Brewer of the Month
Rodney Beagle started his career in the craft beer industry back in 2008 when he was hired on at the newly built Gordon Biersch Brewery in the Power and Light district located in Downtown KC. This is where he gained interest in the actual brewing process. From there he was recruited to work at several other beer bars (Blanc Burgers & Bottles, Beer Kitchen, and Tapcade to name a few) due to his extensive craft beer knowledge. But it was in October of 2013 when he discovered his true passion in life: brewing beer.
While working as a bartender at the newly opened Big Rip Brewing Company, Rodney honed his knowledge of the brewing process. Not long after he started, the growth of the very young nanobrewery allowed the hiring of Beagle on the brew floor as an assistant brewer. It was during that time when owner Kip Feldt gifted Rodney his old homebrewing equipment. With nothing other than a big igloo cooler
Colony KC exists to provide a unique gathering space for like-minded individuals to spend valuable time achieving various goals.
When they opened, a brewery was nowhere in the plans. However, Rodney Beagle's reputation for constructing award winning craft brews preceded him. Since day one, the public assumed that they were brewing our own beers. That wasn’t the case. Over time, Rodney would bring his homebrewed beers in to work with him to share with his coworkers and regular customers. Then, one magical day, they decided to take a well calculated leap of faith and introduce phase two of Colony (Espresso & Beer at the time) KC, Colony Hand Crafted Ales.
They launched a Kickstarter campaign in the fall of 2016 to allow the public to reap the benefits of investment. There was a multitude of rewards on several tiers ranging from Mug Club Member for life all the way up to design & brew a beer with Rodney. The response was absolutely incredible!
"We were blown away by the generosity that Kansas City showed by reaching our $10,000 goal in only 4 days! When it was all said and done after 30 days, we ended up raising $18,000!" - Rodney
Next they brought their brews on the road in the summer and fall of 2016, participating in multiple beerfests all around Kansas City including Nanobrew Fest, Zona Rosa Beerfest, Crane Brewing Company’s Festival of the Lost Township, Brew at the ZOO, and many more. Among the beers served were a Peach Golden Strong Ale (made with fresh peaches picked off of a coworkers peach tree in her parents back yard), a Caramel Latte Porter (using a proprietary blend of espresso blend beans courtesy of Lees Summit’s own Post Roasters), and Rodney’s Gold Medal winning Peppercorn Rye Saison (made with locally smoked tellicherry peppercorns from Lawrence based artisanal spice company Wood & Salt). The response was incredible and they knew that we were beginning to make a name for themselves. It was on!
After sitting vacant for months and months, the storefront directly connected to their existing business was offered to them as an idea for expansion. That’s when plans changed and build out started on the new space. Brewery construction is nearing completion and they should be brewing test batches within weeks!
transformed into a mash tun and a 4 gallon brew kettle, Beagle set off on his next venture in his craft beer journey. It only took a couple months and a few competitions entered to start winning medals including a Best of Show and Gold Medal for his Rye Whiskey Smoked Peppercorn Saison and Royal Gose.
He hit the ground running and joined a homebrew club based in the Northland called the Missouri Mashers. The group provided him an entire range of knowledge from brewers with all different skill levels and backgrounds. He used that knowledge to gain momentum by serving his one-of-a-kind homebrews to the public at multiple beerfests around KC (and even Omaha) while creating a name for his then called "Beagle Homebrewery". Nanobrew Fest in 2016 was the last time that Beagle would ever go by that moniker again. Colony Hand Crafted Ales was born!
Community is everything for Rodney and Colony KC. Anyway they can involve homebrewers, local collaborations, and charitable events, they will.
"We've chosen to brew on the city’s smallest brew system and we’re proud of it!" - Colony KC
At just 1.5 bbls (with 12 bbl fermentation capacity) they will start small and grow organically. No core beers are planned so we can focus on originality, creativity, and uniqueness while incorporating ways, methods, and ideas that are quite a bit different from other brewery models in KC. For example, they just launched their first bottle release (36 bottle run) for Cinco de Mayo called Cinco Wheat. This brew was an American Wheat beer brewed with flaked maize, lime zest, sea salt, and cilantro! I didn't get a chance to try this beer but I heard it was amazing!!
In addition to Colony KC’s new brewery, they are constructing a brand-new music venue to bring live, national and local acts to North Kansas City. The new expansion will include an event space, a music venue and additional seating.
I look forward to my future visits to KC to visit Rodney and Colony KC to drink some of their handcrafted ales!
Congratulations again on being June's dp Brewer of the month. You've earned it!