Kansas City’s craft beer community lost one of its most familiar faces last week. John Bryan died on Wednesday, April 12, at St. Luke’s Hospice House in Kansas City following a massive stroke. JB, as he was known to many, was 52 years old.
A mainstay at beer festivals and one of the architect’s of Kansas City’s beer landscape, Bryan worked for Boulevard Brewing Company for 17 years. His career with Boulevard began as a truck driver and part-time salesman and ended with him as the director of the brewery’s Artisanal Division, where he helped launch the Smokestack Series. He recently became the Central Territory Sales Director for the Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Boulevard’s sister brewery, and, in that new position, was a fixture at beer events around the country.
Anyone who met Bryan and spent time with him likely parted with a story, as such JB was a beloved and respected figure in the world of craft beer. Numerous tributes and photos shared via social media attest to his generosity, wit, knowledge of beer, innate coolness and zest for life. Who else hosts a Moose Tacos tailgating party in honor of Royals’ player Mike Moustakas? More information about John’s life, the Bryan Children College Fund, and celebration of life services can be found here.
Draftcade ( 7250 NW 87th Street), an arcade bar concept, has opened in Zona Rosa with 60 craft beer taps and more than 75 arcade games, pinball games, and skee ball. Rotating beers on tap include Ommegang 3 Philosophers, Torn Label Brewing Alpha Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Pivo Pils, Crane Brewing Trailsmith, Lagunitas Aunt Sally Wild Ale, and plenty of other selections. The beer-friendly menu ranges from BLT tots to a smoked porter chicken sandwich to a maple glazed pork donut.
KC Bier Company (310 W 79th Street) conducts a one-hour brewery tour every Saturday at 1 p.m. The tour ($10) includes three samples and a 16-ounce souvenir glass.
Martin City Brewing Company’s Sideway, an Everyday American Ale, debuts this week in area liquor stores. Events listed below.
Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas Street, Lee’s Summit, Missouri) has its Big Top Imperial Wheat (9-percent ABV, 15 IBU) on tap.
— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.