Boulevard’s Funky Pumpkin and Funkier Pumpkin hit, new Tasting Room beers arrive in 12-packs, and more beer news

Somehow, it’s already fall beer season — as in, time for pumpkin beers. Funky Pumpkin, Boulevard’s first foray into autumn’s favorite squash, has already started showing up on taps around the city, and you’ll see it soon in six-packs. The brewhouse-soured ale is an easy drinker. You hear the word sour and you think of that acidic bite, but this is smooth on the tongue. There’s a little bit of the pumpkin pie spice, especially allspice on the back end, but this ale isn’t overpowered by pumpkin flavor.

Following soon after, in 750-ml bottles on store shelves, is Funkier Pumpkin, a tart beer with brettanomyces and Thanksgiving-friendly notes (nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice). Boulevard provided me an early bottle (8.5 percent ABV, 15 IBUs), and if I had to pick, I’d go Funkier Pumpkin. It pours a dark orange, and I could see some sediment floating in my glass. The brett adds intriguing complexity, and the spices really pop out. There’s a tartness here, but it won’t wreck your tongue. I like the bit of warmth on the finish too. I’ll be socking away one or two for Thanksgiving.

Boulevard’s Sample 12-packs are also making their way into rotation. Joining year-rounders 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat and Pale Ale are Tasting Room beers Milk Stout and Rosemary IPA. You’ll be able to get those only in the Sample set or on draft inside the new Boulevard Tours & Rec Center. (I’ve had the Milk Stout, and it’s a fine hit of chocolatey, caramelly goodness.)

Tallgrass to scale up High Plains Brewhoff winner
Tallgrass will scale-up the winner of the annual High Plains Brewhoff homebrew competition (September 24 in downtown Overland Park). It’s the stuff of homebrewer fantasy, getting your beer brewed on a 10-barrel system at the Tallgrass Tap House in Manhattan. The winner gets a party, along with the unique opportunity to see his or her beer served on draft at the Tap House.

Entrants, take note: Tallgrass prefers that your beer be made with water, grain, hops and yeast. You may also use spices. Avoid groceries: cookies, fruit, oysters, whatever. Barrel-aged beers are out, but sour ales are cool as long as the microbes are used pre-boil. Interested? E-mail Get more details here.

Add a couple Topeka breweries to the beer directory
In last week’s Beer Directory, I missed a couple of new Topeka breweries (and I’m sure there were a few more accidental omissions). Two that I need to visit in Top City: Norsemen Brewing Co. (830 North Kansas Avenue) and Happy Basset Brewing Co. (6044 Southwest 29th Street).

Norsemen appears to have opened in the NOTO Arts District on August 5, and they’re running a seven-barrel brewhouse. Judging by a promo video, Norsemen’s owners are really into cosplay. Look out, KC Bier Co.

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Eric Carver opened Happy Basset on July 22 in the Villa West Shopping Center. Norsemen, Happy Basset and Blind Tiger have already collaborated on a beer: the Beermuda Triangle. I’ll have to track some down.

Thursday 8.11
St. Louis’ 4 Hands Brewing Co. is the brewery of the month at Waldo Pizza (7433 Broadway). Look for tappings at 5 p.m. of Constellation IPA, Falconer’s Flight IPA, Cloud 9 pale ale brewed with lime zest, raspberries and vanilla, Dakine tropical IPA, Passion Fruit Prussia Berliner Weisse, Contact High Key Lime wheat beer, and the Devil’s Invention coffee stout.

The Eldridge Hotel (701 Massachusetts, Lawrence) hosts a Ballast Point beer dinner at 6 p.m.

The Hops for Heroes Nano Brewfest is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Oliver Building (1321 West 13th Street). It’s a benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Tickets cost $20.

Flying Saucer (101 East 13th Street) taps Schlafly Coconut Crème Ale at 6.

Friday 8.12
Martin City Brewing Co. is giving out samples tonight at two Hy-Vees. From 4 to 7 p.m., get MCBC beer in Lee’s Summit (301 Northeast Rice Road). Then it’s a party at the Hy-Vee in Independence (1525 East 23rd Street), starting at 5 p.m., with Hardway IPA, Belgian Blond and Abbey on tap.
Saturday 8.13
Head to Zona Rosa for the Unico Microbrew Festival from 4 to 9 p.m. Tickets cost $25 to $30.

Martin City keeps on giving, with samples today at Mike’s Wine & Spirits (21 West 63rd Street) from 2 to 4 p.m., and at the Beer Cave (10037 West 87th Street, Overland Park) from 4 to 6 p.m.

Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard) is throwing a helluva Ballast Point 20th anniversary party. Sixteen beers will tap, including several Roots to Boots beers. Also: American Wheat with Cherries, Belgian Tripel Ale, Double India Pale Ale, Schwarzbier, Biere de Garde, BP Special on Nitro, ESB Sculpin IPA, Grunion pale ale, Calm Before the Storm cream ale with coffee and vanilla, the Commodore American stout, Grapefruit Sculpin IPA, Pineapple Sculpin IPA, Mango Even Keel session IPA, Watermelon Dorado double IPA, California Kolsch, and California Amber. Drinko — the beer bar’s take on the Price Is Right game — also returns.

Monday 8.15
You’d better have your tickets for this one: Firestone Walker is taking you to beer school at Barley’s Brewhaus (11924 West 119th Street, Overland Park). Barrelworks’ Jeffers Richardson will be giving a talk titled “The Fifth Element: A Presentation on Oak.” Taste six beers that have never been available in Kansas before: Stivo Keller Pils (Russian River collaboration), Unfiltered Double Barrel Ale (English pale ale), Nitro Double Barrel Ale, Stickee Monkee quad, Feral One blend and Agrestic sour. Tickets cost $30.

Tuesday 8.16
Crane Brewing (6515 Railroad Street, Raytown) hosts its first KC Trivia Geeks night in the taproom from 8 to 10 p.m.

Wednesday 8.17
Martin City is headed to Rock & Brews (5701 West 135th Street, Overland Park) for a tap takeover with Purple Train Berliner Weisse, Poitier brandy barrel–aged tripel, Hard Way IPA and more.

Categories: Food & Drink