The History of Tallgrass Brewing Company

An Important Question in 2006

The decision to found Tallgrass Brewing Company was made by Jeff Gill and his wife Tricia on April 8, 2006. Tricia had asked Jeff THAT question: “What do you want to do with the rest of your life?” Jeff had been thinking about that exact question quite a bit. “I want to start a microbrewery!” Jeff answered.  He had been an avid homebrewer for six years and loved to brew beer that people enjoyed.

A plan is set in motion

At that point, Jeff and Tricia made a commitment to start a brewery in Kansas, this meant moving, Jeff giving up his career as a geologist, and Tricia changing jobs, but they were determined. For the next year, Jeff juggled a full-time job while trying to gain as much experience in the craft beer business as possible, and Tricia gave him her full support along the way.

The brewery finds a home and a name

In early 2007 the brewery was given a home and a name. It was decided that the new Tallgrass Brewing Company would be established in Manhattan, Kansas. Manhattan is a town nestled in the Flint Hills and surrounded by the Tallgrass Prairie. They had always wanted to settle in this area to raise their family and it just so happened that the water in the area is an excellent choice for brewing beer.

Friends and family lend a hand

In the spring of 2007, Jeff was ready to speak with friends and family about investing in the Tallgrass Brewing Company. With the money raised and a lot of hard work, the brewery was built just off of Green Valley Road at the edge of the Flint Hills. A beautiful copper-clad brewhouse arrived in June 2007 and the first beer (Pub Ale) was brewed in August 2007. That one question back in 2006 started a dream that became a brewery. In 2010 Tallgrass declared its “Canifesto” and began packaging its beers exclusively in cans instead of bottles. The company reached its brewing capacity in 2013 at 16,000 barrels per year.

A New Home for Tallgrass

In early 2015, Tallgrass moved into a brand-new, $7 million, 60,000-square-foot brewery, quadrupling the capacity of the largest craft brewer in the state.  The new brewery, located adjacent to the Manhattan Municipal Airport, features a four-vessel, automated 50-barrel brewhouse and 3,000 square feet dedicated to developing Tallgrass’ future sour beer program. Tallgrass intends to push production to nearly 30,000 barrels in 2015 for distribution in 14 states. The facility enables Tallgrass to produce 100,000 barrels per year and grow its distribution nationwide in the future.