Published March 20th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
By the end of 2018, 3 Trails Brewing (111 N. Main St., Independence, Missouri) aims to be a taproom destination for thirsty travelers. Brewery president and founder Kyle Weinand, and co-owners Matt Medley and Brian Clark, have initiated plans for a brewery in a 4,500 square-foot building located by the Independence Square shops and restaurants and the nearby Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum.
The brewery’s name and identity refers to the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails. During the early 1800s, Independence, Missouri, served as a departure point and outfitting post for pioneers and migrants headed west. 3 Trails’ theme will also pay homage to Truman, the namesake for their White IPA.
3 Trails Brewing originated as a homebrewing group in 2015. After finding success locally with Truman’s Slow Stroll White IPA, 3 Trails made a splash on the national scene with Westward Wit, a double witbier with fresh oranges. In 2016, they placed third out of 600 entries in a national homebrew competition sponsored by Ballast Point Brewing.
As part of the competition, 3 Trails’ homebrewers scaled up the Westward Wit recipe on Ballast Point’s five-barrel brewhouse system in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. The beer was served at the Ballast Point’s twentieth anniversary party.
Weinand, Medley and Clark are now ready to progress into professional brewing. Medley owns the building that houses the Blue and Grey Book Shoppe, Art Squared, Haupart Frame Gallery and artist Jim Shaw. Those businesses will remain as neighbors to 3 Trails.
“You will be able to go walk out of the brewery to shop within the building,” Weinand said. “This will be a unique feature that no other brewery has in the area.”
Grains and malts will be milled in the building’s 9,800 square-foot basement and transferred by auger upstairs to the brewhouse. The brewhouse will contain four 10-barrel fermenters and a 10-barrel brite tank. In preparation for its opening, 3 Trails has purchased a pilot brewing system to brew its first batches.
3 Trails will also hire a head brewer to manage the brewhouse and taproom.
“We have plans to do a collaboration brew with BrewLab, make Westward Wit on their system and have a taproom party,” Weinand said.
Once open, 3 Trails will have house, local and national craft beers on 20 taps and offer craft spirits and wine. Flagship beers include Fat Man Sweet Stout, Westward Wit, Truman’s Slow Stroll White IPA and Raspberry Lemon Saison.
“I am in the process of developing beer concepts to bring to events this year,” Weinand said. “I have a new American light lager, grapefruit white IPA twist on Truman’s Slow Stroll, a strong ale and doppelbock.”
While undergoing renovation of the brewery space, 3 Trails will serve its beer at the 15th Annual Parkville Microbrew Fest, KC Nanobrew Festival, Independence Wine and Brew Walk, Hip Hops Hooray beer festival and fourth annual Festival of the Lost Township.
Craft Republic Begins Distribution in Kansas City
Brian Dix sipped on a glass of Double Shift Brewing’s Tessellation Mosaic IPA during the brewery’s distribution launch party at Bier Station. His company Craft Republic, a craft beverage distributor based in St. Louis, began distributing four of the brewery’s beers in Kansas City last week.
While Craft Republic was established last summer, Dix has worked in the beer industry for 25 years. He launched many beer brands at Major Brands, a heavyweight distributor carrying more than 12,000 products throughout Missouri. With Craft Republic, Dix sought a more tailored approach to craft beer distribution.
“We’ve seen a rapid expansion of breweries in the U.S., but distribution hasn’t caught up yet,” Dix said.
Craft Republic focuses on providing “quick, nimble customer service” to a portfolio of small to mid-size brewery accounts that might get lost in the shuffle elsewhere. The company has a refrigerated warehouse and refrigerated trucks located in Kansas City. The ability to keep freshly-kegged beer cold from brewery to warehouse to retail accounts factored into Double Shift Brewing founder Aaron Ogilvie’s decision to sign with Craft Republic.
Craft Republic also distributes sought-after brands from Perennial Artisan Ales, Evil Twin Brewing, and Stillwater Artisanal. Kansas City continues to be an important craft beer market for local and out-of-state breweries to reach.
“Kansas City is open to great beer no matter where it is brewed,” Dix said. “Kansas City has an appetite for brands that have quality and are hip.”
As more breweries in Kansas City take steps to distribute, Dix addresses a question often asked in Kansas City. Are there too many craft breweries here?
“I don’t think there are,” Dix said. “Not all breweries are designed to be major production breweries. Some are neighborhood-based or focused on small production, artisanal beer like BKS Artisan Ales or Side Project in St. Louis. Each craft beer market in the country has its own renaissance and timeline. It’s a wonderful time in Kansas City for craft beer.”
Highlights on the current tap list at Double Shift Brewing (412 E. 18th St.) include Excess Hydrogen, a Mosaic Dry-Hopped Berliner Weiss brewed as a scale-up beer with Andrew Friling of the Johnson County Brewing Society, Blind Love Porter with cacao nibs, Trampled Rose Cherry Sour and Smoke Ritual Quad.
Beers on tap at Casual Animal Brewing (1725 McGee St.) include Thunder Maker Dark Saison, Cat Shark Amber, Test ESB, Azacca Attacks IPA, Triple Double Triple IPA and Hop the Fence India Pale Lager.
The taplist at Martin City Brewing (500 E. 135th St.) includes Imperial Alchemy Coffee Stout with Vanilla Bean, newly-released Forgotten Farmhouse, Saison Renee (lavender saison) and Hophouse Saison.
Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) has released its Maibock (6.2-percent ABV, 18 IBUs), an amber bock lager. Other beers on tap include Pils, KC Weisse, Gose brewed with coriander, Dunkel-Klein and Blessed Doppelbock.
Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St. Ste. #100) has Belgian Winter Rye on tap, a Belgian Dubbel with notes of caramel apple, black cherry, and cinnamon as a winter warmer to close out the season.
– 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.