Every beer at Kinship Brewing Company has a story.

There's Dear Annie, a hazy IPA owner Zach Dobeck calls a love letter to his wife. An Imperialstout named Sheriff Dobeck is an homage to Dobeck's father, a former sheriff. And Oh, Billy, which Dobeckdescribed to the Register in 2019as a citrusy, aromatic SMASH (single malt and single hop) pal ale that pays tribute to a family friend.

At Kinship, the new, sprawling brewery on six acres of land in Waukee set to open Jan. 1, those stories are the beginning of Dobeck's ultimate goal: to build acommunity that goes beyond the beer.

The idea started when he was a kid, watching his father put on events to get people together. The name of the brewery, Kinship, even calls back to the theme — that everyone who enters the brewery is part of a family.

"That’s what we want to create in the Kinship taproom and in our brand — that you belong here, this is yours," Dobeck said.

Building a community

Dobeck is proud of the beer the brewery will produce, but that's not the only thing he hopes patrons take from their experience at Kinship. Creating a community of beer-lovers and drinkers will start from the moment they step foot in the door.

"We’re going to make an actual earnest effort to be hospitable and create that hospitality vibe because when you’re coming into a brewery, especially for people who have not been to a brewery or haven’t really enjoyed the atmosphere of breweries, we want to create a different atmosphere (where) nobody goes unnoticed and nobody is walking in ungreeted," he said.

That's where general manager Michael Bradley comes in. Formerly a lead server at Proof Restaurant downtown, Bradley said his mission is to create an environment where customers, and servers, feel like they belong.

"As long as we can get people coming back because they like to be here, not only for the beer but because they feel comfortable here, that’s really going to be my definition of success," Bradley said.

Dobeck hopes everyone will be comfortable in the brewery, whether it's couples on a date night, parents grabbing a drink and a bite to eat with their children after a game and anyone in between.

Though the brewery is set away from the lights and crowds of downtown Des Moines, Dobeck sees that as a positive. He described the brewery's space as a "utopia," bridging the gap between Waukee and downtown.

"It's more than just the beer side of it," he said. "It’s transcending into building a community and that’s what really gets me excited, is the opportunity to work with a community like Waukee."

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