Published August 1st, 2017 at 6:00 AM
Torn Label Brewing Company (1708 Campbell St.) will once again release 31 Heroes Wheat IPA, a beer originally created in honor of troops that died in a military tragedy.
“In August 2011, a helicopter carrying a group of military service members – many of them Navy SEALs – was downed in Afghanistan,” said Rafi Chaudry, co-owner of Torn Label. “The tragedy is considered the largest single day loss of American lives in the history of Special Operation Forces.”
According to Chaudry, the 30 service members (call sign ‘Extortion 17’), plus one military K9, have come to be known as the “31 Heroes.”
“Two years ago, we were approached by some of the local family members of the 31 Heroes about brewing a beer in their honor. We released the Wheat IPA to commemorate these fallen heroes on the date of the fifth anniversary of the crash,” Chaudry said. “Because we were so overwhelmed and touched by the turnout and response to batch one of 31 Heroes, we have brought it back in 2017 to again commemorate this year’s anniversary.”
The release for 31 Heroes begins at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug 5. The beer will be available on draft and in 12-ounce-can four-packs at the brewery, as well as in distribution. Limited-edition glassware and T-shirts will also be available for sale.
Once again, a portion of the proceeds from sales of 31 Heroes at the taproom release and in distribution, plus all related merchandise, will go to The Special Operations Warrior Foundation. The foundation provides college scholarships and educational counseling to the surviving children of Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty.
August Beer Releases
A new month brings new beers and the return of seasonal favorites to area taprooms and liquor stores. Don’t sweat the heat of August. Oktoberfest is on the horizon.
Cinder Block Brewery’s Coffee Hop’d (early August, 7.5-percent ABV, taproom and Kansas City market) is a seasonal English Brown Ale with flavors of rich pecans and delicate fruit notes pulled together by hearty maltiness. It’s aged with a custom coffee blend from Broadway Roasting Company. Great Brett White (August, taproom) is a seasonal with crisp, funky, sour and tart notes melded together with citrus, orange and wheat flavors.
Martin City Brewing Company’s Oktoberfest-Marzen (Aug. 21, seasonal release, taproom, six-pack 12-ounce-cans, kegs) is a “smooth and malty easy-drinking beer with notes of toffee, toasted bread and mild spice with a clean finish.” Radical Candor Double IPA (Aug. 7, limited release, taproom, six-pack 12-ounce cans, kegs) has a “pronounced orange and grapefruit flavor with a smooth maltiness that blends perfectly with the bitterness.”
Free State Brewing Company’s Late Addition SPA (August, limited release, on draft) is a session IPA with citrusy and tropical hop flavors. Award-winning Octoberfest (Available on draft and in bottles in Kansas and Missouri in mid-August) gets an early release. Free State describes the beer as amber-colored with a smooth, complex malt character balanced with a touch of sweetness and floral hop aroma.
Boulevard Brewing Company is set to unveil Tough Kitty Milk Stout (August, available in kegs and six-packs of bottles), which features complex layers of caramel and chocolate malt. Rolled oats and lactose sugar combine for a creamy mouthfeel. Deep black in color, the beer has aromas and flavors of bittersweet chocolate, espresso and toffee. Berliner Weisse (August, available in kegs and six-packs of bottles) is based on the classic German-style sour ale. This thirst-quenching tart Berliner Weisse is light-bodied with soft notes of lactic acidity.
Behind the Beer: Stockyards Brewing’s Farmhouse Ale
Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St., Suite 100) released its Farmhouse Ale, or Saison, in 2016 when the brewery opened.
“We consider this to be one of our ‘flagship’ beers since it was one of the first beers we talked about brewing. We all love this beer,” owner Greg Bland said. “Even though it is really only available in our taproom right now, we are planning to have this beer more available on draft around Kansas City very soon, so more people can have a chance to taste it.”
Stockyards brewer Micah Weichert uses wheat, pale ale and rye malt to produce a prominent malt character in the Farmhouse Ale. The brewery boosts the spice profile typically found in a farmhouse beer, with a spice bag of orange, lemon peel and black pepper.
“The rye malt provides a great smooth but spicy character, and the wheat malt really balances out the other strong flavors,” Bland said. “There is a distinct spicy flavor that comes from both the black pepper and rye malt.”
Bland’s recommendations for pairing food with the Farmhouse Ale runs the gamut.
“I love pairing this beer with some strong stinky cheese,” Bland said. “It really shines as an early brunch beer and pairs well with sweet dishes like French toast or cinnamon rolls.”
— 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.