Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Those Other Beer Festivals

Boulevardia tickets went on sale this morning amid some pretty serious website problems and were sold out within 20 minutes. Both the Boulevardia website and the Eventbrite website were having their issues, and it sounds like there are a lot of frustrated people out there unable to get tickets even if they were on the site right at 10 am. I know that a lot of you were hesitant to pay $75 for a beer festival and a lot of you were willing to pay the price but still missed out. But contrary to what it may seem like these days, there are other beer festivals in town! In light of everything this morning, we thought we'd give you a little preview of some of KC's other excellent beer festivals coming up in the next couple months. They might not have the high profile of Boulevardia, but they'll all have great beers, live music, commemorative glasses...and not a single one costs $75. Mark your calendars!

Parkville Microbrew Fest - April 26


The Parkville Microbrew Fest is scheduled for April 26, from 1pm-5pm, the tickets for this festival are $30 in advanced, or $35 at the door (assuming they don't sell out prior to the event). The event is held at the English Landing Park on the banks of the Missouri river. They brewery list is very regionally centered, with 35 of the 45 breweries coming from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, or Colorado. I love that they're hitting all of the breweries around here, even lots of the newly minted breweries like Defiance and Big John's, both of which just opened in the last 6 months. Also, Liquid Bread Brewing from Hays is going to be there...this is reason enough for me to go. Another exciting addition to the festival this year is the homebrew clubs' booths. Three homebrew clubs have already signed up to serve up members' beers and put on brewing demonstrations.

(photo: Parkville Mainstreet Assoc.)

HopFest - May 17


One of the first beer festivals in town to cater specifically to craft beer lovers, HopFest is now in it's fourth year. The event is scheduled for May 17, from 1pm-6pm, in Waldo, and the tickets are set at $35 for GA, and $55 for a VIP ticket that gets you in an hour earlier than GA ticket holders. In the past, HopFest has had great breweries from all over the country, along with good speakers and a BJCP sanctioned homebrew competition. The brewery lineup hasn't been finalized yet, but there are plans to have more than 50 breweries on hand. They're also continuing the homebrew competition tradition this year with some pretty awesome prizes.

KC Real Ale Fest - June 21


The KC Real Ale Fest sets itself apart from all the other beer festivals in town by serving up only cask-conditioned real ale. If you love wacky beers served out of firkins, then this is the festival for you. The festival June 21st, from noon to 11pm in Lee's Summit. The ticket prices have not been announced yet for this year, but last year the GA tickets were a mere $15 and $25 for VIP tickets. The VIP tickets gave you entry to the festival two hours earlier than the GA tickets to make sure you didn't miss out on any of the beers in case the firkins ran dry. Last year was their first year to host the festival, and they had more than a dozen firkins and lots of different bottle conditioned beers for sample as well. I'm sure there will be even more on tap this year.
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And All the Rest


Of course, there are a bunch of other beer festivals besides these. Most of them are in August or later, and as such are still pretty light on details. Beer KC usually hosts the Summer Beer Fest and the Strong Ale Fest in Westport, there's the KC Beer Fest in PNL, the UNICO Microbrew Festival in Zona Rosa, and the KC Nanobrew Festival. So even if you didn't get Boulevardia tickets, I'm sure you can find another beer festival to wet your whistle at.

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