About Parkside Brewing
“For the love of Beer”
The Story of Parkside Brewing Company
It was 2003 and I remember it like it was yesterday. I was living in NE Missouri near Mark Twain Lake working for the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Conservation Agent (Game Warden). I lived on an acreage that surrounded the lake and I had really gotten into gardening. I was making salsa, canned items and eventually I started making my own hot sauce. On this particular day I called a company to order some bottles to package my hot sauce. The customer service agent on the other line asked me for details including payment information, address, etc.. My postal code was Stoutsville, Missouri. As I recited these details back to her, she paused and said, “Stoutsville? You should be making your own beer!” I thought to myself, “That is the dumbest idea I have ever heard!” You see, to me beer was just yellow fizzy stuff I stomached through college for a cheap buzz. I never really enjoyed it, let alone thought of creating such nonsense. Little did I know that day a seed was planted and would eventually become Parkside Brewing Company. We’ll get back to that seed later.
As years progressed, I discovered craft beer on my holiday travels to Colorado and other places. I fell in love with the German Hefeweizen style of beer. By this time, it was around 2010 and I was back living in Iowa and working as a Conservation Officer for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. I had just returned from Chicago and drank every hefeweizen I could get my hands on while on vacation. Later that week I went to our local beer store to buy whatever hefeweizen they had. Nothing! They had absolutely nothing that even resembled a hefeweizen on their shelves. So, I did what every Iowa farm boy would do, right?! I bought a homebrewing book, made my own equipment and set out to brew a great German Hefeweizen. If I can’t buy it, I’ll make it! And that’s exactly what I did. I immersed myself in the brewing culture. I tried every beer style I could get my hands on. I started developing recipes and started entering homebrewing competitions and started winning and winning a lot of awards on the local, regional and even national level.
Back to that seed thing. I was born and raised on a farm in SW Iowa. Kay’s were farmers and that’s exactly what my family, extended family and it’s ancestors that came from northern Germany did. On one trip back home to help my family with some farm work, I discovered that we also had some beer brewing in our ancestors as well. We were doing some tiling and excavation work at one of the original Kay farms. We started unearthing dozens of old beer bottles. My grandfather, who was in his ninety’s at that time, but still sharp as a tack, told me a story about those bottles. You see, my grandfather’s uncle was a great beer brewer. So good in fact that he would sell his “homebrew” to travelers through SW Iowa. This was all great, however, it wasn’t legal. Eventually the law caught up with him and he just about lost his farm to the authorities over the matter, hence the reason for the buried beer bottles. So brewing was in my blood and I wasn’t even aware of it.
Eventually through my competition entries I was awarded with the chance to brew one of my recipes on a professional brewing system at a brewery in Des Moines. After that experience, I knew professional brewing was in my future. All the groundwork had been laid and like a tractor-beam of destiny, Parkside Brewing Company was born in Burlington, Iowa.
- Paul Kay - Parkside Brewing Company
Paul and Paulette Kay live on their farm just outside of Burlington, IA. Paul farms, raises bees and works as a Conservation Officer, as well as, brews for Parkside. Paulette works at the local hospital and is the Manger of Parkside Brewing Company. The Oak Leaf in the Parkside logo symbolizes their rock solid foundation and commitment to each other, the outdoors, their business and of course, a serious love of beer.
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Friday 5pm to 10pm
Saturday - 11am to 11pm
Sunday - 11am to 8pm
2601 Madison Ave, Burlington, Iowa 52601
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