Kansas Beer

available now!

0119-KANS-cvr.jpg
 

Revived Revelry

Prohibition came early to Kansas in 1881, driving more than a hundred and twenty-five breweries out of business or underground. Refusing to even vote on the 1933 national repeal, the state remained dry until 1948, with Liquor by the Drink finally approved in 1987. Lawrence’s Chuck Magerl worked with the state’s legislature to help insert new laws allowing something (little known at the time) called a ‘microbrewery’. Chuck started the state’s first brewery in over a century, appropriately named Free State Brewing Company. This book covers the beginnings of Kansas brewing industry through its heady growth and death from Prohibition then recent rebirth. It covers most of the state’s breweries and tells their unique stories. Some notables covered in the book… John Dean of Topeka’s Blind Tiger Brewery counts more awards than any other brewer in the state (by a lot!) including Champion Brewer at the World Beer Cup in 2014. Props and Hops brewery at Fly Boys in tiny Sylvan Grove, is owned and operated by an enterprising pilot who runs a crop dusting business on weekdays. A microbrewery in the shadow of a grain mill in Beaver Kansas may have more patrons on a Friday night than the population of the town. The book covers the booming growth in breweries in Wichita, as well as all of the cities hosting breweries in the state.

WBC_Collab Prairie Land Delight 2018 4.JPG

Many of the Kansas brewers gathered for a collaboration brew at Wichita Brewing in 2018.

 
 

Where to buy:

Once released, The book should be available anywhere books are sold. This will be updated regularly with links to additional places as they have inventory. You can pre-order below any of these sites.

 

Upcoming book signings

 

Offerings

Presentations

If you’d like to have a presentation or book signing event, please send an email to the author at Kansasbeers@gmail.com

 

Follow Kansas Beer on Facebook

You can follow the updates on Kansas Breweries and the book signings on Facebook here.

 

Additional pics which didn’t make the book

The publisher could only print a certain number of pictures from all of the ones taken across the state. Click here to see additional ones that didn’t make the cut! There are so many great breweries and brewers in the state - see if you can find your local brewer or breweries in this collection of pictures as the author ‘hopped’ across Kansas!

 
 

How it began…

Left to right: Bob Crutchfield, Sam Adams, the (former) Most Interring Man in the World, James Crutchfield

Left to right: Bob Crutchfield, Sam Adams, the (former) Most Interring Man in the World, James Crutchfield

 
 

From the author: It all started when…

The genesis of this book came about when I visited Wichita again after so many years away. I had family who had relocated there and, while visiting, took me to check out several of the breweries. I was amazed at the quality of the craft beers they were serving as well as the growing number of new breweries popping up in town. It seemed like each year a couple more were starting up and needed to be visited – you know – for research. And once we hit most of the breweries in Wichita, it seemed necessary to check out Walnut River Brewing just outside of town in El Dorado. On our first visit, it was in a gutted building with only a small brew system back behind a wall near the ally. But they served great beer. (see pic above) “There are a lot of good beers here!” I commented to my brothers. After a couple beers it became, “Maybe, for the sake of research, and the love of Kansas, we should document all of the breweries in the state?” Just like many of the breweries in our state were started over a couple beers, this book began in the same way.

  It took over a year and all the breweries were finally “researched”. The more that I visited, the more appreciation I gained for the hard work and industriousness of the people behind each brewery. The best part of this project was that nearly all the brewers or owners interviewed had interesting stories. This is the stuff you only get with home-grown start-up establishments.  

  When discussing the number of breweries being started in the state, I continue to get comments contrasting the craft brewing industry in Kansas to other states, especially Colorado or California, where it seems there’s a brewery on every corner. Running some comparisons, which are discussed in a bit more detail later in the book, the reader should see that the state’s population and demographics appear to be able to handle the growing number of breweries and more. Even in Wichita, where there are over a dozen breweries (counting the ones in Cheney and El Dorado) it seems the craft beer drinking market will support them. Then you wonder about competition. What is it like to start up a new brewery in the same area as others? I’m not sure if this is a Kansas thing, or not, but nearly every brewery owner I talked to about this said the brewers in the state are more of a ‘brotherhood’ where each brewery helps the other making sure ‘they get on their feet’. Once established, the cooperation continues as evidenced by all the collaboration beers the breweries make each year.  The breweries in Kansas are a very friendly and giving group. As one of the major brewers in the state put it “The Kansas brewing business is 99% asshole-free, plus there’s beer.” You can’t ask for much more!

  It’s hoped that, after reading this book, you’ll want to make a visit to as many of these fine breweries as possible. All the owners and brewers have a passion for the craft and have taken the risk to pursue this passion by giving up other potential employment opportunities, investing their savings, and putting in many long hours to bring you the best craft beer they can. Please enjoy the book! Preferably over a beer.



 
 
Author (modified).jpg
 

Bob Crutchfield, Author Kansas Beer

Bob was raised in Coffeyville, Kansas, during the time when 3.2 beer was all you could get. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from K-State and went on to earn his MBA while working most of his professional career in semiconductor manufacturing. He is married to a wonderful wife and has two amazing children.

Bob discovered craft beers like many other people did over the past decade or so by climbing the proverbial beer ladder. After leaving the gravitational pull from Manhattan’s Aggieville, he stepped up from the Coors Light rung for a Shiner, then climbed up to a pale ale; then there was the dark German beer phase, eventually ascending to IPAs, where he is currently perched. With instruction from his Wichita brother, he and his son began home brewing homebrewing several years ago, learning from each batch. When his wife permits it, he’s allowed to expand and upgrade his brewing setup. Bob is a solid member of the hop-head alliance of beer drinkers who will always check out the IPAs on the brewery boards. He’s a member of the American Homebrewers Association and has the nickname “Sdmundis” on Untappd.