Indulge In McAlester's Growing Food & Beverage Scene

Indulge In McAlester’s Growing Food & Beverage Scene

“McAlester has a really cool vibe and a growing beverage scene,” said Billy Sumner, City of McAlester Tourism Manager. “Our wineries are a top tourist attraction, our local breweries feature live music and events, and an artist recently recorded a live album here in Downtown McAlester. These places serve award winning beverages, and we’re extremely proud of what they bring to McAlester. There’s a lot going on.” And that’s because people love it here. It’s an awesome place to live and visit. 

Take, for example, Zach Prichard, the President of Oklahoma’s largest brewing company - Krebs Brewing Company (KBC). Prichard graduated from McAlester High School and is a fourth-generation brewer in the area with a long heritage that is tied to the area's Italian community and Choctaw Nation. His family is best known for their Italian restaurant Pete’s Place, in nearby Krebs, where they brew and serve ChocBeer, a recipe his great-grandfather, Peitro “Pete” Piegari (Prichard) learned from tribal members. Decades later, Prichard is carrying on the family tradition. In 2016, Prichard acquired Prairie Artisan Ales and soon after expanded KBC’s local production facility to 52,000 square ft. Prichard loves the community and takes an active stance with various boards and festivals, all working to make McAlester a better place for future generations. Last year, KBC increased their production by 5,000 barrels, producing more than 20,000 barrels of beer and making them the largest brewing company in Oklahoma. 

KBC isn’t the only brewery in town. Bierkraft Brewery, located on Washington Avenue in McAlester, is an incredible place for families and friends to gather.  William Shawn Scott “Scotty,” the President and Brewmeister of Bierkraft Brewery said, “One of the big things we wanted to do is create a similar culture to what we’ve experienced traveling domestically and internationally. In Germany, breweries are places for families to enjoy and that’s what we have created here - a place where the family is welcome to come and enjoy the beer (or rootbeer) and pretzels, play cornhole or bocce ball and spend time together,” He added, “There are five families involved in this project and we all have kids so that was important to us.”

In addition to their numerous cultural events held throughout the year, Bierkraft Brewery is also an excellent place to listen to live music. They regularly bring in acts like Landon Walker, BJ Pemberton, Blake Turner, Tyler Byrd, Katelyn Myers and Colton Kro - all local favorites. 

Live music can also be heard at McAlester’s Spaceship Earth Coffee Co. Whether it’s regularly featured local talent through their monthly youth open mic nights or larger acts such as Mike McClure, Early James, Pony Bradshaw, or Adam Carroll, Spaceship Earth is quickly becoming the hub for music in Downtown McAlester. Sit back and enjoy live weekly shows, as you sip coffee, specialty beers, wine or various non-alcoholic drinks. Spaceship Earth is a family friendly venue that also hosts multiple event nights, such as trivia, music bingo and chess. This August, something incredible happened - Spaceship Earth became the site of a live album recording when Isaac McClung decided to record there. He performed 12 songs to a sold-out McAlester audience, telling the story behind each song while being greeted with applause. 

"I never thought I would love McAlester as much as I do," said McClung. "You guys have been so good to me." He told the News-Capital, "I had an amazing time," an obviously elated McClung said following his performance. "It was like a dream. It's one of my favorite moments in my musical career."

Those looking for the winery experience will also enjoy visiting McAlester. Urban Wine Works, Whispering Meadows Winery, and their sister winery, Country Aire Estates, draw people to McAlester who love good wine, company, and connecting with something truly local. Their wine is locally produced and sold throughout the state at events like the Italian Festival. If you haven’t tried their wines at a festival, it’s easy to do so while in McAlester. 
  Isaac McClung - Copy

Country Aire Estates   Country Aire Estates Winery had its grand opening in the spring of 2021 and has become a gathering place for wine enthusiasts and families ever since. Their tasting room is beautiful and an excellent place to spend the afternoon drinking wine, eating tasty snacks, and listening to live music when they have bands playing. 

For those looking for a winery in downtown McAlester, Whispering Meadows Winery is an excellent place to visit. Located in the heart of Historic Downtown McAlester, Whispering Meadows is steps away from a variety of eclectic boutiques and shops. The winery delivers a terrific atmosphere for a fun and relaxed family-friendly wine tasting and features an extensive selection of wine related gifts, home accents, and gourmet foods that pair perfectly with their award-winning wines.

As for food, McAlester is quickly becoming a foodie paradise, with more than 75 different dining options, including 40+ unique and locally owned favorites. So, when done tasting wine, sampling locally made beer, and listening to live music, head to one of our many excellent restaurants. Here are a few of our more popular restaurants:

1. Captain John’s Seafood & Cajun Grill
Captain Johns
Captain John’s Seafood & Cajun Grill is located at 1216 S George Nigh Expy. Perfectly cooked steak, seafood, and pasta reign supreme at Captain John’s. The atmosphere is pretty incredible too. This is a local favorite for its contagious energy, friendly staff, and good drinks. 

2. Joe’s Yardbird

Joe’s Yardbird you can tell that thought and love were put into the preparation of every dish. They have elevated classics like a BLT to a whole new level (think caramelized onions). You don’t know what a good sandwich tastes like until you’ve eaten at Joe’s. 

3. Jaz’s Cajun Eatery

Jaz’s Cajun Eatery on West Carl Albert Parkway is where you go to get an incredible Po Boy sandwich or to eat your fill of a shrimp boil. Gumbo, crab cakes, catfish… if you love Cajun food, you don’t want to miss the chance to dine at Jaz’s. 

4. Pho Saigon
Pho Saigon is the top destination in McAlester for Vietnamese cuisine. This Pho restaurant offers fresh food with delicious flavors. If you haven’t tried Vietnamese food before, you’re missing out. In the winter, Pho soup will warm you up and make you feel incredible. In the summer, egg rolls, thinly sliced beef, sandwiches, and salad make for the perfect lunch or dinner. 

5. McAlester Grazing Co.
Located in Historic Downtown McAlester, The McAlester Grazing Co. is a charcuterie and gourmet market with gifts and daily specials. Build your own box or grab one of their beautifully delicious custom graze boxes and charcuterie boards, to go. Need to take your event to the next level? McAlester Grazing Co. has you covered! They offer charcuterie workshops and you can book private events in their market or they will travel for your events. 

Watch this video to learn more about McAlester’s incredible food scene!