Filed under Hornet Life

Beer enthusiasts try Radius Brewing Co. before grand opening

  • Emporia residents sample several varieties of the beer that have been brewed onsite on Feb. 2.
  • Jeremy Johns, co-owner and brewmaster at Radius Brewing Company, labels freshly brewed bottles of beer on Feb 2. Radius Brewing Co. is located at the corner of 6th Street and Commercial. (Nicholas Sumner)
  • Chad Swift, general manager of Radius Brewing Company, spent Sunday, Feb. 2 preparing samples of beer for costumers to try. Radius Brewing Co. was open to the public to try out their home brewed beer during the big Superbowl weekend. (Nicholas Sumner)
  • Sarah Bays, Radius employee, waits for Emporia residents to sample some of the select types of beer during their first public beer tasting Feb. 2. (Nicholas Sumner)

Radius Brewing Company has spent the last two years perfecting their beer recipes while construction began at their location at 6th and Merchant streets. Finally, the long-anticipated grand opening will happen soon.

Although the official date of the grand opening has not yet been set, Sarah Bays, Radius employee, said they’re expecting it to take place in a little more than a month. The opening has experienced multiple postponements, due to extensive renovations being made to the building.

Emporia craft beer enthusiasts flocked to Radius Brewing Company as they held their first public beer tasting Feb. 1-2. J. J. Bays, Radius brewmaster, said although Radius has not officially opened, it will be holding another public beer tasting this Saturday, 1-5 p.m. and Sunday, 12-5 p.m.

Sarah Bays said the brewery officially employs only three people, including herself and her husband, J. J.

At the tasting last weekend, Radius had their wheat beer, pale ale, India pale ale, brown ale, porter and stout available for sampling. They also sold refillable 32-ounce “squealers” and 64-ounce “growlers” of the six brews. J. J. Bays said they sold over 250 containers on the first day of tasting.

“That’s a lot of beer sold in three hours,” Sarah Bays said.

Rosie Davis, senior biology major, said one beer that stood out to her was the porter, Sarah Bays’s favorite, incidentally.

“The Radius porter is delicious,” Davis said. “That is a really good beer.”

Sarah Bays said when Radius officially opens it will be a restaurant as well as a brewery, complete with a wood-fired brick oven for pizzas. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and a pricier chef’s menu of steak or seafood will also be available.

“The menu will be pretty eclectic,” she said.

The delays in construction have allowed J. J. Bays to experiment with gourmet beer recipes. Sarah Bays said her husband has experimented with a lot of flavor combinations with the porter such as cocoa chipotle, peanut butter and chocolate curry

“There are numerous other recipes that will be available later on,” J. J. Bays said. “Some will be variants of the beers we sold this weekend, some will be very original, and we will do some European styles, as well.”

Most of their ingredients come from area farmers, Sarah Bays said.

“We have a couple sources for local grown hops,” she said. “When we start getting more local ingredients, we will do some brews using all local ingredients.”

The brewing company expects to be more active in the coming months. Sarah Bays said they hope to sell growlers every weekend until the grand opening, They will be attending the Kansas Craft Brewers Expo in Lawrence on March 8. On April 12, they will also be at Emporia Main Street’s Taste of Emporia at the Civic Auditorium.

With Radius poised to open after two years in the works, Sarah said the company “would like thank the community for their patience.”

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