Screenland Armour breaks out rare beers and collaboration brews for the Arts & Crafts Beer Festival Friday and Saturday

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Screenland Armour breaks out rare beers and collaboration brews for the Arts & Crafts Beer Festival

Beer nerds say they want festivals loaded with rare beers, short lines and generous pours. The third annual Arts & Crafts Beer Festival, Friday and Saturday at Screenland Armour, promises all three.

With a list loaded with high-ABV beers, Screenland owners Adam Roberts and Brent Miller have opted to spread their event over two days.

“We’re doing about 110 or 115 different individual beers that you’ll be able to sample, so about 50 each day,” Roberts says. “At any fest, you wait in such long lines that you end up only sampling 15 or 20 beers because you’re only trying to get the rare stuff. And when you have 100 rare, exclusive or aged beers, really, you have to decide what to do. This is probably where people probably won’t want a full pour or they’ll dump beers out because there are so many to sample.”

Among the bottles and kegs that the two men have unearthed this time: 2012 Deschutes the Stoic, 2013 Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biére, 2014 4 Hands Madagascar and Downfall, 2014 Perennial Abraxas, and about 115 other barrel-aged and rare beers.

“You look at the list and it’s, what am I not excited about?” Roberts says. “What do I not want to try?

“Last year, the sour explosion was really starting to happen and become mainstream, and it is totally mainstream now,” he adds. “It’s kind of leveled out, though. Everyone wants the super-fresh IPA. Everyone wants a super-duper sour beer. Everyone wants a 12 percent barrel-aged stout. And that’s pretty much what our beer list is — those three things.”

Along with the rare beers are collaboration brews that Roberts and Miller have worked on with breweries, including 4 Hands Dank Ass Saison.

“We’ve been big fans of those guys, and when they wanted to work with us, it was cool,” Roberts says. The original idea was to collaborate on an IPA, but they settled on a dry-hopped saison. “It’s different — it’s light,” Roberts says. “They don’t have a ton in their history, and it’s like an IPA, so we’ll dry-hop the hell out of it. Make it super-dank and really hoppy in aroma, but it’ll drink light like a nice summer saison. So we’re hoping that turns out really well.”

Also, 4 Hands is sending a firkin of Resurrected IPA with tart cherries.

“I’m pretty excited about that,” Roberts says. “It should turn out funky and weird.”

Add the Screenland operators’ collaboration with Rock & Run Brewery — Peanut Butter Stout, with extra peanut butter and raspberries — and a pilot beer from Cinder Block Brewery, and there will be plenty of festival exclusives.

“It’s kind of a peanut-butter-and-jelly concept,” Roberts says of the Rock & Run collaboration. “I think it’ll get a little funky because we did that a couple of months ago. So it might be a little weird. It’s a beer that we all thought was aging better and better, but who knows what happened. You do a firkin, and it’s either going to be incredible or just a trainwreck of an experiment.”

If that didn’t sell you, Roberts offers this pitch.

“We’re a two-day, indoor beer fest that only focuses on aged, rare and exclusive beers,” Roberts says. “There are no long lines. There’s a lot of good local music. We premiere a bunch of independent films. We have a bunch of local artists with merchandise and vendors that you can buy stuff from. And it’s cheaper than a lot of the other festivals’ VIP or whatever. … If you give me 10 seconds, I can give you a quick rundown of why you should be there.”

The festival starts Friday with a sampling from 6 to 10:30 p.m., films throughout the night and three bands (Deco Auto, Onward Crispin Glover and New Riddim).

The festival resumes Saturday afternoon with a VIP screening of Crafting a Nation, followed by a Q&A panel featuring 4 Hands’ owner Kevin Lemp, cellarman Alex Leonard and mid-Missouri market manager Heath Manson, as well as Cinder Block brewer Andrew Hicks, North Kansas City Beverage Co.’s Brian Duff, Central States Beverage Co.’s Jordan Millam, Major Brands’ Donnie Matthews and possibly a homebrewer. (I’m moderating again this year.)

“We’ll have a brewer, the owner and then a rep, so we’ll be able to get all aspects of what that company is going through and the growth,” Roberts says of 4 Hands. “To see their growth is mind-blowing.”

While people are drinking those beers, they can slip into the short-film festival, peruse the craft tables or catch a showing of People Places Things (starring Flight of the Conchords’ Jemaine Clement as a single father trying to piece his life together after walking in on his girlfriend cheating on him), Being Evel (a warts-and-all documentary on the life of Evel Knievel) and Digging for Fire (director Joe Swanberg’s latest film about a house sitter turned wannabe detective).

Or they can catch sets from Electric Lungs, Rev Gusto, Hillary Watts Riot and Kodascope. And a portion of the proceeds from the festival goes to KC Pet Project.

“We wanted to change it up completely and do one charity,” Roberts says. “They’re going to have a couple of tables for auction items and stuff, like we did last year, which is cool, a bunch of beer merchandise and whatnot.”

Roberts anticipates a sellout before the day of the festival. Two-day tickets cost $65. Single-day tickets cost $35.

“It’s definitely become more of a two-day festival now,” Roberts says. “People go to a lot of beer fests, and there’s a lot of complaining about what’s there and what’s not there or the long lines or rain or ridiculous heat and stuff. That’s kind of the nature of Kansas City. And us being one of the only indoor festivals and with the small amount of people that we allow in, there are no lines. It’s not just another beer fest.” 

Take a look at the beer list here.

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