The Original Six
They called her Red. She earned the name not only because of her fiery red hair, but also because she had a temperament to match. This particular characteristic in a woman was not met kindly in the year of 1848, in the throes of the Great Famine. Red had something that many would desire. A secret recipe entrusted to her by the owner of the pub she had come to call home. In the wake of his passing, she made the decision to leave her life as a barmaid behind, and boarded a ship bound for America.
A few months after her arrival, she could no longer stomach the boredom of being a housemaid. Having nothing but her un-abating resolve, she set out to make something of herself in the new world. Joining the monotonous ranks of the railroad workers was not an option, so naturally, Red decided to join the circus. Using her determination to fill an available position, Red became a self-taught fire- eater. After a particularly scorching performance in New York, Red required some medical attention. She opened the doctor’s door to find a roguishly handsome man about her age. They instantly fell in love and were married in a very untraditional ceremony attended by lions, elephants, monkeys, tiny horses, tightrope walkers, contortionists, and one bearded lady.
In the spring of 1889, the circus performed in a little place known as Oklahoma. The couple had grown older and was ready to retire, so they decided to join in on the land run. They staked their claim on a parcel of land made up of roughly 365 acres. It had a large pond and even had a few cliffs, which were abnormal for the relatively flat land surrounding it. The couple built a one-room cabin and called it home. In their final years, Red decided to entrust her husband with the secret of the recipe given her by the bar owner so many years ago. With her recipe for the most delicious beer ever made, and his medicinal knowledge, an elixir was born.
Silas was a gentle soul who always had a heart for helping people. When he was young, his parents each worked two jobs to provide at least one square meal a day for their children. He was the third of nine, making him responsible for the well-being of his siblings while his parents were away. The city of New York was a tough one, but Silas wasn’t about to let that keep him from his dreams of making a difference in the world. In his younger days, he spent hours attempting to resuscitate small animals. One day, he was able to bring a Robin back from what seemed a certain death. From that magical day forward, he would not stop pursuing his quest to become a doctor. Setbacks occurred as he grew older. The expectation to work in the railroad industry overwhelmed his ambition for a short stint as he entered his teenage years. Silas sent his wages of $1 per day straight home to his family. The danger of the job excited him, but the monotony of the gig would never cure his insatiable desire to follow his passion. One day, a Robin flew directly onto his spike hammer. Silas left the miserable binds of the railroad labor force that day, and never looked back. He immediately began applying for positions that mirrored his passions and was turned down, time and again. One day, he happened upon a leaflet for a local circus. A doctor was needed to treat the circus workers who were constantly being mauled by the animals, falling off tightropes, and suffering from various scrapes, bruises and burns. What Silas lacked in experience, he made up for in ambition, and so he became their one and only doctor. A few years into his position, a strikingly beautiful red head joined the team. Silas marveled at her bravery from afar each time she performed. One night, he watched as the fiery wand slipped from her hand and caught her red hair on fire. He quickly retreated to his room as he knew she would likely need to pay him a visit. She opened the door and, despite the smell of singed hair that lingered, he thought she had never looked more beautiful. He knew then and there, this woman would be his wife.
Just outside of what would one day become a small town known as Duncan, located in what would become the great state of Oklahoma, sat a parcel of land unlike any around. Trees and rolling hills covered the property, as well as a distinct set of slightly elevated cliffs just east of the twenty-six-acre lake. A herd of horses freely roamed the land, basking in the uncultivated grandeur of the acreage. One day, this place would become a home to an unlikely couple who would be the beginning of something great.
Old man Sam was a self-proclaimed ‘old codger,' who lived deep within the woods of the Wildhorse estate. Everyday, he sat in his worn out chair, in the middle of his worn out cabin, seeking truths about the Universe while chewing on his corncob pipe. On occasion they would dare to come up his winding dirt road to seek the legitimacy of his cure-all elixir. On every occasion, he would run them off with two rounds in the air from his trusty Winchester. Sam had found a recipe deep within the decaying wooden floors of an abandoned one-room cabin he had come to call home. Sam would only disclose the secrets within that browned and battered piece of paper to one man, and that man was the only soul who would ever lay eyes on it so long as Sam was alive. Sam would be sure of that.
Mr. Kochendorfer was a young man with an ambition that matched the immensity of his last name. At the age of three he decided he wanted to become a magician, so he taught himself how to escape from a zipped piece of luggage while sinking to the depths of his neighbor’s pool. Becoming tired of magic in adolescence, he became a self-taught acrobat at the age of eighteen. Still unsatisfied with his accomplishments, Mr. Kochendorfer decided to travel the world. He picked up the art of beer brewing along his voyages, and soon became known by all his friends, neighbors and family as a master of his craft. Although he agreed his brews were enjoyable, he still felt the relentless urge to better himself and often wondered how he could achieve brewing greatness.
Pondering this question while hiking one day, Mr. Kochendorfer ventured further into the Wildhorse woods than he had ever gone before and happened upon a cabin. The old man inside was asleep, but through the window, he could see many books with titles that were far out of his intellectual capacity, including several on the topic of how to brew the perfect beer. Having a feeling that this man’s extensive knowledge could only further his endeavors, Mr. Kochendorfer decided they must become friends. Quietly stepping inside and making certain his Winchester was safely out of reach, he awoke the old man. That day was a major bump in the road of what would ultimately become their journey to friendship. The old man couldn’t help but admire the young man’s tenacity, and they eventually became as close as family. The old man shared all of his knowledge and stories of the healing powers of the Humulus Lupulus plant. On his deathbed, the old man gave him a browned and battered piece of paper. On the top was written: Cure-All Elixir.
Mr. Cripps was a white haired man with kind eyes, living just outside the cusp of the Wildhorse estate. He lived on his sprawling acreage with his beautiful wife and their two hounds Bacchus and Barley. Mr. Cripps was a brew master, and a master of brew he was. Everyone living within a ten-mile radius of his estate came to visit at least once a week to fill their growlers full of his homemade concoctions. Although his neighbors, friends and family would have happily named him ‘Most Badass Brew Master Who Had Ever Existed,’ Mr. Cripps so desperately wanted it written in the history books, or at least engraved on a shiny plaque where it could be forever immortalized on the wall of his backwoods brewery. Mr. Cripps often wondered how he could achieve this final stepping-stone of brewing greatness, and produce the most delicious beer ever made. He had heard the whispers of his neighbors regarding old man Sam and his supposed Cure-All Elixir. He was curious if the old man had actually found a way to make such an elixir, but dared not brave the winding dirt road just outside his back acre, knowing it would likely end with a bullet in his backside.
Years passed and one day he heard a knock at his door. Knowing it must be a stranger, because no one ever knocked, Mr. Cripps slowly opened the door. Outside was a young man who went by the name of Kochendorfer. Mr. Kochendorfer introduced himself and explained that he had heard that Mr. Cripps was a master of his craft. Mr. Cripps welcomed him inside his brewery in the woods just behind his home. Mr. Kochendorfer was so impressed with his brews that he quickly decided he was the one he would share his secret with. He slowly pulled out a browned and battered piece of paper.