The Pitch’s metro brewery tour guide: 2022 Mega-Edition

Between meads, hazy IPAs, stouts, and wild fermentation beers—Kansas City has it all. The greater KC area is packed with diverse pints, so we are bringing you the ultimate metro brewery tour guide. We’ll let you know which ones serve food, where to find patios, and the styles of beers available. 

Buckle up, get a designated driver, and let’s go.

To kick off the tour, we’ll start in Olathe, KS at Black Labs (15833 S. Mahaffie Street). Black Labs is a local meadery that is only open on Saturday and Sunday, but find them on Instagram so you can be sure to stay updated on brewery closings.

This team has over 10 years experience creating meads, and if you haven’t tried it before, it is sweet fermented honey water. Their flavors range from sweet apple crumble, to pink guava, to their MBBQ, which has a sweet and smoky finish. The name Black Labs pays homage to their own black labradors, Zak and Petey, who you can see throughout their website and social media.

Their taproom is on the smaller side, so there are no individual tables to sit down and have a glass. However, they can accommodate one to two groups at the bar at a time for tastings, so keep this in mind when adding Black Labs to your brewery tour list. The taproom is small, and they do not offer food, but their meads are out of this world.

Next, we’re going to Red Crow Brewing (1062 W Santa Fe St.). Red Crow has a nice selection of classic beers such as pale ales, wheats, porters, IPAs, lagers, etc. They also have zero-proof beverages, cocktails, wine, and food from Casual Foodie. The inside is fairly spacious, and there is a nice fenced-in back patio. 

The third Olathe brewery—anticipated to open soon—is Tall Trellis Brew Co. (25600 W. Valley Parkway)—a taproom, coffee cafe, and hopyard. They have their own beers on tap as well as options from several other local establishments.

Now we’ll hit the road to Shawnee and Mission—Shawnee is the home to four breweries, and Mission is home to two—and they aren’t far from one another.

Pathlight Brewing (1200 W. 75th St.) has some nice classic beers as well as fun wild ales—notably, a wild saison with malbec grapes and a wild grisette with muscat grapes. They also have spirits (mostly whisky), cider, and non-alcoholic options. They carry a few snacks and usually have a food truck on weekends. For the really nice days, enjoy one of their innovative brews on their outdoor patio.

Transport

Transport Brewery. // Photo by Alana Broyles

The next Shawnee brewery we’ll introduce you to is Transport Brewery (11113 Johnson Drive), open seven days a week with lovely classics including a German-style Kolsch, stouts, IPAs, lagers, and more. They even have a cask beer program. Food trucks can usually be seen throughout the week. A second location in Gardner, KS is expected to open soon.

The third Shawnee brewery is only half a block from Transport, and that is Servaes Brewing Co. (10921 Johnson Drive). They have a more unique beer lineup, from pickle-flavored to peanut butter. Servaes Brewing Co. is always creating fun, exceptional concoctions. The taproom isn’t the largest, but they do have seats at the bar and a few tables. They also make their own non-alcoholic sodas, which are just as playful as their beers. Though they don’t serve food, there are restaurants close by.

Right across the street you’ll find Friction Beer Co. (11018 Johnson Drive), where the old Hartman Hardware space used to be. They are scheduled to open later this year.

Travel east on Johnson Drive into Mission, KS, and you’ll run into both Rockcreek Brewing Co. and Sandhills Brewing. Rockcreek Brewing (5880 Beverly Ave.) has a spacious taproom with a large patio and outside area. They also cater to the classic beer styles and typically host food trucks.

Sandhills Brewing (5612 Johnson Drive) can be found just a few blocks down from Rockcreek. They have another location in Hutchinson, KS and focus on oak-fermented and specialty beers. They also have some classic styles like the West Coast IPA, imperial stout, and brown ale. Sandhills has a cozy taproom with beautiful bird murals on the walls as well as a small patio space. Though they do not serve food, they occasionally invite a food truck.

Jump back into your car, because we’re heading to Lenexa. Our first stop is Lost Evenings Brewing Company (8625 Hauser Ct) where they create classic beers with a slight twist. They don’t have a kitchen, but you can order pizza from next door at Gambino’s Pizza. Their taproom is a well lit and has a large space with several pub games.

Our second Lenexa stop is Limitless Brewing (9765 Widmer Rd, but soon to be 9500 Dice Ln). Limitless also carries unique twists to the classic styles of beer, such as a banana vanilla stout and a strawberry shortcake cream ale. They have a nice sized taproom with a large back brewhouse that also offers seating. They don’t serve food, but one Friday each month they will feature specials from a local pizza place.

Our last Kansas stop is in the heart of downtown Overland Park at Brew Lab Brewery & Taproom (7925 Marty St.). Brew Lab has a full bar that includes a variety of wine, cocktails, and spirit options. They also have an better-than-expected food menu. Not only can you grab lunch in the taproom, but you can brew your own beer on site.

…Leaving Kansas… Welcome to Missouri…

For the second half of our trip we’ll travel up I-35N to the Stockyards District in the West Bottoms. Stockyards Brewing Co. (1600 Genessee St. Ste 100) found their home in the original Golden Ox location.

Stockyards

Stockyards Brewing Co. // Photo by Alana Broyles

Not wanting to lose the history of the building, Stockyards has done a fantastic job keeping the authentic character and decor alive with it’s stained-glass drop ceiling over the bar and the beautiful stockyard murals on the walls. Stockyards Brewing serves the classic styles of beer—the lager, stout, IPA, etc. They also serve various whiskies. They do not serve food but a food truck will often appear on Sundays. They are also opening a second location in Overland Park, KS.

Next we’ll travel along Southwest Boulevard to a well-known brewery to (almost) every Kansas Citian, Boulevard Brewing Co. (2534 Madison Ave). Boulevard offers a variety of beer styles, a food menu, brewery tours, and entertainment in their Beer Hall. 

Just down the street is our third KCMO stop, Alma Mader Brewing (2635 Southwest Blvd.). Alma Mader is known for their crisp pilsner and lager beers, but they also have IPAs and pale ales. Alma Mader also offers a few NA choices as well as snacks. Their taproom is large and open, adorned with plants and a beautiful flower mural.

Just a hop, skip, and a jump away is our fourth Missouri stop—Rochester Brewing & Roasting Co. (2129 Washington St.). Rochester Brewing is brewery, coffee roastery, and event space. Rochester’s space is big—really big—and beautiful with the natural light greeting you from the front windows. They display local artists’ work on their walls as well. Their beer list is long with classics and a few unique styles. They also have a large coffee and tea menu, with a few snacks. 

From here we will take you into the Crossroads Art District, which is home to eight breweries. Brewery Emperial (1829 Oak St.) is a gorgeous location. Their patio and outdoor space is fenced in and has heaters for the colder days, but it is exceptionally perfect for the summer. They have a full menu, bar, and of course house made beers.

Casualanimal 1

Casual Animal. // Photo by Alana Broyles

Next we’ll walk 600 ft to Casual Animal Brewing (1725 McGee St.). Casual Animal has one of the most gorgeous taprooms in Kansas City. String lights, tons of natural light, and plants galore. The vibe here is extremely laid back, and their beer matches. They create unique beers but also have several classic styles. Everyone will find something they enjoy at Casual Animal. They don’t have an extensive food menu, but there are a few snacks you can order.

Just one more block away are our next three breweries: Red Sash Brewing (406 E 18th St.), Double Shift Brewing (412 E 18th St.), and Nimble Brewing (1735 Oak St.).

While Red Sash Brewing sticks to the more classic styles of beer (IPA, pale ale, stout, etc.), Nimble Brewing serves several sour/fruited beers, and Double Shift serves classic styles with a twist (such as their Ordiata—an horchata milk stout—and Run-Around Rye beer). The taprooms are cozy, spacious, and inviting. None of these breweries serve food, but there are several restaurants right around the corner.

Neighboring these breweries is Border Brewing Co. (512 E 18th St.). Border’s new location still has the same exposed brick look and garage doors, just with some added freshness. Their beers stay true to the classics; stout, IPAs, blonde ales, etc., but they’ll always have something new. They have created a fun home away from home rental upstairs called Art Alley Attic (find them on IG). This additional private loft space can accommodate up to 14 guests. 

From here, we will head to City Barrel Brewery + Kitchen (1740 Holmes St.). City Barrel is more known for their hoppy, wild, and sour beers. Not into sours? No problem. Try one of their New England IPAs that literally tastes like a glass of orange juice. City Barrel also has a full bar and an extensive food menu, prepared by Chef Benjamin Wood. They’ve created a fun outdoor sidewalk space, and there is a small balcony patio available for seating. 

A little off the beaten path is Torn Label Brewing Co. (1708 Campbell St.). Torn Label sticks to the classic styles of beer but with their own angles. They also opened Public House in early 2021, which is an added taproom space with a menu serving elevated pub food. They also plan special dinners for which you can purchase tickets. 

Next, we’ll move towards the Jazz District at 18th and Vine, home to Vine Street Brewing (2000 Vine St). Vine Street is Kansas City’s FIRST Black-owned brewery and is set to open later this year. While waiting to open, they have collaborated with Pathlight Brewing in Shawnee and Red Crow Brewing in Olathe, and plan to team up with more breweries.

As we exit the Jazz District, we head north towards the River Market where there are two breweries. When walking up to Strange Days Brewing Co. (316 Oak St.), you are greeted with a strange and unusual wood paneling mural outside. The interior is wide open with a wall of old TVs and a relaxing sitting area. Their beers are fun and cheeky, which reflect their taproom so well. Once you decide to visit, make sure it’s on a Friday so you can catch their comedy night. Strange Days does not offer food, but they have bar snacks and occasionally invite a food truck.

Riverbluff2

River Bluff Brewing in River Market. // Photo by Alana Broyles

The second River Market brewery is River Bluff Brewing (201 Main St., Ste. 101), which won a silver medal in 2019 at the Great American Beer Festival. They have a nice classic beer selection that anyone will enjoy, plus a few distinctive beers. River Bluff’s satellite River Market location opened February 2022. They do plan to have a kitchen run by a partnering food establishment. They also have a smaller patio for additional seating.

Next, we’ll head across the bridge to NKC, where five breweries call home. Big Rip Brewing Co. (216 E. 9th Ave.) has a taproom for horror/sci-fi fans, decorated with a chainsaw above the bar—similar to the one in Evil Dead—and their own “cabin in the woods” in the back room that patrons can hang out in. Their beers are both intriguing and traditional, appealing to all beer drinkers. Big Rip does not serve food, but right next door is Hawg Jaw BBQ where you can order from a kiosk inside the taproom.

Bigrip

Big Rip. // Photo by Alana Broyles

Across the street is Outlaw Cigar & Brewery (309 E. 10th Ave). Not only can you enjoy a refreshing classic beer, but you can have a glass of whisky and a cigar. Outlaw Cigar & Brewery has only been open since November, but they have definitely made a mark in NKC. They don’t serve food but will have catered events from time to time.

The third NKC brewery we’ll visit is Callsign Brewing (1340 Burlington Street). This veteran-owned brewery recently moved locations to a much bigger space. They have partnered with Wolfepack BBQ to serve food alongside one of their tasty beverages. 

Cinder Block Brewery (110 E. 18th Ave) is the fourth brewery that takes up residence in NKC. Cinder Block has an intriguing lineup of beers that include the classics as well as fruit beers and ciders. Their space is made up of their taproom, reclamation room, and back patio, so there is plenty of room to sit and enjoy one of their flavorful brews. They do not serve food, but there are several restaurants around that you can bring inside.

Calibration Brewery (119 Armour Rd.) is right around the corner from Cinder Block Brewery. They have a huge outdoor patio space alongside their large taproom. They serve food and classic beers with a full bar. 

From NKC we’ll head north to Liberty where 3Halves Brewing Co. (110 E. Kansas St.) resides. 3Halves has a full bar and has partnered with Jousting Pigs BBQ to be able to serve tasty barbecue alongside their crafted brews. Most of their beers are traditional styles, but occasionally they will have innovative one-off concoctions. Their taproom is fairly large with ample seating, and they do have an open outdoor area.

Indpendence claims two breweries—3 Trails Brewing (111 N. Main St.) is located on a corner lot on the Independence Square downtown. Their taproom is open with plenty of seating and a view of their brewhouse. While visiting 3 Trails you can check out several art studios within the building as well as their golf simulator. Their beer stays true to the classic American styles, and you can grab some flatbread pizzas from Flying Horse Taproom.

Apex

Apex Aleworks. // Photo by Alana Broyles

While visiting Apex Aleworks (4354 S. Noland Rd.), you can order a traditional style beer with a pizza or panini, and you can go next door to shop for home brew and barbecue supplies. Apex is adorned with some fun murals on the walls and a stage where comedians and musicians alike come to entertain. They also host monthly home brew classes where you can learn to brew on site.

Heading a little further east, we reach Wind Shift Brewing (3421 NW Jefferson St. Ste. B) in Blue Springs, MO. Wind Shift is one of two breweries in Blue Springs, and they serve classic beers and ciders with their own personal touch. They also offer coffee and a few food items. Additionally, Wind Shift has an open patio to enjoy one of their delicious brews outdoors.

The second Blue Springs brewery, East Forty Brewing (1201 W Main St.), has a spacious covered outdoor space, a full food menu, a full bar that includes NA beverages, and their handcrafted beer that is a mix of non-traditional and classic styles. They also have a private event space available to rent.

Since we’re already out this way, let’s head east just a little further where we’ll reach Grain Valley’s only brewery, Iron Kettle Brewing (508 S. Main St.). Iron Kettle serves food and cocktails along with their handcrafted fresh beers. They also have a pleasant outdoor patio space for patrons to hang out and enjoy their beverages.

As we make our way south, we’ll run into Lee’s Summit, MO where there are five breweries. The first is The Goat Brewing Co. (817 NE Rice Rd.). The Goat Brewing Co. is the newest Lee’s Summit brewery to have opened, celebrating their one year anniversary in 2022. They do not have a kitchen, but they do have the occasional food trucks. The Goat’s beers are more on the traditional side, but they have been experimenting with beer menu. 

Diametric

Diametric Brewing Company. // Photo by Alana Broyles

Just three minutes from The Goat is Diametric Brewing Company (949 NE Columbus St.). Diametric has a more innovative beer menu as well as a few traditional styles. Their outdoor patio overlooks a small pond, and they have partnered with Burn Theory Fire Kitchen to serve patrons craft barbecue with their craft beer.

From Diametric we go towards downtown Lee’s Summit where three breweries are located, and within walking distance of each other. We’ll start at Fringe Beerworks (located at 224 SE Douglas St.). Fringe does not serve food, has a smaller taproom with a back area where you can play a few games, and a unique beer menu plus a few guest taps. 

Next is Smoke Brewing Co. (located at 209 SE. Main St.). Smoke Brewing has a full food menu, full bar that includes a very extravagant Bloody Mary, and handcrafted traditional beer styles plus a few guest taps. They also have a large outdoor patio that you can sit and enjoy a cold beverage on those hot summer nights!

The third downtown Lee’s Summit brewery is Grains & Taps Brewery and Taproom (located at 10 SW 3rd St.). Grains & Taps has a wide selection of handcrafted beers that are both unique and true to the traditional style. They also offer wine, cocktails, and a food menu of thin crust pizzas. They have a smaller patio and they also have a second location but it is for home brew supplies only. 

As we exit Lee’s Summit we head into Raytown, MO, home of Crane Brewing Co. (located at 6515 Railroad St.). Crane is mostly known for their farmhouse, sour, and tart beers, though they still have a few of the classic styles for those that aren’t as adventurous. They sometimes will have a food truck, but on Saturday’s they partner with Harp BBQ to serve all the smoked meats in their barrel room. They also have enlisted Rock Island Coffee to serve coffee and pastries.

Withdrawing from Raytown, we head south towards Belton, MO. Belton is the home to one brewery, Broken Hatchet Brewing (located at 422 Main St.), who just recently opened. Broken Hatchet’s taproom is decently sized for you to sit back and relax in, either at a table, the bar, or their couch area. Their beer selection is composed of mostly traditional style beers, plus a few experimental brews. Broken Hatchet does not serve food, but there are several restaurants in the area you can pick up food from and take to the brewery. 

Transparent

Transparent Brewing Company. // Photo by Alana Broyles

Traveling north from Belton, we head to Grandview, MO where Transparent Brewing Company (located at 14501 White Ave.) calls home. Transparent Brewing shares a building with The Chive, Simply Good Cafe/Market so you can order food while enjoying a couple of their unique beers. They have a covered outdoor patio and an area for dogs to play outside. Also, if  you check out their website there is a tab for homebrew recipes of beers they’ve had on draught, too!

Continuing north we reach Martin City Brewing Co. (located at 410 E. 135th St.) in Martin City/Kansas City, MO. Martin City Brewing has five locations, and is one of 40 local vendors that will be featured at KCI. They have their brewery and taproom, plus their Coast to Coast pub in Martin City, they have two taprooms in Lee’s Summit, and one in Mission Farms. Their food menus consist of stone-fired pizzas and elevated sandwiches, burgers, and mac & cheese. Their beer menu is formulated of both nontraditional and classic styles; with their core beers, seasonal, and limited releases.

Staying north, we reach the Waldo/Brookside area where two breweries have settled down and established themselves. Kansas City Bier Co. (located at 310 W. 79th St.), who specializes in refreshing German style biers with traditional German brewing, is in the heart of Waldo. Their taproom is cozy with long picnic tables for seating and they have a large outdoor space with extra room to take a seat. They do have a food menu that includes bratwursts, pretzels, and kraut! Also, if capacity allows, your friendly four-legged drinking buddy can join you on the outdoor patio.

A few minutes away in Brookside, BKS Artisan Ales (located at 633 E 63rd St.) has planted their roots. BKS has a smaller taproom, but they do have an outdoor space for additional seating. They do not serve food, but you can bring your own. Their beer menu includes traditional styles but with a wild and whimsical twist.

Our second to last brewery on the tour is Green Room KC (located at 4010 Pennsylvania Ave.) in Westport. Green Room’s handcrafted beers are made up of mostly traditional styles. They are currently undergoing a rebrand, so be sure to follow them on social media to stay up to date!  

The last brewery on our metro tour takes us to Martini Corner, to Ebert Brothers Brewing (located at 400 E. 31st St.) inside Brickhouse. Ebert Brothers is a small batch brewery that creates a mix of traditional and experimental beers that you can get on tap at Brickhouse. There is a full bar and they also serve food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have a lighted back outdoor space, plus an upstairs with extra seating.

We hope you have found somewhere new to try that you haven’t before, and possibly some beer styles that you love. As Kansas City grows, so does our craft beer scene. Keep your eyes peeled for what is more to come from this community.

* indicates a brewery that was not yet open to the public when this article was written.

Categories: Beer & Spirits

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