Dining With Denise Neil

Recipes are usually top-secret, but a Wichita brewery owner is sharing one of his best

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We show you inside the ten breweries making beer in Wichita.

Most professional beer brewers started off as home brewers.

Dan Norton, owner of the popular Nortons Brewing Company at 125 St. Francis, was one of them.

So when the American Homebrewers Association asked him to share the recipe for one of Nortons’ most popular beers — a milk stout called Don’t Poke the Bear — Norton was happy to oblige.

“Homebrewers are the lifeblood of craft beer, and we were glad to share the recipe,” Norton said.

The beer, a creamy milk stout made with cocoa, coffee and vanilla beans, is one of 51 that the association just shared as part of its annual “Clone Recipes” project. The group asked one indiependent brewery from each state and Washington, D.C., to share a recipe for one of its beers that home brewers could try at home.

Dan Norton, right, started off as a home brewer years ago. Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

Nortons was the brewery chosen for Kansas, and Dan Norton —an 18-year breweing veteran — provided the recipe for Don’t Poke the Bear, which was named by his oldest child. Norton said he has brewed beers for each of his three kids, and each has been able to tell him what the beer should taste like and what it should be named.

The recipe has been converted for homebrewers so that it makes only a five-gallon batch. You can find it here, but make sure you have some flaked oats and a pound and a half of Lactose on hand.

“I hope a lot of homebrewers give it a shot,” Norton said.

Dan Norton, owner of Nortons Brewing Company, and his team named one of their craft beers after Debbe Keckler, after meeting her at a drinking event at Botanica. The team found her through Facebook and named a strawberry rhubarb gose after her.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.