OSAGE | Tony Wynohrad and Josh Olson don’t want to think of themselves as a brewery. The creators of Limestone Brewers would rather think of themselves as brewers.
From a simple conversation between friends, the seed that eventually grew into Limestone Brewers was born.
“We were sitting one night having a beer,” Wynohrad said. “And I was like ‘Hey, have you ever made beer?’ and Josh told me about the brewing he’d done after college, so we made a batch and felt it was something we’d like to do.”
In preparation, they have brewed roughly 12-15 batches for personal consumption and to give away to friends.
“They day you get your license you can start brewing officially,” Wynohrad said. “We’ve made four batches since then, which are now our inventory to supply to Taste and Piggyback.
“It’s not about the place, but the people we are brewing for,” Olson said. “It’s about the people of Mitchell County who enjoy a good craft beer. Craft beers have become a big trend in Iowa, with people who go out drinking asking what’s local and what’s on tap.
“The people of Mitchell County can call this beer their own.”
The pair has been brewing together for about a year now, and already, they’ve created three different styles of beer: the Pleasant Street Cream Ale, the Hickory Scottish Ale and the Kirkwood IPA. Each beer is named after a street in Mitchell County.
“We have a white board full of street name ideas for additional beer styles,” Wynohrad said. “We brew just south of the golf course, we use well water, which is all limestone filtered, so we’re keeping it local.
“Water is the starting place. Lots of brewers getting city water have to treat it first because the water adds to the flavor of the beer. The water we drink is the water we brew with.”
Because part of the cost of setting themselves up with a new business is the retail space, the two have opted to hold off on that aspect. Instead, they have a Native Brewers License, which allows them to manufacture and sell their beers as wholesalers, so while they can’t sell their beer over the counter yet, they can sell it to restaurants.
“It allows us to start making money before setting up into a retail space,” Wynohrad said, “and it also allows us to figure out the demand side of Osage and how much time it takes to brew to keep up with what the local market is asking for.”
For Olson, brewing is something he has enjoyed for quite some time.
“I got into it in the early 2000s when I was just out of college,” Olson said. “I found it was something I liked to do as a hobby, but now I’ve gotten deeper into it.”
“It’s like canning,” Wynohrad said, “It’s a way to live in the moment. When we’re brewing, we’re not thinking about other stuff, and when we’re done, we’re thinking of how good it was to brew.
“When you tap the keg on something you brewed, it just tastes better, it’s a labor of love.”