Beer Travels: A Visit to Boulevard in Kansas City
A short weekend in Kansas City didn’t mean much time for scouting bars and breweries. But a flight delay on Sunday, thanks to Southwest and the arrival of winter, gave me the time to head to Boulevard Brewery for a pint or two.
Boulevard’s Tours and Recreation Center, which opened in July, is a gleaming monument to suds. The bottom floor includes a gift shop and informative displays outlining the history of beer. The massive 10,000-square-foot Boulevard Beer Hall on the second floor is the perfect place to appreciate that there is a history of beer.
Two dozen taps, which include a few taproom-only selections, provide plenty to drink. (I sipped on a barrel-aged Collaboration No. 6, an excellent strong ale that’s a blend of Boulevard brews and some limited beers from Firestone Walker.) Large wooden picnic tables, a smattering of stools and a sizable outdoor deck offer more than a few options on where to drink. The hall even has a foosball table.
It’s a large-scale operation at Boulevard, and the taproom reflects that. But it’s still extremely inviting and a great place to spend a few hours if you’re in Kansas City.
Craft Losing to Cannabis?
Last week, Brewbound posted an interesting study that shows craft beer underperforming in three states – Colorado, Oregon and Washington – where recreational cannabis is legal. The data hardly spells disaster, but this is a side effect that I didn’t anticipate (an uptick in Doritos consumption perhaps). Incidentally, these three states rank in the top six when it comes to craft breweries per capita. (Oregon is second, Colorado is third and Washington ranks sixth, according to the Brewers Association.)
Barley Pop of the Week
The previously mentioned Boulevard Collaboration No. 6 was a fine way to spend a visit to Boulevard. It’s an expertly blended mix of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad, Boulevard Imperial Stout X Tart Cherry, Firestone Walker Stickee Monkee and Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin. The result is a brown sugar sweet ale with a hint of bourbon-barrel burn. The 12.5% sipper is one I’ll try again if I see it.
Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.) starts offering tours this Saturday. Tours are available on Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 3 p.m. They are limited to 25 people and cost $10, which gets you a glass and two samples.
Don’t forget to vote for your favorite craft beer bar at CraftBeer.com’s survey.
Monday, Dec. 5: Milwaukee Brewing (613 S. Second St.) releases Cherry Bounce XVI Brandy Barrel Amber from 4 to 7 p.m. The brew is a mix of Louie’s Resurrection and Door County cherries, all aged in brandy barrels. Sounds like the perfect winter warmer.
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Catch the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train as it rolls through Tosa at 4:45 p.m. Café Hollander (7677 W. State St.) and Café Bavaria (7700 Harwood Ave.) are perfect spots to see it from.
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Try Krombacher brews at The Malt Shoppe (813 N. Mayfair Rd., Wauwatosa) from 5 to 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Erv’s Mug (130 W. Ryan Rd.) hosts beer school at 6 p.m. Vintage Brewing is the guest of honor and is bringing some barrel-aged brews for tasting. The cost is $10.
Wednesday, Dec. 7: Arcadia Brewing takes over the taps at Ray’s Growler Gallery (8930 W. North Ave., Tosa) starting at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 7: The Milwaukee Beer Society heads to Good City Brewing (2108 N. Farwell Ave.) from 6 to 8 p.m. for its weekly meeting. The cost is $10 and attendance is limited to 50. Check the event page for reservation details.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Lagunitas takes over the taps at Whole Foods Market (11100 W. Burleigh Ave., Tosa) from 6 to 8 p.m. Try a few brews, including Fusion 39 APA, for just $3 per pint.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Two Brothers hands out samples at Discount Liquor Milwaukee (5031 W. Oklahoma Ave.) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Guinness samples are on the schedule for Discount Liquor Waukesha (919 N. Barstow Ave.) from 4 to 6 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 8: Romans’ Pub (3475 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.) is tapping some rarities from Karben4, including a De Bruin Imperial Double Chocolate Oatmeal Stout and a Bourbon Barrel Aged Night Call Smoked Porter. Get there at 6 p.m. to start tasting.
Friday, Dec. 9: Try beers from Shorts and Lakefront at Discount Liquor Milwaukee from 4 to 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: MobCraft hands out samples at Discount Liquor Waukesha from 4 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Try beers from Shorts and Lakefront at Discount Liquor Waukesha from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: MobCraft heads to Discount Liquor Milwaukee from noon to 3 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Stouts are the subject of the weekly sampling at both Three Cellars locations (7133 S. 76th St., Franklin and N72 W13400 Lund Lane, Menomonee Falls) from 1 to 4 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10: Ray’s Growler Gallery hosts an ice cream social at 5 p.m. New Belgium provides the beer, and Ben & Jerry’s provides the ice cream. A decadent pairing.