One of the many great events from this past Saturday was the High Plains BrewHoff in Brew Lab‘s Old Downtown Overland Park parking lot. I had planned on attending more events during the day, but I had a small injury in the morning and could only get to the BrewHoff. Below you’ll find a quick recap and some pictures from the event.
It was a good time overall with a lot of great, unique beers. It had the same bad/good things as last year. Bad: kids, event space too small/too many people. Good: the beers, free snacks, water stations, good bands, it was free. See my review for last year here.
They did try to expedite the entry by having a VIP line and letting people in 30 minutes early Although a line didn’t start to form until about 12:45pm, by 2pm there was still quite a line. They did also try to discourage children (and Broncos apparel) by posting on their Facebook, but there were still quite a few kids (and one Broncos hat).
I love the spirit of the homebrewers. There’s so much creativity and passion that goes into each beer and it’s
refreshing to be at the type of event where the server knows what they’re talking about. Many tents had entertaining setups, from a Craftsmen toolbox keezer to a group of Fuzzy Helmets.
There weren’t as many homebrewers that were in the process of going legit as last year. Crane, Red Crow, Torn Label, and Double Shift all had a tent last year and are either already open or within a month of opening. BVH Brewery (Twitter, Facebook, Untappd) will be spending 2016 promoting their beers at several events while working on getting a permanent location. Mount Anderson Brewery (Untappd) is in talks with Missouri Hy-Vees to start selling 22oz bottles of their beer. They’ll be brewing and bottling just outside of Peculiar, MO.
Speaking of Mount Anderson, their beers and brewery did really well as far as voting went at the event. They took first for Best Beer with their Vanilla Milkshake Porter (well deserved). Click here to see all the winners on High Plains BrewHoff’s Facebook.
High Plains BrewHoff will hold their third BrewHoff next year on Saturday, September 17.
Boulevard has had a lot of success collaborating with other breweries, so there’s no doubt their Collaboration No. 5 will be a big hit.
The newest collaboration started with a rollout of Boulevard beer in Florida. Cigar City hosted a tap takeover and Boulevard was impressed with their hospitality, kindness, and, of course, their beer. Cigar City has a lot of knowledge using tropical fruit flavors and Boulevard makes the best pale ales, so Collaboration No. 5 was a no brainer – Tropical Pale Ale. The ale is slightly tart and super citrusy due to it being briefly aged on passion fruit and grapefruit. It’s 7.3 ABV and 55 IBUs and was dry hopped with Lemondrop, Azacca, and Pacific Jade hops making the finish slightly tart with bright citrus character.
Boulevard will be hosting a Release Party in their Tasting Room on Friday, September 18. Music, food, and the beer will be available from 4pm until 7pm. The Collaboration will be available in stores the week of September 29, and will be the first time it’s packaged in 4 pack 12 ounce bottles. It will also be available in 1/6 bbl kegs.
September and October weekends will be stacked with great beer events, takeovers, parties, and brewery openings. With the cooler weather, you’ll be able to enjoy your beers without sweating your butt off and it’s easier for event planners to get bit more crazy with their events.
This Saturday the 12th, there are 11 different events. 11! This is the busiest weekend for beer. Starting as early as 8am and going into all hours of the day and night, locations from Parkville to Blue Springs to Independence to North Kansas City to Lee’s Summit to Kansas City – you get the idea, you will find something for you! Activities include helping clean a river, finding out winners of a competition, going on a pub crawl, or attending one of the festivals.
September 13-18 is Sour Beer Week at The Flying Saucer. Sour beers have become popular over the past few year due to the uniqueness of the style. It’s a risky form of beer brewing, so only a few local breweries have tried their hand at it. Big Rip expects to release their Tart Cherry Sweet Brown aged in a Pinot Noir barrel in the next month or so and Boulevard has had a few. Crane Brewing, opening next month, has a variety of sours they’ll be sharing.
Several Oktoberfests starting the weekend of September 18th. I can’t speak of the quality of most because I’ve only been to KC Bier Co‘s last year, but it’s all typically a good time. Big glasses of beer, German attire, and bratwursts are all common for Oktoberfests. KC Bier Co promises an even better time than last year with more carnival games, a wooden keg tapping with celebrity tapper Karli Ritter, and a few competitions.
Saturday, September 19, has fewer events than the previous Saturday, but they’re just as good. North Kansas City is holding a citywide Pint Path. If you want to ride your bike a bit more south, check out Pub N Pedal. A scavenger hunt around Kansas City beer locations where you can win prizes. The Kansas City Beer Fest is also on this day at the Power and Light District. It’s been around before the recent surge of craft beer lovers, so it should be pretty packed. The best event of the day is the High Plains Brewhoff. Mostly one-off beers made by homebrewers and celebrity brewers, this event is perfect for the person who has tried everything. Best part, the tickets are free.
A lot more Oktoberfests during the weekend of September 25th, with a few, smaller events mixed between.
Things slow down a bit in October as the weather gets cooler. A few highlights – Crane Brewing and Red Crow Brewing are rumored to be opening, CRAFT Shop, Sip, Feast at Crown Center on the 4th, there will be a beer garden at the Great Midwest Balloon Fest this year on the 23rd & 24th, Sam Adams KMF Grand Cru comes back to Kansas City the week of the 25th, and Big Rip’s Halloween Party will be on Friday the 30th.
Check our calendar for all beer events in Kansas City and be sure to follow us on social media to see pictures from events!
Summer may be winding down and kids are back to school, but that doesn’t mean the beer season has to end. Tailgating, heavy beers, even more festivals are all going to make this season great.
Boulevard announced beer releases, yesterday. Funky Pumpkin, Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale, Rye-on-Rye, Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry, Smokestack Series Great 8, and Deep Dive – Wet Hopped Ale are all scheduled to be released throughout the rest of the year. To see more on each beer visit their website.
In addition to Boulevard’s first pumpkin beer, most other breweries are releasing their fall seasonals. Pumpkins, Oktoberfests, and stouts are all popular fall and winter beers. Kansas City Bier Company had an enjoyable Oktoberfest event in their Bavarian bier garden and bierhalle last year and will surely hold another one this year. For more information and pictures from last year’s event click here.
There are still quite a few festivals to close out the 2015 season. Zona Rosa is being held today as well as the 75th Street Summer Beer Fest. Screenland holds the “Best Beer Fest” on August 21 & 22. In the middle of Kansas, Salina will host the Midwest Microfest on August 29. Not even open yet, but Crane Brewing will host the Festival of the Lost Township in Raytown on September 5. On September 12, you have your choice of two festivals – Tour of Brews in Lee’s Summit and Brewtopia at Apex Brew in Independence. High Plains Brewhoff, KC Beer Fest, and the Village West Wine Fest & Beer will all be held on September 19. Skipping all the way to October 17, KC Brew Fest Fall Edition at Union Station will hold two sessions and Brew at the Zoo at the Kansas City Zoo will have In the Valley Below perform. And finally, the Beerfest at the Ballpark will be held October 24, where the T-Bones play.
And then there’s football. The Chiefs have their first preseason game tonight and kicks off their regular season September 13. Whether you’re tailgating, hosting a party, or just chilling at home, beer will surely be involved.
So grab a cold one to keep warm this fall and winter.