Saturday, June 5, 2010

Summer's Here

There are a few things I love about summer:
  • Sitting/eating/drinking outside
  • Fresh summer beer that's light and refreshing

OK, maybe "a few" is an exaggeration.

A couple of weekends ago, we hiked on over to 75th Street Brewery and checked out their brand-spanking-new beer garden. It's in the old Kennedy's space; they ripped the roof right off and slightly redesigned the layout into a great partially-covered beer garden. Some hop bines are growing up one wall and over the top; they should provide some shade this summer and for years to come. There's a bar out there, too. I snapped a couple of pictures with my (new!!) cell phone (that has a camera on it!!):

As a side note, they had a ginger mango wheat on tap for American Craft Beer Week; I ended up drinking an entire pint of it and wanted more. It was lightly fruity and refreshing; the ginger gave the beer a little sweet spiciness, and the mango wasn't overpowering or too sweet. Great for summer, and if you see it there I recommend ordering a pint. My only complaint about it was that I would have liked a bit more carbonated. It was, however, quite enjoyable.

Last night we walked down to Swagger, then back up to Waldo Pizza, for a Friday night on the town. My first pint at Swagger was a $3 Czechvar (known as "Budvar" outside the US & Canada; the Czechvar name is thanks to labeling and trademark laws). I'd never had it on tap before, and it sounded perfect after a 1.5 mile walk in 90-degree heat. I'm always up for a non-skunked Czech Pils, and this one did not disappoint. Cold, grainy/malty, and a wonderful dry bitter finish. I heard one of the bartenders say they ran out, but I'm not sure if she was referring to keg or bottle form. In any case, if you do see Czechvar on tap and don't have an aversion to beers that finish dry & lightly bitter, order up a pint. It's perfect for a hot & humid Kansas City evening.

On our Waldo Pizza stop, I ordered a Goose Island Summertime- their version of a German Kölsch. It immediately imparts a lemony-citrus aroma and follows through with that in the flavor. Body's nice and light and, like the Bohemian Pils, well-carbonated.

We enjoyed our own version of our Waldo-Crawldo, but you can be a part of the official pub crawl in what I think is KC's best beer neighborhood next weekend for $5 (in advance).

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