Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Planner - Oct. 9-11

Looks like it's going to be another fantastic Fall weekend in KC! Now that the Oktoberfest fun has come and gone (mostly), we can get back to our regularly scheduled business of BEER.

Barley's Brewhaus 20th Anniversary Month

This month marks the 20th anniversary of Barley's Brewhaus first opening and they've got a special tappings, brewer's nights, beer schools, happy hour specials, and more every single night this month of October. They've got some awesome stuff coming up, including Mother's Brewing night tonight with brewmaster Jeff Scrag, Santa Fe Brewery's Kriek tapping on Monday, Nebraska Brewing breaking out the good stuff from the cellar next Friday, and on and on. Also, New Belgium Disc Golf Tournament on Oct 24. I might just have to find my old discs for that one...

The Barley's events for this weekend include Mother's Night tonight at Barley's Leawood, Santa Fe Brewing Can Day tomorrow all day at all Barley's, and Great Divide 21st Anniversary Beers & Grand Teton American Sour Beers tappings on Sunday at Barley's Midland.

The Botanical Brewfest

This is the second year running for this alt-beerfest sponsored by Crawford Sales beer distributor and the Friends of the Arboretum and located out in the sticks. I say alt-beerfest because it's not run like your typical fest. The event is held at the Overland Park Arboretum, and the brewery tables are distributed throughout the woods along the walking trails. There's going to be about 25 breweries there--mostly local breweries and a couple regional & West Coast breweries.

There will also be food trucks, bands, and other activities going on. Given the great weather forecast and the leaves changing color right now, I can't imagine a much better thing to do than cruise the woods while drinking craft beer.

Tickets are $40 for friends of the arboretum or $50 for us commoners. You can also buy two tickets together for $90. The proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

KCPT Brew Debut @ Martin City Brewing Co

KCPT, Feast TV, and Martin City got together to brew some beer and put on a party for us! MCBC will be tapping their new beer "19" (get it--channel 19??) tomorrow that they brewed in collaboration with the kind, gentle, velvet voiced folks in public TV. The tickets for the event are $30, which will get you a sampling of local brews, some light food, and a 1-year subscription to Feast Magazine. The proceeds go to benefit KCPT, if you hadn't guessed that. Feast TV has been doing a great job of documenting our local and regional breweries lately, so if you haven't, check them out!

Green Room & Beer Paws Coconut Porter Tapping

Green Room Burgers & Beer and Beer Paws are having a release party for their Coconut Porter on Saturday at 2p. If you haven't heard of Beer Paws, they make doggy biscuits out of spent grain from our local brewers. I don't have a dog, so I wouldn't be able to tell you how much dogs like biscuits made of spent grain, but they've been making them for a while now, so they must be pretty good.

Green Room & Beer Paws collaborated on brewing the Coconut Porter and making the doggy biscuits from the beer's spent grain. The biscuits & beer will be available on the patio for any dogs who show up to the bar. I think people are invited too.

They'll also have copies of Recommended Daily's Cookies & Beer book out for sale. The cookbook contains the original Coconut Porter Beer Paws recipe! So when you come across a large amount of spent grains, you can even make your own doggy biscuits!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Boulevard 2016 Release Schedule

If you have been like me and just going through the motions this week, you may have missed the announcement from Boulevard unveiling their 2016 release schedule. Yes, I know it isn't even October yet but I'm all for looking down the road and seeing what Boulevard has in store for us in the coming year.

Boulevard plans on brewing at least 10 new beers for 2016 including 8 new Smokestack releases.

Looking at the calendar below there are a few beers that really grabbed my attention. The first beer that has me looking forward to its' release is the Early Riser Coffee Porter currently slated for a January release. I am a sucker for coffee beers so I am definitely looking forward to enjoying a couple of these during the cold winter nights.

The release schedule also shows that we will get two Rye-on-Rye variant releases next year. The first, Rye-on-Rye-on-Rye will see a release early in the year around February followed up with a yet to be announced variant released around August.

Other new beers Boulevard has slated for 2016 include Tripel Julep, Funkier Pumpkin, Love Child No. 7 and every soccer moms soon-to-be favorite beer, Chocolate Ale with Raspberries.

The entire release schedule is below for your viewing pleasure. Keep in mind that the release schedule for these beers is tentative and subject to change but we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

So tell us, which Boulevard beers are you looking forward to the most next year?

Friday, September 18, 2015

Boulevard Collaboration No. 5 with Cigar City--Release Party Tonight!

As if you didn't have enough stuff going on this weekend, here's another one for you: Boulevard is putting on a release party for their Collaboration No. 5 beer tonight! This latest beer from their collaboration department is with legendary Cigar City Brewing Co out of Florida.

The beer is being called a Tropical Pale Ale. From Boulevard: "This year's release of our annual collaboration series utilizes freshly sliced grapefruit and passion fruit juice and huge late hopping to create a pale ale that is slightly tart and super citrusy." It sounds pretty damn excellent to me for a late summer beer, and also oddly appropriate given our tropical hot/humid/rainy weather we've been having lately.
They're tapping the first keg of the beer tonight at 4pm at the Boulevard Tasting Room. They're going to have the Plantain District truck out front selling Cuban grub, and Boulevard's Trip Hogue (of Long Strange Tripel fame) providing the tunes. You should start seeing the beer on liquor store shelves and in bars by the end of September.

High Plains Brewhof

I'd be remiss if I didn't drop a quick mention for the High Plains Brewhof going on tomorrow as well. Tickets were all claimed for the event a while back, so I didn't figure you needed a lot of info since you're already all going! Needless to say though, I'm sure it'll be a great event again this year--especially with the ticketing/entrance process worked out. If you see a guy with a camera and a little beer nerd cruising around on his back, say hey.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


The official Oktoberfest 2015 Logo
It's that time of the year again--Oktoberfest! Although we are the KC Beer Blog, we should really be called the KC Craft Beer Blog, since we don't concern ourselves with the fizzy yellow stuff too often. I make an exception at Oktoberfest time though, since in reality, the fest is more about the music, lederhosen, dirndls, food, and Gemütlichkeit than the beer for me.

In reality, the Oktoberfest beer served in Munich on the Wiesn isn't even what we think of as traditional Oktoberfest or Märzen beer anymore. To be brutally honest, it's closer to a slightly more flavorful version of Bud Ice than Bob's 47. It's somewhat of a sad state of affairs, except when you consider trying to drink more than one glass of Bob's 47 in a sitting when it's being served in a Maß. On the Wiesn, I'll take something a bit lighter bodied and more carbonated for all day drinking by the liter

We've got plenty of options when it comes to great traditional Oktoberfest beers around here, though. There's the classic Bob's 47 from Boulevard, Schlafly's Oktoberfest, and my personal local favorite: Free State's Octoberfest. Urban Chestnut's Oachkatzlschwoaf (don't worry, I speak German and still can't pronounce it), is supposed to be excellent as well, although I haven't had a chance to try it yet. My favorite German Oktoberfest beer is the Ayinger Oktober Fest-Märzen, which is probably the best in the world, save for the long journey it has to make to get to KC. On the other end of the Oktoberfest beer spectrum is KC Bier Co's Festbier--a very nice beer that's closer to what's served at the real Oktoberfest (although not so close to be compared to Bud Ice).

There's a bunch of Oktoberfest events this year with a few new events even, and we've attempted to assemble all those most relevant to the beer nerds out there. And as always, we've got all these events and more up on the KC Beer Calendar. You can be sure I'll be there, lederhosen and all. Have fun and be safe! Prost!

Oktoberfest Events

Oktoberfest "Festbier" Tapping Party @ Gordon Biersch Leawood - Tomorrow 9/17, 5:30p-8:30p

First time they've put on the event. Sounds like a great deal though--$10 for a pint of the Festbier and the Bavarian buffet. They're also going to have a Volksmusik band and it all benefits the Henry's Haul charity. Also doesn't hurt that Gordon Biersch makes a pretty damned good Oktoberfest beer.

Oktoberfest Battle @ Bier Station - Fri. 9/18, 4p-1a

This is really the event to go to if you want to explore the Oktoberfest/Märzen style. Bier Station is pitting the old world against the new world, with lots of German and American beers. They're going to have 11 different Oktoberfest beers on tap, including a wood cask of KC Bier Co's Festbier.

The KC Bier Co Cask
KC Bier Co Oktoberfest - Sat. 9/19, 11a-10p & Sun. 9/20, 12p-9p

KC Bier Co, as you might expect, knows how to do Oktoberfest right. This is my personal favorite Oktoberfest celebration in town. Not only do you have KC Bier Co's great fresh lagers on hand, but you can even drink their Festbier out of a traditional wood cask if you show up early enough. They'll also have an outfit contest for best lederhosen and dirndl, carnival games, and a stein holding contest.

Grünauer Oktoberfest - Fri. 9/25, 4p-12a & Sat. 9/26, 2p-12a

This is my favorite local fest for true Oktoberfest cuisine. Some may scoff at the words "Oktoberfest cuisine" but those people are probably aren't any fun to hang out with anyway. They've also got a bunch of different Volksmusik bands coming in and do a good job keeping their imported German lagers flowing and fresh.

Lee's Summit Oktobefest - Fri., 9/25, 5p-11p & Sat. 9/26, 10a-11p

Even though it may not seem it, since beer is not the prime attraction, the Lee's Summit Oktoberfest is really the most true to form around here. Contrary to popular belief, Oktoberfest in Munich is really just a big carnival with some large beer tents included in the mix. And Lee's Summit Oktoberfest is just that--a carnival in downtown Lee's Summit with a beer tent included. They've also got German food, Volksmusik, dancing, and the whole bit. I've heard nothing but glowing reviews about the fest, although I've never managed to get down there myself.

Lee's Summit Oktoberfest

Westport Oktoberfest Pub Crawl - Sat. 9/26, 1p-5p

Another new event for this year. You buy a ticket ahead of time, and for the price you get a stein, a couple free beers, and a passport. After you hit 6 bars in Westport on your passport, you can be entered to win prizes at the after party. They're also going to have costume and stein holding contests, and lots of the bars down there are having German food and beer specials.

Take your Tin Mill stein back with
you for cheaper beer!
Hermann, Missouri Oktoberfest - Every Weekend in October

So this isn't really an Oktoberfest in KC, nor is it centered around beer, but it's my blog, and I'll post what I want to, damn it! Really, though, Oktoberfest in Hermann is a hell of a good time. Of course, you can hit up the Tin Mill brewery in town, which has a nice beer garden out back, and if you want to make a short side trip, 2nd Shift Brewing Co is just up the road in New Haven. But really, Hermann is all about the wine, and I post this because we go every year, it's tons of fun, and the most German you can get around these parts.

(Also, it's not bucking tradition that much to drink wine at Oktoberfest--there is an actual Wine Tent at the Munich Oktoberfest, and it's one of the most fun for my money.)

Renaissance Festival Oktoberfest - Sat. 10/3 & Sun. 10/4, 10a-7p

Still haven't gone to this one, and I haven't yet met anyone that has. I still post it, though, because it probably has the best mix of costumes of any of the other Oktoberfests in town... If you go, let us know how it is!

Holy-Field Winery Oktoberfest - Sat. 10/10, 12p-4p

Again, not really anything to do with beer, but I love this Oktoberfest. It's an idyllic setting, and they've usually got some good home cooked German food for relatively cheap. The wine seems pretty good to me too, although no one ever accused me of being a wine expert. But if it's good weather, you just about can't beat hanging out there for the afternoon--drinking wine, eating a brat, listening to Volksmusik, and wandering the vineyards.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Flying Saucer Sour Beer Week and KC Beer Fest

Sour beers are one of the hottest things going in the craft beer world right now. It has become commonplace for beer geeks to drive hundreds of miles to wait in line for hours just to get their hands on the latest sour beer release. If that seems like a lot of effort just to buy a beer, well you’re probably right.

Not to say that meeting new people and sharing beers with people who possess the same love for craft beer as you do at these releases isn’t fun. It’s actually a lot of fun and is a great way to try some beers that you never thought you would get within an arm’s reach of. Realistically though, not everyone can drop everything in their life to wait in line for hours on end while hanging on to a small amount of hope the beer they drove overnight for won't sell out before they reach the front of the line.

The truth is there are so many great sour beers (and beers in general) that are easily accessible and sit on liquor store and grocery store shelves every day. Sometimes it’s nice just to be able to walk into any given store and buy a beer without dealing with all the hype surrounding it.

Sour Beer Week – Flying Saucer

This week Flying Saucer is going to give you the chance to try some fantastic sour beer from five breweries who have brewed some of those rare, extremely sought after beers and will wrap up the week by hosting KC Beer Fest in the Power & Light District.

All Sour Beer Week events start at 7:00 PM and I promise you won’t have to sleep in your car overnight in order to get a pour.

The lineup for the week looks like this:

Monday 9/14 – Mikkeller Monday featuring beers from the Spontan Series including Cassis, Apricot, Blackthorn and Roseship

Thursday 9/15 – New Belgium Night featuring Eric’s Ale, Le Terroir and 2014 La Folie

Wednesday 9/16 – Prairie Artisan Ales Keep the Glass night featuring Brett C and Somewhere

Thursday 9/17 – Jolly Pumpkin Night featuring Saison X and Tales of the Last Gypsy Blender with food pairings

Friday 9/18 – Perennial Artisan Ales Night featuring Suburban Beverage, Peach Berliner Weisse and Savant Beersel

KC Beer Fest – Power & Light District

Hopefully you don’t overdo it on sour beer during the week because on Saturday September 19th Flying Saucer will be hosting this year’s KC Beer Fest and there will be a lot more great beer that needs drinking. 

This year’s festival will feature beer from over 40 breweries, rare keg tappings, live music and food available from different food trucks and gourmet food booths.

General admission tickets are still available and will get you in the door from 3:00 PM – 6:00PM. A general admission ticket includes a souvenir tasting glass with unlimited pours from more than 200 craft beers. Tickets can be purchased here.

And as if they hadn’t done enough for the week already, Flying Saucer will also be hosting a pre and post KC Beer Fest party that will include special tappings all day.

The brewery list for KC Beer Fest includes:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Short Pours - Week of 9/7/2015

I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Labor Day weekend. Here are some events to keep on your radar during this short week.

Show-Me Sour Meet the Brewers – Boulevard Tasting Room
If you were one of the thousands who braved the heat earlier this summer to attend Boulevardia, I am sure you remember the disappointment in learning that the celebration beer planned for the weekend, a collaboration between Boulevard Brewing and Side Project Brewing labeled Show-Me Sour, would not be available with a general admission ticket due to delays in the Missouri registration process. It was an unfortunate situation for all those involved but out of the hands of Boulevard and Side Project.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Festival of the Lost Township

Labor Day weekend is one of my favorite weekends of the year. Not only do we get a three day weekend but it is also the unofficial end of summer which means fall is right around the corner. This fall is already lining up to be a busy one with a jam-packed schedule of beer events in the upcoming months and it all starts this weekend. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a long weekend than with a beer festival. The best part is you’ll get an extra day to recover before you have to go back to work and spend the majority of your day staring at your cubicle mate’s “inspirational” cat posters.

This Saturday September 5th from 11:00am until 4:00pm, Crane Brewing Company will be hosting the Inaugural Festival of the Lost Township in downtown Raytown, MO at 62nd and Raytown Road.