With a disquieting few number of breweries, quarterly posts on KC Beer Blog, and the loss of Lunar, the Kansas City beer scene looked downtrodden a few years ago. Now it seems the brew scene has entered its stride. We have multiple authors on KCBB making poignant posts, OP-ed pieces on Chocolate Ale, and “Nothing is hotter than” [craft beer],”… The trend is up.” – Gob Bluth
We now have authentic German lagers (KCBC) and imaginatively doodled Abbey ales (MCBC) pouring in tap rooms, as well as beers so high in bitterness they are above the human threshold to taste it (R&R Samator). Barrel aged Grains of Wrath from Cinderblock to drop jaws and a Grand Conjuction of cherries and delicious Hefeweisen (Big Rip). Newcomb’s Pale from McCoy’s, our neighbor, epitomizes what an American Pale Ale can be, boozy, caramel, piney, citrusy. I hope that our Cask Ale, dark & hoppy, adds something unique to this burgeoning beer scene.
This is a continuation of rich brewing tradition in Kansas City, one spearheaded by Boulevard most recently, but reaching far back into the 1800s. This recent bump in openings is probably the first wave of what could be a new era.
As the number of breweries proliferates in our home town, many subtle things will change in our marketplace. The most obvious of this is an increase in craft beer awareness. Consumers will have a broader knowledge base for tasting your beer, and will demand accountability from the brewers.
More breweries means more jobs, and these jobs create an educational capital for the employees, their families, and their community. A passion can develop that lasts longer than employment, and the people scooping the mash tuns now may be the ones wearing gold medals in a few years. Creation is facilitated by change, and Kansas City is changing.