Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company is the dream of Neill Hardin and David Riesenberg. David and Neill Hardin have over 30 years experience in the restaurant business. Their careers began as busboys at the Steak & Ale Restaurant in 1973. They were also on the opening kitchen staff at Pistachio’s right here at 50 Penn Place in 1976.
In 1980, David began working for the Interurban Restaurants. He worked as a General Manager at several different locations including the Interurban at 50 Penn Place. In 1992, David started Interurban Catering at 50 Penn Place. Neill began working for Interurban Restaurants in 1985. He was General Manager at the Edmond Interurban for several years. Neill wanted to open his own restaurant and began to consult with David about achieving that goal. The two of them worked together to develop and ultimately realize their dream…Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Company.
In 1994, David and Neill purchased the Interurban Restaurant, the Urban Market, and Interurban Catering at 50 Penn Place. They closed the restaurant for remodeling which included the addition of a brewpub.
One year after opening Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewing Co., Jim Stone joined David and Neill as an owner and General Partner. Jim began his career in the restaurant industry as a waiter and bartender at Legend’s while finishing his degree in Norman at the University of Oklahoma. Jim has worked for over 30 years in restaurant management in Norman, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and South Lake Tahoe. Like David and Neill, he worked as a General Manager for the Interurban Restaurants for a number of years.
A brewpub is a restaurant that produces its own beer on premise. A common misconception is that a brewpub and a microbrewery are one in the same. In fact, these entities are not the same. A microbrewery can produce up to 15,000 barrels per year and can only sell its products through wholesale distributors. A microbrewery cannot sell their products on premise like a brewpub can.
One of the first things you will notice upon entering Belle Isle is the impressive array of stainless steel vessels and pipes towering behind the glass walls on the first and second levels. Although this equipment is very attractive and eye-catching, it still serves a fundamental purpose at Belle Isle. All of our Handcrafted Beers are produced in these tanks.
The Pub Brewing Company from Santa Rosa, California manufactured our equipment to have a brewing capacity of 15 barrels per batch. One barrel is equivalent to two kegs. The system includes one Combo, one steam-fired Brew Kettle, three glycol jacketed fermenters (glycol is basically antifreeze that is circulated between the inner and outer walls of the fermenter to precisely control the temperature of fermentation), and five non-jacketed Serving Tanks. The five Serving Tanks are located in the cold room on the second level. The cold room is kept at 36 degrees Fahrenheit. The Serving Tanks are also referred to as the “tax determination tanks” for state and federal tax purposes.
Belle Isle Restaurant & Brewery is family owned and operated and has been providing Oklahomans with great food and craft beer since 1995. We are proud to continue this with the support of Keep It Local. Our goal is to give back to the great people of OKC who have supported us for so long!