Bierstation – Kansas City, MO

Aug 17, 2015 by

If you have ever met me in person you have probably been subjected at one point or another to a long diatribe about this or that in an honest attempt by myself to either amuse you, make you think of something new, or make you think of something old in a new way.  These conversations are precious to me and typically so are the people I share them with, but The Inspired Tastebud was envisioned to be a platform for building local pride and sharing local experiences rather than my personal stories.  That said, it is hard for me to imagine how I would introduce the Bierstation without beginning on some anecdotal recount of why this place is uniquely special to me.

“…my fondest memories from my childhood start with the time that I spent growing up as the son of an American soldier in Germany…”

I was born in West Germany during the mid 80’s while President Reagan was still trying to identify writers who would pen some of the most famous words he would ever utter.  Although I am indisputably an American Citizen, some of my fondest memories from my childhood start with the time that I spent growing up as the son of an American soldier in Germany long before I walked on authentic American soil.  While true for most foreign countries, it doesn’t take most visitors long to realize how deeply rooted traditions run in the German culture.  From cuckoo clocks to solid wooden shrunks made using traditional joinery practiced over generations, Germany brims with pride in what they engineer and produce.  Despite the plethora of unique goods manufactured there, nothing seems to inspire more national pride for Germans than their food and drink.

“…The Bierstation is the most authentic German Biergarden experience you will find in Kansas City.”

The Bierstation is one of the few places I have encountered that has been able to connect me back to these wonderful memories.  While many gastropubs have been popping up around the KC Metro, the Bierstation is the most authentic German Biergarden experience you will find in Kansas City. While the menu is arguably limited, it has been kept to a very manageable offering which can be produced quickly at consistently high quality even if the house is completely full. Sourced from the local restaurant Affare, the “Rockhill” should be crowned champion of American produced bratwursts and is a must try for any first time patrons.  It sings its Bavarian heritage from a warm pretzel roll and includes accouterments of Dusseldorf style mustard and a pickle spear.  It’s natural casing snaps to reveal an extremely well balanced and complex seasoning that isn’t as salt heavy as the typical American doppelganger.  For a small up-charge, you may request a generous side of sauerkraut which compliments and elevates the “Rockhill” to the most authentic bratwurst I have ever had this side of the Atlantic.  The rest of the menu offerings are uniquely delicious in their own right and the “Dodson,” which harks in beautiful thanksgiving memories, is worth a try if you can stop shoving your face full of the “Rockhill” to give it a try.  I’ve managed this feat only a few times.  No regrets.

“This isn’t the local tap house chain which offers a hundred drafts of whatever brewery schmoozes the corporate guys.”

For taps, the Bierstation makes excellent judicious use of what they are able to offer.  Their draft selections typically rotate as their kegs pop and are chosen to offer patrons a wide variety of craft brews which are often style-orientated rather than brand-orientated.  And be sure to get your fill if you taste something you like because there rarely is a chance to chase that beautiful unique blonde a second time if you decide two weeks later you found the courage to give it another shot.  This isn’t the local tap house chain which offers a hundred drafts of whatever brewery schmoozes the corporate guys.  You should not walk through the doors expecting to find your long standing favorite draft cold and ready for you when you sit down, and certainly not if it starts with “Bud” and ends in anything (especially lime).  However, if that is what you are looking for then I’m certain your local Apple-G-I-F-Outhouse has got plenty of it running on a 2-for-1 special with no wait for seating.  You might also find yourself tempted by an order of bloomin’ funyons with spicy lard dipping sauce which you can munch on during deep contemplation over why you have terrible taste and make horrible life decisions while you are waiting for your frosty glass of urine to arrive.  Joking aside if draft craft beer is your thing and you have a curious soul then the Bierstation will deliver an impeccable experience every time.

If you want to be able to enjoy the atmosphere and food fare and the beer on tap isn’t quite nailing it, you don’t have to go much further than the enormous wall of bottles kept chilled for you.  Unlike the taps, the bottle selection offers a more consistent selection of favorites in addition to a rotating stock of seasonal and rare beers in a variety of packaging from singles to six packs.  If you find your favorite you are welcome to enjoy it in house with glass service for a small up charge, and if you strictly adhere to the George Thorogood philosophy of drinking you can purchase your selection to be packaged and taken home.

“Through tireless experimentation and after several increasingly intoxicated conversations with the staff, I have vetted and authenticated their beer knowledge.”

The staff is dedicated, friendly, and fantastic.  Through tireless experimentation and after several increasingly intoxicated conversations with the staff, I have vetted and authenticated their beer knowledge.  They are unquestionably experts in the fine art of consuming delicious beers and are more than willing to guide you towards the light.  Maybe you have been trying to figure out why Anheuser-Busch has started to terrifyingly make all those anti-craft beer commercials, but don’t know anyone in the craft beer scene or just have no friends at all because you’re difficult to like.  In either scenario you will find a welcome warm embrace and the ability to taste test beer until you find your own hop-malt-nirvana. And if you are looking towards a more social experience, the Bierstation offers events on weekends and weekdays which are beer focused and are often driven in collaboration with top breweries around the world.  These events also often host brews which are the rarest and most difficult to obtain as well as brewery swag such as glasses, bottle openers, and novelties on occasion.

In closing…

The Bierstation is a unique craft-focused Biergarden which offers a wide selection of rotating beer varietals, delicious food, hospitable ambiance, and overall pleasantries.  They support local, encourage artistry, and break the mold of the typical tavern experience.  Their events are well organized and marketed, taking advantage of social network vectors such as Untappd and offer a value significantly greater than what is typical of similar establishments.  Their friendly, knowledgeable staff is willing to make the experience more intimate for patrons when possible by offering personal recommendations and sharing descriptions of their own favorites while offering gentle encouragement to timid customers to be adventurous.  The menu is carefully planned for repeatable excellence in quality, value, and delivery even when they’re running at capacity.  The Bierstation inspires 5 out of 5 tastebuds and will likely encourage a great deal of local pride to Kansas Citian’s who patron it.


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It is time…

Aug 17, 2015 by

… to get serious, Boys and Girls. This blog was created in hopes that it would inspire some local pride, bring people to new experiences, and with a glimmer of hope that maybe it would help me transcend my current position and offer me new opportunities in life. But I’ve become painfully aware that without my dutiful attention and primping it will simply never achieve any of those goals. With this in mind as well as a steadfast resolve which I hope proves to be truly unshakeable, I hope to finally bring consistent and entertaining articles which moves us all forward positively. Thank you for your patience Kansas City, but I owe this to you.

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Taco Zone – Replay Lounge – Lawrence, Ks

May 24, 2014 by

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In the most unlikely of places in the town of Lawrence, Ks lies a golden gem for fans of classic New Mexican style taquieras.  The Taco Zone is humbly located in the corner of the Replay Lounge, an alternative bar located off Mass and 8th street.  The food is simply spectacular.  Slowly braised for hours, they offer traditional proteins like Chile Rojo Beef and Yucutan Pork that detonate on the palatte with exciting, complex, well-layered flavors.  Those suffering from mental disorders which prevent the consumption of meat will find that the vegetarian menu is exceptionally well crafted and offers meatless tacos which are extroardinarly palatable and have clearly had the same care and expert attention given to them as any of the other menu items they offer.

The ambience suffers greatly due to the bar atmosphere and the Taco Zone operates during bar hours which require a cover just to get to the ordering counter.  Tacos are served on flimsy paper plates and there are often no places to sit and eat unless you show up earlier than the crowds.  This is a minor and forgiveable atrocity as the Taco Zone consistently delivers food which  would easily justify a white table cloth and a bill twice as heavy on the pocket.

Service is excellent and kitchen processes have been streamlined down to a one man show.  They now accept credit and debit cards and prices are incredible given the quality and taste of the tacos they are peddling.  Patrons can expect to be full for under 10 bucks a head and as of this writing 6 bones will get you three tacos of your choice from a weekly rotating menu of 3 meat and 1 vegetarian receipes, a small portion of spicy pickled vegetables and a small compliment of a house made smoked habanero chile sauce which will significantly kick up the heat quotient on anything it touches, including human eyeballs so watch the fingers.

The Taco Zone rates 4 out of 5 tastebuds for delivering incredible tacos which double as $6 dollar plane tickets to the best taquieras in the heart of Alberquerque.  This is a must try for anyone who enjoys chile spice and the vegetarian menu provides an actual option for diners which isn’t just a second thought to appease picky eaters.  The Taco Zone will have trouble attracting diners who don’t want to push through a sea of bar-goers, but the food is so good its easy to envision the future opening of a permanent location which can offer more seating and an overall more enjoyable dining experience.  -KC


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Instagram – @TACO_ZONE

Twitter – @taco_zone

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