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Brewery still on tap for downtown GB
City action allows for microbrewery to locate near church
dry lake brewing
The Great Bend City Council Monday night approved an ordinance for Dry Lake Brewing, 1305 Main, to operate within 200 feet of a church, River of Life Church. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

So a new business can soon open its doors on Great Bend’s downtown square, the Great Bend City Council Monday night approved an ordinance waiving restriction for a planned microbrewery, allowing it to be located with 200 feet of a church. The allows the state to issue a microbrewery license for that location.

Kevin Burkey and Ryan Fairchild are planning on opening Dry Lake Brewing at 1305 Main Street. They are in the process of remodeling the old Brown Shoe Fit building.

However, “state law does not allow a license to be issued for microbrewery if it is located within 200 feet of a parochial school, public school, church or college,” said City Attorney Bob Suelter. The River of Life Church is located at 1219 Main, 151 feet to the south.

The law does, though, provide that the city can waive that requirement by passage of an ordinance, he said. The licensed premises must be located within a core commercial district as defined by state law.  

There are still more hoops for the brewers to jump through, Suelter said.

“He’s probably going to have to meet some other requirements for getting his beer tested and everything else once he gets it in,” he said. “We’ve also got to get past his current (COVID-19) situation.”

In addition to Dry Lake Brewing, the ordinance would cover any instance of a microbrewery in the future in the downtown area, basically between 10th and 19th streets, Suelter said.

“We see it as an ideal location for a family friendly brewery and restaurant in the heart of Great Bend,” Burkey said in is application for the change. “I have reached out to the church to share our intent of bringing our restaurant/microbrewery to downtown.”