Harvest Brews

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Story by Dave Eckert

The change of seasons is upon us, which means many changes above and beyond cooler, crisper weather. Autumn also ushers in big changes in our eating and drinking habits. Today, I focus on drinking, specifically drinking beer, as I present you with a roundup of some fantastic fall beers from breweries throughout the metro.

River Bluff Brewing

They’ve got an impressive lineup of releases at River Bluff Brewing. Here’s the list, with descriptors, from Director of Operations, Chris Lanman. Their Fall brew schedule will include their regular flagships, which are the following:

  • Speedliner IPA: A river coast IPA. It’s hoppy, but easy drinking and crushable with the full IPA flavor.
  • River Cream Ale: Which is great for days on the river or any body of water. It’s lighter, but still full of flavor.
  • Sandy Dunes Belgian Ale: A GABF Silver Medal Winner that has a nice spiciness to it with hints of cloves. It also clocks in at 7.8% alcohol – perfect for quenching the Sandy palate.
  • Goldlion Golden Stout: A golden nitro stout infused with St. Joe’s Mokaska Coffee Company coffee, which gives this beer a caramel macchiato quality. This one’s a favorite in Kansas City and St. Joseph.

They are also releasing these interesting brews:

  • Firehouse #7: A Habanero-Pablano pepper Kolsch with portions of the proceeds going to help disabled firefighters.
  • Green Goddess: A cucumber-lime shandy, which has been a hit in the past.

You can also sip on their Dark Lager and an American Light Beer coming out in Kansas City. “Plus, River Bluff at The River Market is about to enter its ‘fun-funky’ stage. The five-beer barrel system at this location is intended to collaborate, explore, and experiment. Now that we’ve practiced on it, we plan to start brewing many new, exploratory beers!” Lanman shared.

Big Rip Brewing Company

Bri Burrows, head brewer and co-owner at Big Rip Brewing in North Kansas City, sent this along for our reading and drinking, pleasure.

The Big Rip Brewing Company’s Pennywise Sweet Tater Ale is a 6.1% Amber Ale brewed with 100 pounds of roasted and canned yams, brown sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spices. It pairs perfectly with turkey, gravy, and cranberry sauce!

Burrows shared, “I like Pennywise because I personally love pumpkin spice everything! However, it’s not as sweet and in-your-face with spices as a lot of beers of the same style are. It has subtler flavors, so you can still taste the base beer.” Burrows says she enjoys the change of seasons in beer styles as she is very much a seasonal beer drinker. As for personal favorites this time of year, Burrows weighed in with this. “During fall, I enjoy beers with subtle pumpkin spice like our Pennywise, herbal beers like Torn Label’s The Witch, and malt-forward Oktoberfest styles such as KC Bier Company’s Festbier. During the winter, I will be drinking lots of dark lagers like Schwarzbier (Big Rip will have one coming out this winter) and high ABV, thick stouts,” Burrows stated.

Should you want to check out some of Burrows’ work, she encourages you to drop by the taproom in NKC, which is open seven days a week!

Crane Brewing Company

At Crane Brewing Company in Raytown, they are all about the unique and delicious brew called Beet Weiss. Co-owner Chris Meyers sent along this love letter to their Beet Weiss, which I happen to love, too!

“Beet Weiss was originally called Magenta when we were brewing it as homebrewers. It was so fun to take it to festivals and see everyone’s reaction to such a beautiful beer of deep Magenta color. When we added it to our distribution calendar, we decided to change the name to match our Berliner Weisses and make sure everyone knew they were in for a very beety treat. It is a very polarizing beer. Either you love it or you hate it, but we have found so often that even if someone says they hate eating beets, that they tend to love the beer. The flavors and aroma are rich, earthy in all the right ways, but the sugar beets we use also add a sweet, fruity berry, almost fruit punch quality. Beets and Lactobacillus? Gotta be one of the healthiest beers you could drink, right? For me, it is a major food pairing beer and I think a lot of our local chef friends would agree. It goes great with rich meats and cheeses. For me, it is my barbecue beer. Swap it in instead of traditional strawberry soda and you get an awesome beer with acidity to help cut through the richness of brisket, pulled pork, and especially giant beef ribs,” Meyers raved.

It all sounds good to me. I don’t know about you, but it seems I’ll be awash in delicious local, craft suds this fall and winter.



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