Waldo Hopfest returns Saturday, Erik Borger revives Goetz Brewing, Crane opens a makeshift tasting room

More than 250 beers will be up for sampling at the sixth annual Waldo Hopfest, from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday in the Waldo Outdoor Pavilion (201 West 74th Terrace). Get there early for rare tappings. When I go through the gate, I’m making a beeline for the Founders tent to drink Canadian Breakfast Stout, and maybe a little KBS. From there, I’m sticking with stouts and going for Big Sky Ivan the Terrible, a bourbon-barrel-aged imperial stout.

I plan on sampling everything Oklahoma City’s Coop Ale Works brings: F5 IPA, Native Amber, DNR Belgian strong ale, Horny Toad blonde, Peach Berliner weisse and Play Off Push extra pale ale. I’m also going to visit 10 Barrel from Bend, Oregon, for Riding Solo single-hop pale ale and Joe IPA.

But let’s not forget: Avery Salvation Belgian-style golden ale, Breckenridge Holidale bourbon barrel-aged ale, Santa Fe Chicken Killer barleywine, Deschutes Down n Dirty IPA and the Abyss stout, Nebraska’s Au Poivre Saison, Samuel Adams KMF, and all of the Game of Thrones beers. And 2016 seems like the year of peanut butter: Ballast Point Victory at Sea — Peanut Butter, and Empyrean Carpe Brewem Peanut Butter Porter.

Staying local? Easy: Head to Boulevard’s table for 2015 Saison-Brett and Bourbon Barrel Quad and, of course, Love Child No. 6 and 7. I’ll also be drinking Martin City Blueberry Lemon Sour Berliner weisse, Crane Amber Plus Brett (and some Kumquat Weisse) and Mother’s Blush pomegranate hibiscus wit ale.

Erik Borger reviving the Goetz Brewing Co.
Erik Borger is a busy guy. If two restaurants and a third on the way weren’t  enough, Borger is working to resurrect the Goetz Brewing Co. in St. Joseph.

The brewery has been shuttered since 1976, but Borger says it’s coming back in 2017. He tells me he became intrigued with the brewery after buying a fire-damaged home in St. Joseph that once belonged to the Goetz family. That interest intensified when the last-standing Goetz building went up for sale in downtown St. Joseph: a 12,000-square-foot factory at 601 North Fourth Street. Also interested was neighbor Dustin Smith; the two are now business partners.

Borger says he’s been in contact with Pabst Brewing Co., owners of the Goetz trademarks. “They have zero interest in ever doing anything with the brand,” he  says. “That’s good, because I have a lot of interest.” He adds that he’s in negotiations with Pabst on a royalty agreement.

Borger says he plans to open a brewery, a tasting room, a restaurant and a biergarten under the Goetz banner. He wants to keep six taps flowing with traditional Goetz beers: Pilsner, Boch, Lager, Pale, Country Club Special malt liquor and Draft Beer. And he hopes to work with all of the recipes in the Goetz archive.

“There are several lifetimes worth of beer,” he says. “We don’t have to venture out and come up with recipes. There are probably, like, 300 different beers and recipes.”

The new Goetz will operate as a 30-barrel brewhouse — after the brewing equipment arrives from Germany. Borger is trying to get the equipment fast-tracked. Once Goetz is brewing again, the idea is to distribute regionally with kegs and further down the line cans and bottles. And some of those 300 recipes will be put to use for large-format beers and Oktoberfests and more.

“There’s plenty of room for creativity for special stuff and seasonal stuff,” Borger says. But it’s still about the history. “If it’s a vintage brand,” he says, “let’s keep it that way.”

Drink some beer at Crane Brewing
OK, so Crane Brewing Co.’s tasting room isn’t officially open at the brewery (6515 Railroad Street, Raytown) … yet. However, starting this week, you can try some beers at Crane, as well as hop on a tour. The hours so far: 2-9 p.m. Tuesday to Wednesday, 4-9 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The word from Crane’s Chris Meyers is that this is a “temporary space, not our actual taproom.” The actual taproom is still under construction.

“Just want to give everyone a chance to visit the brewery and tour and enjoy some beers on site,” Meyers tells me. “We are able to do up to seven beers on tap and one or two featured beers for growlers. We also have bottles to go or for onsite consumption. We also plan to start putting on small-batch beers that you can only get at the taproom.”

So, yeah, get your ass to Raytown.

Boulevard, Tallgrass win at World Beer Cup
Boulevard and Tallgrass claimed medals at the World Beer Cup — the Olympics of beer. Boulevard took gold for the Sixth Glass, in the Belgian-style dark-ale category, and silver for Tank 7 farmhouse ale, in the American-Belgo-style ale category. Tallgrass claimed a bronze medal for Vanilla Bean Buffalo Sweat, in the herb-and-spiced-beer category.

Drink for a good cause
For the rest of the month at Leinenkugel’s, it’ll be a charity “Fillanthropy.” Two charities — Big Brothers Big Sisters and Heroes for Hospice Mission — will reap the rewards of your imbibing. Here’s how it works: BBBS is assigned the Sunset Wheat tap; H4H gets Grapefruit Shandy. Whichever tap sells more, that charity gets the higher percentage of the take and stays on tap for another month. The other charity gets a lower percentage.

Get some Rock & Run
Rock & Run Brewery remains closed, but you can still drink the brewery’s beers. Rock & Run will be serving Saturday, May 21, from 4 to 9 p.m. in the parking lot adjacent to the Liberty city hall at Together We’re Better. Hammerhand Coffee will keep the java flowing and sell pastries. You can pick up some jewelry from Nickel & Suede. There’ll be food trucks on hand. Also, you can pick up a #savethebeer shirt from R&R.

Rock & Run will also be doing pop-up events on the patio of the the Bell (114 East Kansas Street, Liberty) Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to midnight. The brewery will be doing these pop-ups each weekend until they reopen or run out of beer.

Get your hands on some 4 Hands.
One of my favorite St. Louis breweries, 4 Hands, has a few beers hitting KC this week. Cans of Passion Fruit Prussia Berliner weisse should be available now, and Contact High Lime should be on draft (with four-packs of 16-ounce cans on the way). And in the next few months, look for 4 Hands and chef Josh Eans’ collaboration Lemon Gose on draft and in cans, as well as a new seasonal pineapple IPA called Da’Kine in July.

Also this week …

Thursday 5.19
American Craft Beer Week continues. The Flying Saucer (101 East 13th Street) pairs Urban Chestnut’s Ku’Damn Berliner weisse with different flavored syrups and ice cream for a social at 6 p.m.

It’s Taste of Kansas City in the Kansas City Live Block (see page 15). Look for beer from Tallgrass from 6 to 9 p.m.

Go to beer camp at Barley’s Brewhaus (16649 Midland Drive, Shawnee) with Sierra Nevada. All six of the Beer Camp brews — Sweet Sunny South Southern Table Beer, Moxee Moron Imperial Session IPA, Family Values Imperial Brown Ale, West Latitude Session Rye with Hibiscus, Pat-Rye-Ot Revolutionary Pale Ale, Stout of the Union Robust Stout — will be tapped at 5 p.m.

Cinder Block Brewery (110 East 18th Avenue, North Kansas City) releases its Cashmere IPA at 4 p.m. — and hopefully you can still snag a taste of the barrel-aged beer release from last night.

Friday 5.20
Get to know your local brewery rep at the Flying Saucer with a 6 p.m. happy hour. Snag a pint for $3.50.

Rimann Liquors (15117 West 87th Street Parkway, Lenexa) hosts a Ballast Point tasting from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Cinder Block busts out a firkin of Pavers Porter and Dutchman Coffee at noon.

Saturday 5.21
Briar Fest brings together beer, music, food and more at Briacliff Village/Mulberry Lake. Get beers from Cinder Block, KC Bier Co., 23rd Street Brewery, Rock & Run, Crane and more.

Sunday 5.22
Our friends at Beer Paws are doing Doggies and Drafts at Leinenkugel’s (1323 Walnut). Get $3 Summer Shandies, Coors Lights or Miller Lites and $2 off beer cocktails and appetizers from 1 to 4 p.m. Oh, and take your furry drinking buddy.

Monday 5.23
The next beer school in the Rickhouse, the private event space at Burg & Barrel (7042 West 76th Street, Overland Park), is with Ballast Point at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20 — and that gets you a Ballast Point tasting glass and four beers.

Wednesday 5.25
It’s Bell’s Spiegelau glass night at the Flying Saucer. Buy the beer — Oberon or the Oarsman — and keep the glass, starting at 6 p.m.

Categories: Food & Drink