Author Archives: KC Beer Guide

Flying Saucer to Host “Women in Craft Beer Series” this Friday

In its third and final installment, Flying Saucer will host female experts from two Missouri craft breweries on Friday. Libby Brown from 2nd Shift Brewing and Emily Wymore of Perennial Artisan Ales will be on hand to host a happy hour. The event coincides with this weekend’s Kansas City Beerfest in the Power and Light district. Two beers from each brewery will be tapped including: Funky Wit Melon and Von Pampelmuse from Perennial, and Chateau le Douchbag and Grace from 2nd Shift.

According to the Brewer’s Association, almost 32 percent of craft beer produced in the U.S. is consumed by women, with the majority of them being between 21 to 35 years old. As far as the business of craft beer goes, craftbeer.com reported that 21 percent of the 2500 breweries surveyed had a female in a top role. Kansas City is in on the female craft beer scene as well with organizations like KC Girls’ Pint Out (shameless plug!)

Check out the event and meet the ladies from the breweries this Friday at Flying Saucer downtown beginning at 6 p.m.

Sustainable Seafood and Craft Beer: Twosdays at Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar

Here in the middle of the country, the last thing many of us think of when we go out for dinner and drinks is seafood. Lucky, right in the heart of the city on the Plaza, Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar has fresh seafood, and an amazing beer selection. If you know where the new Polsinelli building is on the Plaza, then you can find Jax Fish House. Alex of Scouting the Taps, local author Pete Dulin of “KC Ale Trail” and I (Sarah) went down to Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar for Twosday Brewsday.

On Tuesdays at the restaurant, all draft, bottled and canned beers are buy-one-get-one free, all night. The restaurant has a varied tap selection that features mainstays such as Boulevard Wheat, KC Bier Co Dunkel and Tallgrass 8-bit Pale Ale. The fun part comes in the rotating lines. During our KC Beer Bloggers meetup, Jax had Boulevard Tropical Pale Ale, Perennial Suburban Home, Cinderblock Northtowne Native and Bell’s Two Hearted on tap.

As a true testament to the restaurant’s love for all things local beer, they partnered with Cinder Block Brewing last fall to create Emersum Oyster Stout, made with Jax’s house Emersum oysters. Currently there aren’t any plans for another local collaboration, but we have a feeling that there will be more to come.

Of course, what’s a little beer without some sustainable seafood to go along? The restaurant was gracious enough to let us try a little bit of everything including: fish and chips made with different fish and batters all the time; Emersum, Malpeque, Kusshi, and Steamboat Island Oysters; calamari; and green curry that had us raving about the addicting flavor. The curry brought an amazing citrus flavor balanced by a mild heat, and paired well with everything we were eating and drinking.

With food and beer sitting in front of us, food pairings are an inevitable topic, along with the food prowess of Pete Dulin helping us discover how food and beer mingle. We took the Northtowne Native, Tropical Pale, and Two Hearted experimenting with how they played with each food item. A dish that worked well was the fish and chips paired with the Northtowne Native, a California Common from Cinderblock in North Kansas City. If you have never done this, I would suggest exploring your palate at Jax soon.

If you’re a seafood lover, Mondays are a good day to come out for all-night happy hour with discounted food plates, wine and beer. Regular happy hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 3 to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

If you’re looking for a new place for happy hour and a good tap list, check out Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar on the plaza.

Jax Fish House and Oyster Bar: http://www.jaxfishhouse.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jaxkansascity/

KC Beer Bloggers, UNITE!

Recently, a group of us beer bloggers met up to think of ways to work together and continue to promote the beer scene here in KC. We’ve been informally calling ourself the ‘more perfect bloggers union’, which consists of Alex from Scouting the Taps; Jim from KC Beer Scouts; Jay from KC Beer Blog; and myself (Sarah.)

Luckily, the perfect opportunity to work together for the first time fell in our laps. Roughtail Brewing, from Oklahoma City, hit the market this week in Kansas and sent us some brews to try. Being the beer lovers we are, we sat around for four hours a couple of weeks ago, talked about beer in KC, blogging, and had a little taste test of our own.

Here are my notes from that evening. To check out the others’ tasting notes, click on their respective links in the above paragraph and check them out. Mega thanks to Jim for putting together our flavor waves and for Jay for taking the header photos.

Roughtail Brewing Tasting Notes From KC Beer Guide

Pale Ale: Roughtail-Pale-Ale_flavor-waveWe started off our evening with the Roughtail Pale Ale. We all agreed it felt a little thin-bodied, but it had a nice level of hoppiness. It was high on the sparkle with a golden haze in color. I definitely tasted citrus in it with a bit of a bitter balance. This could be a sessionable ale for a summer day.


Roughtail-IPA_flavor-wave

Roughtail IPA: What the pale may have missed in body, the IPA makes up. Sitting at about the same level of hoppiness, the IPA had more of an alcohol quality to it. It was an evenly balanced beer with the level of happiness one would expect from a west coast-style ale. I got a little citrus in this and a small bit of astringency.


Roughtail-Hoptometrist_flavor-wave

Hoptomotrist: Take the malty hoppiness of the Roughtail IPA and kick it up a notch and you’ll find yourself enjoying a Hoptomotrist Imperial IPA. This even-bodied ale kicks up the malt and alcohol just enough from the IPA to be distinguishable. Definitely not one to drink all night, but every now and then it’s nice to have a kicked up brew to take things to the next level.

 

To learn more about Roughtail Brewing, visit their website and pick up some in Kansas!

2015 Another Growth Year for US Craft Breweries

From the Brewers Association: With multiple breweries opening soon in KC – it’s no wonder we’re seeing national growth at this scale.

2015 growthThe Brewers Association (BA), the trade association representing small and independent1 American craft brewers, today released 2015 data on U.S. craft brewing2 growth. With more breweries than even before, small and independent craft brewers now represent 12 percent market share of the overall beer industry.

In 2015, craft brewers produced 24.5 million barrels, and saw a 13 percent rise in volume3 and a 16 percent increase in retail dollar value.  Retail dollar value was estimated at $22.3 billion, representing 21 percent market share.

“For the past decade, craft brewers have charged into the market, seeing double digit growth for eight of those years,” said Bart Watson, chief economist, Brewers Association. “There are still a lot of opportunities and areas for additional growth. An important focus will remain on quality as small and independent brewers continue to lead the local, full-flavored beer movement.”

Additionally, in 2015 the number of operating breweries in the U.S. grew 15 percent, totaling 4,269 breweries—the most at any time in American history. Small and independent breweries account for 99 percent of the breweries in operation, broken down as follows: 2,397 microbreweries, 1,650 brewpubs and 178 regional craft breweries. Throughout the year, there were 620 new brewery openings and only 68 closings. One of the fastest growing regions was the South, where four states—Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Texas—each saw a net increase of more than 20 breweries, establishing a strong base for future growth in the region.

Combined with already existing and established breweries and brewpubs, craft brewers provided nearly 122,000 jobs, an increase of over 6,000 from the previous year.

“Small and independent brewers are a beacon for beer and our economy,” added Watson. “As breweries continue to open and volume increases, there is a strong need for workers to fill a whole host of positions at these small and growing businesses.”

Note: Numbers are preliminary. The Brewers Association will release the list of Top 50 craft brewing companies and overall brewing companies by volume sales on April 5. Additionally, a more extensive analysis will be released during the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America® in Philadelphia from May 3-6. The full 2015 industry analysis will be published in the May/June 2016 issue of The New Brewer,highlighting regional trends and production by individual breweries.


 

1An American craft brewer is small, independent and traditional. Small: Annual production of 6 million barrels of beer or less (approximately 3 percent of U.S. annual sales). Beer production is attributed to the rules of alternating proprietorships.Independent: Less than 25 percent of the craft brewery is owned or controlled (or equivalent economic interest) by an alcoholic beverage industry member that is not itself a craft brewer. Traditional: A brewer that has a majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation. Flavored malt beverages (FMBs) are not considered beers.

2Absolute figures reflect the dynamic craft brewer data set as specified by the craft brewer definition. Growth numbers are presented on a comparable base. For full methodology, see the Brewers Association website.

3 Volume by craft brewers represent total taxable production.

Best Kid-Friendly Beer Establishments in Kansas City

You may have noticed that things have been a bit, errr, quiet around KC Beer Guide. There’s a good explanation for that – we have a new little member of our family (ok, she’s 8-months old now) but still – it’s been a crazy year.

I have been working with some other local bloggers in Kansas City and we are brewing up something exciting in the upcoming weeks – so stay tuned for that.

In the meantime, I’ve been conducting a lot of ‘research’ into places that are kid-friendly to have a beer. There’s been a lot of debate about whether or not it’s ‘ok’ to bring your kids to a brewery. Many places are fine to bring your kid during the day – obviously don’t let them run around and scream their heads off, or overdo it on the libations and you’ll be fine. If you’re out to do some serious craft beering – it’s obviously probably best to leave the kids at home. In my experience, there are a few places that are even better for bringing the kid – some even cater to children, all while serving up a good craft beer.

Here are a few of my favorite kid-friendly craft beer establishments in Kansas City.

KC Bier Company: Stop by KC Bier Company in Waldo on any Saturday with decent weather and you’ll see lots of kids (and dogs) playing in the bier garden. The brewery even has a bar playhouse with faux taps and pitchers where kids can pretend to pour beers. Like anywhere else, though, the kids will create their own fun and you see a lot of them playing with the rocks in the beer garden. While you’re there, drink the popular, yet low-a.b.v. dunkel or any of their constantly rotating seasonals.

Char Bar: Located in Westport in the old Beaumont space (RIP) is Char Bar – an indoor/outdoor BBQ+Beer concept, which opened last year by the good folks who run McCoys, Foundry and Beer Kitchen. As a resident of the Westport area, I’ve noticed more and more families around the district, and places like Char Bar are perfect for taking the kids on a nice afternoon. The bar has a huge outdoor space with traditional yard games like bocce, croquet and corn hole. The beer selection is great with rotating seasonal taps from Odell, Boulevard and Deschutes, among many other options on tap, in bottles and in cans. Like any other place with outdoor space, it gets super crowded, but if your kid is like mine – the people watching can keep them entertained for hours.

There are many other places that are great for bringing the kids along. Which are your favorites?

*Disclaimer: We obviously don’t advocate getting smashed while hanging with the kids, and always have a designated driver if driving is involved.

Guide to Local Thanksgiving Beer Pairings

Thanksgiving is the perfect excuse to try beers from various breweries in the KC area. We at KC Beer Guide have come up with a list of local brews that pair well with traditional Thanksgiving fare. Skip the grocery or liquor store on Wednesday for your libations and grab your growler to fill with one of these local faves.

Turkey: Some of the best brews to pair with turkey include bîere de garde, dubbel, and dunkel. And where better to get some malty, sweet dunkel than KC Bier Company? No matter what style of turkey you serve – whether it be brined, doused in maple syrup, stuffed with bread cubes, or just straight up – dunkel is light enough that it won’t overpower the bird’s flavor, but flavorful enough that it will enhance it.

Stuffing: Nothing goes with stuffing better than sweet potatoes. Ok, that’s a stretch, obviously turkey is the best thing to pair with stuffing, but we think that Pennywise Sweet Tater Ale from Big Rip Brewing Company would be a great pick to balance out savory elements of stuffing. If you’re rolling through the northland, you may as well stop by Cinder Block Brewing and pick up some Prime Pale Ale to bring out the herbal flavor of the stuffing.

Pumpkin Pie: Pumpkin pie is a staple at almost any Thanksgiving feast. Oftentimes people serve coffee with dessert – but we think Torn Label Brewing’s House Brew – a coffee wheat – is better than just plain coffee. It combines a robust coffee flavor without being too thick to outshine pumpkin pie. It would also combine well with brunch on Thursday morning with leftover turkey enchiladas or eggs Benedict.

Apple Pie: When it comes to dessert, a robust, complex porter is a no-fail option that pairs well with almost anything. When combined with apple pie, it’ll really balance out the sweetness of the apples while bringing out the spicy cinnamon flavors. Border Brewing Company’s Campfire Porter gets our pick for best option for pairing with apple pie.

What do you think? What local brews will you be grateful for this holiday season?

Kansas City Girls’ Pint Out Events Coming Up

Hello, world. It’s been a long summer here at the Beer Guide with a new baby and life things, the beer consumption slowed for a bit, but now we’re back!

There’s a small group of ladies (and some gentlemen) who get together once a month to mingle, drink good beer, and check out the latest craft beer joints in Kansas City. Girls Pint Out is a national craft beer organization for women. The mission is to build a community of women who love craft beer and who are an active, contributing part of the greater craft beer community. It just so happens that Kansas City’s chapter is ramping up again after taking a hiatus this summer (see a theme here?) with many festivals coming up this Fall!

Even though the organization is for women, men can come too. It might even be a good place to meet a special lady who loves good beer, if you’re looking for something like that…

September 24, 6-8 p.m. KC Bier Company: GPO will be holding a private tour of the brewing facilities at Kansas City Bier Company and, of course, imbibing on their excellent brews. $15 for Beer, Tour & GPO Glass & Sticker -or- $10 for Beer & Tour only. To RSVP, click here.

October 29, 6:30 p.m., Haunted Happy Hour at Big Rip: Because they had so much fun at last year’s haunted happy hour, GPO will be enjoying another pre-Halloween happy hour at Big Rip. Tour, Tasting and COSTUME CONTEST! Details are TBD, but RSVP here to keep up on the deets!

More events are planned for November and December so stay tuned to the Girls’ Pint Out Facebook page to get the deets!

Spring Has Sprung and That Means it’s Festival Season!

Here is the short list of upcoming events. Visit our calendar for more.

April 11

Kegs N Eggs KC: Rummage around the Kansas City Renaissance Festival grounds for Easter Eggs hidden about! Each egg contains tickets to be redeemed for prizes AND some lucky eggs even filled with COLD HARD CASH!!! But why stop there??? Egg Hunts are always better with booze, so everyone that signs up receives a Beer! Think you’ll still be thirsty after that Beer? During the hunt there will also be Craft Beer Tastings from local and regional Breweries and other activities! Did we mention there will also have a Live Band?!? So come out and drink a few beers, scavenge for hidden eggs, and partake in this one-of-a-kind Adult Egg Hunt! 1:00-5:00pm

April 25

Parkville Microbrew Fest: Kick off the summer with live music, handcrafted Ales, and great food in Historic Downtown Parkville, Missouri at Parkville Microbrew Fest. Guests will be supplied with a commemorative logo tasting glass, a custom tasting note sheet, and live music. From 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. at English Landing Park. Admission starts at 11:00 a.m., Gates open at 1:00 p.m.

  • 11:00 a.m. Admission and Live Bands
  • 1:00 p.m. Gates Open for Sampling
  • Designated Drivers – Free Admission
  • Must Have Ticket (if purchased online)
  • Must be 21+ with valid ID in order to attend
  • This event is nonrefundable
  • $35 Admission Day Of, Pending Availability. Cash Only.
  • Pets are Welcome
  • Rain or Shine

Kansas City On Tap Beer Festival: The Kansas City On Tap Craft Beer Festival takes place on Saturday, April 25th at the Berkeley Waterfront from 2:30PM – 6:00PM! KC on Tap features over 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries. Attendees will sample beers in an atmosphere filled with live music, delicious food available for purchase, and great vendors. What better way to spend a Saturday than with great friends, amazing beer, delicious food and live music!

Not one, but TWO new beer fests coming to KC this spring

Out of town organizers are hosting two new beer festivals this Spring in KC.

KC Brew Fest at Union Station: This inaugural craft beer fest will take place at Union Station on March 14th and will feature KC’s best breweries as well as craft breweries from around the country.
General Admission will be 1pm to 4pm and include unlimited beer ($35). VIP admission will be an added hour from noon to 4pm and include unlimited beer as well as specialty beer poured during the first hour. Food will be sold separately. Click here for event details and updates.

Kansas City on Tap Beer Festival at Richard L Berkeley Riverfront Park: The Kansas City On Tap Craft Beer Festival takes place on Saturday, April 25th at Richard L. Berkeley Riverfront Park from 2:30PM – 6:00PM! This three-hour premium event will showcase over 100 releases from some of America’s best craft breweries. Attendees will sample beers in an atmosphere filled with live music, delicious food available for purchase, and great vendors. Standard tickets are $35 until March 25th when they increase to $45. Cost is $55 day of event.
Visit the website to learn more: Kansas City On Tap Craft Beer Festival.

Brewers Association releases 2014 Year in Review

As the year draws to a close, the Brewers Association—the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers—looked back on how craft brewers fared in 2014. Here are some notable finding from their report:

  • U.S. brewery count returns to historic levels. In November, the United States passed the mark of 3,200 brewers in the country and the number of brewery licenses reached the highest ever, topping 4,500 in the first sixth months of the year. Thirteen states (CA, CO, WA, OR, MI, NY, PA, TX, FL, WI, IL, NC, OH) now have more than 100 breweries each.
  • Breweries are opening at a rate of 1.5 per day. In addition, there are more than 2,000 breweries in planning.
  • Craft brewers were the growth point in the overall beer industry. Through June of 2014, craft brewers enjoyed 18 percent growth by volume. Numerous data channels are showing continuing double-digit growth for craft in the second half of the year.
  • India Pale Ales (IPAs) remained the most favored craft beer style. According to retail scan data, IPA is up 47 percent by volume and 49 percent by dollar sales, accounting for 21 percent volume share of craft and 23 percent dollar share of off-premise beer sales. Additionally, the style was the number one entered category at the Great American Beer Festival®.
  • Variety packs had a strong year with craft beer lovers.Retail data also indicates that variety packs are up 21 percent by volume and 24 percent by dollar sales, equating to nine percent volume share of craft and seven percent dollar share.
  • Craft beer appreciators are becoming as diverse as craft beer itself. Data indicates that 38 percent of households bought a craft beer in the last year versus 29 percent in 2010. Additionally, women consume almost 32 percent of craft beer volume, almost half of which comes from women ages 21-34. Hispanic populations are demonstrating increased craft engagement as well.

Learn more here.

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