Friday, April 7, 2017

The Spring Craft Beer Drinking Planner -- The 9 KC Beer Fests You Won't Want to Miss

Festival season is in full swing! Over the next 2 1/2 months before we hit the dog days of summer, we've got a busy schedule of beer fests, bike rides, and patio drinking. So in order to help you plan out your schedule, we've put together a spring planner with all the beer fests coming up. The festival madness starts tomorrow with Kegs & Eggs at the Ren Fest Grounds and the Spring Fling Beer Fest in North KC!

Let's hope for weather this year like we had at
Parkville in 2016!
There's one very notable omission to this list which has me very bummed out--it doesn't appear that Waldo Hopfest is happening this year. This was one of my favorites every year, given it's great beer lineup, the top notch festival organization, and the fact that it was only 2 miles from my house. Maybe we need to start a new Twitter campaign to get them to bring it back!

Well, enough lamenting about the past. Let's talk about the future. We've got all the details you need to plan out your Spring beer drinking out including dates, times, tickets, and other info here. We'll also be posting more in depth coverage about our favorite fests like Parkville, Tour de Bier, and Nanobrew fest as we get closer to time and might just have some discount codes for tickets for you too.... So stay tuned!

KC Spring Beer Fest Lineup

Kegs and Eggs 
April 8
Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Renaissance Festival Grounds
Tickets: $45 GA / $15 DD
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Spring Fling Homebrew Festival
April 8
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: iWerx in North KC
Tickets: $25 GA / $35 GA w/ T-Shirt
Info: Facebook | Facebook Event

Parkville Microbrew Festival
April 29
Time: 11:00am - 5:00pm (Sampling starts at 1:00pm)
Location: English Landing in Parkville
Tickets: $35 GA Online / $45 GA at the door / DDs Free
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Tour de Bier
May 14
Time: Rides start 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, Lunch party at Knuckleheads
Location: Start at Knuckleheads Saloon
Tickets: $40 through March 31
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter 

Brew B Que
May 20
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Renaissance Festival Grounds
Tickets: $35 GA / $55 VIP / $5 DDs
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event

Get Ripped
June 3
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Big Rip in North KC
Tickets: $25 GA Presale / $30 GA at the Door
Info: Website | Facebook Event

Boulevardia Taps & Tastes
June 17
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Stockyard District
Tickets: $85 GA (Still Available) / $115 VIP (Sold Out)
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter
Past KCBB Coverage: Boulevardia Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

KC Nanobrew Festival
June 24
Time: 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Berkley Riverfront Park
Tickets: $35 GA / DDs Free
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Westport Beer Festival
June 24
Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Tickets: TBD - Last year was $35 GA Presale / $40 GA at the door

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Dogfish Head Arrives in KC -- All Because of One Local KC Beer Supernerd!

Dogfish Head beer is coming to Missouri!
Hot on the heels of the last huge announcement in the KC craft beer world of AleSmith coming to town, we have more exciting news. A brewery on par with and AleSmith's quality but with more depth and breadth of brewing, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, just hit the shelves and taps in KC! Many of you no doubt know superstar brewer and owner Sam Calagione from his outsized personality and short lived TV show on the Discovery Channel a couple years ago. Even though the show was only 6 episodes, it left a lasting impression in the US craft beer world, and was one of the few shows about brewing that I've ever actually enjoyed. You should definitely check it out if you haven't yet.

Dogfish Head was one of the original wacky breweries, founded in 1995, and experimenting with crazy stuff like yeast harvested from millennia old beer steins, chewed corn chica, ingredients from all over the world, and more ever since. Their motto is Off-Centered Ales for Off-Centered People, and they definitely live up to it. In addition to this crazy stuff, they just make damn good core lineup brews like the famous 60 minute / 90 minute / 120 minute IPA series.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

You Heard it Here First -- AleSmith Coming to KC!

AleSmith coming to the KS side of KC in mid-May.
One of the best breweries in the world is finally coming to the KC Metro! AleSmith Brewing Co from San Diego just signed a deal with Standard Beverage to start distribution of their beers on the Kansas side of the state line. The beers should hit the shelves about two months from now in mid-May.

AleSmith is near legendary in the craft beer world, being one of the first truly world class breweries to emerge from the US craft brewing scene in the late '90s. AleSmith's Speedway Stout has been consistently rated in the top 25 beers in the world since I can remember first logging onto RateBeer and BeerAdvocate back in the day. And in contrast to a lot of brands that have lost some of their allure once widely distributed, AleSmith has maintained their sterling reputation among craft beer geeks across the country. 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2016: The Year of The IPA

2016 was the Year of the IPA. Not necessarily
a bad thing!
Beer Connoisseur magazine recently published some figures from IRI Worldwide about retail beer sales in 2016 (retail meaning beers sold by liquor stores, convenience stores, grocery stores, etc--not bar sales or tap-room sales). Being the data nerd that I am, I went to work in Excel to glean all insights I could from the sales figures (with the spreadsheet embedded at the bottom of this post if you're also a data nerd like me). And wouldn't you know, 2016 was the Year of The IPA. I think most of us felt this intuitively, but the sales figures were still rather shocking to me.

Overall, retail craft beer sales were up 8.2% in the US and topped $3.5 billion. And IPAs accounted for nearly 1/3 of these sales. The total retail sales of IPAs in the US in 2016 was just over $1 billion. Yes, we bought over a billion dollars worth of IPAs at bottle shops in 2016.  And not only that, but IPAs accounted for over 70% of all of the growth in retail craft beer sales in 2016.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

New Bar Coming to Westport and we got you tickets

Anyone who has gone to Westport in last year will have noticed a distinct air of change.  McCoy’s tore down their old deck that has been around since I was old enough to start sneaking into bars. Of course there are promises of opening an even better deck (Which this writer is pumped about). There is a buzz around the area that two new condos may be moving into the area.  Not to mention the countless new trendy food spots that have opened up.  Heck, even the staple Indian place has decided to do ditch the name Korma Sutra in favor of Moti Mahal.  The food is still great though.  This weekend welcomes yet another change to the Westport scene with a brand new bar called HopCat

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Boulevardia Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

It's that time of year again...festival season! Ok, so "festival season" might be becoming an outdated term. Back in my day....damn I'm getting too old for this shit....pretty much all of the beer festivals of the year were in the mid-March to Memorial Day span. Then there was usually an odd one or two festivals in the fall, but that was it. Now it seems like we've got a festival on every weekend outside of a short summer and winter break. So I hope you've recovered since New Years and are ready for some beer drinking. 

We'll be covering all of the good festivals here, of course, with the first ones coming up in early March. But the first festival you need to think about is Boulevardia! Although Boulevardia is pretty much the last festival of the Spring season before the dog days of summer, it's the first that you have to buy tickets for. Despite the high price, the high demand for Boulevardia tickets has led to them selling out within 15-20 minutes of being posted in the past three years. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The 6 New Breweries to Look Out for This Year!

Despite the predictions that 2017 will be the worst year EVER, and that we're closing in on the End Times, there are still certainly things to be happy about. Not the least of these things is Beer! It already looks like it's going to be another big year for beer for KC. As of today, we have 6 new breweries planned for 2017 openings!

If all these breweries in planning come to fruition, we'll have fully 28 breweries and brewpubs in the KC Metro area. This doesn't even quite get us above the national average per capita breweries, but is a hell of a lot better than where we were just a couple years ago. (We've still got a very long way to go compared to Denver with 131 breweries in the metro.)

But the absolute number of breweries in KC is not what I'm most excited about with these new openings. What I'm most excited about is the fact that these breweries are not all opening just in the Crossroads and North KC--we're actually getting breweries in the 'burbs! I've been talking for a long time about the NE Johnson County and Lee's Summit areas as being areas with a huge craft beer demand that have been historically under-served.

That is no more because we're now going to have 2 breweries in Lee's Summit and 1 in Overland Park! Brookside will get it's first brewery ever in 2017 as well. And hopefully more will follow in their footsteps (assuming the angry silver-hairs that control the planning commissions and zoning laws loosen up a bit when they realize these craft breweries don't lead to the demise of their neighborhoods).

As always, congratulations to all the new brewers! It's an enormous accomplishment just to get to opening day given all the legal, logistical, and financial challenges to opening a brewery. Here's the breweries to go drink at today and look out for this year!