Kansas City Bier Company Founder, Steve Holle, developed a love of German bier from his father and from his studies abroad as a college German student. Holle’s interest in bier corresponded to the beginning of the craft bier movement in America, which has been largely dominated by English-style ales, and more recently, also Belgian styles. It was Holle’s belief that many craft brewers unfairly dismissed German bier because it was deemed too similar to the light-bodied, ubiquitous North American lagers from which craft brewers were trying to distinguish themselves.
Thus, the idea was born that Americans, who had not yet experienced the rich flavor, drinkability, and freshness of locally brewed lagers and ales found in Germany would embrace an American brewery that produced authentic examples of German styles.
Holle’s hometown seemed like the perfect place to open the brewery. Kansas City is a major city with only one micro-brewery, Boulevard. Although Boulevard is hugely successful, Holle believed that Boulevard’s success has created an enthusiastic bier drinking community that would embrace another local brewery, especially one that produced a neglected category, German-style lagers and ales.
Juergen Hager, a friend and Bavarian native, also shares Holle’s love of German bier. Hager teamed up with Holle with the mutual pursuit to not only produce bier, but also introduce Kansas City to Bavarian bier drinking culture that would be displayed in the brewery tasting room and biergarten.
In July of 2013, with the help of approximately 25 local partners, Hager and Holle were able to move forward with their concept of the Kansas City Bier Company with the mission of producing authentic German bier styles. The brewery’s tasting room and bier garden opened in February 2014 and started distributing bier to taverns and restaurants in March 2014.
Like grapes, malt and hops express their own “terroir” based on the local climate and geology. Malt grown on the hot dry North American prairie has a different flavor than malt grown in the cooler, wetter climate of central Europe. One is not better than the other, just different. For reasons of authenticity, we will import European malts and hops.
We acquired our primary lager and wheat beer yeast strains from a monastery brewery in southern Germany during one of Founder Steve Holle’s frequent trips abroad to research brewing techniques.
Our 30-barrel brewing system has the capacity to perform multi-temperature step mashing and decoctions. Our maturation cellar includes dedicated lager tanks that allow for long slow aging and natural carbonation.
All of our biers are served unfiltered. The main purpose of filtration is to clarify the beer and prevent haze formation. But filtration can also remove flavor and body and impact freshness. Although Hefe-Weizen is an unfiltered style, Kansas City Bier Company also offers the rare opportunity to drink fresh, locally produced, unfiltered lagers that are allowed to naturally clarify during a period of long cold lagering.
STEVE HOLLE, Diploma Brewer
Founder and CEO
KARLTON GRAHAM, Siebel Institute & Doemeus Akademie
Director of Operations
Director of Sales & Marketing