A Guide to Kansas City's Craft Brewery Culture
Known for barbecue, jazz and fountains, local breweries have transformed Kansas City into one of the fastest-growing craft beer destinations in the country. Get to know each one before visiting.
Crossroads Arts District
- Border Brewing Company: Border produces a wide variety of beer styles that are approachable and complex in flavor, perfect for both amateurs and aficionados.
- Brewery Emperial: Known for its satisfying tap tastes, expansive patio and exceptional dining menu, Brewery Emperial is quickly becoming a staple in the Crossroads Arts District.
- Casual Animal Brewing: Small-batch session beers are the specialty at this cozy Crossroads hangout.
- City Barrel: The newest brewery in the Crossroads specializes in interesting beers, from the hoppy to the sour to the wild.
- Double Shift Brewing Company: Originally founded as a “second shift” job by a local firefighter, Double Shift is a laid-back brewery that crafts unique beers of all kinds.
- Torn Label Brewing Company: Torn Label’s 15-barrel brewhouse and stellar limited release selections make it a popular weekend destination.
Downtown Core + Surrounding Neighborhoods
- Alma Mader Brewing: Hop-forward lagers and ales are the specialty in this Southwest Boulevard brewery that blends tradition, innovation and approachability.
- BKS Artisan Ales: Brookside’s friendly neighborhood brewery comes complete with a sunlit tasting room and everything from Belgian-inspired beers to English-style tastes.
- Boulevard Brewing Co.: Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Co. has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, with its beers being sold in nearly 40 states coast-to-coast. Swing by the Beer Hall to tour the facility and to sample its full rotation of beers and exclusive test tastes.
- Green Room Burgers & Beer: A neighborhood favorite in every sense, Green Room Burgers & Beer is exactly what you want in a local watering hole thanks to locally sourced fare and lovingly crafted beers.
- KC Bier Co.: One of the most popular breweries in the region, KC Bier Co. specializes in authentic, German-style lagers and ales—and touts a one-of-a-kind Biergarten in Waldo.
- Stockyards Brewing Co.: The spirit of the KC’s Western heritage and West Bottoms history live on in Stockyards’ bar and taproom, where guests toast to a diverse offering of beers.
- Strange Days Brewing Co.: International styles shine in this River Market hotspot that’s rapidly become home base for many of Kansas City’s most passionate soccer fans.
North Kansas City
- Big Rip Brewing Company: Big Rip brews up a wide variety of unique flavors, including sci-fi and horror movie-themed beer styles.
- Calibration Brewery: Equal parts lounge and brewhouse, Calibration Brewery offers beer enthusiasts a great hangout spot to sample one of 16 craft beers on tap.
- Callsign Brewing: Founded by veterans, each beer at this North Kansas City brewery is named for a different military vehicle—a tribute to American servicemembers.
- Cinder Block Brewing Co.: Cinder Block pours up everything from balanced session beers to rye wheats and ciders on a regular basis.
Other Regional Breweries
- 3 Trails Brewing Co.: Borrowing from Independence's rich pioneer history, 3 Trails marks another sign of Independence Square's recent resurgence.
- Amerisports Brew Pub: Head to this impressive pub helmed by an award-winning brewer for delicious beers and wall-to-wall sports action housed in Ameristar Casino.
- Apex Aleworks: Based in Independence, this microbrewery is known for its experimental flavors, including the oyster stout and coconut milk stout.
- Atlas Sloon Brewery: Travel to nearby Excelsior Springs to sample beer made using the town's famous water. The saloon itself is a marvel, as it's been in the same spot since 1894, when it first served as a Schlitz Beer bar.
- Crane Brewing: Native to Raytown, Crane specializes in farmhouse ales and sour beers, with an emphasis on unique flavors, such as tea leaves and beets.
- Dubious Claims Brewing Company: Also based in Excelsior Springs, Dubious Claims borrows its name from the countless exaggerations made in the early 20th century about the healing properties of the city's mineral water. There's nothing suspicious about the beer, however.
- East Forty Brewing: Find a reliable stable of diverse beers and other rotating specials at this hip brewery based in Blue Springs.
- Martin City Brewing Company: Martin City Brewing Company is a south Kansas City establishment that triples as a pub, pizza place and brewery with a solid, thirst-quenching beer selection.
- Weston Brewing Company: The perfect stop on a day trip to Weston, this brewery heralds history and Irish heritage in one of the region's most charming destinations. Stick around for live music and more fun in O'Malley's 1842 Pub.
- Brew Lab: This incomparable Overland Park hybrid is part taproom, restaurant and experimental playground for aspiring homebrewers to learn about the craft beer creation process.
- Limitless Brewing: Craft beer is just the beginning at this Lenexa-based, community-minded brewery, which hosts everything from yoga and running clubs to volunteer events and holiday meals, 365 days a year.
- Red Crow Brewing Company: A reliable rotation of this Olathe brewery’s year-round beers vary from pale ale to rye porter, all bolstered by strong seasonal additions.
- Sandhills Brewing: Sample specialty ales and other unique releases such as barrel-aged brews in the Mission or Hutchison taprooms.
- Servaes Brewing Company: Kansas City's only female-fronted brewery is based in Shawnee and offers a menu without a flagship beer—meaning plenty of new flavors to try all year.
- Transport Brewery: Based in Shawnee, Transport features 12 taps, cider and wine, with initial offerings including a coffee stout and a berliner weisse with lime and cherry flavors.
- Fringe Beerworks: Entrenched in the heart of bustling Downtown Lee’s Summit, Fringe Beerworks is the first brewery in the city’s 150-plus-year history.
- Grains & Taps Brewery and Taproom: Stock up on homebrew supplies while you’re at Grains & Taps—and, of course, sample one of the many beers on draft.
- New Axiom Brewing Company: The latest addition to Lee’s Summit’s brewing scene offers an excellent selection of brews for any palate.
- Smoke Brewing Co.: A favorite of both barbecue lovers and beer aficionados, Smoke Brewing Co. is taking the brewpub concept to new heights right in the middle of Downtown Lee’s Summit.
Kansas City Tap Tour
What better way is there to enjoy the Kansas City craft beer scene while also earning discounts and prizes every pint of the way?
Pick up your KC Tap Tour Guidebook for only $10 at participating purchase locations to sample beer from 23 area breweries. Season 3 runs through Nov. 4, 2019.