Schlafly and Tallgrass release new saisons; Zipline and Kräftig reach KC; and a week of beer events

I love Tank 7. Boulevard’s saison is like orange juice: a refrigerator staple. Still, like most craft-beer drinkers, I like to mix up my drink orders (and pace myself: Tank 7 is one farmhouse ale that packs a punch, at 8.5 percent ABV). So last week, I tried a couple of recently released saisons.

The first was the February-released Schlafly Saison. The St. Louis brewery’s limited edition was issued in 750 ml bottles (and is on tap if you go to Bottleworks), and I was sent a sample. It pours pale gold, light and fizzy with a foamy head. The aroma isn’t strong or fruity, and the initial sip delivers a strong yeasty flavor upfront — as it should, given that it was fermented with a blend of French and Belgian yeast strains. There isn’t a bitter aftertaste (it’s 20 IBUs) or even a strong alcohol burn. The warmer the beer got, the more the fruit in that Belgo-French yeast came out (only to dissipate quickly). This is an easy drinker, even at 6 percent ABV.

Next up: Tallgrass Brewing Co.’s Songbird Saison, a Belgian-style ale that also pours pale golden, fizzy and light, but gives off more spice on the nose. There’s bite, but it’s a lighter beer at 4.8 percent ABV, and there’s a little pucker here, too, with citrusy flavor and a bit of tartness that was absent from the Schlalfy. It’s a beer that asks to be drunk after you’ve mowed your yard.

If you’re into saisons — and not ready to throw on your drinking shoes with a war machine — either beer makes a solid representation of the style.

Lincoln, Nebraska’s Zipline Brewing Co. is now hitting the Kansas City market via North Kansas City Beverage. Look for launch events throughout March.

Also new to KC store shelves: Kräftig lager and light beers. Billy Busch, the great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch, started the William K Busch Brewing Company and the Kräftig label in St. Louis, making beers according to the German beer-purity tradition of Reinheitsgebot, which means using only water, barley, yeast and hops in the brewing process. Bottles, cans and kegs of Kräftig are being distributed by Central States Beverage Co.

And Root Sellers’ Himmel & Erde (aka Heaven and Earth) carrot and apple ale is now hitting stores on the Missouri Side of the state line.

Also this week …

Firestone Walker is in the metro, and you should swing over to the Belfry (1532 Grand) to meet brewmaster Matt Brynildson from 5 to 7 p.m. Also, at the B, will be Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels along with special beers on draft and new releases.

Thursday, March 3
March Madness, meet Stone IPA madness. The Foundry (424 Westport Road) is tapping the Escondido, California, brewery’s IPAs — IPA, Delicious, Pataskala Red X IPA — throughout the month. As soon as one keg blows, the next goes online.

EduHub KC — a collaboration of Turn the Page KC, Show Me KC Schools, the Literacy Lab, EdOps and the Lean Lab that aims to right K-12 education in KC — holds a grand opening (4049 Pennsylvania Avenue, No. 301) from 5 to 7 p.m. Swing by for beer from Crane Brewing Co. and talk about important stuff.

Firestone Walker’s Kansas rollout continues with a tap takeover at Barley’s Brewhaus (16649 Midland Drive, Shawnee) with Sucaba Barleywine, Nitro Merlin, DBA Double Barrel Ale, Union Jack, Easy Jack and more.

Firestone Walker is Waldo Pizza’s (7433 Broadway) brewery of the month. On tap today at the pizza’s pub: Firestone Walker Union Jack, Southern Tier Creme Brulee and Odell Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout.

Speaking of FW: The Flying Saucer (101 East 13th Street) taps XIX Anniversary Ale, and there will be a few bottles of XVI, Nitro Merlin stout and butter cookies. Starts at 6 p.m.

Friday, March 4
Crane Brewing Co. takes part in a charity tap event at Burger Stand at the Casbah (803 Massachusetts, Lawrence).

Michael Crane takes part in his namesake brewery’s tasting at Prairie Liquors (11176 South Lone Elm Road, Olathe). Rimann Liquors (15117 West 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa) hosts a New Belgium tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard) holds a KC Bier Co. happy hour starting at 4 p.m.

Saturday, March 5
The Kansas Brewers Expo goes down at Abe & Jake’s Landing (8 East Sixth Street, Lawrence). Tickets are sold out.

Grain to Glass (1611 Swift Street, North Kansas City) teaches beginners how to homebrew from 4 to 7 p.m.
Our friends at Recommended Daily get together with Christopher Elbow to pair ice cream cookie sandwiches with beer at Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard).

Sunday, March 6
Get to know your beer styles at Grain to Glass (1611 Swift Street, North Kansas City) from noon to 2 p.m.

Monday, March 7
75th Street Brewery has a new brewer, Marco Leyton, and you can meet him from 4 to 6 p.m. Bonus: Try 75th Street’s new Imperial Stout and Cream Ale.

Do some beer homework at Barley’s (11924 West 119th Street, Overland Park) with Ballast Point. Starting at 6 p.m., go to beer school with Longfin Lager, Calico Amber Piper Down Scottish Ale, Peanut Butter Victory at Sea and three variations of Sculpin IPA (Grapefruit, Pineapple and Habanero). Tickets cost $25.

Wednesday, March 9
It’s Bell’s night at Ruins Pub (1715 Main), so go pour your own beer starting at 6 p.m. And Flying Saucer (101 East 13th Street) does a buy-the-beer-get-the-glass night with Schlafly at 6 p.m. It’s also a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society fundraiser.

Lidia’s (101 West 22nd Street) hosts a Torn Label meet-and-greet.  

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