Tap List | Bizz & Weezy Creates Beer Caramel

Bizz and Weezy caramels Bizz and Weezy and Double Shift Brewing Co. have collaborated on a new caramel. (Courtesy of Bizz & Weezy)

Beer never tasted so sweet.

Self-taught confectioner Jonathan Pitcher, who opened Bizz & Weezy Confections (1800 Baltimore) two years ago, has begun crafting and selling bite-sized, chocolate-dipped caramels ($2.25 per piece) made from local craft beer.

Pitcher has made the soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramels with Double Shift’s Abby Royal Belgian Dubbel, King’s Vine American IPA and Literally Can’t Even Belgian Strong Dark Ale.

“Double Shift doesn’t have the same beers [on tap] all the time,” Pitcher said of his Crossroads neighbor. “I can rotate flavors and still have something local.”

Bizz & Weezy has produced caramel based on Tom’s Town Distilling’s Pendergast Royal Gold Bourbon and Torn Label’s House Brew Coffee Wheat Stout and Monk and Honey Belgian-style Pale Ale.

“To get the flavor right, you have to add the beer at the right time,” Pitcher said. “I get the beer before it is carbonated and the flavor is in concentrated form.”

Un-carbonated beer also saves time when reducing liquid in the cooking process to produce caramel. The production process for one tray (yielding 140 pieces) requires two hours of cooking time, 24 hours to cool, and another hour-and-a-half to cut and dip pieces in dark chocolate.

“It’s a labor of love,” Pitcher said.

Beer caramel and up to 30 other flavors are available in the shop and online. Bizz & Weezy plans to introduce a line of drinking chocolate and drinking caramel, including a beer-flavored version, in November.

Bottled Up: Crane Brewing Installs New Packaging Line

Crane Brewing (6515 Railroad St., Raytown, Missouri) has acquired and installed a packaging line in its production brewery that expands its bottling capabilities. Built by Martin Robotics in Lincoln, Nebraska, the 8 Shooter is an eight-head beer-filling machine that handles 12-ounce and 375-milliliter Belgian-style bottles, as well as other sizes.

“We’re able to go to smaller format packaging,” brewery co-founder Chris Meyers said. “We can also do cans in the future.”

Meyers estimates that Crane will be able to package 1,500 bottles per hour. Previously, Crane’s team filled, crowned and labeled their original 750-milliliter bottles by hand, taking most of a day to complete a packaging run.

“Our 750-milliliter bottles are good for other markets,” Meyers said. “To grow locally, we wanted to go small format. For customers new to Crane, a 750-milliliter bottle is intimidating. People would rather get six 12-ounce bottles to sample.”

Crane Brewing is still deciding which current and future beers will be distributed in six-packs. They’re in the process of developing labels and packaging to fit the alternate format. Look for some sours and Brettanomyces-based beers in 375-milliliter bottles.

“We will release 375-milliliter bottles in the next few months,” Meyers said. “Six-packs will come out after the first of the year. We need to package enough first to get ahead of the market.”

5 Second Rule in Effect at Martin City Brewing

Despite the name, take your time with Martin City Brewing’s (500 E. 135th St.) 5 Second Rule available at the taproom. The beer originated as a “fun way to see what kind of unique flavor Kansas City microbes can give to a beer,” head brewer Nick Vaughn said.

MCBC took four stainless steel totes full of boiling hot wort, high in dextrins, to a field at a Belton farm.

“We took the lids off, put some nylon screens on top just in case, and left them there for two days,” Vaughn said. “When they came back, a quick look under the microscope revealed a lot of microbes in the wort. Within a week, we had a great fermentation going.”

The brewery blended beer from the totes and aged it in barrels for two years. The result is a subtly complex beer with a layer of sourness beneath semi-sweetness at the front.

“5 Second Rule is a play on the old adage of you have five seconds to pick food up off a dirty surface before it’s ‘infected’ and unfit for eating,” Vaughn said. “We left the wort outside on a farm for 172,800 seconds, and while it was infected, it turned out pretty amazing. Maybe that gummy bear you drop on the ground could contain the next great consortium of yeast and bacteria to grace wort, and we’ve been taught to throw it away.”

Tap Notes

Last week Boulevard Brewing released Bundle Up, its first barleywine-style strong ale. Bundle Up (10.5-percent ABV, 59 IBUs) is a full-bodied beer with a prominent base from a five malt grain bill. Sticky caramel and toffee flavors emerge with a touch of piney resin and spice notes from hops. Suitable for the cold, blustery winter season, this warming barleywine finishes with hints of rum and raisin.

Colony KC (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) has released Harvest Ale Phantom Power (7.7-percent, 21 IBUs), brewed in collaboration with Northtown neighbor Harvest Productions, an audio/visual design and event production firm.

“The collaboration was a meeting of the minds to play off of their name with an appropriate style and idea,” head brewer Rodney Beagle said. ”The color is that of changing leaves with a sweet, biscuity aroma. The flavor hints of caramel, bread, and malty sweetness. Phantom Power is the amps required to power a microphone.”

Current Papa Louie’s beers on tap at Green Room Burgers and Beer (4010 Pennsylvania Ave., Suite D) include Belgian Pale Ale (5-percent ABV, 55 IBUs), Ez PA (4.5-percent ABV, 36 IBUs) and Belgian Table Beer (4.2-percent ABV, 32 IBUs).

Jack’s Jubilee is a collaboration between Martin City Brewing Company and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. The American Pale Ale was brewed to celebrate Jack Stack’s 60th anniversary this month and will be on tap at all five Jack Stack locations starting Oct. 1.

Double Shift Brewing’s (412 E. 18th St.) Literally Can’t Even Belgian Strong Ale will return in the second week of October. Also in October, look for the bottle release of Barrel-Aged Sister Abby and Bring Out Your Dead Blonde Coffee Stout.

In a Great American Beer Festival update from last week’s Tap List, Stockyards Brewing sent the following four beers to the national competition: Stocktoberfest in the Vienna-Style Lager category, Saison in the Classic Saison category, West Hef Hefeweizen in the South German-Style Hefeweizen category, and Anniversary Ale in the Belgian-Style Strong Specialty Ale category. Stockyards will also attend the fest and pour samples of these beers.

Boulevard's Bundle Up

Boulevard’s Bundle Up is a new barleywine from the Kansas City brewery. (Courtesy of Boulevard)

This Week

Wednesday, Oct. 4

International Tap House (403 E. 18th St.) hosts trivia night, sponsored by Martin City Brewing Co. and 4 Hands Brewing, with beers from both breweries and trivia for prizes.

Barley’s Kitchen + Tap (16649 Midland Drive, Shawnee, Kansas) welcomes New Holland Brewing Co. for a tap takeover. Explore four variations of barrel-aged Imperial Stout Dragon’s Milk Reserve – Triple Mash, Mexican Spice Cake, S’Mores and Raspberry and Lemon.

Thursday, Oct. 5

Flying Saucer Kansas City (101 E. 13th St.) taps a rare beer: Ballast Point Blackberry Sour Wench, a fruit-forward Berliner Weisse brewed with blackberries.

Enter a pumpkin drawing contest at 8 p.m., and sip on Dogfish Head beer at HopCat (401 Westport Road). Pumpkin artwork will be on display throughout the month. Winners receive swag and gift cards. Flesh & Blood American IPA, Punkin Ale, 90 Minute American IPA, and 120 Minute American Double IPA will be on tap.

Friday, Oct. 6

Lone Elm Tap Room (14615 W. 119th St., Olathe, Kansas) will have four beers each on tap from the Free State Brewing Company and Torn Label Brewing Company, including harvest ales that use hops from Kansas Hop Company. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to The Family Conservancy.

Restless Spirits Distilling and Cinder Block Brewery collaborated to create an Imperial Märzen. The beer was aged in a Restless Spirits’ Stone Breaker Whiskey barrel for 14 months and kegged. Available at Affäre (1911 Main St.) for one night only, the restaurant will pour its Imperial Märzen with a side of Stone Breaker Whiskey.

Saturday, Oct. 7

Martin City Brewing will be pour samples of its beers at the Renaissance Festival on Oct. 7 and 8 from noon to 4 p.m. each day.

Leinenkugel’s KC presents Oktoberfest Live! in the Kansas City Live section of the Power and Light District (1100 Walnut St.). John Leinenkugel will attend and toast guests. Visit tasting tents, cheer at weiner dog races, eat, drink and be merry.

Sunday, Oct. 8

Stretch out the weekend at Bier Station (120 E. Gregory Blvd.) with Beer Yoga sessions at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. sponsored by Dogfish Head and conducted by Onelife Fitness. Sip on Dogfish Head Namaste, a Belgian White brewed with orange, lemongrass, peppercorn and coriander. Ticket includes class entry, pour of Dogfish Namaste and a glass to keep. Dogfish beer cocktails, Namaste-mosa and SeaQuench Bloody Mary will also be available.

Monday, Oct. 9

Barley’s Kitchen + Tap (16649 Midland Drive, Shawnee, Kansas) clears some imperial stouts out of the cellar. Delve into 2014 and 2015 Stone Brewing Imperial Russian Stout, 2014 Boulevard Brewing Company Imperial Stout, New Belgium Brewing Lips of Faith Imperial Chocolate Coffee Milk Stout and 2012 Avery Brewing Company The Czar.

— 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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