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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Parkville Microbrew Festival 2017 is this Saturday!

Parkville Microbrew Fest this Sat @ 1pm! 
Hey blog friends, are you ready for a party!? Parkville Microbrew Fest is this Saturday! Now instead of just touting the many reasons you should go to Parkville (which we will do later on), I thought it might be fun to delve into the Parkville Past on the blog for a little while. Our humble beer blog was started almost 10 years ago and when we had our first post about Parkville in 2008 the fest was already well established in its 5th year. Now in its 14th year, Parkville is officially the oldest continuously operating beerfest in the metro.

In 2012, our former Beer Blog Editor in Chief (now Supreme Marketing Guru at Boulevard and all around super likeable guy), Pat Mullin, wrote our first review of the fest. Even though he had a great time, he still had a tough review of the fest with almost as many negatives as positives. But what I love about reading that old post is seeing how far Parkville has come since then. In the last 5 years, basically all the criticisms that Pat had have all been fully addressed. Contrast his follow up review in 2012 to mine in 2016, and you won't find any of the same issues. Really this is the best organized festival in the region. My only big complaint last year was parking, but really, you shouldn't be driving to an all day drinking fest anyways (but if you do, remember that designated drivers get in FREE!).

The Fest Details

Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: Gate opens at 11:00am, Beer Samping from 1:00pm - 5:00pm
LocationEnglish Landing in Parkville
Tickets$35 GA Online / $45 GA at the door / DDs Free
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

As usual, Parkville will be down at the English Landing Park on the banks of the Missouri. As I've said many times over, I think this is the best location for a beer fest that I've ever been to. There aren't many festivals that you're not pounding the pavement all day long. They also do a great job with the grassy field. Last year it had rained for about 2 solid weeks prior to the fest, and even though there wasn't any rain on the day of the fest, I fully expected it to be a mud pit. But my wellies really weren't even necessary. Also as a bonus--because of the location you can bring your dogs and your kids! (Yes, I carried a 1 year old kid around last year strapped on my shoulders).

Even after a 2+ weeks of rains ahead of the fest last year,
the ground was still pretty solid. 

The brewery list this year looks better than ever, with a full 69 breweries attending the fest plus 13 breweries-in-planning or homebrew clubs and 250+ beers. And while the list lacks some of the superstar breweries of Bouelvardia, it definitely has some standouts that I highlight below. Just to whet your appetite, know that Cinder Block's Lusus Naturae is on tap for the fest (which might be the best beer brewed in KC) and, oh yea, Love Child 5, Love Child 6, AND Love Child 7 at Boulevard's table... So do your research and you'll still be able to find those rare gems at Parkville.

It looks like rain in the forecast for this Saturday, but don't worry, the rain wont dilute your beer if you drink it fast enough. Plus, if it rains, that means no lines for beer--so much the better for the dedicated drinker. And like I said, they seem to have some magic sauce in the grass there, because last year should have been a mud wrestling pit, but was actually really decent still. So suck it up--you won't melt.

Why You Should (or Shouldn't) Go

  • The Price: At $35, Parkville is an absolute steal. The amenities provided, bands, organization, and brewery selection make this well worth the money. You're going to spend this much money buying about 4 beers at a bar with tax and a tip anymore. 
  • The Location: Obvious. Trees. Better than a parking lot. Lots of room for porta-potties. Drinking by the river. 
  • The Organization: I haven't been to a beer fest with shorter lines for the bathrooms, a better festival grounds layout, or an easier entry process. 
  • The Beers: So like I said last year, this isn't the pantheon of rare and specialty beers like Boulevardia. The breweries attending are by and large not super exotic breweries that you have to drive across the country to try. There are definitely some rare gems in the mix, but if you crave the rare and exclusive, your money is probably better spent at Boulevardia. 

The Brews

Here's a comprehensive list of brewers attending the event so far. Parkville also has really nice mobile site where you can search brewers and beers by name or style. They also have the event listed on Untappd (I didn't even know this was a thing!), so you can easily rate beers to your hearts desire without having to spend so much effort looking them up. I also highlighted brewers on the list that shouldn't be missed either because they're new, not available in town, or because of the special beers they're bringing! And that's not to say that each one of these breweries won't have great beer.

Who wants some more tasting glasses for the collection?
23rd Street Brewery
2nd Shift Brewing
4 Hands Brewing Company
4204 Main Street Brewing Company
Amerisports Sports Bar and Grill
Ballast Point Brewing Company
The Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant
Blue Blood Brewing Company
Border Brewing Company
Boulevard Brewing Company
Brauerei Hirter
Brickway Brewery & Distillery
Broadway Brewery
Bur Oak Brewing Company
Calibration Brewery
CIB Brewery
Cinder Block Brewery
Confluence Brewing Company
Crane Brewing Company
Dogfish Head
Double Shift Brewing Company
Empyrean Brewing Co
Exile Brewing Co.
Farnam House Brewing
Flying Monkey
Founders Brewing Co.
The Free State Brewing Co.
Fringe Beerworks
Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Co.
Gordon Biersch - Kansas City
Granite City Food & Brewery - Zona Rosa
Great Divide Brewing Co.
Green Room Burgers & Beer
Grinders High Noon
Heavy Riff Brewing
Infusion Brewing Company
Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.
Kansas City Bier Company
Keg Creek Brewing Company
Lagunitas Brewing Co
Little Apple Brewing Company
Logboat Brewing Company
Martin City Brewing Company
McCoy's Public House
Mother's Brewing Company
Nebraska Brewing Company
New Holland Brewing Co.
O'Fallon Brewery
Odell Brewing Co
Oskar Blues Brewery
Perennial Artisan Ales
Piney River Brewing Company
Radius Brewing Company
Red Crow Brewing Company
Rock & Run Brewery and Pub
Rock Bridge Brewing Company
Santa Fe Brewing Company
Schlafly Beer
Smoke Brewing Company
Stockyard Brewing Company
Tallgrass Brewery
Torn Label Brewing Company
Uinta Brewing
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co
Walnut River Brewing
Weston Brewing Co.
Wichita Brewing Co.
Zipline Brewing Co.

Breweries In Planning
The Brewkery
Callsign Brewing
Celtis Meadery
Kaw Point Meadery

Homebrew Clubs:
Greater Topeka Hall of Foamers
Johnson County Brewing Society
Jopline Homebrew Club
Kansas City Bier Meisters
KC Nanobrews
Kirksville Guild of Brewers
Lawrence Brewers Guild
Missouri Mashers
ZZ Hops

Disclosure notice: KC Beer Blog is an official Media Sponsor for Parkville Microbrew Fest and will receive complimentary passes to the fest to provide coverage of the event.

Friday, April 7, 2017

The Spring Craft Beer Drinking Planner -- The 9 KC Beer Fests You Won't Want to Miss

Festival season is in full swing! Over the next 2 1/2 months before we hit the dog days of summer, we've got a busy schedule of beer fests, bike rides, and patio drinking. So in order to help you plan out your schedule, we've put together a spring planner with all the beer fests coming up. The festival madness starts tomorrow with Kegs & Eggs at the Ren Fest Grounds and the Spring Fling Beer Fest in North KC!

Let's hope for weather this year like we had at
Parkville in 2016!
There's one very notable omission to this list which has me very bummed out--it doesn't appear that Waldo Hopfest is happening this year. This was one of my favorites every year, given it's great beer lineup, the top notch festival organization, and the fact that it was only 2 miles from my house. Maybe we need to start a new Twitter campaign to get them to bring it back!

Well, enough lamenting about the past. Let's talk about the future. We've got all the details you need to plan out your Spring beer drinking out including dates, times, tickets, and other info here. We'll also be posting more in depth coverage about our favorite fests like Parkville, Tour de Bier, and Nanobrew fest as we get closer to time and might just have some discount codes for tickets for you too.... So stay tuned!

KC Spring Beer Fest Lineup

Kegs and Eggs 
April 8
Time: 1:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: Renaissance Festival Grounds
Tickets: $45 GA / $15 DD
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Spring Fling Homebrew Festival
April 8
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Location: iWerx in North KC
Tickets: $25 GA / $35 GA w/ T-Shirt
Info: Facebook | Facebook Event

Parkville Microbrew Festival
April 29
Time: 11:00am - 5:00pm (Sampling starts at 1:00pm)
Location: English Landing in Parkville
Tickets: $35 GA Online / $45 GA at the door / DDs Free
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Tour de Bier
May 14
Time: Rides start 8:00am, 9:00am, 10:00am, Lunch party at Knuckleheads
Location: Start at Knuckleheads Saloon
Tickets: $40 through March 31
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter 

Brew B Que
May 20
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Renaissance Festival Grounds
Tickets: $35 GA / $55 VIP / $5 DDs
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event

Get Ripped
June 3
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Big Rip in North KC
Tickets: $25 GA Presale / $30 GA at the Door
Info: Website | Facebook Event

Boulevardia Taps & Tastes
June 17
Time: 12:00pm - 4:00pm
Location: Stockyard District
Tickets: $85 GA (Still Available) / $115 VIP (Sold Out)
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter
Past KCBB Coverage: Boulevardia Tickets On Sale Tomorrow!

KC Nanobrew Festival
June 24
Time: 2:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Berkley Riverfront Park
Tickets: $35 GA / DDs Free
Info: Website | Facebook | Facebook Event | Twitter

Westport Beer Festival
June 24
Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Tickets: TBD - Last year was $35 GA Presale / $40 GA at the door