Nolan Brown can see the future home of Transparent Brewing Co. He can literally see it across White Avenue from his job at Gayle’s Harley Davidson in Grandview, Missouri.
Brown and his mother, Michelle Brown, have been working for the past three years to bring Transparent Brewing Co. and The Chive, Simply Good Café & Market — an attached restaurant — to 14501 White Ave. They’re hoping to open by the summer of 2019.
Nolan was on a path to being a doctor when he decided that he wanted a career as a brewer instead. Soon after Nolan told his parents that he wasn’t going to medical school, Michelle decided that she would go to culinary school.
While he pursued his dream of becoming a brewer, interning at Six Row and working as a cellarman at The Saint Louis Brewery (then Schlafly) in St. Louis, Michelle enrolled in the culinary arts program at Johnson County Community College.
“I knew that he wanted to do a brewery, and I wanted a restaurant.” Michelle said. “I just really couldn’t see us running them separately.”
So Michelle built up her garden and began to envision a restaurant focused on locally-sourced ingredients, as Nolan worked at Fossil Cove Brewing Co. in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and at Oskar Blues as a brewer in its North Carolina facility.
“The goal was always to open a brewery and then a building suddenly became available in Grandview,” Nolan said.
TJ’s Café burned down in 2016 and the contractor working on the site knew the Brown family.
When it opens, the brewery and restaurant will share the space and each will have an order counter. The beer will be handed to you and the food will be brought to your table. Nolan is also envisioning a large dog-friendly outdoor space.
On the brewery side, Nolan has been working on a Kolsch, session IPA, a pale ale, stout and a vanilla cream ale.
“I like very balanced, refreshing beers,” Nolan said. “My biggest beef with the beer industry right now is that everything seems to be very high-alcohol beers.”
Over the past three years, the Browns have been running tastings, roughly one a month, where they try out menu items and beers for invited guests. The Chive’s locavore menu will include vegetables and herbs from Michelle’s own property, known as Echo Farm in Oak Grove, Missouri.
“We can have a seasonal menu depending on what vegetables are available,” she said. “Putting food and beer together makes so much sense.”
Beer has also been informing the menu. Michelle and Nolan have experimented with a stout ice cream, braising meat in beer and using spent grain in baked goods.
“Food is always a big inspiration,” Nolan said. “We were just in the garden discussing ground cherries. It’s an odd ingredient, not readily available. Then we started discussing how we could incorporate it into a beer, making something lighter with vegetal character but that cherry sweetness. You never know where it will go.”
Dinner With Beer
Is it going to be wine or beer? Louie’s Wine Dive (6701 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kansas) is hosting a four-course dinner ($60) at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22. Each course (tomato gazpacho, potato and chorizo croquettes, Wagyu ribeye, peach cobbler) features an EJ Gallo wine and Martin City Brewing Co. beer.
Border Brewing Co. (406 E. 18th St.) has Shiftie IPA (8% ABV) — an American pale ale with some citrus notes — on tap, as well as a mint chocolate milk stout and raspberry chocolate milk stout in bottles.
KC Bier Co.’s Oktoberfest is moving to Crown Center. The festival will be two days, Friday, Oct. 5 and Saturday, Oct. 6. It’ll have German beer, food, bands, lawn games and a carnival. Grunauer and Chicken N Pickle will also be serving food. Tickets are on sale now.
Martin City Brewing Company’s Fallback American Brown Ale (5.4% ABV, 39 IBUs) is out in cans and on tap this week. The brewery’s tasting profile suggests a “dark ochre, medium-bodied” beer with a “malty sweet, toasty” aroma, and “malty-rich, nutty” flavor.
Callsign Brewing Co. (1447 Gentry St., North Kansas City, Missouri) has Screaming Eagle Cream Ale and Huey American Wheat on tap. Tuesdays are game night, where you can play one of the brewery’s board games or bring your own.
Big Rip Brewing Company (216 E. Ninth Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) released Davey Hogan’s Revenge, a blueberry cream ale (so named for that infamous scene in “Stand By Me”) over the weekend. They’ve also just completed a tap room renovation and now have a kiosk where you can order barbecue from Hawg Jaw Que and Brew next door.
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