In 2010, a group of about 10 beer lovers came together in a Brookside backyard to share their home-brewed beer.
The group eventually came up with a name — KC Nanobrews — and opened its annual beer festivals to the public. The KC Nanobrew Festival has been growing ever since.
At the 6th annual KC Nanobrew Festival, 2-6 p.m. June 27, more than 60 home brewers will tap 150 kegs of beer in the parking lot of Stockyards Brewing Co., a developing brewery and tap room in the West Bottoms. Tickets to the 21-and-older event cost $30 and include a full-size souvenir glass, unlimited beer samples and a meal ticket that’s redeemable at food trucks parked at the event, which will include Jerusalem Cafe, Back Rack BBQ, Detroit Coney and Helen’s on Wheels.
Tim Sady, one of the KC Nanobrew Festival’s organizers, says the event is smaller than other local beer festivals, and that it attracts mostly home brewers and craft beer lovers.
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“We’re aiming for 750 to 1,000 people,” Sady says. “We’ve always tried to keep it very small — the attendance cap is based on how many kegs we have, so we won’t run out of beer.”
Sady added that the festival gives home brewers an opportunity to gather feedback about their beers. Those who attend the festival also get to sample experimental brews you can’t find in liquor stores.
This year’s beer list includes a chipotle porter, peach pale ale, bourbon cocoa coffee stout and hard root beer. Many of the beers have creative names such as Draft Punk, Galaxy Far Far Away, Er’Body Gettin’ Tipsy and Janis Hoplin, a single-hop IPA.
Many up-and-coming local microbreweries got their start at KC Nanobrew Festival, including The Big Rip Brewing Co. and Cinder Block Brewery in North Kansas City and Rock & Run Brewery and Pub in Liberty. They’re no longer home brewers, but the brewers behind those businesses will be pouring their beer at this year’s KC Nanobrew Festival.
More beer festivals are in KC’s future:
▪ Worlds of Fun debuts its All American Barbeque & Brew Festival this weekend. The festival will continue the following weekend (June 20-21). Participating breweries include KC Bier Co., Tallgrass Brewing Co., Torn Label Brewery and Colorado-based New Belgium. More info here.
▪ Boulevardia returns June 19-21. The West Bottoms street festival will have live music, food trucks, eco-education, art and other products from local artisans, and of course, beer from Boulevard Brewing Co. Go to boulevardia.com for tickets and more info.