WICHITA — Lots of people dream of turning a hobby into a business, but Torrey Lattin – with his wife’s blessing – is doing it.
“My wife and I are starting a small craft beer brewing company here in Wichita,” Lattin says.
“It has been a hobby of mine that turned into an obsession, and now I’m hoping I can make some money at it and share my excitement for craft beer with Wichita.”
Lattin hopes to open the Hopping Gnome at 1710 E. Douglas, which is a few doors west of the Donut Whole, by November.
“In folklore, gnomes are known for their drinking,” he says.
“Hopping” is for the hops he’ll use in brewing.
Lattin is a 3D drafter and designer for MKEC Engineering. His wife, Stacy Ward Lattin, works for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland. She won’t be part of the day-to-day business, but Lattin says his wife encouraged him to open it.
“She said, ‘Let’s do it,’” he says. “She’s been very supportive.”
In addition to the brewery, the 3,000-square-foot business will have a small tap room in the front part of the space with seating for about 30.
Lattin says he’ll have a 5-barrel system.
“That means I can produce five full kegs of beer every time I brew.”
Initially, Lattin will offer five beers on tap: a pale ale, an amber, an IPA, an English special bitter and a stout.
He’ll also offer seasonal beers as well.
“People can come in and get a pint, or they can fill up their growlers,” Lattin says.
“We will also be distributing kegs. We’re going through House of Schwan for that.”
Lattin says he’ll offer those to restaurants and bars.
He says he won’t have cans, bottles or food.
Lattin says he’d like to host private events after the business is up and running.
He says he’s still in lease negotiations and has to go through licensing and remodeling.
Lattin says he knows it won’t happen immediately, but he says eventually, “I hope the beer business turns into a full-time job.”