I go to a lot of beer festivals so I’m starting this series to recap some of those experiences. First stop, Kansas City Microbrews and BBQ Festival. This festival was held a couple of weekends ago on May 30th at the Kansas City Museum grounds in Northeast Kansas City. Organized by the Tour of Kansas City, this festival coincided with all day bike races happening on Cliff Drive.
As the inaugural year for this festival, the organizers limited it to 400 people. I applaud their decision to start small, as the sold-out festival was anything but overcrowded. Plenty of porta potties were on site and covered seating was available as well. Water jugs were spread through the booths of easy access. The space was well thought out for a first year beer festival. Each admission included food tickets redeemable for $5 from the KC BBQ Truck and a sandwich from The Local Pig. Overall, the non-beer amenities as this festival were great.
Lines were manageable for the entire time I was there, and I don’t think I was ever more than 3-deep waiting for a beer. With only 9 breweries in attendance, the number of beers available was not huge, but the focus was on local breweries. All except for Empyrean (hailing from Lincoln, Nebraska) were from the Kansas City area. While this festival was likely not targeted to your standard craft beer geek, there were some nice surprises to be found.
Best in Show
The best beer at the festival was from growler tucked to the side of Cinder Block’s booth. Lusus Naturea is Cinder Block’s Peach and Apricot sour. I’d had this only once before at their taproom, and I was delighted to get to try it again. I’ll gladly drink this any time I can get my hands on it. Runner up: Martin City’s Quid Feci, a farmhouse aged in barrels with cherries.
Check out pictures from the festival on our Facebook page. I was given free access to this festival by the organizers, but that did not impact my review.