Justin Boswell, the founder and head brewer of Wayward Owl Brewing Company (3940 Thalia St.; www.waywardowlbrewery.com), ponders the title master brewer.
"I don't tout myself as the master of anything, but I really love to make beer," Boswell says. "That's one thing I can say that I'm pretty good at. Not the best — I've got a lot to learn, just like everybody else does. I hear 'master brewer' and [I think] it means you don't have much to learn."
Boswell wants to build a place where everyone is comfortable and plans to listen to his clientele when deciding what beers to brew. Initially, Wayward Owl will produce three beers: an IPA, a gose and a krystalweizen. But he says he also will brew other beers.
"Variety is the spice of life," Boswell says. "I don't believe in flagship beers. It's a piece of advice my mentor gave to me: 'Don't make flagship beers; build a flagship brewery. Forget about national trends; pay attention to your neighborhood.'"
Because Wayward Owl occupies a historic building, the former Gem Theater, Boswell and his construction team have had some additional renovation requirements. There is theater seating lining the divide between the brewhouse and the taproom. Signage will include the large old-fashioned neon letters for the Gem Theater.
Citing city permitting issues in working on a historic building, Boswell declined to project an opening date. He says the team has been working steadily to restore small historic details while completing installation of brewing equipment.