April 30, 2014

Get your Westport Beer Festival tickets NOW!

Tickets for the 3rd Annual Westport Beer Festival are moving fast! Get yours today at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1813427 to save $5 off the day-of price and insure that you have yours before they sell out! More than 80 beers from 35 breweries, Saturday, June 7th is going to be a fun night.

Spring is kind of here, but it'll feel more official on May 13th, when McCoy's releases this year's Maibock. The release party will start at 4, and 16 ounce pours in commemorative mugs will be available for $7. May 12th just happens to coincide with the kickoff of American Craft Beer Week, so keep your eyes open for more events in the very near future!

April 23, 2014

3rd Annual Westport Beer Festival

The 3rd annual Westport Beer Festival will be here before we know it! Tickets for the June 7th event are on sale now at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/performanceSearch.jsp?performance_id=1813427. They're $30 now and go up to $35 the day of the event, so get yours now and save $5. This will be your chance to taste fantastic beers and delicious food while rubbing elbows with brewmasters and employees of around 35 breweries. And you'll have a chance to meet members of this season's Sporting Kansas City team!

Here's a look at some of the breweries who will be participating this year. I'm getting thirsty already! For more information go to http://beerkc.com/beerfest/summer-beer/

4 Hands Brewing
75th Street Brewery
Boulevard Brewing Company
Brewery Ommegang
Civil Life Brewing
Deschutes Brewery
Empyrean Brewing Co.
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Founders Brewing Co.
Free State Brewing Co.
Goose Island Beer Co.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Great Divide Brewing Company
Green Flash Brewing Company
Kansas City Bier Co.
Left Hand Brewing Company
McCoy’s Public House
Mother’s Brewing Co.
Nebraska Brewing Company
New Belgium Brewing Company
North Coast Brewing Company
Odell Brewing Co.
Perennial Artisinal Ales
Schlafly Beer
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Southern Tier Brewing Company
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co.
Tallgrass Brewing Company

April 18, 2014

I-70 Showdown: A pack of Steve/Steven/Stephens

If you want to be a brewer in the greater Kansas City metro (yeah, we're including St. Louis as part of the metro), you'd do well to change your name to some variation of "Steve." This year, we added a fourth brewery to our annual I-70 Showdown beer dinner - Kansas City Bier Company. We also added a fourth to the Steve group, with KCBC's Steve Holle joining Boulevard's Steven Pauwels, Schlafly's Stephen Hale, and Free State's Steve Bradt. Holle fit right in, wearing Lederhosen to go with his German style beer. And to compete in the "best dressed" category with Hale's utilikilt. Not to be outdone, Pauwels donned his Belgian outfit. . . a scarf.

There was the usual good-natured ribbing between the boys from the breweries, and the usual great beers paired with incredible food. The meal started with halibut cheeks, chestnut brown butter, and greens, paired with Boulevard 80 Acre, Free State Coeur de Saison, KC Bier Co. Helles, and Schlafly American Brown Ale. Each of the beers offered the plate something different - 80 Acre was the hoppy beer of the bunch, and went with the bitter greens, Coeur de Saison was spicy and had the flavor to shine and cut through everything, while the Helles was nice and light and didn't overpower the plate (and was probably the best pairing for this course), and the American Brown gave a roast flavor that helped mellow the chestnut brown butter.
Stealing the photos from Beer Kitchen's Facebook. Way better than camera phone pics

The second course brought Boulevard's Long Strange Tripel, Free State's Ad Astra, KC Bier Co.'s Dunkel, and Schlafly's Biere de Garde together with a duo of roasted quail and acorn squash ravioli. The quail was delicate and was well balanced by Long Strange, the acorn squash ravioli was rich and paired nicely with the Biere de Garde. Not that the other beers didn't work with the food, because they all fit here. 

Third was a lamb shank with heirloom bean cassoulet and glazed carrots. It had a sweet, chocolaty sauce that really pulled the plate together (and I was lucky enough to sit next to an Irishman who doesn't eat lamb, so I got a second helping). The beer for this course had a couple of hoppy beers in Free State's Stormwatch Ale and KC Bier Co.'s Hopfen Doof, a big sweet Belgian style with Schlafly's Quadrupel, and a strong wild ale from Boulevard. 2013 Terra Incognita was the star here, as the Boulevard/Sierra Nevada collaboration matured very well. A little funky and great body, it cut the sweetness of the plate. 

Dessert had a duo of vanilla cake with elderberry mascarpone mousse and pistachio gelato paired with Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, Free State Owd Macs Imperial, KCBC Maibock, and Schlafly Milk Chocolate. While the Maibock was fantastic, it was hard to keep up with the big beers from the other breweries. Free State's Templeton Rye aged imperial stout was boozy and great with the cake. A perfect finish to the meal!

April 12, 2014

The season for saisons

(Disclaimer: These are from a couple of nights ago, so things may have changed since then. Better come investigate for yourself!)

There's a lot of good stuff happening on the taps at The Foundry, ranging from a nice cinnamon apple cider (the Cider Boys Mad Bark) to a big imperial stout (4 Hands Bona Fide), and plenty in between. But for something refreshing to sip on a patio, it's hard to beat a nice farmhouse or saison. And there are a few excellent choices on the wall.

The Jolly Pumpkin Baudelaire iO is fantastic, brewed with rose hips, petals, and hibiscus. It's got some sourness to it, but stays light and refreshing. At a little under 7% alcohol by volume, it's not overpowering and but has some body to it. And it's a treat to have it on tap. (A good rule is to get any Jolly Pumpkin beer you see on tap. This Michigan brewery continues to put out wonderful beers.)

Getting a little closer to home and sticking with a floral saison, Perennial's Saison de Lis comes to us from St. Louis, and is brewed with chamomile flowers. The saison yeast gives it a little spiciness while the chamomile rounds it out with a light, fragrant touch. This beer sits around 5% ABV, so it's perfect for an afternoon tipple.

Prairie Artisan Ales are fairly new to the Kansas City area, but they've already impressed. Their Birra is a crisp, light, sessionable farmhouse, very refreshing and easy to drink. If you're looking for a "light" beer to enjoy, this one is only 4.5% ABV but still has a ton of flavor. The best of both worlds!

Finally, the farmhouse beer you should all know and love, Boulevard's Tank 7. It's a hoppy delight, dry and kind of spicy, exactly what the style should be. Kansas City's hometown heroes did an amazing job with this one, and at 8.5%, it'll take care of you into the night.

What are some of your favorite saisons, either that you have had in Kansas City or anywhere else on your travels?

April 03, 2014

A couple of new taps at Foundry

If you're going to be in Westport for the Middle of the Map Fest this weekend, stop in to your favorite Beer KC spot to refuel between shows! McCoy's has the always refreshing Raspberry Wheat on tap. Or visit The Foundry, where we've recently tapped a rare keg of Anchorage Brewing's Galaxy White IPA. This delicious twist on your standard IPA uses Galaxy hops from Australia, and it gets the "white" from the use of coriander, kumquat, and peppercorn. To take it up one more level, it's primed with Brettanomyces, giving it a nice funky flavor. This is a unique beer, and one you might not see on tap again, so get it while you can.

Also new to the tap wall is Dieu du Ciel's Route des ├ępices - a rye beer brewed with black and green peppercorns. French for "Spice route," you'll get some spiciness in each sip, both from the rye and the peppercorns. Not a sharp or burning spice, but a nice tingle on your tongue.

Give both of these a try and see how different beers with peppercorns can be!