10:10 PM, Oct 15, 2006
Beerfest in KC
I didn't go out on Thursday or Friday nights. I stayed in on Thursday to get enough sleep to catch the bus at 7am. I stayed in on Friday because I didn't really feel like doing anything, and because nothing in particular was going on. So, I was in bed on Friday night by about 9:30pm, and slept all the way until 8am. I started texting and calling around, asking people if they wanted to meet for breakfast at Succotash at 10:30am. I looked at the temperature(37 degrees) and bundled up before I walked over to the City market, to meet up with Matt, Erp, Josh, and Callie.
The Market was abuzz with activity, despite the cold. Erp said that even though he lived only a few blocks away, he had never been to the Market on a Saturday morning, which is when they are the most active. People come from all over the city to buy flowers, plants, fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, spices, art, and more. In the more pleasant months, the City Market is a pretty exciting place to be on weekends.
Anyway, we all met at Succotash, which overlooks the Market. Breakfast was lovely and the service was slow. That's fine, as we were really in no hurry anyway. My plan was to walk into Grinders at about 12:30pm. We finished breakfast, and Matt took the leftover potatoes over to his place, where Josh, Callie, Erp and I wandered around looking at the Fist & Main developments. Matt came down, and we walked over to the bus stop at Third and Grand. The bus pulled up right when we got there. It was great. We got off at 19th and Main, and a couple of minutes later Grinders was in view from the corner of 18th and Oak. I checked my watch: 12:28pm.
We walked in and foolishly paid for some beers at the bar before going outside and seeing that the participants in the Kansas City Craft Brewers Festival
, the reason we had come, were almost done setting up their wares. We quickly finished our beers and jumped into the beerfest.
I started with a Dogfish Head 90 Minute Imperial IPA, and continued for the whole event, consuming no fewer than fifteen commemorative tasting glasses full of beers from McCoy's, 75th Street, The Power Plant, Boulevard, Schlafly, Burgerbrau, Dogfish Head, Delerium, Unibroue, Arcadia, Monty Python, Russian River, Avery, Breckenridge, and more that I can't remember. Bottom line: the festival was wonderful, and a far cry from the disaster that was last year's
They could have promoted it better, as it was attended by only about one fifth of the crowd for which they had hoped. But, they promoted it well enough for me to hear about it, and that's fine with me. They never ran out of beer, which is a shame for the event, but was good for us, because everything was available the whole time. The weather was a godsend. It was cold in the morning, but the abundant sunshine warmed it up a lot, and actually gave me a bit of sunburn. By the time of the festival, the temperature was comfortably in the middle sixties, and the sky was radiantly clear.
By 5pm, our fingers were numb, and everyone was in a singing mood. Matt took his leave to go watch the Wizards
game and fall asleep. The remaining four of us walked up to 15th and Grand for dinner at the Thai Paradise. I had a panang curry dish with tofu. It was incredible. Josh and Callie left from there to go to Californo's in Westport to see some band. Neither Erp nor I felt like traveling to Midtown, so we wished them a good night.
Erp wanted to see the KSU-Nebraska game, which was apparently only available via pay-per-view, even in Kansas City. We walked over to Tanner's at 10th and Broadway, and inquired at the door. We figured if any place would have the KSU game on, it'd be Tanner's. They did not, so we gave up on that, and went to the Peanut at 9th and Washington. We had a beer there and moved on to the Red Front, way over by 6th and Mcgee. Sarah the girl-next-door bartender took good care of us before we decided to finish the night at Harry's over at Walnut and Missouri.
When we walked into Harry's we spotted a table full of KC's beer illuminati: Anton the co-owner of Grinders, JB the regional sales manager for Boulevard, Mark the sales manager for Missouri Beverage, and some assorted other peddlers of good beer. They had all come over to Harry's after the beerfest ended. They invited us to join them, and we all talked about beer until the bar closed at 1:30am. Neither of us wanted to push the evening any later, as we had been at full steam since 1pm. We shook hands and called it a night.