July 31, 2012

Beer Base Camp comes to Kansas City!

The Deschutes Base Camp week has kicked off here in Kansas City!  We're happy to be a part of the festivities this year, and proud to be benefiting a charity near to our hearts.

In front of Woody
Click on the image to see the Deschutes Flickr account, full of great pics of Woody!

On Saturday, August 4th, we are hosting the closing event for Base Camp in Kansas City, so of course we're going to make sure it goes out with a bang!  From 2 pm - 6 pm Woody, the big beautiful barrel of beer from Deschutes will be on hand, bringing bodacious brews - Mirror Pond Pale Ale, Black Butte Porter, Twilight Summer Ale, Inversion IPA, Chainbreaker White IPA, Hop in the Dark Cascadian Dark Ale, Horse Ridge IPA, Nitro Obsidian Stout and Black Butte XXIII.  To top it all off, we'll have Deschutes Brewery’s limited anniversary brew for 2012, Black Butte XXIV!

For a little adventure, you'll also have the opportunity to fill out a passport!  Stop in to any of our restaurants to get your passport.  Then, get three stamps by drinking a beer at each location - McCoy's, The Foundry, and Beer Kitchen, and claim your prize at Woody!  We'll be offering full and 6 oz. pours of Nitro'd Obsidian, Black Butte XXIII and XXIIII, and Horse Ridge IPA at the restaurants, and 12 oz. pours from Woody.

What can make it better?  Well, $1 from every beer sold from Woody will be donated to Wayside Waifs, Kansas City's largest no-kill animal shelter.  Bring your pooches, sit on a patio, and grab some beers from Woody for a fantastic cause!

Check out our friends over at the KC Beer Blog for a full rundown of happenings around town throughout the week, and we'll see you Saturday afternoon!  Cheers!

July 24, 2012

You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato (doesn't really work in text)

Last night's beer dinner featuring Kurlbaum's heirloom tomatoes was a great success!!  Five courses of some of the best tomatoes you can get in Kansas City in delicious dishes, paired with fantastic beers.

Sky, Liz, and Sally were in attendance representing the farm, telling the fellow diners about their farm and the tomatoes used in the dishes.  There were some great facts about heirloom tomatoes, and the Kurlbaum farm.  They have a dry farm - meaning they don't use any irrigation, only rain - and 43 different varieties of tomatoes.  The hot, dry summer has actually helped produce some of the best tomatoes they've had.  And heirloom tomato seeds can be traced back hundreds of years.  Very cool.

Onto the meal.

The first course paired agnolotti & warm lump crab in a crunchy broth, smoked trout ricotta, and Juanne Flame tomatoes.  The tomato was filled with the smoked trout ricotta and bits of sea salt.  The sweet, smoky, and salty flavors blended perfectly!  And the agnolotti (sort of like a ravioli) with the lump crab and crunchy broth was delicious.  All of it went well with the sweeter Tripel Kermeliet.  A great start to the dinner!

Next was one I was really looking forward to - ginger pork belly, iceberg lettuce, and mayo (pictured on the right) and a short stack with pancetta.  The tomato rounding out the fanciest BLT I've ever had was the Gold Medal, and Nebraska Brewing Co.'s Apricot au Poivre tied it all together.  So good.  A sweeter tomato, the Gold Medal was perfect for the saltier pork belly.  Then, the savory and sweet short stack provided a nice contrast.  Apricot au Poivre is a great beer for this course.  It's sweet, with a good spice from black pepper used in the brewing.  I would have so much more of everything in this course.  Like, a full sandwich, the size of my face.  Two or three of them.  I would eat all of it.

The third course brought us the Cherokee Purple tomato charred & chilled and served as a sort of soup, with a seared day boat scallop and lobster cream. YUM. I love scallops, I love lobster, and I may love this tomato. It's got a smoky flavor. It worked well with the cream and seared scallop. The Odell Double Pilsner held up well with the dish. Fuller bodied, sweet malt with a good hop backing. Smooth. Like the dish.

A Brandywine tomato wedge with Maytag blue cheese and a tomato jerky might have been my favorite use of tomato on the night.  It was fairly straightforward, but with high quality ingredients, you don't need much.  Then with the smoked marrow emulsion and the braised beef toast, this was a great course.  New Belgium's Belgo is a good beer.  The hops may have been a bit strong for the more delicate flavors of the tomato wedge portion, but I think the beef toast and emulsion had enough backing to keep up with the beer.

Finally, dessert.  A cobbler featuring a Chocolate Striped tomato, topped with a Hillbilly Potato Leaf "frozen & spun" ice cream.  It sounds a little strange, but it actually worked really well, especially getting a bite of the ice cream and cobbler together.  The cobbler was better on its own than the ice cream, but it was impressive work to make a tasty sweet treat out from the tomatoes.  The beer pairing, Ommegang Witte, was a nice, light way to finish the meal.

Yes, a great, great meal.  Once again, Chef Michael Peterson created a fantastic menu.  I'm already looking forward to the next one!  Keep an eye out for the date and menu for the August beer dinner - it'll be our annual vegetarian meal!  Cheers

July 19, 2012

Omaha Beers!

First up, some tickets remain for Monday's You Say Tomato beer dinner featuring Kurlbaum’s heirloom tomatoes at Beer Kitchen! Call 816-389-4180 to reserve your spot. $60 covers your dinner, tax, and gratuity, for what promises to be a fantastic night.

This last weekend found me attending another weekend, this one in Omaha (congratulations to Brandon and Katie!!). Of course, while I was there, I needed to try some of the local offerings. Friday night, a lot of the guys met at Upstream Brewing, at their Old Market location. I've been there once before, last year after the Great Nebraska Beer Fest, and have had a bottle of their Horse Feathers Rye (a beer that emulates the classic cocktail, with rye, ginger, some citrus - fantastic). Since that last visit was after a beer fest, I was hoping this time I'd be able to have a more intact palate. And, thanks to the miracle of Untappd, I'm able to remember each of the pints I had - Till the Break of Dawn Saison, Ballpark Belgian Wit, 1936 Strong ESB, Capitol Premium Pale Ale, Dundee Export Scotch Ale, and the Riverboat Porter. I feel pretty good about my choices. They were all very solid brews, and all I would drink again. The standouts for me were Till the Break of Dawn Saison - light but spicy, with nice citrus notes, 1936 Strong ESB - really drinkable, biscuity with some toasty malts and a hint of bitterness, and the Dundee Export Scotch Ale - sweet, roasty Scotch ale, and it was dang good (if I had my wits about me at the end of the night, I may have considered getting a growler of any of them for the hotel).

Oh so pretty. I wish I had taken some pictures at Upstream
Saturday involved a trip to the Omaha Zoo (highly recommended!), followed by lunch at Nebraska Brewing Company. Here I kept it simple, and went with the sampler - their Blonde, Infinite Wit, EOS Wheat, Brunette Nut Brown, Cardinal Pale Ale, IPA, Hop God, and Summertime Rye. Again, all great beers. I'm a little more familiar with them, as Nebraska Brewing has some bottles available in the KC market, along with taps (including the IPA at the Foundry!). It was nice to have the smaller samples to enjoy with a delicious Cuban sandwich. Oh, and get the Buffalo cheese bites. Fried white cheddar tossed in Buffalo sauce. Delicious. The Summertime Rye is one of their seasonals, and perfect for the summer. There's the spicy rye side of it, but the beer is light, and refreshing. Again, I should've grabbed a growler on my way out. One of these days, I'll learn. But, the wedding reception later that evening had Boulevard Wheat, so that was A-OK with me.

Between those two stops, the trip up I-29 is well worth it. Friendly people, good food, and excellent beers. If you can't make it any time soon, or want a taste of Nebraska here in Kansas City, you're in luck. We have bottles of Black Betty (SO GOOD), and the IPA on tap at the Foundry, and we'll be featuring the Apricot au Poivre at the upcoming beer dinner. It's one of my favorites of theirs!

Or hey, if you're looking for a good time to head north, I'd suggest the Great Nebraska Beer Fest, coming up at the end of August! McCoy's will be there with some beer, along with a bunch of great breweries, many who aren't available in the Midwest, other than at this fest (Upstream, Funkwerks, Crooked Stave, and Cigar City, and some nanobreweries from the area). I went last year, and it was so much fun. And it was right across the street from the Nebraska Brewery. What more reason do you need?!

July 11, 2012

July Beer Dinner! Featuring Kurlbaum Heirloom Tomatoes

Our next beer dinner is just around the corner! This month, it's our five-course "You Say Tomato. . ." dinner, featuring heirloom tomatoes from Kurlbaum Tomato Farm (check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kurlbaumtomato or on Twitter at twitter.com/kurlbaumtomato). My mouth is already watering, just looking at this menu.  Let's take a closer look at what we'll be serving -

The name in the bold red text is the variety of tomato, followed by the dish, then the beer in the purple-ish color
It's hard for me to predict a favorite right now.  I think the P.B.L.H.T. has a strong chance (pretty sure that translates to Pork Belly, Lettuce, Heirloom Tomato), but I do love scallops, especially if they're paired with a lobster cream.  And lump crab?  Or braised beef toast with a smoked marrow emulsion?  Let's not forget about dessert, either.  I'm very intrigued by the use of tomatoes for dessert; after the use of garlic and peppercorn in the last beer dinner, I'm definitely on board with savory desserts.

As for the beers, well, they're all pretty dang good.  I think Nebraska's Apricot au Poive may be my favorite, but it's actually been a while since I've had most of the others.  This will be a great chance to catch up with old friends.

Space is limited, so make your reservations for July 23rd now by calling 816-389-4180!  $60 will cover the meal, tax, and gratuity. 

July 04, 2012

Celebrate America's Birthday!

If you're looking for a place to grab a drink before, during, or after fireworks tonight, McCoy's, Foundry, and Beer Kitchen are all open regular hours today! Stop in for a refreshing Cerveza at McCoy's, or a $2 PBR at the Foundry. And whatever you're doing, we wish you all a safe and happy Fourth!