A new brewery is coming to the historic 18th and Vine District, Vine Street Brewing Co,. will be the first Black-owned brewery in Kansas City and the region. According to the co-founder, Kemet Coleman, the brewery will focus on creating quality craft beer, offering an inclusive space for musicians and creatives, and “overall leveraging our platform to bring people together.”
“We want to have good beer, we want to bring people together and we want people to have musical experiences that create new memories,” Coleman said.
The brewery is a collaboration between friends and beer enthusiasts, Kemet Coleman, Elliott Ivory, and Woodie Bonds Jr. The trio came together after Coleman found the location at 2000 Vine, and saw an opportunity to open the brewery he’d always dreamed of.
The location, 2000 Vine, is the recently renovated, nearly 9,000-square-foot industrial building that had been abandoned for decades. The unique, picturesque building was the site of the city’s first public works facility.
Just blocks away from the historic GEM Theatre, the location in the Jazz district just made sense to Coleman, who is also an active musician in Kansas City.
“For us, 18th and Vine really symbolized what we wanted to embody, as Black business owners in Kansas City,” Coleman said. “It is an area that is primed and ready for new ideas to take space. But new ideas in a way that is intentional about respecting the culture and the rich heritage that is a part of 18th and Vine. So from our perspective, it was kind of a no brainer.”
Homebrewers extraordinaire Ivory and Bonds have been working on concocting the brewery’s beer menu.
They will offer a variety of house-brewed and rotating selections of beers. The brewery is also planning collaborations with other local and regional breweries and Black-owned businesses.
Black Drip Coffee, a local Black-owned cafe, is in talks to be housed at 2000 Vine and The Spot, a new food concept from Chef Shanita McAfee-Bryant, which will also occupy space in the building. Collaborations with both businesses are planned once the brewery opens.
True to the history of the district, music will also undoubtedly be a part of the vision of the brewery.
“Music will be embedded into the DNA of the brand, we really want to be a platform for musicians,” Coleman said. “We’ll be featuring live music, at least two nights a week, but we’re also exploring more creative ways that allow music to be featured. Music is definitely top of mind for the space, as well as the brand.”
After some unforeseen structural setbacks getting the 150-year-old building up to code, Vine Street Brewery hopes to be open before the end of the year. Coleman noted that pieces are beginning to fall into place. Just last week a finalized floor plan allowed concrete to be poured for the floor of the brewery. To Colemen, the new floor is a symbolic indication the hard work is finally coming together.
We’re bursting at the seams with excitement, it’s been a long time coming,” Coleman said. “We’re super excited about the momentum we have and we’re excited about the future.”