Category Archives: Northland

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?

Jennifer Helber shares experiences as GABF judge for KC Girls’ Pint Out event

Many names come to mind when Boulevard Brewing Company is discussed: John, Steven, Jeremy. But quite possibly the most-important name you’ll never hear when it comes to brewing at Boulevard is Jennifer.

GPO Grian to Glass

Images Courtesy: KC Girls’ Pint Out

That’s right. A woman in one of the most male-dominated industries in the country helped develop and establish Boulevard’s quality-assurance lab. After aiding in yeast-cultivation research in the late 1980’s for Boulevard’s founder John McDonald, she came on full-time for the company almost 10 years later. For the next nine years, Helber ran the quality-assurance lab where she specialized in sensory science. The QA lab duties included microbiological testing, physical-chemical testing, and quite possibly the most important—sensory analysis, otherwise known as tasting for off-flavors.

Helber shared her background during the Kansas City Girls’ Pint Out Brew School event last Thursday at her current company, Grain to Glass in North KC. She discussed with the group the intricacies of judging for the Great American Beer Festival (GABF). While sharing with the group the importance of unbiased judging and explaining what to look for in a beer (color and appearance, aroma, flavor, carbonation, bitterness, alcohol, aftertaste and finish, balance and drink ability, technical quality, style) in comparison to others of its category, she fielded questions from the attendees.

Helber’s credentials run long, including: American Society for Quality, American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC), UC Davis Online Sensory Science and Consumer Testing Certificate, and she’s a member of the ASBC Sensory Committee.

Now Helber, a judge for both the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) and GABF, owns and runs Grain to Glass, a supply and bottle shop for aspiring and knowledgeable home-brewers. She holds brewing classes, and shares her experiences judging craft beer with customers and other groups.

While it may seem easiest to judge one’s favorite styles, Helber suggested the contrary, as it is easier to remain unbiased when tasting other styles. During the discussion, Helber passed around guides and tools used to make the judging process simpler and to keep the judges on point.

The next Kansas City Girls’ Pint Out will be Yappy Hour at KC Bier Company on September 18.

Taking Off: Best places to get beer flights in Kansas City

As an individual who thrives on change and new experiences, nothing makes me happier than the opportunity to try a beer flight at different restaurants and breweries. There’s no better way to see the rainbows of color and taste the unique characteristics of each style’s hop and malt combinations. To me, trying flights of beer is the best way to experience it all (without ending up passed out, head on the bar.)

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Your Mother Wants You To Drink

Ok, well maybe not your mother (or maybe she does, we don’t know), but Mother’s Brewing Co. definitely wants you to drink – and they’re taking over Armour Theater’s taps. Tomorrow evening (Friday, May 30) you can check out Seth McFarland’s latest feature “A Million Ways to Die in the West” while sipping on some of Mother’s brews including:

  • Askinosie Chocolate Imperial Three Blind Mice
  • Black Cherry Sherry Thang
  • Doozy Double IPA
  • Raspberry Imperial Three Blind Mice
  • Sandy Hopped Up Wheat

Screenland will also offer a flight of 5-ounce glasses of each Mother’s beer for $15. Glasses of Black Cherry Sherry Thang and Askinosie Chocolate Imperial Three Blind Mice cost $10 each, and you get to keep the glass – but beware, the chocolate version of Three Blind Mice is extremely limited.

The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with some carnival games – minus the carnies, we hope. The film streams at 7:30 p.m. Movie tix are $8.50 and beer/food is separate.

Sounds like a great way to kick off the weekend!

Screenland Armour
408 Armour Rd
North Kansas City, MO
(816) 421-9700