Dining With Denise Neil

Mini beer fest at Wichita brewery lets people try ‘beer you’ll never get to drink again’

It’s Kansas Craft Beer Week, and one of the most popular ways to celebrate it is a mini beer fest at River City Brewing Company that happens every year.

The annual Kiss My Cask Firkin Fest is scheduled for 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, and it will fill the brewery at 150 N. Mosley with brewers from around the state who will tap firkins — casks of special beer that allow breweries to experiment with different recipes and ingredients.

The event will feature around 16 firkins made by 14 different Kansas breweries, and ticket holders will each get a special logo glass and a punch card that will allow them five-ounce pours from each firkin.

“Every beer is unique, and it’s a beer you’ll never get to drink again,” said Chris Arnold, owner of River City.

Attendees at the annual Kiss My Cask Firkin Fest at River City Brewing Company will get to sample 16 different experimental beers and keep the glass. Courtesy photo

Arnold said that nearly all of Wichita’s craft breweries will be at the event, including Central Standard, Hopping Gnome, Nortons and more. Other Kansas breweries also will be there, including Free State out of Lawrence and Lb. Brewing out of Hays. The brewers themselves also will be on site to answer questions.

Tickets to the event cost $30 a person, and they always sell out, Arnold said. They’ll be available online at eventbrite.com until Thursday, and he’s held some back to sell at the door as well.

Beer fans love the event because it gives them a chance to try beers that show off their favorite brewers’ experimental sides. Firkins are usually just 10 gallons, and brewers often add in herbs, spices and fruits to see what they can create.

“People love the uniqueness,” Arnold said. “You get to try all these beers that, if you weren’t here, you’d never get to drink. People also like seeing all these breweries in one spot.”

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.