NOCONA (KFDX/KJTL) — To measure how much COVID-19 has impacted small businesses, just ask your local craft beer maker.
Owners at Nocona Beer and Brewery are hoping American Craft Beer Week will breathe new life into their business which has been suffering through the pandemic.
“It starts in here and as a craft beer, we don’t use malt or liquid,” Nocona Beer and Brewery co-owner Kenneth Kollmeyer, Ph.D. said.
Owning a brewery has been Kollmeyer’s lifelong dream.
“I retired four years ago from surgery in Dallas and moved up to Nocona and saw this building,” Kollmeyer said. “We have about 35,000 sq ft in the Old Nocona Boot Factory.”
Following a career as a scientist and physiologist, Kollmeyer and co-owner Craig Carter decided to pull the trigger.
“We spent the first two years completely gutting and re-doing everything here and assembling a major craft brewery,” Kollmeyer said.
Opening up Nocona Beer and Brewery in 2017, just as the craft beer business was booming.
“Craft beer is the combination of science and we have a full science lab and artistic ability to create wonderful tasting products,” Kollmeyer said.
However, brewing beer to scale takes a team. That’s where head brewer David Young comes in.
“Part of the job was getting everything hooked up and upon getting everything completed we worked with a brewmaster,” Young said.
A handyman and expert brewer, Kollmeyer said he relies on Young’s natural talents.
“I like working with my hands so any time there is something that needs to be fixed I’m all over that,’ Young said.
Kollmeyer said nothing could have prepared them for what was around the corner in 2020.
“Cans , kegs, no bottles,” Kollmeyer said while showing the stacks of beer around the brewery. “Cans have a healthy good way of going and as you can see, we can hold a bunch of beer.”
More than a year into a global pandemic, once empty space is now filled with stacked kegs ready to be sold, but that hasn’t dampened Kollmeyer’s spirits.
“Our kitchen will be open in a week or two,” Kollmeyer said. “People can drink their beer and play live music and our dance floor, it’s all good to go.”
Scientist, beer lover and eternal optimist.
You can find Nocona Beer from Wichita Falls down the I-35 corridor through Denton and Dallas.