Crane Brewing to Present at Missouri Mashers Meeting

Crane

The next Missouri Mashers meeting will be a dream come true for Sour fanatics.  Michael Crane and Crane Brewing Company will be presenting on their approach to Sour and Brett beers at the meeting to be held at Grain to Glass on Thursday, March 26, at 7pm.

Crane LogoIf you are a said fanatic of Sours, you may already know of Crane Brewing Company.  They are not open yet, however they have been planning for several years and are now in the process of renovating a building in Raytown to open this Summer or Fall.  Their beers have wowed people at several events, including High Plains Brewhoff, The Pitch’s Crafts & Drafts, and Parkville Microbrew Fest.  You can tell they’ve been working hard to get the brewery ready by the lack of social media updates and absence at events lately.

Michael Crane has a lot of experience in business.  He’s dabbled in photography, carpentry, furniture making, and now brewing.  In the building that used to house his furniture making business, Crane plans to build a brewery, tap room, and install a bottling line.  He definitely has the right idea starting off big – people love his beers as proven by his 80 medals awarded in competitions all over the country.  A few of his great beers should be making an appearance at the meeting, so if you haven’t tried them, this is a great opportunity.

Missouri Mashers is a Northland homebrew club that meets once a month and hosts/participates in several events throughout the year.  Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at Grain to Glass in North Kansas City and are open to the public.  Attendees are encouraged to bring and share beers that fit the theme of each meeting.

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2015 Snake Saturday Pictures

Snake Saturday Lives Here

If you made it out to Snake Saturday, you may have been most impressed by the perfect weather.  Maybe a little chilly in the morning, but nothing a light jacket couldn’t cure.  Another just as impressive point of the day was the beer scene.  Big Rip, Grain to Glass, Cinder Block, and Screenland Armour were all able to hold their own as they welcomed the thousands of people that visited North Kansas City.  Here are some pictures from the day.

 

Starting at 8am, Big Rip served up new beers, special cocktails, and a good time.  Snake Saturday merchandise was available to purchase and some items were even free.  Their foosball table was set up to entertain outdoor guests.

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Grain to Glass has the perfect location for Snake Saturday – right on 16th & Swift.  I arrived quite early, so they weren’t too busy, yet.  As I left, there was a steady stream of people coming in to check it out and have a beer.

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After Grain to Glass, I stopped by Cinder Block.  It was still early, but they had a pretty decent crowd and the live music was enjoyable.

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I volunteered to walk the parade as a part of a float for a non-profit, so I was able to get some fun shots of the crowd.

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I didn’t go into Screenland Armour, but I was able to get a few shots of the outside.  “Snake Saturday Lives Here” proclaims the marquee.

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What To Do and What Not To Do at a Beer Festival

Beer Festivals

The sun is starting to shine some warm rays and that means Beer Festival Season is starting.  We have been to several beer events and have learned a lot about what to do and what not to do at the events.  This post will dive a little deeper than “make sure you drink enough water” or “eat before attending the festival” (which will still be included), so you can be fully prepared to be the best attendee, volunteer, vendor, or organizer you can be.

Attendees To Do:

  • Do line up a designated driver before the event.  You will be drunk by the end, so be safe.  Most events give free or discounted admission to designated drivers.
  • Do eat before you arrive at the event.  Make sure your stomach can handle the amount of beer you will be consuming.  Most events allow you to have pretzel necklaces or other snacks.
  • Do bring a pencil so you can make notes on the beers you like.
  • Do arrive early if you want to try the unique beers.  Even if the vendors have certain tapping times for special beers, they may tap early and you won’t want to miss out.
  • Do drink plenty of water during the event.
  • Do rinse your glass between beers.  You don’t want the flavors of a sour beer intruding into a lager.
  • Do try new things!  What’s the point of the event if you just drink the same old boring stuff?  Most events release a list of vendors and beers before the event, so check it out and make a plan.
  • Do mind the line:  get your beer and get out of the way.
  • Do be respectful of your surroundings, other people, volunteers, and vendors.
  • Do wear sunscreen and bring sunglasses if it’s an outdoor event.

Attendees Not To Do:

  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne, but if you must limit it to one spray.  It’s a beer event, you want to be able to smell the unaltered aroma of the beer.
  • Don’t be rude.  Everyone is there to celebrate beer and have a good time, so don’t be that person that ruins everyone’s good time.
  • Don’t stand in the middle of a walkway or sit and talk to the vendor if there’s a huge line.
  • Don’t cut in line.  Whether waiting for the event to open or in a beer line, others attendees deserve to try the beers just as much as you do.
  • Don’t smoke cigars/cigarettes too close to the beer line.
  • Don’t drunk drive.  I’m not going to get too preachy here, but it’s just stupid with all the options that are available.  Uber, taxis, limos, designated drivers – be responsible.

Volunteers To Do:

  • Do learn about the event.  You may just be an unpaid volunteer, but attendees will still rely on you to answer some questions.
  • Do learn about the beers, especially if you are volunteering as a server.  Attendees are going to assume you work for the brewery, so act like you do!  I’m not saying go become a Master Cicerone®, but having some knowledge on the beers you’re serving will help the attendee connect with the brewery better.
  • Do be mindful of how much you pour.  There will be some people that are there to just get drunk, but most people want to try as much as possible.

Volunteers Not To Do:

  • Don’t get drunk while you’re working.  One or two tasters is probably okay, but if you’re wasted how are you going to be able to discuss the beers you’re serving?  Or be able to understand what the attendee wants to try?
  • Don’t show up late to your shift or not show up at all.  Organizers and other volunteers rely on you.
  • Don’t wear perfume or cologne.  This is more important for volunteers and servers than attendees.  People want to smell the beer and not you.  You are promoting a product, so promote on how it’s supposed to be and not with altered aromas.
  • Don’t smoke cigars/cigarettes while your serving or too close to the beer line.

Vendors To Do:

  • Do know about your beers and products.  All of them.  Attendees may already know your brewery and beer lineup, so be prepared to answer questions about all of your products.
  • Do know about your distribution to the area.  If you’re not from Kansas City, that’s fine, but if someone loves your beer and you’re unsure if it’s available for purchase, you may have just lost a customer.
  • Do have some fun promotional giveaway items.  Beer lovers love beer supplies.  Coasters, bottle openers, buttons, magnets, coozies – they’ll use it so it’s a win-win for everyone.
  • Do keep promises.  If you have a special timed tapping list, keep to it.  Don’t disappoint people who have waited by serving your special beers before the time promised.
  • Do teach your volunteers about your products and how much to pour.  You don’t want to be running out of beer halfway through the event.

Vendors Not To Do:

  • Don’t get drunk.  You are representing your company and, even if you’re beer is the most amazing in the world, people will be turned off if you’re being belligerent.
  • Don’t be offended if someone doesn’t like your beer.  Not everyone has the same style, but don’t be a jerk about it.  If you’ve made it to a beer festival, obviously a lot of people do like your beer.  Just smile and say, “I’m sorry it’s not your style.  Thanks for trying it!”
  • Don’t be unoffended if someone doesn’t like your beer.  If you have a “I don’t care what you think” attitude, it makes people think you don’t have passion for your beer at all.  Just smile and say, “I’m sorry it’s not your style.  Thanks for trying it!”

Organizers To Do:

  • Do have a brewery/beer list on your website at least a few days before the event.  Attendees want to know what to expect and may want to make a priority list.
  • Do promote individual breweries and vendors on social media.  It doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it means a lot to the businesses to reach people they may not be able to through their own sources.  It also gets attendees excited for the event.
  • Do have a list on the event’s website about what attendees can and cannot bring.  Cameras, backpacks, snacks, water, animals, designated drivers, etc.
  • Do think about lines in terms of the layout.  You don’t want one beer line to collide with another.  There should also be a good flow for people to get in line, get out of line, and enjoy the event.
  • Do have designated smoking areas that are away from the vendor tables.
  • Do have water and keep it filled/flowing.  Attendees want to be able to rinse out their glasses, have something to refresh their palate, and keep hydrated.
  • Do have security.  If attendees don’t follow my tips from above, some may get too drunk and not be able to stay in a social environment.
  • Do provide information on transportation and designated drivers to make pick up/drop off easy.
  • Do have fun!  You’ve worked hard putting together the whole event and here’s the payoff.  Do your duties of the day, but make sure to enjoy what you’ve accomplished!

Organizers Not To Do:

  • Don’t oversell.  No matter how great your event is, a lot of people will be turned off if there are lines that take over 5 minutes to get one beer.
  • Don’t allow kids, even babies.  Not only should they not be there because it’s an adult event, but many attendees come to adult events to be away from kids and babies.

Want to know all of the beer festivals for the 2015 season?  Click here.

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Snake Saturday

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In the past few years, North Kansas City has grown a bustling craft beer scene.  Screenland Armour, Cinder Block Brewery, The Big Rip Brewing Company, Grain to Glass, and even Helen’s JAD Bar & Grill are all great places to get unique beers on the way home from work or on a fun Saturday night.  This Saturday, however, is for the snakes.  Snake Saturday is an annual tradition in North Kansas City that started 32 years ago.  In 1983, Mickey Finn and Bill Grigsby started the parade as a promotion for Rodeway Inn.  At the time it had only four floats and a Grand Marshal and took place in the motel parking lot.  It was a chilly day, only about ten degrees, but people were able to watch the parade from their hotel rooms and the coffee shop.

This year, there are over 100 floats and the temperature will be much warmer.  Okay, so there’s the parade talk.  What’s going on beerwise?  Lots!  With the city’s great craft beer scene, there’s a lot from which to choose.

DSC02949The Big Rip Brewing Company will host a Kegs N Eggs beginning at 8am, which breakfast burritos and beer.  New beers will be on tap including Groovy Pale Ale, which used 3lbs of Amarillo Hops, and The Priest Chocolate Milk Stout.  They’ll also have mixed drinks like Irish Car Bombs, Drowning Dr Pepper Beers, and Irish Coffee.  Bars will be located inside and outside.  From noon until 3:30pm, Scarlet Town Band, an Irish Folk Quartet, will be playing and Helen’s on Wheels Food Truck will be serving food.  They’ll have Snake Saturday shirts for sale and Limited Edition Buttons for the first 100 people.  219 E 9th Ave

Grain to Glass will have a paid Beer Garden with corned beef, fries, and two beers included in the $30 price.  If you want a reserved parking spot, it’ll be an extra $45 ($75 total).  They’ll have a few Boulevard’s on tap, including their new Spring Belle and an event-appropriate Irish Ale.  1611 Swift Ave

Cinder Block Brewery may be familiar to you lately, as they just released kegs to Kansas City area bars.  They’ll be open from 9am until 5pm with live music from 10am until 4pm.  Back Rack Grill will be serving Irish Style BBQ.  A $5 cover charge gets you in all day.  Isle of Cinder, a Wee Heavy, will be on tap as well as other great beers.  110 E 18th Ave

Screenland Armour will have a special New Belgium Firkin and Montage, an all movie soundtrack band, that will be playing live.  408 Armour Rd

Smokin’ Guns BBQ will have live music, My Six Gun Heart, from 1pm until 5pm and Miller Lite beer specials.

Johnny’s Backyard will feature Irish Pipers, Open Blue Jam, and OASIS on their outdoor stage.  They open at 8am.  1825 Buchanan St

Neon Wild will have Travis Marvin play in their Beer Garden.  No cover charge.  1802 Clay St

Denim & Diamonds will have Years Past in concert at 7pm.  1725 Swift Ave

River Aces will be open from 8am until 3am and will have DJs all day.  Cash only.  1800 Swift Ave

Christine’s Firehouse on 20th Bar & Grill has a lot of understandable restrictions:  21 & older; must have ID; no backpacks, coolers, or outside food/drink; cash only; and only porta potties.  They’ll be open 6am to 6pm and have Three Drink Minimum playing at 11am.  220 E 20th Ave

Helen’s JAD Bar & Grill is a bit out of the way of the parade, so they’re not doing anything at their bar, but will have their food truck at Big Rip to serve a special menu.  2002 Armour Rd

 

A few tips for the parade and beer events:

  • Get there early if you want a good parking spot.  Any time after 9am, you’re going to have to walk a few blocks or more.
  • Same goes for a good spot to sit/stand and watch the parade.  Get there early.  Several thousand people attend the parade nowadays, much more than the few dozen that watched it 32 years ago.
  • The best spot to collect the most amount of candy and other fun stuff is about 14th & Swift. Floats can run out of candy pretty quickly, so get on the route early.  Plus, they’re excited and get kind of a slow start at the beginning, so they hand out a lot of candy.
  • Bring cash.  A lot of venues only accept cash on Snake Saturday and if they are accepting credit cards, they are going to be extremely busy.  Also, most have Square machines they use with iPads, so the wait will be even longer.  Connectivity to the network will be decreased due to the volume of cell phone use making the wait for charging your card even longer.
  • It is a family-friendly day, so no drinking outside the venues.
  • Don’t be an asshole.  (This is an every day tip, but works here, too)

 

We will be handing out buttons and taking pictures at Big Rip, Cinder Block, Grain to Glass, and throughout the crowd.  Have fun and be safe!

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