Green Room Burgers & Beer unveils third-annual Charlie Parker tribute beer

Green Room Burgers & Beer is giving iconic KC-born jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker a birthday present.

At 11 a.m. Monday, August 29, what would have been Parker’s 96th birthday, Green Room will release its third version of Bird Lives. This year’s edition is an imperial IPA, a nod back to the first version (also a double IPA) and a boozy step up from last year’s session IPA.

“This time, we had some New Zealand hops — New Zealand green bullet, Wakatu,” says Green Room owner Michael Ptacek. “That’s supposed to give it some lime and citrus and mango flavors. And then we have nugget. … That’s a really common American hop, a little citrusy, a little piney. Triskel — it’s a French hop — and you get kind of an herbaly aroma off that one. So it should have herb, citrus, a little pine.”

Ptacek credits head brewer Kalim Kazmi with this year’s recipe. He expects the final version of Bird Lives to come in at anywhere from 8 to 10 percent ABV.

Five kegs of Bird Lives will be ready to go on the 29th. For those wanting an early taste, Green Room is tapping a keg of Bird Lives on Wednesday, August 24.

“This one here, we just brewed it, like, two weeks ago,” Ptacek tells me on a mid-August Thursday afternoon. “We want to keep the hops really nice and fresh.”

Bird Lives was first brewed in 2014 after Ptacek discovered that he shared a love of jazz with then-head brewer Chris Flenker, who also plays sax. Flenker has since moved on to brew at the Deocrah, Iowa-based Toppling Goliath, which is one of the country’s best up-and-coming breweries.

“We’re trying to do something every year to keep up with it,” Ptacek says of continuing Bird Lives. “The idea is now to do a different IPA every year. Whatever we do, just make sure it has tons of hops, a lot of hop aroma and flavor. It’s the only beer that we only release once a year.”

Order a pint and toast Bird while you can.

Categories: Food & Drink