Department’s own Ian LaGrace at helm
What do you do if you love geography; Fancy beer; Want a job that allows you to travel the world; Want to be an entrepreneur; But hate the daily grind of desk work?
You open your own geography brewing company.
At least that’s what former and soon-to-be-again Mizzou geography student Ian LaGrace did with business partner, Tyler Lasley.
The duo are owners of Waypoint Brewing Company, which is no ordinary distributor. They do high-end, outside-the-norm beers — the type that usually are harder to find in mid-Missouri.
Beers with a blush of geography inside and outside of every can. Beers from around the world. Beers that quench thirst and satisfy connoisseurs who like something fresh, new, different. Beers that use higher-end ingredients and brewing practices particular to various world regions.
Pints like Kolsch, which may be familiar to some, but without a huge pull in the Show Me State. “The cool thing about a Kolsch is that it originated from Cologne, Germany. So, it uses a strain of yeast and also German hops, which come from that region,” LaGrace says.
They are also working on a double dry hop, hazy IPA using a Nordic strain of an ancient super yeast called Kveik. “It ferments at a much higher temperature, and again, I don’t know a lot of breweries here in mid-Missouri who are using that strain of yeast,” LaGrace adds. “So, we are actually going to label it as a Nordic IPA.” This is a more expensive beer due to the price of hops and the quantity, as well — about six pounds per barrel.
The Kveik is just one of many types of yeast strains from around the world he hopes to use. “I’d like to go to the different regions and cultivate yeast in those areas and then bring them back to use it here,” he says.
A third type of beer they are working on is a low-calorie IPA. Lasley owns CrossFit Fringe, a fitness center above their brewery at 901 Old 63 North, and the partners thought it would be a good fit for Lasley’s customers.
Yet a fourth on the lineup, is a Chicha, a beer made out of corn by locals in Peru.
“We are going to brew a ton of beers,” said LaGrace. “We’re going to push the boundaries while seeing what sells. One goal of ours is to have a lot of seasonal beers and less staple beers. So, beers that we will brew once and year, and then won’t have it again until the following year.”