HomeTop StoriesA 'cool place to hang out'

A ‘cool place to hang out’

In the early 1900s, a brick building was constructed along West 83rd and Shawnee streets in De Soto.

For years it housed a garage and an auto shop; A retro blue sign that reads “Ford” still hangs above the door. But soon it will go down in history as the city of Johnson County’s first brewery.

Alex and Lindsay Waller hope to open their brewery in August, at 33015 W 83rd St., in downtown De Soto.

Alex and Lindsay Waller hope to open their brewery in August, at 33015 W 83rd St., in downtown De Soto.

Lindsay and Alex Waller are converting the building at 33015 W. 83rd St. into Force of Nature Brewing, a new spot serving natural, herb-infused brews.

They are gardeners and have always loved and respected plants, but Lindsay became more interested in natural remedies when her children were young, hoping to cure coughs, diaper rash and other ailments.

With the brewery, the couple hopes to instill an appreciation for the earth (not that difficult in a city where many farmers live, she added).

See also  The EU is proposing a youth mobility agreement with Britain to help young people travel, work and live in both areas

“It’s all about nature,” Lindsay said. “We’re just trying to be… a really cool place to hang out.”

Force of Nature’s earthy lagers include a ‘Bee’s Knees’ brew with dandelion root, an elderberry-fortified pilsner called ‘Equinox’ and a citrus and thyme-flavored beer called ‘Glacial Place’.

To make several of their herbal concoctions, they add a strong tea.

For the less adventurous drinkers, there is also a classic light lager on the menu. It’s called “Dean’s Model A,” in honor of Dean Weller, one of the auto shop’s longtime owners.

“I think (that drink) will be very popular in De Soto,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay and Alex Waller open their brewery in De Soto, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years thanks to Panasonic's battery factory.Lindsay and Alex Waller open their brewery in De Soto, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years thanks to Panasonic's battery factory.

Lindsay and Alex Waller open their brewery in De Soto, which is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years thanks to Panasonic’s battery factory.

If all goes according to plan, Lindsay hopes to be able to serve customers in August. But, she admitted, it was quite an undertaking to transform a more than century-old space into a modern tavern, all while maintaining its historic appearance.

See also  Dawn Staley urges Sixers ticket holders not to sell their Game 6 seats to Knicks fans

“We’re trying not to rush it and just keep moving forward,” she said. “If it takes a little longer, that’s okay.”

Before she started brewing, Lindsay was an art teacher. During COVID, she and Alex, an engineer, became interested in beer and homebrewing.

The couple kept bees and began experimenting with mead. Once the space became available, they decided to go for it. In the meantime, they converted a trailer into a beer truck, which they used to sell beers at events and advertise the upcoming brewery.

“We were already brewing and we just wanted to share it,” Lindsay said.

Lindsay believes this is especially the perfect time as the city of 6,200 is expected to prosper after the Panasonic battery factory opens in 2025, creating 4,000 new jobs.

The De Soto Building downtown was built in the early 20th century, but was an auto garage for most of its life.The De Soto Building downtown was built in the early 20th century, but was an auto garage for most of its life.

The De Soto Building downtown was built in the early 20th century, but was an auto garage for most of its life.

Lindsay and Alex are also musicians and hope the new space will become a hub for arts and culture.

See also  Next weather: WBZ morning forecast for May 15, 2024

“We wanted to give De Soto its own brewery, its own special place,” she says. “De Soto just doesn’t have much.”

Nearby, at 34071 Commerce Drive, Burnt End BBQ is also opening ahead of De Soto’s Panasonic boom. The barbecue restaurant, with locations in Overland Park and Crown Center, hopes to open in late May/early June.

And perhaps the barbecue pit and brewery are just the first of many new shopping options in the growing area, which has little choice in the way of bars and restaurants.

“Everyone in De Soto has to leave to eat or do something,” Lindsay said. “I’m glad this is going to be something that the city thinks is theirs.”

- Advertisement -
RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments