Stockyards Brewing (1600 Genessee St., #100) kicks off its two-year anniversary celebration from April 12 to 15 with beer releases, a vinyl record release, and events (see calendar). Ahead of the festivities, Stockyards brewer Micah Weichert reflected on Stockyard’s first two years of operation.
“A lot of people in Kansas City were surprised that we made such good, clean, drinkable beer right off the bat,” Weichert said. “We are a newer brewery, but having a space with such a deep rich history as the Golden Ox and the Stockyards and West Bottoms Districts, along with tasty beer styles, has sort of made it feel like it’s been here the whole time.”
Q: How has the brewery grown since opening two years ago?
A: We set a goal for ourselves to have beer on draft in Kansas City, Missouri, within our first year. In February of 2017, 10 months after opening, we sent out our first kegs for distribution. Now we are selling draft beer on both sides of the state line and have nearly doubled production from our first year. We made a diligent effort to not compromise quality for quantity. We’ve continued to put out clean, quality beers. We feel that we have earned a reputation as some of the best beer being made in Kansas City and our taproom is certainly one of the most unique.
Q: What lessons have been learned as a newer brewery?
A: One of the biggest lessons has been to allow room for growth. If you make good beer, people will drink a lot of it, and you’ll need to expand to meet the demand. We are proud to announce that we are currently working on an expansion plan to allow us to continue to bring quality craft beer to more people in KC and surrounding areas.
Q: Any advice for breweries in the works?
A: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is so much that goes into successfully opening and operating a brewery. Even the most veteran and experienced brewers will admit that they are constantly learning new things. One of the greatest qualities of the U.S. craft beer industry has always been the camaraderie and support that fellow brewers and breweries have had for each other. While some of that has gotten lost as the industry continues to grow and evolve, there are many of us here in Kansas City that are trying to preserve it.
Q: What artists are featured on the vinyl records release?
A: “Two Years On The Trail” is a special vinyl record release commemorating Stockyards Brewing Company’s second-year anniversary. Within the first couple months of being open, we started hosting live bluegrass, folk and country music every other Sunday. This musical collection features six different groups that have played at Stockyards since the beginning. These local and regional musicians have helped make Stockyards a special place with a special vibe. The bands on the record include Betse and Clarke with The Short Round Stringband and Brushy Creek, John Brown Boys, Kasey Rausch and The Country Duo, Konza Swamp [Band], The Matchsellers, and Old Sound (band members Grady Keller and Chad Brothers created the artwork and sound production of the album).
Q: Tell us about French Bottoms IPA, a new release with Saison and IPA roots.
A: French Bottoms IPA is more than just a blend of two beers. We took the Saison and West Bottoms IPA recipes, put them together, and wrote a new recipe. Rye and wheat malts were both previously featured in the Saison. Rye malt helps create that peppery characteristic and leaves a slightly dry finish on the palate. Wheat malt is used to help head retention, add sweetness and create some body and mouthfeel. We changed the hop varieties (Mosaic and Opal), while keeping the amounts and levels of the hops mostly the same. The addition of French chamomile to the boil is the key ingredient not found previously in either beer.
Brew Lab (7925 Marty St., Overland Park, Kansas) will start a barrel program in the next month in collaboration with an area winery.
“Starting in a few days, we’ll also have Stone Pillar Winery’s Hofftoberfest wine on tap,” brewery co-founder Kevin Combs said. “Look forward to a grape-infused beer using grapes immediately after their harvest. In April, we plan to re-brew our popular Mexican Stout and Humulus Stratus NE Juicy IPA in preparation for branding it for future distribution.”
Brew Lab’s current tap list runs the gamut of styles. Newly tapped beers include Alpha Pinene West Coast IPA and Current Flow Hoppy Sour. Other temptations include Belgique Scientifique Belgian Dubbel, Offaly Clever Dry Stout, Humulus Stratus NE Juicy IPA, Berry Cut Blackberry Sour, Mount Anderson Vanilla Milkshake Porter Collaboration, Uncut, a 100-percent unblended foeder-aged sour, and Encore Coffee Collaboration Coffee Cream Ale.
BKS Artisan Ales (633 E. 63rd St., #120) has expanded its tasting room hours to noon to 7 p.m. every Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. every Sunday.
Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St., #100) has released OG Pale, a retooling of the brewery’s first-ever batch of Golden Alt.
“Golden Alt was essentially a German Altbier with a lighter color and taste profile,” brewer Micah Weichert said. “It was one of the first beers we brewed and put on tap. Loved by many for the better part of our first two years, we decided to discontinue it and now revive it with a fresh new taste. We brewed OG Pale with a similar malt profile, but with all organically-grown German Pilsner, Vienna and Crystal malts. We changed the hops to include organic U.S. and New Zealand grown varieties, which have really helped give the beer a fresh, pale ale flavor and aroma.”
Cinder Block Brewery (110E. 18th Ave) will release Hop Maven 10 (X) Double Block IPA, the latest in its rotating IPA series, at the end of April. More details to come.
Papa Keno’s Pizzeria & Bar (1815 Wyandotte St.) will have Torn Label Brewing’s Magic Magic IPA, a limited release, on tap this week.
– 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.