It’s inevitable — some things in life just don’t come out as planned. That’s been the case with the opening of Kochendorfer Brewing Company, a new fixture working to open in Duncan, thanks to weather and other bumps along the way.
Lenny and Kathryn Cripps and Chris and Laura (Coast) Kochendorfer began working on the Kochendorfer Brewing Company several years ago. When the two couples first met, they discovered they shared one thing in common: the dream of one day opening a brewery.
Now, they’re going through the process of finishing up so they can open to the public and showcase their craft. Chris said a lot of the timing issues have been inevitable. Since deadlines haven’t worked out in the past, they’re still not going to provide a specific opening date until its certain that goal is achievable.
“We attempted to estimate opening dates during several stages of construction, and, unfortunately, through issues beyond our control, missed the mark each time,” Chris said. “Weather delays as well as testing and permitting from City and State agencies continued to push back target dates. At this point, we learned not to give false hope by guessing at a timeline.”
Chris said the building itself is up and additional work is in progress including obtaining licensing.
“The building is up with final electrical and plumbing work getting done,” Chris said. “Signage, hardscaping and landscaping are in progress. The brewery itself is almost ready for production, and the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission is issuing our brewer’s license. We are currently finishing up the taproom interior. Trust us, no one is more ready for this to be completed than we are.”
Laura said her and Chris have now put up their home for sale in May and relocated to Duncan.
“We understand that many follow us on social media and signed up for email notifications. I do feel like we slacked on that end of things over the summer, for which I take responsibility. We are doing this on our own, ‘two couples with a dream’ type of thing, so all of our focus has been on getting this brewery operational,” Laura said. “We made the decision months ago to purchase a home here in Duncan so that we could be closer to the brewery and have a presence here. Needless to say, this has been difficult with three kids, starting new schools, integrating ourselves into a new community, and starting a new business. The last few months have been extremely trying, but we are looking forward to getting settled in and making this place our home.”
While Laura and Chris have worked to move to Duncan and Chris travels for work, Lenny helps in other ways.
“My being here on site has been invaluable during the building phase to troubleshoot and coordinate adjustments,” Lenny said. “As much as we scrutinized our plans, unforeseeable changes and updates came up. We learned things in this process we never could have dreamed about.”
When Chris is in town, him and Lenny do a lot of work to the project themselves while Laura and Kathryn handle other finishing details.
Kathryn said: “We are all so grateful for the many invaluable people involved in creating this brewery. Expert craftsmen and consultants have contributed from within the community as well as across the country. Kochendorfer Brewing Company is decidedly unique, combining old-world brewing expertise and modern-day spirit with a twist.”
Originally, the plan for the brewery included a dog park, but the couples have decided because talks of another dog park are happening, they’re going to keep working on the brewery portion instead.
“Rather than to duplicate efforts, we decided to concentrate on other aspects of our project and just keep our brewery grounds dog-friendly,” Kathryn said.
A park and walking trails are still part of the plan, but the main focus remains on the taproom and brewery.
During the finishing of the project, City of Duncan has maintained no visitors are allowed at the property until it's officially open.
“We know everyone cannot wait for us to open – we can’t wait either,” Lenny said. “For safety sake, please resist the urge to peek during these final weeks while we prepare for our grand opening. Stay tuned for more details. Our opening celebration is going to be epic.”
For more information, visit kochendorferbrewing.com or visit Kochendorfer Brewing Company on Facebook.
Story provided by The Duncan Banner
Written by: Charlene Belew