Black Stag Brewery to Give Free State a Run for its Money

Move over Free State, there is a new brewery on the block in downtown Lawrence.


Less than one block away from the venerable Free State Brewery, the new Black Stag Brewery has ambitious plans to open an 11,000 square foot two-story space serving up at least one dozen locally brewed beers. The owners had been scouting locations for years before deciding that it was plausible to operate on the same black as Free State. Kathryn Myers and her husband John Hampton have lived in Lawrence for decades, with Kathryn the proud owner of three degrees from the University of Kansas. The couple will partner with Myers’ father, William, to open the new watering hole located at 623 Massachusetts St. The brewery is expected to employ approximately 50 people once fully operational.


With a planned launch date sometime in September, the trio has been kept busy designing a menu and focusing on the beers they would like to offer. A black lager will be the brewery’s flagship brew, but Black Stag will also feature a myriad of offerings focused primarily on Belgian-style and German beer along with a hefty selection of IPAs. The pub will additionally boast a selection of small-batch experimental brews, as is the trend these days in the bustling brewery scene.


As a homebrewer for the last few years, Hampton will take that experience and put it to use as the head brewer. The menu will highlight a variety of locally sourced flavors with an emphasis on wild game, steaks, and pasta specialties. Hampton hopes that the opening of Black Stag so close to Free State will be another positive step to making Lawrence a premier destination for craft beer fans.