Finding Clarity - TRANSPARENT BREWING FINDS ITS FLOWOct 21, 2022 04:57PM ● By MARIE EDINGER
GOING WITH THE FLOW
Nolan Brown was supposed to go to med school. So how did he wind up running a brewery in Grandview, Missouri instead?
“Through high school and college, I wanted to be a doctor— I went to school for biology, but when I took my MCATs I realized it wasn’t necessarily the right route for me.” Finding a new career path entirely, owner of Transparent Brewing, Nolan Brown, turned his home brewing hobby into a full-blown business.
Nolan was attracted to brewing because it allowed him to follow his interests in chemistry in a more creative outlet. After accepting his new path, he began putting in the work at both microbreweries and a national beer brand. By 2017, Nolan had moved home to start his newest venture— one that would become Transparent Brewing in August of 2020.
Today, Nolan is the head brewer at Transparent Brewing, but you’ll also find him occasionally running the bar and handling managerial matters as the owner of the business.
BIG FLAVOR, LOW ALCOHOL
Unlike the numerous IPA creators, Nolan decided to focus on beers with lower alcohol content. “You go down that rabbit hole whenever you get into the industry of double IPAs, barrel aged beers, and stouts. Eventually I get really tired of it,” explained Brown.
kind of clicked for me: ‘Why would you do that to yourself? People can only have one or two pours before they’ve got to head home.’ It didn’t make sense.”
Transparent brewing focuses it’s sights on lower session beers so customers can sit and rest awhile while not having to worry that they are drinking something that will push them over the limit. Now boasting four original beers that stay up all year and six other taps that rotate, there have been a total of 114 beer varieties served with 55 unique recipes. Plus, the low ABV allows time for socializing. The brewery was nominated the Best Bar to Meet People, along with ten other categories of awards in local magazines.
Transparent Brewing gets its name for a number of reasons. The main one, Nolan explains, is that he wants to be open and honest in this career.
“A lot of people—when they ask me what Transparent Brewing means—they ask: ‘Is there a lot of dishonesty in the industry?’ And no, that isn’t the case by any means. But a big thing for me has always been education.”
Nolan explains, the education side of things is one of his favorite parts of the brewery. He likes talking with newcomers to the craft beer scene about the beers and how they’re made. He wants to help guide people to find the right beers for them and chat about what sorts of things they may enjoy rather than having them guess. He likes talking with home brewers too, even going as far as to have recipes of some of his beers on Transparent Brewing’s website for home brewers to try out. He says a couple have done it, and he likes spitballing with them about ways things went right or wrong in the process as they make it for themselves.
Nolan hopes that’ll bring more people to the brewery with sights set high for the location. Beyond expanding, the brewery has focused on using its 3.5 acres for outdoor space for activities like bocce ball and corn hole.
Attached to the other side of the building is Nolan’s mother’s restaurant, The Chive Café and Market. The Café lists suggested beer pairings with its food, and in turn the beer menu includes suggested food pairings. Once a month, the mother and son team up to create a five-course fine dining meal where half- pours of beers are paired with each bit of food. The brewery also has started distributing.
“It’s kind of a big deal. There aren’t a lot of breweries our size that are getting picked up by distributors,” says Nolan.
Forever keeping his focus on creating quality brews that bring people together, Transparent Brewing hopes the future will bring more people, more brews, and more sense of community.
Transparent Brewing Company
14501 White Avenue
GrandView, MO 64030