Beer tastings are an American stroke of culinary genius. Like wine tastings, they pivot on the fondness for a particular alcoholic beverage. Also like wine tastings, they have a social component that becomes heightened with each serving, as inhibitions lower. However, you can wear flip-flops and a T-shirt advertising free mustache rides to a beer tasting, and beer is not notable for staining your teeth and making you resemble a flesh-eating zombie.The second Thursday beer tastings at Grinders
(417 East 18th Street) have been going on for nearly three years. Each of the five glasses served at the $15 prix-fixe events is paired with an appetizer prepared by the Grinders' staff. Co-owner Anton Kotar says, "We call our suppliers and say, 'We're featuring your product this month. What would you recommend food-wise?' And our kitchen staff makes up a little appetizer that goes with each beer. Most of the time, we get a good response about the quality of the food and how well they go together." With paid admission, customers can also get $5 off the cost of a six-pack to go. Call 816-472-5454 for details.
Second Thursday of every month, 6 p.m., 2006