The 2nd Annual KC Beerfest came to a close early Saturday evening. Generally speaking, the second was better than the first, but that's to be expected with a year under their belts and this being the second session of the year.
My own personal journey began at the Arthur Bryant's in the Legends. I had never been to Bryant's before and am fairly upset at what I've been missing all my life. The food was great, and it's a good thing we made the stop since the food at this year's Beerfest may have indeed been worse than last year. I saw numerous people walking around with string necklaces covered in pretzels, and I was pretty excited that they came up with some creative ways to get beer soaking material to the masses. Wrong. Those people made those themselves and brought them in. The food appeared to be exactly the same as last year. The one time I made it near the booths, no one was even around. Get a smoker, sell some turkey legs or brats. Please don't screw this up for the third time next year.
Beerfest should really be about the beer though, and they pretty much nailed things this year. To start, they did a better job of maximizing the space. Beer booths on either side of the garage, and they put the booths together in the middle to maximize working space for the breweries and volunteers. I hardly had to do any pushing through a crowd and only felt the splash of someone else's beer on my person once. They handed out a numbered list of beers and had flags posted so you could find any specific beer easily.
The money spot in the whole area was Boulevard operating at an end and wrapping around both sides. You could walk up to their booth at any of six stations and get something completely different. Avery was located almost directly next to them with an equally large selection that was in good supply. The biggest improvement at the Beerfest was the fact that breweries really seemed to come equipped this year with a supply to last close to the scheduled 4 hours. A number of booths also had some free giveaways, which I missed most of. I did get some swag from Miller Chill and an Odell Brewery sign that was the envy of many a drunk skank.
As for bests and worsts, I'm going to have to play the role of homer. Boulevard's overall selection was fantastic. They had the normal fare along with bottles of all four Smokestack Series beers. Boulevard then went above and beyond, offering the pilsner you can get at the brewery tour and the new limited edition Smokestack Saison-Brett on a tap. My favorite beer of them all was an unexpected treat, as they brought along some bottles of the Imperial Stout offered to some local bloggers (i.e. not me) a few weeks ago. The guy I spoke with said they may be looking to release it for sale around Spring with the Irish Ale.
The worst beer I had was one I had experienced before. I recently bought a sixer and thought it was awful. Since the brewery is fairly local, I held out hope that I got a bad batch or that it might taste better on tap. It didn't. The stuff is awful and my companions hated it even more than me. Tallgrass Wheat? More like Tallass. Fo Sho. And now, some pictures...
Grown men wearing matching outfits at Arthur Bryant's
A shot of maybe one-quarter of the crowd from afar. Once again, great job maximizing space this year.
Ass-less chaps on a KU fan. Typical.
If you wear a glove when you drink 3oz shots of beer, what do you put on to pleasure yourself?A new sign for the rec room