The area’s newest brewery lived up to its name when tornado sirens announced its soft opening last weekend. WInd Shift Brewery is owned by brewer Tony Diplacito and his wife Lynn, who started the company after Tony realized brewing beer was a passion he could take out of his garage and into the community.
Around five years ago, Lynn bought him a home-brewing kit, and while his first process “didn’t go well,” in his words, Tony said she was persistent, and a new kit kick-started his hobby.
Tony said friends and neighbors complimented his products, and he began entering in contests. After winning a competition with the local Kansas City Brewmeisters, Tony said he started thinking bigger and began planning on bringing his business to life.
The name, according to the two of them, came from Lynn’s background, working in the Weather Service and studying winds, along with the way they’ve seen the project “blown around” in one way or another.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Tony. “We just kind of blurted it (Wind Shift) out and knew that was it.”
Obtaining their new premises, on Jefferson Street in Blue Springs, was surprisingly easy, according to the Diplacitos, who began looking at the space last December.
“We opened last Saturday; that’s five months,” said Tony. “It’s pretty astonishing to pull a brewery together in such a short amount of time.”
While their location came together in small amount of time, Tony explained they’ve been actively planning the business for five years, figuring out the best way to get started.
“We’ve had different investors and partners, and we’ve looked at buildings. Originally we thought we were going to be in the Crossroads,” he said. “For different reasons, those didn’t work out.”
Tony currently works full time at the auto repair shop with which Wind Shift shares a wall. After a full day of work there, he enters Wind Shift and checks on whatever batch he has brewing at the time. Depending on how much brewing he needs to do, he ends his day around 9 or 10 p.m.. While this might be a long day, Lynn confirmed if Tony wasn’t brewing at Wind Shift, he’d be brewing somewhere else, saying it wasn’t much of a change from what they were doing previously.
“It has its challenges but at the same time it’s working out really well,” Tony said.
One of the brewery’s walls, which customers can see as soon as they enter and take a seat, is filled with encouraging quotes said to Tony and Lynn during the process of making Wind Shift a reality. Lynn said each one represents a lifelong friend they made, people who helped make the brewery possible by offering their time and support.
“These aren’t just friends; these are the people who helped us build this,” Lynn said. “These people showed up and said, ‘We want you guys to do this.’”
Tony added the beer community in the Kansas City area, and the individuals who come through their door, make up an incredible experience.
“It’s almost like you make a new friend every day,” he said.
The brewery’s list of beers features a minimum of four concoctions that Tony selected based on feedback from friends and competitions. In addition, he said he plans on having a rotating selection to compliment their regular stock so customers can always have something new to try. Tony said he’s always looking to play with and invent new recipes, but always starts with making sure his base beer recipes are up to his standards before adding new ingredients
“I like to look at a beer, see how it’s made … and try to perfect it, although I don’t know if you can ever perfect a beer,” he said.