"All three of us are in love with Kansas City. This is where our roots are and where we will continue to grow. We like the idea of bringing people together around craft beer," CEO Isaac Barcz says.
After experimenting with recipes for the past year, the brewery, named for the asterisk placed at the end of Google searches, officially launched in January. WildCard Brewing — Barcz's co-founders are Bob Burton and Matthew Anderson — is currently making test batches at a warehouse in Kansas City, Kansas, while applying for state licensing. Once the licensing is secure, they'll look for a bigger space to set up a commercial production facility to bring their beer to market in 2013. In the interim, they'll keep relying on Kansas City for feedback on what they're brewing. In addition to the Amber Lager, WildCard is prototyping a Double Vanilla Ale and a Raspberry Wheat.
"WildCard is and always will be a grass-roots movement in Kansas City. But I hope when a New York hipster tries this new beer from Kansas, he'll be thinking about fresh air, clean water and fields of grains. We want to bring that type of Midwest quality to the rest of the nation," Barcz says.
The brewmaster is Burton, 32, who is currently working as an auto-glass repair technician, and will likely be the first of the three to leave his day job. Anderson is a media rep for Entercom Communications Corp. while Barcz works for a software company.
"He's an untapped genius in the brewing world. He's not only a cook and a chef but he translates that knowledge to beers," Barcz says.
And Burton's brewing chops will be unveiled tonight as the trio hands out samples of its flagship brew at afree launch partyfrom 6 to 10 p.m. in the Lenexa Conference Center (11184 Lackman Road).
"It will be something unique to the beer world. It's an Amber lager with an almost alelike crispness," Barcz says.