Thursday, September 20, 2007

River Market Brewery

You know, since I spend a lot of time in downtown KC, I really want to like the River Market Brewery, but it's one of those places that always disappoints. Their bartenders don't really talk up the beer and seem annoyed if you ask them questions, which I'm prone to do. Also, there's always an off duty employee sitting at the bar smoking talking to the bartender (probably resulting in being annoyed at me wanting to talk). The worst offense of all, though, is their beer just isn't very good.

We had a stout, which tasted alright, real chocolatey, but smelled a bit like feet after they walked through kitty litter. The strawberry blonde was a bit like a strawberry Fanta, with a more subtle taste, I'd rather have the Fanta. The River Market Red was alright, but had that same aftertaste as their other beers, not pleasant (gotta be the yeast). Now the bartender did allow us a taste of the seasonal they're unveiling tomorrow (I had to flash her to get a sample, I feel dirty). I must say it was pretty good, it's a bock called something like Der Liefsbefallen Bock (I'd know the real name if they updated their website). But, I'm afraid a full glass would wear on me the same as their other beers.

I also don't know how they stay open, they're not really pulling in the crowds. I think a grand total of 10 people were in the restaurant and I'm not sure but I think 3 of them work there but were drinking off duty. I think this is a case for Gordon Ramsay. We need someone to restore the River Market Brewery to what it could be.

Happy Hour

Monday-Friday 4p-6p
$2 Wells & $3 Pints
1/2 Price Spin Dip & Nachos


  1. Wonderful idea! He'd have them making top-notch British ales in accordance with CAMRA standards in to time!

    As for how they stay open, those ten people you saw are regulars, and drink their weight in beer on a daily basis. And they do a decent lunch business, I think.

  2. The brewery does indeed do a good lunch trade, probably because no one feels compelled to drink their beer that early in the day.

  3. When I first moved to KC, 12 years ago, the River Market Brewery was one of my favorite destinations. At the time, the place was so popular that it took over the entire area now housing Cascones -- and had pool tables, TVs, etc.

    Over time, service got slow, and a 1 hour lunch started taking 1:15, then 1:30, then 1:45 - -until I quit going. Then I started going for dinners only, and combined with the slow service I started getting slow service, cold food and mediocre beer. Every year or two I take another chance on it only to be disappointed again. The last time I went, my wife got a cold chicken sandwhich and I got a prepattied Hamburger with barely melted cheese for $8. And the beer was pretty bad.

    I really wish someone else would take over that restaurant...I really want to like it, it's just not likeable anymore.

  4. Yeah, the beer is rather stale. It tastes like they don't clean their lines.

    I'm in the same boat as Brent. I go there about once a year with hope of improvement, but none yet.

  5. The beer was better 12 years ago, when the local microbew fever was hot & heavy. People keep that place open by eating so-so lunch fare there.