Denver's River North Brewery is now available in the Kansas City area and in Lawrence.
River North owners Matt and Jessica Hess, with partner Patrick Annesty, are in KC this week for the rollout, its first to areas outside Colorado. It's a bit of a homecoming for the husband-and-wife team. Matt grew up in McPherson, Kansas, and attended the University of Kansas and, for his master's degree, the University of Missouri-Columbia. Jessica grew up near Hannibal, Missouri, and graduated from MU.
"Colorado is an awesome place to run a brewery, but it seemed like Kansas City would be a perfect fit based on the fact that we like the city and we know so many people here, and obviously there are also a lot of other good breweries around here," Matt Hess says. "So we thought it would be a good place to take our beer outside of the state."
River North is bringing its full line of Belgian- and Belgian-American-inspired, year-round beers — 22-ounce bombers of J. Marie Farmhouse Ale, Quandary Quadrupel, Hoppenberg Uncertainty Principle Belgian Double IPA, Avarice Imperial Stout, Unified Theory Oaked Imperial Witbier; and cans of River North White (Witbier) and River North IPA (Belgian red IPA) — to Kansas City, via Central States Beverage.
"I think of our beer as yeast-driven, in terms of flavor," Matt Hess says. He likes using just yeast, as opposed to fruit or other spices, to brew his beers. "I love hops, and we do the Hoppenberg double IPA, but it's just so cool to see what a crazy over-hopped, West Coast double IPA can turn into when you add a Belgian yeast strain to it."