Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Blanc Vision Quest

In 1985 Louden Swain went on his Vision Quest. Louden could do nothing and be a state champion in his wrestling weight class. But, Louden wanted more, Louden wanted Shute. Shute was a stud wrestler, the supposed best in the state, undefeated and supposedly unbeatable. Shute works out by carrying a railroad tie on his shoulders while climbing stadium stairs. The problem for Louden, 22 pounds. Shute wrestled at 168, Louden, a tall drink of water wrestled at 190. This was not going to be an easy task, lose 22 pounds in a short amount of time, yet retaining enough strength to be able to wrestle and beat Shute.

Like Louden Swain, Josh Eans of Blanc is going on his Vision Quest. He could do nothing and be the best burger place in Kansas City as well as a fine spot for a beer. That's not enough for Eans, he wants Blanc to be the best beer destination in town while still maintaining its place as the best place in town for a great burger. This is a tough quest and some changes are being made.

The first change is the addition of a tap tower (only at the Plaza location now). Right now they have Great Divide Grand Cru and New Belgium Ooh La La on tap. Those won't last though and will be replaced by others. At least one sour beer will be on tap throughout the summer. While there's only 4 taps, they're chosen with quality in mind so just like you're not going to find some mediocre burger on the menu, you won't find (what to choose without throwing some beer under the bus) something run of the mill like Sam Adams Boston Lager (not that Boston Lager isn't a good beer, but I can buy it in a bowling alley).

Next up is a monthly beer dinner using some of Blanc's comparative advantage of great food. Each beer dinner will be built around a super rare beer (depending on availability) and brewery. Eans is looking to bring in special firkins for each dinner, but that's sometimes just not possible so a rare beer will always be a part of the deal. Eans had a twinkle in his mustache when he told me August's beer dinner will be designed around Lagunitas. Lagunitas + Blanc food = a great time.

Also, every week a new burger special is introduced featuring a special burger paired with a beer. This can work as a nice introduction to different beers for someone with a passing interest in good beer. Blanc can really be an important place to introduce people to different craft beers because they have such great food. People are already going to Blanc to eat, with a gentle push in the right direction, they can find some great beer. The weekly burger and beer pairing is a great start in craft beer for the novice.

Like me, Eans is a giant fan of cask beer. He hopes to always be able to offer a cask beer but that is kind of dependent on crowds of beer lovers. Very few places in town have firkins available, if Blanc can have one always available it would be the equivalent of Louden Swain making weight. Blanc already gets all the rare beers we highlight on the KC Beer Blog and more and has proven to be the place to go to get something rare or hard to get.

Few moments in film are as exciting as the high school wrestling match between Louden Swain and Brian Shute (at the very least it's the most exciting wrestling scene in movie history). Watching Blanc wrestle with trying to promote the beer side while maintaining the best burgers in town may be just as fun.

I'm also sad to report that a remake of Vision Quest is in the works with Taylor Lautner starring as Louden Swain. There can be no matching the wonder that was the original.

*Disclaimer: Eans did buy my lunch as we discussed Blanc's beer future.

1 comment:

  1. Good move, imo. I don't really like to drink bottles when I am out so despite liking Blanc's food (I go for lunch semi-regularly), I almost never drink there.

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