By Kevin Collison
City Barrel Brewing has opened in the East Crossroads and if you’re looking for a full service restaurant and perhaps an “816” double dry hop blonde ale to wash it down, James Stutsman has just the a place.
“We’re bringing a wine bar approach to craft beer,” he said. “It’s an upper echelon focus with high-end beer in a unique environment.
“We can afford to do crazy, double-hopped beers.”
Last week, the new 8,000 square-foot brewpub at 1728 Holmes St. was hopping as City Barrel hosted its first 816 fundraiser for the KC Pet Project. All the proceeds from the sales of the brewer’s 816 label went to help the non-profit.
The crowd enjoyed the custom-built tables, chairs and bar fashioned from Missouri white oak. The walls were decorated with mock origami trophy heads of a stag, unicorn and T-Rex, and a billboard-size street art mural announced the entrance to the brewery room.
Stutsman, co-owner of City Barrel, had hoped to roll out the barrel in December, but construction delays held up the opening, and the federal government shutdown postponed the release of his canned craft beers.
“Construction is construction, it wasn’t terrible but it takes longe than you expect,” he said. “I couldn’t be happier with how the space turned out.”
And he now expects his first canned beers to be released in early April. First off the line will be the 816.
His other beer line up includes RAD AF, a hazy IPA; Cashmere Lightning, a Brut IPA; Crossroads Sour Red, a grape sour ale, and Classy, a fruited mix fermentation sour.
City Barrel seats 125 people in the brewpub and features a “Barrel Deck” rooftop patio that accommodates 25. When it came to hiring staff, Stutsman had an embarrassment of riches because of the recent closings of McCoy’s and Room 39 in Leawood.
“We were able to find amazing service professionals,” he said.
In addition to the brewpub and rooftop patio, there will be overflow space in the brew room for First Fridays and busy weekends.
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