Published December 5th, 2023 at 8:20 AM3 minute read
Every year Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine publishes a list of the top 20 beers of the year. Often receiving more than 1,000 submissions, landing on the list is easier said than done. This year two Kansas City breweries appeared in the top 20.
KC Bier Co. and BKS Artisan Ales both ended up on the list thanks to a couple of delicious pilsners. KC Bier Co. placed on the list with Bier Co. Light along with BKS’ Pivo Project Bohemian-style Pilsner.
The interesting thing about both pilsners is that they are made with European ingredients. Bier Co. Light uses malt and hops imported directly from Germany and BKS’ Bohemian-style pils uses malt from the Czech Republic.
Being recognized for such a delicate beer style is a big deal. With pilsners there’s no room for error as any sort of flaw can be recognized immediately and not covered up with some extra hops or adjuncts.
The two breweries have big plans for the future as they continue to grow and garner national recognition. KC Bier Co. will be adding cans to their offerings starting in February.
The plan is to be able to have their beers served at places like pools, sporting events, golf courses and wherever glass is typically frowned upon.
Meanwhile, BKS plans to roll out some new barrel-aged beers that were aged for two years. They’ll be releasing anywhere from three to five beers each week, which should make their customers happy drinkers.
Big congrats to both BKS and KC Bier Co. for continuing to earn accolades and put Kansas City’s beer scene on the map.
BKS Artisan Ales — 633 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, Missouri — released the second of five variants of Pine Tree. The 7% hazy IPA uses a standard hop blend for each beer, but adds some new hops with each version. The blue label features Citra Incognito, Citra Cryo and Simcoe Cryo. You can also snag their new 8% winter ale called Brookside Winter. The beer was brewed using both light and dark malts before being finished on Madagascar vanilla beans and nutmeg for some classic holiday flavors.
Rochester Brewing Co. — 2129 Washington St., Kansas City, Missouri — has a new variation of their Phantastic hazy IPA. Version two features Citra, El Dorado and Chinook hops. It was fermented using a thiolized yeast strain. The 7.4% IPA has flavors of grapefruit, orange, peach and pineapple.
3Halves Brewing Co. — 110 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri — is jumping on the Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift love affair. They just released Kelce Caught A Swiftie, a 5.8% American wheat ale. The light to medium bodied beer is bursting with tropical flavors of passion fruit, guava and orange. The flavors are perfectly well-balanced, resulting in an easily approachable beer.
Discourse Brewing — 7211 W. 97th St., Overland Park, Kansas — has another new brew available for you this week. Their latest release is Hazy Clarity, a 6.3% new age pale ale. Dry-hopped with Altus, Chinook and Strata hops, this beer has a pronounced hoppiness. You’ll get flavors along the lines of orange and grapefruit to help round out the bitterness.
Tall Trellis Brew Co. — 25600 W. Valley Pkwy., Olathe, Kansas — put out a new beer that exclusively uses pilsner malt. Aggro Crag is a 5.6% hazy pale ale. It uses Mosaic, Moteuka and Kansas Hop Co.’s Cascade hops. Thankfully this beer is a lot easier to approach than the actual Aggro Crag final obstacle in the Nickelodean show “Guts” from back in the day!
Servaes Brewing Co. — 10921 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, Kansas — is back with another pop-up. This week they’ll be doing a Holiday Macaron & Beer Pairing event. Sugarfold will be hanging out in the taproom selling various macarons. Servaes will be releasing two beers that can both be paired with different macarons.
East Forty Brewing — 1201 W. Main St., Blue Springs, Missouri — knows it’s far more fun to do your holiday shopping while drinking beer. That’s why they’re throwing a Holiday Maker’s Mart. Taking place in their Mill Room, the event will feature various local vendors who will be on-site from 1-5 p.m. The Tuba Brewers will be playing three short sets to provide some live music during the event. You’ll also be able to pick up your 12 beers of Christmas boxes while at the brewery.
Grains & Taps — 10 S.W. 3rd St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri — will be one of the stops on the 12 Bars of Christmas bar crawl taking place throughout Lee’s Summit. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the crawl. The pub crawl is being put on to raise money for Hope House KC, so go drink for a good cause!
KC Bier Co. — 310 W. 79th St., Kansas City, Missouri — is throwing a party for the special release of Dunkelbock. The St. Nicholas Day Celebration will be chock full of festive activities in conjunction with the beer release. They’ll be showing holiday movies, have crafts and activities for kids and have a special visit from both Santa and Krampus.
3Halves Brewing Co. — 110 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri — is going to be hosting the most exciting figures of the holiday season. That’s right, Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming to the brew house! You’ll be able to take as many photos with them as you want for the perfect family portrait. Hang around for some beers and barbecue before the Chiefs game.
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.