Jerod Millirons and Dave Monks met while teaching biology at Northern Oklahoma College. Jerod has a bachelor’s degree in biology plus a masters in business. Dave has a Ph. D. in microbiology and plant physiology. During his education Dave studied both yeast and fermentation and brewed his first beer way back in 1992 (super weird he co-owns a brewery now, right?).
Jerod and Dave came up with the name for their brewery, if you haven’t gathered by now, from the combination of their last names. Iron Monk Brewing started brewing their first batches in January 2015 near the corner of Sixth and Husband in Stillwater. They originally wanted to have the working name Stillwater Brewing but that name wasn’t as unique as originally thought due to breweries like Stillwater Artisanal Ales. Iron Monk’s passion lies in “big” beers like something you might find from Green Flash, so expect more of those to become available as things continue to ramp up. Their most recent release after the highly acclaimed Milk Stout is the new Payne County IPA which we got to enjoy as we toured the brewery. Speaking of big beers, I highly recommend visiting Tapwerks on November 5th in downtown OKC on international stout day! I have it on good authority that there will be something special there from the Iron Monk guys.
When you first arrive at the brewery, the building that houses it is rather nondescript so keep your eyes peeled if it’s your first visit. The interior is a work in progress but hey, they haven’t even been there for a year. Considering that, they’ve done a ton of work in a short amount of time. Upon entering the building you are greeted by the public tap room that everyone is hoping will be finished around the weekend of October 24th. At the bar, Iron Monk will be able to pour samples of their high point brews and will have good old fashioned 3.2 beer available for sale. During our visit we were lucky enough to sample their first 3.2 offering which is a wheat beer called “Stilly Wheat”, and I do mean lucky because this is one of the best 3.2 beers I’ve tasted. Behind the bar there is a large window that provides a view into the brewery where you get a behind the scenes look at the operation. It’s a really cool setup in which to enjoy a beer. The lineup at the bar is planned to expand to include more 3.2 beers for sale, perhaps even something similar to one of their current high point offerings. Iron Monk does give tours of the brewery, in fact there was one in process while we were there (hence all the people in the photos below) so be sure to go check it out and tour the facility!
As far as future plans, Jerod told us that currently the big push is to finish the tap room in order to get that up and running and ready to invite new patrons into the Iron Monk fan club. He also told us that they will be adding capacity by bringing in two more 35 barrel fermentation tanks to their current capacity which includes two 30 barrel and two 35 barrel tanks. The tap room will have some big screen TV’s set up as well so this will be a great place for a game day hangout. So, be sure to go support “Stillwater’s oldest brewery” and purchase a few of those Stilly wheat beers at the fancy new tap room as soon as it’s open.