Published February 27th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
The owner of an Independence, Missouri, homebrew supply shop has plans to provide inspiration to hobbyist brewers in the Kansas City area.
By April, Jeremy Parratt, owner of Apex Brew and BBQ Supplies (4360 Noland Road, Independence, Missouri), plans to open Apex Aleworks, a 1,500-square-foot brewery and 49-seat taproom. The brewery will occupy the former offices of Rickman Chiropractic (4356 Noland Road), located next to the homebrew supply shop. Once construction is complete, the taproom will open first and feature up to 20 guest craft beers on tap. Pratt is looking to get the brewery up and running by early July, and eventually serve up to 10 house-brewed beers on tap.
“Apex Aleworks will connect to Apex Supplies via a hallway,” Parratt, a homebrewer with 14 years of experience, said. “Glass windows will allow a view of the taproom and three-barrel brewery as customers walk between the businesses.”
Brewer Tony DiPlacito and taproom manager Josh Sartin will join Parratt in running operations at Apex Aleworks. Parratt recruited DiPlacito in part based on his reputation in local homebrewing circles and the quality of his beers.
DiPlacito, a homebrewer for eight years, has 90 recipes in his repertoire. By winning the KC Bier Meisters 2016 homebrewing competition, DiPlacito earned the opportunity for a “scale-up.” He brewed his recipe for Wily Mild, an English dark mild, on Cinder Block Brewery’s brewhouse system.
“Tony and I have talked about opening a brewery for a while. He’s worked at Apex Supplies on Saturdays for a long time,” Parratt said. “We have an organic, easy working relationship. I have a lot of respect for Tony as a brewer and person. I’ve also known Josh a long time.”
Sartin, taproom manager of The Beer Growler Taproom at bd’s Mongolian Grill (19750 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence, Missouri), will apply his taproom experience to Apex Aleworks once it opens.
“The Apex taproom will have a community feeling,” Sartin said. “A place to lounge, drink beer and enjoy each other’s company. We’ll have board games and fun ways to interact.”
The team purposely selected a three-barrel brewhouse system to “be nimble” with its production and to rotate beers on tap often.
“We want to serve fresh beer and plan to expand quickly by adding fermenter tanks,” DiPlacito said. “We’ll have a variety of classic, sessionable beers, special releases and seasonal beers.”
Possible styles include an American IPA, porter, pale ale, West Coast-style IPA, blonde ale and bitter.
“I brew classic, identifiable styles,” DiPlacito said. “I make sure the base beer is to my standards. We will make beers that appeal to everybody.”
In time, the brewery will offer a series of guest beers on tap made by homebrewers. Apex Aleworks will also serve local spirits for cocktails to complement its beer selection. The brewery plans to work with a local malt supplier and Kansas Hop Company.
Welcome to Kansas, Stockyards Brewing
Based in the West Bottoms, Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St., #100) begins distribution in Kansas this week.
Owner Greg Bland opened Stockyards Brewing in spring 2016 and hired experienced brewer Micah Weichert to lead brewing operations. Initially, Bland decided that the brewery would only distribute in Kansas City, Missouri, during its first year of operation and slowly grow its distribution reach.
“We have been getting a ton of great feedback from craft-forward bars and restaurants over the last year,” Bland said. “That really helped us decide to move into Kansas. It has been almost 12 months to the day that we started distribution in Missouri. We feel comfortable with our capacity now to add the Kansas market, and we are really excited to make new friends and partners on the other side of state line.”
The brewery only sells kegs for draft sales at bars, taprooms and restaurants.
“We can sell in about four counties on the Missouri side and a few counties on the Kansas side for now,” Bland said. “We are keeping the focus on the greater KC metro area.”
Stockyards has more than a half-dozen styles of beer available on the market. West Bottoms IPA, Brunch Stout, West Hefeweizen, Cerveza Royale, Belgian Rye, Black IPA, and Fox Trotter Scottish Ale will be available on tap at select locations (see the calendar for details).
“We really try to focus on quality, approachable beers, but that does not mean our beer is boring,” Bland said. “We wanted to keep the focus on our main brand and the beer that we feel represents us and the history of our neighborhood. The beer we are sharing in distribution is a great example of how we approach brewing and the beer that we want to drink at the end of the work day.”
KC Oktoberfest Heads to Crown Center
Kansas City Bier Company’s signature annual event, Oktoberfest, will be held at Crown Center October 5 and 6.
Kansas City Bier has partnered with Crown Center and O’Neill Event Management to scale up the event – which reached capacity at the Waldo brewery in recent years. The two-day festival will continue to feature authentic Bavarian food, German-style beer, entertainment and family-friendly activities.
“We’re excited to bring Oktoberfest to Crown Center,” Steve Holle, KC Bier Company’s founder and managing partner, said in a release. “Kansas City and the Midwest were widely settled by German immigrants, and we want to celebrate that heritage by providing a true Oktoberfest experience with authentic Bavarian-style bier, food and music.”
General admission tickets and packages for KC Oktoberfest go on sale in late spring.
City Barrel Brewing Company (1916 Grand Blvd.) made news with the announcement of its existence and future location. With a focus on hoppy, wild, and sour beers, brewery co-founders James Stutsman, Grant Waner and Joe Giammanco plan to open in late 2018. Look for an in-depth story in next week’s Tap List.
Casual Animal Brewing (1725 McGee St.) released Chaos Monkey Banana Cream Pie Ale over the weekend.
Last weekend, Border Brewing Company (406 E. 18th St.) celebrated its third anniversary with a special release of two beers. Better Late (6.9-percent ABV), Border’s first sour beer, has a mid-level acidity balanced with chocolate, raisin and caramel malt flavors. The dark beer was finished with black currant and dates for extra depth and sweetness. Never Again IPA (4.6-percent ABV), a New England IPA-style, used a whopping eight pounds of hops in two barrels of beer. The recipe uses flaked oats and wheat predominantly to yield a hazy, light and hoppy beer.
Miami Creek Brewing Company (14226 NW County Road 14001, Drexel, Missouri) now offers beer flights (four beers, five-ounce samples, $6 flight) at its taproom. The brewery has secured a wholesale license that enables it to sell and distribute directly to retail accounts. Taproom delights include Lavender Saison fermented with farm-grown lavender and Poncho’s Pepper Ale brewed with smoked jalapeño, Anaheim and poblano peppers, and applewood-smoked malt. Rebels & Redcoats, a Double IPA, is dry-hopped with wild hops from Miami Creek’s farm. Next week, Cream Ale with farm-grown coriander and Chocolate Belgian, made with home-roasted cacao, will be on tap.
Calibration Brewery (119 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) has Boom! Like That (8-percent ABV, 58 IBUs), an unfiltered Belgian strong ale, on tap.
Boulevard Brewing’s Tequila Barrel Lime Gose, a German-style gose infused with lime peel, returns March 5 on draft and March 6 in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles in Greater Kansas City. Rye on Rye on Rye on Rye is yet another variant of its Rye on Rye beer.
¡Vamos!, a Mexican-style lager, deepens the partnership between Boulevard and the Kansas City Royals on and off the field. ¡Vamos! hits March 5 on draft and March 6 in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles in Greater Kansas City.
Kansas City Bier Company (310 W. 79th St.) has a limited quantity of Hop Schlagen (11-percent ABV, 24 IBUs), a dry-hopped triple India Pale Lager, on tap. Made for the brewery’s recent four-year anniversary, the high-alcohol amber beer was brewed with low hop bitterness. The brewery has also begun bottling Pils, its pilsner-style lager, for distribution.
Colony KC (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) released an Espresso Porter, Volume II of its coffee-based Pole-to-Pole Series of beers. This beer features espresso from Blip Roasters. Another coffee beer, Kansas City Coffee Kolsch, will be released 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.