Posts tagged with Beer

Merchants chef serving up food-beer pairings at That Dam Beer Event

Listen up, beer lovers: We're going to let you in on a little secret.

If you missed out on securing tickets to Friday's That DAM Beer Event, you may still have another chance. There are still 10 to 15 tickets up for grabs at Merchants Pub & Plate, 746 Massachusetts St., says chef-owner T.K. Peterson.

After the first wave sold out, organizers decided to release a second set of tickets. They're all gone except for the precious few left at Merchants, which can only be purchased with cash.

The event will take place from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Abe & Lake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., the day before the sold-out Kansas Craft Brewers Expo at the same location.

That DAM Beer Event — named for its proximity to the Bowersock Dam along the banks of the Kansas River — will feature 11 breweries and 24 limited releases or specialty offerings, says Peterson, who has created eight food-beer pairings for the shindig.

"The idea behind the food is, there's no theme at all. That's reflective of our menu at Merchants," Peterson says. "We have everything from Maine lobster rolls to duck carnitas to Thai glass noodles. We're trying to pack as much flavor into every plate that we can."

In addition to the more savory pairings, which will kick off the evening around 7 p.m., Peterson and his crew are also serving up some sweet creations — such as a chocolate and raspberry trifle with the Rogue Voodoo Raspberry and Pretzel & Chocolate Ale. They'll bring those out about an hour into the evening, Peterson says.

He describes the event as a "walkabout," where guests can wander up to stations and sample the menu as they please.

"We want it to be easy, mobile food," Peterson says. "Something that can be portable so people can really socialize without having to sit down at each station."

Tickets for That DAM Beer Event cost $50, and can be purchased at Merchants. For a full list of the food/beer pairings, check out Merchants' website.

Menu courtesy of Merchants Pub & Plate

Menu courtesy of Merchants Pub & Plate by Joanna Hlavacek

Menu courtesy of Merchants Pub & Plate

Menu courtesy of Merchants Pub & Plate by Joanna Hlavacek

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Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Boulevard brings back Chocolate Ale

Back by popular demand, Boulevard Brewing Co. is re-releasing its limited-edition Chocolate Ale this month.

A collaboration between K.C. chocolatier Christopher Elbow and Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels, the exotic brew incorporates nibs of, or crushed, roasted cocoa beans.

Originally intended as a one-time release back in 2011, Chocolate Ale has since developed something of a cult following. In fact, in 2014 and 2015, Boulevard brewed as much of it as possible without interfering with production of other seasonal and year-round beers, the company says.

Hundreds of kegs containing the chocolatey stuff will start arriving at Kansas City-area bars and restaurants today. Deliveries to liquor stores will begin Tuesday.

The Burger Stand already has it on tap, from the looks of this Facebook post. No word yet on where else to find Chocolate Ale in town, but we'll keep you posted.

Update: Merchant's Pub & Plate plans to tap several kegs of Chocolate Ale, but probably won't be able to begin serving it until later this week, says Merchants chef and owner TK Peterson. The following bars and stores are confirmed to have Chocolate Ale in stock/on tap right now: Cork and Barrel (both locations), On the Rocks, Dempsey's, Red Lyon Tavern, Six Mile Tavern and Frank's North Star Tavern.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at jhlavacek@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @hlavacekjoanna. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

Boulevard Brewing Co.'s popular Chocolate Ale will return to restaurants, bars and retailers in early February.

Boulevard Brewing Co.'s popular Chocolate Ale will return to restaurants, bars and retailers in early February. by Photo courtesy of Boulevard Brewing Co.

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Craft beer expo tickets go on sale Thursday

Update: Well, that was fast. Tickets for the expo sold out after just a few hours Thursday night, according to a post on the event's Facebook page. Downtown Lawrence Inc. tweeted that 500 tickets were sold in about a minute. Cheers to the lucky folks who snagged their tickets.

Original post: Mark your calendars, beer lovers: The Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition is returning to Lawrence on March 7, and will once again be held at Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St.

The expo will offer two sessions that day: noon to 3 p.m. and 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

As Chad Lawhorn reported in his Town Talk blog, the expo brings more than 30 craft brewers to downtown Lawrence. In addition to beer samples, this year's shindig features food, music, T-shirts, glassware and informational and educational displays.

Downtown Lawrence Inc. and the Kansas Craft Brewers Guild, along with Free State Brewing Company owner Chuck Magerl, are the main organizers of the event, which is now in its fourth cycle.

If previous years are any indication, these tickets, which are $35 apiece and only available online this year, should sell pretty fast. Snag yours starting Thursday (Kansas Day, coincidentally) at 6 p.m., via www.kscraftbrewfest.com/tickets. The event is only for those 21 and older, for obvious reasons.

For more information, visit www.kscraftbrewfest.com or shoot an email to brenda@freestatebrewing.com.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at jhlavacek@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @hlavacekjoanna. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

John Bourneuf, left, of Lawrence, and Maria Vopat, of Mission, have a taste of the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition on Saturday at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., among hundreds of other beer enthusiasts. About 30 regional and national beer vendors were at the event, which sold out within 10 days of going on sale.

John Bourneuf, left, of Lawrence, and Maria Vopat, of Mission, have a taste of the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition on Saturday at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., among hundreds of other beer enthusiasts. About 30 regional and national beer vendors were at the event, which sold out within 10 days of going on sale. by Richard Gwin

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Free State Brewing Co. owner reflects on success with induction into Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame

Free State Brewing Co. owner Chuck Magerl, seen here in this 2010 photo, was recently inducted into the Kansas 
Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Free State Brewing Co. owner Chuck Magerl, seen here in this 2010 photo, was recently inducted into the Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame. by Richard Gwin

At first, Chuck Magerl was surprised to hear the news.

The longtime owner of Free State Brewery Co., 636 Massachusetts St., is the newest member of the Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame.

“It was completely unexpected,” Magerl says, remembering the congratulatory phone call from Adam Mills, president of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. “And then I thought, ‘Well, I guess I have been in business at Free State a little over 25 years now.'”

In the winter of 1989, Free State Brewing Co. became the state’s first legal brewery in more than 100 years.

Much like the pioneers of Kansas' early years, Magerl says he didn’t know what to expect in the beginning.

“When we opened, there was nobody between Chicago and Denver doing what we were doing,” he says. “We were out there in the wilderness.”

In those days, there wasn’t as much familiarity here in the Midwest with the more flavorful varieties of beer popular in Europe.

The public’s “widespread embrace” of craft beers and microbrews over the past quarter-century has contributed to Free State’s success, he says.

“It’s been gratifying to see what had been seen as perhaps bland American food culture become one of the most diverse and encompassing in the world,” Magerl says.

Free State’s flagship brews (Ad Astra Ale, Copperhead Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Wheat State Golden) have since become legends of the Lawrence dining scene. And, with the recent start of distribution in Iowa, Magerl has “no intention of resting on the past.”

At the induction ceremony last month in Wichita, Magerl received a hand-blown glass sculpture from the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. He hasn’t found a secure place to display it at Free State, but he hopes to sometime soon.

“It’s a really beautiful piece of art,” he says. “I’d be proud to show it off.”


Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at jhlavacek@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @hlavacekjoanna. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Free State Brewing Co. to release limited-edition Owd Mac’s Imperial Stout

Free State Brewing Co.'s Owd Mac's Imperial Stout

Free State Brewing Co.'s Owd Mac's Imperial Stout by Photo courtesy of Free State Brewing Co.

This week's frigid temperatures could not come at a more perfect time for Free State Brewing Co.'s release of Owd Mac’s Imperial Stout.

The "warming and festive" ale will be offered in 750 ml bottles for the first time ever. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or until the beer is gone) Saturday, Nov. 22, Free State will host a dock sale of Owd Mac's Imperial Stout at its production facility, 1923 Moodie Road.

Visitors can also purchase other Free State beers and merchandise, as well as check out the facility and chat with brewers, who will be on hand to answer questions.

Nearly two years in the making, brewers kept the Owd Mac's in Templeton Rye Whiskey barrels for a year before bottle conditioning. After primary fermentation, the beer is transferred to American Whiskey barrels for extended aging, where it takes on aromas and flavors from vanilla, rye whiskey, figs cocoa and port wine.

Only 60 cases of the limited-edition beer the are being released, with a four-bottle-per-customer limit. Bottles cost $15 each.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at jhlavacek@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @hlavacekjoanna. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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What’s on tap for Craft Beer Week? Two new collaborative brews and more

John Dean of Blind Tiger Brewery (left), Bryan "Bucky" Buckingham of 23rd Street Brewery and Geoff Deman of Free State Brewery after a day of brewing in Topeka. Photo from www.facebook.com/TheBlindTigerBreweryandRestaurant

John Dean of Blind Tiger Brewery (left), Bryan "Bucky" Buckingham of 23rd Street Brewery and Geoff Deman of Free State Brewery after a day of brewing in Topeka. Photo from www.facebook.com/TheBlindTigerBreweryandRestaurant by Sara Shepherd

Lawrence brewers are ringing in American Craft Beer Week with two envelope-pushing creations I got to sneak-preview this morning. (Though neither one of these contains mint...)

For the second year, head brewers from Lawrence’s Free State and 23rd Street breweries and Topeka’s Blind Tiger Brewery collaborated to create a new beer in honor of the week, being celebrated nationwide Monday through May 19.

They named this year's concoction “Smoke on the Wheat." Light as straw and crisp as Perrier but with a roguish smoky overtone — and as 23rd Street head brewer Bryan “Bucky” Buckingham notes, a little baloney on the nose (...or maybe it sounds better to say charcuterie?) — Smoke on the Wheat is in the style of a 14th century Polish Grätzer ale. The beer, made with oak-smoked wheat and Polish yeast, is low-alcohol, high-carbonation and pours with a big, fluffy head.

A second collaborative brew, created by 23rd Street and members of the Lawrence Brewers Guild, will be tapped Monday at 23rd Street.

“LBG Collaboration No. 2” is a Belgian-style IPA. Or, if you want to get specific, an “amber-Belgian-wheat-IPA-Trappist-specialty-beer-kind-of-thing,” Buckingham says. “It’s got a lot going on.” Higher in alcohol, honey colored and slightly sweet smelling, Collaboration No. 2 surprises with a super-dry, hoppy finish.

These two brews and many others will be the focus of all kinds of activities next week. Here’s a rundown:

Monday

• Smoke on the Wheat tapped at 23rd Street, 3512 Clinton Parkway, Free State, 636 Massachusetts St., and Blind Tiger, 417 SW 37th St. in Topeka. (Each brewery held back a keg of Full Kimono, the result of last year's collaboration, to tap during the week, too.)

• LBG Collaboration No. 2 tapped at 23rd Street

Tuesday

• Five-course Free State beer dinner at so-hot-right-now Kansas City, Mo., restaurant Port Fonda, 4141 Pennsylvania St. Cost: $55. Reservations: 816-216-6462 or michaela@portfondakc.com.

Wednesday

• Beer Trivia Night at the Burger Stand, 803 Massachusetts St. With a Free State tap takeover on the lower level — and prizes!

Thursday

• Free State beer flowing (as usual) at Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market, 4 to 6:30 p.m. at 1832 Massachusetts St.

(Firkin) Friday

• Firkin tapping for LBG Collaboration No. 2 with orange peel added, 6 p.m. at 23rd Street

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The Lasso: Final Fridays, film fest, Farmer’s Ball finals, Haskell fashion, beer name-change, baby chicks

Troy Moth photo

Troy Moth photo by Contributed Photo

Miscellanea from this week on the web, including links to read before hitting this weekend's three F's: Final Fridays, Free State Film Festival and Farmer's Ball Finals.

Final Fridays

There’s big things planned for this month’s Final Fridays, including the grand opening of the new Cider Gallery in the Warehouse Arts District. Here’s our Final Fridays preview, featuring stunning black and white nature photography by Troy Moth (former shooter for GQ and Rolling Stone) at the Invisible Hand and paper bathing suits at where else but Wonderfair. The Final Fridays blog has a nifty gallery map and more gallery event summaries.

Free State Film Festival

The annual Free State Film Festival is this weekend, and its going to be a film geek's dream. According to the event website, expect “films, short films, panel discussions, staged readings, live music performances, an experimental film and music video showcase and a revival of the multimedia stage production, 'On Screen Offspring' featuring new original short plays by area filmmakers.” Our film critic says there will be plenty of the kind of films that are sure to get people talking.

Farmer’s Ball Finals

Loud and Local has teasers from the four bands that made the cut to play in the finals on Saturday. Larryville Chronicles also has a Q&A with their “dark-horse” pick, Brain Food, the headline for which includes the phrase “like electronic angels giving birth to a dark velvet thundercloud."

Beer name-change

It seems Boulevard has changed the name of its Boulevard Pilsner to KC Pils. Here are photos of the new bottles. (I haven't heard the theory behind the name change, but the photo description says something about hometown love. Could there be more name changes on the way?)

Haskell fashion

A fashion show was part of Haskell Indian Nation University’s recent Indigenous Empowerment Summit. Mark & Tree photography took great photos of all the styles, bold jumpsuits and bustiers included. (Hat tip to Ditto Resale Boutique for sharing the link on their Facebook page)

Baby chicks

My Bit of Earth blogger Meryl let her new chicks out in the yard for the first time ... and kindly took pictures so the rest of us can see how adorable they are.

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Lawrence’s craft beer expo is back — expect tickets to go fast

John Bourneuf, left, of Lawrence, and Maria Vopat, of Mission, have a taste of the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition on Saturday at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., among hundreds of other beer enthusiasts. About 30 regional and national beer vendors were at the event, which sold out within 10 days of going on sale.

John Bourneuf, left, of Lawrence, and Maria Vopat, of Mission, have a taste of the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition on Saturday at Abe and Jake’s Landing, 8 E. Sixth St., among hundreds of other beer enthusiasts. About 30 regional and national beer vendors were at the event, which sold out within 10 days of going on sale. by Richard Gwin

Mark your calendars for Jan. 29. Not only is it Kansas Day, it's the day tickets go on sale for this year's Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition at Abe & Jake's. And if it's as popular as last year — tickets sold out within 10 days — you'll want to get them fast.

The event is set for 4-8 p.m. March 2 at Abe & Jake's Landing, 8 E. Sixth St. (next to City Hall, in the Riverfront development). Tickets are $30, and you must be 21 or older to attend. For a list of locations to buy tickets, visit the expo's website, kscraftbrewfest.com.

About 720 people attended last year's expo, billed as the first of its kind in Lawrence and drawing about 30 regional and national beer vendors. The event, organized by the Kansas Craft Brewers Guild and Downtown Lawrence Inc., is a fundraiser for Downtown Lawrence.

Expect an afternoon of all things beer: commemorative sampling glasses and program booklets profiling the beers you're tasting, specialty glassware and other brewery memorabilia for sale, food for sale from select local vendors, guides to cheese and beer pairings from Hy-Vee, books on beer and brewing and guidelines on the Certified Beer Judge program.

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Free State brings home hardware from Great American Beer Festival

Instagram photo courtesy of Free State Brewing Co.

Instagram photo courtesy of Free State Brewing Co. by Sara Shepherd

Free State Brewing Co. calls it a beer fit for a blacksmith — and apparently beer festival judges.

Free State’s Iron Man Imperial Stout nabbed a bronze medal in the American-Style Stout category at this weekend’s Great American Beer Festival in Denver, touted as the world’s largest commercial beer competition.

“It’s kind of a testament to the craft of brewing,” brewer Geoff Deman said of the beer, named in honor of a local blacksmith who frequents the brew pub.

With ten malts and five hop varieties, Iron Man starts with deep roasty flavors and finishes with a slight malty sweetness, according to Free State’s description. The beer tips its hat to history, as Imperial Stout was a key British export in the Baltic trade that elevated art and industry in Russia and England during the 18th century.

Two other area breweries joined Free State on the medal list, according to results from greatamericanbeerfestival.com. Boulevard Brewing Co. of Kansas City, Mo., got two gold medals — one in the Belgian-Style Witbier category for its ZON, and the other in the Other Strong Beer category for its Reverb Imperial Pilsner. Topeka’s Blind Tiger Brewery and Restaurant took gold in the German-Style Kolsch category for its Capital City Kolsch.

This year’s festival, which ran from Thursday through Saturday, drew its largest competition field to date, with 4,338 entries from 666 breweries across the United States and Guam. The festival awarded a total of 254 medals for the best examples of each style beer.

Free State's Iron Man — a small batch brew — is not on tap at the brew pub, 636 Mass. However, bottles are expected to be shipped to select area liquor stores at the end of this month.

In other crafty beer news, 23rd Street Brewery, 3512 Clinton Parkway, just tapped a 2010 Barrel-Aged Russian Imperial Stout, according to their Twitter account. And Free State is playing host to its first-ever happy hour Thursday night (it's only been legal for, oh, almost four months now, so I'm sure Free State fans will be glad the brewery's finally on board!). The pub is advertising $2 select pints from 9 p.m. to midnight, plus chances to win Free State stuff.

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