24 Kansas City Breweries You Must Try

Quench your thirst for Kansas City breweries with these 24 top picks located in KC’s urban core and as far out as Topeka, KS.

These 24 Kansas City breweries are listed in order of volume sold based on data published in the Kansas City Business Journal.

If you’d like to taste them all in one setting, mark your calendar for one of the following Kansas City beer festivals. (Check status online for updates due to the pandemic).

KC Brew Fest — held in February at Union Station

Boulevardia — held the third weekend in June during Father’s Day weekend near Crown Center

KC Beer Fest — September 11, 2021 in the Power & Light District

#1 Boulevard Brewing Company

2501 Southwest Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Popular Beers: Unfiltered Wheat, Tank 7, Space Camper, Easy Sport

Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City
Boulevard Brewing put Kansas City on the map as a world-class maker of craft beers in 1989.

Boulevard Brewing is the 2nd largest brewery in MO, behind Anheuser-Busch, and the largest in Kansas City with 150 employees. Boulevard cracked open the door for Kansas city breweries back in 1989 when it was the only game in town.

Today Boulevard Brewing helps Missouri ranks 13th out of 50 states, according to Beer Connoisseur. Boulevard sets the standard to make Kansas City a cool beer-drinking mecca overshadowed only by Denver or Portland.

Boulevard’s national popularity prompted a need to boost beer production and to build a Tours and Recreation Center in 2016 on its 30th anniversary. The centers 25,000 square feet beer hall also serves as a launch point for brewery tours.

Don’t know which Boulevard beer is for you? Find your favorite flavor by taking this taste quiz.

Congratulations to Boulevard for taking the gold medal in the American-Belgo-Style Ale category with Tank 7 at the 2020 GABF competition!

#2 KC Bier Company

310 W. 79th St.
Kansas City, MO 64114
Popular Beers:  Dunkel, Hefeweizen, Helles Lager, Pils

KC Bier
Photo Credit: KC Bier Facebook Page

When Belgian-based Duvel Moortgat acquired Boulevard in 2013, KC Bier became the largest locally owned Kansas City Brewery. KC Bier specializes in German-style beers produced with traditional ingredients sourced from Germany, the brewery’s family-friendly bierhalle and biergarten in the Waldo neighborhood. Wash down pretzels with drafts of Dunkel, Pils, Helles or Der Bauer Farmhouse Ale. Grab a souvenir for the road. Pets are welcome at KC Bier Company.

#3 Martin City Brewing Co.

410 E. 135th
Kansas City, MO 64114
Most Popular:  HardWay IPA, Belgian Abbey, Belgian Blond, Sideway

Martin City
Photo Credit: Martin City Brewing Facebook Page

Enjoy a pint with a pizza or signature Bloody Mary burger. Martin City Brewing Company is on the south cusp of the city and offers a membership program so you can reserve your own keg when needed.

#4 Crane Brewing Company

6515 Railroad St.
Raytown, MO 64133
Most Popular: Trailsmith, Farmhouse IPA, Omar, Tea Weiss

Crane’s Taproom is one of many Kansas City Breweries serving food via a partner, Greg-Co BBQ food truck, and using reclaimed wood in its decor.

Crane Brewing is located in Raytown, a suburb of Kansas City. The brewery is best known for its sours, Tea Weiss, magenta-colored Beet Weiss and Grapefruit Gose, and farmhouse ales. Try its Farmhouse IPA as a starter.

#5 Torn Label Brewing

1708 Campbell St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular:  Alpha Pale Ale, Monk & Honey

Producing more than 1,600 barrels of beer annually, Torn Label Brewing comes in at #5 for the top craft beer producer in KC.

Torn Label knows how to have fun and please a crowd with new releases like Memory Foam. Memory Foam is a New England IPA featuring Simcoe, Citra and Azacca hops for soft, well balanced flavors of exotic fruits. Scoot on down to the Crossroads District to see what’s on tap today.

#6 Cinder Block Brewery

110 E. 18th Ave.
North Kansas City, MO 64116
Most Popular: Northtown Native, Prime Extra Pale Ale, Block IPA, Pavers Porter

Cinderblock

Enjoy some artisan beer in Kansas City’s northland. Cinder Block Brewery was established in 2013 out of the joy of handcrafted beers. Cinder Block originally started in our founder’s garage. Its success led to its current Northtown footprint, which includes a taproom, production brewery, and kitchen that opened in 2016.

Cinder Block dedicates itself to local ingredients from Harmony Farms. Spend some time playing corn hole on this patio of this Kansas City Brewery.

#7 Blind Tiger Brewery

417 SW 37th St.
Topeka KS 66611
Most Popular: Maibock, Top Gun IPA, Holy Grail Pale Ale, County Seat Wheat

Blind Tiger Brewing
Photo Credit: Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant

Blind Tiger brews and serves six flagship beers. The Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant is named for the Prohibition-era custom of illegal drinking establishments displaying stuffed tigers or china tigers to alert potential patrons to the availability of illicit alcohol after hours. In southern dialect a “tiger” was a roaring party. These “tigers” were “blind” because the authorities, at least officially, did not know they existed. Not coincidentally Blind Tiger Brewery & Restaurant is the sponsor of the Topeka Zoo’s tiger exhibit.

Blind TIger is also the employer of John Dean, the award winning brewmaster, who joined the Blind Tiger Brewery in 2001. Since Dean joined the brewery, it has  won 21 national and international awards.

#8 Double Shift Brewing

412 E. 18th St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular:  Tessellation Mosaic IPA, Tin Foil Hat Rye & Oat Farmhouse, Sister Abby Dubbel, River Pirate Hoppy Oatmeal Stout

Double Shift
Photo by Brenda Geiger

Double Shift Brewing was started by a beer-loving firefighter named Aaron Ogilvie and several friends in 2015. The small but mighty brewery is located in Brewer’s Alley in the Kansas City Crossroads. Double Shift runs a five-barrel brewhouse that focuses on unique beers that are approachable by all. Their taproom, located in the East Crossroads in Kansas City, MO, in an old bicycle shop.

#9 Amerisports Brew Pub

3200 N. Ameristar Drive
Kansas City, MO 64161
Most Popular: Special Reserve Saison, Doppeldunkel

Kansas Citians love to drink and gamble. Enter Amerisports Brew Pub as the heavy weight favorite place to watch sports. The bar has a 52-screen audiovisual system, small-batch craft beer, and barrel-aged brew. Be prepared to wait in line on all-you-can-eat crab leg Fridays.

#10  Brewery Emperial

1829 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular: Biscuit, Pilsener, Emperial IPA, Kolsch

Emperial Brewery
Photo credit: Brewery Emperial Facebook Page

Another jewel in Kansas City’s Crossroads is owner Keith Thompson’s Brewery Emperial, which he started in 2016. Keith and his crew serve up a mix of American and European beers, including bitters and saisons. The brewery also has a stellar beer garden with a fabulous urban view of Kansas City’s skyline. Half the fun of visiting Kansas City Breweries is sitting outside and being part of the beer community.

#11 Stockyards Brewing Co.

1600 Genessee #100
Kansas City, MO 64102
Most Popular:  West Bottoms IPA, Cerveza Royale, West Hef Hefeweizen, Black IPA

Stockyards
Short Round Stringband playing tunes in the taproom at Stockyards Brewing.

Head to the bottoms,  otherwise known as Kansas City’s Stockyard District. Inside the walls where the famous Golden Ox Restaurant steakhouse operated from 1949 to 2014.

You’ll  be embraced by the original bar, woodwork, and vibe of days gone by. Stockyards Brewing is a locally-owned brewery production and tap room that delivers big on taste and community. When Covid isn’t spiking, you can drop in each Sunday to enjoy live bluegrass. Want to sample some brew? Choose the Flight Plan by picking any of 4 of the dozen beers on tap.

#12 City Barrel Brewing

1740 Holmes St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular:  Rad AF, Ninja Dust, Dad Jokes, FoundationCity Barrel Brewery

Unlike many breweries in Kansas City, City Barrel Brewing has a full food, wine and craft cocktail menu in addition to its craft beer selections. Enjoy seasonal entrees prepared by Chef Benjamin Wood. City Barrell specializes in hoppy, wild, and sour beers. Try a brew named Adulting, which uses Japanese rice to add spice into the lager.

#13 Smoke Brewing Co.

209 S. Main St.
Lee’s Summit, MO 64068
Most Popular:  Keltic Kross Irish Red Ale, Narcissist India Pale Lager, Black Udder Milk Stout

Smoke Brewing is a family affair among a father and his two sons. Papa Smoke, Jeff Edwards, is a retired marine and home builder. Jeff’s son Josh has 10-years of brewing experience and is the founder of Building Smoke BBQ Team. Lanni Edwards rounds out the team. The restaurant and barrel room are located in Lee’s Summit, Mo., a eastern suburb of Kansas City.

#14 Dubious Claims Brewing Co.

451 S. Thompson Ave.
Excelsior Springs, MO 64024
Most Popular:  DCBC Blueberry Wheat, DCBC Kolsch, DCBC IPA, DCBC Milk Stout

Excelsior Springs is the home of the Hall of Waters and thanks to head brewer Taran Winnie it’s been using those healing waters to brew great beer since 2018. The sales of the so claimed healing water of the springs in Excelsior Springs eventually dried up thus the name of the brewery – Dubious Claims. However, Dubious Claims can heal your woes with a round of their ales. Check their social media channels for frequent fundraisers and specials.

#15 Strange Days Brewing

316 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64114
Most Popular:  Episodes Single Hop Pale Ale, Sonny Delight, Strawberry Sunday, Le Petit

Strange Days
Photo by Brenda Geiger

Strange Days is located right off the street car line in the historic River Market. Under the direction of head brewmaster Damon Arredondo, Strange Days Brewing was created and inspired by the strange-ness around us. The name of the brewery is meant to capture the times we are living in with beer as an outlet.

#16 Casual Animal Brewing Co.

1725 McGee St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular: Hazy IPA, Honey Wheat, Peanut Butter Stout, India Pale Ale

Casual Animal stands for the small batch, fresh as hell, local approach. We’re focused on quality over quantity, and community involvement over self-interest. Ask head brewmaster Kyle Gray to recommend the best brew for you.

 

#17 3 Trails Brewing Co.

111 N. Main
Independence, MO 64050
Most Popular:  Trail Dragger Stout, Bess’s Bock, Not Deflated NIPA

With over 16 craft beers on tap, a golf simulator, and event space, you can’t get bored at 3 Trails Brewing located in a east Kansas City suburb called Independence – former home of President Harry Truman. Order beer by the glass or flight and BYOF (bring your own food) in case you get hungry.

#18 East Forty Brewing

1201 W. Main St.
Blue Springs, MO 64015
Most Popular:  Dog Days Wheat, Sunrise Saison, Quarter Quarter Pale Ale, Big Head Red

Located in downtown Blue Springs, this brewery was voted best brewery, best bar, and the place to go for the best craft beef in Eastern Jackson County, Mo. It also won runner up for best chili. Go for the community and beer. Stay for the food and music.

#19 Brew Lab

7925 Marty St.
Overland Park, KS 66204
Most Popular: Tinta Davila Mexican Stout, Peer Reviewed Caramel Mocha Latte Stout, BL Squared Black Raspberry Braggot

Brew Lab is a brewery, taproom and kitchen. Brew Lab’s Techs will teach you how to brew your own craft beer and supply you withh all the ingredients to continue brewing your own at home. The kitchen serves American and Tex-Mex fare. Enjoy $5 Happy Hours and specials Tuesday through Friday from 3:30 to 6 pm.

#20 Big Rip Brewing

215 E. 9th Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64116
Most Popular:  Raspberry Gluten Free, Umbrella Kolsch, Hefe the Killer, Groovy Pale Ale

Big RIp Brewing
Patrons like to settle in with a beer, popcorn, game and good friends at Big Rip Brewing.

Sample at least 12 local brews at this nano-brewery with a tap room where you can order food from the neighborhood BBQ joint, Hawg Jag BBQ.

Big Rip Brewing was rated one of the 21 Can’t-Miss Breweries Across the Midwest by TripAdvisor.

#21 Fringe Beerworks

224 SE Douglas St.
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Most Popular: Freshly Squeezed Grapefruit Wheat, Madam X w/ Coffee

Fringe brewery
Fringe Co-owner, Eddie, tips one back.

Fringe Beerworks serves up craft brew from a building that’s been around since 1926. Sip while you enjoy a taste of history served from the first brewer in Lee’s Summit. If you’re feeling adventurous, order a milkshake or grapefruit beer.

#22 Grains and Taps

10 SW 3rd St.
Lee’s Summit, MO 64063
Most Popular:  Orange Sherbet, Neon Kittens, Puppies with Lasers, Duality Project

Grains & Taps co-owners Brad Boehm and Brian Bixby opened as a homebrew supply store in 2013 and then expanded to a nanobrewery. Lee’s Summit has become a microbrew destination since then. Schedule time to visit all three breweries in the quaint town of Lee’s Summit.

#23 Border Brewing

2129 Washington St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular:  Strawberry Blonde, Ribbon Cutter, Patio Pale Ale, Shiftie IPA

Beer at Border Brewing
One of the best Kansas City breweries in the Crossroads District.

With beers like Blackberry Prairie Fire Chile Saison, your heart will warm instantly to this microbrewery in Kansas City. Yes, Border Brewing has a taproom. Yes, you’ll hear live music. Yes, a groovy garage door opens during warm weather so you can drink in the urban surroundings.

Go enjoy a flight of beers and say hi to Eric the owner and Tracy the manager.

#24 Rochester Brewing & Roasting

2129 Washington St.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Most Popular:  Coffee Stout, DDH Hazy IPA, American IPA, Black Currant Sour

Rochester Beer
Emily is part of the Rochester Brewing and Roasting company team. Photo credit: @JanaMariePhotos

Part brewery and part coffee shop, this stop on your Kansas City craft beer tour won’t disappoint. Rochester Brewing was founded in 2019 by four friends with a passion for the art and science of brewing beer and roasting specialty coffee from all over the world.

We hope this list of locally-owned KC breweries makes your mouth water for a pint, a pizza, and a peek behind the scenes of some of the most creative entrepreneurs and makers in the city. The list isn’t inclusive by any means. We want to give a shout out to the fantastic brewers at Callsign, Calibration, and Alma Mader.

KC Craft breweries
Yours truly, Brenda Geiger, having a Block IPA at Cinder Block.
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