Food to fuel your way

Tour de Brew KC is happy to announce part­ner­ships with Wilma’s Real Good Food, The Tamale Wizard and Knucklehead’s get you fed and ready to party this year.

Mary from Knucklenead’s will be firing up the grill with Italian sausage and burgers while Wilma’s Real Good Food will be offer­ing up their sig­na­ture chicken wings, meat­loaf sliders fried mashed potatos and mac ‘n’ cheese. The Tamale Wizard will add some fire to your day with their world-class tamales, black beans and three choices of fresh salsa! Vegetarians – we’ve got you covered.

We have lots of options for you too! Remember your Tour de Brew KC packet comes with tickets for lunch and 2 beerssign up today! it takes time to make all the tamales.

Knuckleheads SaloonWilma's real good food truckTamale wizard

Bob’s 47 and the story of Boulevard beer

After Irish Ale in 1992, Boulevard’s second sea­sonal beer, intro­duced in 1993, was Bob’s 47, a lager, named for Bob Werkowitch a former brew­mas­ter for Muehlebach and mentor to John McDonald. Bob started at Muehlebach as an appren­tice brewer in 1938, working with his father a cellar master. In 1947 at the U.S. Brewer’s Academy he made up a recipe for a beer that he pro­claimed “one of the best beers he had ever drunk.” It is a rich, malty Munich-style Octoberfest lager. Bob gave the recipe to John and each year when the beer is released Boulevard employ­ees have a toast to honor their friend, Bob who died in 1996.

Werkowitch boulevard

On November 17, 1989, the first keg of Boulevard beer was sold to Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen just a few blocks from the brewery. John McDonald deliv­ered that half-barrel of Pale Ale in his pickup truck. A handful of reg­u­lars looked on in amuse­ment as the young upstart tapped the strange new brew.

John’s dream of a brewery started on his trips to Paris to visit his future wife. There he tasted great beers and noticed that the beers were locally made and had a local fol­low­ing. Unlike American beers, each one tasted dif­fer­ent. Belgian beers became his favorite.

In 1988, John started con­struc­tion of the brewery in a turn-of-the-century brick build­ing on Kansas City’s his­toric Southwest Boulevard. A vintage Bavarian brew­house was installed, and the first batches of beer were pro­duced in the fall of 1989.

The timing was perfect. Boulevard was at the fore­front of America’s taste switch­ing from homogenous-tasting nation­ally dis­trib­uted brews to Pre-prohibition style craft beers with a local identity.

In 2006, a major expan­sion adja­cent to the orig­i­nal brewery raised Boulevard’s brewing capac­ity to approx­i­mately 600,000 barrels per year—a sizable increase from the 6,000 barrels con­tem­plated in John’s orig­i­nal busi­ness plan. The new brewing and pack­ag­ing facil­ity is a model of sus­tain­able urban archi­tec­ture and engi­neer­ing; a three-story, 70,000 square foot build­ing housing a new, state-of-the-art 150-barrel brew­house, pack­ag­ing lines, admin­is­tra­tive offices, and hos­pi­tal­ity rooms.

Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest spe­cialty brewer in the Midwest. Our mission is simple: to produce fresh, fla­vor­ful beers using the finest tra­di­tional ingre­di­ents and the best of both old and new brewing tech­niques. Boulevard beers, known for their full flavor, dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter, and unsur­passed quality, are cur­rently avail­able through­out [the midwest, south and western U.S.]”

Martin City may be one of the best kept secrets in the Kansas City area.

Martin City CIDMartin City is the southern-most des­ti­na­tion for Tour de Brew Kansas City. There is a new local brewery opening there soon after the tour so we couldn’t miss a peek at the new place. In the brewery parking lot you will find Martin City folks ready to welcome you with water and snacks and answer any ques­tions you have about this center of sports, good eats and more.

Located just 5 minutes south of I-435 at Holmes Road and 135th St., Martin City extends to Hwy. 150 at the State Line Station Shopping Center.

Visitors can soak in the history, see trains rumble through town, shop, play, relax and enjoy some of the best meals in the metro. One-of-a-kind expe­ri­ences are tucked through­out Martin City.  Local owners are often on hand to serve customers.

Visitors will find upscale shops, award-winning restau­rants, a sports complex with the metro’s only double-decker golf ranges, gym­nas­tics and base­ball facil­i­ties, vol­ley­ball beach, premier nurs­eries and garden stores,  retail depart­ment and craft stores, the largest liquor store in the Midwest, one of KC’s most suc­cess­ful motor­cy­cle dealers and our own post office!

Named after Edward L. Martin, mayor of Kansas City in 1873, Martin City was platted in 1887, destroyed by the tornado of 1957, annexed by Kansas City in 1963, estab­lished their renowned St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 1987, and created a 300-acre Community Improvement District (MC-CID) in 2005 .

Martin City has evolved from suc­cess­ful dis­till­ing and rail­road enter­prises by Martin and his partner Arthur Stillwell before the turn of the century to a key eco­nomic center in the south­west corner of Kansas City, MO

Visit our web site at

Beer and baseball, it’s a natural!

When you look back at brewing history in America it seems beer and base­ball have gone together like barley and hops. Several local brew­eries bought their own base­ball teams or started one. One of our now defunct brew­eries was named Royal and it was alleged to have spon­sored a base­ball team named the Royals sixty years before our current team.

Our current trivia ques­tion deals with the Muehlebach brewing family who spon­sored a local team named the Muehlebach Pilsners on which George E., son of the founder George Muehlebach, played first base. They played on a weedy field at 17th and Wyandotte.

In 1917, George E. con­tin­ued his father’s involve­ment with local base­ball, only on a much larger scale. … he pur­chased the local base­ball fran­chise, the minor league Kansas City Blues, a member of the American Association. This team, which the brewery would own through 1932, would win the Association’s pen­nants in 1927 and 1929. For $500,000, George E. also pur­chased the old American Association base­ball field at 22nd and Brooklyn, renam­ing it Muehlebach Field. A new ball­park was built at this site and opened in time for the 1923 season, during which, the Kansas City Blues set an American Association home atten­dance record of 450,000. The success of this team nour­ished another dream of George E., which was for Kansas City to obtain a major league fran­chise. Unfortunately this dream would not mate­ri­al­ize until the arrival of the Kansas city A’s in 1955, the same year George E. passed away. Later, Muehlebach Field would become, as most of us remem­ber it, Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium.

Muehlebach Field

When you see him, say “beer” and smile!

Aaron Dougherty photographyAs you’re riding around the his­toric Kansas City brewery route and see a guy point­ing a camera at you, say hi to Aaron Dougherty, our offi­cial pho­tog­ra­pher. Aaron has the dis­tinc­tion of being a home-brewer and a bicycle frame builder.  And he rides with KCOI Boulevard Cycling team, so he’s the perfect guy for the job! When he’s off the bike he’s an archi­tec­tural pho­tog­ra­pher so be patient with him, he’s not used to sub­jects that move.

Aaron Dougherty, AIA, LEED, grad­u­ated from the University of Kansas with degrees in Environmental Design and Architecture, and has been a reg­is­tered archi­tect since 1990. He’s been a pro­fes­sional archi­tec­tural and inte­ri­ors pho­tog­ra­pher since 2003 includ­ing a three year stint doing in-house pho­tog­ra­phy at Populous, for­merly HOK Sport.

Brewing family brought much needed amusement to Kansas City

Wa-a-ay before Worlds of Fun, people in Cowtown were looking for novel ways to have a good time. To the rescue came the Heim family, specif­i­cally Michael Heim. Of the three Heim broth­ers, Joseph, Ferdinand and Michael, Michael was the “out­go­ing, sports­man, host and showman,” the one who dreamed up stuff. His big idea, Electric Park, was opened in 1899 and was not only a tremen­dous success on its own but a major asset in adver­tis­ing and selling Heim beer.

…it was so named because it was dec­o­rated with elec­tric lights, which were still a novelty to most people. Built adja­cent to the brewery, the park included a 2,500 seat theater fea­tur­ing vaude­ville per­for­mances, a roller coaster, a merry-go-round, a bowling alley, a German village, a pavil­ion for dances, and a beer garden with a stage for con­certs, at which patrons could always enjoy a refresh­ing glass or mug of Heim beer piped in directly from the brewery.

Aaah! What a dream, it sounds won­der­ful today. Plumbing from the brewery directly to the park to bring you freshly brewed beer. Below you can see the Heim Brewery in the center back­ground. Today, it is one of the best pre­served his­toric brew­eries in Kansas City.

Electric Park

The main, and most novel attrac­tion, though, was the elab­o­rate elec­tric foun­tain, pat­terned after one in Paris, in the midst of which young women in gos­samer cos­tumes would emerge on lighted pedestals.

During the park’s eight years of oper­a­tion, it was Kansas City’s favorite place for amuse­ment. So popular was the park that special excur­sion trains brought people in from all over Missouri and Kansas.

Today just north of the Heim brewery, there is a small park in the east bottoms named Heim Park. Unfortunately, you will just have to imagine what that spot was like when it was the lively, glowing Electric Park.

Brew to brew, coffee and beer are cycling favorites

We here at Tour de Brew KC World Headquarters just this week got a message from Bull E. Vard the keeper of the KC Beer Blog. He’s got an enter­tain­ing writing style and we def­i­nitely approve of his inter­est in bicy­cling since after doing much research we have deter­mined that bicy­cling and beer do go together. Our think­ing is that all bicy­cles should be equipped to carry a six-pack.

However, Tour de Brew KC is not going to dis­crim­i­nate. Not only do we love the after-ride brew but the before-ride brew—coffee, a neces­sity for kicking the early morning butt into gear. And, we are thrilled to have our home­town coffee brewers, the Roasterie, to offer coffee to warm you up at the pre-ride gath­er­ing. Here’s some back­ground about their com­mit­ment to a fine cup o’ joe and to keeping their coffee farmers happy too.

Roasterie coffee

On Nov. 22, 1978, Danny O’Neill picked his first batch of coffee beans in the moun­tain­ous, coffee-growing region around the Poás volcano while study­ing abroad in Costa Rica. Right then and there, he fell in love with the country, the people and the coffee—especially the coffee.

Fifteen years later, Danny founded The Roasterie in his base­ment in one of Kansas City’s great neigh­bor­hoods, Brookside. Since then, The Roasterie has become one of the most renowned spe­cialty coffee roast­ers in the nation. In 2005, The Roasterie Café was opened in Brookside. The Café has been voted the “Best Coffee Shop” in Kansas City by “KC Magazine” four out of five years in oper­a­tion. After great success in Brookside, in 2010 The Roasterie opened a second Café at One Nineteen in Leawood, KS.

To this day, nobody else does it like we do. Committed to finding the best coffees from around the world, The Roasterie buys its beans from small, spe­cialty farmers for a fair price. Those beans are then roasted using a con­vec­tion air-roasting method, instead of the more tra­di­tional drum-roasting method, to ensure supe­rior con­sis­tency and a tastier, smoother cup of coffee.

Quality, fresh­ness, edu­ca­tion. That’s what The Roasterie is about. Try any of our coffees and you’ll be able to taste and smell the dif­fer­ence our com­mit­ment makes.

Tour de Brew KC Trivia: Who is Rudy and what is a “Rudy Brew”?

Wow! That must have been a hard one. No one even made a guess. Here’s the scoop on Rudy.

This wooden clock Muehlebach clockhung in the Muehlebach brew­house for many years before it was moved to the new head­quar­ters at 4th and Oak in 1938. George E. Muehlebach gave Rudy Levinger, an immi­grant German brewer, the job of keeping the clock wound and on time.

While every­one at the plant like rudy, he wasn’t without his short­com­ings.” Rudy’s work usually had more “goofs” than normal. “Whether it was leaving a valve open and losing part of the brew, or adding toomuch water to another brew, Rudy seemed to havea higher inci­dence of errors. Thus, unlike his fellow brewers’ mis­takes, his had a name—“Rudy Brews.” Yet, no one can remem­ber the clock not being on time.

In 1956 when Schlitz pur­chased the plant, all accou­ter­ments of the Muehlebach era were removed, includ­ing the clock. It was decided to give the clock to Rudy, who took it home and stored it under­neath his bed.”

A few years later Rudy gave the clock to Forrest McCluney, a former Vice-president of Muehlebach who hung it in his living room.

Answer: Heim No. 20 firehouse on Tour de Brew KC

Justin Bowes got the answer correct! Thanks for par­tic­i­pat­ing in Tour de Brew KC Trivia.

Fires at Pre-prohibition brew­eries were com­mon­place, and the Heim plant was no excep­tion. The first of several fires was reported in March of 1896. …The propen­sity for brewery fires was no doubt the moti­va­tion for Ferd, (Heim) Jr.‘s enthu­si­asm for and involve­ment with the city’s fire depart­ment. The Heims actu­ally built their own fire­house on the Brewery’s property—“Heim No. 20.” It was used by the city’s fire depart­ment until 1965.”

Heim firehouse

Family Bicycles to host a SAG stop for Tour de Brew KC

Here at Tour de Brew Kansas City World Headquarters we are working hard to make this event some­thing you will remember.

Family Bicycles WornallWe want to welcome Family Bicycles as a sponsor! Located at 74th and Wornall they have bicy­cles for every­one from tod­dlers to cruis­ers to type-A ham­mer­heads. They offer the best selec­tion of folding bikes in town. The friendly folks at Family Bicycles have full service bicycle repair, bike rental and they are an offi­cial League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Business. What more could the bike lover or wanna-be cyclist want?

Family Bicycles will provide a rest stop on the 30 mile route. Make sure you stop to say hi and see what they offer.