Four years ago, Kansas Craft Beer Week was a thing in Wichita. But it wasn’t a very big thing.
In his role as House of Schwan’s craft and import beer manager, Steven Haines would try to put together a few interesting events with the small group of craft brewers in town and hope for the best.
Not so much in 2017.
Today, Wichita is overflowing with locally produced craft beer, and a new brewery seems to pop up every few weeks. Putting together events for Kansas Craft Beer Week, which starts Monday and runs through April 30, has been a tail-chasing, list-making, crazy experience this year, Haines said.
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“Four year ago, there were one or two breweries in Wichita,” he said. “And now there are 10 or more.”
Beer fans will be able to sample and celebrate all week with a long lineup of events at various breweries, bars and beer-friendly restaurants across town. Haines said that the calendar of events, which includes two sizable parties, will offer people a chance to try new beers and to get face time with Wichita’s craft beer pioneers, many of whom will be out and about at the events.
Here’s a list of events organized for next week. More details about each – and information about celebrations in other Kansas towns and cities – can be found on the Kansas Craft Beer Week Facebook page.
The Kitchen, 725 E. Douglas: The restaurant in Union Station will offer a Local Beer Bucket that allows customers to mix and match five local beers for $15. It will also offer some food specials mad with beer, including Tallgrass Buffalo Sweat Ice Cream and Disco brew fries.
The Anchor, 1109 E. Douglas: A Kansas tap takeover featuring additional state-produced beers on tap will start at 6 p.m.
O’Malley’s, 2405 W. 31st St. South: A yet-to-be-named Kansas beer will be featured.
Lucky’s Everyday, 1217 E. Douglas: A beer from Wichita’s Aero Plains Brewing will be featured starting at 9 p.m.
Public at the Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island: A Kansas tap takeover starts at 6 p.m.
Piatto Neopolitan Pizzeria, 1706 E. Douglas: A yet-to-be-named Kansas beer will be featured.
Bricktown Brewery east and west: Both restaurants will have a Kansas beer featured on draft and will have a special on pints.
River City Brewing Co., 150 N. Mosley: The brewery will tap a pale ale.
Old Chicago east, west and downtown: At 11 a.m., the three restaurants will launch a Kansas Craft Beer Week mini-tour featuring a beer made as a collaboration between Wichita’s Wichita Brewing Company and Manhattan’s Tallgrass Brewing Company and another that’s a collaboration between WBC and Old Chicago.
Dempsey’s Burger Pub, 3700 E. Douglas: A Kansas tap takeover happens at 7 p.m.
Ziggy’s Pizza, 3700 E. Douglas: The restaurant will feature a yet-to-be-named Kansas beer.
Willie’s, 151 N. Main, El Dorado: The sports bar will feature a beer made as a collaboration between Walnut River Brewing and Willie’s.
Walnut River Brewing, 111 W. Locust, El Dorado: The brewery will tap its Russian Imperial Stout.
Hopping Gnome Brewing, 1710 E. Douglas: The brewery will tap its Warriors IPA.
Central Standard Brewery, 156 S. Greenwood: The brewery will tap its Wally Funk.
Wichita Brewing Company east and west: The brewery will tap its Haze on the Range beer at both locations.
River City Brewing Co.: One of the big events of the week, the annual Kiss My Cask party, starts at 6 p.m. and and will feature breweries from across the state showcasing firkins, which are casks of special beer made by breweries that allows them to experiment with different recipes and ingredients. Among the breweries in attendance will be Three Rings, Tallgrass, Defiance, Walnut River, Wichita Brewing Co., Aero Plains, Third Place, Radius, Red Crow, Blind Tiger and Free State. The party will feature at least 15 firkins, and for a $25 ticket, attendees can sample each one and get a souvenir glass. Tickets go on sale when River City opens at 11 a.m. that day. Call 316-263-2739 for more information.
The Monarch, 579 W. Douglas: A Kansas tap takeover starts at 7:30 p.m.
Mort’s, 923 E. First St.: The bar will feature a Kansas beer.
Hopping Gnome, 1710 E. Douglas: The brewery will tap its Caddie Kolsch.
Central Standard, 156 S. Greenwich: The brewery will tap a keg of its Conditioned Cyclogenesis at 3 p.m.
The Hill, 4800 E. Douglas: A Kansas tap takeover happens at 6 p.m.
Deano’s, 9747 E. 21st St. A Kansas tap takeover is scheduled.
Three Rings Brewery, 536 Old U.S. 81, McPherson: The new brewery will feature its Wanderlust Scottish Red.
Third Place Brewing, 630 E. Douglas: The brewery will tap its Red Headed Stranger Irish Red beer.
Central Standard Brewing, 156 S. Greenwich: The bar will tap its Moondog Saison at 3 p.m.
Picasso’s, 621 W. Douglas: The pizzeria will have a Kansas tap takeover.
Bacon and Beerfest, Hartman Arena: This annual event will last from 4 to 7 p.m. and will feature most of the Wichita breweries offering samples of their craft beer. Tickets are $30 in advance and available at www.ticketmaster.com.
Aero Plains, 117 N. Handley: The brewery will be the site of a Kanas Craft Beer Week finale party starting at 5 p.m. It’ll be staged in the parking lot and will feature food trucks, games, live music, the tapping of Aero Plains’ Milkfloat Birch stout and more. Admission is free.
Dempsey’s Biscuit Company, 3425 E. Douglas: The restaurant will feature Kansas beers and serve a special brunch.