Kansas City’s latest addition to a growing beer scene is Bier Station, a draft and bottle shop located at Rockhill and Gregory Boulevards, a short stroll from my front door. It will open for business tomorrow, 12/29, but I was lucky enough to be invited to a preview yesterday evening.
Bier Station is a new kind of beer store, where you have 3 main options when you walk in. 1) You can walk in, pick out some beers from the cooler, and take it home, just like any other beer store, but better because of the selection. 2) You can walk in, take a seat, and drink beer from the 21 taps, just like any other beer bar, but better because of the selection. 3) You can walk in, choose a beer from the cooler, bring it to the bar, have them open it (for a slightly higher price than the to-go price) and enjoy it at the bar or one of the tables, just like no place else in Kansas City.
Last night, I drank at the bar and then brought home a few treasures.
Short review – WOW – Kansas City has a new source for great beers and a great place to hang out.
Longer review – Bier Station is a warm, inviting place with thoughtful touches to make it truly special. In the upstairs loft space (ideal for gatherings of friends, or book clubs, or fantasy sport drafts, etc.), a wall is taken up by a great photograph of a turn-of-the-century beer garden in KCK. The furniture downstairs combines recycled-wood tables and comfortable chairs.
But you’re not at Bier Station to shop furniture – you’re there to experience the best beers in the world, and the place features the most thoughtful selection of beer I’ve ever seen. 21 taps with a broad range of styles, flavors and brewing traditions. I have been drinking craft beer for a couple decades with an eye out for new examples, but even I had never tasted more than a few of the tap offerings. This is not the same old tasting group, I assure you.
I cannot say enough good things about the beer selection in the coolers, either. My New Orleans-based daughter noticed that her local favorite, Abita, wasn’t represented, and then we took a look at the wall full of coolers to see what we could recommend removing to open up a spot, and came up blank. It warms my heart to see that much great beer in one location. The beer manager at Bier Station is Brad from Royal, and he knows his stuff.
I should also point out that they have a superb selection of single bottles for the best build-your-own-sixpack opportunity in Kansas City. Too often, the bottles shunted into the build-you-own section are last year’s seasonals and whatever hasn’t sold, but Bier Station wants to help you taste the best beer at its peak, so you’ll be back to expand your beer horizons.
Bier Station also has a small food menu, that may expand with time. Right now, they offer Farm-to-Market pretzels in several varieties (Bavarian, Potato and Rosemary, Jalapeno and Cheddar, and one I can’t recall), a good selection of cured meats and cheeses (including BobKat Dan’s locally smoked Gouda!) and some delectable looking cupcakes.
Let me acknowledge that Bier Station is a local business start-up run by people I know and care for, and it is a couple blocks from my home, so I have all kinds of biases that make me want to love the place. But the joyful truth of the matter is that the people I care for have delivered a top-notch product – I would honestly love this place if it were in Blue Springs or even (gasp!) Kansas, and I would rave about it even if I hadn’t shared great homebrews many times with John Couture. It really is a tremendous addition to Kansas City’s beer scene (bier scene?), and I plan to be a regular.