KC Nanobrew Festival is next on the list of beer festivals in Kansas City. It is truly the most unique festival you will ever attend. This will be the 7th year for the festival. It started at as a small gathering in a Brookside backyard to over 1000 expected people at Berkley Riverfront Park this year. The best part of the festival it highlights homebrewers and gives homebrewers a chance at showcasing their talents and ultimately inspires them to go legit.
My first Nanobrew Festival was in 2012, which was the first year they had a public location. At the time I was a brand new homebrewer and had two very basic beers there and so were many of the participants that year. There was this guy named Bryce who had trash cans full of beer with a stack of Cinderblocks behind it. Some dudes named Kipp and Josh had some unique beers including a gluten free beer calling themselves Big Rip Brewing. Gene was there with his friend Jeremy showing off this crazy hopped IPA called the Saminator, He hadn't even thought of Rock and Run yet. I was sharing a spot with this guy named Chris under the name Red Crow Brewing. None of us had ever heard of Michael Crane. Breweries such as KC Bier CO, Doubleshift, Borders, and Torn Label were non existent . Its amazing to see how far the KC beer scene has come in such a short time and we have the KC Nanobrew Festival to thank for being a big reason why.
One of my favorite things about the festival is talking with fellow homebrewers and trying to figure out who is going to be next to go pro. This year's festival will features a few homebrewers that are in the transition period of going pro and have some real plans for the future.
Colony Espresso and Beer in North Kansas City is a place that features artisan coffee and craft beer on tap. They have partnered up with homebrewer Rodney Beagle to soon add a Nano-brewery to their shop. Their plan is to start off with 3 beers on tap along with their craft line up, think Green Room Burgers. They have already bought some equipment thanks to the 75th Street Brewery auction. Look for this to happen soon. Rodney and Colony Epresso will be setup in an inflatable Pub at the fest with several beers infused with coffee. Wake Up Danner Tanner is one you want to try.
Tony Diplacito is a long time homebrewer who has won plenty of competition medals including making it to the final round of Nationals this year. He also had his mild scaled up at Cinderblock Brewery last year. Tony is an excellent brewer that is very detailed oriented and one of the nicest guys you will meet. His kids are officially out of the house and he is in the process of downsizing his house to officially start his brewery, Loose Cannon Brewing. He hopes to be one of the first breweries to be open in Lee's Summit. Go try his Oyster Stout.
Brewlab KC has been open now for a few years as a brew on premise business and a homebrew shop. They have officially signed a lease for a 4000 square feet expansion which will include a 3 Barrel Brewhouse and Tap Room. They won't be moving far it will be east of the Overland Park farmers market. They hope to occupy the new space this fall. The brew on premise and homebrew shop will move over and continue to operate along side the brewery. A brewery in Overland Park should be awesome and kill it. Make sure you stop and check out their booth.
Strange Days Brewing Co. I've met a few times in the homebrewing circles. Last year at the Nanobrew Fest they were under the banner BVH and have recently changed that name to Strange Days Brewing Co as they transition to a brewery in planning. They plan to open 5 Barrel Brewhouse exclusively with a tap room. One of the unique things they are planning on is to do barrel aged cocktails to serve in the tap room. Those barrels will eventually be used for beers. Strange Days will have an example of that, Gin and Juice. Gin and Juice is a saison with brett and pineapple aged on gin soak oak. Look for them late 2017.
214 homebrew beers this year and its full of unique beers to try. Here are some personal recommendations:
Attorney at Drunk - Caveat Drunkor - Belgian Ale w/Palo Santo. Love beers aged with palo santo. Its an intense and complex flavor and I would expect that with this beer.
Beer'd Brewing - Needler 2.0 - IPA w/Spruce Tips. Adam had this beer at this year's Parkville festival. Can't wait to have it again.
Eye for an Eye Brewing Company - Michael Wells is no stranger to producing awesome beer and is a long time Nanobrew Fest participant. He is doing a Big Lebowski theme this and will have a White Russian Stout.
FAKE Brew Co. - First off, love the brewery name. Go try Pineapple Express - Applewood Smoked Pineapple Cider. Sounds crazy but I can attest its awesome. Go try it
Fringetree Meadery - Adam is one of the best local mead makers in Kansas City. He makes great mead and typically will infuse them with unique and interesting flavors to take mead to another level. Try his Diadophis - Barrel Aged Hopped Orange Mead.
The Medley Aleworks - Andrew is currently one of the best sour beer makers out there. If you love sour beer just hang out at his booth all day. Try them all.
Short Wolf Brewing - Rebecca is a fairly new brewer. One of the nicest people around. Excited to try her Strawberry Fields - Hoppy Strawberry Saison
Six Foot Six Brewing - You can't miss Jon he'll be the tall brewer standing at 6'6". Jon always has lots of fun beer to try. I recently got to try his Pop Gose Cherry - Gose w/cherry. Its super refreshing
Sunflower Praire Brewing Co. - If you are looking for a fresh and tropical IPA, go find Trop Queen.
Supernatural Brews - Hallowpeno Ale - Easy one of the best pepper beers you will ever get to try.
Wagner Homemade Beer - Hopped Up on Fuzzballs - Peach IPA w/brett. I love IPAs, peaches and brett so this is a no brainer.
Weeping Angel Brewery - Weeping Angel is another long time participant of the festival and always makes wonderful sour beer. Go try it all.
Lost Dakota Brewing - Don't know much about these guys other than they have the best named beer: Beautiful Blonde w/Huge Melons. I need to try that
Libre Brewing Co - Lemon Drop American Wheat. Lemon Drop hops is one of my favorite new hops I will drink anything that uses them.
Come to booth 7 and find myself (SchuBrew) with Monarch Homebrew we are doing a fun USA/Mexican themed beers and we don't need a wall between us. Monarch has a White Stout w/coffee and I will have Mangoneada - Gose w/mango puree and spices.
So many others so try to pace yourself.
KC Nanobrew Festival Tips to have fun
- Eat a big breakfast and lunch before coming. Need a full stomach to soak up all the great beer.
- Drink Water. There will be water available. Plan on bringing a water bottle and some gatorade. Try drinking water after every 2-3 beers to stay hydrated and happy
- Ask for small pours. You do get a full glass doesn't mean you want a full glass of everything. Small pours will allow you to try more beer.
- Talk to the Brewers. Most of the brewers are looking for real feedback on their beer. Be honest but gentle. This year will feature a new app to rate beers that the brewers will get to see. Brewers love to talk about their process. Don't be afraid to ask questions
- Talk to others. One of the best part of a festival is meeting new people.
- Leave no Trace. We have a beautiful park to enjoy. Let's make sure we leave it better than we found it.
- Have a plan to get home. Do Not Drink and Drive. There will be plenty of Ubers around also City Market is a short walk to go get something to eat afterwards and give yourself a chance to sober up.
- Have fun don't be an A hole. No one likes an A hole.
Tickets are still available
Hope to see you there.