Cinder Block kills Rivet Rye and wants you to Unwind, and Torn Label issues new brews. Plus, a week of beer events
No matter how good a beer is, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Take Boulevard’s Zon. The Belgian-style witbier won multiple medals at the Great American Beer Festival, but it also had a way of sitting on store shelves, unloved. So last year, Boulevard announced it was pulling the plug on Zon — only to bring it back this year in a limited, Midwestern-distribution footprint.
Cinder Block Brewery finds itself in a similar spot with Rivet Rye. It’s a good wheat beer, but sales haven’t been great. So “the Rye must die,” says Cinder Block owner Bryce Schaffter. Cinder Block has brewed its last batch of Rye for 2016. Next year, it will be reincarnated as a seasonal release.
To send Rivet Rye off into the darkness, Cinder Block is planning a “The Rye Must Die” event. The date is still to be determind. And while the title is morbid, expect a party: Schaffter says he wants people to come together to “celebrate the Rivet’s life” with a toast and specials.
With 20 kegs of Rivet Rye left, Cinder Block is going fire-sale with the remaining stock, pricing drafts at $3.
The death of one beer signals the birth of another brew. Replacing Rivet Rye in the year-round lineup is Unwind, a session IPA (5 percent ABV, 46 IBUs) now available at the brewery. Look for it on tap and in cans.
Schaffter says he’s excited about the new brew, and he should be — it bursts with flavor, as you would expect when the hop lineup includes El Dorado, magnum, citra and centennial. Last week when I met with Schaffter at the brewery, he filled up a growler to take home with him.
Also new at Cinder Block, the latest Hop Maven series beer, No. 5, a black IPA, and Foreign Export Stout.
New Beers at Torn Label
Torn Label Brewing Co. has plans for a couple of new releases in the coming weeks. The first, Cosmic Cowboy (8.7 percent ABV), is a limited-release, English-style old ale on draft and in 22-ounce bottles.
It’s the latest beer in Torn Label’s Artists Collaboration Series, a joint effort with Cosmic Cowboy recording and film studio that also shares the Studios Inc. building. In an e-mail, Torn Label’s Rafi Chaudry describes Cosmic Cowboy as “an amber chestnut ale with rich, biscuity notes of toffee, caramel and molasses.” He adds: “The pleasantly full-bodied balance of oak, sweet bread and a slight nuttiness on the palate blend into a finish reminiscent of smooth sherry, for a warming yet surprisingly balanced strong ale.”
You’ll be able to saddle up with Cosmic Cowboy on Thursday, March 24, at the brewery (1708 Campbell). This is the first Torn Label release on hand pump.
Also coming soon is Magic Magic IPA, with raspberries and lemon peel (7.6 percent ABV). Though the beer is now on tap at the brewery as well as in 22-ounce bottles, Torn Label is planning a launch event for Friday, April 1, with artwork by barman Thomas Woodward on display, a bottle release and a commemorative glass.
And keep an eye out for Torn Label’s Rough Draught series of small-batch, taproom-only beers. These pilot brews are experimental offerings that Chaudry describes as “too pricey or too weird to brew on our 15-barrel system.”
The series popped up at Torn Label’s tasting room a couple of weeks ago with Sun Spot, which Chaudry says was a pale ale brewed with tangerine peel and bittered with El Dorado hops. I write “was” because it was gone by the end of the weekend.
How often will we see Rough Draught beers? It’ll depend on Torn Label’s brewers finding time to squeeze them into the brew schedule, Chaudry says.
“There won’t necessarily always be a Rough Draught beer on tap, but as beer geeks, we know that a large part of the fun of visiting a brewery is being able to taste brews you can’t find in general distribution,” he says. “So we’re going to try to have these fun side projects in our rotation as often as we can.”
Thursday, March 24
Zipline Brewing’s Kansas City launch week continues with tap takeovers at Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard) at 5 p.m. and Ruins Pub (1715 Main) at 6 p.m. Samples will be poured at Plaza Liquors (4500 Belleview) from 4 to 7 p.m. and at Hy-Vee (310 Southwest Ward Road, Lee’s Summit) from 4 to 6 p.m.
Get Tallgrass samples at Buckley’s Wine Market (8661 West 135th Street, Overland Park) from 4 to 6:30 p.m.
Friday, March 25
Seventy-Fifth Street Brewery (520 West 75th Street) taps Possum Trot Brown Ale with lemon peel and star anise at 4 p.m.
Martin City Brewing Co. breaks out the barrel-aged bombers and 750-ml wild ales for a sampling at Royal Liquors (1301 West 103rd Street) from 4 to 6 p.m.
Bier Station’s (120 East Gregory Boulevard) Bur Oak happy hour features Big Tree Double IPA, Clyde’s Cream Ale and a firkin of Boone County Brown, with toasted oak chips and toasted coconut, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Gomer’s (3838 Broadway) hosts an Odell tasting from 4 to 7 p.m. Crane Brewing pours tastes at Kings Liquor (18589 West 151st Street, Olathe). Rimann Liquors (15117 West 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa) holds a Schlafly tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Friday is also a day of Zipline samplings: Mike’s Liquor (8447 Wornall) and Royal Liquors (1301 West 103rd Street) from 4 to 7 p.m., and Hy-Vee (4545 South Noland Road, Independence) from 4 to 6 p.m.
Grain to Glass (1611 Swift, North Kansas City) holds an adult Easter egg hunt at 7 p.m. Get in the hunt for $15.
Saturday, March 26
Start your morning with pilates at Crane Brewing (6515 Railroad Street, Raytown) at 10 (check in at 9:30). Classes cost $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Plus, drink some Apricot Weiss after you’ve built up a sweat. Don’t forget your mat, some water and your ID (21 and older).
The Pitch’s Crafts & Drafts brings together makers and suds, with brews from Crane Brewing, Boulevard and Tallgrass from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Uptown Shoppes (36th Street and Broadway).
Saturday Zipline samplings include Hy-Vee (7711 State Line Road) and Lukas Liquor Superstore (13657 Washington) from 1 to 3 p.m.
New Belgium and Family Bicycles start a ride at Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard) at 10:15 a.m. Then drink Botanical IPA, Citradelic IPA, Slow Ride and Hoppy Blonde. Plus, you could walk away with a bike if you win the raffle.
Monday, March 28
Tallgrass schools you on beers — Wooden Rooster, Big Ricc, Barrel-Aged Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat with Cinnamon, Top Rope IPA, Songbird Saison and the Grizz Imperial IPA — at Barley’s Brewhaus (11924 West 119th Street, Overland Park), at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $25.
Tuesday, March 29
Firestone Walker’s Luponic Distortion hoppy brew taps, along with a free sampling of other FW beers, at the Foundry (424 Westport Road) at 4:30 p.m.
Weednesday, March 30
Charisse (1006 Walnut) hosts a Crane Brewing beer dinner from 7 to 10 p.m. Make a reservation at 816-474-0000. A seat at the table costs $65 (before tax and tip).