Summer Brews

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Story by Dave Eckert   |   Intro photo courtesy of Taps on Main

For Sips this month, in the heat and humidity of summer, I wanted to write an article on high alcohol, high tannin California Cabernet Sauvignons and Zinfandels. I was overruled by Editor Renee Demott who thought a primer on refreshing summertime beers would be more appropriate. Just kidding; we both landed on summertime suds, so here we go!

They do a great job with fresh, local, and artisanal beer selections at Taps on Main. I reached out to Jason Tower, one of the three brothers who run the place, for some thoughts on what he likes to consume as temperatures climb. “Wick, from Pathlight in Shawnee is my favorite beer we have on tap right now. It’s an outstanding, juicy IPA-citrusy, so not overpowering and without the bitterness you often associate with IPAs. It’s one I hope we can have on all summer,” Tower shared.

Photo courtesy of Taps on Main

Tower is also a big fan of City Barrel’s new milkshake IPA, Peach Creamsicle Rad AF. “It’s a perfectly balanced hoppy peach cobbler. Citra and Mosaic are two of my favorite hop strains, so to get a little of that flavor mixed with peach and vanilla is pretty much my dream scenario for the summer,” Tower said. Then, there’s the Ginger Shandy from Brewery Emperial, which Tower describes as a refreshing choice for a hot summer day. “The ginger shandy is particularly refreshing. It’s a little sour, but the ginger balances it perfectly,” Tower stated.

Taps on Main features beers from all over but is making a concerted effort to keep its beer wall at least 50-percent local, so it’s a great place to stop in for some authentic buffalo-style chicken wings and a great summertime brew or two.

Over at Crane Brewing in Raytown, co-owner Michael Crane says he’s fond of a new brew available only at the tap room. “We have brewed a delicious light Lager at only four-percent ABV. It’s called Freedom 49, and it’s been flying off the shelf. It is light and crisp. Our demographics have changed tremendously with the Rock Island Trail. We still get our craft beer drinkers, but now about half our customers come in on bikes looking for a cold, refreshing beer. Freedom 49 is that perfect beverage,” Crane told me.

Photo courtesy of Three Halves Brewing

I posed the same summertime beer question to John Kennebeck, Owner of Three Halves Brewing just off the square in downtown Liberty. Kennebeck says he particularly likes a West Coast-Style IPA Three Halves is brewing and pouring. “It’s called Wheelhouse, and it’s right in the wheelhouse of both our brewmaster Bucky Buckingham and me. It hits all the notes of a great West Coast IPA for us old traditional beer guys,” Kennebeck stated.

Finally, from the man who wrote the book on local craft breweries, literally, Pete Dulin, a list of his summertime sippers that will impress any beer lover in your life.

Big Rip Brewing Company ~ Sirens of Titan Lager:  “Light styles make sense in summer when beer drinkers want cool refreshment. Big Rip’s lager does the trick without sacrificing flavor. It’s crisp with a faint hint of malt.”

Big Rip Brewing Company ~ Don’t Block the Intersection: “This beer is brewed in collaboration with BlaQ & Soul to benefit My Sistah’s House in Memphis.”

Alma Mader Brewing ~ Nava: “A Mexican-style lager that finishes crisp and bone-dry. Enjoy it in the taproom or take a four-pack home. Squeeze a fresh lime in to add to the experience.”

Transport Brewery ~ The Vacationer Coconut Blonde Ale: “This beer will definitely put you in the mood for a tropical getaway.”

Diametric Brewing ~ Juan Moore: “Another local Mexican lager that is light and refreshing.”

Diametric Brewing ~ Ruby on Rails Red Ale: “An American amber-style not often seen in local taprooms.”

Grains and Taps ~ Envisionation 2022: “A delicious American IPA packed with tropical flavors of ginger, pineapple, and mango. It’s perfect for grilled meat with a pineapple teriyaki glaze or chips and mango-peach salsa.”

Thanks Pete! And I call that a summertime beer wrap. Cheers!

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