Fifteen years is a long time in the craft beer world. Styles change, breweries start and life happens.

The Tulsa Press Club, 415 S. Boston Ave. started a simple event, First Draft, 15 years ago. The event was to raise funds but also to bring people together for a community event.

In 2004 there weren’t any local craft breweries producing beer. Liquor stores sold the “good stuff” and the “good stuff” was almost always imported.

In 2004 the Press Club set up tables through the lobby of the Atlas Life building where its clubhouse is located. Beer tables were categorized into countries of origin. Belgium and Germany seemed to be the most popular. Crowds packed the hallway with their pint glasses getting samples and enjoying each other’s company.

There was only one other beer tasting in Tulsa at that time and now they are popping up all the time. That isn’t a bad thing.

If you aren’t old enough to remember when there weren’t a dozen breweries in town, First Draft was there. The Press Club has been a mainstay in Tulsa for 113 years. It supplies a ton of fun to its membership and gives scholarships to journalism students. You don’t have to be in the press to join, check out its website for all the lowdown. tulsapressclub.org

First Draft has grown just like the craft beer industry. It is a great way to try different beers from lots of breweries in one spot.

This year has a new indoor location, the John L. Rucker Warehouse, 1227 S. Detroit Ave. The tasting is from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Nov. 15, with VIP ticket holders getting early access to the venue and beer selection starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 for general admission and $100 for VIP with early entry. More than 40 breweries will be pouring over 120 beers and there will be food.

Get your tickets at tickets.beerfests.com/event/first-draft-craft-beer-tasting or stop by the Tulsa Press Club and join up while you are there.

Tom Gilbert 918-581-8349

tom.gilbert@tulsaworld.com

Chief Photographer

Tom joined the Tulsa World in 1988 after being an intern and graduating from the University of Central Oklahoma. He lived in Saudi Arabia before graduating from Broken Arrow High School. He is married to Karen Gilbert and his three grown children.