Get ready to swing into spring at the Spring Fling Homebrew Festival.
Rodney Beagle, brewer at the forthcoming brewery Colony Handcrafted Ales, founded the first annual Spring Fling festival in partnership with Colony and the NKC Rotary Club. The Spring Fling features 30 homebrewers and 70 homebrews. It takes place from 5 to 8 p.m. on April 8 at iWerx (1520 Clay, North Kansas City, Missouri). All funds raised will be donated to scholarship funds for North Kansas City high school students.
Beagle has seen a big uptick in area homebrewing clubs and thought this was the perfect way to help new brewers showcase their beer.
“[This will] show the city that our homemade beer ranks right up there with the city’s most prominent breweries,” said Beagle.
Several homebrewers discussed what they will serve at the festival. David Schumacher, a homebrewer for six years, dubs his beer “SchuBrew.” Schumacher took home five medals at the 34th Annual Kansas City Bier Meisters competition. At Spring Fling, SchuBrew will have Keep on Trolling IPA, a hazy New England-style IPA.
“I’ve kind of had a love/hate relationship with the ‘style’ and mainly the hype around them in the local community. I decided to join the hype train and give one a go,” said Schumacher. “I used over a pound of hops including El Dorado, Denali, and Azzaca. It should have a lot of tropical notes and be juicy and hazy, but more importantly, easy drinking.”
Schubrew Cider, a classic semi-sweet cider, and Drunk American at St Patty’s Day, a Hoppy Red Ale, are two other Schubrew offerings.
Jerimy Warford has been homebrewing for four years as Level Two Brewing. He won three medals last year at the Missouri Mashers Hot Summer Brew Off. At Spring Fling, Warford will serve Frickin Laser Beams, a French-style saison brewed with hibiscus flower that is floral and refreshing with a bit of spice from the yeast. Another entry, a hazy beer, represents a trendy characteristic in the appearance of East Coast-style IPAs.
“Persistent Princess is my take on a popular northeast brewing style that makes the beer’s appearance more hazy,” said Warford. “It’s a fruity, citrus pale ale brewed with oats and late hop additions. Both of my beers for this event focus on bright, refreshing styles that reflect the season.”
The haze can come from different sources during the brew process. “Mine comes from having a large amount of oats in the grain bill. The oats give it both a hazy appearance and a silky mouthfeel,” said Warford.
Alex Workman, a homebrewer for 7 years, won gold in the Topeka Hall of Foamer’s competition for his Imperial Stout Ale X. Listed as Scouting the Taps at Spring Fling, Workman will serve Saison De Laubss and Phoenix IPA. The saison was designed and brewed with Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies in mind for a pairing.
“I worked with Mike Strohm from The W in Lee’s Summit to pair the chocolate and mint flavors with the palate cleansing dryness of the saison, sweet pear flavor, and spiciness from ginger,” said Workman.
“It was designed with Boulevard’s The Calling and Deschutes Fresh Squeezed in mind. Fresh citrus flavors and aroma but still has a malt presence,” said Workman.
Changeling, a limited-release from Boulevard Brewing Company’s Smokestack series, is a barrel-aged sour ale (7.1 percent ABV, 25 IBU) that will be available in 750-ml. bottles on April 4. This blend of dark sour ales was aged in whiskey and wine barrels that were inoculated with Brettanomyces and lactobacillus. Deep ruby color in color, the beer’s aroma leads with plum and caramel, shifts to lemon and tart cherry, and exudes notes of oak, vanilla, and char. [Note: Boulevard gave Flatland a pre-market bottle to preview.]
Brewery Emperial (1829 Oak) has on tap Kristall Weizen (4 percent ABV, 16 IBU), a filtered German wheat beer without yeast, that presents banana and clove flavor and aroma. Head brewer and co-owner Keith Thompson will soon release a Whisky Ale (7.3 percent ABV, 12 IBU). “It’s our interpretation of a classic Scotch Ale with translucent amber, subtle smoke, roasted and peat malt, and smoked brown sugar,” said Thompson.
Elizabeth, a fruity and spicy saison, is now available at the Red Crow Brewing Company (20561 S Lone Elm Road, Spring Hill, Kansas) taproom.
Crane Brewing Company (6515 Railroad Street, Raytown, Missouri) recently packaged more than 2,000 bottles of its Orange Gose. Look for this crowd favorite on draught and in 750-ml. bottles in April.
This week, Martin City Brewing Company (500 E 135th Street) offers a taproom-only release of Raspberry Jive, a barrel-aged sour ale with raspberry. Bottles will be available for sale at the taproom.
— 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.