KC Beer Map & Guide

We consider Kansas City a great city for craft beer and want to spread the word to out-of-town and local beer nerds alike. So we created this map and guide so you can discover new craft beer hangouts! So check out the map below or use this link to open it in the Google Maps app on your phone.

There are separate layers for Breweries, Brewpubs, Beer Bars, Bottle Shops, and Homebrew Shops. We even threw in our local distilleries and wineries, because, hey, they're not craft beer but we love drinking them anyway.

Since there were so many liquor stores and bars, we starred our favorites (although all of the ones we listed are good choices if you're geographically limited). We also included five entertainment districts that we consider craft beer hotspots to maximize your drinking time and Uber fare.

Also, don't forget to check out our KC Beer Calendar for all the latest events in town.

If you think something else should be added to guide, let us know!

Hotspots for Beer Nerds


If you're going to go out to one place in KC, make it Westport. It is the original entertainment district in KC (and arguably the original KC altogether), and the traditional heart of the KC craft beer scene and is a very compact area that makes it easy to get from one brewery/beer bar to the next. There are a bunch of bars, breweries, and restaurants in the area, almost all local and not chains. McCoy's Public House and Green Room Burgers and Beer are the two brewpubs in Westport, and there are a number of great craft beer bars as well like Beer Kitchen, the Foundry, Westport Ale House, and Char Bar.

There's also a ton of great restaurants as well like Bluestem and Port Fonda, and lots of unique independent shops for clothing, music, and other stuff. If you're looking for a great place to stay down there, check out the AC Hotel. It's an awesome hotel a block from the heart of Westport and they have a solid bar to start your pre-drinking. They've got a selection of local & regional canned craft beers along with local beers on tap.

Breweries to Visit:

McCoy's Public House
Green Room Burgers & Beer

Beer Bars to Visit:

Beer Kitchen
The Foundry
The Riot Room
Char Bar
Westport Ale House


Due to various zoning regulations and cheap vacant industrial space, the Crossroads has become the place for breweries & distilleries in KC. In 2015-2016 we saw three breweries and two distilleries open in the area, and there is at least one more brewery planning to open there soon. This is all in addition to the old standby--Boulevard. The area is a little sprawling though, so it might take a lot of walking or Uber trips to hit up everything at once.

Two cool places for beer nerds and regular nerds alike that you shouldn't miss down there are Tapcade and Up-Down KC. Both of these places are retro arcade bars complete with arcades, pinball, skeeball, NES's, N64s and more.

On the first Friday of every month, the Crossroads has an art walk. There are a ton of independent art galleries in the area (for the same reason as breweries). If you happen to be in town for a First Friday, it is a must-see event. Tons of people out, specials at the bars & breweries, live music all over, performance art in the streets, food trucks, you name it. It's a very fun time. My advice--get there early. Lots of galleries have free appetizers, wine, and beer until they run out--usually around 8p or 9p. The party usually runs well into the night, especially during the summer months.

Breweries to Visit:

Boulevard Brewing Co
Torn Label Brewing Co
Border Brewing Co
Double Shift Brewing Co
Brewery Emperial (opening soon)

Bars & Restaurants to Visit:

Up-Down KC
Anton's Taproom
Flying Saucer
Ruins Pub
Thou Mayest
The Belfry

North Kansas City

For reasons similar to the explosion of breweries in the Crossroads, North KC has seen several places open in the last couple years. The city is actually a completely independent city from Kansas City proper, and is a pretty unique place. It's mostly industrial, but slowly converting over to retail, office, and entertainment. There are two breweries in the area now, Cinder Block and Big Rip, and one craft distillery. Both are nano-brewery taprooms, and both make some great beer.

Grain to Glass is also down there, which is a hybrid bottle shop, bar, and homebrew supply shop that regularly hosts beer tastings and brewing classes. They've got some unique & rare beers available and have some great prices on to-go bottles. You can also hit up Screenland Theater on Armour, which has a great bar, puts on craft beer events, and shows awesome old-school and independent movies as well. Also--drink craft beer while you watch indy movies. Best thing ever.

Breweries & Distilleries to Visit:

Cinder Block Brewery
Big Rip Brewing Co
Calibration Brewery

Bars & Restaurants to Visit:

Grain to Glass
Screenland Armour
Colony Espresso & Beer Co


Waldo is KC's second entertainment district after Westport. It's a little bit further from downtown, so there are very few out-of-towners there. The area is definitely worth a visit for beer nerds in town for a visit with a little extra time though, as it houses two of the best beer bars in town--Bier Station and Waldo Pizza, and an awesome brewery--KC Bier Co. Bier Station especially as they host the best beer events and have the best beer selection in town. There's also a bunch of other bars and restaurants in the area.

Just north on Wornall Rd from Waldo, you can find Brookside as well. Not so much a beer drinker's destination, but there's a bunch more independent shops, restaurants, and at least one notable craft beer bar there with Charlie Hoopers.

Breweries to Visit:

Kansas City Bier Co

Bars & Restaurants to Visit:

Bier Station
Waldo Pizza
Charlie Hoopers
The Well

Downtown Overland Park

Ok, so Downtown Overland Park probably wouldn't make it high on many people's entertainment district lists. I included it though, because it's about all we got out in the burbs. It's a very popular place for suburbanites in the area, and if you're in town for work, it's the closest thing to a beer nerd destination that's nearby the Overland Park Convention Center, the Sprint Campus, Corporate Woods, and all the other office mega-complexes out in Johnson County. It's a quick Uber ride up from those places, and there are quite a few bars, restaurants, and independent shops down there.

Burg & Barrel is a favorite in the area, with an excellent tap list, great food, and lots of craft beer events. It's about a block away from the core-downtown OP, but worth the walk across Metcalf. There's also the Peanut, the Other Place, and Maloney's down there. All sports bar type places, but decent craft selections, and good bar food. Get the wings at the Peanut, and then go sit on the 2nd story deck at Maloney's.

You can even brew your own beer in Downtown OP. Brew Lab is the metro's only shop place where you can rent brew time on a professional brewing system. It's like Build-a-Bear for beer. And if you're in town over the weekend, Downtown OP hosts one of the best farmer's markets in the metro every Saturday from 8a-1p from April-November.

Breweries to Visit:

Brew Lab (starting brewery operations soon)

Beer Bars to Visit:

Burg & Barrel
The Peanut
Maloney's Sports Bar & Grill
The Other Place

Local Brewery Highlights

Kansas City has been blessed of late with a beer renaissance. We've doubled our number of breweries over the last 5 years, and had some excellent new places open to complement the old stand-bys. We've had so many open, that it's hard to even keep up with all of them! So, we've got all of the opened and soon to be opened breweries and brewpubs listed on our KC Beer Map, but only a few of our locals highlighted here. But rest assured that all of the breweries listed on our map are worth a visit.

The Big Rip Brewing Company
Location: 216 E. 9th Ave, North Kansas City, MO (North KC)
Opened: 2013
Tasting Room Hours:
     Mon-Tues: Closed
     Wed-Thurs: 4pm-9pm
     Fri-Sat: 12pm-10pm
     Sun: 12pm-5pm
Current Tap List
Latest on KCBB about Big Rip
Untappd: 3.52/5
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Big Rip is a nanobrewery putting out small batch beers on draft in their tap room only with the exception of some limited run bomber releases. They've always got a big selection of unique brews, along with some regular session beers. They do a little bit of everything and are the only brewery in town to produce a number of gluten-free beers. They're definitely worth a trip north of the river, especially if you can combine the visit with the other locations in North KC. Food is available in the brewery via the attached Mexican restaurant next door (different owners), or you bring in your own food to eat there. Smokin' Guns BBQ is just down the street, hint, hint. Private tours and events are available by contacting the brewery.

Border Brewing Co.
Location: 406 E 18 St Kansas City, MO (Crossroads)
Opened: 2015
Taproom Hours:
     Mon-Tues: Closed
     Wed-Thurs: 4pm-9pm
     Fri: 4pm-11pm
     Sat: 12pm-11pm
     Sun: 12pm-6pm
Latest on KCBB about Border Brewing Co
Untappd: 3.51/5
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Border is a little nano-brewery and taproom in the heart of the Crossroads Arts district. They're surrounded by art galleries, music venues and other craft bars and breweries. The place is small enough that you can pop in and out quick for a beer while walking around the area, or grab one of the tables and hang for a while. Border also has an awesome "We Brew for You" thing going where you can vote for the next beer you want them to brew via Twitter with #webrew4you. And if it's on, definitely order their Firepit Porter. It's the best imperial porter in town.

Boulevard Brewing Company
Location: 2534 Madison Avenue, Kansas City, MO (Crossroads)
Opened: 1989
Beer Hall Hours:
     Daily: 10am-7pm
Current Tap List
Latest on KCBB about Boulevard
Untappd: 3.77/5
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Boulevard is the largest and most well-known brewery in the KC area, and should be on any beer nerd's list if they are making their first visit to the area. They recently opened a huge beer hall dedicated to all things Boulevard including a huge selection of regular run, limited release, and special test brews--and all as fresh as can be. They also have a limited selection of food available at the beer hall. Free public tours are given every day and are done on a first-come first-serve basis. They also have more in depth tours that you need to book ahead. The Smokestack Tour, which cost $25, gives you a very in-depth 2 hour long tour of the entire brewery operations and a guided tasting and food pairing. Book ahead and make sure you've got your closed-toed shoes!

Calibration Brewery
Location: 119 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, MO (North KC)
Opened: 2016
Tasting Room Hours:
     Mon-Wed: 3pm-9pm
     Thurs: 3pm-10pm
     Fri-Sat: 11am-11pm
     Sun: Closed
Latest on KCBB about Calibration
Untappd: 3.45/5
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Calibration is the latest brewery to open in the North KC brewing hub. They are literally around the corner from Cinder Block, and down the street from the several other beer-centric locals in NKC. The head brewery of Calibration came over from the now defunct 75th Street Brewery after poor management and lack of a focus or investment in the beer or food doomed the brewpub. It's new beginnings now with a brand new super high tech brewing system and a beautiful bar. It's pretty early to give much of a review, but they've got some great promise!

Cinder Block Brewery
Location: 110 East 18th Ave North Kansas City, MO (North KC)
Opened: 2013
Tasting Room Hours:
     Mon-Thurs: 4pm-9pm
     Fri-Sat: 12pm-11pm
     Sun: Closed
Current Tap List
Latest on KCBB about Cinder Block
Untappd: 3.67/5
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Cinder Block is one of the most popular breweries in KC with great beer and a great tap room. Up until early 2015, they only served their beers on-site in their taproom, but they've now expanded to bars around town, and will soon be canning beers for retail sales. Part of the growing North KC beer scene, it's right around the corner from Big Rip, Grain to Glass, Screenland Armour, and Colony Espresso and Beer bar. It's definitely worth going out of your way to hit up North KC to visit them and the other shops around there. And if you happen to spot the Black Squirrel or Lusus Naturae, drink as many of them as you can!

Crane Brewing
Location: 6515 Railroad St, Raytown, MO
Opened: 2016
Tasting Room Hours:
     Monday: Closed
     Tues-Wed: 4pm-9pm
     Thurs-Sat: 2pm-9pm
     Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Latest on KCBB about Crane
Untappd: 3.97/5
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Crane is the darling of KC's brewing scene. Founded by a home brewer who doesn't like the taste of beer, but loves the process and is super nice to boot, they've built a reputation over the years at competitions and festivals for having excellent beer. They had such good feedback over the years, that they decided to open a package brewery. They started distributing bottles in early 2016 to liquor stores and bars. They focus primarily on belgian styles and sour beer, and do an amazing job with them. And if you happen to spot the beet beer in the tasting room, give it a try--it's not for everyone, but it's the most unique beer you'll have ever had.

Double Shift Brewing
Location: 412 E 18 St, Kansas City, MO (Crossroads)
Opened: 2015
Tasting Room Hours:
     Mon-Tues: Closed
     Wed-Thurs: 4pm-10pm
     Friday: 4pm-11:30pm
     Saturday: 12pm-11:30pm
     Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Latest on KCBB about Double Shift
Untappd: 3.41/5
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Double Shift is another brewer located in the heart of the Crossroads brewing hub. Right next door is Border Brewing Co and down the street is Torn Label. Brewery Emperial is also planned to open less than a block away as well. Double Shift had some quality issues with their beer early on but they've worked hard to iron those issues out. Their newer beers are much better and they've even got some barrel aged and wild beers coming out now. They're definitely worth a stop over if you're down in the area for brewery touring or First Fridays.

Free State 
Location: 636 Massachusetts, Lawrence, KS
Opened: 1989
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Sat: 11am-12am
     Sun: 12pm-11pm
Current Tap List
Latest on KCBB about Free State
Untappd: 3.61/5
Yelp: 4/5
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Free State is actually in Lawrence, Kansas, which is around a 30 minute drive west of Kansas City. A college town that is claimed home by the University of Kansas, Lawrence is an interesting mix of college students of all types, with an especially high hippie concentration. But I digress. Free State is a fantastic place and a must-stop if you are in Lawrence or even in western Johnson County (from Olathe it's a shorter drive to Free State in Lawrence than Cinder Block north of downtown KC). Its the oldest brewery in Kansas and one of the best. Though they package some of their beers and sell them in KC liquor stores and on tap, their Lawrence brewpub always has a number of unique beers available on tap that can't be found elsewhere.

Green Room Burgers & Beer
Location: 4010 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO (Westport)
Opened: 2012
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Tues: 11am-11pm
     Wed-Sat: 11am-1am
     Sun: 11am-10pm
Latest News about Green Room
Untappd: 3.49/5
Yelp: 3.5/5
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Located in Westport behind the Westport Coffeehouse, Green Room is a nano-brewpub that was awarded the designation of Best Nerd Bar by the Pitch Newspaper, if that tells you anything about the place. It's a neighborhood bar that hosts movie nights, trivia, and board game nights. They specialize in small batch beers and casked real ale. There's always a couple of firkins on the beer engine, usually a combination of house brew and casks from other local breweries. They also maintain an excellent list of local and regional craft beer (at great prices, to boot). On the food side, they have some of the best burgers, fries, and onion rings in town.

Gordon Biersch - Gordon Biersch is Permanently Closed
Location: 100 E. 14th, Kansas City, MO
Opened: 2008
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Thurs: 11am-12pm
     Fri-Sat: 11am-1am
     Sun: 11am-11pm
Latest News about Gordon Biersch
Untappd: 3.39/5
Yelp: 3.5/5
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Located in the Power & Light District, a city planned district that lacks any local character but has the benefit of being downtown across the street from the Sprint Center. If you're staying in the downtown area, Gordon Biersch is a great place to get a beer. If you're in a part of the US with your own Gordon Biersch, there's no reason to go to this one. But, they do have good food (if a little overpriced) and good German style beers.

Kansas City Bier Company
Location: 310 West 79 Street, Kansas City, MO (Waldo)
Opened: 2014
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon: Closed
     Tues-Thurs: 4pm-11pm
     Friday: 2pm-11pm
     Sat: 11am-11pm
     Sun: 12pm-9pm
Latest on KCBB about KC Bier Co
Untappd: 3.66/5
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KC Bier Co is Kansas City's local German lager brewer. You can regularly see the owner and tap room manager sporting their lederhosen, the head brewer studied brewing in Munich, and the room is always breaking out into the Prosit song. They also have a regular Stammtisch on the first Tuesday of every month--wenn du dein Deutsch ubungen moechtest! They focus on brewing very clean and balanced traditional German lagers like helles, dunkles, hefeweizen, and bock beers. They distribute their beers around town, but they also have a great tap room and biergarten. The biergarten and taproom is family & dog friendly, with a kids' play place in the biergarten and regular family events. And just like in Germany, you can bring your own food for a picnic in the biergarten as long as you order some beer. They also have some light appetizers and snacks for sale as well.

Martin City Brewing Co.
Location: 500 E 135th St, Kansas City, Missouri
Opened: 2014
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Sat: 11am-1:30am
     Sun: 11am-10pm
Current Tap List: Pizza & Tap, The Pub
Latest on KCBB about Martin City
Untappd: 3.74/5
Yelp: 4/5
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Martin City Brewing Co has two separate locations, The Pub and the Pizza and Tap restaurant on opposite sides of Locust St. The Pub (east side) opened before they had their brewing operations going. They didn't have room on site to brew, so they started brewing across the street. They usually have a couple of their house beers on tap at the Pub (in addition to an excellent craft list from other breweries), but if you really want a sample of their beers, hit up the Pizza and Tap bar. They've usually got a dozen or so house beers on tap there, and they're always very solid. The food is also very good, and they've got a solid lineup of other craft brews. MCBC also distributes beer all over town--most recently they started releasing their beer in cans.

McCoy's Public House
Location: 4057 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO (Westport)
Opened: 1997
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Fri: 11am-3am
     Sat: 10am-3am
     Sun: 10am-12pm
Latest News about McCoy's
Untappd: 3.56/5
Yelp: 4/5
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McCoy's is a brewpub in the heart of Westport, and one of the favorite spots in KC to have a beer. McCoy's standard beers are good, though they may not differ much from other brewpubs around the US (except for Ginger Shandy--it's the city's best radler/shandy!). Their special release beers stands out the most with the likes of their Gose and Blackberry Tart (just to name a couple). It's a great place for a beer and a dinner or lunch that can satisfy any number of moods for food, and the food is great and reasonably priced. The patio is one of the great patios in town, and is the best place to do Westport people watching, which is an experience in its own right.

Red Crow Brewing Co
Location: 20561 South Lone Elm Road, Spring Hill, KS
Opened: 2015
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Tues: Closed
     Wed-Thurs: 4:30pm-10pm
     Fri-Sat: 12pm-10pm
     Sunday: 12pm-7pm
Latest News about Red Crow
Untappd: 3.67/5
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You can think of Red Crow more like a farm winery than a brewery. Located in beautiful country just south of town, they've got an awesome patio to drink on and have live music every weekend along with a multitude of other events. Their beer was born of homebrewing fame, garnering a multitude of metals at competitions and making a big splash at the past Nanobrew Fests. They're a little out of the way for some people, but if you're in the southwest corner of the metro, it's probably quicker to drive to Red Crow than it is to get downtown. So make the drive and go check them out!

Rock & Run Brewery
Location: 110 E Kansas St, Liberty, MO
Opened: 2013
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Thurs: 11am-11pm
     Fri-Sat: 11am-1am
     Sun: 11am-11pm
Current Tap List
Latest on KCBB about Rock & Run
Untappd: 3.34/5
Yelp: 4/5
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Rock and Run is a brewpub way out in the 'burbs, and as such it mostly serves the locals in Liberty, MO where there isn't much else going on in the way of nightlife. It's located on the historic Liberty Square, though, which has some quaint shops and an old town feel. If you're up that way, it's definitely worth a visit, since they've always got a raft of interesting brews going, even if they are hit-or-miss sometimes. The food is also excellent and reasonably priced, and they have a lot of fresh interesting stuff--not just your standard brewpub fare. And to top it off, the owners are the coolest guys you could ever meet.

Stockyards Brewing Co
Location: 1600 Genessee St #100, Kansas City, MO
Opened: 2016
Restaurant Hours:
     Mon-Tues: Closed
     Wed-Thurs: 4pm-11pm
     Fri-Sat: 12pm-11am
     Sunday: 12pm-8pm
Latest on KCBB about Stockyards
Untappd: 3.70/5
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After the historic Golden Ox restaurant closed in 2015, Stockyards Brewing Co went to work rehabing the space. They've done an excellent job and now occupy that space right next to the Livestock Exchange building. This area right up the street from Kemper Arena has really taking off in the last couple of years. There are a number of restaurants and bars including Voltaire, Genessee Royale Bistro, and the Amigoni Urban Winery among others. It's a cool backwaters of KC, and I highly recommend a visit. Stockyards have added greatly to the area with their excellent beers and cozy but cool bar. If you're ever down that way, or looking to get out of downtown for a little taste of old KC, this is the place to go.

Torn Label
Location: 1708 Campbell St, Kansas City, MO (Crossroads)
Opened: 2015
Taproom Hours:
     Fri: 5p-12a
     Sat: 12p-12a
     Sun: 12p-8p
Latest on KCBB about Torn Label
Untappd: 3.72/5
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Torn Label is another new brewery in KC doing it right. They distribute beers around town and recently opened a taproom. They've made a fantastic first impression on the city--their beers are all very good. They do excellent IPAs, have done a number of coffee beers in collaboration with Thou Mayest coffee roasters/cafe/bar (just down the street from Torn Label and Border Brewing Co), and do some good Belgian beers as well. If you see them on tap around town, order their beer immediately! The Alpha Pale and House Brew are not to be missed.

Beer Bar Highlights

Bier Station (120 E. Gregory Boulevard, Kansas City, MO) - Bier Station is Kansas City's most beloved spot for craft beer. The Midwest's first combination beer bar and bottle shop, Bier Station hosts frequent events ranging from your typical tap takeovers to hosting Cantillion Zwanze Day, and maintains a constantly rotating set of taps with a digital menu that makes it easy to see what's available. Grab a pretzel, check out what's on the dedicated 'Wild' tap, and head to the upstairs biergarten to soak in this unique spot.

Beer Kitchen (435 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO) - Beer Kitchen in Westport is a great stop for lunch or dinner. They have great burgers which shouldn't be missed and, while they only have 8 beers on tap, those beers are usually pretty rare and special. Beer Kitchen also has an extensive selection of bottled beers. Located just across the street from McCoy's mentioned above, you can spend a great afternoon in Westport.

Flying Saucer Draught Emporium (101 E. 13th, Kansas City, MO- The Flying Saucer is the biggest and best place for beer in town. They have the most beers on tap and have a great selection of local beers. Even if you are coming from a town with its own Flying Saucer, you should still go to Kansas City's. If you're staying downtown, the Saucer is the perfect place to end your evening. Kansas City has so many food options you'd be silly to eat at the Saucer, but if you do, just get a slice of pizza.

The Foundry (424 Westport Rd., Kansas City, MO- Another Westport bar across the street from Beer Kitchen and connected to McCoy's. The Foundry has more of a focus on Belgian beers and they have a great selection of taps as well as bottled beers. The Foundry also has great food and is a great late night spot.

Up-Down KC (101 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108) - This bar is every 30-something-craft-beer-lover's dream come true. Not only do they have a great selection of craft beers with a rotating stock, in addition to a good selection of liquors and whisky, but they have arcades! And skeeball! And a Nintendo 64 on a giant screen where you can play Mario Cart & Goldeneye tournament style! Servers will even find you at your arcade to refill your glass. It doesn't get much better than that. Also, the arcades are super cheap compared to what you remember as a kid--only $10 can get you a solid couple hours of fun (unless you're playing Contra).

Anton's (1610 Main St, Kansas City, MO 64108) - I think Anton's is one of the most under appreciated beer bars and restaurants in town. This place has an great selection of draft beer and very knowledgeable and friendly bartenders. The food is also excellent. They have some of the best steaks in a city known for steaks--they butcher their own meat and even have a market where you can take their butchered meats to go. And when you go downstairs to the restrooms, take a minute to check out the aquaponics system--they grown their own vegetables and tilapia down there in carbon-neutral organic food system.

Waldo Pizza (7433 Broadway, Kansas City, MO) - For the beer traveler with kids, Waldo Pizza is a Godsend. Blanc, McCoy's and 75th Street Brewery are fine places for kids and you definitely shouldn't think twice about bringing kids there. But, Waldo Pizza is the best of the bunch kids wise. And, they have a great beer selection and some of the best pizza in town.

Barley's Brewhaus (16649 Midland Dr., Shawnee, KS & 11924 W. 119th, Overland Park, KS- Barley's has 3 locations in town, Overland Park, Shawnee and Leawood. Barley's has mediocre food but by no means bad food and has a great beer selection, especially for the Kansas side of the state line. Mostly tap beer, some good finds can be had, but since it is in Kansas some of the more well known brands are not available such as Firestone Walker, Bell's and Founders. They also host regular events--most of the best beer events on the Kansas side of the state line happen at one of their three locations.

Grinders (417 E. 18th, Kansas City, MO- Grinders is probably the most unique place in Kansas City to get a good beer. They have about 20 taps most of which rotate so you never know what you're going to find there. Another place with eclectic food such as Tandoori Chicken Pizza or Chili and Tater Tot Pizza. Kind of a bad place for those with kids. Grinders is one of those places where a motorcycle gang and 5 guys in suits could be sitting at tables side by side. Be prepared to stay a while as service is notoriously bad.

For the suburbanites out there, Grinder's also opened a location way out there in an awesome old hotel--Grinder's Stonewall has the same great beers and food for those who can't always drive all the way downtown. Grinder's also recently purchased the High Noon Saloon Brewpub in Leavenworth and will soon start brewing their own beer for all their restaurants.

Riot Room (4048 Broadway, Kansas City, MO- The Riot Room has great taps and is a great place. A problem with Riot Room is it is a concert venue so if you're going late in the evening, you're going to pay a cover to see the band. If that doesn't interest you, show up when they open at 5 and you can sit at the bar and drink any of their fine selections. They tend to have some rare beers and because of the issues with drinking there, the rare stuff lasts longer than it should.  Located next to McCoy's and The Foundry in Westport, it's just one more great beer place on a great beer block.

O'Malley's (500 Welt St., Weston, MO) - A historic bar unlike any other. Located almost entirely underground in cement encased rooms, you'll never see another bar quite like it. On the off chance you're going to travel to Weston when you come to KC, O'Malley's is worth a stop.

Buying Beer Retail in KC

Every time I travel somewhere, I always want to buy some beer to bring home. As easy as it seems like it should be, it's never a straightforward task because of all the insane byzantine liquor laws we've got in America. As in other areas of the country, we've got our own set of crazy laws and it's especially confusing since we straddle the state line. So we thought we'd write a word about how it's done in our neck of the woods.

Regardless of which side of the state line you're on though, check out the bottle shops on our KC Beer Map. On the map, we've listed all the places worth visiting if you want to find a good selection and a shop that sells fresh, quality stuff. Because there are so many, we starred our favorites--if you're near by one of these, hit them up first!

In Kansas, the ONLY stores that can sell real beer (not "near beer" low alcohol stuff) are specialty liquor stores. They're not state-run monopoly liquor stores, but they are dedicated shops and they cannot sell anything but liquor. All other stores that sell beer, such as grocery stores and gas stations, can ONLY sell the "near beer" under 3.2% ABW. So BEWARE! The beer you're buying at those stores (even if it's a craft brew) is a watered down version of the regular beer. Except the Bud-Miller-Coors beers of course. They're watered down already. But you don't care about that, do you?

The laws in Missouri related to selling craft beer at retail are much more relaxed than Kansas. Anyone selling alcohol can sell any full strength beer. So you can walk into a gas station, grocery store, or wherever else that sells liquor and get regular full-strength beer. And just like our best Kansas City barbecue restaurant is in a gas station, some of our best KC liquor stores are in gas stations (and grocery stores). But regardless of the fact that big grocery stores and gas stations can sell beer in Missouri, it's still usually worth going to one of the dedicated liquor stores. The liquor stores usually have the best craft beer selections.

Local Barbecue Highlights

If you're coming to KC, you're more than likely going to want to eat barbecue at least once. You ask a Kansas Citian where to get the best barbecue and you're going to get as many different answers as people you ask. So keep in mind this is just our favorites list! And we assure you--unless you live in a barbecue mecca yourself, our 20th best place is better than your best place so this is all just academic.

Joe's Kansas City (3002 W. 47th St., Kansas City, KS; 11950 Strang Line Rd., Olathe, KS) - Joe's KC is pretty close to a consensus #1 pick for barbecue in town. They have the best pulled pork you're ever going to eat and some of the best fries in town. Everything's good at Joe's. Don't be a hero and get the large sandwich, it will ruin the rest of your day, it's too big. The regular size sandwich is fine, you'll get full. You can get Boulevard beers on tap at Joe's and at most of the barbecue places in town. Go to the one in the gas station on 47th St. if you have the opportunity. And do yourself a favor: order the Z-Man.

Gates (1325 E. Emanuel Cleaver, Kansas City, MO; 3205 Main St., Kansas City, MO; 1221 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, MO; 4621 Paseo Blvd., Kansas City, MO; 103rd and State Line, Kansas City, MO; 10440 E US HWY 40, Independence, MO; 1026 State Ave., Kansas City, KS )- Gates is a Kansas City landmark. Odds are if you've ever seen a television show dedicated to Kansas City barbecue, you've seen Gates. The simple order of ham on bun will get you a great barbecue ham sandwich and fries. That's what I get.

Arthur Bryant's (1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, MO; 3200 N. Ameristar Dr., Kansas City, MO; 1702 W. Village Pkwy, Kansas City, KS) - Bryant's is one of those love or hate type of places because of their sauce. I like their sauce, but it's quite vinegarry and not something you're probably used to. Known for their burnt ends which in turn is the reason KC is known for burnt ends, if you want to know why KC has this reputation, Arthur Bryant's is the answer. Go to the downtown location on Brooklyn by the Negro Leagues Museum if you're going.

LC's (5800 Blue Pkwy, Kansas City, MO- LC's is out near the stadiums so may be a good place to go if you're in town for a game. It's what a good barbecue place should be, a little scary looking in a scary looking part of town. Somehow, that makes the Q taste better.

Danny Edward's Blvd Barbecue (2900 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO) - Danny Edwards has great barbecue as well and is just down the street from Boulevard Brewery. If you can get a late morning tour, Danny Edwards might be a good place for lunch.

Smokin' Guns (1218 Swift Ave., North Kansas City, MO- Known mostly for their brisket, Smokin' Guns should be your choice if you're looking for some good beef. It's especially convenient if you're up touring the North KC spots like Big Rip and Cinder Block. Smokin' Guns is within easy walking distance of both those breweries and splits the difference between them. Also, both breweries will let you bring in your own food to eat, so get some BBQ to go!

RJ's Bob-be-Que (5835 Lamar Ave., Mission, KS) - RJ's puts a little gourmet spin on barbecue. While they have good barbecue, they also have a fine selection of other delicacies such as bison empanadas which might just strike your fancy. They also have a great breakfast with some of the best bacon you'll ever eat. If you're staying in Kansas or near The Plaza, RJ's may be worth a trip. RJ's also has a good beer selection and is probably the most beer friendly barbecue around.

Fiorella's Jackstack (4747 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO; 101 W. 22nd St. Kansas City, MO; 13441 Holmes, Kansas City, MO, 9520 Metcalf, Overland Park, KS) - If you wish to wipe your hands with cloth napkins and have waiter service, Jackstack is the place for you. It's really good barbecue--probably top 5. It's just more of a fancy schmancy type meal for no good reason (other than taking corporate clients to, which seems to be the majority of their business). A cheesy corn bake or Jackstack baked beans are mandatory if you're there. A good beer selection can be found at Jackstack as well. With 4 locations in town, you're likely to be near one at some point on your trip. You can also have Jackstack shipped anywhere in the country so your friends and family can know what they're missing out on.

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