WAYNE – After nearly three weeks of being open, Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company will officially open their doors to the community this weekend.
The announcement came via Facebook on November 14 from owner Greg Ptacek that a grand opening event is scheduled for Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2. Johnnie Byrd Brewing Company is located at 121 Pearl Street, right next to 1912 Emporium.
After having a successful career in Economic Development in Neligh, Ptacek wondered what business would he want to start.
“It always came down to brewery,” said Ptacek. “So, I decided well if I want to start a brewery maybe I should think about learning how to actually brew beer. So, about two years ago I bought a book, read it front to back and decided I loved baking beer.”
The brewery will be open one hour earlier than normal hours from 3 – 11 p.m. on Friday with a ribbon cutting scheduled for 4 p.m. and then 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Saturday. Tours on Friday will be held at 5 and 6 p.m. while tours are scheduled for 4, 5 and 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The name of the business comes from the grandfather of Greg.
“My last name, Ptacek means “littlebird” in Czech,” Ptacek added. “So, my Grandpa John when he was in his 20’s decided to start a band and he named the band Johnnie Bird Orchestra.”
Where the customers enter is called the taproom, can hold about 46 people while there is an overflow room that holds another 65 down a hallway in the back. Come Spring 2018 a beer garden will add another 50 people on the north side of the building.
The back room also holds the production facility where a brewhouse, fermentation rooms and walk-in coolers are located.