Friday, December 2, 2016

Funky Pumpkin We Hardly New You--Boulevard's Updated 2017 Release Calendar

Have we reached Peak Pumpkin? Given the massive explosion of pumpkin beers this season and with Boulevard's updated 2017 release calendar I think we may have--Boulevard will no longer be producing Funky Pumpkin OR Funkier Pumpkin next year. Boulevard already announced a while back that Funky Pumpkin wasn't going to be making a return, but had said that Funkier Pumpkin (the jazzed up version of Funky Pumpkin) would be getting released again in September 2017. But they just released a revised 2017 calendar and Funkier Pumpkin is not planned for release.

This is just a revision of the previously released 2017 calendar, so I won't go into a long lament on beers gone by and the craziness of craft brewery turnover these days, but I wanted to give you all a quick update on the changes from the previous 2017 calendar release.

Funkier Pumpkin is by far the biggest update. Other changes include:

  • Changeling Dark Sour is a new limited release beer planned for May 2017 *Update--Changeling Dark Sour is actually just the new name for the Barrel Aged Blend planned with the original 2017 Release Calendar. The name was added to this release calendar update to avoid confusion with the Barrel Aged Blend Collaboration #6 released a few weeks ago.*
  • Barrel Aged Blend originally planned for a May 2017 limited release was instead released as Collaboration #6 a few weeks ago. (See the note above)
  • Hibiscus Gose was moved from the "Sour Series" to the "Seasonal" series. This means that there won't be any new summer seasonal next year as was originally planned, and it also means that Hibiscus Gose will get a longer run (April-August) than if it had been hemmed in between Show Me Sour and Berliner Weisse in the Sour Series (May-July). 
  • Milk Stout will be named Tough Kitty Milk Stout
  • Imperial Pilsner will be named Nobel Prize Imperial Pilsner

Overall these all seem like positive updates unless you were a fan of Funk/Funkier Pumpkin. If you are, go out and buy as much as you can find because it's the last you'll get of it! Here's the updated full release calendar (click the image for a larger view).

Boulevard's Updated 2017 Release Calendar

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Screenland Armour's Arts & Crafts Festival is this Weekend!

Man has it been a year for festivals...by my count we had nearly 30 beer festivals in Kansas City this year. This is pretty mind boggling to me considering we used to have about 3 festivals per year and one of them was on top of a parking garage 15 miles from downtown.

The quality of festivals has increased drastically as well. It used to be that about half the festival was various shitty beers from AB, Miller, and Coors. I mean, it was pretty awesome being able to compare Bud Ice, Bud Light, Bud, and Bud Select all at once, but I guess I'd rather find my favorite Crane beer instead. Even the worst of festival this year was better than the best festivals 7 or 8 years ago. And for the most part the festivals cost exactly the same amount of money now that they did then somehow.

Screenland Armour's Arts & Crafts Beer, Music, and Movie Fest is this Weekend!

Anyway, enough talk about shitty beer festivals of yore. This weekend we have one more chance this year to bask in the glory of all-you-can-drink beer samples at one of the best and most unique beer fests in KC. Screenland Armour in North KC is hosting their annual Arts & Crafts Festival this weekend! The fest is an epic celebration of craft beers, spirits, independent films, local music, art, and crafts, AND it all benefits KC Pet Project. What more could you ask for? Oh, how about the festival being limited to 250 tickets per tasting session? No jostling in line at this fest!

Since this is the KC Beer Blog and not the KC Indy Film Blog or KC Indy Music Blog, I'm not going to dwell too much on those sides of the fest since my opinion would be woefully uninformed. However, I can guarantee you that the folks at the Screenland have picked out a solid lineup of movies and local bands. You can't go wrong with movies with titles like Frankenstein Created Bikers.

This year the beer festival looks better than ever, and they have a number of distinct focuses for different tasting sessions which is pretty cool. It's also very cool that the sampling sessions go for long periods so that you can sample some, go in and watch a movie, and come out and sample more. They also have a range of prices for these various sessions so you can really customize your experience. You can find tickets for each of these sessions here. And most importantly, the beer list looks epic too (at the bottom of this post). Here's the rundown of what each session has to offer:

Friday

The Friday tasting session runs from 5pm - 10pm and focuses on local and regional craft beers. This session is $35. The Friday pass for $35 also gets you into all of the movies that night.


Saturday

The Saturday tasting session runs from 6pm - 10pm (with VIP starting at 5pm) and focuses on rare/vintage beers and national brands. This session is $45 for GA (beer tasting only). (To get into the VIP, you need the 3-day VIP pass for $140 which comes with a bunch of other stuff too). If you want to get into the movies also, the pass is $60 for Saturday.


Sunday

The Sunday tasting session runs from 1pm - 5pm and focuses on homebrews and the "left of the fest" brews (it's like the Sunday after Thanksgiving but for beers!). This session is $30 which gets you in for beer sampling and all the movies.

You can also get an all-weekend VIP pass that gets you into everything for $140. For what it's worth, this seems like a steal to me if you have the stamina to do 3 beer fests in 3 days (not sure that this old man can handle it, but I'm sure there are plenty of you out there who could!).

Add to all this the fact that you'll end up in North KC for a substantial portion of your weekend with this fest and you'll have time to check out the exploding scene up there. Go early for some coffee and pre-gaming at Colony Espresso & Beer Bar and eat some chicken curry soup for lunch at Le Monde to fortify yourself for drinking. Then hit up the tap rooms at Cinderblock, Calibration, and Big Rip and swing by Grain 2 Glass for some to-go brews from their bottle case. And why not just round it out with a little pickleball too at Chicken & Pickle! North KC is a pretty awesome corner of town that I bet most of you have never been to. So check it out!

The Beer List


Here's the full rundown of beers for each session:

Friday


COOP: F5, DNR, Spare Rib Pale Ale, Horny Toad
​Nebraska: IPA, Cardinal Pale Ale, Collab Mosiac IPA
​Odell: Mercenary, Mountain Standard
​Cinder Block: Cinder Noel, Porter, Collab IPA
​Torn Label: 2015 Old Believer Imperial Stout
​Big Rip Brewing Co: Pennywise Sweet Potato, Chai Milk Stout
Zipline Brewing Co: IPA, Kolsh, Oatmeal Stout
Schlafly: Blackberry Cider, English Mild
Tallgrass: Backpacker Brown, Raspberry Jam, One Eyed Jacques, Top Rope IPA
Piney River: Missouri Mule IPA, Black Walnut Wheat
Colony Brewing Co: Iron Street Sour, Kvffee Shvp Kvlsch(Coffee Kolsh), Lil' Scarbrough (red IPA)
​Empyrean: Bourbon Barrel Barley Wine, Peanut Butter Porter, Dark Side Vanilla Porter
​Crane: TBA
​Boulevard Brewing Co: TBA
​4 Hands Brewing Co: Chocolate Milk Stout, Incarnation IPA, Single Speed
​Mother's Brewing Co: 2014 Imperial 3 Blind Mice, 2015 Imperial 3 Blind Mice
​Free State Brewing Co: 2015 Old Backus Barleywine, Frost Flower Pilsner
​KC Bier Co: Dunkel, Hefeweizen, Weizenbock
​Rock and Run Brewing: Rainbow in the Dark, Apricot Bleach Blonde, Ryely Porter
Martin City: 2016 Bourbon Barrel Abbey, 2016 Potier, 2015 Dreamquest, 2015 Coming Home, 2015 Quad Feci, IPA, Blonde, Abbey, Monk in Scotland

Saturday


Cinder Block: 14 Brand Collapse, Black Squirrel Cider, Collaboration NE Style Double IPA
​Odell: 15 Pina Agria, 15 Brazzle, Friek, Firkin of Porter w/peppermint
​COOP: Coconut Porter, Blood Orange Horny Toad and Territorial Reserve Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
​Nebraska Brewing: Fathead Barleywine, Apricot Au Poivre Saison
​Founders: KBS (2016), Breakfast Stout, PC Pils
​Breckenridge: Twenty Five: Imperial Vanilla Porter aged in rum barrels
​Unita: Tangerine Hop Nosh, Sour Apricot IPA
​Urban Chestnut: Cherry Thrales, Zwickel, Fantasyland IPA
​Cantillon: 2013 Lou Pepe, Classic Gueze
Crooked Stave: 2015 Blackberry Origins
3 Frontens: Oude Kriek, Oude Gueuze
4 Hands: Gingerbread Chocolate Milk Stout, Psycho Killer, Vol. 4
Lagunitas: Nighttime IPA, TuberFest
Avery: 2015 Tectum Et Elix, 2015 Fotuna, 2014 5 Monks, Joes Pilsner
Great Divide: 2014 Peach Grand Cru, 2015 Chocolate Yeti, 22nd Anniversary Sour
Stone: 2015 Chai Imperial Stout, BA Bitter Chocolate Oakmeal, Enjoy By 12.25
North Coast: 2013 Old Stock Ale, Barrel Aged Old Rasputin 17
New Holland: Hoptronix, Incorrigible Reserve
Oskar Blues: BA Ten Fidy, Priscilla
Schlafly: Blackberry Cider, Mild
Deschutes: 2015 Stoic, Black Butte 26
Prairie: 2015 Prairie Bomb, 2016 Paradise, Birthday Bomb, 2015 Americana, 2015 Apple Brandy Noir, 2015 Somewhere, 2015 Okie, 2015 OK-SI, 2015 Pirate Bomb
Jester King: Le Petie Prince (2015), Beachtimez Sportzketball
Jolly Pumpkin: 2013 La Roja, 2013 Bam Biere, 2013 Bam Noire, 2014 Calabaza Blanca,
New Belgium: Kriek (2015), LOF Anne Francoise
Bells: Traverse City Whiskey Barrel Jupiter, Christmas Ale
Alpine: Willy Vanilly, Duet IPA
Goose Island: 2015 BCBS, 2016 BCBS
Ritterguts Gose (2014)
Mothers: 2015 milf, 2015 Raspberry 3 Blind Mice
Boulevard: Love Child No. 5, 2015 Imperial Aztec, 2015 Saison Brett, 2016 Saison Brett, 2016 Rye on Rye on Rye
Stillwater: Gose Gone Wild, Gose Gone Wild Tijuana, Gose Gone Wild Phuket
Perennial Artisan - TBA
River North: 2015 Whiskey J Marie, 2015 Cabernet J Marie
Firestone Walker: Double Jack, Wookie Jack, Luponic Vol 4
Sierra Nevada: Barrel Aged Narwhal w/black and red currants

Sunday


Sundays beers will feature local home brewers competing for a scale up with Cinder Block Brewery.

We will also feature beers left over from Friday and Saturday festivals in a TBD day of list.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Adventures of Mike and Todd at TAPPED: THE ULTIMATE CRAFT BEER FEST

A while ago (apologize for the delay due to work and holidays) I had the pleasure of attending a beer event for the first time as a KC Beer Blog representative. Which, in and of itself, is an exciting and memorable experience. But, what made it even more fun, informational, and almost reach a level of respectful debauchery, was getting to relish in its glory with one of our new content writers: Mike Palikij. I would like to take this opportunity to enthusiastically introduce Mike Palikij to the KC Beer Blog family.



Mike would like to say a few words introducing himself. As with most things, Mike is not following the correct order of events…

Saturday, November 26, 2016

What's in a Name: Pumpkin Beer

Ok, so nobody actually uses these giant pumpkins for anything
but Jack-o-lanterns. Look for the softball sized pumpkins to eat.
On this most American of holidays today, where we all gather together to feast, drink, and have heated arguments about politics and conspiracy theories with our relatives, I thought it appropriate to delve into our own most contentious of issues in the craft beer world: Pumpkin Beer. Possibly the most divisive beer I know of, most people either love these beers or detest them.

First, we have to clear one thing up. There is not one "pumpkin beer" style. There are actually two somewhat distinct, somewhat overlapping styles. There is "pumpkin beer" actually brewed with pumpkin, and there is "pumpkin spice beer" that is brewed to mimic pumpkin pie. I feel that pumpkin pie is actually the second greatest gift the pilgrims gave America after beer, so I find this just perfect.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

New KC Beer Blog Writer Intro/Tapped: The Ultimate Craft Beer Festival


There are few milestones in my life that I have a crystal-clear-photographic-type memory of:
Beer blog
1. Taking a sip of my very first beer (2nd Grade: Tsingtao).  Please comment below to share your first beer experience

2. The first time I discovered the good old fashioned art of visiting Rosy Palm and her five daughters (Which I thought would be the best kick life would have to offer, until I discovered the effects of drinking multiple beers). Please DO NOT share this first experience.

3. The day I married my beautiful wife, which greatly reduced the frequency and necessity of my second milestone. And finally,

4. My first contribution to supporting a vibrant, expanding, and local culture of Kansas City beer drinkers.

I am exceedingly grateful to have the opportunity to introduce myself to the loyal and new readers of the KC Beer Blog. My name is Todd Crippen, and I love beer.

Now that my introduction is complete, back to business. I’m excited to inform you beer drinkers of an exciting event taking place this Saturday, November 5th from 12-4. The event is called Tapped: The Ultimate Craft Beer Festival.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

The Miraculous Cure-All Superfood: Beer

There's always a lot of talk of this or that new berry or nut or leafy green that's the new superfood that's going to cure all your ails and add years onto your life. Most of these turn out to be scams backed up by pseudo-science. But there's one superfood that you've never heard touted by Dr. Oz or seen on a late-night infomercial. Even though this superfood has been shown in hundreds of clinical medical studies to reduce the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, cancer, dementia, and be better for your bones than drinking milk.

So what is this miracle cure-all superfood? Why it's BEER, of course! It's true--drinking beer (and also other alcoholic beverages) is one of single healthiest thing you can do. And in most cases you may be increasing your risk of dying by abstaining from alcohol. Yes, you read that right. You'll probably die sooner if you don't drink.

Alcohol is a drug. Heroin is a drug. They are the same. Apparently
But, beer can't really be good for you if it also tastes great and makes you feel good, right? Our protestant/puritanical beliefs are so deeply rooted in our culture we hardly realize they're there and can hardly shake them. It was Martin Luther that made you believe that if something tastes good, feels good, or makes you happy, it must be bad for you (and your eternal soul). It doesn't help that the neo-prohibitionists have been hammering home the idea that alcohol is evil since we were kids. Remember when you learned that alcohol is a drug just like heroin in DARE? It's hard for us to accept that a mind-altering substance that you enjoy consuming can also be amazingly good for your physical and mental health. But guess what--Martin Luther was dead wrong.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Even More Oktoberfest (And Another New Beer Fest!)

There are two new Oktoberfests in town that were just recently announced at Power & Light and in Lawrence, and a new beer fest at Grinders. And pay attention, because two of these events are tomorrow! Being new, I can't say whether these are going to be great events or not (as we've seen in the past, the devil is in the details with beer festivals), but they all sound like solid events based on their info so far. And all seem like a relatively good value as well. 

And since baseball is over and it's Chiefs & Sporting bye week, what else have you got to do! Of course, there's always K-State football (among other less important universities around here...), but they don't play until 7:00pm, so the beer fest & Oktoberfest tomorrow will just be a good warm up for the game! Details on the events are below.