A good beer list is like the mixtape that you once agonized to perfect — you need something to get the party started, something to keep that feeling going and then something a bit mellow because you can’t rage that hard for a few hours. A bar or restaurant doesn’t need 30 taps (although it doesn’t hurt) to set the mood for your night. It just needs the right person behind the bar picking what handle makes the cut. Here’s a collection of five beer lists that you shouldn’t miss (and might not know about) in Kansas City.
5. Cellar & Loft (525 Walnut Street) — The River Market wine seller takes a oenophile’s approach to draft beer. The gleaming taps, just to the left of the pizza oven, are well curated. There’s a small menu of beer bread bites and pizza rolls — it’s a good place for a late afternoon beer and snack. The monthly pizza special for March is the Big Hoss — a steak pie with Hillsdale Bank Bar B-Q sauce.
4. Next Door Pizza & Pub (3385 SW Fascination Drive, Lee’s Summit) — There’s just something about pizza and beer. Next Door, which turned four years old this January, makes it clear that the beer list matters. It’s one of a handful of spots to post its beer menu on its website. It’s also the rare place where you can get deep dish and New York-style pizza (on Wednesdays and Sundays). The pizza shop is currently updating its menu and the restaurant’s look, having just added new benches.
3. BD’s Mongolian Grill (19750 E. Valley View Parkway, Independence) — It’s perhaps not surprising that a place that invites you to create a plate of your own imagining would have a massive beer list. BD’s introduced the Beer Growler Taproom — an extensive collection of brews available to drink there or take home in 32 oz. howlers or 64 oz. growlers — in 2013.
2. Grinders (417 E 18th Street) — If you get there after noon, the lunch crowd means that you’re likely sitting at the bar by the taps. This is not a bad thing. Grinders has a decent collection of brews, but they also make the list for their regular beer dinners. The next one features chef Michael Foust of The Farmhouse and brews from New Belgium on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m.
1. Screenland Armour (408 Armour Road, North Kansas City) — The Screenland Armour is a bar that just happens to have a movie theater attached to it. You can buy a beer when you get your ticket and take it into the theater or drink it any of the handful of tables in the lobby. You can pair your beer with standard movie fare (popcorn, nachos) or hit up the deep fryer for fried pickles.