A Beer Drinker's Guide to Kansas City



By KC Beer Blog

Stop and listen, and you might notice something in Kansas City. The crescendoing sound you hear is a harmonious mix of boiling wort, clinking glasses and popped bottle caps that indicates something special: a beer revolution.


In the not-so-distant past, the Kansas City beer scene relied mainly on just three brewing entities, Boulevard Brewing Co., 75th Street Brewery and McCoy's Public House. A small handful of beer-centric bars supported the cause, but over the course of the past few years, we've seen a sharp increase in businesses that cater to hop heads (or malt maniacs?), helping to put Kansas City on the national beer map.

Martin City Brewing Co.

Martin City Brewing Co.

Of course, Boulevard Brewing Co. is still the pride and joy of Kansas City beer. A must-visit destination for visitors and a must-repeatedly-visit destination for residents, Boulevard continually earns the recognition it receives as one of the nation's top craft breweries—and an important member of our hometown.

But now, Boulevard has some neighbors. Just north of downtown, Cinder Block Brewery and The Big Rip Brewing Company have set up shop in North Kansas City, one of the KC metro's rapidly growing areas. But breweries aren't the only thing drawing attention in North Kansas City. Screenland Theatre on Armour recently underwent a transformation that made it an entertainment destination for beer nerds, adding an enviable craft beer selection to its bar, and starting the annual Arts & Crafts festival, celebrating beer, music and movies alike.

In the Waldo area, KC Bier Company has taken aim at tackling authentic German beer styles, from a crisp, refreshing Helles to a rich, malty Doppelbock. In keeping with the theme, you can pair the beers with a variety of German sausages, cheeses and breads. And don't be afraid to bring the kids; KC Bier Company is very child-friendly, with a play area in the biergarten and items like coloring books and crayons to keep the small ones occupied while you imbibe.

Traveling farther south through KC, in the Martin City district, Martin City Brewing Company is a veritable craft beer campus, with three buildings you can float between to quench your thirst AND satiate your hunger. Stop in the original pub building for a base layer of risotto balls and macaroni and cheese while sampling various beers from around the country and taking in a Sporting Kansas City game. Then walk next door to the taproom building and try Martin City's own fermented creations. Oh, and if the Abbey Ale is on tap, drink it. Trust me. After this, if you're lucky, you might even get to wander into the actual brewery building on the other side of the patio and face one of the owners in foosball.

Craft Beer Bars

The beer boom in KC doesn't stop at breweries, though. In 2012, Bier Station, the Midwest's first combo beer bar/bottle shop, was opened in an area nestled right on the Waldo and Brookside border. Voted as one of Draft Magazine's top beer bars, Bier Station is well-known for a diverse, constantly rotating tap list, and a bevy of special events that help it earn such recognition. 

Bier Station, the Midwest's first combo beer bar/bottle shop

The aforementioned McCoy's Public House continues to crank out in-house brews, while the connected, sister bar The Foundry couples craft beer with energetic nightlife; if sipping on an imperial stout while dancing the night away is your style, The Foundry might be up your alley. And the next day, if it was all a little too much, get some 'hair of the dog' treatment at Beer Kitchen, where you can pair a variety of beers with amazing food like a short rib grilled cheese. This trio of beer-centric spots (McCoy's, Foundry, Beer Kitchen) is known as BeerKC, and they also work to host two of the cities well-attended beer festivals—Westport Strong Ale Fest in the winter and Westport Beer Festival in the summer.

If The Foundry sounds a little too frenetic, never fear; a calmer, but equally pleasing option is another short walk down the road in Westport. Step into Green Room Burgers & Beer and you'll be welcomed with a friendly environment that feels like you just walked into the home of a buddy who just so happens to have a killer homebrew set up. And indeed, Green Room offers up their own series of small batch, brewed-in-house beers, in addition to other national and local favorites. Grab some friends, order up some truffle fries to share (even though you won't want to), and play some Cards Against Humanity while sipping on the latest Papa Louie creation.

McCoy's Public House in Westport

If rubbing elbows (or clinking tulip glasses) with a celebrity chef sounds like it might be up your alley, The Belfry in downtown Kansas City is a spot worth visiting. James Beard-winning chef Celina Tio opened up the beer bar (which adjoins to her restaurant Collection) in the Crossroads area early in 2014. But don't think she's trying to coast on her name and recognition; she knows her beer like she knows her food. A Certified Cicerone, she pulls together some impressive beer dinners and maintains an excellent tap list. And, you'll often find her there, working the bar and chatting it up with guests.

Jump over to the Kansas side of the metro and you will find a number of beer gems as well. In the Strawberry Hill area of Kansas City, Kansas, nostalgic arcade junkies will rejoice at the sight of the 403 Club and Barcadia on 5th, where you can sip on great beers while finally trying to nail the high score on AC/DC pinball or remembering the right series of buttons for Scorpion's Fatality on Mortal Kombat. Meanwhile in the Downtown Overland Park area, hit up one of the best happy hours in the city at Burg & Barrel, where every beer behind the bar is half off between 2 and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays. Or, if a little brewing education is more of what you're looking for, check out the unique Brew Lab, where you can get a hands-on brewing experience right in the store (think Build-A-Bear, but for beer).

And the best part of all of this? It's just the beginning. More breweries are being established. More bars and businesses are opening up with beer on the brain. That noise will continue to grow, because here in Kansas City, beer drinkers are thirsty, loud and ready to be heard.

Bars in KC

Affäre Restaurant

At Affäre, we are proud to offer our guests a modern German dining experience. We believe in cooking farm-to-table food and source our products and produce from local farms and suppliers in the Kansas City area. Our seasonal menu is always fresh, with a contemporary German influence. Join us for these feature meals: daily for Happy Hour; Thursday nights seasonal four-course dinner with wine/beer pairing; Sunday family-style dinner

Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet

The best film, food and drink, all in one seat. When you see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, you get cold drinks, delicious meals and tasty local beers, brought directly to your theatre seat by a server. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet’s menu features burgers, pizzas, salads, snacks and desserts prepared fresh from locally-sourced ingredients.

Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements

The House of Meat For a century, Kansas City has perfected its version of “low and slow” and we pay homage to the many great pit masters who have gone before us. The use of charring, smoking and grilling with wood has been a universal age-old method for both sustenance and socializing Our mission was to build a place that would combine our love of great beer with the soulful cuisine of Kansas City barbecue.

Cinder Block Brewery

You are invited to stop by our taproom for a glass of hand crafted beer. Stay a while and connect to the free wifi and walk around the brewery to see all the processes going on.

Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue - Lee's Summit

We've brought the finest in traditional Kansas City barbecue to Lee's Summit with our newest restaurant in SummitWoods Crossing. Dine inside or kick back, relax and enjoy our legendary hickory-roasted barbecue with family and friends on our beautiful patio. Or, if you prefer, take advantage of our convenient carryout service. No matter how you like your Jack Stack, it's a memorable dining beyond expectation. Mon-Thu. 11am-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 11am-10:30pm, Sun. 11am-9pm ◦Cozy, Warm Atmosphere ◦Outdoor Patio ◦Fireplace Dining ◦Convenient Carryout Service ◦Accommodations for Large Groups

Grains & Taps

Our taproom features a wide variety of beers brewed in-house alongside craft beers from around the world, a full bar and pizza.

Martin City Brewing Company

Martin City Brewing Company is Kansas City’s newest family owned restaurant and pub. It sits nestled in Martin City, near the train tracks. Martin City Brewing Company has a one of a kind food menu with top-notch chefs on staff. There are over 50 different brews to choose from. Not only will one find a cozy space inside the pub, but one can enjoy the beer garden and live music on any given weekend night.

Ponak's Mexican Kitchen & Bar

We invite you to sample the finest Mexican food in Kansas City. Our recipes are influenced by the Sonora region of Mexico, steeped in tradition and flavor for hundreds of years. We use only the finest ingredients and prepare them fresh throughout the day. It takes a little extra time and effort, but we think our customers are worth it. We appreciate your business. Thanks for visiting with us.

Providence New American Kitchen

Providence New American Kitchen is a full-service contemporary American restaurant featuring locally sourced ingredients located in the lower-level of the historic Hilton Hotel President in downtown Kansas City. Based on the rich history of the restaurant’s location, Providence New American Kitchen creates a warm atmosphere incorporating reclaimed wood and colorful art prints depicting the nation’s history.

Tannin Wine Bar + Kitchen

Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen is your local, urban destination located in the Crossroads Art District and conveniently located 'down the hill' from our new neighbors at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. Enjoy a glass of wine from our "well researched and extensive wine list". Whether a novice wanting to explore or an avid wine drinker, we offer wines by the taste, glass or bottle, to satisfy everyone’s palate. Don’t forget to savor the seasonal, contemporary American cuisine prepared by Executive Chef, Pablo Muñoz-Sevilla.