I spoke with Justin Taylor, owner and general manager of JT Walker's. See what he's got to see about their two year anniversary.
Smile Politely: What does it mean to you, your staff and customers to turn two?
Justin Taylor: It's kind of a weird thing to have been around for 2 years now. It took us 2 years to actually get open, so it honestly feels more like 4 years, since that is how long we have been working on this project. I think we have fought through a lot of struggles and have made changes and adjustments throughout the years. We are proud to have made it this far and can't wait to see what the future holds.
SP: What has been your favorite beer to brew? To drink? What is the all time fan favorite?
Taylor: I think our first signature beer we made for Crane Alley called Cranetucky, which is a Kentucky Common style of beer, was a favorite. It was a little bit of a taxing process and it was something we had never tried. We weren't sure how it would turnout or if people would like it. But it became a hit. My personal favorite is our Hale to the Chief Corn IPA. It is our flagship beer and it represents us well. We have a lot of fan favorites, but our Orange & Blue Witbier is our best seller.
SP: looking back on the two years you've been in business what has went well? What would you have done differently?
Taylor: We have tried to take things slowly and not get to far ahead of ourselves. That can be difficult because there are all kinds of things you want to do and try in the beginning, but sometimes it's best to wait. We are now canning our beer and we have a new barrel aging program that we are really excited about. I feel like we have some big things coming in the next year. As far as doing things differently, we would have gotten some help with the licensing process, because that became a huge time suck and it really put us behind.
Smile: Where do you see JT's going in two more years?
Taylor: In 2 years we are hoping to increase our production by adding on to our brewery. We would also like to expand our foot-print throughout Illinois to try to get our product to as many people as possible either at their local restaurant or bar or at their favorite grocery or liquor store. As far as the actually physical brewery is concerned, we are excited to have added Chester's BBQ as a full-time food option. We are hoping this adds to the local community by giving people another option to eat and drink, while enjoying time with friends and family in an inviting atmosphere.
Follow JT Walker's online or check them out at 401 E Main St. Mahomet, IL 61853