At Fields & Ivy Brewery in Lawrence, Kansas, we are committed to sharing the story of how our beers are intertwined with Kansas agriculture.
As you probably know, beer choices in our American Midwest have changed enormously during the past 30 years. I turned 21 almost 30 years ago. At that time, beer choices were somewhat limited; and, today’s 21 year-olds would be sadly shocked at how bad it was. I turned to wine in my 20s because I was interested in growing things and the thought of growing grapes then, turning mother earth’s bounty into a compelling liquid, seemed like a perfect combination of art and science. This was my dream while I began my career in agriculture, and eventually, in finance.
In the 1990s I tried my first big craft beer while visiting a friend in California, everything changed at that moment. Discovering that beer could have big taste—extravagant taste, even—was the first holy sh*t beer-moment for me. The second holy sh*t beer moment was learning that, unlike wine, world class beer can be manufactured by almost anyone because, world class beer ingredients are shelf stable and available just about everywhere. In fact, we grow world class wheat right here in my home state of Kansas and many world class beers are brewed with -wheat!!
Despite all that, I settled for learning how to home-brew in our basement in Atlanta and dreamed of one day opening a brewery while we worked our “real” jobs.
The Great Recession showed us just how “real” a job in finance was and sent us and our three daughters back to the family farm in Kansas, where my business partner came on board and we started custom growing grain for a local craft distillery. Our family farm was already exploring sustainable agricultural practices and working with a local distiller who cared deeply about their product showed us that farm-to-table works in Kansas in a big way.
Those old dreams of combining art and science to turn locally grown produce into compelling beverages came roaring back. And I thought, beer isn’t about image. It’s about what’s in the glass. It’s about craftsmanship, about authenticity, and excellence. And, why can’t we make beers that are also about sustainable, world class, wheat and barley grown on our own farm, where excellence matters most?
We’ve been working non-stop to realize our vision of Fields & Ivy at 706 E 23rd Street in Lawrence, Kansas. The old hardware store and lumberyard hasn’t been an easy transformation, but now it’s a 5,000 square-foot, steam-powered production brewery, 190-seat pizza restaurant, and live music venue.
We think it’s the perfect place to brew our wheat beer, using wheat grown on our farm in Wellsville, Kansas, and our flagship Pilsner, using authentic heirloom Silver Mine corn developed by Ernest W. Young in 1907, right here in Lawrence.
Kansas has long been the breadbasket of America, and we think it can be the beer barrel too.
Founder, Fields & Ivy Brewery
About the Brewery:
Fields & Ivy is a farm-to-table brewery located at 706 E 23rdSt in Lawrence, Kansas.
Proudly featuring a 5,000 square-foot production brewery, Fields & Ivy can produce 15,600 barrels of local suds a year, with initial distribution in Kansas and expansion into Missouri. Our 3,750 square-foot taproom and restaurant serves up pizza, apps, sandwiches and garden-fresh salads as memorable as the beer, and the outdoor green space hosts everything from yard games to live music.
Our grains are grown locally by Great Plains Custom Grain and custom-malted for a uniquely Kansan drinking experience. Take a few bottles home today and enjoy the flavor of the Heartland in an environmentally-friendly, portable package!
Fields & Ivy: Authority of Flavor.
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