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Tap List | Calibration Brewery’s Back to Black IPA

Calibration Brewery's Back to Black IPA Calibration Brewery's Back to Black IPA is out now. (Pete Dulin I Flatland)
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2 minute read

Behind the Beer: Calibration Brewery Goes Back to Black IPA

Calibration Brewery (119 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) put Back to Black IPA on tap in mid-July as a special release that’s still available. Previously, brewer Jack Owen once made 10 gallons of a black IPA using a homebrewing recipe. When brewery owner Glen Stinson sought a fresh addition to the tap list, Owen suggested black IPA.

“He hadn’t really had a chance to push the boundaries of the recipe for large-scale brewing,” Stinson said. “Black IPA is a fairly new beer [style] to the world of craft beer. We thought it would be a great way to show off Jack’s brewing chops, have a little fun, and introduce something that you don’t see everyday to our lineup.”

While the brewing process for the beer is fairly straightforward, Owen used an array of hops and malts to achieve a layered and balanced flavor profile.

“This beer uses Magnum, Chinook, Sorachi Ace, Cascade, Tettnang and CTZ (Columbus, Tomahawk, and Zeus) hops,” Owen said. “It also incorporates three black malts – a chocolate, black wheat, and Briess malt.”

Based in Chilton, Wisconsin, Briess Malt & Ingredients develops and produces a range of handcrafted specialty malts and malt extracts. Owen also dry-hopped the beer to add another layer of complexity.

“Tettnang is the main aroma hop. The bitterness comes from the Magnum and Chinook hops,” Owen said. “While this beer uses a variety of hops to add complexity, spiciness, and, of course, the signature bitter qualities found in an IPA, it has a nice balance between the truly aromatic hops and the more German lager-style hops.”

This easy-drinking beer derives its color, subtle warmth, and sweet flavor from the trio of roasted malts. Touting 90 IBUs, the beer begins with a hoppy nose and finishes with a smooth balance of bitterness and sweetness.

“The mouthfeel is smooth and light,” Stinson said. “The six-percent ABV puts this beer solidly in the ‘session Black IPA,’ category. So far, this seems to be a hit with our crowd.”

A beer at Stockyards Brewing

Stockyards Brewing is holding on to summer with a new Mexican lager. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

Tap Scouting 

KC Wineworks (1829 McGee St.) has just released a new Hopped Apfel — a hoppy cider under its KC Ciderworks label. It’s available by the glass and bottle.

Josh Eans, the chef and co-owner of Happy Gillis (549 Gillis St.), went down to St. Louis to brew another batch of the Preserved Lemon Gose beer that he created in collaboration with 4 Hands Brewing Co. The beer also features herbs from Prairie Birthday Farm. Last year’s brew was a tart interpretation of preserved lemons made with lemon basil, lemon verbena and lemon zest.

Stockyards Brewing Company (1600 Genessee St., #100) has a new Mexican style lager. Cerveza Royale is out now.

Poppy’s Ice Cream (307 SE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri) has created an ice cream featuring Crane Brewing Company’s Tea Weiss. It’s available by the cup or cone.

Beer can chicken

Not all beer-can chickens are created equally. (Courtesy of Boulevard Brewing Company)

This Week

Tuesday, Aug. 8

Bluestem (900 Westport Road) prepares a five-course meal ($110 per person, not including tax and gratuity) paired with seven limited release Boulevard Brewing sour and funky beers, including three different vintages of Saison Brett. Pairings include marinated beets, sheep milk cheese, berries and burnt honey with Berliner Weisse, and grilled black angus ribeye, corn, charred broccoli, and veal jus with Saison Brett 2014, 2016, and 2017. Ambassador Brewer Jeremy Danner will host the evening and talk all things sour and funky beer.

Wednesday, Aug. 9

Up to a half-dozen styles of Dogfish Head beer will be pouring for a Tap Takeover from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri).

Grains and Taps (10 SW 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri) has Parabola, Bretta Weisse, Luponic Distortion, and Union Jack from Firestone Walker at this special 6 p.m. tapping.

Lace up the running shoes for the third annual Martin City Beer Mile, 6:30 p.m. in Martin City (135th St. and Oak). KC Running Company hosts the run for individuals ($16) and four-person teams ($8 each). A souvenir six-pack of Martin City Beer Mile beer ($8) is available from Martin City Brewing Company. Register here.

Learn the basics of kegging homebrew in this discussion, covering hardware and steps, at Grain to Glass (1611 Swift Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri) from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 10

Boulevard Tours and Rec Center (2534 Madison Ave.) creates a summer classic with Beer-Can Chicken and Baseball. Today, the Kansas City Royals head across the state to play the final game of the I-70 series. Boulevard airs the game and hosts a party from 5:30 p.m. until the game’s finale. First can of beer in a Royals/BLVD koozie is included in the ticket price ($35 per person, 21-plus). Enjoy a barbecue buffet of smoked beer-can chicken and traditional sides. The seventh inning stretch includes an ice cream sandwich collaboration between Dolce Bakery, Glacé Artisan Ice Cream and Boulevard Brewing Company.

Hopcat (401 Westport Road) welcomes Torn Label Brewing for a tap takeover. The beers on tap include Alpha Pale Ale, Hang Em High West Coast IPA, Tongue Lash Dry-hopped American Kettle Sour, 31 Heroes American Wheat IPA, Shake Hands with Danger American Brown Ale, Rude Awakening Tom’s Town Barrel-Aged Barleywine, Stopgap Saison and Ingmar American Wild Ale.

Friday, Aug. 11

Try samples of Green Flash Brewing Company and Alpine Beer Company at Cellar Rat Wine Merchants (1701 Baltimore Ave.). Owned by the same group, both breweries hail from the San Diego area.

Saturday, Aug. 12

The Ninth Annual UNICO Microbrew Festival begins at 4 p.m. in Zona Rosa’s courtyard (8640 North Dixson Ave., behind Bravo). Sample beer, nosh on summer eats, and enjoy live entertainment. The event is free. Guests only pay to sample beer ($30 at gate). Designated drivers are free. Proceeds benefit UNICO’s charities.

Tour de Fat from New Belgium stops at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 E. 18th St.) from 7 to 11 p.m. The beer, bikes, and music festival features tunes from Atlas Genius. Dress carnival style and behold circus performers, vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians and provocateurs.

Monday, Aug. 14

Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks (8901 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kansas) hosts a four-course beer pairing dinner ($50 per person, plus tax & gratuity, 6 p.m.) with Torn Label Brewing Company. Course pairings include fried lake perch with corn fritters and creamy cabbage slaw paired with Monk and Honey Ale, and andouille hash and fried eggs paired with House Brew. RSVP at (913)-642-8070.

Barley’s Kitchen + Tap (11924 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kansas) will pour The Standard Lager and Libertine Imperial Red Ale from Fulton Beer, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

— Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of the “KC Ale Trail.” Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.

[Editors Note: An earlier version of TapList incorrectly identified the name of Stockyards Brewing Company’s Mexican style lager.]


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