Dining With Denise Neil

Two local breweries celebrating birthdays with beer bashes

Wichita Brewing Co. is turning 5.
Wichita Brewing Co. is turning 5.

Two local breweries are preparing to celebrate birthdays with big parties featuring beer, bands and general frivolity.

The first is El Dorado’s Walnut River Brewing Company, which will celebrate its third birthday with a Big Beer Bash on Saturday, July 30, that will feature food trucks, live music and lots of beer. The party will last from 2 to 10 p.m. at the brewery tap room, 111 W. Locust Ave. in El Dorado, and owners are blocking off part of the street to extend the festivities outdoors.

They’ll have food trucks on site, including Surly Mermaid, the food truck by former Ad Astra owner Amanda Hague that’s been operating in the Emporia area but hasn’t yet been this close to Wichita. Wilson’s Ice and Coffee also will be there. Live music will be provided by three different local bands.

BJ Hunt and Rick Goehring started the brewery in the summer of 2013. Back then, it shared space with a flea market, and both founders had day jobs. Now, both have been able to dedicate themselves full time to the brewery. They opened an on-site tap room in January, and two of their beers – the Warbeard Irish Red and High Beam IPA – are now in cans and available all over the state. Soon, they’ll start canning their coffee stout, too. They’re also preparing to expand can sales into Missouri.

Admission to the party is free. For more information, call 316-351-8086.

The following weekend, Wichita Brewing Company & Pizzeria will be turning 5 and is putting on two parties – one at its east location and one at its west.

The west-side party happens on Friday, Aug. 5, at 8815 W. 13th St. N. It’ll offer its canned beers for $2-$3 and pints for $3. The brewery will spill the party into its parking lot, and Reach for the Sky, a bluegrass band, will perform starting at 7 p.m. The brewery’s pizza truck, Hopperoni Express, will serve pizza on the patio starting at 6 p.m.

The east-side party is on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 535 N. Woodlawn. The beer prices will be the same, and Hopperoni Express will serve pizza on the patio starting at 5 p.m. The parking lot will have a tent set up, where DJ Carbon and DJ Scratch will perform from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Greg Gifford and Jeremy Horn opened up the first Wichita Brewing Company in 2011 and expanded with an east-side location last summer. Also this year, owners have opened a big brewing plant, where its canning its beers and distributing them around the state.

Admission to both WBC parties is free, too. For more information, call 316-440-2885.