Disclosure: The brewery hosted my visit to their location, but all opinions and photographs are my own.
Brewing beer is an art form, and Walnut River Brewing Company is definitely skilled at their craft. They make beer you want to drink.
The exciting part about living in Kansas is that I continue to discover unique places to visit that I wish I had found sooner. Walnut River Brewing Company, located at 111 W. Locust Avenue, is a hidden gem in south El Dorado. Their beer is approachable, and if you’re a craft beer fan, this microbrewery is worthy of a visit.
Founded by B.J. Hunt of Wichita and Rick Goehring of El Dorado, the microbrewery began from a passion for creating quality beer. What’s unique about the brewery’s early story is that the owners knew they were on to something special; something that would require real hustle to get it off the ground. They stayed patient as they scaled their business. The end result is a successful brewery business that serves quality product.
Why open a brewery in El Dorado? The water! Brewing beer in El Dorado promised to be naturally better since the water in the area is of superior quality in comparison to nearby Wichita.
Eventually, Walnut River Brewery Company expanded their initial physical space and added a tasting room and small kitchen. (Don’t forget to order lunch!) The brewery also operates a cannery allowing their beer to be accessible in liquor stores and area grocery stores.
Warbeard Irish Red remains one of their most requested flagship beers. I would also recommend the HighBeam IPA. Drinker’s who prefer a lighter brew will appreciate the Falconer’s Wheat, and Teter Rock Kölsch. Also, they often do collabs with areas breweries likes Norton’s or Norseman, so you never know what new creation may be added to their lineup.
I appreciate that Walnut River Brewery Company continues to push the creative envelope. On my visit to the brewery, I enjoyed a barrel-aged American Wheat Ale called Carmine. Stored in red wine barrels for six months, the 8% ABV ale tastes of citrus, red berry, and vanilla. It was so delicious that I brought a bottle home to open on a special occasion.
Today, they operate the brewery and tasting room in El Dorado as well as the PourHouse ICT in downtown Wichita where patrons can expect to find 12 brews on tap and and an extensive restaurant menu (think gastropub-style grub). They knew Wichitans wouldn’t want to drink and then commute 30 minutes each way from the city, so they opened the PourHouse.
If you can’t make it to either location, it would be wise to follow their Facebook page to keep tabs on their participation upcoming tasting events. I’ve seen their beer served at large events like the Wichita RiverFest to downtown yoga sessions.
The brewery continues to expand. I’m excited to watch their business continue to scale as they look to enlarge their El Dorado brewery into the now vacant building adjacent to their current location.
You won’t find nicer people serving beer than at Walnut River Brewing Company, and they truly care about the brewing process. Trust me, you’re going to want to visit the brewery’s tasting room first-hand. To view their El Dorado location business hours, visit their Facebook page. They host Happy Hour on Wednesday-Friday from 4pm-6pm. If in Wichita, stop by the PourHouse ICT for a pint, and be sure to order a basket of the fried cheese curds with it. Cheers!