Showing posts with label Green Room Burgers and Beer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Green Room Burgers and Beer. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 31

2013: The Year of Beer

The year 2013 will certainly go down as the Year of Craft Beer in the Kansas City. While the craft beer industry as a whole has been growing astronomically since the late '80's, Kansas City has been lagging behind the growth trend. Since the late '70's, the number of breweries has gone from a low of 89 breweries nationally up to 2,538 as of June of this year. This puts the number of people per brewery in America at 127,300. As of Jan. 1, 2013, Kansas City was far behind the trend, supporting one brewery for every 226,700 people. The 5th best beer city in America, it was not.
(source: Brewer's Association)
The start of 2014 shows a completely different scene though. 2013 saw the opening (or start of beer sales) of Green Room, Big Rip, Cinder Block, Bourgmont* and Rock and Run breweries. Within the first couple months of 2014 we will see the KC Bier Company and Martin City Brewing Company selling beer in the metro. The number of breweries will have nearly doubled from 9 to 16, and Kansas City will finally be caught up with the national average. (While having sixteen breweries operating in the metro might sound great, it looks pretty pathetic compared to our neighbor, Denver, which sports 62 breweries.)

Regardless of all the statistics, there is definitely a feeling rippling through the community of a new era of craft beer. Hardly a week goes by without a specialty beer dinner hosted by some of the best restaurants in town. Firkins are being precariously propped up on the edges of bars all over town every other night. Newly opened businesses like the Bier Station and Brewlab are laying the groundwork (and doing the lobbying) for future innovative brewing ventures in the city. The number of beer festivals and competitions increases every year. Up until a couple of years ago, the KC Bier Meisters Competition was the only officially sanctioned homebrew competition in the area. In 2013, there were seven sanctioned competitions, including one of 11 sites in the country to host the preliminary judging for the National Homebrew Competition, which had nearly 8,000 entries. The number of entries in the KC Bier Meisters competition has grown steadily as well, from less than 300 entries in 2010, to nearly 500 entries in 2013.

Obviously we can't talk about the last year without mentioning the sale of Boulevard to Duvel. The deal with the devil is set to close today, after several months of working out merger documentation and license registration. While we're not too concerned about the quality of Boulevard's beer or their commitment to local interests suffering as a result, it definitely does signal a major change in the craft beer scene. Boulevard isn't the same local gem anymore, that's clear. But even if they really lose sight of their KC roots, there are plenty of other new locally owned, independently run breweries to choose from. Regardless of their ownership status or whether you love them or hate them, it's hard to overstate how much they've done for craft beer in KC. We wouldn't be where we are today without John McDonald.

It sure is, VABC
Right now is most certainly the Golden Age of American Brewing. (Or should it be the Amber Age?) We've got the greatest number of breweries that America has seen in over a hundred years. Hundreds of new breweries are opening every year. The world has recognized America as producing the most innovative and best new beers. Even so, before this year I wasn't quite feeling the craft love from Kansas City. This year has definitely changed my mind about Kansas City being one of the great American beer cities and I'm excited to see where we go from here. Keep up the good work, KC beer lovers! Here's to a great New Year 2014!

*Correction: Bourgmont Brewing is not officially licensed yet. They did begin serving their beers at events around town in 2013. We'll be looking forward to hearing more from them in the new year.

Tuesday, November 26

Thanksgiving - What are KC Brewer's Drinking?

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and the internet is thick with Thanksgiving dinner beer pairing guides. With that in mind, we didn't feel the need to give you another guide (except that you should be pairing Ellie's Brown with everything). Instead we wanted to know what our local KC brewers might be drinking with their dinner this Thursday. Here's what they had to say about drinking on this most gastronomic of holidays:

"This Thanksgiving I will most likely be drinking some lighter beers to maximize my food intake ability. Hopefully afterwards I will be drinking some darker go-to beers such as Empyrean's Dark Side Vanilla Porter and North Coast's Old Rasputan Imperial Stout. Perhaps before bedtime I will crack open some homemade chocolate raspberry port for dessert." Josh Collins (The Big Rip Brewing Company)
"I don't plan my drinking too far in advance but most likely will be drinking more than a few random beers I've been saving in the fridge. Right now that consists of a Ter Dolan Kriek, Ommegang's Take the Black Stout, Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout and a can of Oskar Blues' Ten Fidy Imperial Stout. I'm sure I'll work in a captain and eggnog throughout the day!" —Kipp Feldt (The Big Rip Brewing Company)  

Josh and Kipp from Big Rip. 
"I’ll be drinking my favorite beer that we brew, Saison-Brett. I dig it with my Thanksgiving meal because it’s super dry and crisp, but has enough complexity and flavor that it goes well with all of the big flavors of the meal: herbs in the stuffing, tart cranberry sauce, and the rich dark meat from the turkey. Turkey breast sucks." —Jeremy Danner (Boulevard Brewing Company)

"I will be drinking 4 Hands Morning Glory, an ale brewed with sweet potatoes and aged on pecan wood. It pours a beautiful burnt orange with a creamy white head, finishing dry and crisp. This 5.5% beer is sessionable enough to keep me from keeling over with drunken turkey belly, as Troy Aikman's robotic monotone drolls on about some cowboys fighting a lion." —Michael Ptacek (Green Room Burgers and Beer)

Mike in the brew room at Green Room
"I will likely drink our KCBC pale Weizenbock with dinner and for dessert, a chocolate infused beer brewed by my nephew, Chad Crawford, called Silent Partner Stout that won first place in the 75th Street Homebrew Contest.  75th Street will brew the recipe and serve Silent Partner Stout in January." —Steve Holle (Kansas City Bier Co.)

"I will bring some of our Weissbier and Doppelbock with me to a family dinner. Both of these biers were made recently on our pilot system and with our malt from Bavaria." —Karlton Graham (Kansas City Bier Co.)

"I'll be drinking any and all Czech Pilseners that I can get my hands on for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite style that goes great with everything and/or nothing! I'll perhaps pour a bit of Boulevard Harvest Dance Wheat Wine at the table...this is such a great food beer. It stores well so I hold some for occasional use." —Keith Thompson (McCoy's Public House)

What will you be drinking with your Thanksgiving dinner?

Friday, November 15

Strong Ale Fest Warmup

As if you needed a little warm up drinking session to get yourself ready for the Strong Ale Fest this weekend, Empyrean is taking over the taps at Green Room today. Featured on the first beer engine will be a firkin of dry hopped Winter Axis infused with mango and hibiscus. (If you've never had hibiscus, it's the flavor of that mysterious red "Jamaica" water at Mexican restaurants. You know, the one next to the mysterious horchata drink? Hope that helps!) There will also be a 5-gal. pin of super secret mystery beer on the second beer engine, only to be revealed to those who drink! On the regular old taps will be a keg of their Oatmeal Stout with cocoa nibs in it and Domino Effect. There will also be Empyrean glassware giveaways for those drinking faithful.

If all this doesn't float your boat, head on over to Bier Station where it's Tallgrass night. A firkin of Curried Buffalo Sweat oatmeal stout will be on tap. I don't know if Buffalo Sweat can really be improved on, but I trust in the mad firkin scientists at Tallgrass to always make awesome stuff!

I know you all want to show up to the Strong Ale Fest with a hangover, so get to it!

Edit: Psych! Bier Station is actually having a firkin of Buffalo Sweat with ancho jalapeƱo/chili peppers. Even better!

Wednesday, November 6

Short Pours 11/6/13

Stone Enjoy By Returning

Enjoy By 12.13.13 will be making it's way back into Missouri - look for it to start hitting shelves and taps around 11.13.13. Now that Kansas is seeing Enjoy By releases, it may be considerably easier to grab a bottle of this release. I've never been a huge fan of hype releases, but the 10.25.13 version that Kansas saw a while back was something special.

Bier Station Veterans Day Fundraiser

In honor of Veterans' Day, and United Way's new Veterans Alliance (30 organizations serving Kansas City veterans), Bier Station will join forces with United Way of Greater Kansas City and Stone Brewing Co. for a special, one-night fundraiser next Monday from 4pm to close on Veterans Day – Monday, November 11 – 100% of all Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard draft sales will go directly to benefit United Way of Greater Kansas City. 

Boulevard Homebrew "Fusion" On Tap

If you remember, back in May Boulevard gave away 35 bbls of wort away to local hombrewers - back in August they announced the winner was a Belgian brew infused with Sauvignon Blanc grape juice, citrus zests, and candied ginger. And now Tim Squires has brewed his winning batch at full size in the Boulevard brew house. Currently the beer is exclusively available in the tap room for sampling after tours. (Reminder that if you have an AHA membership and take a tour, you can get a full size sample in the tap room afterward!)

Green Room Burgers Taps Cask Ale on Smoked Cherrywood

If you haven't made it down to Green Room Burgers to try any of the Papa Louie's beers brewed in house, then you're sorely missing out my friend. Every few weeks they put their newest creation out on the beer engine and it's always an exciting time. They just tapped their Cask Ale that is made with smoked cheery wood malts - make a point to get down there and give it a try. KC Beer Blog's own Jay Aber helps brew these creations - so you can direct any caps lock formatted comments at him.

New Beers On the Shelves

In the future I'm going to try to do my best to keep you all updated on some of the recent additions you should be seeing at liquor stores around Kansas City - some might be limited releases, some might be seasonals, some might just be new additions to the market. I'll try to note if I know that a beer is KS or MO only. This week you should start seeing the following:
  • Boulevard - Nutcracker
  • Free State - Winterfest
  • Schlafly - Christmas Ale
  • Great Divide - Peach Grand Cru
  • Great Divide - Hibernation Ale
  • Shiner - Holiday Cheer
  • Sam Adams - Utopias
  • Boulder - Never Summer (KS Only)
  • He'Brew Holiday 8 Pack
    • Lenny's RIPA on Rye, Rejewvenator Dubbel Doppel, St. Lenny's, Reunion '13, Funky Jewbelation, Messiah Nut Brown, Death of a Contract Brewer, Reborn
  • Sierra Nevada - Celebration
You can follow me on twitter @kylefblack - I'm sure to disappoint! If you ever have any beer news to be shared, feel free to contact me through twitter or email.

Monday, August 5

Short Pours - 8/5/13

Kansas to receive Enjoy By 09.13.13

Right on the heels of Stone Brewing Company's Kansas launch, the brewery is including the state in their next release of Enjoy By IPA, Enjoy By 09.13.13. I'll explain the routine again for those who may have missed it the first few times when Enjoy By came to Missouri. If you dig Enjoy By and want to see more of it come to Kansas, make sure to tweet #EnjoyBy #KS. The results are tallied on the official Enjoy By website, where groups of states are pitted against one another. Look for Enjoy By 09.13.13 to hit shelves between 8/12 and 8/14, depending on what area you are in.

Friday, March 1


While we list most, if not all, local beer events in our Google Bar Buzz calendar, sometimes certain events warrant an actual post. Coincidentally, over the next few days, there are a number of unique and interesting events that warrant some special mention. Rather than making it rain on everybody with a bunch of individual posts for each, here's a brief rundown of what's happening. Better clear your schedules!

Thursday, January 31

New KC Brews Making Moves

"The breweries and brewpubs will come." It was a phrase I used in my 2012 year-in-review post as a way to hopefully instill a sense of patience and optimism about the future of beer in Kansas City. Well, this week, it's become apparent that we may not need as much patience as I thought, and the optimism is well-deserved. Because in the first month of 2013 alone, we have some great advances from three different up-and-coming breweries/brewpubs in the area.

Wednesday, April 25

The Rookie Class

With the NFL draft on the horizon, the sports world currently has their eyes on a field of rookie football players, wondering what kind of impact they'll have on the NFL and how they'll transition from college to professional play. Here in Kansas City, we have our own rookie class of craft brewers flying under the radar, ready to break out and leave their own unique mark on the city's beer community. So who are the rising stars of Kansas City brew? Look no further for a glimpse at the guys who are ready to leave behind the homebrew and take their talents to the professional level.


Wilderness Brewing
Michael Reinhardt, Nate Watson

The Beginning: Wilderness is likely best known in town for their Kickstarter campaign from last summer that helped provide the initial funding for their brewery project. But their ambitions go much farther back. 9 years ago, Michael had Nate and a couple other friends over to his place in Springfield, MO to try home brewing on a kit that his wife had bought him for Christmas. As Michael and Nate continued to brew and write for, well, Michael puts it best: "Interest became obsession and obsession eventually became action." The launch of the brewery, more or less, was the result of hundreds of hours spent writing, phone conversations, and encouragement from beer drinkers who loved our stuff.

The Goal: Reinhardt says that the main goal is to get more good and unique beer in the Kansas City area while connecting with those who are drinking it.  Accessibility, he feels, is key; being open to talking brainstorming and listening to beer drinkers' ideas of what other brews could be on the horizon. "We really do want the folks of KC to have a say over some aspects of our brewing identity," he notes.

The Beer: Wilderness plans to offer a whole gambit of beers that are constantly evolving and rotating.  They plan is to brew anything from mild to extreme beers, to (and emphatically) sours.

Where They Stand: "Getting up and running is, as with any highly regulated industry, an involved process," Michael explained, "we have begun to embark on that process and have actually met with some people from the city recently.  We have scouted places, one of which we like very much, but we have to continue to engage regulated industries, zoning folks, Kansas City Biz Care, and a great deal of other parties before we make a definitive decision.  We are happy to report that the city is being very helpful and, to this point, have been great to work with."

Reinhardt  notes that a key part of their process is ensuring that, as they move forward, Wilderness Brewing is doing everything as the law and official procedure dictate. They hope that they can start offering some of their beers for sale by the end of the year.  We would love it to be by August or September...but we will see how the process moves along.

Brewery Twitter | Mike Twitter | Nate Twitter