Since I moved up to the north part of Kansas City last summer one of the places I’ve been told I had to check out was Cinder Block Brewery. Coinciding with our move was the birth of our first child, so free time and nights out on the town have been scarce for the past year to say the least. We finally got over to Cinder Block this past weekend and I have nothing but good things to say about their beers and taproom. My wife and I were really impressed and will be going back every chance we get.
The brewery is located in North Kansas City, an area I knew very little about until the past 6 months or so. We have made our way over there a few times to check out a really unique theater (Screenland Armour, which has a nice little selection of beers on tap, by the way) and to have some barbecue at Smoking Guns, which we had seen on the Food Network.
Cinder Block has a nice open taproom area with a plenty of seating and a large bar to belly up to. They have bar snacks and popcorn, and you are welcome to bring in your own food. Every Friday and Saturday they have the “Back Rack Grill” food truck set up outside the brewery. After smelling the bbq from the truck when we walked into the place, I was wishing we hadn’t eaten before we came. On the night we were there we were treated to a cowboy-hatted duo that played live music featuring covers of anything from Prince to Dwight Yoakam to Beck. They were great.
Onto the beers: (Disclaimer—My palate is not as refined as the Baron’s, and although I have put back a few brews in my time I claim no expertise when it comes to beer. This is a weekend warrior’s take, if you will).
—Northtown Native (California Common) – Perfect session beer. I could drink a lot of these (and did, in fact). Nothing overwhelming here, just a light, crisp beer that has a slight malt and hop taste to give it a little character.
—Prime Extra Pale Ale (American Pale Ale) – Got a lot of citrus with the aroma on this one, and it definitely had some fruit in the taste as well. I’ve always had trouble distinguishing between certain pale ales and IPA’s. There is a blind spot in my palate, I think. My wife liked this one more than I did, which is not to say that I didn’t like it.
—Paver Porter (Porter) – I’m a sucker for a good stout or porter. This was my favorite beer that I tried. Big on malt with a little chocolate and just a touch bitter. This is the type of beer I want to be clutching in my paws when they bury me. I actually had this one at a craft beer festival a few months back so I knew what to expect. Big fan.
—Block IPA (IPA) – This one surprised me, as I am admittedly not a huge IPA guy. The description provided by the brewery claims a burst of green hop and pine flavors, and that is certainly accurate. Very hoppy, very crisp. Good beer.
—Hop Maven #2 (IPA)– This was the seasonal that came with our sampler flight. Just like with the Block IPA I liked this one better than I thought I might. In fact, I might put this as my second favorite beer that I had after the porter. Tasted more like a session IPA, with a very smooth feel to it. The right amount of hops and bitterness.
—Weathered Wit (Belgian Wit) – This was the last one I had from the sampler that we got and I think the taste got lost a little bit after I had been drinking the IPA’s and the porter. My wife said she liked this one a lot, and I will have to give this another go sometime after I have cleansed my palate thoroughly.