Monday, June 19, 2017

2017 KC Nanobrew Festival

This Saturday is the annual gathering of all things homebrew. What started in a backyard is now a huge festival with over 100 participants and almost 2000 fest goers. This year the beer menu is over 300 unique and one of a kind beers. Don't delay this sells out every year. Ticket information can be found here.

Every year I try to help you go seek out some of the best homebrewers out there and also some of the up and comers

Schu's Nanobrew Recommendations:

If you love the Hoppy Beers you are in good luck. There are so many hop varieties and styles for homebrewers to experience with you shouldn't have any trouble finding a beer to please your palate. There will be plenty of trendy New England style / Hazy beers. Two that you should try is Tim Ryan's (Cracking Cask) Cloudy Delight. Cloudy Delight is a NE IPA, Double Dry hopped with Citra hops served from a cask. The other is Jeremiah Fiegl's (Schematic Brewing) #UnicornFarts. Drink it for the name alone. If you are a hater of hazy beers, Dave Hukill (divergent ales) is back with his classic IPA, Sly Fox. If you love the dank, Michael Wells (Eye for an Eye) is doing a Grateful Dead theme and will be offering. Jerry's Hemp Pale Ale. Finally go find the Jackalope and get a selfie with it and while you are at it try Jackalope Tears Black IPA from Kevin Thuringer (Lost Dakota).

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Hate Hops that's okay there are lot of malty easy drinking lagers to try instead. Brian Smith (Headbangers Brew) always makes a great Helles. Bart Campbell (Helpful Boxer) will be serving Do-Re-Mi Vienna Lager. The boys from Middle Ground Zymurgy and Tapwork (Mac and Devin) will have a tasty Kolsch called Circadian. Tony Diplacito (Orgination) has a wonderful Munich Dunkel. Finally go check out the array of Lagers that Matt and Rusty (Ales vs Lagers) have. I'm firmly on #TeamLager.

Are you into Belgian Beers? Scott Akerson (Copperleaf) has one of the best named Saisons at the festival, Le Mauvis oeil De Forest Whitaker. Richard Cartwright (9 Foot Brewing) will have a wonderful Belgian Golden called, Le Seducteur. Courtney and Brandi Servaes (Servaes Brewing with Critter) will be serving a Kiwi Tart Table Saison. David Stuck (Libre) makes a great saison called Do me a Solid. Finally you can never go wrong with Chris Roberts (Red Crow) Isabelle, a perfect Belgian Blonde.

Plenty of Dark beers on the menu. Brian and Andrew Jones (Rusty Tin) have been making a name for themselves and will have several Dark Beers but Sloppy Secounds Dry Stout is one of their best. Long time Nanobrew participate Matt Berkley (Two Matts) will have a Barrel Aged Tropical Stout that I'm looking forward to trying. Steve and Erica Williams (Williams NKC) will have a coffee and vanilla stout called Morning Woodie. Named after everyone's favorite drinking buddy Woodie Bonds.

Want to Pucker up at the fest? There is going to be some excellent sour beers to go try but honestly head to these three tents first. Jonathan and Pippin Williamson of Sandhills Brewing, Grant Waner of Underground Fermentation, and Andrew Grumke of Medley Ale Works make the best sour beers out there in our homebrew community. They also love to talk all things sour, not to be missed.

Looking for something different and creative? Rick Borkowski (Sharkey's) will be having a beach party and will have lots of tropical radlers, Looking forward to try Ferdinand Del Dulce by Jim Dore (Beer Farm). Taylor Jones (Trip Six) will have a lot of different hoppy beers but I've got my eye on that Watermelon Liberty Wheat. Robert Rys (Supernatural) will once again have his multiple award winning Jalapeno Ale but this year it will be served out of a Firkin. I always enjoy the ciders that Cole Bolte (FAKECidery) makes. Really looking forward to having not one, but two soon to be open Meadery's, Kaw Point and Celtis. Finally myself (SchuBrew) and Jon Morman (Six foot Six)  are competing to serve the biggest beer at the fest. Jon is serving an 18% EIS-Barleywine and I'm serving a 19% Barrel Aged EIS-Quad with cherries called Absurd.

Again there are over 300 beers to choose from and the quality level of homebrewers seems to get better every year. So I would encourage you to look through the menu and try some things you know you will like but also try some things you have never had. Who knows you might find something new you might love.

What beers are you looking to try?

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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Get Ripped - The Big Rip's 4th Annual Brew Fest

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

First Ever! Brew-B-Que

            Like Beer? Of course you do! You visit our site. Like barbeque? Of course you do! You live in KC. Now not to get too hung up on the styles of BBQ around this great country of ours and which are better… I’ve got the perfect event for you! It’s two of KC’s favorite things: Brew and Barbeque, or Brew-B-Que.

            Brew-B-Que is being held out at the Kansas City Renaissance Fest grounds this coming Saturday, rain or shine! Hosting 10 local BBQ foods trucks, 100 brews from 40 local and regional craft breweries, and several distilleries and wineries, it really has something for everyone. The food trucks will be competing against one another for KC’s best BBQ food truck.

While attending the event you can also enjoy live music and participate in fun games and competitions. Some of which will include a stein holding challenge and pretzel necklace design competition.

While this is the first year for the festival, it actually grew out of the idea of another local beer event: Kegs and Eggs. They are excited to bring people out to the Renaissance grounds and have them enjoy the area. Their hopes for the future are to continue to grow the event and possible expand into additional fests. With VIP already being sold out, I don’t see that being a problem!

Tickets are available in 3 versions. VIP (SOLD OUT) GA ($35 in advance $40 day of), and what I really like from this event are DD tickets ($5).
With the VIP access, festival goers will have access to an exclusive VIP Area with seating, private bar, and private bathrooms. They will also be receiving 3-4oz samples from each truck, a commemorative glass, and unlimited craft beer samples.
GA Tickets gain you the commemorative Sample Glass and unlimited Craft Beer Samples. Food from the trucks will be available for purchase.
The DD Tickets get you Water/Soda voucher and Food for Purchase. This is the responsible ideas we at KCBeerBlog enjoy seeing. Great work!
We hope to see you all out there as we plan to have several reps from the site attending. For a list of attending Foot Trucks and Breweris, visit their website: Brew-B-Que | Kansas City

Friday, May 5, 2017

Tour de Bier Next Weekend -- We have the Procrastinator's Special Coupon Code for You!

If you're anything like me (and I assume about 90% of you are since you're craft beer fans), you're a massive procrastinator. I like to think of procrastination not as something negative but instead as creative time management. Why do that thing on your list now when you can just have a beer and sit on the patio now? Well all good things eventually catch up to you and Tour de Bier has done just that for us now--registration for the event ends on Thursday, May 11!

The annual booze-fueled bike ride is coming up next Sunday, May 14! Put on by BikeWalkKC, the bicycle advocacy and teaching organization, and in it's 7th year, Tour de Bier is the premier biking + craft beer event in KC. Instead of being like most of those organized bike rides where you drink beer after the ride, on Tour de Bier, you drink beer on the ride! In fact, the tour takes you by a bunch of our awesome local craft brewers en route. 

Pro tip--read the book before the ride!
And if visiting operating breweries wasn't enough for you, the ride is a historical brewing tour of the city as well. This year BikeWalkKC has teamed up with local beer writing legend Pete Dulin to totally revamp their historical tour. Pete is arguably the most knowledgeable person today about the history of brewing in Kansas City. So much so that he literally wrote the book on it with his recently released Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland. Pete is going to be at on hand at the after party as well to chat it up about history after you've finished the ride. 

So, if you love riding bikes, drinking beer, and learning about brewing history, then this is definitely the event for you. Think you're not up to hang with the spandex clad ironmen and women? Never fear, this is not a bike race--it's a casual ride that's designed for fun and cruising at your own pace. I will be there riding probably wearing something completely impractical like lederhosen. And yes, I will be taking the shortest ride offered, especially if I'm wearing lederhosen. And with nearly 800 people signed up for the ride, you won't be alone no matter what you wear!

Event Details

Date: Sunday, May 14
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Tickets: $50 (unless you use our coupon code down below!) - Registration Ends on May 11
Info: Website // Facebook // Twitter

Like I said, Tour de Bier is not a bike race. The only gold you'll be seeing is the gold in your tulip glass along the route. It's planned to be as easy going or hardcore as you like. The courses available on the ride are 18 miles, 38 miles, and 48 miles. Ride start times are:
  • 50 Miles: 8:00 a.m.
  • 35 Miles: 9:00 a.m.
  • 17 Miles: 10:00 a.m.
All of the rides start at Knuckleheads Saloon in the East Bottoms and end at the same location for the after party. The shorter ride takes you across the Heart of America bridge to North KC, back up through the West Bottoms and Crossroads and back to Knuckleheads. The 38 miler continues from the Crossroads down to Westport and Waldo before looping back. The big 48 miler goes all the way down to Crane Brewing Co in Raytown (a fitting reward for the hearty).

Along the course are stops at important brewing sites of KC's past. The historical tour is is self guided with a detailed map and guide provided by the organizers and signs along the route. In addition to the historical stops, there will be stops at participating breweries as well. Complimentary samplings will be available at each of the brewery stops for you.

And most importantly (if you're anything like me) there will be roving support & gear wagons. I'm not much for long distance bike racing, so if I get a flat or my chain snaps in two, I usually call someone to come pick me up rather than fix my bike on the side of the road. However, your entry fee gets you access to the course support crews who will help you if anything happens and get you going again.

Here's an overview of what your entry fee gets you:
  • Lunch & 2 beers at the after party at Knuckleheads
  • Live music at the after party
  • Games at the after party provided by 90.9 The Bridge
  • Rest stops with food, snacks, and water along the course
  • Beer samplings at breweries & history sites
  • Roving Support & Gear wagons for help on the course
  • Souvenir maps with self-guided tour information

The profits of the ride all go to benefit BikeWalkKC's education and advocacy work. If you're into biking, keeping kids safe, getting people off their diabetes meds, or just generally living in a cooler, nicer city, go check out their work. Or better yet, get a membership while you get your Tour de Bier tickets! 

The Drinks And Eats

Tour de Bier After Party at Knuckleheads

Breweries Visited on the Ride:
The Big Rip Brewing Company
Brewery Emperial
Cinder Block Brewery
Crane Brewing Company
Green Room Burgers & Beer
Kansas City Bier Company
Torn Label Brewing Company

Food at the After-Party: 
Jerusalem Cafe
Knuckleheads Saloon
Pie Hole
Local Pig's Pigwich,

Drinks at the After Party: 
Pours from Boulevard Brewing Company and Tallgrass Brewing Company served by the VeloWagon

And Finally--A Coupon Code Just for You!

As if you thought I forgot...KC Beer Blog has your hook up for 10% off your tickets this year to Tour de Bier! Just enter the coupon code BeerBlog17 at the checkout and you'll get 10% off your ticket price. See you there!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Wet & Wild Parkville Microbrew Festival

As you undoubtedly saw on our Facebook album this year’s Parkville Microbrew Festival was a wet and wild time.  My hat is off not only to all the vendors who came out and showed off their beers but for the event organizers and volunteers who braved the rain.  Without these people the event obviously wouldn’t have been possible.  That being said I think the true “heroes” were the thousands of people who ventured out in the rain to sample all the glorious beer the roughly 90 beer vendors had brought out with them.   I will say, not all people were properly prepared though. I saw one gentleman wearing old Birkenstocks, shorts, a t-shirt, and he was using a trash bag as his poncho.  But for every person like this gentleman there were tons more who were properly prepared.  One group even brought out their own tailgating tent and set that up to keep themselves dry.

A sandal lost to the elements

While I was not in attendance for last years I was told I was told even before going that I should get ready to stand in lines.  This may be a sneaky benefit of all the rain though because there were hardly any lines at all this year.  My friends and I were able to just meander from one place to another trying any beer that struck our fancy and we were even able to stand around and talk with the vendors and sample most of their beers without feeling rushed.  While I could take you all through a step by step recreation of my beer journey I just want to hit on a few of personal highlights.

BYOT- Bring your Own Tent

I will say hands down my favorite part of the whole day were booths 70 to 85.  For those that weren’t there or even those who did and don’t have their map handy these was the section of booths that represented the home brewers.   There were Brewery clubs represented from all around Missouri and Kansas City and it cool being able to talk to all the home brewers about what special recipe they were trying out today.   From there I think the next best thing were all the smaller breweries that were not necessarily from the Kansas City area.  There was a handful of smaller breweries from all over the USA that were there just to show off their delicious beers and an even smaller subset of them that had just recently garnished deals with distributors to start selling in  our Area.

Overall the Microbrew festival was an amazing experience and rain or shine I plan on being in attendance next year! If you were unable to attend or haven’t checked out our photo album from the event make sure to check it out on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What We're Drinking and Thinking - Berliner Weisse

A few nights ago, we tasted Berliner Weisse, a Tart Cherry Beer from North Coast Brewing, Co. out of Fort Bragg, CA. I purchased this beer as an impulse buy. I was at CostCo picking up some steaks to kick off the warm weather. I grabbed some rib eyes just in case you were wondering. Paired them with Brussels sprouts, asparagus, grilled corn, and fried mashed potatoes. The GF was out of town, so I was on my own to feed myself, and I bought enough steak to do so for the entire weekend. 

But, on to the beer…

It’s a Berlin White, which Michael Jackson described as having an, “insistent sparkle, fragrant fruitiness in the nose, a sharp dry palate, and a frisson of quenching, sour acidity in the finish.” With an ABV of 4.1% it’s an easy drink. They only release a very limited amount of these in the 22 oz bottle I picked up and also offer in 1/6th barrel kegs. It was rather easy to find considering Costco has a relatively small beer selection. While they do say it's limited release, I believe it's year round.It’s made with the juice of Michigan Montgomery Cherries that, “Softens the lactic finish and gives it a spring time blush”. Which is interesting because I wasn’t aware there were different types of Montgomery cherries, or Michigan cherries either… 

We use a 5 point scale here at the blog, similar to the BJCP method or Untappd. We break our scores down into five separate categories and judge independently for each. Here's what we thought of the beer.

Aroma: 1.15 - Distinct aroma that almost reminds you of cherry pie.
Flavor: 1.5 - Tastes like cherry pie. Tart, sweet, and sour all at once. Like a cherry jolly rancher. Yet at same time you can taste the roasted malts. Did I already say cherry pie?
Texture: .15 - Sparkly... Not very smooth. Took away a bit for me, but some people might like it. You can feel the sugars on your teeth after each drink.
Appearance: .35 - I really struggled here. I loved the excellent rosy shade. The reddish amber color really helped me feel like spring was finally here. Very little head.
Balance: .75 - It works well together, a bit sweet, but blends all components well.

Total Score: 3.9

The Cherry Tartness was a great finish, and while this beer would be equally good by itself playing bocce on the yard, if I were getting this beer again, I’d rather pair it with a basket of fish and chips. I was glad I picked this up as spring is here and it looked and sounded like springtime. I’m also quite partial to Sour beers, and I’ve never had this one before. I would definitely get this again, however, I did feel like brushing my teeth afterwards.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Flavor of the Week

Tonight we tasted Surfrider American Pale Ale from The Dudes' Brewing Company. I'm going to be honest. After a hard day at work, my brain is fried, and instead of practicing my usual beer purchasing procedure, I just grab a random brewery's version of my go-to formula: Pale Ale.


I did a little research on the year this beer was created, but couldn't find an exact date. I couldn't find any information describing the aforementioned suds, before 2015, so I think this is a safe estimate for the year it was introduced to this world.  The reason I chose this particular pale ale is because of the mood I was in. If I was in my car at that particular moment, I would have thrown on a recognizable Bob Marley song with the windows down. The can art pretty much summed up a visual representation of that mood, so I went for it.


I did a quick google search about the brewery to gain more knowledge about what they stood for. They have passion for the cleanliness of the world's oceans and the beaches that lead you into them. To help that passion, they donate a portion of their sales to preserving these areas.

Beer Attributes

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
Alcohol: 5.2% ABV
Release: Rotating Availability
How hard it is to find: Very Easy
Approx. Price: $2.25/12 oz.

Beer Rating

We use a 5 point scale here at the blog, similar to the BJCP method or Untappd. We break our scores down into five separate categories and judge independently for each. Here's what we thought of the beer.

Aroma: 0.75/1.5
Flavor: 0.7/1.5
Texture: 0.2/0.5
Appearance: 0.5/0.5
Balance: 0.5/1.0

Total Score: 2.65/5.0

Thoughts on the Beer

I got a lot of grapefuit, lemon, orange smells, and the taste was congruent, but not overpowering. It had a very carbonated mouthfeel with a very absinthian aftertaste. This beer had a tinny bitterness to it, which is what made it not the best pale ale I've tried.

Overall: This was a perfect beer for my mood. I was tired, a little fried from work, but I wanted to try something new. I relied on my eagerness for that and combined that with the cool artwork coinciding with my mood. The beer didn't blow me away, but I definitely think it is worth trying to form your own opinion.