Lawrence isn't going to run out of beer anytime soon. A new East Lawrence project helps assure that, plus it likely will provide a boost to Lawrence's claim as a craft beer hotspot.
The Lawrence Beer Company, 826 Pennsylvania St., will open its doors and begin pulling its taps at 5 p.m. Friday for its grand opening block party, which will also feature a performance by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
The multimillion dollar project — it renovated the former Seed Co. building in the Warehouse Arts District — includes six, 15-barrel fermentation tanks, which equate to roughly 3,000 gallons of beer to ensure that the new brewery has plenty of product to keep up with longtime Lawrence breweries such as The Free State Brewing Company, the 23rd Street Brewery and others.
Although Friday’s schedule features drinking and dancing, Thursday at the brewery was all hammering and scrubbing as workers wrapped up construction and put a final shine on the 7,000-square-foot restaurant and brewery before the opening.
“Today’s a crazy day,” said co-owner Adam Williams, who is expecting a full house Friday night. “We’ve got a few minor construction (projects) we’re still completing outside. We’ve got all of our staff getting ready to supply the building with the goods needed for that. It’s going to be into the wee hours of the morning.”
As far as what will be available Friday, head chef Ken Baker — previously the chef at Pachamamas — previewed a few items. They include a BL(a)T (the 'A' is for avocado,) a watermelon poke (which is a fish-based dish,) a Turkish chicken kabob sandwich on naan bread and kimchi (a Korean vegetable dish) with waffle fries and hollandaise sauce.
According to Baker, head brewer Sam McClain will be offering four of the brewery’s original beers, which include a saison called “The Grom,” a “Chilly Bin” pale ale, a “Flyover” stout and an IPA called “’Lectric.” A selection of beer from Ska Brewing in Durango, Colo., will also be available.
“Right now, we’re doing a limited menu, limited beers to do the block party,” Williams said. “Then we’ll probably do a few soft opening days and full-go probably (the middle) of next week.”
The event, which does require tickets for the concert, will close the 800 block of Pennsylvania Street from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday.