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If you are on this website, and reading this piece, then it’s no use in going through the growing number of significant buyouts in the craft beer game. ABI (Anheuser-Busch InBev), SABMiller, Constellation Brands, San Miguel, Duvel Moortgat and Heineken have been buying craft breweries for a long time, and there’s absolutely no reason to think that the big boys will stop gobbling up of our favorite brands anytime soon. I’d be surprised if any of us could actually sit down and list all the brands that are actually owned either partially, or fully by the “big guys”. I feel like I don’t go more than a week or two without finding out that a brewery that I thought was completely independent has been working under someone else’s ownership for quite some time.

I’ll be honest in saying that every time I see another brewery “bite the dust” so to speak, I don’t know how to feel. Being that I am in the grind like a lot of you trying to help carve out a piece for some great, smaller breweries I have an initial sense of “shit, not again”, but that doesn’t always last.  I’m never happy about it, but there is a part of me that understands that at the end of the day, these are businesses and they are looking to maximize their profits, both immediately and in the future.  There is more than one example of some owners and brewers that have put in a decade-plus or hard work and are simply seeing their effort and passion for what they due ultimately turn a profit? That alone isn’t a horrible thing, right?

Personally, my initial anxiety comes with the idea that one of these larger corporations are going to sacrifice ingenuity, innovation, integrity (seriously wasn’t going for alliteration here) and simply keep that brewery from making interesting, fun, boundary pushing beers.  The second wave of anxiety comes from hoping that the recently acquired brewery won’t take their newfound dollars and use the resources of their parent company to aggressively attacking the little guy and push them out of liquor stores and tap walls at bars.  I guess the best way of describing this is a feeling that these purchases are going to water down craft beer and make it … well … boring, as the little guys often make some of the most fun and innovative beer out there.

Sacrificing ingenuity, innovation, and integrity

This was one of the immediate fears ever since the ABI purchase of Goose Island made waves back in 2011. (Even though it wasn’t the first macro beer producer to purchase a craft producer.) It’s something I, and most folks still fear.  “These big guys are going to start gobbling up all these smaller breweries, scrap the fun beers they are making, and just shove their wheat beers down everyone’s throat” was the line that was thrown around by craft enthusiasts.  Maybe it’s happened, but I sure as hell haven’t noticed. Both with the individual breweries and with craft in general, the innovation is still there, it hasn’t been stifled, and we are seeing fun, new shit on almost a daily basis.  Sours, barrel-aged stuff, hazy IPAs, and all sorts of hop profiles are still being produced and sold by these same breweries. Whether or not they are the ones helping innovation or merely hopping on the bandwagon is another argument.  But there are a TON of great, independently owned craft breweries that still are late to the game with newer trends, because even they want to see the even smaller guys work out the kinks with their recipes, flavors, etc. and see if they are viable products to make and if they can … you guessed it … make money selling them.

While I will admittedly tend to not automatically look for some of the craft brands that have succumbed to the buyouts we’ve seen over the last six-seven years, I don’t avoid them altogether.  Certain times you are at an airport, baseball game, or at a sports bar that doesn’t have a great craft selection, and your hand is forced.  And I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen much of a dip – if any – in overall quality.  I’ve had small craft owners/brewers tell me directly, that in these partnerships, especially ones like ABI, these breweries now have access to better ingredients, better equipment, and quality control resources they never thought were possible.  There are probably tweaks just like with any brewery when they scale up a batch to increase production, but I can’t find too many, if any instances of wholesale changes to a brand.  And for the minor changes, that is the reality of EVERY brewery.  Recipes get tweaked on a constant basis based on changes in equipment, brewing staff, availability of ingredients, and more often than not, the desire to update the recipe for a customer base whose palettes are constantly changing.

Lastly, I’m not sure it would be in the best interest of these newfound owners to change the liquid, anyway.  I’m taking a guess here, but it’s not an outlandish assumption to assume part of the attractiveness of these breweries that have been purchased was the quality of their product.  Why would they want to screw up what made the newly acquired business successful in the first place?

Flexing of muscles with new found resources

This is an interesting topic to address. It is certainly happening.  Partnerships with larger wholesalers or conglomerates offer better relationships by having sales staff, refrigerated warehouses, logistical staff, and access to better ingredients, equipment and quality control procedures that can guarantee that consistently fresh product can reliably get into an account’s hands.  This is especially important when these brands get representation at larger, nationwide chains because they can meet the demands of a corporate account that expects competitively priced product that they will keep available at their stores for long periods at a time at competitive price points. This last piece is especially important when speaking about beers that are made with more boutique hop profiles, yeast strains, expensive adjuncts like fruit, and beers that require a more intensive brewing process that force some smaller breweries to charge a sometimes substantial premium just so they can turn a modest profit from beers that can be extremely expensive to produce. These companies understand the logistics of producing product at much higher volume and can guarantee fresh, consistent product for long periods of time.

These factors certainly offer a competitive advantage for these breweries.  But here’s the thing that I often bring up: every brewery does this to some extent. They may not be doing it at the same level as the larger breweries, but when the opportunities present themselves, they take advantage.  An example I use all the time is when a modest-sized brewery gets the ability to lock themselves into a hop-future contract, or something that will guarantee them a set price on a specific hop they want for their flagship IPA.  This is something that start-ups, and some smaller breweries can’t afford to always do, which may cause them to not be able to guarantee that their super amazing IPA will always be available.  I’ve heard new breweries say before: “I can’t afford to make this IPA.” Either that, or they’ll tell me they’ll make the same IPA that will be sold around town at more than $7.00 a glass, when their competitor down the street can make the same IPA that a bar can afford to sell for $6.00 a glass.  This is a clear-cut example of a brewery (even a small one) using their financial leverage to gain a competitive advantage over a smaller competitor.

The other example I’ll use (and I’ll keep specific breweries out of it) is the larger breweries that have remained independent that have a huge amount of resources to execute events and large levels of support for their accounts.  They can plan events with sales and event staff that can go to multiple events in a week and offer things like: already paid for entertainment, branded swag to give away, and a company card that can buy multiple rounds for customers participating in the event.  For someone that runs a craft beer establishment, these are all things that are going to make them more likely to run events at their bar as these things will help them make money.  Not to mention these breweries also often offer their product at competitive prices, as well.  These breweries are still independently or employee-owned and meet the definition of “craft” according to the Brewer’s Association guidelines.  This is another straightforward example of a brewery using their resources to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.

Conclusion: It’s only business

A lot, if not most breweries I know get along, or at least that’s what it seems like on the face.  Collaboration projects will continue to be a thing, and stories about breweries sharing resources like equipment, ingredients, labor, and general insight will continue to be a normal occurrence. But let’s not pretend that most businesses will not use their monetary resources to gain marketing, production, and distribution advantages over competitors that they still consider friends.  That’s business, and that’s life.  I’m sure we’ve all been in places where multiple people from multiple breweries, wholesalers, and even retailers are hanging out, buying rounds, sharing war stories, etc.  That probably won’t change, but just because craft beer is filled with some sincere, solid relationships doesn’t mean that most of these folks aren’t out to be financially successful. To what measures some will go depends on the people who own and work at those breweries, but we can’t kid ourselves and think that every decision made by a brewery holds some wonderfully altruistic reasoning. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t.  If it doesn’t, those folks aren’t automatically dishonest people, or ones that have somehow lost their passion for making great, thoughtful beer.  It just means that sometimes they have been working their asses off for years making great, thoughtful beer, and maybe they just want to get finally get their payout.  I almost always don’t like when it happens, but I can’t blame them.

The post Beer Buyouts and Breweries Flexing Their Muscles appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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The votes have been tallied. The pie charts have been examined. We have winners for the awards that recognize the absolute best of Kansas City beer as voted by the absolute best readers of Kansas City beer (that’s you!). These are the winners of the prestigious Golden Tappys.

All the best award shows allow the winners to say a few words of appreciation to the voters who put them there. We felt that our winners deserved the same opportunity. So for the first time, we have acceptance statements from (most of) our winners.

Alright. Cue the orchestra. Let’s do this.

The Best of Kansas City Beer in 2017

Golden Tappy for Best Beer Brewed in KC Counterculture IPA
BKS Artisan Ales

BKS Artisan Ales burst on the scene in late 2017 just around the corner from my house. Counterculture is their fresh, hoppy, cloudy New England-style  IPA. Juicy, opaque, and mildly bitter, it’s a winning example of its style as well as a Golden Tappy winner.

We’ll hear from Brian and Mary Rooney in a moment to accept their Golden Tappy.

BKS Artisan Ales is located at 633 E 63rd St #120, Kansas City, MO. That’s the southwest corner of 63rd Street and Holmes Rd. The taproom is open Saturdays, noon to 7:00 pm, and Sundays, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

Golden Tappy for Best Beer Festival Strong Ale Festival
Beer KC

When a beer festival is outdoors in Kansas City in November, there better be something to keep the attendees warm. While Beer KC (the team behind McCoy’s, Beer Kitchen, and Char Bar) rolls out heaters and supplies warm food options for their Strong Ale Festival, it’s really the 8%+ alcohol-by-volume samples keeping the people toasty. Or maybe toasted.

Accepting the Golden Tappy on behalf of Beer KC and the Strong Ale Festival is Randyl Danner:

Westport Strong Ale fest is a fest for all of the Kansas City hardcore beer lovers. We appreciate the continued support of this niche beer fest! Cheers to you, KC beer drinkers!

The Strong Ale Festival usually takes place the second Saturday in November, outside McCoy’s Public House, 4057 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO.

Golden Tappy for Best Brewery in Kansas or Missouri (Not in KC) Mother’s Brewing Company
Springfield, MO

We have been enjoying Three Blind Mice from Mother’s Brewing for longer than we’ve been writing KC Beer Scouts. We love their Towhead. They’re definitely a MILF (with all their barrel kinks). And most of their other bottled and canned offspring are friends. They have established themselves as a quality and adventurous outstate brewery. We are proud to present Mother’s Brewing Company with a Golden Tappy for 2017.

Mother’s Brewing Company resides at 215 S Grant Ave, Springfield, MO. Their taproom is open 4:00 to 8:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday, 1:00 to 10:00 pm Friday and Saturday. And 2:00 to 8:00 pm Sundays. It’s well worth a visit if you’re ever in Springfield.

Golden Tappy for Best Bottle Shop Brookside Wine & Spirits

How is it that most of the nominees for best bottle shop don’t even mention beer in their name? Where’s the pride, package stores? Rant over. Brookside Wine might have a good wine selection, but I’d never know because I tend to walk past those racks and into the walk-in beer cave to find a wide selection of the best, always-cold beer. There’s a wall of Boulevard. KC Bier around the corner. Always Torn Label, Crane, and Piney River, too. Brookside Wine has beer tastings every Friday, a friendly staff, a crowler station, and soon: pizza.

Brookside Wine & Spirits sits at 600 E 63rd St, Kansas City, MO, that’s across the street and one block west of BKS Artisan Ales. They are open Monday through Thursday 9:00 am to 11:00 pm, 9:00 to midnight-thirty Friday and Saturday, and 9:00 am to 9:00 pm Sunday.

Golden Tappy for Best Beer Bar International Tap House

Like BKS Artisan Ales, iTap in the Crossroads is new to the area. And they bring it strong. Situated on what might be one of the strongest craft beer blocks in the Midwest, iTap has no food to distract you from the wall of taps and coolers of craft. A friendly and very knowledgeable bar staff will guide you to the beer that fits your mood and tastes.

Here to accept the Golden Tappy for International Tap House is Jon Whitaker, general manager of iTap Crossroads.

Not much to say here other than a massive thanks to our customers, and Kansas City as a whole for embracing us like you all have. We had our eye in Kansas City for sometime and could not have been happier to find a little corner of the street in the Crossroads Arts District when we did, over a year and a half ago. The reception from the beer community, Crossroads neighbors and the local breweries we partner with could not have been more positive.  We try to make sure we constantly remain a beer destination that’s always welcoming to both the beer novice and the beer nerd, alike, and we are happy to see how much you all have been receptive to that mindset. So thanks again for letting us come in and be a little piece of your downtown KC beer scene.

International Tap House in the Crossroads sits at the heart of the beer block in the Crossroads Arts District at 403 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO. They are open 3:00 to midnight Monday through Thursday, noon to midnight-thirty Friday, 11:00 am to midnight-thirty Saturday, and 11:00 am to midnight on Sunday.

Golden Tappy for Best Small Brewery BKS Artisan Ales

BKS is back for another award. Brian and Mary Rooney are serving up some mighty fine IPAs, tropical-inspired sours, farmhouse ales, and interesting variations of classic styles from their tiny all-electric brewery on 63rd Street. Hours are short, and the lines might be long, but the crowds are waiting for Golden Tappy-winning beer.

Here to accept both Golden Tappys awarded to BKS Artisan Ales are Brian and Mary Rooney.

We want to thank all the craft beer drinkers in the Kansas City area for selecting BKS Artisan Ales for both awards. With so many great local breweries making outstanding beers, it’s an honor to even be nominated, much less selected for Best Beer and Best Small Brewery. Counterculture IPA has quickly become our most popular beer and it’s awesome to receive the feedback that it was selected for Best Beer in KC. We also want to say thank you to all the fun people that show up in our tasting room every weekend to support what we do. Many thanks to everyone in KC who makes our craft beer scene great.

BKS Artisan Ales is located at 633 E 63rd St #120, Kansas City, MO. That’s the southwest corner of 63rd Street and Holmes Rd. The taproom is open Saturdays, noon to 7:00 pm, and Sundays, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

That’s a wrap, folks!

I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate their favorite beers, breweries, bottle shops, and bars. And thanks to everyone who voted. You make these awards special and worthwhile.

And for 2018 … I see Good Things

It takes two hands to tally the number of breweries slated to open in KC this year. The scene here is, amazingly, still getting better. And I’m glad we are all here for the ride. Check out this year’s winners if you aren’t already familiar with them. And maybe last year’s while you’re at it. Or the winners from the year before that. Support the people who brew, package, pour, and sell the amazing craft beer in Kansas City.

The post Winners of the Golden Tappys for 2017 appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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You know the Oscars got it wrong. Those big award shows always miss the mark. Here’s your chance to ensure only the best of the best of the best of Kansas City craft beer gets recognized with a coveted Golden Tappy!

We asked for nominations weeks ago, and many, many people responded via Facebook, Twitter and comments on the posts. A sincere thank you to everyone who made nominations. We had some of our own to add to the many nominations.

Voting is open now until March 17, St Patrick’s Day, at midnight. Vote early, vote often.

Thank you!

Edit 2018-03-08: Note on the Best Festival category.

Edit 2018-03-09: If you are viewing this in the Twitter or Facebook app on your phone, you may not be able to vote in the window below. Sorry! If that’s the case, please view it in the browser on your phone (Chrome, Safari, etc.) or vote for the Golden Tappys here.

Vote for the 2017 Golden Tappys

Note on Best Festival Category

A couple of people have contacted us about the exclusion of the homebrew festivals (or one particular homebrew festival, really) from the Best Festival category. I harbor no ill will toward any of the talented homebrewers out there. They make amazing beer. And the festivals where they can show off their skills rank among the best of the festivals this metro has to offer. Seriously.

However, all the nominees to all the categories are professionals in the brewing world. I have purposefully excluded all homebrewing events – regardless of awesomeness – from the Golden Tappys. Yes, some of the nominated festivals do have homebrew tents. But the focus of all of them are the beers from professional breweries.

This is a line that I drew three years ago when we started these awards. Nothing personal.

The post Vote! The Best of Kansas City Craft Beer – 2017 Golden Tappys appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Are you enjoying your beer, or are you showing it off?

I have a few questions, and I want you to be honest.  What was your purpose in camping out in line and buying tickets for the chance to wait in line to purchase a beer?  What was your purpose in PayPaling someone $250 for a three-year-old variant of a barrel-aged stout that brewery doesn’t make anymore? And finally, what was your purpose in waiting in line for a beer, purchasing it, then paying a guy online $100 for another wax-top bomber, because you needed those two beers to complete a trade with a guy in Chicago because he had the beer you REALLY wanted?

Did you want to drink that beer alone, or maybe share them with some friends?  If so, that’s awesome.  Or did you want that beer so you could tell your friends … and better yet, strangers, that you have that beer. I mean, I know you’ll probably end up drinking it, but how much time was spent gloating over your acquisition, putting photos on social media, and sharing your spreadsheet with people in trading forums? Those things aren’t evil, wrong, or whatever, but I guess it makes me wonder where some people’s focus lies. Is it actually enjoying their beer, or just the chase, acquisition, and then the display of those white whales during a bottle share?

The Cellar Dilemma

I’m not immune to this.  I mean … I don’t do this all that much anymore, but back in the day, it got pretty bad. Brewery only releases weren’t HUGE back in 2010–2011, but I made sure to be the guy hitting up every liquor store days before a release to either get my name on a list, or hope someone I met while bartending would be the one answering the phone, and could put a few bottles aside.  Hell, I was so aggressive at it that a lot of places would automatically have a dozen or so bombers of the latest and greatest for people who knew we were automatically “on the list”. I went a 2–2½ year stretch where I bought any and every special release I could get my hands on and throw it in the “cellar”. Four, five, six bottles of some 13% ABV barrel-aged wee heavy that I had no business purchasing more than one or two of … throw it in the cellar.  By the end of 2011 I had something like $2,500 (actual retail, not secondary market prices) in beer in the “cellar” and thought “how in the flying fuck am I going to drink all this stuff?” Sure, some of that beer gains some character with age but not most of it, and that’s a ton of shit to drink before it turns south.  Long story short … a lot of that beer did, in fact, turn south.  I’ve moved around a bunch in the last few years so I was fortunate enough to have friends to help with the process that didn’t mind getting paid with those bottles so at least someone could enjoy them.

At some point I came to the realization that I was no longer interested in drinking the beer. I was interested in acquiring the beer before anyone else, telling people I had the beer, and then fawning over my collection with them.  So what did I do instead of drinking it? (Keep in mind, I did drink a bunch of it, but not at the rate that was needed. I took inventory, I organized, I made spreadsheets.  I re-organized, took new pictures, and … yes, “audited” the spread sheet when I was bored. I posted on beer forums what I had, and emailed friends and showed people print offs when we were out drinking.  I was a being a douche, and I was the guy that often bothers me now. When people asked “when are you going to drink that?”, I often didn’t have answer as to when I was going to get through 8 bottles of Boulevard Rye-on-Rye (back when that was a big “get”).

Bottle Shares Become Untappd Gloating Parties

Sure, I attended bottle shares. I would meet with friends when we all had similar beer styles, we’d sit down, put on some old movies and pop bottles all night.  That was fun. It was intimate, we would take mental notes on what we were drinking, toy around with verticals of certain bottles and debate one whether or not the fresh, one, two-, or three-year-old bottle was the ideal cellaring time for a specific brew.  It was fun because the crux of the event was the enjoyment of the product with friends, and it didn’t take any convincing to get those involved to talk about beer, trade tasting notes, and really enjoy ourselves while we dissected each sip of something really cool we picked up during our last trip out of the state.

The issue there is a lot of that changed some time ago.  Bottle shares went from a handful of people bringing in a handful of similarly styled bottles to a huge group of people bringing in a ton of bottles to the point of bringing on palate fatigue and severe intoxication before all the bottles were even popped. Trying a dozen barrel aged stouts or sour variants in a short period of time stopped being enjoyable, and having no more than an ounce or two or something offered little drinking pleasure other than the ability to check a beer off your list or add it to your Untappd profile.  There was no meaningful discussion about what was being drank. The majority of what people talked about was what was going to be opened next, and passive aggressive criticism of the few people who “only” brought in a three-year Goose Island BCS vertical or had the audacity to “only” show off of super fresh bottles/cans of Pliny the Elder or Heady Topper after their latest trips to one of the coasts.  I’d find myself being shitfaced an hour and a half in, and was no longer enjoying my one ounce pour of Side Project that someone was sharing with me because at that point I simply couldn’t taste it.

But here’s the thing.  When I show up to these shares, I sincerely appreciate the generosity of those sharing the beers with me.  I know they are expensive, and I know some people went to great lengths to get their hands on them.  I’m more than gracious to get my crack at even a few sips of Toppling Goliath, Side Project, Jester King, etc. I really am because some of those beers can be life-changing they are so good.  To those people, a heartfelt thank you.

But I feel like the people that are sharing them and tasting them aren’t really enjoying the liquid itself.  I pour my sample, swirl it around, give the beer a look up in the light, a healthy sniff, and really try to process what’s in the glass. I try to have a discussion about what we’re drinking and nobody seems to care about actually talking about the beer itself.  So many other people are just pouring it, giving it a quick sniff, pound their sample, and then that’s it. On to the next $100 bottle. No discussion about the product, outside of what they paid for it in terms of dollar amounts, time and effort, or what they traded for it.  I hear things like “last year’s was better”, “this isn’t as good since it became more available” and of course “Man, if brewery X in KC would make beers like this impossibly expensive adjunct laden barrel aged whatever and charge $50 a bottle, that’d really improve their reputation.” A lot don’t even finish the beer after a sip … they dump it and quickly move onto the next one.  Everyone always makes sure, however, to check in the beer on Untappd, and give it a rating.  I have no idea how you can adequately judge a beer after a few sips in the course of five minutes, but they do. Does it get better as it warms up? Is it true to style, or true to what the brewer was going for in terms of the concept? Does the love/hate of the beer have more to do with the actual quality of the liquid, is it a style issue, or even worse, a prejudice you have with a specific brewery? These are questions I like to answer before I feel like I can adequately judge a super complex and intense beer.

Lastly, a major issue I have here, is that you have a lot of folks at these bottle shares that only bring in out of market stuff, nothing from the city we are drinking in … or even the state.  They are often people that don’t drink locally all that often, as they wonder why their neighborhood brewery isn’t as cool as Tree House. You are also not very likely to see them out and about at local breweries either, grabbing a pale ale, or a beer on draft and supporting local beer/local bars.  They are vocal members of social media, and outside of a special beer release, you are more likely to see a bald eagle flying downtown, then you are to see them drinking a local draft beer over a plate of chicken wings while watching the Royals game.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that within the generosity and supposed camaraderie of these bottle shares, there are a considerable amount of issues I see with these groups of people that do little, if anything to support local beer and beer related businesses.

Beer for Profit Only: Secondary Market

I got into a passionate argument with someone some time ago that had hoarded a bunch of HopSlam when an unknowing liquor store employee allowed him to purchase their entire allotment of 5–6 cases.  (This is when there wasn’t quite as much HopSlam in the Missouri market). He kept two case for himself (one to drink, one to “cellar”… that’s a whole different argument), and wanted to sell the other 3–4 cases at something around twice the retail price. Bear in mind that this wasn’t some mega-white whale that someone had to take off work for, so they could travel to the brewery, wait in line, pay an exorbitant price for just a few bottles, etc. The only reason he had his HopSlam is because he beat some people to the punch in that part of town.

My argument with the man was that what he was doing was something that I thought completely went against what craft beer was trying to accomplish (this was like, early 2012).  Part of my initial love affair with craft beer was that I was a broke grad student, and I was still, from time to time, able to go out and afford a top-100, world class beer.  Sure, it was “expensive”, but a $16 four pack, or a $20 bomber was OK for the occasional splurge.  I couldn’t consistently afford it, but I was able to treat myself once in a while. Compare that to your top ranked whiskeys, wines, etc., and they often times price out the average consumer.  It’s very simple, a lower price point made even the best craft beer much more approachable for the average person.  The HopSlam hoarder was actively trying to profit only because he got to the liquor store first.

The discussion I had with this guy was a sign of things to come, where people would get their hands on beer and then just turn right around and jack up the price of the beer to something absolutely absurd. Waiting in line for a beer, winning a raffle for a brewery only release, or getting on a list for something at a liquor store often times isn’t because that person wants to drink that beer, but is going to turn around and profit on it.  I hate that, I really hate that.  You are acting in a manner that is specifically keeping people from enjoying something we all enjoy.  You are taking a $40 750 ml you got at the brewery and turning around and slinging it for a few hundred bucks, if not more.  You are no longer actively promoting craft beer, you are simply using your time and energy in obtaining beers to make an obscene profit.  Hell, I have beer drinking friends that go through “mules” who’s side job is just obtaining stuff like Russian River, The Alchemist, New Glarus, etc. and selling them on the secondary market.  Is that what we’ve come to?  Next time you’re bored, head over to My Beer Collectables or Beer Black Book and check out some of the prices of beers. I sincerely don’t get it.

Conclusion

Collect great beer. Share great beer. Celebrate great beer.  Drink great beer.  Take a day off of work and drive out to Side Project or Toppling Goliath.  Enjoy the festivities of the release and the fact that you just got your hands on some world class stuff.  But please, just ask yourself if you are doing it to enjoy the beer, or are doing it for any other myriad of reasons that have little to nothing to do with what’s in the bottle.  The former helps elevate the experience of all craft beer consumers, and the latter not only shuts people out of the process, but can even work to push some people away from this awesome thing that we all enjoy.  Oh, and while you’re at it, head down to your local tap room and grab their newest IPA.  Those guys and gals are putting a ton of work into making beers that Kansas City can be proud of.

Cheers,

Stully

The post #FOMO and the Secondary Market appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Yes, it’s time to start planning your summer beer festivals.

Boulevardia returns for Fathers Day weekend, June 15 and 16 in 2018. Tickets, and you have many options to choose from, go on sale Wednesday, February 28 at 10:00 am on the Boulevardia website.

But we are most interested in the festival within the festival, Taps & Tastes which takes place Saturday afternoon, June 16, 4:00–7:00. The lineup of visiting breweries has just been released. And there are some good ones. What might excite me even more than the lineup including Scratch Brewing from Illinois and Jester King from Austin is the venue: indoors, in Hale Arena. I spent the first hour of last year’s Taps & Tastes chasing down extra sunscreen. (Thanks to the crew at Double Shift for bailing me out.)

Breweries at Taps & Tastes for 2018
  • 18th Street Brewery
  • 2nd Shift Brewing
  • Three Weavers Brewing
  • 4 Hands Brewing
  • Avery Brewing
  • American Solera
  • August Schell Brewing
  • Austin Beerworks
  • Austin Eastciders
  • Bell’s Brewery
  • BKS Artisan Ales
  • Blackberry Farm
  • Blue Owl Brewing
  • Boulevard Brewing
  • Brasserie d’Achouffe
  • Brewery Emperial
  • Brickway Brewery & Distillery
  • Brooklyn Brewery
  • The Bruery
  • Central Standard Brewing
  • Central State Brewing
  • COOP Ale Works
  • Crane Brewing
  • Creature Comforts Brewing
  • Defiance Brewing
  • Deschutes Brewery
  • Dogfish Head
  • Duvel
  • Farnam House Brewing Company
  • Firestone Walker Brewing
  • Fonta Flora Brewery
  • Funkwerks
  • Hops & Grain Brewing
  • Infusion Brewing Company
  • Jester King Brewery
  • KC Bier Company
  • Kros Strain Brewing
  • Lagunitas Brewing
  • Lakefront Brewery
  • Liefmans
  • Logboat Brewing
  • Martin City Brewing
  • McCoy’s Public House
  • Mikkeller Baghaven
  • Narrow Gauge Brewing
  • New Belgium
  • Ommegang
  • Piney River Brewing
  • Public House Brewing
  • Samuel Adams
  • Scratch Brewing
  • Side Project Brewing
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing
  • Stem Ciders
  • Stockyards Brewing
  • Surly Brewing
  • Torn Label Brewing
  • Uinta Brewing
  • Whiner Beer
  • Zipline Brewing

While 2017 Taps & Tastes took a bit longer to sell out than in year’s past, I suggest jumping on tickets next Wednesday just in case. If the lineup won’t push the sellout, air conditioning will.

Boulevardia tickets will be available at boulevardia.com starting Wednesday, February 28 at 10:00 am.

The post Boulevardia 2018 Taps & Tastes Lineup Announced appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Best Outstate Brewery

Kansas City’s awesome. We know. But we also like to share our craft beer love with the other amazing breweries spread across Missouri and Kansas. So, we want to know your favorite breweries outside the Kansas City area, but inside our two states. (Lawrence is KC-area. Topeka and Springfield are not.) Your nominated brewery does not necessarily need to distribute their beer in KC, but it sure would be nice if they did.

Give us your pick for best Kansas or Missouri brewery!

About the Golden Tappys

This is our third year of celebrating the best of Kansas City craft beer. We will open nominations for each of the categories for one week throughout February. You will have two weeks to submit your choice either in the comments below. There’s no limit to how many nominations you can make. After all, we all have multiple favorites.

We will open voting on each category when the nomination process is over. Vote early, vote often.

Deal? Deal.

2017 Golden Tappy Categories
  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery

The post Best MO or KS Brewery Nominations for a 2017 Golden Tappy appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Best Bottle Shop

Liquor stores – and grocery stores in Missouri – have stepped up their game with a wider and deeper selection of craft beer. In Missouri, several have growler/crowler filling options too.

Now it’s time to pick your favorite place to pick up craft beer for enjoying somewhere else. Nominate your choice for the shop with the freshest selection, best staff, and best choices. Only the greatest bottle shops in Kansas City deserves your nomination!

Nominate below!

About the Golden Tappys

This is our third year of celebrating the best of Kansas City craft beer. We will open nominations for each of the categories for one week throughout February. You will have two weeks to submit your choice either in the comments below. There’s no limit to how many nominations you can make. After all, we all have multiple favorites.

We will open voting on each category when the nomination process is over. Vote early, vote often.

Deal? Deal.

2017 Golden Tappy Categories
  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery

The post Bottle Shops – Nominate the Best for a 2017 Golden Tappy appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Best Beer Bar for 2017

There’s a lot of great beer bars in Kansas City. Some are well known as craft beer destinations. Some disguise themselves as neighborhood bars or steak houses. But each and every great beer bar cares for the quality of beer flowing from its numerous, well-cared-for taps. The bottle selection is well designed, if not extensive. They all rock.

So, which is your favorite beer bar? What restaurant or bar has the best combination of quality beer selection, knowledgeable staff, and friendly atmosphere?

Nominate your choices for Best Beer Bar in 2017 below.

About the Golden Tappys

This is our third year of celebrating the best of Kansas City craft beer. We will open nominations for each of the categories for one week throughout February. You will have two weeks to submit your choice either in the comments below. There’s no limit to how many nominations you can make. After all, we all have multiple favorites.

We will open voting on each category when the nomination process is over. Vote early, vote often.

Deal? Deal.

2017 Golden Tappy Categories
  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery

The post Nominate the Best Beer Bar in Kansas City for 2017 appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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Best Small Brewery

Once again, we have a winner for Best Large Brewery. Boulevard, take a bow!

Now for everyone else: We are asking for your choice for best of the new – and established – small breweries around Kansas City. Which is your favorite? Kansas City is in a tremendous growth spurt of new establishments creating their own craft beer. And the 3- and 4-year-old breweries are really growing. But which is the best? Which is your favorite?

Nominate all your choices for Best Small Brewery below.

About the Golden Tappys

This is our third year of celebrating the best of Kansas City craft beer. We will open nominations for each of the categories for one week throughout February. You will have two weeks to submit your choice either in the comments below. There’s no limit to how many nominations you can make. After all, we all have multiple favorites.

We will open voting on each category when the nomination process is over. Vote early, vote often.

Deal? Deal.

2017 Golden Tappy Categories
  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery

The post Nominate the Best Small Brewery in KC for 2017 appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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We Want Your Opinion.

We know you have one. So let’s hear it. It’s time again to give your nominations for the best of craft beer in Kansas City: the Golden Tappys!

We are looking for your nominations in six categories for 2017. We will continue the same six categories as last year:

  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery*

*Outstate refers to breweries outside the Kansas City metro, but within Kansas or Missouri. For our purposes, KC metro is a nebulous area surrounding the city. We’ll say Lawrence is in. Topeka, Columbia and Springfield are not.

Awards, by Dave Shea via Flickr

Let’s begin!

Today marks the opening of nominations for Best Local Beer. You have one week to make your nominations.

Best Local Beer

There are some amazing beers produced in this city, and new ones every day. Old favorite from an established brewery or brand new beer from one of the young taprooms? Which is your choice for best local beer?

Please comment below for your nomination for best beer produced in Kansas City.

Nominate away!

About the Golden Tappys

This is our third year of celebrating the best of Kansas City craft beer. We will open nominations for each of the categories for one week throughout February. You will have two weeks to submit your choice either in the comments below. There’s no limit to how many nominations you can make. After all, we all have multiple favorites.

We will open voting on each category when the nomination process is over. Vote early, vote often.

Deal? Deal.

2017 Golden Tappy Categories
  • Best Local Beer
  • Best Beer Bar
  • Best Bottle Shop
  • Best Festival
  • Best Small Brewery
  • Best Outstate Brewery

The post The Best of KC Craft Beer Nominations: The Golden Tappys appeared first on KC Beer Scouts.

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