Oklahoma, like Arkansas, came to the craft-beer table a tad late, and it took a minute for it to get its momentum. Now, though, that momentum is getting mighty, and much of it is coming out of Tulsa. Hell, were Prairie Artisan Ales -- purveyors of the magnificent barrel-aged Pirate Bomb imperial stout and dry-hopped Funky Gold Amarillo sour -- the city’s sole brewer, it would make Tulsa a destination. Even better, Prairie is expanding its reach, right along with Marshall -- brewing up year-round greatness like Atlas IPA and seasonal favorites like Big Jamoke porter -- and Dead Armadillo, which floods markets with bombers of Black Hop IPA and cans of Amber ale. It may not be the biggest in terms of volume, but Tulsa deserves respect for keeping the region supplied with great beer that defies expectation, and its ability to up the South’s entire game allows the city to stand tall with the big dogs.
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Matt Lynch is Thrillist's Deputy Editor and feels his hometown of Chicago is properly rated. Follow him @MLynchChi.