As you know, Kansas City has been going through a craft beer growth spurt over the past several years, with new breweries popping up all over the metro. And as part of that growth, the Kansas City beer festival scene has really matured as well. Ten years ago, the few beer festivals we had all sort of looked the same, but now we have a plethora of unique festivals, all with their own distinct vibe, and many catering to a specific crowd or specializing in a specific beer style.
The KC Nanobrew Festival may, perhaps, embody the growth and maturation of the craft beer scene in Kansas City more than any of the others. This year’s KC Nanbrew Festival is Saturday, June 24 at 2:00 pm at Berkley Riverfront Park.
Nanobrew features homebrewers and the beers they craft in their basements, garages, and patios. Nanobrew pushes the envelope on creativity, because the brewers can experiment on small, one-off batches. Ingredients that may be unobtainable or prohibitively expensive on a commercial scale can be featured here. Some of the beers may not end up being palate-pleasers, but, on the other hand, some may end up being the best beer you’ve tried all year.
We’re in the Growth Phase
What do these names have in common?
- Big Rip Brewing
- Cinder Block Brewery
- Crane Brewing
- Rock & Run Brewery
- Red Crow Brewing
Each of these five breweries started as home brewers. And each poured at a previous Nanobrew Festival. Callsign Brewing, Fringe Beerworks, Colony Beer, Strange Days Brewing, Kaw Point Meadery will be opening soon. And each had poured at a previous Nanobrew Festival.
This festival is like open tryouts—where the amateur players show off their stuff to see if they are good enough for the big league. Getting tickets to Nanobrew means you will likely have the opportunity to someday say of your favorite new KC brewery, “I remember when those guys were still brewing in their garage!”
You’re Not Going to Try Them All
Three years ago, KC Nanobrew Festival was held in Liberty, MO. It was my first Nanobrew as a brewer. Mine were two of about 100 beers served that warm (and stormy) afternoon. This year there will be over 300 beers available at Berkley Riverfront Park. You’re not going to try them all. Highlight the beers you want to try and seek them out. A complete listing is available on this Facebook post. And David Schumacher, who’s more in-tune with the KC homebrewer world than I, has a great primer on what to try.
Don’t forget to come visit us in the Wagner Homemade Beer tent.
Food trucks will be on premise to give all that beer a place to rest. And your ticket includes a $5 voucher for any of the trucks during the festival. You’re ticket also include water. Which will be a good idea to include regularly throughout the afternoon.
Check it Out
A ticket to the KC Nanobrew Festival is $38 with fees. (Designated drivers are free, but you still need a ticket.) Pretty good deal, if you ask me. Get your now, it sells out every year.
There will be mediocre beers at Nanobrew. You might taste an experimental beer that probably should never be brewed again. You very well might run into heaven in a glass. And you will almost positively get to chat with the owner of your next favorite KC brewery.
KC Nanobrew Festival
Saturday, June 24, 2:00–6:00pm
Berkley Riverfront Park
1298 E Riverfront Dr
Kansas City, MO