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Dust Bowl Brewing expanding to Monterey, Oklahoma
Dust Bowl Bret Tate Okie shirt
Dust Bowl Brewing founder Brett Tate sports an “Okie” shirt in honor of the company’s recent expansion into Oklahoma. - photo by Contributed

It was just under a decade ago that Dust Bowl Brewing Co. produced its first beer — the Hops of Wrath IPA — in 2009. Now, after creating countless more popular brews and dominating the craft beer scene in the Central Valley for years, the Turlock-based brewery is taking its talents both to the coast and to the Midwest.


Dust Bowl is currently eyeing a former train depot in Monterey, California as a potential home for a forthcoming satellite taproom, founder Brett Tate said, and recently hosted launch parties in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, which are two of the biggest craft beer markets in Oklahoma, to celebrate their expanded distribution to the state.


The brewery has applied for a beer license for the property located at 209 Figueroa St. in Monterey — a building that once served as Monterey’s first train station, but has most recently provided locally-sourced meals and goods to residents as the Wharf Marketplace. The eatery/produce mart closed for good on March 15, but the lease, owned by Tanimura & Antle LLC, isn’t set to expire until July 31, 2023, according to City of Monterey documents. 

Since our inception almost 10 years ago, we’ve had our eye on Oklahoma. It makes good sense on a variety of levels…We make great beer and expect our brand story to resonate with Oklahoma beer drinkers.
Brett Tate

Dust Bowl and T&A are currently in negotiations with the City of Monterey to bring a taproom to the building, where the brewery would serve as a subtenant to take over the space.


“As we look to expand the Dust Bowl Brewing brand and grow our company, we’ve been researching possible locations for satellite taprooms,” Tate said. “We are currently in the review process with the City of Monterey on a potential site near the wharf. We should know more in coming weeks as we move through the process.”


Dust Bowl opened its first taproom in downtown Turlock in August 2011. Almost five years later, the craft beer company opened the doors to a 30,000 square foot facility located on Fulkerth Road in Turlock, expanding brewery operations from producing 4,800 barrels a year to 15,000 to 20,000 barrels a year and creating an even larger taproom and restaurant for patrons.


It was Tate’s grandfather who inspired much of what Dust Bowl stands for today when he became a real-life hobo during the Great Depression in the Dust Bowl corridor of Oklahoma, riding the rails in pursuit of work. Ultimately, the family settled in California, where Tate would eventually join forces with brewer Don Oliver and Central Valley native Brett Honoré to open up the brewery inspired by his family’s roots.


Dust Bowl has announced that it is now returning to the birthplace of those brand roots for an “Oklahomecoming,” partnering with Republic National Distributing Company in Oklahoma City to roll out the brewery’s core brand line-up throughout all 77 counties in Oklahoma.


“Since our inception almost 10 years ago, we’ve had our eye on Oklahoma,” Tate said. “It makes good sense on a variety of levels…We make great beer and expect our brand story to resonate with Oklahoma beer drinkers.”


Tate added that the partnership was a perfect fit since RNDC is looking to enhance its craft beer portfolio and expects to see opportunities for growth come October when Oklahoma’s alcohol laws and regulations allow consumers the ability to purchase full strength beer and wine at grocery and convenience stores, as well as refrigerated beer in traditional liquor stores.


In addition to Oklahoma, Dust Bowl beers can currently be found in Turlock, of course, and throughout Central and Northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast to San Luis Obispo County and in the state of Nevada. The company is also looking to expand distribution to Southern California.