Fall Festival Season is Here!

Ok, so it's still like 100 degrees outside, but the pumpkin beers and Oktoberfest beers have started showing up in droves, so I'm calling this the beginning of "craft beer fall." And now that people actually want to stand around outside and drink beer again, we're into the fall craft beer festival season! And it's all sorts of non-stop craft beer from here to the end of the year with the fall festivals, Oktoberfest, football season, porch drinking season, firepit drinking seasone, and the best drinking holidays of the year: Thanksgiving & Christmas. (And Hanukkah I'm guessing is a great drinking holiday too but I don't know. Please someone confirm this for me.)

With that, I give you the list. You're going to need to clear out your calendar for the next couple months because we're going to be busy. Looks like we've got 5 big beer fests between now and mid-October. It all starts off tomorrow with the Microbrew Fest at Zona Rosa! We'll have more event details as the time comes closer for the festivals a little further out.

UNICO Microbrew Festival at Zona Rosa

When: Saturday, Aug. 13, 4pm-9pm
Where: Zona Rosa (KC Northland)
Tickets: $25 GA (no VIP)
Web: Site, Facebook, Facebook Event Page

The Zona Rosa fest is in it's 8th year running now, which makes it one of the oldest in town. It's way up in the northland, which means I haven't ever been to it, but it's great for those of you living up that way--there isn't much else in the northland craft beer desert! I've always heard good things about the fest, and they were the first in town to include homebrewers as part of the beer served, which they're continuing this year.

All the typicals apply--food vendors are on hand, you get a tasting class (I need another one of those...), and the proceeds go to charity. They're going to have over 50 breweries on hand to serve beer.  I haven't seen a full beer list, but from what I've seen, it looks like they'll have a pretty solid local / regional focus with lots of our in-town breweries and KS, MO, and NE breweries. Also, DDs get in for free! Why all beerfests don't do this is a mystery to me, so bravo to UNICO for doing it.

Some more info from the organizers:
Only 2000 tickets will be sold
We accept cash or credit cards
Must have ID
Rain or Shine
Designated drivers may attend at no charge. The event is open to the public and only festival participants will pay for entry.

KC Beer Fest

When: Saturday, Sept. 10, 3pm-6pm (VIP 2pm-6pm)
Where: Power & Light Beer Garden (Downtown)
Tickets: $35 GA, $60 VIP
Web: Site, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook Event Page

KC Beer Fest, also in it's 8th permutation, with a bunch of changes here and there over the years. I remember back in the day when they held this thing on the top of the parking garage at the Legends and half the beers were Bud / Miller / Coors products. Boy has this festival come a long way since then!

With Flying Saucer presenting the beer fest, you know it'll be a good time with excellent beer. And they have a great venue for it at the Power & Light beer garden. (As much as I detest Power & Light and the typical clientele down there, it's an excellent place for a beer fest.) In contrast to most beer fests, you're not out in the sticks relying on porta-potties and food trucks. They usually have a very solid beer list, although they haven't released the lineup yet. They have said that they're going to have more than 200 brews on tap (which probably means around 50-75 breweries). They're going to be hosting rare beer tappings throughout the duration of the event as well. We'll post the beer list as soon as it's out.

$35 isn't a bad price at all for the GA tickets and the $60 VIP tickets look like a solid value as well. For the extra $25, you get into the event an hour early, get access to a food buffet, private bathrooms, and a festival t-shirt. Even without knowing the full beer lineup, I'd buy my ticket early for this one!

Festival of the Lost Township

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, 1pm-5pm (VIP 12pm-5pm)
Where: 62nd & Raytown Road (Downtown Raytown)
Tickets: $35 GA, $100 VIP
Web: SiteFacebook, Facebook Event Page

This is the second year that Crane Brewing Co has hosted this beer fest in their neighborhood. The event went over really well last year, and I'm sure it will only be better this year. Hell, paying $35 to sample all of Crane's beers as much as you want is worth it anyways. Then you also get all the other brewers, distillers, and vintners thrown in as well! And it looks like they've got one hell of a beer lineup. Again, $35 is an absolute steal for a festival of this caliber, and the $100 VIP pass looks like a solid deal too considering what you get with it.

Also included with the event is a BJCP-sanctioned homebrew competition with the prize as a scale-up brew at Crane's brewery. Doesn't get much better than that!

Some details from the organizers:

Local brewers attending: Crane Brewing Company (debuting their Beet Weiss for the first time), Martin City Brewing, Red Crow Brewing, Cinder Block Brewery, Longboat Brewing, Public House Brewing, Stockyards Brewing Company, Free State Beer, Torn Label Brewing Company, Tall Grass Brewing, Central Standard Brewing, Miami Creek Brewing, Green Room Burgers and Beer, Colony Espresso and Beer, Bur Oak Brewing,Boulevard, KC Bier Company, 23rd Street Brewing and Callibration Brewing to name a few.

Out of state brewers attending: Urban Chestnut Brewing, Mark Twain Brewing, Third Base Sports Bar and Beer, Exit Six, Earthbound, Zipline, Core, Ozark Beer, Roughtail Fine Ales,Nebraska Brewing, Destihl Brewing, Stone Brewing, Toolbox Brewing, Fossil Core, Marto Brewing, Kohlibri Brewing,Six Mile Bridge, Pinney River, Mikerphone, Infusion, Wages, LaGuinitas, 2nd Shift, Perrenial, Brickstone, Ripperian,Oskar Blues, Odell, Blue Blood, Schlafly, Modern Brewery, Defiance, Farnam, Anthem, Founders, OFallon, Avery, and Summit.

Distilleries and Winery: Amigoni Winery,Tom's Town, Union Horse, Leaky Roof,and J. Rieger.

Artisans: The Brewkery, Hugo Tea, Bennetti Coffee,Kanbucha, and Alchemy.

Our VIP tent:
Unique beer pairings with eight of the finest chefs in Kansas City including Celina Tio, Howard Hanna, Raquel Kramer, Ryan Brazeal, and Dolce Bakery. An hour of pre-tasting.

Brewtopia Homebrewers will be holding a beer judge certification program and taste a wide variety of beers from over 40 home brewers. Winners will get a chance to have Crane produce their beer at their brewery.

We'll have music, food trucks and a merchandise tent.

High Plains Brewhoff

When: Saturday, Sept. 24, 2pm-7pm
Where: Brew Lab (Downtown Overland Park)
Tickets: GA - Free!, $20 to skip the line (Buy at Brew Lab)
Web: Site, Facebook, Facebook Event Page

High Plains Brewhoff is one of the most unique festivals in town. Officially billed as a homebrew competition, most all of the entrants to this fest are homebrewers. And they've had some illustrious homebrewers attend in the past that you may have heard of--Crane, Torn Label, Red Crow, and Double Shift all served at the Brewhoff prior to going pro. This year they've got over 100 homebrews on sample for the fest.

The festival has had it's fair share of ticketing issues in the past. Considering it's FREE, you can understand having issues. They have fixed these issues this year by simply having people come to the shop to pick up tickets. The event has sold out early in the past, so I'd recommend heading over to Brew Lab to pick up your tickets early. You can also buy a $20 tasting glass at Brew Lab so that you can skip the entry line on the day of the festival. If you've ever stood in line to get into Brewhoff, you know that this is $20 well spent!

They're also going to have food vendors and live music from KC's punk bluegrass band Whiskey for the Lady.

Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too

When: Saturday, Oct. 15, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: Kansas City Zoo
Tickets: $45 GA (no VIP); $35 GA for Friends of the Zoo
Web: Site

Tentative details from the organizers (we'll have more to come later):
On Saturday, October 15 join us for the fourth annual,  Brew at the Zoo & Wine Too! From 6 to 9 p.m. enjoy an evening of live music, delicious bites, and a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards. 

This event is 21 and over. Food, music, beer and wine samples as well as two drink tickets are included with your ticket.

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