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Tap List | Whalez Candles Launched With Hunt for Elusive Craft Beers

Whalez Candles Whalez Candles pays homage to craft beer through uncommon scents. (Courtesy of Whalez Candles)
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2 minute read

Matt Wiley quietly launched Whalez Candles in late 2017 as a side project. Unlike commercial candle lines with a uniform look and packaging, Wiley uses empty bottles and cans of hard-to-obtain brands of craft beer to make his candles from scratch. Whalez is an allusion to the craft beer term “whale,” lingo that refers to Moby Dick’s hunt for an elusive white whale.

Last year, Wiley began making test batches of soy wax candles in craft beer bottles and cans. He distributed them to craft beer drinkers throughout Kansas City and sought feedback from this focus group on the design, burn time, aroma and other details.

“I want to know what people really want from a candle,” Wiley said. “It is a lot more than just wax that goes into the candle.”

Wiley studied other candles before finding inspiration for Whalez.

“A lot of candles smell good, but their housing is less ideal for me, with honeysuckle or a beehive on the front,” Wiley said. “That doesn’t appeal to me. I love craft beer. Why don’t we have beer candles?”

Wiley uses rare bottles and cans that he sources from friends and contacts that have access to sought-after beer brands and styles. Each bottle is cut by hand and hand-polished for a smooth glass edge. He fills the recycled vessels with soy wax and also infuses the wax with the adjuncts of the beer itself.

“If [Perennial Brewing’s] Barrel-Aged Abraxas is made with chilies, cocoa nibs, cinnamon and bourbon, then that candle is infused with those scents to create the smell of the beer taste, if you will,” Wiley said.

Red Crow Brewing Company

Red Crow Brewing Company is moving to Olathe, Kansas. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

Red Crow Brewing Company Has A New Home 

After two years in Spring Hill, Kansas, Red Crow Brewing Company is set to move. The Kansas brewery is relocating to 15430 S. Rogers Road, Olathe, Kansas. The brewery’s old location closed on Saturday and Red Crow plans to re-open later this spring. Look for an update in February on the new space.

Tap Notes

Funkwerks, out of Fort Collins, Colorado, arrived on taps and shelves last week. Look for six-packs of saison, Raspberry Provincial and Tropic King in Kansas City. The brewery is focused on saisons, so that’s a good place to start if you haven’t had their beers. Tropic King is an Imperial Saison and Raspberry Provincial is a sour ale brewed with raspberries.

BKS Artisan Ales (633 E. 63rd St., Ste. 120) just added to-go cans of a “Midwest IPA.” Antithesis IPA is a mash-up of East and West Coast IPAs with a blend of pale malts, Simcoe, Chinook and Mosaic hops. Check social media before heading over to make sure it’s available.

Brewery Emperial’s beers are out in the wild. The Crossroads brewery has begun limited distribution and that began with co-owner Ted Habiger’s other restaurant: Room 39 (1719 W. 39th St.). Biscuit is now on tap at the Midtown Room 39 location.

If you missed Bier Station’s fifth anniversary this Friday, you can still drink a special collaboration brew created for the occasion. Friendly Collusion, a Belgian stout made with 4 Hands Brewing Co. and Martin City Brewing Company, is on shelves and taps now.

Strange Days Brewing Co.

Strange Days Brewing Co. opens Jan. 20 in the River Market. (Pete Dulin | Flatland)

This Week

Tuesday, Jan. 16

Tuesday means competitive trivia at The Taproom at Crane Brewing (6515 Railroad St., Raytown, Missouri). Show your trivia prowess, enjoy fresh beer and vie for cash, beer prizes and glory. Standard pours are $3 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Boilermakers on the Boulevard ($30, 21 years-old or over) unites BLVD Tours & Rec Center (2534 Madison Ave.) with J. Rieger & Co. for a cocktail party. J. Rieger & Co. head distiller Nathan Perry and Boulevard brewers will lead a discussion about three Boulevard beers paired with three J. Rieger & Co. spirits. Festivities include Beer Hall charcuterie, a dessert pairing and live music from Lauren Krum & Fritz Hutchison.

Ruins Pub (1715 Main St.) hosts a Funkwerks release party from 6 to 9 p.m. Meet a brewery representative and get half-off tacos.

Wednesday, Jan. 17

Brewery Emperial (1829 Oak St.) is participating in Kansas City Restaurant Week and has a special dinner menu ($33) through Friday, Jan. 19. Dive into chorizo and black bean meatballs, a chili-rubbed flank steak, and eggnog creme brûlée.

Taste samples of beers from Rolla, Missouri-based Public House Brewing Company at Cellar & Loft (103 S. Jefferson, Suite A, Kearney, Missouri). First come, first served. Reservations recommended. $10 for non-members.

Thursday, Jan. 18

The East to West Bottoms Dinner, 6:30 p.m. at Ruins Pub (1715 Main St.), pairs beer from Stockyards Brewing and spirits from J. Rieger & Co. with chef Daniel Breedlove’s four-course meal. Courses include wheat berry risotto, fried bay scallops and pecorino cheese with Hefeweizen and gin, and beef medallion, crawfish gnocchi, roasted Brussels sprouts and lobster demi with Smoked Imperial Pilsner.

Brew Lab beer

Brew Lab wants to show you how they make their brews. (Zach Bauman I The Pitch)

Friday, Jan. 19

At Brew Lab (7925 Marty St., Overland Park, Kansas), join head brewer Bart Campbell while he brews a batch of Brew Lab beer from noon to 5 p.m.. Eat lunch, drink beer, ask questions about brewing and observe a commercial brewery in action.

Veg out at the Second Annual Veg Wing and Beer Bowl, a plant-based ‘wing’ taste-off designed to encourage local restaurants and food businesses to showcase more plant-based options on menus. Guests may imbibe beer, meet vegan culinary instructor and cookbook author J.L. Fields, chow at the nacho and build-your-own chili bar, taste veg wings and watch a cooking demonstration. Check it out at the Muehlebach Suite at Boulevard Brewery (2501 Southwest Blvd.). Tickets run $35-60.

Martin City Brewery Company takes over the taps at Hy-Vee (14955 W. 151st St., Olathe, Kansas) with Operation Yoga Pants, Banging the Enemy, Kentucky Friar and more on tap.

The Peanut (7938 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park Kansas) hosts Red Crow Brewing Company for a tap takeover. Louise IPA, Isabelle Belgian Blonde, and Frances Pale Ale will be on tap.

Saturday, Jan. 20

Strange Days Brewing Company (316 Oak St.) officially opens in the River Market.

Rock & Run Brewery and Pub (114 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri) hosts Beer Yoga from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Your ticket include a yoga class and post-workout beer. The brewpub will offer a brunch buffet ($7) after the class.

The Power & Light District hosts the third annual ‘90s Bar Crawl from 2 to 10 p.m. Go back two decades and hop between the Flying Saucer Draught Emporium, McFaddens and Pizza Bar.

HopCat (401 Westport Road) celebrates its 10th anniversary today and Sunday. The celebration starts at 11 a.m. and includes free crack fries with any purchase (until 5 p.m.), a crack fries eating contest (2 p.m.), and a host of rare brews (Founders Frootwood, New Holland Cherry Burst Barley Feline, Saugutuck Ghost of Neapolitan, O’Fallon Cattywhoopmus).

Sunday, Jan. 21

Sunday Funday at Fringe Beerworks (224 SE Douglas St., Lees Summit) is an opportunity for savings on 32-ounce crowlers of select beers on tap.

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.


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