Microbreweries increasing in popularity - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Microbreweries increasing in popularity

Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland. Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland.
Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland. Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland.
Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland. Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland.
Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland. Cinder Block Brewery in the Northland.
NORTH KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

For those of you looking to take the leap from hobby brewing to business, this is your moment. Microbreweries are picking up popularity across the country, increasing by 18 percent last year.

None of the breweries were in Kansas City, but that's changing this year.

In June, a Kansas City ordinance changed, allowing alcohol producers to sell their drinks to the public. It's lead to a boom in beer making.

And the businesses are popping up in other locations as well.

Bryce Schaffter keeps a close watch on his fermenting beers. He's come a long way since the days of home-brewing just five years ago.

"People really loved our beer, and they really wanted to know where was our brewery and where can they buy our beer, and we're like, ‘uhhhh…'" Schaffter said.

He and his business partner decided it was time to move on up and out of the basement. They started planning what people see now – Cinder Block Brewery, located at 110 East 18th Avenue in North Kansas City, MO.

"It's the foundation for craft beer," Schaffter said.

The timing was right. Missouri state lawmakers eased restrictions on brewers in June.

Another change has helped other business owners. Kansas City relaxed its liquor ordinance to allow for more microbreweries, like Kansas City Bier Company, which is going up in Waldo.

"I love beer, and wider selection of beers are great for beer drinkers, and I'm a beer drinker, and politically beer is a big commerce, and it's creating a lot of jobs and economic activity, so cities and states are realizing that," said Steve Holle, its founder.

Kansas City Bier Company is a nearly $1.7-million project and, once it opens in November, it'll be the fourth-largest brewery in Missouri.

Six companies will be fermenting their own hops by the end of the year. But the new laws could open doors for more amateur brewers. The American Homebrewers Association estimates that there are 13,000 in Missouri.

Schaffter said he can't wait to pour a tall one for his first official customer.

"I really want to see that first person sit down, take a sip of that first beer and say, ‘Wow, you guys are doing great things,'" he said.

Cinder Block Brewery opens Friday at noon. People can get a glass of any of their six beers for $5 or try a sample flight for $6.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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