In contrast to last year’s pouring rain, the weather for Saturday’s 8th annual Parkville Microbrewfest was spectacular – warm and sunny with very light breeze. Because of the beautiful weather I was able to talk a crew of friends into joining me at the Brewfest. With 32 breweries present, I had to have a plan of action to make sure I tasted the beers I wanted – and lived to tell the tale. So, I decided to focus on those breweries whose beer I could not buy in the Kansas City area –those beers that I would not otherwise have a chance to taste. At the end of the day, my two favorite brewers were Blind Tiger from Topeka Kansas (my favorite last year) and Upstream from Omaha, Nebraska.
Blind Tiger brought their Maibock, and ran out of it quickly – it was an obvious favorite of all. But more interesting was their “backpack beer.” Yes, they roamed the crowd with a backpack full of a new beer they were introducing – a Whiskey Porter. Now, I usually steer away from the porters and stouts, but I did taste this beer and loved it. It was full of a deep cherry taste. The Whiskey Porter was a favorite among the wine lovers in our group. Also distributed through backpack was the Live at the Fillmore IPA. I spoke with one of the brewers who told me they crafted 47 new beers each year. While I am not sure how many of these make it to market, this willingness to try new experiments is one of the reasons they brew such wonderful beer. My crew will soon be taking a road trip to Topeka to visit The Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant (blindtiger.com).
Upstream Brewing featured four beers, among them their Children of the Peppercorn Saison. I am not beer savvy enough to know what makes a Saison,but I do know that this was my favorite beer of the day – or was at minimum a tie with Stone Brewing’s Double Black IPA. Upstream also introduced their Grand Cru at the festival – my wine-loving friends appreciated it, but for me it tasted like someone poured a glass of Chardonnay in my beer. Upstream also offered a pale ale, a brown ale and a Horse Feathers Rye Beer, which was a wonderful introduction into the world of rye beers.
- Stone ran out of the Arrogant Bastard Ale early on, but replaced it with the afore-mentioned Double Black IPA. Yum!
- Bourbon Barrell Oatmeal Stout from Empyrean in Lincoln NE was extra tasty.