February 24, 2024

Barn to Brewery: How 3 Local Men are Making Their Dreams Come True

By: Dalton Janousek

Garden City, KS

Southwest Kansas is on track to see a new brewery very soon. “It all started with a phone call. This whole concept can be boiled down to three guys chasing their collective dream.” Hidden Trail Brewing, located at 2010 E Schulman Ave, on the east side of  Garden City, is set to open its doors Fall of 2021. “We just got our brewhouse system a little earlier than expected, so hopefully that helps speed up the process,” says Cundiff. 


Hidden Trail Brewing is a partnership between Cody Cundiff, Michael Cole, and Colin Williams. Currently, they are in the process of renovating a barn that was built in the 1940s. “We really want to keep the barn atmosphere. We want people to feel as if they are drinking in a friend’s barn when they come in,” says Cundiff. “We are trying to repurpose everything we can, the wood from the walls will become our table tops, our bar top will be wood from another wall, and our bar shelf will be an old barn door.” 


Outside of trying to start a brewing company, Cundiff is also a Psychology instructor for Garden City Community College. “I’ve always found myself either having too much on my plate or not enough. When I have free time, I end up filling it with some new adventure. I love the balance that teaching and brewing bring to my life. Brewing leads me to feel physically tired while teaching leads me to feel mentally tired.” When it comes to brewing, Cody Cundiff knows a thing or two about the industry. “I started brewing right around my twenty-first birthday,” says Cundiff. “When I turned 21, I purchased a home brewing kit and I ended up falling in love with the concept”. Cody spent the rest of his college and early adult life brewing at home. Michael Cole is also an experienced brewer. Cole, who recently relocated to Garden City from the Denver area, has been brewing for roughly 10 years at home and two years commercially. “Mike and I have brewed together for about two years. Whether we are creating completely new brews, or tweaking old recipes, or kicking around beer name ideas, we work well together,” says Cundiff. Colin Williams is new to the brewing side but has experience in the hospitality and restaurant industry. “Colin has been taking a crash course in brewing this past year with us. He is essentially a Swiss Army Knife when it comes to establishments like ours. Colin has worked as a bar manager, bartender, and a kitchen manager; he has been involved in the industry for over a decade,” says Cundiff. 


According to Cundiff, Hidden Trail Brewing will offer ten taps from the 5 barrel system as well as four experimental taps. Hidden Trail Brewing will serve several styles from Stouts, Pilsners, IPAs, Seltzers, Dunkles, Ciders and many more. “We want people to be able to walk up to the bar, and talk to the person who made their drink from scratch. This also allows the customer to give us feedback and suggestions for different brews.” Cundiff also said the brewery will offer a comfortable and relaxing spot for Garden City residents. “We don’t really have the focus on  turning tables,” says Cundiff. “We want people to come and have a good time for as long as they want.” The brewery will also feature a rotation of various food trucks, kid’s playroom/arcade, live stage, an outdoor/patio area, merchandise area, as well as the bar. “Our goal is for this to be a place for everyone.”