Wednesday, August 20, 2014

High Plains Brewhoff - New Beer Event in Downtown OP

I really hope this has something to do with the Hasselhoff.

There's a new beer event in town and it's the first of its kind in Kansas. The High Plains Brewhoff, hosted by Brew Lab in Downtown OP, is officially a homebrew competition, but will feature brews made by both amateur and professional brewers and be laid back like a beer festival.

"Just like our store, this will be fun and informal," says Kevin Combs from Brew Lab.

All of you attending will act as the judges for the competition, with each attendee getting three tokens to distribute as they see fit. And thanks to the event sponsors, the tickets are free!

The Brewhoff will be held along Foster Street just in front of Brew Lab's store on Sept. 20, from 1p-5p. There will be 22 brewery booths total. Food will be available from Papa Keno's pizza (who will also be serving their own beer brewed at Brew Lab), and there will be live music as well. In order to help offset some of the costs of hosting the event, Brew Lab will have commemorative tulip tasting glasses and t-shirts available for sale at the event as well (although you don't have to purchase them).

Torn Label will be one of several
breweries-in-planning at the event. 
About half of the beer booths will be homebrewers. There will be quite a few from the Johnson County Brewing Society and the KC Nanobrew Fest crowd, among others. The rest of the booths will be breweries-in-planning and homebrews made by professional brewers.



Right now, four breweries-in-planning are confirmed and include Crane Brewing, Torn Label, Red Crow, and Double Shift. The only professional brewer confirmed at this point is Bryce from Cinder Block. There will likely be a few more breweries-in-planning and professional brewers attending, but haven't yet been confirmed.


Because of the new Kansas law, there are some peculiarities about how you can get tickets. Kevin Combs and Clay Johnston at Brew Lab and Mike McVey at MKL Law (who was pivotal in getting the law passed in the first place) worked closely with the KS ABC to bring this event to fruition and make sure everything is compliant with the new laws. 

The result of the new laws is that the event has to be by invitation only. However, it's not a super exclusive invite list (no singing telegrams are being sent out, unfortunately). Basically, you just need to fill out the invitation request form and provide a referral. Let them know who referred you to the event, whether it's a friend, someone who works at Brew Lab you know, a homebrew club you're involved with, another brewer, or a friend of a friend of Kevin Bacon. Just don't list your referral as "The Internet."

I was referred by the buffalo. 
Once the organizers have approved your invitation, you will get an email with a link in it. It may take a couple days before you get the email, so don't fret if it doesn't come right away. You can then use this link to go to the ticketing site where you can order your tickets. This process needs to be done for every attendee. As of writing this, about two-thirds of the 500 invites are already spoken for. 

The organizers and volunteers have gone a long way towards helping the JoCo homebrew and craft brew scenes with their extensive work with Overland Park, KS ABC, and the neighborhood and business associations in the area. Kevin also helped found the new Johnson County Brewing Society.

They're pretty humble about it all though. As Kevin puts it, "As much as people think we are political activists, we are simply wanting to put on a fun event for our customers and the local brewing community."

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