Over the weekend, I ended up patronizing both a local brewery and a local winery.
Saturday morning's jaunt was to Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Missouri. I met up with A Librarian and some of her friends to take a tour of the production facility. It had only been six or eight months since I last went on the tour there, but it had changed rather significantly in that time. I really enjoyed the addition of informative videos at various stops, interspersed with commentary from the two tour guides.
At the end of the tour is a stop in their tasting room. Each tour attendee receives four special bottle-cap tokens to redeem for juice-glass-sized samples of Boulevard's offerings. However, because I had a headache, I only drank a single glass of their Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. My companions were only too happy to take the additional tokens off my hands.
During the tour, one of the guides was describing the various beers available in the tasting room and kept asking who had tried each one. After I'd raised my hand about five times, he called me out for saying I liked them all. But it's true - I've tried their entire line, including almost all of their Smokestack Series high gravity beers. What can I say? I support my local brewery.
On Sunday, I had a book club meeting at Holy-Field Winery in Basehor, Kansas (about 30 minutes outside of Kansas City). We didn't take the tour, but I've taken it twice before.
We had planned to sit on their deck, but because the weather was chilly and damp, they allowed us to set up in their indoor event space. Several of us purchased bottles of wine to share; I chose a red that was far sweeter than I usually like, but it worked out well with the cheese, crackers and fruit that other people had brought.
Holy-Field is run by a father and daughter, so it definitely has the feel of a family operation. As we discussed Catching Fire (a small-group discussion before the main book club meeting started) and The Help, the various winery dogs kept wandering in to visit. One even hopped up onto an empty chair to make himself more easily pettable (and get a good look at the food on the table).
In general, I'm not a huge fan of Kansas and Missouri wines because they're notorious for being very sweet. However, Holy-Field has done a good job of diversifying their wine varieties, and they have some medium and dry options that are quite good.
Next, perhaps I need to take a tour of The Roasterie...