If you look at most any craft brewery and where their beer sells, you'll see that the largest share is almost always in their hometown market. The idea of being "local" is one of the biggest drivers in what people buy off the shelf when it comes to craft beer. It's a great thing too. The team over at Santa Fe, helped by Central States Beverage, wants to challenge that idea that proximity determines something being local.
I had the opportunity to talk with Brian Lock, owner of Santa Fe Brewing, about this mission to expand their "local" community. Brian sees Kansas City as a craft-forward market, a large part of that in thanks to the groundwork Boulevard has laid. And while most of us think beer sells itself on it's own qualifications alone, the truth is that even if the beer is great, someone has to drink it first to know it. Santa Fe is has seen that Kansas City is a place where people know good beer and they want to reward us for it.
We've talked before about the first distributor/brewer collaboration that we saw happen early this year with Santa Fe, Central States, local homebrewer Corey Wood, and local chef Josh Eans. The beer they decided to brew was inspired by the BBQ of KC and the heat of Southwest in the form of peppers, and now it's time for the Imperial Smoked Rye Porter that was brewed in Santa Fe to come back to Kansas City. Most of it, at least.
To celebrate, Central States & Santa Fe is hosting Kansas City homebrewers and beer fans for a special tapping of the collaboration beer. There will be two separate invite-only events - December 12th will be for homebrewers, and December 13th for beer fans and industry folks. The Santa Fe team (Owner - Brian Lock, Head Brewer - AJ Condit, Director of Brewing Ops - Ty Levis, Director of Distribution - Jason Soto, Head of Barrel Aging Progam - Leif Rotseart) will be there answering questions, food will be provided with the menu being curated by Josh Eans, and there will be plenty of beer to go around. Alongside the collaboration, Santa Fe will be bringing a new beer from their Los Innovadores series to share, a chardonnay single barrel-aged sour.
Santa Fe isn't new to the idea of supporting homebrewers, they've been doing "Small Batch Saturdays" at their brewery for quite a while now. On Saturdays they invite local homebrewers to come down and help them make a different beer each week on their 1/2 bbl system - and their turn out has been great. It only made sense to amplify their current project.
|Small Batch Saturday @ Santa Fe|
Tapping the collaboration isn't the only spotlight of the homebrewer's night though - this experiment went so well that Santa Fe wants to keep moving with the idea. That night they'll be announcing the details of their next Kansas City collaboration project - one where they'll select a their collaborator via a homebrewing competition taking place next spring. The winner of the competition will get to fly out to Santa Fe, brew a 30 bbl batch of their beer with the team on a Small Batch Saturday, bring some of it back to KC and see it sent out to their favorite bars and restaurants. Now that's cool.
The only way to get in on this event is to be invited, and spots are limited. If you want the chance to be invited to the homebrewer's night on the 12th, you need to email Corey Wood (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the reason why you want to be invited. The deadline to enter is Friday, December 6th @ 5PM. Winners will know by Monday if they've got an invite. It should be noted, that even if you can't attend the event, the homebrewing competition will be public and anyone will be allowed to submit an entry. We'll post the details here once they're announced.
To join in on the night of the 13th, you'll have to win your way in through Central States. You'll want watch their Facebook page and Twitter for details on how to get invited.
If you can't get in through Corey or CSBev, fear not, as KC Beer Blog has 16 spots to give away as well - for each night! Keep an eye on the blog during the week of December 9th and we'll give you details on how to win one of our spots. We'll be offering up 16 spots to homebrewers and 16 spots to beer fans as well, so stay tuned!