Tap List | The Kids Are All Right

Kansas City's Family-Friendly Taprooms Mirror Taprooms Across U.S

children of Martin City Brewing co-owner Matthew and Kara Moore The children of Martin City Brewing co-owner Matthew and Kara Moore and craft beer fans Matt and Katie Murdick spend time with their family on the patio at McCoy’s Public House. (Courtesy of Matthew Moore.)

Should brewery and craft beer taprooms welcome parents and their children?

A recent Vinepair article titled “If You Don’t Want Kids at Your Local Taproom, You’re Missing the Point,” explored the question and looked at a new trend across the country. The article cited brewers and brewery founders around the United States who established taprooms where families, including their own, could spend time and foster a sense of community.

Local family-friendly taprooms such as Bier Station (120 E. Gregory Blvd.) provide a venue where parents may drink responsibly and spend time with family. Meanwhile, kids play and interact in a safe environment with parental supervision. Other taprooms have similar approaches.

“If I didn’t have my kids at my brewery, it wouldn’t be half the brewery it is,” Matthew Moore, co-owner of Martin City Brewing Company (500 E. 135th St.), said. “I’d say the exact same for our restaurants. I hope we live in a time where this is no longer a problem. I do hope [children] are on good behavior, but would expect the same if we are out anywhere else. Responsible parenting is responsible parenting.”

Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) founder Steve Holle’s parents were second-generation Germans. Connected by ancestry and church, his close extended family celebrated weddings, confirmations, holidays and other events with food and drink.

“Since children are a much beloved part of my family and friends, children are included in these celebrations, where beer and wine is enjoyed responsibly by adults,” Holle said. “When I studied in Germany, I experienced firsthand the culture that influenced the family and the social culture that I grew up with in the U.S.”

When Kansas City Bier Co. opened in 2014, Holle and his business partners “wanted to create a community gathering place much like in Germany that welcomed people of all ages, including families with children,” Holle said. “Biergartens and taverns have always been community places. We wanted our tasting room and Biergarten to support the continuation of that culture.”

Just off Southwest Boulevard, Boulevard Brewing’s Beer Hall (2534 Madison Ave.) has a host of family-friendly options on and off the menu.

“We carry seven varieties of locally-made Polly’s Pop,” Beer Hall general manager Mandy Waters said. “Our board games include kids’ games that beer-loving adults can play too. The photo booth is especially popular with kids.”

Waters also addressed whether family-friendly taprooms were important to the livelihood of breweries that serve multiple generations of adults and their families.

“Absolutely. We see kids almost every day, especially during summer travel season,” Waters said. “Often parents have accompanied their kids to Sea Life and Lego[LAND]. Then they come to Boulevard to reward themselves with our adult version of a discovery play place.”

KC Beer Tour

KC Beer Tour offers craft brewery tour shuttle options by van, bus, and even kayak. (Courtesy of KC Beer Tour.)

KC Beer Tour Expands Craft Brewery Tour Offerings

Nicole and Matt McKinnie of KC Beer Tour have plans to expand their array of travel options on foot, by kayak and even by charter bus for out-of-town trips.

Established in October 2015, KC Beer Tour initially focused on organizing transportation for tours of craft breweries througher Greater Kansas City. A designated driver shuttles guests by bus or passenger van to one of six routes (current itineraries include stops in the Crossroads or North Kansas City).

“The Weston Experience is a five-hour trip to Holladay Distillery, Weston Brewing and Pirtle Winery in Weston, Missouri,” Matt said.

For the kayak and craft beer tour available from spring to fall, KC Beer Tour teamed up with KC Kayak and Canoe. The one-hour Missouri River kayak trip precedes a visit to two local craft breweries.

“You start at Kaw Point, kayak and float under five bridges, and end at the boat ramp at Berkley Riverfront Park,” Nicole said. “A bus picks you up and takes you to the breweries.”

KC Beer Tour is also developing walking tours that would utilize the KC Streetcar. Tourists would meet at Union Station, depart at a Crossroads stop for taprooms on or near 18th Street, and then continue by streetcar to the River Market, where Strange Days Brewing is located.

“We want to incorporate some local history on the tour,” Nicole said. “After a trial run, we want to expand walking tours to wineries and distilleries too.”

Also available, Destination Brewery Tours that will head to Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska, for a four-brewery tour. The trip includes charter bus service for up to 50 people and double-occupancy rooms for an overnight stay on a Saturday.

Boulevard's Manhattan Cask

Boulevard’s Manhattan Cask is out now. (Courtesy of Boulevard Brewing.)

Tap Notes

Wakarusa Brewery (710 Main St., Eudora, Kansas) has Raspberry Mead, Belgian Wit and Oatmeal Stout on tap. The taproom now has dollar-off beer specials on Sundays.

BKS Artisan Ales (633 E. 63rd St., #120) is adding Sunday hours. Beginning Feb. 25, BKS will be open 1 to 5 p.m. (the same hours it is currently open on Saturday). One note for next month: The taproom will also be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 10 and 17 to accommodate St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Boulevardia event dates and ticket sales dates have been set. The two-day urban street festival takes place on Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16, in the Stockyards District. Tickets for general admission, VIP, and special experience events like Taps & Tastes go on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 10 a.m.

Boulevard Brewing released Manhattan Cask Imperial Stout, its first exploration into still or minimally-carbonated ales. The base beer, a double mash imperial stout, bears notes of chocolate, espresso and fig. The rich ale rested in oak barrels that previously contained Jefferson’s The Manhattan Barrel Finished Cocktail. After aging, the imperial stout lets loose with subtle notes of tart cherry, earthy vermouth, and a prominent, warming whiskey presence. Available in 750-milliliter bottles.

Colony KC has released Knucklepuck Porter (5.2-percent ABV, 32 IBUs) on nitro.

The Brewkery’s co-owners Amy Goldman and Sean Galloway discuss opening day preparations and sip kombucha in the nearly-finished taproom. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

This Week

Tuesday, Feb. 20

Casual Animal Brewing Co. (1725 McGee) kicks off Local Motive, a program designed to give back to the community. Two dollars of every pint sold from the Local Motive tap benefits a different non-profit each quarter. BikeWalkKC is the inaugural nonprofit for the program. Starting at 6 p.m., play bike trivia, enter a raffle drawing, win swag and drink BikeWalkKC Local Motive Pale Ale.

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri) taps several of New Belgium Brewing’s beers at 6 p.m., including Blackberry Oscar and Foeder 61.

Grinders (417 E. 18th St.) happy hour, 5 to 8 p.m., puts the spotlight on Martin City Brewing with a Hard Way IPA glass giveaway (limited quantities) and beers on tap, including Friendly Collusion Belgian Imperial Stout, Imperial Alchemy Coffee Stout with vanilla beans, Righteous Candor IPA and Hard Way IPA.

Grinders Stonewall (10240 Pflumm Road, Lenexa, Kansas) hosts folks from Stone Brewing. Meet them during happy hour and enjoy Xocoveza, Tangerine Express and Ripper Pale Ale on tap.

Cinder Block Brewery (110 E. 18th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) gets squirrely for its Third Annual Stout Party. The brewery releases its 2018 Oyster Stout, 2017 un-oaked Nitro Black Squirrel, 2016 Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Squirrel, cellared 2015 Bourbon Barrel Aged Black Squirrel, and will also have 2018 Retribution Rye on tap.

Doughnut Lounge will make Black Squirrel-infused doughnuts to pair with stout flights. Also, join in a raffle for limited quantities of reserved bottles of 2018 Black Squirrel.

Thursday, Feb. 22

Stone Canyon Pizza (15 Main St., Parkville, Missouri) hosts Martin City Brewing for happy hour from 5 to 8 p.m., featuring Hard Way IPA on draft and Operation Yoga Pants in cans.

The Brewkery (1443 Swift St., North Kansas City, Missouri) officially opens its kombucha taproom. Several of its kombuchas, made in-house, will be on tap. Growler fills available.

For its 4204 Main Brewing Blanket and Coat Drive, Ruins Pub (1715 Main St.) invites guests to donate a coat, blanket, men’s pants or shoes for the City Union Mission Mens Shelter. Items must be new or in excellent condition. Donations earn the guest a free flight of four beers from the following options: Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, Over the Moon Witbier, Beast Brown Ale, Femme Noir Dark Farmhouse Saison or Metropolitan Oatmeal Stout.

Friday, Feb. 23

Martin City Brewing and 4 Hands Brewing share a double bill at the Lone Elm Taproom in Whole Foods (14615 W. 119th St., Olathe, Kansas). Friendly Collusion, Imperial Alchemy, Red IPA, and Righteous Candor IPA from MCBC will be on tap. 4 Hands selections on tap include Single Speed Blonde, Chocolate Milk Stout, Incarnation IPA and Divided Sky Rye IPA.

Brew Lab (7925 Marty St., Overland Park, Kansas) welcomes two homebrewers, who will scale up a recipe for a Mount Anderson Vanilla Milkshake Porter. This beer won the 2015 High Plains Brewhoff and has finished in the top five category for four years in competition. Eat lunch, have a beer, ask the head brewer questions and observe as the homebrewers craft this beer on a large-scale system.

Established in 1989, Free State Brewing Co. (636 Massachusetts St., Lawrence, Kansas) turns 29 today. The brewery will have special beers on tap in commemoration.

Saturday, Feb. 24

Calibration Brewery (119 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) sponsors a ping pong tournament. The winner receives a growler from the brewery.

Border Brewing Company (406 E. 18th St.) celebrates its third anniversary with a special release of two beers. Watch its Facebook page and website for details.

Sunday, Feb. 25

HopCat (401 Westport Road) celebrates its first anniversary in Kansas City. The craft beer taproom unleashes 10 beers with lofty ABV, including Boulevard Tequila Barrel-aged Lime Gose, Perennial Abraxas, and Cinder Block Brewery Black Squirrel. Beginning at 10 a.m., HopCat will give away 100 free FatCat Loyalty memberships to the first 100 customers. Throughout February, the restaurant will donate $1 to the American Heart Association for every St. James Winery/Public House Brewing Company McIntyre Blackberry Cider sold as a part of its “Feel Good Tap” program.

— 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.


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