Sunday, May 1, 2011

KC Roadtrip/Parkville Microfest

On Saturday, two cars full of members of the Columbia Beer Enthusiasts headed down I-70 towards downtown Kansas City. We had a reservation at 11 for a tour of the Boulevard Brewery. The tour is definitely worthwhile and the newer building is really impressive. We saw the barrel room where many of the Smokestack beers are aged, the fermentation tanks, the filtration system, the packaging room (not running that day), and then the gift shop and tasting room. They have a nice space to rent for meetings and parties with an outdoor patio that overlooks downtown KC. The options at the tasting room were the Singlewide, the stout, porter, Tank 7, pilsner, wheat, pale ale, the amber, and a new hoppy wheat that was delicious. We got a secret sample of a dubbel aged in cedar they are working on, too.

From there, we headed down to Westport and had lunch at the Beer Kitchen. Their beer menu had a lot of big beers and Belgians and I finally just settled on a McCoy's Hog Pound Brown. Most everyone else had New Belgium's Le Terroir. I had the Kobe hamburger with truffle fries, and everything tasted great. I don't think anyone had any complaints. By the time we got out of there and headed to Parkville, I think it was after 2:00.

We heard grumblings from people leaving Microfest that it was already sold out. We got up to the tent and found out it was. I don't think any of us expected that! One member hadn't bought a ticket online, but we got that sorted out and got him in as a guest. We more or less started going down the line of the breweries we hadn't had or weren't familiar with. The lines were long, but the timing worked out so that you drank your sample in line for the next one and were ready to fill up by the time you got up to the next one.

Here is my rundown:
Upstream Brewing (Omaha): I really wanted the Children of the Peppercorn Saison, but it was out and I had the stout instead. I tried someone else's rye, which was very gingery. According to the description, it is based on the cocktail called Horse Feathers, with ginger beer and rye.
Empyrean Brewery (Lincoln): Bourbon Barrel Oatmeal Stout, a "sessionable" bourbon barrel
Spilker Ales (Cortland, NE): Hopluia was all that they had, but it was good.
Modern Monks (Lincoln): Espresso Porter was too much for most people, but right on for me.
Lucky Bucket (Elkhorn, NE): Had the Lucky Bucket IPA, which was very floral if I remember correctly.
Nebraska Brewing Company (Papillion, NE): Infinite Wit was very citrusy and refreshing.
Stone: Can't get enough, so we stood in the longest line to say hi to Nate. I had the Cali-Belgique.
Broadway Brewery: We're there all the time, so we left it up to others to consume. It seemed to be popular and I've already read positive comments. They are also pouring at next weekend's Missouri Beer Festival in Columbia.

 Blind Tiger's Backpack Beer
Out of Beer! These signs started to crop up as the day went on.

For dinner we hit All Star Pizza in Parkville. This place had a good selection of taps with lots of Stone left. I had Firestone Walker Double Jack. The Thai Pie pizza was good, too. Got some laughs at seeing other folks obviously coming from the Microfest, having trouble using car door handles and walking straight. Luckily none of them were driving. We headed back, with nobody getting drunk, sick, injured, dehydrated, or dropping their tasting glass. Winners!
If I left anything out to recommend, please leave it in the comments. I ran out of time to try everything.

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