Well, John and I are off for 10 days to the great Pacific Northwest. I can't wait. We're going for several reasons - to see my family, to attend my best friend's wedding up in Vancouver, and to enjoy the lovely geography, food, and beer of the region.
When we first moved out here in '07, our friends & family back in Portland thought we were crazy. "There's nothing out there!" "What are you going to do? It's so flat!" "It's just corn fields!" Anyone who has gone running or biking in Kansas City will tell you: it's not flat. And, though there may be corn fields outside of the city, I dare any Portlander to tell me that Portland isn't also surrounded by crops and dairy farms.
I will admit, though, that I thought for sure moving out here meant the end of craft beer in my life and the beginning of learning to love Bud Light and backward baseball caps. Man was I wrong. Living here, I can get beer that isn't available in the NW. To name a few: Bells, O'Fallon, Schlafly, Southern Tier, Founders, Boulevard...
Sure, we don't get Dogfish Head or Stone or AleSmith or Deschutes or Lagunitas or Russian River... yet.... But it's been amazing to watch the craft beer scene here explode just since our arrival here. Several factors are, I'm sure, to thank for it - Boulevard's smokestack series (and the limited editions), Flying Saucer's entry to KC, Barley's tuning in to new and seasonal beers, Derek Bean moving from O'Fallon to MoBev to assist with new accounts and distribution channels... Kansas City seems to be where Portland was about 10 years ago, back when I just started getting into craft brew (and a nod to Deschutes, Bridgeport, and New Old Lompoc for getting me on my way). In terms of craft beer, it's an exciting time to be in Kansas City.
So anyway.. we're off. I doubt I'll post during our trip, but you never know. I can guarantee, however, that I'll post when I get back about something interesting or relating to Kansas City. I hear there was a tasting at my favorite Portland bottle shop of Boulevard's BBQ and Saison-Brett recently. Verrrrrry interesting.