Thursday, July 30, 2009

Beer in a Box

For years, the wine industry has tried to improve the reputation of wine-in-a-box. Shunned by most wine drinkers as a sub-par packaging method, and supported by decades of the only wines-in-a-box being crummy stuff I wouldn't even use for cooking, wine-in-a-box continues to sit on the bottom shelf longing to be taken home. Some wine companies are changing boxed wine's perception, but it's slow to catch on. Since beer doesn't have nearly the particularity in packaging among its consumers or a history of only the worst beers being packaged in that method, there's a shining opportunity here to introduce Beer in a Box. And MillerCoors is running with it.

It seems like a great idea, right? Fits well in the fridge, and - since the bag is hermetically sealed - protects the contents from oxidation or spoilage. Beer stays carbonated for about 1 month after opening (or being filled from a tap), allowing you to drink the 1.5 gallons of it over a period of weeks (rather than days, as is the case with the current mini-kegs on the market).

I lived in Sacramento & surrounding area for about 5 years in the '90s and remember getting beer-in-a-box at Rubicon Brewing Company instead of a glass growler. It seemed like such a weird (and crass) concept before I got one, but it only took one purchase to convince me it was a great idea. No awkward and heavy growlers to carry (or wash), no worries about recycling, no concerns about taking bottles to the beach (well, lake), and no pressure to try to drink it all in a day or two, before it goes flat or stale.

A few other craft breweries across the country also use this method of packaging instead of glass growlers, and the latest article in the WSJ (referenced above) hints at seeing more of this, as it allows the macro companies to quickly change the packaging for seasonal sports and events (much like we see with 12-pack boxes). I guess we'll see how it goes when the results from the 6 test markets are in. Honestly, for fresh beer from local breweries I'm all for it. I'm not convinced it's great for beers that sit on the shelf or in warehouses for a while. How about it, KC breweries??

Thanks to Blaidd0905 on flickr for the picture

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Everything's Better with a Graph

Another beer blogger put together a pretty detailed comparison between beer rankings on BeerAdvocate and Rate Beer. It's kind of a fun read (yeah, I said fun) and interesting to see just how varied opinions on beer really are. Westvleteren 12, however, does rest confidently at the top spot on both sites. Have you had it? Probably not - you can't get it anywhere outside of the abbey and its cafe across the street. So how on earth does this beer make it to #1?

Certainly, it's good. But personally, I think many beers are a lot like small, obscure bands - they tend to be rated higher than more popular ones simply because people get a kick out of bragging rights - "You haven't had TinyTown Oak-Aged Bourbon Barrel Vanilla Chocolate Plum Smoked Coffee Bacon Porter? Psshh, novice." That doesn't apply to all of them, of course. Clearly, many of those on the list are phenomenal beers. But really - Lost Abbey Yellow Bus? 53 reviews? How would that compare to Rochefort 10 (drool...) if it had 2200+ ratings?

I found it intriguing to look at the opinions on BA vs. Rate Beer. Seems there's a strong preference for the big beers, and Three Floyds is clearly a favorite (and a well-deserved one, although a wee bit overhyped in my opinion - though granted I'm not one to gush over any particular brewery anyway. Except Rogue. But they have personal significance. And, they make great beer. And gin. And rum. I digress...).

Personally, I tend to go to BA simply because there's more going on there and, well, I have it bookmarked on my browser. Honestly, though, I fit more in with the RateBeer crowd. I recommend checking out both to see where you belong. And have a beer while you're at it.

Image ownership 100% belongs to the Top Fermented blog.

(Foamy) Heads Up!

A few things are here and/or coming our way...
  • Sierra Nevada's Kellerweis is available at Royal on 435 & State Line. We picked up a sixer the other day and it's fabulous. If you like German-style Hefeweizen (banana & clove esters, citrusy and light), you'll enjoy this one. A lot.
  • Sierra Nevada's also adding another beer to their Estate lineup. This time it's a true "Estate" beer - the barley & hops they put into their beer are grown on brewery property; it's one of the only beers of its kind. Look for it in September (or, since we seem to see a delay with Sierra Nevada's distribution, perhaps October).
  • Samuel Smith's is distributing yet another beer to the states, and it sounds like an excellent one. They're joining in on the barrel-aging craze with their Yorkshire Stingo. We get many of their beers, and I hope to see it here in the next couple of months. I'll post here if I see it in stores.
  • McCoy's having another beer dinner - this time with Latin flair. Sounds like they'll have a good variety of stuff, including what I'm guessing will be Rogue's Chipotle ale.
  • Breckenridge has started canning Avalanche for the Denver market. Perhaps it's just a matter of time before they make their way out here. "We are extremely pleased with the end result of the can from Rexam and see a real future for our craft beers in cans." I sure hope so.
  • Speaking of cans, a coworker of mine mentioned that he found Ska Brewing's ESB in Kansas (warning: prepare to hear ska when you click on that link). His first IIPA was Ska's... and lo & behold, they're getting into canning too. They bought their canning line from Oskar Blues and have 2 beers available in cans here, their ESB and Blonde Ale. Looks like their IPA's in cans too, but has yet to be spotted...
That's all I've got for now. Well, sort of. John and I went to St Louis last weekend and tried a bunch of different beers and have some recommendations for you... will be working on that post next. Cheers!

Friday, July 24, 2009

On a tan"gin"t

If you read my post about craft brewers getting into distilling, you'll know I'm a big fan of gin. I still haven't tried genever yet, but have that in the planning stages.

This past Tuesday, we (finally!) made the trek to Manifesto, KC's not-so-secret speakeasy under 1924 Main. The drinks are fabulous, as everyone seems to agree. The main bartender, Ryan (of JP's Wine Bar), has created a fantastic menu that had everyone in our group oohing and ahhing over the tasty combinations of spirits, bitters, juices, tonics, and other ingredients. (Not to be forgotten, 1924 Main's bartender passed John's favorite Bartender Test with a properly-made Old Fashioned.)

Anyway, I came here to talk about gin. Yes, yes, I know this is a beer blog but surely you know someone who likes gin - perhaps yourself. It seems to be experiencing a resurgence which makes me blissfully delighted. Like beer, there is so much variability and flexibility in the production of gin that provides the gin drinker with a lot of options. I checked out Manifesto's (and 1924's) gin selection, and it's the best I've seen yet in Kansas City. If I remember correctly, they had Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire, Hendricks, Aviation, Junipero, Plymouth (my favorite!), and... I'm forgetting one; I'm pretty sure they had eight bottles.

Regardless, if you or someone you know is a gin drinker, this is a place for you. Go on a weeknight - there were fewer than 20 people in the entire place, and our group made up about half of them. And if you're on a gin adventure, Harry's Country Club also has quite the selection. We were there last weekend and I asked if they had either of Rogue's gins (spruce or pink, which is aged in Oregon pinot noir casks) since they had the white rum. They thought they had the spruce gin, but a search in the cabinets proved unfruitful. I'll keep my eye on them, though. That Rogue gin is some of the best I've ever had (however, since they're on of my favorite breweries hailing from my home state, I may be a teensy bit biased).

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Not Just for Southpaws

Colorado has around 100 craft breweries, more per capita than any other state in the nation. I don't think I'll ever be able to disassociate Coors and Colorado's "Rocky Mountain water", but handful of them stand out as excellent to me (Avery, Boulder, New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, Great Divide, Breckenridge... to name a few). Another notable brewery, Left Hand, has established itself as yet another excellent Colorado brewery with several fabulous beers.

While their Sawtooth Ale and Milk Stout are probably the most common around KC, several bars and liquor stores around town carry many of their beers; The Foundry is one of them.

Last fall, the Foundry had KC's only keg of the delectable SmokeJumper, a smoked imperial American Porter that I highly recommend. They will be hosting "Left Hand Night" this Friday (7/24) from 5pm - 7pm, featuring Sawtooth Amber & St. Vrain Tripel on tap and Milk Stout in bottles. Buy either the Amber ($5 pint with $3 refills) or the Milk Stout ($5 bottles) and keep the glass. If you've never had a milk stout, this one's a good introduction to the style. They're made with lactose (hence "milk"), which is a non-fermentable sugar added to the wort prior to fermentation. The yeast can't consume the sugar, so it remains in the stout to add body and sweetness. Sounds tasty, doesn't it? Pour it in a large glass over a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, and you have yourself one fine dessert.

Oh, and one more thing: they host an "Ales for Females" group at the brewery every month that is intended to introduce women to craft beer. Yep. I'm sensing a trend.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Beer... Is there anything it can't do?

Earlier this month, the New York Times published an article about beer-based cocktails. Around the same time, there was at least one lively thread on whether adding other ingredients to packaged craft beer (or vice-versa) was disrespectful to the art-in-a-glass. I'm not sure I agree with that, but I can appreciate the argument.

Mixing beer with other ingredients is nothing new. The Germans have been doing it for ages with the Radler ("Cyclist"), a beer & lemon soda combo perfect for summer. College kids do it (Irish Car Bombs, anyone?), I think everyone's heard of a Snakebite (lager & cider), and I know you have been fervently drinking Micheladas ever since I posted about them.

Speaking of Micheladas, in late June John and I ventured over to Free State (have you seen their new website?) where they offer a Michelada... Free State style. It's not really as much a Michelada as it a margarita with beer instead of triple sec. It's made by filling a glass with ice, adding tequlia and sour mix, then topping it off with their Wheat State Golden. I'd had everything else on their menu on other visits; why not try it? I'm glad I did. It was light, refreshing, and surprisingly easy to drink. Almost too easy. If you like beer, and if you like tequila, I highly recommend checking it out.

After the Free State Michelada experience, my curiosity was set alight and I looked online for other beer cocktails. As it turns out, it seems they're growing in both popularity and acceptance, bordering on (dare I say it) trendy. lists a "top 5 beer cocktails" article. A Google search for "beer cocktail" provides over 13 million results. I spent much of my lunch hour today looking at recipes and suggestions. I thought the "Skip & Go Naked" (PBR + Gin + Grenadine + Lemon) sounded pretty tasty, but then I stumbled upon a gin, Duvel, and absinthe concoction that I can't wait to try.

Mixing beer with spirits isn't the only option, however. Combining different beers together also lends some new taste experiences. Of course, there's the quintessential mixed beer drink, the black & tan (or the half & half if you prefer lager with your stout instead of ale). But what about more creative combinations? I've seen Young's Double Chocolate Stout + Lindemans Framboise grace a few menus in the past few years, but not much else. When we lived in Portland, the Rogue Public House (just a few blocks from our apartment - those were the days!) had an entire menu of mixed beers, each with its own name. Consider, for example, Dead Guy Ale mixed with Old Crustacean barleywine (a "Dead Crusty Guy"). Or how about Chocolate Stout and Hazelnut Brown ("Snickers")? And lest Kansas City be left out of the beer-mixing trend, we have our very own Thundercloud (Boulevard wheat & stout).

So what do you think? Does mixing beer with spirits wreck or disrespect the beer? Are there any beer combinations you think are particularly good? I don't know about you, but I think these questions are best answered after some thorough research!

Monday, July 20, 2009

I am a Home Brewer

In direct response to Greg Koch's "I am a Craft Brewer" video that kicked off the 2009 Craft Brewers Conference, a handful of home brewers decided to assemble their own inspirational video.

Overall, I like it (and the fact that it was a 100% online effort is noteworthy), but it sometimes has the stereotypical beer snob air about it that is frustrating and mars the reputation of beer enthusiasts and homebrewers alike. For example, a few brewers compiled the statement, "I don't put corn in my beer...everything I put in my beer...I choose because it enhances the flavor."

What do people think the corn is doing? Watering it down?

I fully agree with one home brewer who said: "All beer is good. Some is just better than others." And the beauty of beer is that "better" is entirely subjective. While I absolutely adore Delirium Tremens, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who would much rather drink a Blue Moon. I say, drink what you like. That's kind of the whole point.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Westside Local

John and I had lunch at the Westside Local yesterday to check out their food and beer selection. The place is brand new, having opened last Wednesday (7/15).

The owner, Troy McEvers, is a local himself and clearly has an interest in highlighting regional and house-made foodstuff. From the house-made pickles, kraut, and charcuterie to locally-sourced meats, the menu clearly demonstrates a high level of attention to the food and its sources. The executive chef, Rick Martin, clearly has a passion for both beer and food. He spent 17 years at Free State in Lawrence and has spoken about food & beer at the Great American Beer Festival, Savor, and the Craft Brewers Conference (check out part of the keynote address from this year's conference)

We walked into the Local, where we could see all of the 20 or so tables in the dining area, but chose to sat outside in the beer garden. We walked through the small but well-stocked bar area and out to the garden. There are 5 long fest-style tables with benches outside, covered by what will become a large ceiling of grape vines.

We were handed food, beer, and wine menus and the selections for each are thoughtful and varied. The service was quick and attentive, and we ordered the charcuterie and pickles with two beers; John got the 1809 Berliner Weisse and I ordered a bottle of Ayinger Bräu-Weisse. The menu contains beer recommendations for each food item, highlighting chef Martin's expertise. Yes, we did ignore the beers paired with our food orders, but not without acknowledgement.

I can't say I've ever seen Berliner Weisse on any beer menu anywhere in the states, and wish I'd ordered it. John did let me sample it, though. I had it once in Berlin, back in 1995, and it tasted just like I remembered: a lightly fruity weizen flavor (significantly less banana & clove than its Hefeweizen brothers) and a tiny bit tart. Berliner Weisse is, as its name suggests, a style native to the Berlin area in Germany. It's a traditional wheat beer, but with a couple of key differences: it is brewed with a lactobacillus bacteria, added to provide the sourness, and typically contains around 2-3% ABV. Due to the sourness, it's typically served "red" or "green" - with a shot of raspberry or woodruff syrup - and with a straw.

The Westside served both our beers in tulips. If I had to come up with a complaint about the Woodside Local, incorrect glassware would be it. Mine should have been served in a weizen glass and John's in a goblet. Did it matter? No, not really. But with the level of detail and attention given to the food, beer, and pairings, it was a little surprising.

That, however, would be my only complaint. The bread on my Monana chicken sandwich was soft, the chicken moist and tender, and the homemade kraut light and crisp and not overly acidic (just the way it should be). The french fries were just barely on the oily side of perfect - crisp and rich with potato flavor with just a hint of garlic. John's roast beef sandwich was on a crunchy baguette with a flavorful malt (wort?) au jus that wasn't overly salty (a common problem I have with au jus sandwiches).

We'll definitely be back to sample more of the food and drink more of the beer. And so that I can get my own bottle of that light, tart Berliner Weisse.

pictures from the Westside Local's Facebook page

Friday, July 17, 2009

An Afternoon with Women Enjoying Beer

It's been a while since I last posted, hasn't it? Life's been good. And busy.

Since my last post, Beer Sort of Girl opened up her home for Brew Day 2.0 and two more batches of brew were brought into existence. I went to Minneapolis for a week and loaded up my suitcase with beer from Surly. I've had both Cynic and Bitter Brewer by them and have been impressed by both. I also picked up cans of Furious and Coffee Bender and can't wait to try them. Surly's one of those breweries that has a huge local, almost cult-like, following. But, unlike so many craft breweries that receive so much loyalty, Surly actually deserves it. Their beer, so far, has been pretty damn good. And they put it in cans to boot. I'm doing what I can to bring it to Kansas City, sixteen cans at a time. (A few months ago, Bull E Vard was in Minneapolis drinking Surly and appeared to have similar sentiments.)

And now here we are, another week under my belt. As I sit at Flying Saucer drinking my goblet of Boulevard's Tank 7, I'll post about today's goings-on: I had the great fortune to participate in a focus group geared toward - what else - beer. Specifically, women and beer. There were six of us in the group, plus our two hosts Deidre and Ginger. Al, the General Manager at Gordon Biersch in the P&L, was gracious enough to host the event and provide us with tasters and snacks. (The current seasonal is a delicious Kölsch, by the way. And I was pretty proud of myself for identifying it as such without a single hint.)

I was surrounded by a great variety of women, including beer enthusiasts, the corporate trainer for KC Hopps, a writer for the Examiner, the Executive Director of the Kansas Women's Business Center. And, in my typical form, I had left my notepad at home and my business cards in the car. As we sat together drinking our samples, we talked about how beer is perceived by the genders, how the genders are perceived by those in the industry, how beer plays a part in our lives, and other relevant topics. Our afternoon was finished off by a fantastic tour led by James, the brewer at KC's only Gordon Biersch. He went into quite a bit of detail about the ingredients and brewing process, which was quite impressive. He even brought up the REAL history of the Reinheitsgebot, which was actually a law enacted to control the availability of various grain to brewers, versus that made available to bakers (the bakers won).

I have to admit, I've been skeptical of this whole "women and beer" thing. I don't want to be treated differently about my beer preferences just because of my gender. I don't want companies to condescend to me or talk to me like I don't know anything about beer because I'm female. Fact is, the market *does* treat me differently, whether I want it to or not. Ginger and Deidre have a pretty good grasp on this fact and are seeking to better understand it - then share their findings with companies in the industry.

I wish them both the best of luck in their adventure and may be just a teensy bit jealous as well. After all, who *wouldn't* want to travel around the country talking to women while drinking beer?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Give me a woman who loves beer...

...and I will conquer the world." - Kaiser Wilhelm, German Emperor

I find myself hesitantly drawn to the whole "women and beer" topic because it seems to have more attention than I think it deserves. So now I'm curious. What IS it about women that some beer companies want to figure out? Consider this thread on, for example, about a beer tasting geared toward women that featured fruit beer & coffee stout - as if for some reason women wouldn't like a Geuze or Imperial IPA or Porter or Pilsner. Why pidgeonhole women into some random category based on preconceived notions that we only like sweet, fruity things? We also drink grassy white wines and dry, spicy reds - but you don't see wine retailers holding women's wine tastings featuring only Arbor Vines and White Zin.

ScarlettLady on summed up the "women and beer" stereotype well: "When it comes to advertising, ladies are only for serving beer, not drinking it. And it's not just the Big Boys. I recently received an eNewsltr from a local craft brewery that suggested I drink their beer while out on the town 'where lovely ladies take their clothes off for money'."

Even an (older) article on about macro breweries "overhauling" their advertising tactics to tout the "finer" aspects of beer still had a picture of a woman in a bikini (the image you see on the right). So much for an overhaul.

To be fair, a lot of breweries ignore gender differences, period. I never see Rogue, Schlafly or Boulevard using bikini-clad women in their advertising or holding a "women only" tasting. It seems to work; I've never had the impression that Schlafly was trying to cater to women or, alternately, using them to pander to men.

Clipper City Brewing Co in Baltimore takes a different approach: they regularly host a Ladies' Beer Night that features a variety of beer, not just the sweet or fruity ones, to broaden women's exposure to beer.

So, what do you think? What's the better approach? Cater to women or ignore gender lines? Is there a happy middle-ground?

One woman is determined to get to the bottom of the issue by coordinating a handful of women + beer events in both Kansas City, MO and Ames, IA. Here's a snapshot of the upcoming events in KC. I plan on attending the one 7/17, so perhaps I'll see you there.
  • July 15th: Boulevard Event, Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City, MO (Full)
  • July 16th: Private Event – Tasting & Pairing
  • July 17th: Gordon Biersch, Women’s Focus Group, 2 – 4 pm; room for a few more. Come ready to talk about beer.
More information, including how to RSVP, can be found on her site.

Brew Day 2.0

Riding on the success of Brew Day 1.0, we've decided to do another! The purpose of Brew Day is multi-faceted: learn tips & techniques from other homebrewers, brew up a batch of beer, taste others' homebrews and some good commercial beer, hang out with other beer enthusiasts... Yes, it's short notice - we've planned on this Saturday, July 11th, starting at noon.

If you're interested in learning how to homebrew or just want to hang out with homebrewers and beer enthusiasts, let us know. It should be a beautiful day, one perfect for hanging out in the yard drinking & brewing beer. More information can be gained through Beer Girl's blog post and by contacting her for address information.

Post a note or let beer girl know if you're planning on coming. Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Craft Brewers Get Spiritual

It seems like more & more craft breweries are getting into the art of distilling. While this isn't exactly a new trend (McMenamins out in the Portland area has been doing it for over a decade now), the craft brewer's attraction to creating a "micro distillery" is gaining momentum.

Among others, Rogue and Anchor have hopped on the distilling bandwagon and have excelled. Rogue continues to win award after award (if you didn't click on that link, you should), and has even crossed its arts by aging its flagship Rogue Dead Guy Ale in Dead Guy Whiskey barrels - creating John John Dead Guy Ale. Don't hold your breath trying to get some of that barrel-aged ale here, though - they only made 12 kegs which were distributed to Oregon pubs.

But let's get back to the subject at hand. I've had my eye on Anchor's Junipero for quite a while now. When I first saw it, it was over $60/bottle. Now that it's at the $30 mark, a bottle of this craft gin seems pretty darn affordable. Today, I finally picked up a bottle at Royal Liquors.

Anchor makes a couple of gins, Junipero and Genevieve. Genevieve is actually a Dutch style of gin called Genever, which is the predecessor to modern-day gin. Genever begins with malt wine (distilled grain mash), whereas modern gin is made from a neutral grain spirit. Both gin and genever then have various botanicals added to their base spirit, are distilled one or more times (the essential oils infused along the way) and have purified water added to get the final product ready for market. (If you're interested in a review of Anchor's Genevieve, this is a pretty good one - and it even has a cocktail recipe.) I didn't see Anchor's Genevieve at Royal, but they did have a bottle of Boomsma Jonge Genever (young genever) which appears to be pretty popular.

But I digress - again. Back to microdistilleries. The trend has hit Missouri! Well, St Louis anyway. The Stable is a fabulous beer bar that not only brews its own beers but also distills spirits. Square One Brewery & Distillery, sister-brewery of Augusta Brewing, cleverly brands its spirits under the name "Spirits of Saint Louis". (How was that not already taken?) We'll be going to St Louis later this month and I hope to check out products from both of these distilleries. I've been highly impressed by Rogue's spirits, and Anchor's Junipero is a fantastic gin. If these are any indication of what's to come from other craft breweries' distillery efforts, I hope the trend is here to stay.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Local Events & Goings-on

Seems beer tastings and beer-food-pairing dinners are all the rage these days. If you have any others to add, let me know and I'll toss 'em up here.

July 3, 4-7pm

Yeah, a beer tasting at a wine shop! They'll be offering tastes of the following:
Old Rasputin Imperial Stout
Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale
Coney Island Lager
Grand Teton Cellar Reserve Lost Continent Double IPA
New Holland Brewing Company Dragon’s Milk Ale
He’Brew Genesis Ale

Fantastic selections. I've been tuned in lately to the whole "women and beer" topic (more on that in another post) and this is a great example of how to market beer to women, even if that wasn't their intent.

July 6, 7pm
Schlafly Tasting @ Flying Saucer
$30 UFO members/$35 general public

I find it odd this isn't advertised on their site; I found out about it via the Pitch. According to the Pitch advertisement: "The event will be hosted by Stephen Hale, head brewer at St. Louis-based Schlafly. Six of Schlafly’s bottle-conditioned and barrel-aged beers will be paired with selected meats, artisan cheeses and dessert. Featured beers include the Tripel, Grand Cru, Bière de Garde, Quadruple, Oak-Aged Barleywine and Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout."

July 7, 7pm
Schlafly Dinner @ McCoy's

I heard this was sold out, but it's worth contacting them anyway to see if there are any spots open. Cancellations happen.
They'll have:
Biere de Garde
Grand Cru
Barrel-aged Imperial Stout
Oak-aged Barleywine

July 8, 7-9pm
Beer Tasting
8th Street Tap Room
Lawrence, KS
$20 cash

Boulevard Double Wit
Tripel Karmeliet
North Coast Le Merle Saison
Houblon Chouffe
Grand Teton Continental Divide DIPA
(note: if you want to attend this one, send a note to the host on BA)

July 11, 5-9pm
2nd Annual KC Wine & Brew Ha-Ha
Hale Arena/American Royal Complex
$20 advance/$25 door

Vendors include
Sierra Nevada
New Holland

July 17, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Boulevard Brewmaster Tasting

The cost of this event covers the Boulevard Brewery "tour, three-course lunch and a souvenir pint glass." You need to RSVP for this event by calling 816.701.7210 and specifying the "Brewmaster Luncheon Reservation." The food pairings are provided by Nick and Jakes.

July 18, 3-5pm
Heart of the New Beer-Merica: Beer School Day
Hosted by the Beer Jockey at McCoy's Public House
$19 ($10 for UMKC students over 21)

Taste the latest beers brewed on premise and from around the world. Sample some spent grain dinner rolls. Learn a bit about local and global brewing history and beer styles in the company of fellow beer afficionados.

July 24 & 25, 5pm - midnight
Schlafly Belgian Beer & Mussel Fest
Schlafly Tap Room (St Louis)

Yeah, yeah, I know this isn't technically "local". But, I've enjoyed Schlafly's Belgian line so much and one thing KC doesn't have is a Belgian-style bar selling Belgian beers and mussel pots with frites. So, here you go.

July 31, 7-9pm
Beer Pairing Dinner
EBT Restaurant

Hors d'oeuvres and 4 course dinner paired with selections from Samuel Adams. Reps from Samuel Adams will be at the event to talk about the beer & food pairings throughout the dinner.

August 1, 2-3:30pm
Premium Beer Tasting
Wines by Jennifer
$20 for wine club members
$25 for general public
They'll be sampling beer with food pairings, presented by Chris Straatmann of Missouri Beverage. Chris will also be talking about each of the beers, including information about their production. RSVP to 816.505.WINE.

So within a few weeks, we have TWO local wine shops getting beer-lovers into their wine businesses while introducing wine-lovers to premium beers. Great marketing and customer base expansion efforts.

Also, The Foundry has Tank 7 on tap now. Jus' sayin.