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CASTLE MALTING NEWS in partnership with French
17 February, 2023

Brewing news USA, MO: Vine Street Brewing’s long-anticipated opening nearly here

Vine Street Brewing’s long-anticipated opening is nearly here, said Kemet Coleman, teasing a late March first pour for the taproom and brewhouse space, which sits adjacent to Kansas City’s historic jazz district, the Startland News reported on February 16.

“It’s crazy to see something that for so long has been just an idea in our minds starting to become real,” said Coleman, who founded the brewery along with Elliott Ivory and Woodie Bonds, Jr.

The first Black-owned brewery in the city, state, and region, Vine Street Brewing is located in the south building of the 2000 Vine redevelopment, a 150-year old building which formerly housed the city’s street department.

Although a few remaining elements of the construction process are still being finalized, Coleman said that the brewery has all it needs — tanks, kegs, and cold room storage — to start serving customers the last weekend in March.

The brewery’s flagship beer, the Jazz Man black lager, will become available to customers at locations across the city at the beginning of March, including in 10 to 12 bars, restaurants, and self-pour stations at the new airport, Coleman said.

“We’ll probably open our doors and be out in the market at the same time,” Coleman said. “It worked out well for us. We didn’t really anticipate going out to the market in Year 1, but it just worked out that way.”

The brewery plans to add more beers to its partner locations at the airport and elsewhere, Coleman added, but is still working with its distributor to determine when and which ones.

At the brewhouse, the Jazz Man will debut as one of seven beers on tap, Coleman said, adding that the team was still determining which would become staples and which would be rotated seasonally.

The taproom near the Jazz District will feature two bars, one on each level of the 2000 Vine building, along with seating areas.

Vine Street Brewing is expected to add more artwork, a live music area downstairs, and an outdoor beer garden, which remains under construction, to the space.

For now, though, the taproom gives the emerging brewery an opportunity to begin selling pints and hosting other breweries in the area for collaborations — an initiative through which Vine Street Brewing has already been particularly active and successful, Coleman said.

“I think collaboration is kind of in the DNA of the company,” he said. “I don’t see that stopping anytime soon. … Once we get open, we can actually host collaborations, so it can just become part of our schedule.”

Coleman has begun putting together a tour program, he said, which would showcase the brewhouse and the 18th and Vine District more broadly.

“We’ve noticed that a lot of people have come to Vine Street Brewing just curious about 18th and Vine,” Coleman said. “Obviously, we want to make sure we’re plugged in and tapped into the neighborhood.”

The brewery is also exploring plans to host events, he added.

Despite an initial goal of opening in 2022, which was pushed back because of supply chain and construction challenges, Coleman said, the extra time allowed elements of the space to fall into place and ready Vine Street Brewing for success.

“I think we’re best positioned to be opening this time in March instead of anytime last year,” he said. “We’re really a strong team now, so I’m definitely looking forward to getting it going.”

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