27 Kansas City Breweries You Must Try

Quench your thirst for Kansas City breweries. Kansas City’s microbreweries are micro-communities with big hearts and big purposes. Sure they brew the best beer this side of the Mississippi, but they also support our troops, serve as our extended family, and several Kansas City breweries are saving the planet through their green practices.

Before we dive into our list of shakers and makers, mark your calendar for the KC Beer Fest held in the Kansas City Power & Light District, to be held September 11. Unfortunately, Bouelvardia is canceled for the second time because of Covid-19.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. Kansas City Crossroads Breweries
  2. Dog-Friendly Kansas City Breweries
  3. Green Kansas City Breweries
  4. Kansas Breweries
  5. Veteran or First Responder Owned Breweries
  6. Best KC Breweries to Watch the Chiefs
  7. Suburban Kansas City Breweries

If you feel overwhelmed by the brewery options around Kansas City, consider picking a category above and taking a self-guided brewery tour of just those maker spaces. You can save a few bucks by purchasing a Kansas City Tap Tour pass from VisitKC.

You can also go on one of these Kansas City brewery tours:

  1. Boulevard Brewing Company Tour
  2. KC Bier Brewery Tour
  3. Kansas City Brewery Tour

Kansas City Crossroads Breweries

 

Border Brewing (new location)

512 E. 18th
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.

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.

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. Owners Kyle and Lara Gray say, “Casual Animal Brewing is focused on quality over quantity and community involvement over self-interest.”

The brewmaster couple goes one step further with their community-mindedness. They give $2 for every pint sold to a local Kansas City non-profit. Supporting the local Kansas City community is important to the owners and their “Taproom Animals”, as they’re so fondly called. Based on Casual Animal Brewing’s Local Motive program, everyone involved in the brewery gets input on the charities the brewery supports.

Dog-Friendly Kansas City Breweries

Crane Brewing Company

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

kansas-city-breweries
Crane’s Taproom is one of many Kansas 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.

Torn Label Brewing

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

Torn Label Brewing beers sit on a table

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.

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 its founder’s garage. Its success led to its current Northtown footprint, including a taproom, production brewery, and kitchen that opened in 2016.

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

Big Rip Brewing

215 E. 9th Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64116

Most Popular: Raspberry Gluten-Free, Umbrella Kolsch, Hefe the Killer, Groovy Pale Ale

Sample at least 12 local brews at this nano-brewery with a taproom 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.

Strange Days Brewing

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

exterior of brewery
Photo by Brenda Geiger

Strange Days is located right off the streetcar 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 brewery’s name is meant to capture the times we are living in with beer as an outlet.

Green Breweries in Kansas City

 

Fringe Beerworks

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

Fringe Beerworks, to our knowledge, is the only all-electric brewery in the Kansas City metro. All-electric businesses emit a lot fewer carbon emissions due to cleaner electricity. Its owner Eddie Pease says Fringe Beerworks upcycles its spent grain and recycles wherever they can. The all-electric aspect of his brewery provides consistent temperatures, which are ideal for producing quality, craft brews.

man with pint of beer
Fringe Co-owner, Eddie, tips one back.

Fringe Beerworks serves 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.

Boulevard Brewing Co.

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

Zero Landfill signage

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.

Boulevard Brewing starting the process of becoming a Zero Landfill company in 2010. Boulevard now recycles or composts nearly all of its waste. The fraction that can’t be recycled or composted is incinerated by a local cement manufacturer to generate energy, with the ash used as an ingredient in concrete. We love that Boulevard Brewing set its sites on being sustainable and tasty over profits and size.

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 center’s 25,000 square feet beer hall also serves as a launch point for brewery tours.

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

Kansas Breweries

There’s a Missouri side of Kansas City and Kansas side, which for the purposes of this post, includes Overland Park, Olathe, and Topeka, Kansas.

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 Brewery is on the south cusp of the city and offers a membership program so you can reserve your own keg when needed.

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 sponsors 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.

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 with 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.

Veteran & First Responder
Owned Breweries

 

Callsign Brewing

1447 Gentry St.
North Kansas City, MO 64116
Most Popular: FIghter Pilot Ale and Lifter Irish Red

Callsign Brewing was founded by Steve Sirois and his sons as a way to pay it forward for lost military members and their aircrafts. Both Sirois and his son are members of the 180th Airlift Squadron, a Missouri Air National Guard unit in St. Joseph, Missouri. Sirois is also a 27-year veteran of the Air Force.

Callsign Brewing is a 10-barrel brewery and taproom. What it lacks in size, it makes up in heart and support of the military.

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 is located in an old bicycle shop in the East Crossroads in Kansas City, MO.

Red Sash (new Crossroads Brewery)

406 E. 18th Street
Kansas City, MO 64108

Red Sash will be Veteran and First Responder friendly but inclusive to all craft beer patrons. Owner Pat Mitchell graduated from West Point in 2006 and served eight years as an officer in the Army. Mitchell plans to open Red Sash in August and has hired Damon Arredondo as his brewmaster. His goal is to connect to the local military community on a deeper level in the Crossroads district and neighborhood.

Best Breweries to Watch the Chiefs

 

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 heavyweight 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.

KC Bier Company

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

growler of beer
Photo Credit: KC Bier Facebook Page

KC Bier’s family-friendly beerhall and biergarten in the Waldo neighborhood makes for an ideal place to watch the KC Chiefs.

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. 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.

Brewery Emperial

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

Emperial Brewery
Photo credit: Brewery Emperial Facebook Page

Keith Thompson started Brewery Emperial in 2016. Keith and his crew serve up a mix of American and European beers, including bitters and saisons.

The brewery has a killer beer garden with a fabulous urban view of Kansas City’s skyline. It’s also the perfect venue to scream as loud as you want when the Kansas City Chiefs score a touchdown.

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.

Stockyards Brewing is a locally-owned brewery production and taproom that delivers big taste and community. You’ll be embraced by the original bar, woodwork, and vibe of days gone by. Drop by on Sundays to enjoy a Chiefs game or live bluegrass.

Want to sample some brew? Choose the Flight Plan by picking any of 4 of the dozen beers on tap.

City Barrel Brewing

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

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.

City Block’s outdoor patio is the prime spot to cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs. Or take a six or twelve-pack of RAD AF home for your watch party.

 

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Suburban Kansas City Breweries

 

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 an 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.

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 the best chili. Go for the community and beer. Stay for the food and music.

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 nano-brewery. 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.

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 between 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., an eastern suburb of Kansas City.

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 brewery’s name – 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.

Any Questions?

There’s so much action going on in the Kansas City beer and brewery scene, you’d need a book to know the full story. Fortunately, author Pete Dulin has written that book: Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland. It’s yours for $21.99.

Q. What Kansas City breweries are open on Sunday?

A. All of the 26 listed above. Aren’t you lucky?

Q. Where’s the best Kansas City brewery to watch a Chiefs game?

A. The one with your favorite craft brew or the ones listed here with killer patios and deck.

Q. What awards have local Kansas City brewers won?

A. Crane Brewing was named best brewery by Feast Magazine in 2021; Boulevard Beer was runnerup.

Dunkel, a Munich-style brown lager, was named the Best Local Lager in Kansas City in The Pitch Best of KC Awards in 2019 by more than 40,000 voters. Helles Lager was named one of the 19 Best Beers of 2019 by Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine.

Boulevard’s Tank 7 claimed gold in the Great American Beer Festival in 2020.

BKS Artisan Ales won the best beer of the year in 2019 from Kansas City Magazine for its Tiny Clouds hazy pale.

Q. What are the newest breweries in Kansas City?

A. Transparent Brewing Company in Grandview

Red Sash and Nimble in the Crossroads (veteran/first responder owned section)

Lost Evenings Brewing in Lenexa

Pathlight Brewing in Shawnee

Rockcreek Brewing in Mission

What did we miss? We’re going to take a beverage break while we wait for your comments.

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