Breweries appear to be the yogurt shops of 2015.
A few years ago, new yogurt stores were all the rage.
Now, more and more breweries are in the works in Wichita. There’s Hopping Gnome on East Douglas by the Donut Whole and Central Standard Brewing just down the street and the east-side Wichita Brewing Co. & Pizzeria, just to name a few.
Joining them is Third Place Brewing, which will open later this year at 630 E. East Douglas just west of the railroad overpass in downtown.
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Ear surgeon Tom Kryzer and pilot Jason Algya are opening the business, and they think there’s plenty of room for their brewery and the others, too.
“That’s good for everybody,” Kryzer says. “I don’t know where the saturation point would be.”
The Third Place name isn’t a reference to the brewery finishing third to anyone else’s beer.
Algya says it’s an ideology he and Kryzer learned about through one of Kryzer’s daughter’s anthropology classes.
The idea is first place is home, second place is work, and third place is a spot to hang out or commune, generally without societal distinctions. Think of an English pub.
“We just want that here,” Kryzer says. “Societal rank is out the window.”
Microbreweries and nanobreweries, which are even smaller than microbreweries, started popping up more and more in recent years in other cities.
Kryzer used to brew beer at home in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Then he and Algya, who became friends 20 years ago when Algya coached Kryzer’s daughters in soccer, started brewing together five years ago.
“Why don’t you sell this?’ Algya says friends kept asking.
“Most of our family have been asking, ‘Why do you need to do this?’” Kryzer says. “We’re both ones to take on challenges.”
Plus, they’ve both spent time in cities with active brewery scenes.
“We just wanted that experience here,” Kryzer says.
He and Algya plan to regularly offer five or six hand-crafted beers plus seasonal beers.
Kryzer says the beers will taste like what they’re meant to be like.
He says the idea is to be “not a slave to the style, but stay true to the style.”
“Sometimes they can just go wacky adding goofy things to beer that’s silly.”
For instance, Kryzer says there won’t be any licorice beer.
“We really like experimenting with tastes and styles,” he says. “I don’t think either one of us get too crazy.”
There will be a small production brewery where Kryzer and Algya will produce beer to be sold through a distributor.
“We also plan to have a taproom where patrons can come and taste our beer,” Kryzer says.
Customers can buy pints to stay and drink or growlers to take home.
There will be limited hours, most likely Thursday through Saturday, though that’s not set yet.
“We don’t plan on a kitchen right away,” Kryzer says. “Neither one of us have a real love for that part. We’re more into the brewing process.”
Customers can bring in their own food, though.
Algya and Kryzer are renovating their 1,500-square-foot space. They’ve removed carpeting in the building that’s revealed vintage tile.
“What a treasure,” Kryzer says.
Algya estimates it will take at least four months to open Third Place Brewing, depending on how fast licensing goes.
Kryzer says they’re not only excited about their own brewery, but all the others that are opening around Wichita, too.
“The more the merrier,” he says. “I just think it’s good for the city.”