Craft beer bar to become downtown Lee’s Summit’s third brewery
Downtown Lee’s Summit will soon boast a trio of breweries, with Grains & Taps’ own craft brew joining Fringe Beerworks and Smoke Brewing Company later this year.
While the beer will be new, the setting and faces won’t be. A few weeks before the business’s five-year anniversary, Grains & Taps, 10 SW Third St., is announcing the addition of brewing to its craft-beer repertoire by the end of 2018.
Closed for more than two months by fire and recently re-opened, the G&T owners say they are ready to expand their craft-beer offering.
“While the fire was a painful experience it was also a chance to step back and analyze our business,” owner Brian Bixby said. “We’ve spent five years immersed in the subject of brewing with the idea of brewing professionally never far from our minds.
“We’re excited to merge the things we were already doing with classes and events and expand them using our in-house brewing system. Brewing in-house really opens up possibilities to showcase different concepts in classes that we were doing in the past by finding commercial craft examples.”
Of course, they aren’t just planning on using the beers they brew to enhance their brewing classes. They plan on offering a variety of house beers in their taproom as well, offering three or four easy-drinking flagship beers as well as a handful of seasonal beers they look forward to brewing and experimenting with.
Lee’s Summit is following national trends in brewery growth. Two years ago there were no breweries operating in Lee’s Summit. By the end of 2018, there will be four with the addition of New Axiom Brewing on the east side of town.
“I think it’s an industry where everyone benefits from addition. When you can get multiple breweries within an area, it provides more opportunity for beer-lovers to make that area a weekend destination, which has the potential to attract people from further away,” owner Brad Boehm said.
Making the jump from the hobby (and business) of home brewing to brewing professionally comes with growing pains.
“When we start up we definitely expect to have our hands full striving to make beer that is both high quality and consistent. One advantage that I think we have in contrast to the way that most small breweries start up is we already have the business and taproom in operation,” Boehm added.
About Grains & Taps: Lee’s Summit natives Brian Bixby and Brad Boehm opened Grains & Taps in 2013 with the goal of spreading their love of craft beer and home brewing. They began as a retail store on Douglas Street in downtown Lee’s Summit selling home brewing supplies and gradually added a bar with a growing selection of craft beer from local and worldwide breweries. Grains & Taps outgrew their original storefront and moved across the train tracks to their current location of 10 SW Third St. It is now a popular hangout in downtown Lee’s Summit, boasting 25 craft beer taps, a full bar and a pizza menu. They have gained a reputation for offering brewing classes and educational opportunities about beer and brewing and supporting local charitable giving and nonprofits around Lee’s Summit.