PITTSBURG — The wait is over for Pittsburg craft beer fans who have been anticipating the opening of the Jolly Fox Brewery, which is now up and running at the corner of Euclid and Broadway.
“It’s been kind of a mystery for a lot of people looking at it from the road, you know, the design of it, the looks of it, the vibe of it,” said Joel Stewart, who has been working with his business partners over the past few years to open the brewpub, “and now they get to come in and check it out and see what we’re all about, and you know, have a beer, have some food, watch a game, go sit on the patio.”
The brewery has been open limited hours this week, but will begin to open for its regular hours starting Friday. The brewery will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, and starting next week from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
The Jolly Fox has a ribbon cutting planned for next Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 4 p.m. and will also participate in Pittsburg’s new Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 24 alongside Drop The H, another Pittsburg brewpub also opening this week.
“We’re shutting down parts of Broadway and people will be able to come in here or Drop The H and you know, grab a beer and go back out and enjoy the festivities,” Stewart said.
The Jolly Fox has a special brew planned for Oktoberfest, along with six other beers currently on tap. These include Honey Blonde — “kind of a beer brewed for everyone, very easy drinking,” according to Stewart — Crimson IPA, an India pale ale that has “some orchard flavors to it in the background of it,” Crisp and Cozy Brown Ale, “a very smooth, easy drinking beer” with “some chocolate notes and some malty notes to it,” Stout and About, “which has got some bitter chocolate and coffee notes to it,” Double IPA, “a seven percent beer with a lot of flavor notes to it,” and Gorilla Golden Ale, “an easy drinking beer with some fruit going in it, with some bananas and you know maybe some pineapple notes in the background of it.”
The Jolly Fox also has food on the menu, including everything from 10 flavors of chicken wings to salads to appetizers such as mozzarella sticks and fried pickles and mushrooms, as well as burgers featuring two five-ounce patties and various toppings, served with fries or tots.
Stewart said he’s been getting a good response and “a lot of positive comments” from the community so far. Some of those who came out Monday for the Jolly Fox’s opening night shared their thoughts on the food and new brews, as well as the atmosphere of the brewpub itself.
“Right now the Crimson IPA is probably my favorite,” said Kris Mengarelli, a Pittsburg resident who works at the Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC). Mengarelli added, however, that he liked the Stout and About, too.
“Generally I like IPAs but that stout has a nice kind of hoppy finish to go with it,” he said. “I’m super impressed and super excited that we have a microbrewery here. I think it’s long overdue.”
Daniel Munguia, a Crawford County emergency medical technician who lives in Pittsburg and also attends Pittsburg State University, also said he was impressed with the brewery and would definitely be coming back after opening night and recommending it to friends.
“It’s pretty cool for me how it’s local,” Munguia said. “That’s a first for me, especially living in a small town like Pittsburg, and it’s really cool that they have something like this here where you can come with people and friends and just kind of enjoy all this stuff.”
Aside from the beer and food, the Jolly Fox also has entertainment including six television screens and a patio, along with an outdoor area for playing cornhole.
Hannah Bass and Kay Holmes, who also attend PSU and were at the Jolly Fox on opening night, said they liked the craft beer, which for Bass, at least, is something she has just begun to try out since recently turning 21.
“This Honey Blonde is pretty good,” said Bass. “It’s a lighter beer, which from what I know so far about beers is my favorite, so the honey blonde is definitely what I recommend to people who like a lighter beer.”
Holmes, meanwhile, said she liked the Crisp and Cozy Brown Ale, which she described as “kind of like coffee” and “breakfasty.”
Lane Rosenberg, who was at the Jolly Fox’s opening night with Bass and Holmes and who is originally from Parsons but has lived in Pittsburg for the last five years or so, said the Honey Blonde was alright, “but I kind of like more stouter stuff.”
He added, however, that having watched the Jolly Fox “from the ground up” as it was built and anticipated its opening, he was impressed with how it turned out.
“I like what I’ve tasted so far and I’m looking forward to coming back,” Rosenberg said. “I’m really going to enjoy this place.”
It’s been a long time coming, but now that the Jolly Fox is finally open, Stewart is also happy to see his dream becoming a reality.
“I’m excited to see everyone, the community, come out here and have a beer with me,” he said.