OSAGE | Named for the use of limestone filtered well water in their brewing process, Limestone Brewers, comprised of Tony Wynohrad and Josh Olson, has big plans for 2018.
Olson and Wynohrad have brewed together for a little over a year now. A simple conversation got them started. Whynohrad, who was curious about brewing, asked Olson if he’d ever done it before. He had, in college, though it had been awhile since he’d made a batch. Soon the two found themselves using their spare time to brew, creating batches for family, friends and personal consumption. It became addicting.
Since December, the pair have been supplying Taste and Piggy Back Smoke Shack with three different styles of beer - the Kirkwood IPA, the Pleasant Street Cream Ale and the Hickory Scottish Ale. Each named after a street in Mitchell County.
Come summer, the pair plans to be in operation in their new building at 518 Main St.
“There are a lot of moving parts,” Wynohrad said. “Part one is physically getting the seven barrel space ready. So we will be brewing 14 times the amount of beer as we do now. The second part is getting the tap room ready. We plan to have beer, pop and snack food. The third component involves the TTB, which is the Federal Tobacco Bureau, who have to approve of us as a brewery or Taphouse.”
In the meantime, the brewers have been doing what they do best - brewing.
“Just yesterday we brewed a new lager,” Wynohrad said, “So we have to wait. They take a minimum of four weeks to ferment, so we won’t know until then if we have a winner or not.”
“We hope to have 10 taps,” said Wynohrad. “Of course, we won’t be able to fill them all at first, so in the meantime, we will fill the gaps with other micro brews. We plan to include root beer as well. Eventually, though, we will fill them over time with our own batches.”
A labor of love, consisting of constant planning, note taking, generating new ideas, and determining the demand side of the equation, Brewing has morphed from a hobby to a business for Olson and Wynohrad.
“Osage is really receptive,” Wynohrad said. “Since we started supplying as a whole seller to Piggy Back Taste, we’ve expanded to provide our beers to Quick Serve and S & S Locker. People stop us and talk to us about providing to them, all the time, when we are doing business around town.
“Currently, our productivity is maxed out. We can’t handle anymore. We have been asked about carrying our beers by several retailers, but we do not have the capacity yet to accommodate them.”
One of many reasons for the planned expansion.
“Our fermenters are all full with our current brews,” said Wynohrad. “We have ideas, and once we expand it will be very easy to come up with new recipes. Right now, our focus is on the brews we currently distribute. We have no time yet to brew anything new.”
“I had good suspicions this could be this successful,” Wynohrad said. “Every adult wants a brewery. No one has said it won’t work. People have been very encouraging. What’s interesting is even the local craft brewers in Mason and others nearby are really supportive. It’s not really a competitive thing.”