Beautiful-good. This is the name ancient Sumerians gave to the delicious biochemical concoction we now call beer.
Beer brings people around a table, fosters conversation, and opens an opportunity for communal fellowship centered around the shared experience of enjoying refreshing, satiating beverages together. Not to mention, this bubbly brew releases the feel-good hormone, dopamine, which makes these gatherings all the more jovial.
I imagine the ancient beer-creators of old speechless after their first ceramic bowl full, dodging yeast clumps and particles with bamboo straws, then exclaiming the two most flattering, celebratory adjectives they could think up to describe their new boozy discovery: “Beautiful! ….Good!”
Many of today’s leading breweries across the country respectfully use beer’s rich history as a foundational stepping stool to launch themselves toward more creative, modern takes on traditional recipes. With craft beer on the rise, more and more entrepreneurs and beer connoisseurs are building their own breweries and pubs, positioning their take on this ancient creation from a different and unique angle.
Here at Bellhops, we are scanning the country, seeking out the best breweries that capture beer’s potential and provide delicious brews to happy patrons. City by city, we’re doing the work and investigation so that you can focus on enjoying your beer and the people around you (we’re a modern alternative to traditional moving companies in Kansas City, by the way).
If you love baseball, barbeque, and plenty of brew, than this next city should be on your list. We’re looking into one of the largest cities in the Midwest: Kansas City, MO. and discovering who brews the best beer in the area. Look below to find out.
Stockyard Brewing put down roots in the historic Stockyards District of Kansas City in 2015, and built their taproom into the Live Stock Exchange building that had been used for decades by the Golden Ox steakhouse. Their leather-decked taproom leans western in its style and decor with old saddles, wooden wagon wheels, and full-wall murals of arid landscapes. Hit them up during Happy Hour for $3 pints from 4-10pm, or visit them on Sunday and drink to the twanging tunes of their live bluegrass bands.
Stockyards clovey brew is full of banana and toasted grain characters. It pours a beautiful sunny yellow and drinks refreshingly light.
Traveling west of the city? It’s worth stopping by this new brewery in Kansas City’s neighbor, Lawrence. If you love relaxing peacefully, enjoying another’s company, sitting amidst city streets with slow strollers passing by, and sipping on a sessionable thirst quencher, than you’ll find Lawrence Beer Co. creeping up your favorite close-by breweries list. Lawrence fits the bill of a comfortable, inviting neighborhood brewery. Their small-scale, local strategy allows them to brew more experimental beer that they think might excite the neighboring visitors, and they pump out fresh tasty suds without the stress and pressure of making it big time. In their laid-back, contentment with their size, however, Lawrence has been doing something right, because they’ve been featured in several local magazines and were voted the Best of Lawrence in 2018.
If you want to sample what’s been bringing the crowds to this baby brewery, pair their BIG Peach with the Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich. This sandwich is decked with tart cherries, pistachios, red romaine lettuce, and tomato and will play off the yeasty character of this French Saison.
Built into the Crossroads Arts District, Border Brewing Company brews beers for beer nerds and noobs alike. They serve up bubbly from ten taps, and thirsty patrons in Kansas City enjoy their fruity blonde ales, thick stouts and porters, and spicy IPAs. Enjoy a game of corn hole or sit in Border’s cozy, casual taproom, decked with quicky art. Border Brewing brews for the demand. They even allow their visitors to vote on which beer they brew next, so the locals drive the beer styles. In this way, Border has integrated themselves intimately into the community, fulfilling the beer hopes and dreams of the locals, and they stay quickly up-to-date with the trends and turns amidst beer-drinkers.
Border Brewing created a classic, malty Porter, and allowed this brew to age on toasted American white oak. Its softly oaky, roasty, and smooth.
Martin City has capitalized on the beautiful matrimony of pizza and beer. And they have also bought up a few buildings in the area, so that their beer and cheesy stone-fired pies can spread. You can find two taprooms – their original (the Gastro Pub), which sits directly across the street from their newer location (the Pizza & Taproom), as well as a beautiful, chandeliered event space a few blocks away, and their newest location in Overland Park, KS. Whichever location you find yourself in, Martin City will serve you a delicious option of five flagships and a sampling of seasonals amidst rustic taproom design.
Martin City’s goldy Belgian brew is floral and spicy. And it’s complex yeasty character and high carbonation will taste so nice with your cheesy, herby, crusty pizza pie.
Grab a spicy fried chicken or pulled pork sandwich from the neighboring pickle courts-restaurant hybrid, Chicken N Pickle, and head over to Cinder Block Brewery to pair your sandwich with some tasty samples of their eight flagship brews or one of their limited releases. Cinder Block provides a cozy, taproom with round 5-person tables made of thick slabs of dark-stained wood. You’ll be able to find more seating at the bar, and a row of stools in front of broad windows to overlook city streets. One large garage door lets in most of the light on the corner of this taproom, which lights up their wall of stacked wooden barrels full of their aging beer.
Cinder Block’s Session IPA is balanced and tropical with notes of pine and citrus amidst hoppy bitterness.
Kansas City Bier Co. brews up 10 year-round beers that include wheats, kolsches, porters, pale ales, and pilsners, as well as seasonals that compliment the calendar. They specialize in German-style beers, and their taplist weighs heavy with lagers. But you’ll find a variety of diverse drinks at Kansas City Bier Company. They embrace the vast diversity of beer, which can be found worldwide and takes on a number of characteristics and styles depending on when, where, and how its brewed. Pair one of their brews with a German sausage, pretzel, or cheese board that will compliment your drink deliciously. And enjoy dining at stretching wooden tables and long benches in their Bierhalle, or dine outdoors in the Biergarten.
KC Bier’s Roggen is brown with ruby highlights and emits notes of smoked rye. This brew is sweet, smoky, and spicy. Do not resist the urge to order a large, German sausage with this brew. It may be the best thing a sausage has ever met.
We can’t help but mention, also, a traditional star amidst KC Bier’s taplist. Their Sauer-Weisse glows grinch green with a tall, snowy-white head. This tart ale is green for a reason: it is served with a shot of sweet, herbal, deep-green woodruff syrup, which in historical Germany, was added to Berliner Weisses in order to sweeten and flavor this tart brew.
Boulevard’s popularity had them bustling at the seams until they opened a huge, $25 million expansion in July, 2016. Now, they host visitors in their 10,000 sq. ft. beer hall and outdoor deck that features views of the city. Boulevard’s story from start-up is an inspiring one, beginning in the 80’s as a dream of of flavor-packed, Belgian craft-brews, and later becoming a multi-million dollar company that pumps out more brews than was ever expected. In-house, they offer 10 year-round flagship brews, as well as 14 taps that feature their experimental and seasonal brews like the Smokestack Series. But Boulevard doesn’t stop at beer. Their taproom includes foosball tables, photo booths, and delicious beer-friendly foods. They also host Sunday morning free bingo games with prizes and giveaways that make this early visit even more worthwhile.
This fruity drink is zesty and tart, and has been brewed with apple and lemon. Its refreshing and sessionable at 4.1% ABV.
Denverites drink beer that reflects and celebrates their diverse city and the surrounding beautiful nature. And the numerous neighborhood breweries that have bloomed throughout Denver reflect that joyful celebration of their city and their craft.
Phoenix is busy with beer festivals and boasts over 80 craft breweries. But what are the best breweries in Phoenix?