Wichita is home to a number great breweries and locally owned venues to grab a Kansas-made beer. From Stouts to IPAs, and Lagers to seasonal brews, if you're passion is great beer, you're in the right place.
Many argue that craft beer taste better than mainstream beers, others would say there's nothing more American than a cold Bud Light. Regardless of your stance on that battle, local breweries have become an important part of our city's identity. They help define our style, and their presence adds to the creative and entrepreneurial spirit that Wichitans embrace.
Whether you're local or just visiting, we hope you'll try some of the great flavors around town. Here is a list of our favorite Wichita breweries and local beer spots, enjoy!
Central Standard Brewing
Central Standard Brewing (CSB) is located in a neighborhood just southwest of Douglas and Hydraulic, in the Douglas Design District. Specializing in seasonal, Belgian, IPA, Barrel Aged, sour and wild/brett beer, their goal is to provide creative, flavorful, and interesting experiences.
Typically featuring six of their own brews on tap, they also often have guest beers, a selection of sangria and snacks. You'll often find a food truck out side during dinner hours, and they have one of the best patios in Wichita.
Location: 156 S Greenwood, Wichita, Ks, 67211
Hopping Gnome Brewing Company
One of Wichita's newest breweries, Hopping Gnome Brewing has a simple mission: to brew a variety of craft beers with high quality ingredients. The Gnome is home to many live music acts and activities such as beer & coloring and Cards Against Humanity night. Hopping Gnome even features local artists' work during Final Friday. They also will usually have one of the various food trucks parked out front to give you something tasty to snack on while you enjoy your brew.
Beers on tap: 6
Location: 1710 E Douglas Ave
Wichita, KS 67214
Wichita Brewing Company
Serving both east and west Wichita with tasty pints and tasty pizza, they have quite the diverse selection of brews that will accommodate any beer drinker's pallets. WBC also serves up delicious brick oven style pizza that pares perfectly with all their beers.
Beers on tap: 14
East: 8815 W 13th St Suite 100 Wichita, KS 67212
West: 535 N. Woodlawn #375 – 67208 (Behind Ace Hardware)
The Hungry Heart & WHOLE Brewing Company
Craft food. Craft beer. Craft whiskey. Serving a unique fusion of California pub food and BBQ, they are home to WHOLE (Wichita’s House of Living Elixirs) brewing company. If you prefer lighter beers, I've got some bad news for you, you're not going to find anything like that here. Hungry Heart serves domestic craft beers as well as the brews they make in-house. The brewery is not fully functional yet, however they're still making great brews in small batches. They sell out quickly so get there soon!
If you get hungry while enjoying a cold one, I have good news for you. The Hungry Heart recently received the title "Lord Of The Wings" voted so by the people of 2015 Wingapolooza, meaning they serve pretty much the best wings in town.
Granite City Brewery
A modern American restaurant company with a casual atmosphere featuring on-site breweries producing great micro-brewed beer, a full service bar and all from scratch prepared menu selections. Although they aren't from Wichita, they do at least ferment their beers in house at each location. Featured in 14 States, Granite City offers up 5 Beers always on tap as well as several seasonal or speciality brews, all of which are made on site.
Beers on Tap: 5
Again, technically not a local brewery in the sense that they don't brew on site, but being made less than 3 hours away isn't bad. Also, they feature a multitude of local brews from across Kansas. "Local Beer - Local Flavor" is their philosophy, and they even go as far as to source their black Angus beef for their burgers from right here in Kansas.
Beers on tap (that are theirs): 8
2142 N. Tyler Road
Wichita, KS 67212
River City Brewing Co.
Founded in 1993, River City Brewing Co. is one of Wichita’s oldest brew pubs. They have six different micro brews on tap along with ever-changing seasonal beers. Housed in a historic old town building, River City Brewing Co. has its roots deep in Wichita and Kansas Culture. They also just opened another location inside of the new terminal at Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.
Beers on tap: 16
Locations: 150 N Mosley St, Wichita Ks
New location in the Dwight D Eisenhower Airports new terminal!
More to come!
There are several more breweries just in their infancy stages, such as Aero Plains Brewing, Augustino Brewing and Third Place Brewing. They all are showing promise to open this summer or later this year.
Now that you've seen all the great breweries in town, here's a brief history of beer in the United States.
A brief history of beer in the U.S.
Beer was a part of the United States' history long before Europeans arrived to colonize it with the Native American tribes who were brewing their own. When the U.S. declared its independence, it was not uncommon for housewives to brew small batches for the family, It has even been said that President George Washington himself was a home-brewer. Brewing was such a common practice at the time due to poor food preservation techniques, so beer simply couldn't last as long. Once they figured out how to preserve the beer consolidation began amongst the breweries as certain ones grew larger, eventually pushing out the smaller ones, as a result the taste became increasingly generalized.
Prohibition came into effect in 1919, essentially pushing all the small breweries out of business and forcing the larger ones to convert to soda and other bottled beverage production. When this ended in 1933, only a handful of breweries still existed in the U.S., and the larger breweries would go on to dominate the market for half a century.
In 1978, home production of small quantities of beer was made legal giving birth to the craft beer boom. Since 1978, the number of breweries has increased from 42 to over 3000 as of June 2014. To put perspective on this, the U.S. hasn't had this many breweries since about 1870. What a time to be alive!