Diametric Brewing Company co-founders and brewers Mac Lamken, Devin Glaser, and Sean Householder and former director of taproom operations Joe Migletz began demolition in late 2017 of a bank’s information technology office space. Above, Lamken and Glaser stood amid dusty exposed concrete floors, walls stripped to sheetrock, and assorted bottles of homebrewed beer on hand. The brewery’s completed Kickstarter campaign from 2017-18 shows even more imagery and time-lapse photographs of the buildout. They envisioned a 3,000 square-foot space for a brewery and taproom. Opening in July of 2018, the founders saw a wide-open opportunity to produce and sell fresh local craft beer to their community in eastern Jackson County.
The business wasn’t always known as Diametric Brewing. Established as New Axiom Brewing Company, the founders changed the name on the brewery’s one-year anniversary. They encountered a trademark issue with the word “axiom.”
“As part of our growth, we wanted to produce mead and cider which falls under wine licensing,” Glaser says. “An out-of-state winery already had a trademark with a similar name which put us within their legal crosshairs. We determined that the risk was too great. We decided it was a better option to change our name and move forward. We haven’t looked back since.”
In addition to a brand name change, Diametric Brewing has faced ongoing growth and navigated the COVID-19 pandemic in just over three years. Glaser says, “We have added a new brewhouse, fermenters, brite tanks, increased our cooperage for distribution, added a foeder, canning machine, and our food truck, Burn Theory Fire Kitchen, operated by Taylor Jones.”
Like other breweries, Diametric faced a major hurdle as the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the United States last year. Traffic to taprooms dropped and sales dried up as well. Breweries across Kansas City needed to adapt, whether or not they had packaging and distribution established. Diametric Brewing’s team led the Together We Can movement. The events enabled customers to safely pre-order and pick up beer via drive-through to support struggling local breweries.
“The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has been like traveling through a wormhole, not knowing where we will end up on the other side,” Glaser says. “We did our best to be creative with the tools we had and the restrictions we had to operate within. Those conditions lead to the formation of Together We Can, a collective event. We pivoted our production to canning and our taproom into a warehouse. We invited local breweries to inventory their beer for a one-stop online shop for local beer. Our goal was to help every brewery who needed and wanted to be a part of TWC. The outpouring of love and support we experienced from the local craft beer community was unparalleled, they were there for us in a time when we all feared our doors would close. It was only by our customers’ unyielding desire to ‘support local’ that we survived and persevered through the COVID-19 wormhole.”
Breweries, other businesses, and the public continue to adapt to the pandemic’s impact and subsequent restrictions. Diametric Brewing is still brewing and serving beers, mead, and ciders for guests able to relax in the taproom and spacious patio.
View is a look at the ever-changing history of Kansas City’s brewing industry from the 21st century to yesteryear. Have a tip, question, anecdote, or historic local brewing artifact? Share it with KC Ale Trail. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pete Dulin is the founder and editor of kcaletrail.com. His most recent book is Expedition of Thirst: Exploring Breweries, Distilleries and Wineries Across Central Kansas and Missouri. Pete’s other books include Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland, KC Ale Trail (out of print), and Last Bite: 100 Simple Recipes from Kansas City’s Best Chefs and Cooks.