Published November 21st, 2023 at 11:30 AM5 minute read
For breweries, Black Friday has become synonymous with releasing highly sought-after big stouts. Here’s a rundown of events and releases to help take the guesswork out of it for you.
In Waldo, KC Bier Co. is opening at 10 a.m. to begin selling the annual release of Winterbock, an award-winning dark doppelbock lager. The early opening is for beer and to-go sales only. The kitchen will not be open until 3 p.m.
River Market’s River Bluff Brewing will be opening at 11 a.m. for the limited release of Booz’d Ego. The 10.5% imperial stout is barrel-aged and boasts flavors of vanilla, brown sugar and red fruit. This year’s version was aged 50% in red wine barrels, hence the red fruit flavors, and 50% in bourbon barrels. The beer will only be available in a limited number of bottles and on draft. They will not be offering growler fills.
If you happen to be in the Crossroads you’ll want to swing by City Barrel. They’re doing a release of Treat Yo Self: Fancy A$$ Hot Chocolate. The decadent stout may not be as big and boozy as some of the other releases, but it’s plenty delicious. Using ingredients like lactose, marshmallows and Peruvian cacao nibs, you’ll feel like you’re drinking a boozy hot chocolate, albeit a bit cooler than the real thing. The 6.5% stout will be available on draft and in four-packs to go.
You’ll be able to find two different Black Friday releases over in Shawnee. Pathlight Brewing will be releasing Blix as well as two variants of a 14% imperial stout. This year’s base was aged in Willett barrels for two years. In addition to the regular, you can get a variation that had toasted coconut added to it and a coffee version that uses Mezcla Oscura de Demonio dark blend from Cacophony Coffee. They’ll have the Good Part Food Truck on-site serving up brunch items to help keep your stomach happy while enjoying these big stouts.
Known for their Saturday release parties, Servaes Brewing Co. is switching it up and throwing one on Black Friday. They’ll be releasing two different versions of their Washed in Black stout. The original base beer, which comes in at 13%, was aged in Heaven Hill barrels for a year. You’ll also be able to enjoy the Turtle Cheesecake version, which features additional ingredients like hot fudge, caramel, pecans and more. If that’s not enough for you, there will be two big stouts on guest taps from Surly and New Holland. Make sure to also indulge in some of the delicious BBQ from Point & Flat from noon until 4 p.m.
In the Northland, Cinder Block Brewery is releasing Black Squirrel starting at 11 a.m. The 12% Russian imperial stout was aged in bourbon barrels for nine months and has flavors of coconut, vanilla, oak and dark chocolate. Not only is there a limited number of bottles, but the max you can purchase is two.
Over in Raytown, Crane Brewing is releasing two draft-only specialty stouts. The first is Cold Weather Critters, a French toast barrel-aged stout, along with Scarves Indoors, a barrel-aged imperial stout with coffee and chai. They’re not just catering to beer lovers, though. They’ll be making a special Black Manhattan for cocktail lovers. If you’re interested in joining their yearly membership club, 2024 memberships will also be on sale at a 50% discount.
East Forty Brewing in Blue Springs will have a bevy of different stouts available. The main releases will be their 2023 versions of Fools Rush In and Where Angels Fear to Tread, both imperial stouts. Not only will both be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles, but they’ll be featuring older versions of both beers. For example, you can get a gift set of Where Angels Fear to Treat that features a bottle each from 2020-2022.
Grains & Taps and Diametric Brewing Co. in Lee’s Summit will both be doing stout releases, but both are approaching it in a slightly different way. The two breweries are both doing pre-sales for their releases.
Grains & Taps will be putting out their Cookies & Cream milk stout. They’ll post a link to their pre-sale a few days before the release so be sure to watch their social media like a hawk if you want to guarantee you’ll secure a bottle.
Diametric is doing the same, but pre-order tickets for their releases went on sale Nov. 15. The pre-order gives you three different options for four-packs – barrel-aged Tezcatlipoca, regular Tezcatlipoca, or two cans of the barrel-aged version and two of the regular. The tickets also grant you early access to their brewery starting at 9 a.m., which all but guarantees you can try some of the small batch variants of Tezcatlipoca they’re planning to release on draft.
Last, but certainly not least, is Fields & Ivy Brewery in Lawrence. They’re releasing two beers, a big stout and a new IPA. If you’re into the stout theme of Black Friday you’ll want to get their Tropical Soup barrel-aged imperial stout. If you’re more into hops you can snag Skeleton Key #13 from their rotating IPA series. That’s not all. Starting at 7 p.m., J. Rieger will be doing a whiskey tasting. They’ll be sampling out three of their whiskies with the brewery offering a small cocktail menu featuring the spirits.
If these events aren’t enough for you, be sure to check out your favorite brewery to see what sort of exciting releases they have planned.
BKS Artisan Ales — 633 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, Missouri — has a new one for you this week. They just put out a new red ale called McGee. Named after a street in the Brookside neighborhood, McGee is a hoppy red ale that comes in at 5.5%. Fermented with a West Coast ale yeast, the beer has a balanced bitterness that’s aided by a nice malt backbone.
Torn Label Brewing Co. — 1708 Campbell St., Kansas City, Missouri — didn’t just collaborate with Strange Days on a new beer, but also BBQ hot spot Q39. The two made a New England IPA called Smoke Ring. The beer is bright and refreshing thanks to its hints of citrus. It comes in at 7.5% ABV and pairs perfectly with tailgating and burnt ends.
River Bluff Brewing — 201 Main St., Kansas City, Missouri — introduced another KC exclusive beer to their lineup. The newcomer named Pontoon Vibes is a hazy IPA. The hop blend of Cashmere, Citra and Wakatu makes this beer plenty juicy with a slight bitterness at the end. Be careful with this one as it’s 7.8% ABV.
Strange Days Brewing — 316 Oak St., Kansas City, Missouri — collaborated with Torn Label on a brew that draws inspiration from a beer style that seems all but forgotten. They cooked up See The Air You Breathe. Part Cascadian dark ale, part cold IPA, the appearance of this beer isn’t as it seems. While dark in color, the 7.1% beer has lots of bright citrusy notes that shine through the very light roastiness.
Lawrence Beer Co. — 826 Pennsylvania St., Lawrence, Kansas — did their annual release of Black Is All Colors At Once. This year the big 11% bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout comes in two versions. You can get the regular base beer and/or a coffee version they did with Repetition Coffee. The stout was aged for nine months in Willett bourbon barrels giving this beer a deep yet balanced complexity. The nose features aromas of bourbon and vanilla before giving way to flavors of oak, roast, and layers of malty goodness.
Saturday, Nov. 25
Rockcreek Brewing Co. — 5880 Beverly Ave., Mission, Kansas — knows that Thanksgiving is the official kick off for the holiday season. They also recognize that it’s Small Business Saturday. To help get you prepared for your holiday shopping needs, they’re throwing a holiday market. Given the nature of the day, all vendors will be small, local shops. If the shopping and drinking work up your appetite, you can grab some noodles or dumplings from Taste of Malaysia at the brewery as well.
KC Bier Co. — 310 W. 79th St., Kansas City, Missouri — has another Hatha yoga session planned. The hour-long class focuses on breath work and slow, intentional movement. It’s a great way to relax and unwind after a long weekend filled with festive food, family and lots of shopping. Stick around after the class to enjoy one free beer.
Alex Andujar is a former beer sales rep turned personal trainer. When he’s not training clients you can find him trying new beers at many of Kansas City’s great local breweries.