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Friday beer: KC Bier Dunkel

KC Bier Co.

Monday Eric Sturniolo at Get Real Present laid out The Theory of Beervolution, explaining it through the lens of his experience. He begins with Becks, suffers through BMC, travels the path you’d expect and eventually “I reached the next, highest level of craft, the Westvleteren Apex.”

And “Everyone in the Apex is a beer snob.”

This left me thinking about two questions. Is there an apex and if so, what does that really mean? What is a beer snob, and am I one? I’m still thinking about them, but I’ve figured out this would be easier were I back at KC Bier Co. in Kansas City. We stopped in two Friday evenings ago after a quick drive across Missouri. Had things to do in Kansas City on Saturday.

The brewery opened only Feb. 11. Like Bier Station, a relatively new bar/bottle shop with a great selection, it is in the Waldo neighborhood. We don’t know Kansas City well enough to understand its neighborhoods, but however we got to KC Bier it was definitely through a neighborhood. It is easy to envision people getting up from a comfortable swing on the porch, if the weather ever warms, and walking a few blocks to grab a beer bier and yak with friends. It already feels local.

Funny thing, the beer bier is very German — this may or may not make sense top you, but the lineup is like Urban Chestnut Brewing without much on the “Revolution” side of the menu. All the malt comes from Germany, and all the hops, save for a bit of Centennial used in Hopfen Doof, a dry-hopped alt. Even the pretzels come from Germany.

All the Bavarian hops are from the Seitz family farm. KC Bier founder Steve Holle intends to keep buying hops from Florian Seitz, and that may provide a recognizable anchor for the beer bier (KC Bier advertises it puts the “i” back in bier). At least that’s the way I feel about place. (And, dang, I wouldn’t mind tasting Centennial grown on the Seitz homestead.)

And the beers biers are excellent. Remembering the Dunkel, which totally hits the “reminds me of breadcrust” button, in my mouth I got to thinking about this apex thing. I really like Westvleteren 12, no doubt, but if I lived in Waldo and could walk to KC Bier I wouldn’t go there to drink a beer that tasted just like Westvleteren 12. I’d go there to drink bier. (And because I live where I do, I can ride my bike through Forest Park to Urban Chestnut’s new digs and do the same.)

So which is the apex? How do you know you are at the top, that there isn’t another level? This isn’t like climbing a fourteener. It is better.

4 Responses to Friday beer: KC Bier Dunkel

  1. Bailey March 14, 2014 at 2:27 am #

    Near the top, there’s a lot of hard climbing to gain very little extra height. Or something.

  2. SteveH March 14, 2014 at 6:00 am #

    “What is a beer snob, and am I one?”

    Allow me to offer an answer specifically directed at you Stan: no. With the diversity of beers and beer “culture” you promote, it would be difficult to label you a “snob.”

    On the other hand,
    “(And because I live where I do, I can ride my bike through Forest Park to Urban Chestnut’s new digs and do the same.)”

    …I do think I hate you. ;)

  3. Bill March 14, 2014 at 9:08 am #

    I like to think of it more like hiking (or at least, exploring on foot now that I live in a part of the country without much in the way of terrain) than climbing. Repeat trips are welcome because you make the terrain part of your personal geography — and you get places/things you recognize: a view, a grove, a landmark that could be as simple as a fencepost or boulder. Things you come across gain meaning, even if the meaning is as simple as “something you look forward to.” So it’s less “reaching the apex” as an accumulation of experiences. Value and look forward to the dunkel two miles into the hike as much as the hard-to-reach Westvleteren at the summit, because in hiking, the summit is just one of many things to experience on the way.

    • Stan March 14, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      Well put, Bill.

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