Opening in 2014
The sum of experiences between John and James means a variety of beers including ales, pale ales, stouts and IPAS. Sometimes, a dry hard cider will make an appearance. The Wakarusa Brewery will offer a few flagship beers with a mix of crafted seasonals.
Mead is one of the oldest fermented beverage ever produced. Made famous by the vikings, but mentioned in the earliest Sumerian text of which we have record. The Wakarusa Brewery plans to have vanilla cinnamon and ginger chamomile meads available on a regular basis. Various fruit meads will be available seasonally with fruit from local farms.
- Purchase Building
- Demo Ceiling, & Lighting
- Take Down Antique Store Shelving
- Structural Reinforcement on North Wall
- Demo existing bathroom
- Install Piping Supports on South Wall
- Install New 200 Amp Electrical Panel
- Repair Facade of Building
- Paint Exterior
- Get House in Olathe Ready to Sell
- Frame Bathroom & Storage Room
- Install New Roof - November
- Install Insulation for Bar - November
- Install 2-hr Fire Rated Ceiling along perimeter of South Wall - December
- Paint Bar Area - December
- Install Lighting & Electrical for Bar - January
- Install New Gas Piping & Service Entrance - January
- Install HVAC for Bar - February
- Connect to City Water Main - March
- Install Sewage Sump and Connect to City Sewage Main - March
- Install Plumbing for Bar Area - April
- Install Kegerator(s) & point of sale computer - April
- Open as a Bar on Weekends Only - May
- Install Insulation & Ceiling for Fermentation & Kettle Rooms - June
- Install Lighting in Fermentation & Kettle Rooms - June
- Concrete & Drain Work in Kettle Room - July
- Paint Fermentation & Kettle Rooms - July
- Install HVAC for Fermentation & Kettle Room - August
- Install Brewing Equipment - September
- START BREWING - October 2014
The best place to start this story is with my love of craft beer. On my 21st birthday, I had a barbecue at the lake and invited all my friends. I brought a goat and four 30-packs of Miller High Life Light and told all my friends to bring some side dishes. Many of my friends and family - mocking my choice of cheap beer - decided to bring me 6-packs of various craft beers. I went home that night with half a goat and about a dozen or more different craft beers. From that point on, I started exploring the world of craft beer every chance I had. During the remainder of my college years, I spent a lot of time at Free State Brewery. The first job I accepted out of college was in St. Louis, where I lived down the street from Schlafly Bottleworks for a year. I then returned to Kansas City and began frequenting Swagger and the Flying Saucer. In 2010, a couple of my co-workers began homebrewing. At first, I thought that homebrewing would take up too much space in my house, but eventually I was talked into buying a starter kit from Groupon. In December 2010, I brewed my first stout. Soon after the first stout followed my first IPA, Belgian Dubbel, agave IPA, coffee stout, dry hopped hefeweizen, barleywine, cider, imperial hazelnut coffee stout, caramel chamomile ale, ginger chamomile mead, peanut butter stout and an oak aged bourbon IPA. In the face of my initial concerns, I began to fill my house with carboys full of fermented beverages and bottles waiting to be filled. By my third batch, I decided to stop following other recipes; however, it wasn’t until the bourbon IPA that I decided to start writing my own. Up until that point, I was just having fun throwing things into the kettle to see what happened, and I never took it that seriously. After brewing and drinking the bourbon IPA with my friend Justin, I decided that I wanted to start a brewery somewhere down the road. I didn’t know when it would actually be possible, but I started keeping track of my recipes. Over the next year, I worked on refining past recipes which hadn’t yet been written down. In addition to beer, I began exploring cider and various styles of mead.
My story starts with John introducing me to my first craft beer, Schlaffly’s Oatmeal Stout. It was awesome! That’s when I became fascinated by craft beers. I’ve tried hundreds of beers, looking for something new, exotic, perfect, or something that I can emjoy after a hard day's work. That’s why I brew beer. Because I want to find something perfect, something beautiful, and something I can share with everyone. When making beer, I usually stick with IPAs, pale ales, and dark stouts. But I try out wheats and lighter ales from time to time. I like to experiment with different beers, sometimes a little crazy, but that’s the fun part. Generally, I tend to add extra hops to anything I brew. I enjoy higher alcohol beers such as barley wines and imperial stouts, but also enjoy those really low alcohol beers such as some pale ales. I like to think that in beer, the lower the alcohol, the more I can enjoy... If it tastes good, of course.
The Making of Wakarusa Brewery
From the point we decided to open a brewery, we started keeping an eye on commercial real estate sites. Toward the end of 2012, an affordable location popped up in downtown Eudora, Kansas. It is an abandoned antique mall in need of structural repairs, a new roof, a new bathroom, new lighting, new HVAC, and new plumbing. There is plenty left to do, but we have a place to get started. With any luck, we will have a bar open in the front of the building in the Fall of 2013 and brewery up and running shortly afterward. We’re looking forward to playing a part in the craft brewery movement going on throughout this country.