Students assist start-up brewery in Wayne


Justin Yost

Owners Mark Kanitz and Lukas Rix stand in front of the old 1912 Building. A part of the building is being leased out to Bryce Allen to start up a brewery for craft beer.

Jordyn Knobbe, Staff Writer

Wayne State College and the community have united once again to start up a brewery in Wayne.
Brandon McMullen, Dillion Burkland and Tony Gibilisco are seniors at Wayne State College and have been put in charge of helping with renovations at a new brewery in Wayne.
McMullen, Burklund, and Giblisico are in the course, ITE 493–Senior Seminar for construction majors. The group was assigned a semester-long project of a brewery. “It kind of fell into our laps,” said Giblisico.
They split up the responsibilities, yet are working hard as a team. Giblisico is in charge of drawing up plans. McMullen is in charge of code regulation.
“It takes time to meet up with the city to make sure everything is going to run smoothly,” McMullen said.
Burklund is in charge of safety and project management.
“It’s a good learning experience for us,” Burklund said.
The Brewery will be located at the old 1912 Fire Hall Building, at the intersection of Pearl and 2nd Street. Bryce Allen is leasing half of the building from the owners of Rustic Treasures and The Coffee Shoppe on Main Street, Mark Kanitz and Lukas Rix, who bought the building not long ago.
Allen is new to Wayne. He is originally from Wyoming. He moved to Wayne to start his adventure of a brewery and to be close to his father, ITE Professor Jeff Allen.
“During the summers after my junior and senior year of college, I tried my hand at home-brewing and thought it could potentially lead to a future business venture.  As I transitioned to living in Wayne, which has the cool, small college-town feel, I realized that the town didn’t have a whole lot for those that enjoy great craft beer,” Allen said.
Allen is already thinking of designing and what his business will look like, even though the design isn’t completely established yet due to getting the OK from the city and code regulations.
“Every craft brewery has some sort of theme to it,” Allen said. “I got my inspiration from the history of what made Wayne what it is today.  I found out that the county was originally in La Porte until the railroad routed through what is now Wayne.  Since the railroad was the lifeblood of America in the 1870s and 1880s, it helped form Wayne into the community it is today, along with the college and other businesses. I decided an 1880s Golden Era of the Railroad theme would pay homage to some of Wayne’s history.”
He has many ideas for what he hopes to see in the new brewery.
“There will be an outdoor patio, so when the weather is nice in the spring, summer, and autumn people can enjoy their craft beer outside,” Allen said.
The brewery also will have an appetizer-only menu, which will be non-fried and have more of a healthy spin.
“The hope is to be open in the spring of 2017 to attract some of the college students before graduation and summer break,” Allen said.