Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HopFest 2015

I wasn't able to make it out to Parkville Microbrew Fest this year, but from everyone I've heard from, it sounds like it was a wet and wild fun time. (Kansas City On Tap, on the other hand, sounds like it sucked according to the majority of the people who went. Figured as much...)

But we're none for living in the past in the craft beer world, so we're already on to the next big thing. HopFest, now it its 5th year, is coming up in two weeks on Saturday, May 16! The VIP tasting starts at 1pm, the GA tasting starts at 2pm, and the fest runs until 6pm. It'll be held in a tented beer garden in the parking lot a block east of the Well in Waldo (see the map at the bottom of this post). They're going to have a bunch of food trucks parked there as well and music all day.

HopFest pouring glory in 2014
HopFest has a national brewery focus, as compared to Parkville's local/regional focus. (Although there's still good local representation at HopFest.) The brewery lineup doesn't always look that impressive at HopFest, since a lot of the breweries coming are available year round on liquor store shelves. However, these breweries always bring their best stuff, and usually have a lot of limited one-off brews and unique stuff not normally available in town. And with 250+ beers available, there will definitely be some gems.

The VIP access takes the specialty beer to another level. Instead of just getting in an hour early to beat the lines, they're going to have a special lineup of beers for the VIP tasting only. And unlike some of the less than impressive VIP beer lists in the past, this year's list looks awesome. Verticals of Love Child and Ivan the Terrible, KBS and CBS, KMF Grand Cru, Uncle Jacob's Stout, §ucaba, Double DBA...and on and on. There's a full list of the VIP beers and breweries attending at the bottom of this post.

The GA tickets are $40, and the VIP tickets are $60. If you're a hardcore beer geek, I'd say the extra $20 for VIP tickets is well worth the price. Check out the HopFest website and facebook page for updates as they come.

Homebrew Competition

The other facet of HopFest is the homebrew competition. You can enter your beers and find all the details on the competition website. The entry is free for the beers, but you have to have purchased a HopFest Ticket to enter. You've got to have your entries registered by this Friday, May 1, so get to it!

The competition is a BJCP sanctioned event this year so you'll get judging points for volunteering. But the best part about volunteering--you get free GA HopFest tickets for your service! Judging is on May 11, & 12 at the Well.

The Brews

VIP Tasting Lineup
Avery Brewing Company: Pump[KY]n
Avery Brewing Company: Uncle Jacob’s Stout
Big Sky Brewing: Ivan The Terrible Imperial Stout (2012, 2013, 2014)
Boulevard Brewing Company: Love Child No. 3
Boulevard Brewing Company: Love Child No. 4
Boulevard Brewing Company: Love Child No. 5
Deschutes Brewery: Abyss Imperial Stout
Firestone Walker Brewing Company: §ucaba
Firestone Walker Brewing Company: Double DBA
Founders Brewing Company: Kentucky Breakfast Stout
Founders Brewing Company: Canadian Breakfast Stout
Goose Island Beer Company: Bourbon County Stout
Great Divide Brewing Company: Barrel Aged Hibernation Ale
Kansas City Bier Company: Dunkelweizen
New Belgium Brewery: La Folie Sour Brown Ale
River North Brewery: J Marie (Whiskey Barrel)
Sam Adams Brewery: Kosmic Mother Funk (KMF) Grand Cru
Santa Fe Brewing Company: Los Innovadores Single Barrel Sour Ale

HopFest Location Map
All Breweries Attending
4 Hands Brewing Co.
Anchor Brewing Company
Arcadia Brewing Company
Avery Brewing Company
Big Sky Brewing Company
Boulevard Brewing Company
Breckenridge Brewery
CBA Alliance
Charleville Vineyard & Microbrewery
Crane Brewing
Crown Valley Brewery & Distilling
Deschutes Brewery
Firestone Walker Brewing Company
Founders Brewing Company
Free State Brewing Company
Goose Island Brewery
Great Divide Brewing Company
Kansas City Bier Company
Kona Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Company
Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company
Left Hand Brewing Company
Martin City Brewing Company
Mother's Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company
New Holland Brewing Company
North Coast Brewing Company
Odell Brewing Company
Brewery Ommegang
Oskar Blues Brewery
Redhook Ale Brewery
River North Brewery
Rogue Ales
Samuel Adams Brewery
Santa Fe Brewing Company
Schlafly Bottleworks
Shock Top Brewing Company
Ska Brewing Company
Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg GmbH
Stone Brewing Company
Tallgrass Brewery
The Civil Life Brewing Company
Torn Label Brewing Company
Traveler Beer Company
Two Brothers Brewing Company
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company
Widmer Brothers Brewing Company


  1. Sadly, HopFest is no longer affordable for us.

  2. There's a couple other smaller festivals coming up in the next couple months that are a little cheaper so keep a look out for them. The Get Ripped fest at Big Rip is only $30 if you buy tickets early. I thought there was only for only $25 but I'm not sure off the top of my head. Any more though $35-$40 seems to be about the going rate.

  3. I missed Big Rips fests last year. Heard it was a great time. I agree...the prices on these beer fests are getting out if hand.

  4. Big Rip's fest is a great time. It's the most laid back of all the festivals in KC by a long shot. Plenty of time to shoot the shit with the brewers and reps and try every beer/liquor there. People even set up lawn chairs and little folding tables so they can just chill out while they're doing their sampling. You should definitely try to make it out this year!