Kansas City Bier Company is a little piece of Germany nestled right in the Waldo neighborhood of the city. The location is a perfect spot for the biergarten, bierhalle, and the children’s play area. KCBC is wholeheartedly committed to Germany. I spoke with the founder, Steve Holle, about how his German heritage, knowledge of the German language, and his time in Germany learning traditional brewing techniques have influenced the products he produces today. Needless to say, it has been invaluable.
They are now the second-largest brewery in Kansas City, and the largest locally owned establishment. After opening in February 2014, they began distributing the very next month. As it stands now, 95% of KCBC product is sold at locations beyond the taproom, both in bottles and kegs.
The German brewing tradition affects every single decision in the taproom, from the way they brew to the decorations on the walls. Their brewing practices adhere to the Reinheitsgebot, the German brewing purity law dating back to the 16th century. This is another brewery that won’t have that fancy hopped-up recipe you’re craving. People love it for the honest adherence to the traditional recipes.
Nearly all beers here are lagers, eighty to ninety percent by Steve’s estimation. If you’re into hoppy flavors, you won’t have as many options here. There is usually one ready for you in case it’s an emergency. For food, they sell small plates. You can get a sausage platter with meats cut by authentic German butchers from across the region, a pretzel imported from Bavaria, or other German-inspired pub food.
The Helles is their number one seller in the taproom. Other year-round classics include the Dunkel, Pils, and Hefeweizen. You may notice their cider on the draft list. They brew a “wine” (the cider in this case), so they can maintain their winery license from the state of Missouri. As long as they make over 200 gallons of the cider, they are treated as a winery so they can sell their own products in their own taproom. I thought this was a fun way to get around existing laws preventing the sale of their own product on their own property.
Tours are a great deal, too. For $10, you get a souvenir KCBC pint glass to keep, a few taster-sized portions on the tour, and you may even meet the brewery dog. Make sure to get there before tickets sell out on Saturday afternoons! More information on tours can be found below. For larger groups or special accommodations, follow the directions on their website here.