New Belgium Tasting at Barley’s RECAP

March 2, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Beer, News

fattire_storyNew Belgium has great beer. Their flagship beer, Fat Tire, is a solid, balanced beer. One of the best things about the brewery is they take chances, like their Lips of Faith line of specialty brews. At their size and popularity it would be easy for them to just push out their regular beers and be content, but they don’t. Plus, their commercials feature the music of Devendra Banhart. New Belgium is a great success story and a truly bright spot for American beer makers and the brewing industry.

Now that I have said that about the actual brewery, a place we visited on the first beer tour, let’s discuss the tasting at Barley’s. This was actually the first time either Nate or I had been to Barley’s. We drive by the Shawnee location all the time on I-435, but never have been in the area to drink. Barley’s is top notch. Their tap row is not intimidating, but visually and mentally intoxicating. If you engage with it, you will become physically intoxicated as well. So Barley’s has that going for them. I could spend a lot more time on Barley’s and I will, but I was impressed. Very impressed.

The event cost $16 for their non-members (Barley’s calls it the “Mug Club”). The price was reasonable considering they were providing food along with the beer. Based on the opening words from Barley’s manager the turnout was higher than expected. The event was a sellout, I would estimate about 50 people were in attendance.
We sampled five beers. All of them came with a brief story and description of the beer and all the other things that go on during a tasting. I was expecting to taste the whole Lips of Faith line, but unfortunately that was not the case. Maybe I didn’t read the e-mail close enough talking about the tasting or what, but I was stoked to try them all, but we only had two from the line.

The Beer  We Tasted:

  • Fat Tire This was the first beer of the night and it is just a great balanced beer. We kind of got lost on the way, I-435 had a wreck on it so we tried the back roads without knowing the street and town or general area Barley’s was located. Not to knock Fat Tire, but when we finally had some beer, anything would have tasted great.
  • Abbey This was the second beer of the night. The host or “Beer Ranger” as New Belgium calls them, made an interesting comment about this beer. It was what New Belgium wanted as their flagship beer but Fat Tire was the one that won the hearts of the drinkers. Oh, it also didn’t help this beer is their lowest selling. However, it is their most decorated beer in terms of awards.
  • La Folie (A Lips of Faith Beer) Wow. This beer took me completely off guard. It is a Belgium sour and a complex beer that tastes closer to champagne than Fat Tire. There really is a lot going on here, unfortunately after the initial shock of this beer wore off, I had finished it. So I’m not comfortable talking too much about it. What I can say is this is an interesting beer. Everyone should try it just to try it. Barley’s paired it with the dish Melissa Newell, Owner of Terroir Restaurant, recommended on New Belgium’s site. It worked perfectly with it.
  • Mighty Arrow Pale Ale This is New Belgium’s first Pale Ale, according to the Beer Ranger. The Mighty Arrow did not disappoint. For a Pale Ale it has a good balance between the malts and the hops.
  • Dunkelweiss 30° (Lips of Faith) Another interesting beer in regards to the flavor. This isn’t a beer to just drink by itself, it needs to have food with it, preferably dessert. And that idea alone—drinking beer with dessert—opens a whole new area of beer enjoyment. It is a place where these fruity, full bodied beers can be enjoyed, even if you are not a fan of them.

Deep Thinking: Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

February 19, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Community, Featured

stout_cutoutWhen things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed..

‘Now,’ said the professor as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else—the small stuff.
‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.
Visit with grandparents.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your spouse out to dinner.
Play another 18.
There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.
Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, ‘I’m glad you asked.’

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

***This is not an original piece here on Brew Union. It was forwarded to me from Seth. I have scoured the inter-web for the original author of this and found nothing. So to the orginal author–whoever and where ever you are. Cheers! Well done.

Beer Event: New Belgium’s “Lips of Faith” Tasting

February 17, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Beer, News

newbelEvent Preview:

Barley’s Brewhaus, a local beer house in the Kansas City area with 99 beers on tap, is having a New Belgium Brewery beer tasting Wednesday, February 18th. The beer that is served will be New Belgium’s Lips of Faith line of beer.

The Lips of Faith is a series of New Belgium’s specialty brews, that when drank, is accompanied by a kiss from the brew muse. It is said to lift your spirits and put your sub-conscience in a whole new world! It’s either that or it’s because you’re drunk. These beers are not messing around in the ABV area. Three of the five beers in the line have an ABV over 8 percent. Four of the five are over 7 percent.

Just in case, we will have a third party join us tomorrow to drive us home. Can you imagine the bad press Brew Union would get if we get a DUI? Tabloids would be all over us.

The event will have the hosting help from Adam Satz, who Barley’s lists as, “New Belgium’s Kansas Beer Ranger.”

Who Are You Guys?

February 17, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Community, Featured

wtfSeriously, who are we? Well our mission or our purpose is covered in the About Brew Union page. So I won’t get into that, because that would just be rehashing the same stuff. And that is counter-productive. At Brew Union we have a saying, “Being counter-productive is when you drink a light beer. You spend more time urinating than you do drinking.”

First, Brew Union has a core of four guys (it has grown to include more): Seth, Dane, Nate and Jacob. Unfortunately for Jacob, he lives 5 hours away from the other three, so he was physically on the outside looking in at the early stages, but he was there spiritually, emotionally and on the phone. That’s the background on the people. To get to know more about them, check out their author pages an’such. Now more on Brew Union.

Brew Union has been around a little over a year now. Well, at least the idea of it has been. The idea of Brew Union started brewing when a brand spanking new brewery opened up in our area. That was the fuel for our fire. The spark was when their beer showed up on tap at our preferred location of consumption.

For whatever reason when I drank my local brewery’s beer for the first time there were fireworks in my head. That might be hyperbole, but that is the truth. From there we started the conversations about Brew Union.

The next steps were subtle and slow. What could we do to immerse ourselves into the world of craft beer? We didn’t just want to make the switch to drinking craft beers. We wanted to go the distance. We wanted to live it, breathe it and be it. When we decided that, the next steps were easy. The best way to learn about the culture and the world was to go to it. With that idea we decided a brew tour was in order. That’s where the idea of a road trip that would take us over a good chunk of the country and drop us into world of beer came from.

What a success the trip was. We’ll go over it in more detail on other posts, but it turned our smoldering passion for craft beer into a firestorm. The success came not from the beer we had (which was good) but from the people we met. The people we met and continue to meet are the motivation behind Brew Union.

From that point to now has been all about keeping the idea alive and strong. We started home brewing shortly after the first tour. We brewed and drank. And now we are here building on that dream. This is the next and biggest step.

Brew Union’s headquarters or “lair” is in the Kansas City metro area on the Kansas side. That is our backyard and where we spend our time drinking and what not. So hopefully we are not too much of a homer for our local breweries. Got to support your local brewery right?

Welcome to Brew Union!

January 22, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Featured

final_bu_beta_headerWelcome to Brew Union!

The site is currently under construction. Please excuse our mess as we get things nice and tidy and polished.

We will be adding things each day hopefully, but the finished product (well as close as you can get to “finished”) will be ready sometime…

So if you’re into judging and that kind of thing. Just beware that we have a lot of ins, lot of outs that we need to sure up. We are planning and getting ready to go on the second brew tour (middle of March), so after that we are hoping things will have settled down a bit and things can start shaping up like we want them to.

As we go through this process we’ve called BETA (it just sounds so offical) that doesn’t mean we are not here. We would love to hear from you if you have stumbled across this site from random Google searches, or through other various places we have started to frequent like Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you have ideas, comments, questions or what to know more about the Brew Union contact us via those social networking sites or email us at

The BETA version of Brew Union

January 22, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Featured


Brew Union is officially in its BETA.

It has taken a year now to get to this point but we are here. And the view is great.

Beer Union has indeed come a long way from last year and the first beer tour. That first tour really opened our eyes to the culture of craft beer. The impact it had on those who went was immediate and powerful. It was not the fact that we had a lot of great craft beer, it was more about the people we met. Everyone who was involved in anyway with the beer were amazing. That’s not just hyperbole, that is the honest truth. From Augusta Brewing Company to Rahr & Sons Brewing Company to Odell Brewing Company, the people we met had passion and intensity about the beer. It was as refreshing as their beer.

So from here we will keep working. Check out the about page for more information about Brew Union. For now though, know that getting this where we want and have dreamed of is a process and that process takes time. So bear with us while we get kinks kinked out, the proper hands shook and the work flow flowing like it should.

Second test post for home brew

January 20, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Home Brew

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Test Post for Beer Joints Category

January 20, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Beer Joints

This is a test post for the beer joints category.

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TEST Home Brew

January 15, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Home Brew

This is a test article in the beta stage of Brew Union for Home Brew.

Breweries TEST

January 15, 2009 by Dane  
Filed under Breweries

Beta test article for the category Breweries