Amy Goldman and Sean Galloway are going with the grain in developing their new bakery and craft brewing concept, The Brewkery. Goldman uses spent grain from Galloway’s home-brewing batches and adds it into sourdough loaves and other breads.
“I use a sourdough starter and bake four types of sourdough bread – spent grain, olive and herb, jalapeno cheddar and a country loaf,” says Goldman. “Sourdough bread is made by cultivating wild yeast that naturally exists in flour. Spent grain is the grain left over from the beer brewing process. I also make a barm bread.”
Traditionally, barm refers to the foam that forms on the top of fermented alcoholic beverages such asbeer or wine during the fermentation process. It can be used as a leaven for bread, or to set up fermentation in a new batch of liquor.
“Once the wort from the brew is drained off, I use the remaining barm or yeast cake,” says Goldman. “I feed it with flour and water and use it as a leavening agent similar to a sourdough starter. It is an old baking technique. Barm was traditionally used by bakers to leaven bread before commercial yeast was readily available.”
“Barm introduces a different flavor to the bread,” says Galloway. “You’re using whatever yeast
was used in that particular type of beer instead of a traditional sourdough starter that contains lactobacillus bacteria.”
Goldman started making sourdough bread after she took a class at the Culinary Center in downtown Overland Park. She still uses a starter yeast that came from that class. It originated from South Africa in 2010, along with her brewer’s yeast. Sourdough breads last longer because the fermentation introduces a natural preservative, she notes.
Currently, the couple promotes their newly formed business at the Merriam farmers market on Wednesday evenings from 4-7 p.m. The two see the farmers market as a testing ground to gauge reaction to their products as well as a way to build their brand. They sell their bread, spent grain dog treats, toast by the slice with various toppings and kombucha.
Kombucha is a lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black tea that is used as a functional food. It is produced by fermenting the tea using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, or “SCOBY.” The Brewkery’s kombucha is sold by the glass or in quarts to-go. They will offer two rotating flavors each week including ginger, blueberry, cherry, and coconut pineapple.
The brewery side of the business is still in development. Galloway, an avid home brewer that started learning the craft a decade ago, sold his printing business in January 2015 to focus on brewing. He prefers balanced beers over hop-heavy styles. His more notable home-brewed beers include Vanilla Porter, Milk Stout, American Pale Ale, and Farmhouse Saison.
“I like to make classic, drinkable styles of beer with a slight twist, like a Saison apricot wit,” says Galloway, “but nothing super experimental.”
Space is a key factor to ramp up from home brewing to professional brewing on a bigger production scale. Galloway and Goldman were not interested in securing a building, hiring staff, and maintaining the legal and administrative paperwork involved with owning and running a brewery. Nor did they wish to raise and owe significant capital. Instead, they found a possible alternative where they could each practice their craft.
Galloway and Goldman recently began exploratory discussions with a developer about opening a bakery and brewing operation next year in an East Bottoms building. The building, owned by Boulevard Brewing founder John McDonald, is intended as a multi-use space for a restaurant, bar and farmers market-style stalls for local food-based businesses.
Ideally, The Brewkery would supply baked goods and craft beer to the restaurant and bar. The Brewkery’s main space in the building would occupy up to 2,000-square-feet with an additional 1,000-2,000 square-feet in the basement. Their 7- to 10-barrel brewhouse would also potentially produce beer for off-site customers. At this stage, many details still need to be considered and evaluated.
Galloway mentions the possibility of collaborating with other brewers and food-related businesses as part of this market space. He says, “It will have a community feel and approach.”
The couple cautions that their hopeful plans to be located within the East Bottoms building is only at the discussion phase. When The Brewkery fully manifests, Galloway and Goldman believe “the bakery will help differentiate the brewery from others in Kansas City.”
For the summer, the couple are content to reach people at farmers markets and see how plans unfold. Goldman says, “We’re not in a big rush. We’ll use this time to focus on our craft.”
The Brewkery will also participate as vendors at the KC Nanobrew Fest on June 27 in the West Bottoms next to Stockyards Brewing Company (formerly the Golden Ox). Their breads and four styles of beer will be available.
[People shot by Pete Dulin, Bread photos courtesy of The Brewkery]