Equity Bank Series: B.J. Hunt – Co-Owner/Founder of Walnut River Brewing Company

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An experienced business owner and manager with an Executive MBA, B.J. has spent the last 18 years as the Director and ultimately President of a family-owned company.

Entrepreneurship runs in his blood. B.J. enjoys the challenges and has the skills to conduct business with the regulatory agencies overseeing the brewing industry.

He also brings extensive marketing and customer relations experience to Walnut River Brewing Co., as well as sales know-how.

He has been a successful fundraiser and, most importantly is passionate about business and beer.

B.J. has been honored in Wichita Business Journal’s 40 under 40, and his broad business horizon serves him well as Walnut River Brewing Co.’s Business Operator.

The Story of Walnut River Brewing Company

The story starts in 2010 when B.J. approaches one of his beer-loving friends, Jeremy Johnson, with an idea.

B.J. chats with Jeremy and explains that there really should be a brewery in the Delano District of Wichita, KS. Jeremy points B.J. in the direction of Rick Goehring, a fellow he met at various beer gatherings.

He knew Rick would be interested. B.J. and Rick talked about a craft brewery in Wichita vs. El Dorado, KS and Rick made an excellent argument for the zip code 67042. Rick won!

His vision had started 10 years before he met B.J. when he purchased the old brick building at 111 W. Locust.

The building was about 90 years old and in great need of repair, which Rick obliged. Rick wanted his brewpub so he waited, and planned, and waited. B.J. came along and tasted the beer and he knew right then and there it was going to work.

B.J. wasn’t crazy about the idea of owning a brewpub because the restaurant wasn’t the point, but he did like the idea of owning a production brewery.

The two put a pencil to it and felt they could make the numbers work. They both smilingly went to their wives and each pulled out retirement funds to invest in the company now known as Walnut River Brewing Company, LLC.

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