When I start talking about my passions, I can get rather long winded. Many of you know that already, so I’ll try to keep this short with the understanding that you are free to ask more questions. If you do, let’s plan an afternoon of it and share some beverages!
My passion for beer started at a young age. For the sake of my parents, specifically my dad, I will not divulge what age that was. Our first batch of home brew was a simple wheat beer. That batch turned my opinion of beer upside down and a passion was born.
During those younger years, my dad and I brewed a variety of beer and wine. The wine was made from fruit that we (mostly him) grew on his property. Talks of a winery began circulating between him and I when he was taken from us in 2002. In fact, I still have a couple bottles of cherry wine from those days.
Later, Chrissy and I decided to purchase a 10 acre piece of property just south of Drexel, MO. The land had a two car garage (about 550 sq ft) that housed an oil leaking Chevy pickup. For some reason, we decided that we could live in that garage and unbury ourselves from all debt and live more freely. For the next year we gutted what we like to call “the cabin” and built a small home inside which kept us warm and cozy for the next three years. We were part of the tiny home movement and didn’t even know it!
During those three years I had the opportunity to experiment with livestock, annual gardens, and perennial plantings. We established a small orchard area with a couple peach, apple, and plum trees. I stocked our small farm pond with catfish, our yard with chickens, and our wooded areas and fields with alpine dairy goats. We planted black berries, rhubarb, asparagus, and a variety of annual vegetables. Additionally, we began selling my roasted coffee at the farmers market in Paola, KS… another long term hobby of mine.
It was at this time that my passion for local foods and supporting local business really set in.
We soon had our home (cabin + 10 acres) paid off and we started to desire a space that would allow us room for our hobbies. The property across the street from us came up for sale. We were sad to see our good neighbors leave, but we were thrilled to snatch up their home and property! This added 11 acres, a home, and two large outbuildings to our homestead. After some work inside the home, (flooring, painting, etc), I began renovation on one of the 30’x40′ metal outbuildings and soon after, test batches of beer started filling kegs for friends and family who decided to make the journey to our ‘neck of the woods’.
I contacted Carl, a great friend of many years, and ran the brewery idea by him. It would be modestly built without loans, overhead, or investors. We would build it from the ground up. Most importantly, the beer coming from our brew house would incorporate as many of our farm grown and local products as possible. Along with the beer, we would begin large plantings of cider trees and other perennial fruits. We would source local honey and hops as well as planting our own hop yard. Our ‘cabin’ would eventually be turned into a tasting room for special events. With both Chrissy and Carl on board, Miami Creek Brewing Company was born.
Miami Creek runs through our property. With it, comes great soil, interesting micro-climates, an array of wildlife, as well as the opportunity to share some of our local flavors in some spectacular locally crafted beer and cider. Care and consideration are given not only to the beverages we produce, but also our environmental impact on the land we occupy, but that’s another story for another day! We hope you take the opportunity to give our products a try!