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Oklahoma’s First Legal Brew: Progress Beer

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The state of Oklahoma’s first legal beer was brewed in 1934 by a Czechoslovakian immigrant in Yukon named John Kroutil.

After starting the Yukon Mill and Grain Company in 1892 and then expanding into banking after statehood, Kroutil saw an opportunity when the federal government repealed the prohibition on alcoholic beverages. He incorporated the Progress Brewing Company and opened a plant in Oklahoma City to produce beer with a 3.2 percent alcoholic content, the maximum allowed under Oklahoma law.

After dropping the name of Progress, the beer was distributed under the brand of Lone Star from 1959 to 1974.

– Dr. Bob Blackburn, Oklahoma Historical Society

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