breweries around the country with hopes of one day bringing those experiences closer to home.

The Kochendorfers also own an auto hail damage repair company and operate a small non-profit called Fostering Foundations. Chris has to travel frequently for the hail repair company and Laura wanted to find a way to bring him back to the family.

Laura said, “Because Chris travels constantly with the hail business, we have been continuously seeking other business opportunities that would allow him to be home more with me and our three children. When we talked to the Cripps about a partnership, it just made sense.”

While the company may have began somewhere else, the two couples decided Duncan would be a better fit, not only because the Cripps live in the area, but also because Laura had strong ties in the county.

The brewery will find its home at 1155 McCurdy Rd in Duncan, just south of the Lawton/Duncan Y. According to the owners, the brewery will sit on five wooded acres of land with a goal of being a destination for friends and families to get together.

“We will bring an amazing product to the area while expanding the community’s knowledge of the craft beer industry,” Laura said. “We will bring a safe, fun, family friendly environment for the entire community to enjoy. We are building a destination, a place where people can come enjoy themselves for the afternoon. We hope that this destination feel will provide opportunities for other businesses to gain traffic from visitors outside of the area. (Gas Stations, shopping, restaurants, hotels, golfing, etc.) We hope to bring new life to the community in a way that is outside-the-box for this area.”

While the couples plan to man the brewery themselves in the beginning, they will be looking for an assistant brewer. Once their taproom is up and running, Laura said they will begin to hire bar and service staff.

“We have a very particular vision of what this will be, and will only hire employees who have knowledge of the industry and share our ideas relating to hospitality, ethics and conduct.”

The brewing company will begin by releasing their original six beers.

“These will range in style and flavor from a cream ale to a stout to appeal to our consumer’s unique preferences,” Laura said. “Lenny has mastered over 20 styles of beer, so we will release those as we see fit, tailoring them to consumer demands. We will also have limited release seasonal beers throughout the year.”

The brewery will host tours, as well as maintain a taproom for craft beer purchases. Plans include a large covered patio space, bandstand, food trucks, dog park, family-friendly outdoor games, walking trails, as well as a fenced-in playground so that families can get away for the day and enjoy the outdoors together. 

Laura said, “We will host everything from large scale community events to family movie nights outside on the grounds where patrons will be invited to bring their lawn chairs and enjoy a family-friendly production. Working so closely with the City of Duncan has opened up an endless amount of possibilities of what this can become, and we are very excited about the future.”

The owners are aware that a brewery may be considered “taboo” for some in the area, but want to ease community members who may be worried about the future of Duncan after the addition of such a business.

“Growing up in Marlow and understanding the strong Christian values of this community, I understand that there may be some concern as to our intentions for this business,” Laura said. “My husband and I have three young children, homeschool our oldest, and run a small non-profit benefitting foster families and young children and teens in need. “The Cripps are pillars of the community and are involved in numerous community outreach projects with various local charities. Setting a good example is of the utmost importance to both families involved. This brewery will not be your typical bar scene. Craft beer lovers aren’t entering a taproom environment to get drunk; they are there to appreciate the craftsmanship behind the beers. With a setting that enables you to bring your family, friends, and fur babies, the community can rest assured that we have a vision for this establishment that is based on strong ethical values, camaraderie, and community involvement.”

According to the Cripps, establishing the brewery here in the City of Duncan came from the tireless effort of staff with the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF).

“The Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation is truly responsible for cinching the deal to establish this brewery in Duncan,” the Cripps said. “Their staff is energetic, knowledgeable, and a joy to work with. They have been monumental in finding the perfect location in the North Industrial Center. Lyle Roggow, DAEDF President, has introduced us to scores of community leaders and has helped us maneuver through the many challenges we’ve faced in the building process.”

And now, the dream the couples had has become a reality.

The Kochendorfers said: “We have been working tirelessly on this brewery for the last three years. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions with ups and downs, excitement and disappointment. Being to the point of finally breaking ground on this project feels surreal. We are beyond excited and are so thankful to all of the people who have helped to make this dream a reality.”

The groundbreaking for Kochendorfer Brewing Company is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at 1155 McCurdy Rd, Duncan.

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SWOK's only brewery set to open in Duncan

By Will Hutchison | October 11, 2018 at 4:38 PM CDT 

DUNCAN, OK (RNN Texoma) - A unique beer-drinking experience will soon be making its way to Southwest Oklahoma as a brewery prepares to open its doors next spring.

Breweries are popping up left and right across the state but come April 2019, southwest Oklahoma will welcome its only one in the form of Kochendorfer Brewing.

"We wanted to bring an atmosphere that we’ve had a chance to experience across the country and Europe and bring that back to Oklahoma and to the community here,” said Co-owner Christopher Kochendorfer.

That atmosphere will sit in Duncan, just South of the Lawton - Duncan Y.

"Our production facility and our tap room will be here in Duncan and on that we have six acres of land that people can come out and enjoy the patio, walk the trails, just enjoy that outdoor getaway environment,” Kochendorfer said.

They also have plans to have brewery tours, learn to brew classes, a playground for kids to enjoy while parents are drinking and, one day, a dog park. But, for all of that to be necessary you need to have some great beer. Enter Co-owner and brew master Lenny Cripps, who has been brewing his own beer for 28 years.

“I started brewing in 1990 when we got back from our first tour in Germany. My wife was in the Army, I learned what good beer was all about there. We came back home, and it just wasn’t available where we were at, so I had to make my own,” Cripps said.

They’ve had plenty of time to tinker with recipes over 28 years and Cripps said he has several beers they’ve finally perfected. To start, they’ll serve six original beers.

"We’ll have a cream ale, a pre-prohibition American style beer, that’s going to be our lightest offering. We’ll have an Irish Red which is a little more on the malty side, not quite hoppy and bitter. We’ll have an IPA, which is your bigger beer with a lot of hops to really get your attention. A German wheat beer, a hefeweizen, that’s a great summer beer,” Cripps said.

They’ll also offer an Irish stout, a porter and several seasonal beers. The owners say they’re excited to bring southwest Oklahoma something that is completely different than anything else already here.

"Honestly, since we first put it out there that we were going to do this, we’ve had nothing but positive feedback. I think a lot of people said it’s about time we had this in our community,” Kochendorfer said.

"Everyone is excited about it. To be able to do that for the community and in building all this, we’re trying to use as much local help and materials and everything we can, we want to keep it as local as possible,” Cripps said.

The brewery will officially begin construction Friday. They’re having a ground-breaking ceremony at 3:30 p.m. The address is 1155 McCurdy Road in Duncan.

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Kochendorfer Brewing Company looks to become first in Duncan area

By: Jaron Spor Oct 11, 2018 08:04 PM CDT

DUNCAN (KFDX/KJTL) - The Kochendorfer Brewing Company in Duncan is looking to become the area's first ever brewing company.

Lenny Cripps knew for many years he wanted to open a brewery, but it wasn’t until about six years ago that his business partner Christopher Kochendorfer decided they should make it happen.

The year was 2012 when Kochendorfer was at a bar with his friend and they started talking about making their own beer.

After many failed attempts, Kochendorfer was introduced to a man who had been brewing his own beer for more than 20 years, Lenny Cripps.

"My wife's family thankfully lives right next door to Lenny on this land," Kochendorfer said. "They introduced me to Lenny. I got to see this magnificent place and fell in love with it."

Owning his own brewing company has been a long time dream for Cripps.

"Every place that I brewed previously in all of the brewpubs, I was brewing somebody else's recipe," Cripps said. "Not my beer. Brewing somebody else's. So, I wanted to put mine out there and see what would happen."

Cripps said a lot goes into making beer.

"You start with a barley and you grind it, mix it with hot water and what they call an ash. You hold it to a particular temperature, it converts the starches and the grain to sugar. Then you rinse that liquid into your boil kettle and collect whatever volume you need and that's where you boil it with the hops," Cripps said.

After it's done boiling, it's time to add the yeast. Then you have a beer that is ready for drinking. When coming up with this idea, Kochendorfer said he didn't want the brewery to be like other breweries.

"We'll have an outdoor patio, an indoor tap room, we are going to have a dog park, a playground, and walking trails. What you could really is to be able to come, spend the afternoon hang out. We won't be serving food but we're hoping to partner with local food trucks," Kochendorfer said.

Kochendorfer and Cripps said the feedback from the community has been tremendous, as many people have supported them as they take this from a dream to reality.

Kochendorfer Brewing Company will break ground Oct. 12, 2018, with plans to open around April 1, 2019.

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Brewery breaks ground, celebrates coming to Duncan

By Charlene Belew The Duncan Banner Oct 15, 2018

 

Kochendorfer Brewing Company made history when the new brewery broke ground on McCurdy Rd in Duncan.

The celebratory event took place at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12 at the Industrial Park. The brewery will sit on five acres of land located at 1155 McCurdy Rd.

Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation (DAEDF) President Lyle Roggow said this new addition to the Stephens County area and Duncan as a whole is one example of securing the goal of bringing diversity to the industrial market.

“This is a really, really awesome opportunity for our community,” Roggow said. “For the past five years, DAEDF has worked diligently to try to diversify the economy and the mix that we have within our community. Everybody knows, our economy has been based on oil based economy with manufacturing, so some of the things we have been focused on have been about diversification. It’s a direction we need to continue to work toward, not ever get away from your base foundation of what your community is about, but try to bring about new things as well to the community.”

Roggow explained that the brewery’s location was placed in the industrial park since it is still technically a manufacturing business because raw goods are brought in and turned into a final product.

Craft brewing practices are on the rise which likewise means that demand for craft beer is growing. Roggow said developing the brewery in the area will allow for the product to be shipped out while keeping trucks coming in and leaving the location from other locations where noise levels may be an issue.

Roggow expressed bringing the different type of business to the industrial park also helped add in a different flavor of manufacturing.

The brewery came to Duncan based on incentive, Roggow said, though the families all feel at home in Stephens County. The incentive this time wasn’t monetary, however.

“(Kochendorfer Brewing Company) were given a five year opportunity to invest … $300,000 — and I think we’ll probably double that before they get open — and create at least 10 new jobs in five years,” Roggow said. “In exchange for that, they get the land. If they did not achieve that, then they would have to pay for the land. In understanding how and what their needs were, we were trying to give them an incentive which would help make them successful.”

Roggow said the inspiration for a brewery in Duncan came from a gentleman based in Blanco, Texas he worked with previously this year.

After hearing about the brewery business, Roggow said he looked at numbers across the nation and in Oklahoma regarding employment specs.

“In 2017 The U.S. Craft Brewers had 6,266 individuals in the craft brewing industry across the United States,” Roggow said. “Oklahoma has 32 brewers today with 10 on the horizon to get into craft brewing themselves.”

According to Roggow, Duncan will be the only community in Southwest Oklahoma to have a brewery, meaning it opens the door for distribution of the local beer to not only Oklahoma City, but Wichita Falls, Altus and Lawton as well.

“I think once again, we’re putting Duncan back on the map,” he said. “Every time, we always seem to be the first to make these great steps in our community and within our state. We are very well known for that.”

Lenny and Kathryn Cripps and Chris and Laura (Coast) Kochendorfer began working on the Kochendorfer Brewing Company several years ago. When the two couples first met, they discovered they shared one thing in common: the dream of one day opening a brewery.

The company began in Oklahoma City and was birthed by the “entrepreneurial spirit” of the Kochendorfers and the Cripps’ intellect on the craft beer industry.

According to the owners, the brewery will sit on five wooded acres of land with a goal of being a destination for friends and families to get together.

While the couples plan to man the brewery themselves in the beginning, they will be looking for an assistant brewer. Once their taproom is up and running, Laura said they will begin to hire bar and service staff.

The brewing company will begin by releasing their original six beers and the owners plan to host tours, as well as maintain a taproom for craft beer purchases. Plans include a large covered patio space, bandstand, food trucks, dog park, family friendly outdoor games, walking trails, as well as a fenced-in playground so that families can get away for the day and enjoy the outdoors together. 

Chris Kochendorfer said they’re more than excited for everything they have planned for the future brewery.

“It’s what we’ve been looking for,” he said. “Duncan came up as an option and it just made sense.”

Lenny Cripps said their first priority is flavoring Duncan and getting added to restaurant menus across the city.

“We wanna be the local brewery and just expand from there,” Cripps said.

Kochendorfer expressed it’ll probably grow quicker than expected, which is the dream for them.

The owners are looking to open the doors to Kochendorfer Brewing Company in April 2019, weather permitting.

For more information, visit www.kochendorferbrewing.com or visit Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation or Kochendorfer Brewing Company on Facebook.