By Kevin Collison
Kyle Gray and his wife Lara are joining the microbrewery herd in the East Crossroads later this year with Casual Animal Brewing at 1725 McGee St.
“We’re pretty excited about what’s developing down there,” Gray said, “and we’re happy to join the revolution and revitalization that’s underway.”
The couple are opening in space next door to a Crossroads original, The Brick, and plan to be selling their brews hopefully in November and no later than the end of this year. Gray is returning to Kansas City after living the past decade in Fort Collins, CO.
“We want to brew everything from light, crisp blonde ales all the way to dark walnut-infused stouts,” he said. “Seventy percent of black walnuts come from Missouri, it’s our backyard. Why not take advantage?”
Gray referred to his area as the “neigh-brew-hood.”
“We’ve reached out and spoken to them,” Gray said. “We don’t want to step on any toes, we want to have good relationships. The owners are of a mind, the more the merrier.”
The couple plan to open with a “seven-barrel” brewing system and within three years would like to be brewing 1,000 barrels annually.
And what’s the casual animal about?
“We’re all about creating some appreciable, laid-back brews that might tap into your wild side,” Gray said.