Nelson-Atkins and Negro League Museums Get Brews of Their Own

City Barrel Brewing is teaming up with the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for a refreshing fundraiser that features a special brew "Creative Juice." (Image courtesy Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art)

Downtown brewers have rolled out a couple of special edition beers to help raise money for two major cultural institutions, the Negro League Baseball Museum and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

City Barrel Brewing in the East Crossroads has released a pale ale called Creative Juice in partnership with the Nelson-Atkins. The beer will be sold at the museum, City Barrel and at bars and liquor stores throughout the community.

A portion of each case sold will come back to the museum as a donation to support the museum’s mission and keep admission free for everyone, according to a release from the Nelson-Atkins.

“This partnership brings together two local organizations that share a desire to enlighten as well as entertain Kansas Citians,”Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins, said in a statement.

“It’s whimsical and fun, and after the past two years, I think we could all use a little bit of fun.”

City Barrel recently won a bronze medal for its Rad AF IPA at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, one of the nation’s most prestigious beer competitions.

“We couldn’t be more excited to partner with such an iconic Kansas City organization,” James Stutsman, City Barrel co-founder and head brewer, said in a statement. “With this collaboration, we hope to highlight the fun of art and the beauty of beer—and vice versa.”

The collaboration will be kicked off at the museum’s Tivoli Halloween special event in Atkins Auditorium on Oct. 28, when it will be debuted to guests attending a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds.”

The new Negro League beer, a collaboration of Boulevard Brewing and Vine Street Brewing, honors baseball legend Buck O’Neil (Image courtesy Boulevard and Vine Street)

The Negro League’s special brew is a collaboration of Kansas City stalwart Boulevard Brewing and Vine Street Brewing, a new microbrewery that’s expected to open in the 2000 Vine development early next year.

The new beer is being called Buck O’Neil Ale after the former Kansas City Monarch star and baseball great Buck O’Neil. O’Neil was a huge champion of the Negro League Baseball Museum in the 18th and Vine Jazz District.

The ale is a chardonnay barrel-aged saison with a crisp, light flavor featuring notes of fruit and accentuated by hops. It is a beer to be savored with an ABV of 9 percent, according to a release.

Boulevard and Vine Street will donate all Buck O’Neil Ale proceeds to the Negro League Baseball Museum, described in the release as the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball.

“Donating the proceeds from Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is one small way we can give back for everything they’ve done for our community,” Bobby Dykstra, vice president of sales at Duvel Moortgat USA, Boulevard’s parent company, said in a statement.

“I know that Buck would be thrilled about this recognition and the support that it is generating for his museum,” Bob Kendrick, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president, said in a statement.

“He would be equally excited about the opportunity to shine light on the Vine Street Brewing Company, a great new addition to Historic 18th & Vine.”

The limited release Buck O’Neil Ale will be available on tap and in bottles beginning the first week of November 2022, according to the release.

It will be available for purchase throughout the Greater Kansas City Area, in retail stores where Boulevard is sold.

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