September 26, 2013

We don't need no stinkin' meat

Last week's beer dinner welcomed a little bit of a different crowd, as Beer Kitchen hosted the Vegetarian Beer Dinner. Even better than the food was the cause the meal benefited. New Roots for Refugees is a wonderful organization that helps refugees start new lives in the Kansas City area. Really, click on that link and read about them, because they're doing fantastic work.
People love the veggie food!
Last year's vegetarian beer dinner was excellent, and I knew that I probably wouldn't be missing the meat. It started with a nice chilled spinach soup with water spinach salad and lemon creme. This small reception dish was a perfectly light start for the dinner, setting us up for a lovely dinner.

The first pairing for the night was miso marinated heirloom tomatoes with red chili mozzarella and Thai basil pesto focaccia with Brouwerij van Steenberge Piraat. The miso added a savory component to a sweet tomato, and the Belgian IPA is just a dang good beer. I like dang good beers. There wasn't a lot of chili spice in the mozzarella, but the classic pairing of tomato and fresh mozzarella is magic.

Up next was a golden and red beet napoleon with feta and Burmese sorrel paired with Contact High from the St. Louis brewers at 4 Hands. I rarely eat beets, but when I do I wonder why I don't eat them more often. They've got a sweet earthy flavor, cut here by a little bit of an acidity in the sorrel and balanced in creamy feta. Contact High is a hoppy, hoppy wheat, so a hint a sweet with bitterness. It all worked so well.

As odd as this may be, I think this next course might have been the first time I've had ratatouille. Accompanying the ratatouille terrine was crispy black truffle polenta and micro greens with a white balsamic gastrique, and another beer from Brouwerij van Steenberge. This time the beer was a favorite, Monk's Cafe. A Flemish sour ale that's on the sweet side, it went wonderfully with the bitterness from the dish. I would eat ratatouille again. In terrine form or otherwise.

The next dish was probably the one that most resembled meat with a portabella-seitan wellington served alongside roasted fingerlings, oyster mushrooms, and a rosemary pan jus. The picture below doesn't do the dish justice... you can't see the portabella seitan inside of the puff pastry. But trust me, it's in there. And it was fantastic. And you can't go wrong with potatoes and mushrooms. Again, trust me. The beer was another from St. Louis, this time Civil Life's American Brown Ale. I'm a big fan of Civil Life, and especially of this beer. It's a great example of a brown ale, and a great choice to compliment the food.

Before the dessert was a nice palate cleanser, watermelon sorbet and marinated melon. Mint and vinegar flavors, very cleansing.

Dessert was a combination of sweet and savory in with kale zeppoli with Calabrian chili honey, and Bell's Oarsman brought a light tartness. A zeppole is kind of like an Italian doughnut. So, this was kind of like a kale doughnut. I'm not big on kale by itself, but I am big on doughnuts covered in powdered sugar. And honey. The Berliner Weisse was light and kept the dessert from beginning too heavy.

Another successful dinner! One of the great things about going to the beer dinners is getting to try a wide variety of foods with first class beer, and this was no exception. The chefs showed meat is optional!

September 20, 2013

The First Annual McCoy's Oktoberfest

Tomorrow the mayor of Munich will be tapping the first barrel and starting the 180th annual Oktoberfest! Now, if you weren't able to book that last-minute flight to join the celebration, have no fear. McCoy's is bringing Bavaria to you.

In exactly 24 hours, McCoy's will kick off their 2013 Oktoberfest! In addition to McCoy's own Oktoberfest brew, there will five other Oktoberfest biers, German music, bier garden, and traditional & contemporary German food from 1pm - 5pm in the parking lot. Oh, did I mention for $15 you get this -

Your very own liter bier stein! The $15 gets you the glass filled with McCoy's Oktoberfest, and then you keep the stein.

The weather looks like it's going to be absolutely gorgeous. What better way to spend it drinking delicious beers and honoring a great beer tradition! Get your lederhosen or dirndl from the dry cleaner and get ready to party in Westport. (Also, bring cash for all of the beer and food in the bier garden. There are some ATMs around, but come prepared and save time!)

September 13, 2013

Get your cask on

It's starting to feel a little more like September, which means absolutely beautiful patio weather. And right now McCoy's has two cask beers that are perfect for sipping on their patio!

First up is the Chai Tea Brown ale. The always popular Hog Pound Brown with chai spices. Mmm. Kind of warming for nights that are getting cooler. Or, just delicious on days that are not 100 degrees (it'd probably be delicious on days that are 100 degrees too. From the comfort of air conditioning).

Cherry Stout Cask. Yeah, I was sitting at the bar, but come on,
there were important baseball and football games on!
Then there's a Cherry Stout cask. McCoy's Oatmeal Stout primed with a kriek lambic. Oooooh so good. It's not overly sweet, only a hint of cherry. The combination works well, giving a smooth and tasty treat. Again, dang fine on an autumn-like night.

What are your plans for the weekend? Stop into McCoy's for one of the casks, or any of the other fine crafted beers on tap (fresh Pilsner and Lunch Box Pale Ale, too!).

September 09, 2013

Left Hand Pint Night

Have plans Tuesday? No? Well now you do. Head to Beer Kitchen for Left Hand Brewing Pint Night!

Beer Kitchen will have four beers from Left Hand on tap -
  • Homefront IPA; American IPA; 6.6%
  • Safety Round Ale #1: Belgo-American Pale Ale; 4.6%
  • Ambidextrous Step 5: Sticke Alt; 7.4%
  • Oktoberfest; 6.6%
- AND you get to take home a pint glass!!

Some cool beers here. If you're not familiar with the Homefront IPA, it's become a yearly tradition now, first started by Fremont Brewing Co. and Center of the Universe Brewing Co. Each year different breweries across the country brew Homefront, each given bats from Louisville Slugger to be added to the beer! But the best part about this brew is all proceeds from it will go towards Operation Homefront, a national non-profit providing emergency assistance to military families and wounded warriors. 

The Safety Round Ale #1 will be available for the first time here, a light new Belgo-American Pale Ale. Then there's the next iteration of the Ambidextrous series, a Sticke Alt. Hey, why does that sound familiar... And it's getting to be the time of the year for Oktoberfest beers! 

(Speaking of Oktoberfest - don't forget about McCoy's Oktoberfest coming up in a few weeks!!)

So grab a pint and get a pint glass to keep! And get some dinner while you're in Westport, either at Beer Kitchen or across the street at The Foundry's Taco Tuesday. You could have worse Tuesdays.


September 04, 2013

Vote Beer KC

It's time for round 2 of voting in The Pitch's Best of Kansas City, and Beer KC is well represented!

McCoy's is in the running for

  • Best Outdoor Dining
  • Best Brew Pub
  • Best Local Craft Brewer
  • Best Local Microbrewer
  • Best Patio

The Foundry is nominated for

  • Best Bar Food
  • Best Bar for People Watching
  • Best Beer Selection (Bottles)

Beer Kitchen's nominations are

  • Best Brunch
  • Best Bloody Mary
  • Best Brew Pub 

And our Strong Ale Fest is up for Best Beer Festival!! (That one returns November 16th, 1-5pm, so get your strong drinking shoes ready.)

Head to The Pitch to cast your votes for Beer KC. They're on the last few pages of the survey, but there are local friends nominated all along the way.