By Kevin Collison
The East Crossroads “neigh-brew-hood” will be even hoppier late next spring with the opening of Friction Beer Co. at 1701 McGee.
Partners Brent Anderson and Nathan Ryerson hatched their microbrewery plan two years ago while watching soccer in Ryerson’s basement and sharing one of their favorite beers, a hazy IPA from The Brew Gentlemen out of Braddock, Pa.
“Kansas City has a thriving beer community and we want to focus on what’s we’re good at,” Ryerson said. “You won’t come in and see 12 different beers, you’ll see what’s flavorful and pushing the envelope.”
Anderson added, “We want people to walk in and say, oh, I get it. Well thought out beer with a purpose…our focus will be on flavorful, well thought-out hazy hoppy variants and also stout variants.”
And there will be a music vibe to the place too. The name Friction comes from one of Ryerson’s favorite songs and bands, “Friction Baby” by Better Than Ezra.
“Our environment will have an undercurrent of music from beer names to design elements,” Anderson said.
Like many entrepreneurs in the microbrewery world, both men are still working their day jobs while pursuing their hoppy dreams.
Anderson came to Kansas City from California in 2004 to join an advertising agency, and later worked at Boulevard Brewery for more than three years as creative director. He’s now back in advertising at an agency on the Country Club Plaza.
Ryerson started out in journalism, than went to work at American Century Investments. He quit his job there in 2011 to pursue his brewing passion, but the timing wasn’t right. These days, he’s in sales for a human resources firm.
Ryerson also has an online YouTube following riffing about the beer world in a program he calls “Behind the Bar.”
The 6,000 square-foot space they’re leasing from developer Butch Rigby is currently being used as an event room. The partners hope to have Friction Beer up and running by late spring.
They’re also excited to join the East Crossroads microbrewery scene.
Anderson compares the area to the LoDo microbrewery scene in Denver.
“I see this area with more brewers as a destination for people who want to drink beer,” he said.
“Everybody is super friendly and we’re looking forward to being in close proximity and having a good relationship.”
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