PITTSBURG — As shoppers seek out the best Black Friday deals this week, two local businesses are announcing a new deal of their own. Beginning Friday, Kansas Crossing Casino visitors will be able to purchase local craft beer from the Jolly Fox Brewery.
“We’ve been serving it as the Honey Blonde but we re-launched it as the Brew-tus this week,” said Joel Stewart, CEO and head brewmaster at the Jolly Fox, located at the corner of Euclid and Broadway in Pittsburg. The name is a play on “Brutus,” Kansas Crossing’s mascot.
“I wanted them to control the launch of it, but I wanted to see the public’s reception of the beer so we just served it incognito until we got everything worked out marketing-wise with the casino,” Stewart said.
Doug Fisher, general manager at Kansas Crossing, began thinking about collaborating with a nearby brewery to serve local beer after learning of a similar arrangement between a casino and a brewery in Wichita.
About a year after he began looking into the possibility of a deal with a local brewery, and with help from Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce President Blake Benson in making some introductions, the agreement to serve Jolly Fox beer at the casino is finally coming to fruition.
“We’re doing everything we can to get it done by Friday,” Fisher said in an interview this week.
Brew-tus, formerly known as Honey Blonde, will continue to be available at the Jolly Fox, although the new name will apply to the beer at both locations. At the Jolly Fox, a pint goes for $5, and pricing will likely remain in a similar range at the casino. Stewart said he is hoping to sell about three to five kegs per week through Kansas Crossing, and another three kegs or so at the brewery.
“The casino wanted something they could market themselves and, you know, something unique to Southeast Kansas,” Stewart said.
Since opening last month, the Jolly Fox also last week announced the launch of Apex Ale, a new English pale ale, in partnership with Apex Stages / Progressive Products, Inc. of Pittsburg. Stewart said he has enjoyed working with Apex Stages President Todd Allison as well as with Kansas Crossing, and Fisher similarly said the arrangement has been mutually beneficial.
“We’re excited to have another partnership with the community,” Fisher said.