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Community brewery: Go on a self-guided tour, maybe meet a chicken & try the beer at Kaktus Brewing

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Kaktus Brewing Company owner Dana Koller shows off some of the craft beers his brewery offers. (Courtesy of Kaktus Brewing Company)

Kaktus Brewing Company owner Dana Koller shows off some of the craft beers his brewery offers. (Courtesy of Kaktus Brewing Company)

Kaktus Brewing Company allows its patrons to have a run of the place when it comes to seeing what makes the brewery tick.

Before guests even reach the tap area, they immediately enter the self-guided tour. They can go behind the scenes at their leisure to see how Kaktus operates and learn more about the ingredients it uses in its craft beers.

“We are classified as a community brewery,” Kaktus owner Dana Koller said. “We want to give people the feeling that this is their place and it is.”

Other interesting things to see at Kaktus are its 50-panel solar array with a 6-kilowatt system, its use of recycled water and its house chickens. All contribute to the brewery’s mission to model sustainable living and working practices.

“It takes care of about 35 percent of our power usage so we do look to double that system in the near future,” Koller said of the solar array. “What is nice is we can take this as far as we want to go with sustainable energy. One of the other things is we are reusing our wastewater. We use a reverse osmosis system. Instead of getting rid of the water, we use it to irrigate our plants and things on our property.”

Kaktus also feeds its 15 chickens with food that patrons do not finish. The leftover food also is used for compost, Koller said.

Kaktus might be getting to be known for its tours and sustainable energy practices, but it is best known for its craft beer. Currently, Kaktus is serving up a traditional bock.

“A lot of people are trying to decipher if they like a light or a dark, this is dead-center in the middle of both,” Koller said. “It’s fun for people to try.”

Koller said bock originated as a form of lager-style beer.

“It was used by monks as a nutritional beer while they were fasting,” he said. “It’s a bit more hoppy. Because of the higher hops, you get more aroma and more pungent flavor than you would normally get out of a light style beer.”

For a full list of Kaktus beers and a menu, visit kaktusbrewery.com.

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