A few things instantly come to mind when Kansas City is mentioned, mostly barbecue and jazz. Known as the world’s barbecue capital, Kansas City is an ideal destination for visitors looking to indulge in authentic southern barbecue.
Recently the city’s rising beer scene has shown that locally brewed craft beer is the beverage of choice for Kansans to pair with their BBQ meats. The city offers cheap real estate for entrepreneurs and a supportive community of brewers, pushing the emerging craft beer scene in Kansas City to even greater heights.
There is plenty to do and eat in Kansas City, and there are tons of breweries to check out for beer lovers. We have compiled a list of the seven best breweries in Kansas City to visit the next time you are in town.
A place that is primarily known for food and music, Kansas City also does justice with its drinks. The city has a fantastic beer culture that prides itself on brewing. The breweries do not provide a huge amount of options but focus on experimentation and quality above all. This list narrows down your itinerary once you’re in the city and want to muse over a chilled glass of beer.
When making a list of Kansas City breweries, Boulevard should be the first name on the list. Founded in 1989, Boulevard is now the largest specialty brewer in Midwestern America. A capacity that reaches around 600,000 barrels and a simple mission of producing quality beer has seen Boulevard emerge as a giant in the Kansas City craft beer scene. The brewery also provides free tours of its premises, including a brewing process guide.
The brewery provides a selection of year-round beers that are always available and have limited releases. The American Saison ale named Tank 7 is always a favorite among visitors. If you are a fan of IPAs, The Calling IPA is worth trying. Those with a more adventurous palate can dabble into the limited releases and try out the Chocolate Ale or the Hibiscus Ginger Sour.
Located in the bustling area of Lee’s Summit, Fringe Beerworks was the first brewery to open in that locality. The building has been around since 1926, and Fringe combines its historical charm with an eclectic collection of beers.
Their Milk Stout with Coffee and the Grapefruit Ale adds a new dimension to classic beer flavors. Their menu gets even more adventurous as they introduce new seasonal brews. Visit Fringe if you want a modern twist on the classics while in a historical setting.
Torn Label Brewing Company
Torn Label is a pub off the beaten path and not located among the other more visible touristy establishments. Despite its hole-in-the-wall feel, the pub provides a relaxed, laid-back environment and creative beer flavors that indicate the creative vision of the brewery. The brewery makes sure to incorporate local ingredients in their brews, truly providing you a taste of Kansas City.
The two favorites from the menu that we recommend are Monk & Honey and The House Brew. Monk &Honey is a Belgian Inspired ale that uses locally sourced honey providing a touch of sweetness to the kick that beer has. The House Brew is a coffee stout that uses coffee beans to provide an even richer undertone to the taste.
Alma Mader is a spot for everyone but it finds a wider appreciation among the veterans of the beer scene in Kansas City. The brewery does not focus on quantity but on the nuances of flavor. This is the spot where you find out the difference between a Czech-style pilsner as compared to the other European types. The brewery also provides bookings for its tasting room where you can partake in all the flavors and types of beers on offer.
We recommend trying out the Czech-style pilsner and Where the Oranges Grow, a west coast style citrus-flavored IPA.
Best Breweries in Kansas City With Food
If you want to enjoy a meal along with your craft beer, we have also compiled recommendations for breweries with food. These include The Brewery Emperial, KC Bier, Green Room Burgers, and Beer.
The Brewery Emperial
The Brewery Emperial is a restaurant and a brewery with a full-service beer garden and patio. It is a bit of a local hotspot and is always bustling with people. Dog friendly and with a food and beer menu that is locally sourced, Brewery Emperial is a must-visit once in Kansas City.
A huge hit among the regulars at Brewery Emperial is the Biscuit, which is an old-school American Ale with bread and toast notes. Pair it with another crowd favorite in the form of the Emperial burger, making it a meal you won’t forget for a very long time.
KC Bier Co.
As evident from its name, KC Bier focuses on German-style beer, lagers, and ales. Germany has a distinct beer culture and KC Bier emulates it for an American audience, providing a taste of Europe in the Midwest. They brew authentic German-style bier, focusing on freshness and flavor. The brewery even imports its malt and hops from Europe to maintain the authenticity of the taste. They also provide some classic German cuisine to go along with their beers.
We recommend tasting their apple cider and German-style pilsner. If you want to further enhance the experience, pair your drinks with bratwurst, and German-style sausages. We recommend the currywurst sausage to include even more authentic German flavors in your meal.
Green Room Burgers and Beer
Green Room Burgers and Beer is a locally owned brewpub that provides exactly what its name suggests, brewed craft beer and burgers from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Green Room is the oldest brewery in Kansas City and it honors its traditions and brews in small batches. The beer menu depends on the owner’s choice and whatever they have decided to brew at the time. It also takes its food very seriously and according to some has the best burgers in Kansas City.
We recommend their cheese curds as an appetizer and their breakfast burger which comes topped with a fried egg. Pair that with whatever small batches have been brewed at the time. The beers usually present are ales and lagers.
Don’t skip out on You’ll Shoot your Rye Out and The Time of Reckoning.