Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) will pour more than 30 different beer styles at its fourth anniversary celebration from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17. For the occasion, look for year-round and seasonal beers as well as special releases and rare one-off brews. Spontaneously fermented cider or dry-hopped, red lager at 11-percent ABV, anyone?
The brewery has plenty to celebrate. Kansas City Bier Company has grown at a steady clip in four years. The brewery’s German-style beers are distributed by ten wholesalers in 36 counties in eastern Kansas and northwest Missouri, according to founder and managing partner Steve Holle.
Nationally and locally, many craft breweries have adapted to ongoing shifts in consumer tastes and emerging trends. For example, numerous breweries of all sizes have experimented with New England-style IPAs, barrel-aged beers, or fruit-forward sour beers in recent years.
Meanwhile, KC Bier has stuck to its original focus to produce authentic German-style beer and to serve it at the same level of freshness that one would experience in Germany, Holle said.
The brewery imports German malt and hops and follows traditional brewing techniques to produce popular beers including Dunkel and Helles.
“Almost 85-percent of all the beer we sell are lagers,” Holle said. “We make a few American interpretations of German styles, such as Der Hammer Dry-hopped Pale Doppelbock/India Pale Lager, but generally we make traditional German styles.”
KC Bier maintains freshness by focusing on local distribution rather than expanding throughout the region or nation.
In addition to an expanded roster of beers at its celebration, KC Bier will have a chili bar, a 7-ounce stange glass (for four-ounce beer samples), and a souvenir half-liter krug. Tokens may be purchased for beer, chili and glassware.
Double Shift Brewing (412 E. 18th St.) released two beers for its Anti-Valentine’s Day event last weekend. Still on tap, Trampled Rose Tart Cherry Sour (7-percent ABV) appeals with a nose of cherry pie, produced by the addition of tart cherry, lemon peel, lactose and cinnamon. Its blush pink color looks demure, but crisp tartness shows a sassy side. Blind Love Chocolate Porter (6.3-percent, 31 IBUs) was brewed with chocolate rye and ample flaked oats for a silky mouthfeel. The brewers used a pound per barrel of Ghana Cacao Nibs from Maps Chocolate (13440 Santa Fe Trail Drive, Lenexa, Kansas), yielding intense chocolate and roast qualities in the oatmeal porter.
Brewery Emperial master brewer and co-owner Keith Thompson shared that the brewery (1829 Oak St.) is brewing a kolsch and an all-wheat wheat wine soon. Hot Worties are still available on brewing days. Thompson, who created the perennial crowd favorite Ginger Shandy for McCoy’s Public House (4057 Pennsylvania Ave.), is now working on a ginger beer project for spring. Biscuit, part English ESB and old-school American Pale Ale, is now on draft exclusively at Room 39 Midtown (1719 W. 39th St.), but will be distributed on tap around Kansas City in the near future. Vienna Lager (5.5-percent ABV, 30 IBUs), brewed months ago and tapped for the brewery’s first anniversary in early February, is a Northern German-style Lager brewed with copious amounts of Munich and Vienna Malts and noble hops for a balanced flavor and aroma.
This week, Cinder Block Brewery (110 E. 18th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) releases Amber Block (5.7-percent ABV, 23 IBUs), a new cold-fermented seasonal. Amber Block exhibits medium maltiness followed by a slight bread characteristic, mild caramel notes, and a hoppy dose of citrus and fruit flavor and aroma. Heart Breaker Cider, a collaboration cider made by Cinder Block and Screenland Armour (408 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) will be on tap at the movie theater for the screening of “The Princess Bride,” on Feb. 14. The cider will also be released at the brewery that day.
Rock & Run Brewery and Pub (110 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri) releases 10K Double IPA (10.4-percent ABV, 125.3 IBUs, HefeRYEzen (4.8-percent ABV, 11.9 IBUs), a hefeweizen made with half-wheat and half-rye for a spicy finish, and light, crisp Katiebug Kolsch (4.7-percent ABV, 25 IBUs) this week.
“For 10K, we took our popular 5K IPA and increased the malt and hops to get this double version,” head brewer and brewery co-owner Gene DeClue said. “Like the original, we use six different hops to get a great citrus and fruity hop flavor. It’s not for the weak! Katiebug Kolsch is a beer fermented at ale temperatures and conditioned cold to give it a slightly dry finish. A light hint of citrus comes from the Mandarina Bavaria hops.”
Monday marked the fourth anniversary of the brewery’s opening at Martin City Brewing Company (500 E. 135th St.). Timed with its anniversary, the brewery released two beers at its taproom with limited availability on draft and in cans throughout Greater Kansas City. Righteous Candor IPA (5.6-percent ABV) is hazy while Imperial Alchemy Coffee Stout With Vanilla Beans is a flavor-boosted variant on the brewery’s popular Alchemy Coffee Stout. This stout comes in nitro cans for a creamy head when pouring, but the draft version is not served with nitro.
Weston Brewing Company (500 Welt Street, Weston, Missouri) has its Irish Cream Ale on nitro at International Tap House (403 E. 18th St.). Nitro Irish Cream Ale is also available at Stagecoach Tavern (9617 W 87th St., Overland Park, Kansas). According to the brewery, the beer was originally brewed in 2006 to be served this way. When Weston Brewing started bottling it, they switched to a standard CO2 draft. Also, Father Mescan’s Bog Myrtle Ale is now available in cans at the brewery’s American Bowman restaurant in Weston and throughout Kansas City.
While flavored variants of its milk stout are no longer on tap, Border Brewing (406 E. 18 St.) still has limited bottles of its Raspberry Milk Stout and Chocolate Mint Milk Stout for sale.
Crane Brewing’s Farmhouse IPA, Omar Porter, and Trailsmith Farmhouse Ale are now available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles. Its newest release, Berry Weiss, hits shelves in 375-milliliter bottles in the Kansas City Metro beginning today. Also, the brewery released Mexican Cake Illuminati, a whiskey-barrel aged sour stout with vanilla, cinnamon, and ancho chilies, in 750-milliliter bottles available at the taproom (6515 Railroad St., Raytown, Missouri) only.
Colony KC (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) released Island Pie, a Coconut Cream Pie Ale (11.5-percent) that’s a coconut bomb. Modern Stone Age, a Fruity Pebbles Hazy Ale, is the newest release in its Cereal Series that uses actual cereal and hops with a dry-hopping method to create an infusion of flavor.
— 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.