Fields & Ivy, the newest brewery in Lawrence, Kansas, is an impressive operation – it features a canning line and a capacity to make over 15,000 barrels of beer annually, as well as a taproom and a large outdoor beer garden with lots of room for kids to play and adults to lounge and drink. There is also a brick-oven pizza restaurant, with space for live bands to play. Surprisingly though, a visit here is not an overwhelming one. It still feels like a comfortable, Lawrence-centric hangout – there just happens to be a lot of beer to go around.
Fields & Ivy is the brainchild of Cory Johnston, who has been a homebrewer for the past 10 years. In addition to owning Fields & Ivy, Johnston is also a partner in Wellsville, Kansas’ Great Plains Custom Grain Co. along with Gary Van Horn. Great Plains produces local strains of wheat, barley and corn for a number of local breweries, including, now, Fields & Ivy.
The Wellsville, Kansas, company grows wheat, barley and corn primarily for local brewers and distillers.
Johnston and his team began construction on Fields & Ivy last fall, and the brewery and restaurant opened in early summer. Due to some unforeseen equipment delays, brewing didn’t begin until several weeks after Fields & Ivy opened its doors, but it is now operating at full steam under head brewer Dan Chivetta (Trailhead Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co.), and is serving a full range of its own beers in addition to a number of guest taps.
On Fields & Ivy’s current summer lineup is its flagship Summer Pasture, a wheat beer made with Great Plains Custom Grain’s soft red winter wheat, bitter orange peel and locally sourced honey. Also available is the Summer Sundown, a tart raspberry rosé, and the Breezedale, a fruit-tinged New England IPA, made with Vic Secret and El Dorado hops. The Belgian Wire is a Trappist-style dubbel made with malted and raw wheat along with dark date syrup, imparting a rich flavor (and a high ABV). Fields & Ivy also serves a porter (the Prairie Star), an American Strong Ale (Broken Soil) and an English Ale on a nitro tap, well, because it tastes better that way. Beers range from $2 for a tasting glass to $15 for take-home growlers.
Chef Kodiak Baer heads up Fields & Ivy’s kitchen, which utilizes local produce from farms and suppliers including Crum’s Heirlooms, Maseualkwalli Farms, Hudson Cream Flour Mill, Little Greens on the Prairie and more. Start the meal off with, among other options, some butter bean hummus, served with chickpea-kale fritters, or the ancho corn dip, made with diced ancho peppers, chipotle-dusted white Cheddar and fire-roasted corn, served with blue corn chips made in-house with tortillas from Yoli Tortilleria ($9 to $11). Several fresh salads are also available, including a baby kale salad with Tillamook Cheddar, figs, sun-dried cranberries and a pretzel crostini; or the BLT salad, featuring applewood-smoked bacon, gorgonzola, avocado, tomato and egg in a creamy basil-buttermilk dressing. The house salad is simple but impressive, featuring baby greens along with fresh garden carrots, tomato, cucumber, red onion and sunflower seeds, drizzled with a lemon-Parmesan vinaigrette ($7 to $13).
The star dishes at Fields & Ivy, however, are its brick-oven pizzas. Customers can opt for 9-inch, 12-inch or 16-inch hand-pressed pizzas, or for a 12” cauliflower crust. Build your own pizza with ingredients including hand-cranked sausage, Bolognese meatballs, roasted garlic chicken, Beyond Meat vegan sausage, caramelized onion, artichokes, arugula, kalamata olives and much more. Or, customers can opt for specialty pizzas like the white pizza, made with roasted garlic white sauce, Pecorino, Fontina, Parmesan, torn basil and oregano (additional clams are optional). The sausage and peppers pizza features Fields & Ivy’s 12-hour red sauce with hand-cranked Italian sausage, blistered peppers, caramelized onion and tomatoes with a mozzarella-Provolone blend, dusted with Parmesan. The Fig & Pig features apple-fig jam, prosciutto, applewood bacon, caramelized red onion, baby arugula, Fontina and a mozzarella-Provolone blend, topped with olive oil ($7 to $21).
Fields & Ivy has proven to be a welcome entrant to southeast Lawrence, an area generally underserved by locally-owned restaurants. The taproom is lively, and the beer garden popular with and welcoming to families. There is also no such thing as a bad time for pizza and beer.
Fields and Ivy is open Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 10pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am to 11pm.
Fields & Ivy Brewery, 706 East 23rd St., Lawrence, Kansas, 785.274.8429, fieldsandivy.com