Aero Plains Brewing is one step closer to opening, but it won’t be downtown as its partners initially planned.
Lance Minor, Ryan Waite and Brent Miller have signed a deal to open the business in 11,250 square feet at 117 N. Handley in Delano, which is just off of West Douglas behind Bicycle X-Change.
Miller owns the nearby Delano Bed & Breakfast.
“He’s a big proponent of the Delano area already,” Minor says.
“There’s already momentum,” he says of the area, “and it made sense for us to help that out.”
When the business opens this summer, it will have a tasting room with 18 beers on tap in addition to a 20-barrel brewing system.
For now, Minor says the building may look “very underwhelming,” but he says the partners are working to transform the space, which will include an art gallery.
Miller used to own Evo Gallery in Old Town in the 1990s.
“We’re going to make use of his experience and kind of put together an art gallery tasting room,” Minor says. He says his goal is to “hopefully create a space people want to enjoy.”
To go with the Aero name, there will be some aviation decor as well, though it won’t all be in place initially. Minor says he wants the space’s design to happen organically.
Like other the other brewing operations that have popped up around Wichita in the last year, Minor plans to have food trucks visit to serve customers instead of serving his own food.
“We’re not going to run a restaurant because it’s not what I’m good at.”
J.P. Weigand & Sons brokers Marty Moody, Bradley Tidemann and Marty Gilchrist handled the deal for the Delano space.
Minor says he and his partners are making a $1 million investment in Aero Plains Brewing, 30 percent of which he says is from 10 private investors. The rest is from a Small Business Administration loan.
He says they have a deal with House of Schwan to distribute their beer around Kansas.
“Wichita is very undeveloped,” he says of the craft beer industry. “Kansas is under served for breweries.”
The partners hope to one day expand beyond Kansas as well.
Minor, who says he was in the Marine Corps for 21 years and specialized in planning, says he thinks he can use his military connections to get Aero Plains beer on bases and at military stations.
“I’ll kind of tap into that.”
Look for more information closer to the Aero Plains opening, which Minor says he hopes will be early summer but says may take until late summer to happen.
Then, he says, his plan is to work on “what I think is the real potential for craft beer in Kansas.”