Friday, June 20, 2014

Kansas City and Craft Beer Week

I just got back from Kansas City, where I was drinking and eating working for the past week. As fate would have it, it just happened to be their American Craft Beer Week and, boy, did I really take advantage. I drank, rubbed elbows with a great chef, and made a few key purchases that made in back to NYC with me. Here's what happened.

This is part I of my account of my trip to Kansas City during Craft Beer Week.

So right off the bat, I gotta admit, I really love Kansas City. It's just a great place to visit: lots of great restaurants, bars, and architecture. This was my second time there and I really made a point to discover some of the great little spots that most tourists miss. I went for walks every day before work and got to see a sunrise version of the city. I also stayed out pretty late most nights to take advantage of some of the local watering holes and became pretty friendly with some key places.

If you've been following me on Instagram, then you'll already know I took full advantage of some of the beers available around town and some of the events associated with the 2014 Kansas City Craft Beer Week.

First stop, the Flying Saucer. Of course, I had to have a KC Pils from Boulevard Brewery since I had been craving it since my last visit to KCMO.

And then a bit of this guy, Arctic Soirée, a collaboration between Grassroots Brewing and Anchorage Brewing. A pinky, floral-smelling saison that truly blew my mind. So damn good. Too bad it's like $25 for one bomber.

Second stop: Anton's, where I had some of Freestate Beer's Copperhead Pale Ale. Refreshing and yummy. (In reflection, I'd like to point out that I really did try to keep it really local for the first couple of brews.) And then an amazing thing happened, one of our friendly bartenders suggested we try a nice new place in town...

Third stop, the Belfry. A discovery on many levels. Lagunitas Undercover Shutdown. Not new to me, but always good. I'm not usually into such bitter beers like this, but it smells divine and the ale's fruitiness balances out the bitterness perfectly. (Plus, I love the story behind the beer... yes, a 20-day shutdown following an investigation.)

Off to the fourth stop, BRGR. Sante Fe Freestyle Pilsner. In a can. Great with a burger.

And so that was how my week started. Here are just a few more highlights of my KC Craft Beer Week experience:

A tasting of four of the Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project at the Belfry. First up, Ferus Fluxus (pictured here and at the top of this post). Brett collaboration with Upslope Brewing. A barrel-aged Belgian pale ale.

Batch #60, "Wild Wild Brett." Barrel fermented. While I think I liked the first one better, this was a favorite of my drinking partner.

Crooked Stave Origins. I'm not a huge fan of sours, hence only the sip. I don't regret trying it. And (foreshadowing, here), the first of a few baby steps into the world of sours.

And, lastly, Crooked Stave St. Bretta Citrus Wildbier. Deep, deep dark. I don't remember liking this one too much but I can't remember why.

Met the brewer of Ska Brewing at Anton's and after some mixup with the taps was able to get this Mexican Logger. A lager made with Mexican hops, for those "who secretly like drinking Pacifico." (Jeremy, while I was not able to bring any home for you, I was able to score a pint glass and some more swag.)

Some more from Boulevard Brewery, at Lulu's: KC Pils and Single-Wide IPA. Classic. Keeping it local to accompany some Thai noodles.

City of Dreams by 4 Hands Brewing. American Pale Ale. Great for drinking out back on the picnic table waiting for your movie time, as done at Anton's.

Yes, I promise, I really did get some work done last week. And, no, I didn't drink all of these by myself. Some were just short pours and I had help from my friends. While I missed out on the opportunity to go to Boulevardia, the inaugural beer, food, and music festival in Kansas City, I do think I made some really great discoveries. The highlight for me was stumbling upon the Belfry.

P.S. More on that in Part II: Kansas City and the Belfry
P.P.S. Part III: Kansas City and Hammerpress


  1. The Arctic Soirée sounds and looks so damn tasty!