Monday, May 18, 2015

New Belgium’s 2015 Clips Beer and Film Tour

Like most kids, movies had a major influence on my childhood.  Whether I was in the backyard trying to destroy the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, chasing my sister around the house while sporting a fake green nose and orange bandana armed with nun chucks or battling Big Boy Caprice and his mob with a fake tommy gun, movies helped shape my imagination and probably had my parents asking themselves if something was wrong with me on a few occasions.

While I may not have pursued a career in film making, thousands of other people find inspiration when they see these adventures unfold on the silver screen and use film as an outlet to tell their own stories.   In an effort to continue to promote and encourage people to pursue film, New Belgium Brewing will be taking their Clips Beer and Film Tour on the road for the sixth consecutive year.

This Thursday May 21st from 7:00pm-10:30pm, New Belgium will be making a stop at Theis Park in Kansas City for their annual Clips Beer and Film Tour.  Admission is free for this event and all ages are welcome.  

New Belgium describes the annual event as, “a beer-toting, film-traveling, nonprofit-benefiting show going coast-to-coast hitting 21 cities in its sixth year with 100 percent of the proceeds from beer sales benefiting local nonprofits.  Since its inception in 2010, Clips has raised more than $520,000 for nonprofits nationwide.  In addition to the beers and films, each tour stop features local food vendors and a waste team who is tasked with diverting as much waste from our landfills as possible.”

Each year New Belgium hand selects approximately 15 films from over 100 submissions to feature on the tour.  New Belgium explains this year’s films will, “touch on diverse topics – outdoor adventure, environmental activism, comedy, art, craft beer and more.  All films last under five minutes.  Our selected filmmakers come from all walks of life, from basement hobbyists to professional feature-length directors.”  Each film will be projected on a giant 30 foot inflatable movie screen, so there will not be a bad seat in the house.

Now you know if New Belgium is in town, they certainly are not coming empty-handed.  In addition to bringing some of their core and seasonal lineup of beers, New Belgium will also be offering some of their more limited beers from the Lips of Faith series along with Film Noir Stout, which will only be available at this event.  New Belgium describes Film Noir Stout as, “a caramel, chocolate, vanilla, milk, imperial milk stout.  Only one keg of this big, malty, roasty brew will be available.  Film Noir is basically a milk dud in beer EPIC milk dud in beer form.”

The tentative beer list for the evening looks like this:

Film Noir Stout
Cocoa Mole
La Folie
Oatmeal IPA
Pear Ginger Beer
Rampant Imperial IPA
Skinny Dip
Transatlantique Kriek
Blue Paddle
Fat Tire
Ranger IPA
Slow Ride Session IPA
Snapshot Wheat

Beers will be sold in 3 ounce samples for $1.50 or 12 ounce pours for $6.00.  One hundred percent of the proceeds from beer sales will benefit BikeWalkKC which is a member-supported nonprofit organization that works to make Greater Kansas City a safer and more accessible place to walk, bicycle, live, work and play.

Clips Beer and Film Tour event pages can be found and shared on Facebook at   The Clips Beer and Film Tour is also active on Instagram @clipsbeerandfilmtour #clipstour.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Short Pours - 5/14/15

What a week! ACBW is just rolling on, with plenty of events still happening in the next couple days. Had to get some other quick updates and exciting news coming out to you in the meantime!

Torn Label & Crane Brewing Omega Saison Collaboration

Torn Label is quickly becoming my favorite new brewery in town. It seems like every style they touch they turn to gold, especially their hopped up beers. Likewise for Crane and their Belgians and sours. So I was very excited to here that they're doing a hopped up American saison collaboration. I'm fairly certain that this beer is going to be amazing. Right now they're waiting on label approval from the State (Jeff City is about 2 months behind in their pointless rubber stamping process right now), but they should have the beer out sometime this summer. We'll definitely be letting you know when this one is out.

Description of Omega Saison from the brewers:

Upon the very first sip, the intersection of the collaboration comes through: a generous array of bright, crisp orange peel and passionfruit aromatics harmonize with classic farmhouse notes of hay, subtle white pepper, and lemon bread. Qualities not unlike a Belgian IPA, but the incomparable Dupont yeast strain anchors this firmly to the realm of saison. A vibrant, floral finish completes the perfect marriage of bitter and Belgian.

Crane Brewing Crowdfunding

Speaking of Crane Brewing, they're closing in on opening up their full production facility. As usual with opening a brewery, they've gone over their initial budget. Because they've already raised about $750,000 for their facility, the $40,000 they're trying to raise isn't a make or break deal. (Although the dollar amount is similar, this is in no way similar to the last major crowdfunded brewery in KC...)

They could go back to their investors and bankers to raise this extra capital, but that takes time--and they know we don't want to wait around. We want Crane beer now! So in the interest of speed, and to give all of you good people a chance to be a part of the brewery, they've opened up the crowdfunding opportunity. Check out all the details on their crowdfunding website. You can also read an interview with Crane co-founder Chris Meyers with more info about the campaign over on KC Beer Scouts.

Bus to Mother's

The annual contest to get a spot on the Bus to Mother's is on! What is the Bus to Mother's, you ask? Well, basically, Central States Beverage loads up a giant tour bus with a bunch of beer nerds, drives down to Mother's Brewing Co in Springfield, and everyone drinks a shitload of fantastic beer for free! Now that I've piqued your interest--you may ask how to get in on this sweet event. Check out Central State's twitter feed for the details on how to secure yourself a spot!

HopFest Beer List

The organizers of HopFest have released their complete list of brews out there this weekend so you can start getting the game plan together. You're going to have to have a game plan to try everything you want. My plan is always the same--wander aimlessly and just drink a bunch of beer. Also in my game plan--never pull out a smartphone to rate a beer at a fest. (Yes, this is a thinly veiled plea--we think you're all cool people and we'd like to talk to you instead of just looking around at sea of Untappd zombies!)

The Full List (* means it's a VIP tapping):

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

HopFest Ticket Giveaway

So the organizers of HopFest are pretty cool, and they think that you readers are pretty cool as well. For this reason, they're letting us give away four GA tickets for HopFest this weekend! But as usual, nothing comes free from KCBB, so you're going to have to work for these tickets. Think of Amazing Race plus Beerfest: we're going on a drinking scavenger hunt!

Here's how you're going to win: 

1. Go on Facebook and Like the KCBB page and the HopFest page to be eligible.

2. Get yourself a copy of the current Pitch, KC Star or whatever other current newspaper you can get your hands on that has a front page and a date (I think this is most of them).

2. Visit the taprooms/bars of any 3 breweries from the list of breweries attending HopFest.

3. Take a picture of yourself with the newspaper at the bar of each of the 3 brewery taprooms you visit.

4. Post your pictures in the comments section of our Facebook post that links to this article.

5. Optional: Buy a beer and slug it down. I'm pretty sure we can't legally make you buy beer for this competition, but hey, you're at a brewery taproom already so you might as well!

You can post each of your pictures as separate comments on the Facebook link to this article. We'll keep track and check the time that your 3rd brewery picture is posted to determine the winner. You've got until midnight, Thursday night to finish (as if you need that long).

The first two people to complete this challenge will each get 2 GA tickets!* That's $80 worth of tickets! Go, go, go! 

Update: We've got our two winners! Rod Leichter made it out to KC Bier Co, Martin City Brewing Co, and the Boulevard Tap Room, and Matthew Kafka did the hunt in Denver going to Great Divide, River North, and Breckenridge.

Bonus points if you look like this in your pictures.

*The fine print--you've got to be 21 to compete. No purchase or payment is necessary to compete or win.

Monday, May 11, 2015

New to KC: Some ACBW Highlights

Ryan gave us a great detailed overview of American Craft Beer week earlier today. I know a lot of us beer geeks like to drink the latest and greatest, so I wanted to highlight a few American Craft Beer Week tappings that haven’t been in KC before.

Flying Saucer will be tapping 3 Urban Chestnut beers tonight. Ku'Damm (a berliner weisse) has already been making the rounds around town, but the other two are new to KC. Hallertau Pils is a single hop German style pilsner brewed with Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops. Also on tap will be their Daft Barleywine aged in Willet, Pappy, and Buffalo Trace barrels.

Bier Station is hosting Jester King tasting event. Tickets are $40 and available on Brown Paper Tickets. The ticket includes 4-oz pours of 6 different Jester King beers. Might be a bit on the pricy side for the amount of beer, but Jester King makes some excellent wild ales and some of these haven’t previously been available in this market.
  • Le Petit Prince Farmhouse Table Beer
  • Noble King Hoppy Farmhouse Ale
  • Commercial Suicide Oaked Farmhouse Mild
  • Mad Meg Farmhouse Provision Ale
  • Ambree Farmhouse Amber Ale
  • Snörkel Farmhouse Ale Brewed with Oyster Mushrooms and Sea Salt
Cinder Block is debuting their latest offering at 4pm on Wednesday. Details are scarce, but the beer is Lusus Naturae Peach Farmhouse. You had me at peach.


This one is special to me because I helped make it. Last July, Sierra Nevada brought its Beer Camp Across America tapping events to craft beer bars across the country. I attended the tapping of the 12 beers at Flying Saucer and their brewery rep was soliciting entries for their Beer Camp contest. The rep asked us to write a “crazy beer idea” on the back of their taster flight paper for a chance to win a trip to California.

My idea was a Passion Fruit IPA dry hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops. I wrote it down and forgot about the contest. Three months later, I got an email from Sierra Nevada telling me I’m a beer camp finalist. I was one of 24 people across the nation who won. Sierra Nevada gave me a thousand bucks to get out to California and I got to help make beer!

They divided the 24 winners into two groups of 12 and each group had to collaborate to make a beer. Our group (which ended up only being 9 people) collaborated to make a Chocolate Mandarin Imperial Stout. At first I was disappointed that I didn’t get to make the beer idea I submitted, but after realizing it would take months for the beer to make it out here, I’m glad we ended up with something less hoppy.

The beer, Nibs of Steel, will be on tap at Flying Saucer on Thursday at 7pm. It is an Imperial Stout brewed with Cocoa Nibs and Mandarin Oranges. We used tons of malts, including Chocolate Malt and Roasted Barley, and dry hopped it with Mandarina and Amarillo hops. Alas, the orange character doesn’t come out much against the strong roasty flavors of the malts, but as it warms up, you can get a hint of citrus.

Back at the Saucer, it’s Perennial Night. Perennial is one of my favorite breweries in the country, and we Kansas Citians are fortunate to have them in our distro. New to KC is Perennial’s Funky Wit which taps at 7pm. Oh, and there’s Sump too.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Our Big Fat American Craft Beer Week List 2015

If there is one week this year to cancel any plans you may have, this is it.  

Beginning Monday May 11th American Craft Beer Week kicks off across the country and locally there is no shortage of events to look forward to during the week.  To help commemorate this glorious week of celebrating craft beer, your favorite local restaurants, bars and bottle shops have planned some special events including tastings, rare tappings, beer dinners, tap takeovers and limited releases among other things.

The week is jam packed with over 80 events across the Kansas City area and will feature events including a Jester King Brewery Tasting, a Boulevard Brewing Company Vertical Tap Takeover and HopFest Craft Beer Festival.  For the third year in a row we have compiled our Big Fat American Craft Beer Week List below in order to help you dig through all the details and help plan your week with things you actually want to do.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Is Kansas City Having a Brewery Boom? - Part 2

In Part 1 of this series on brewing in Kansas City, I talked a little bit out our situation in the KC brewing scene. Although we've got a lot of new breweries opening up, we don't have even close to the number of breweries that other true brewing centers like Denver, San Diego, and Portland have. This is all while I feel that with the beer culture we've got here, we really could be a great brewing town. In this second part of the series, I'm going to give my take on why we're falling behind.

The most important reason for our relative lack of breweries are the overly restrictive laws governing beer in the metro. It's difficult to open a brewery anywhere in the US because of the national, state, and city/county licensing typically required. However, breweries in the KC metro have even more hurdles than in many other places.

In order to help explain the laws, I asked Mike McVey of MKL, PC to help me out. Mike is our local homebrewing lawyer who has helped navigate the labyrinth of local beer laws many times in the past, and was a big advocate for homebrewing reforms passed in Kansas last year.

The two important regulations in question are the right to self-distribute and the "food rule." Ok, I know this is going to get rather technical and boring, but stick with me! This stuff is important! Here we go...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Firkin Fest and Flying Saucer 7th Anniversary This Weekend

Firkin Fest

Tapcade, the Crossroads' second newest beercade, is hosting this year's Firkin Fest this weekend on May 1 and 2.  Tappings begin each day at 6:30pm, with different beers being tapped each day.  Each firkin will have some addition from the original beer.  Breweries involved include 4 Hands, Cinder Block, Empyrean, Green Flash, Left Hand, New Belgium, Rock and Run, Summit, Tallgrass, and Torn Label.