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The best breweries in Kansas City

Great beer is just a natural extension of great BBQ and great football. Here are the best breweries in Kansas City right now.

Written by
Brock Wilbur
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Kansas City conjures visions of unending BBQ meats and perhaps some major football victories, ut the city's rising beer scene keeps breaking through to garner national attention, as this centrally located hub offers cheap real estate for upstart operations and a tight-knit community of supportive brewers. This is a great city for honing your brewing skills, and the people of Kansas City reap the benefits. If you're swinging through town, hit up our list of best bars, restaurants, and museums in town, but absolutely don't forget about these exceptional breweries in Kansas City.
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Best breweries in Kansas City

The crown jewel of Kansas City, Boulevard is more than just a brewery, it's a huge chunk of the city's identity. With capacity reaching an estimated 600,000 barrels, the brewery is now one of the largest craft brewers in the Midwest, and ships to almost every state. Space Camper Cosmic IPA, the Hazy American Classic, and the award-winning Tank 7 are where you should start, and then follow your instincts as you head into deeper waters. The tour of the brewery is free and a top-notch experience. If you want credit for visiting KC, you have to have a drink within these walls. 

Alma Mader is dedicated to very specific flavors. Here is where to get a drink if you understand the nuanced differences between an Italian-style pilsner and a Czech-style pilsner (or if you want to learn). When you find the beverage that hits your spot, you'll spend the rest of your time refilling that pint. We like You're Being Watchedm a triple IPA which was made in collaboration with BKS Artisan Ales.

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You won't find any wild experimentation here, just solid IPAs, sours and other brews. Recommendations include Adulting which uses Japanese rice to add spice into a lager, and the pale ale Recovery Beer which has hints of mango and is packed with electrolytes. Plus, the food items and cocktails are just as worth trying as the beer. 

Bier Co makes only authentic tasting German-style beer brewed with malt and hops imported directly from Germany. Besides being local, the beer is also unpasteurized, unfiltered, and naturally carbonated to protect freshness. Make sure to pair your selection with some sauerkraut on a hotdog or a gigantic pretzel from the similarly authentic German food menu.

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BKS Artisan Ales mixes traditional and experimental styles to produce barrel-aged, sour, hop-forward, and farmhouse ales with a number of limited release beers, which mean the bartenders can only serve a limited amount, so savor each sip. Don't leave without trying the Double Holstein, a Caribean take on the style—with chocolate, coffee, and coconut flavors—that you won't soon forget. 

Bold flavors with Euro heritage can be found at Crane, where the beers are usually aged in wood or steel until they've reached perfection. The in-house laboratory is always working to develop yeasts that will yield flavors that push the limits of their categories. It's the kind of place where your farmhouse ale might have hints of tea or maybe your pour will have a bit of beets that you weren't expecting. Even without taking your first sip, you can recognize a Crane beer by how outrageously colorful they are—a visual representation of the flavor spectrum Crane strives toward.

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With names like Monk & Honey and Darkest Timeline, you know you're in for a creative journey at Torn Label. The brewery sets out to create brews that entice craft beer novices and aficionados alike with fresh and exciting flavors and by focusing on the traditions of German and Belgium breweries paired together with American innovations. The facilities produce a massive amount of liquid hops that are only distributed within the KC area. 

With a low-key, intimate setting, Fringe is the first brewery in Lee's Summit. The building has been around since 1926 and much of the original design remains. Similarly, the folks behind Fringe are keen to add a bit of old-school charm to their projects. Grab the milkshake beer or the grapefruit beer if they're in stock when you come through. The menu only gets odder from there. 

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This pub-and-pizza-place combo is where you can grab a Chicago-style beef sandwich or the signature Blood Mary burger and also sample your way through an entire beer lineup. Frequent visitors should also consider the beer membership program which comes with the ability to reserve your own kegs. 

This Crossroads area staple features thoughtfully crafted beers with an emphasis on traditional styles. You'll find a mix of American and European beers, including bitters and saisons. Moderately priced options, a large outdoor area, and a menu of multi-course plates makes for a worthwhile sojourn.

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Based in the Stockyards District, this recent addition to the community doesn't dwell on the craft angle. They'd prefer to make good, unpretentious beer for hardworking people. Stockyards Brewing specialize in pilsners, IPAs, and ales, although their output is never limited by what they've made in the past. Its brews are best paired with the live bluegrass that so often takes place at the brewery. 

Green Room is KC's oldest locally-owned brewery. The restaurant has a lengthy menu of options ranging from bite-sized burgers on up the scale to extravagant french fry platters that you and your friends could never finish in a single sitting. On the beverage side, Green Room features small batches of whatever the owners are currently crushing on — featuring ales and lagers on draft, in bottles, and real ale in firkins. The bar is connected to the city's best improv comedy theater, in case you want to tie one on and enjoy a few laughs.

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