75th Street Brewery is one of several bar/restaurants owned by K.C. Hopps in Kansas City. It opened in 1993 and has been operating in the Waldo neighborhood ever since. The “great fire” of 2007, which happened right when I moved to Kansas City, luckily spared 75th Street Brewery. On a side note, when we went there yesterday we took in an eyeful of the new building that went up on the ashes of what burned down and it’s awesome! Nice, modern architecture… all windows and steel and aluminum. What looks really great is that Kennedy’s bar has expanded into the new structure and about 2/3 of the glass wall on the corner facing 75th Street is retractable, so in nice weather it’ll be like sitting out on a big deck. Very cool!
Anyway, to get back to the beer, it was unseasonably warm yesterday in Kansas City (high 60’s, maybe even 70) and so I decided to knock back a raspberry wheat at 75th Street. This may come off as heresy in the Kansas City beer community, but I have to say I was completely underwhelmed, and have been consistently with 75th Street’s other beers, by this beer. That said, I have not attended any special firkin nights, etc etc, but in all the times I have been to 75th Street, I have not been wowed by the beer.
The raspberry wheat is thin and watery in mouthfeel, has a little tartness from the raspberry extract, which I like, and was almost completely uncarbonated, something that does not do an American wheat style any justice. I found very little to like about the beer, which is a shame since it set me back $4.50. My girlfriend had their special of the day, a steak sandwich, and it was like chewing on shoe leather. I didn’t eat as I already had lunch earlier, but overall we were disappointed. In the past we have loved the food, so our meal on Saturday may have been a fluke.
I really, really want to like 75th Street’s beers, but it is getting tough for me. With so many great taps and bottle shops in Kansas City I find it extremely difficult to spend money on underwhelming beers. I’ll continue to give 75th Street a chance, and I’m not ready to write them off just yet. Maybe I’ll attend a special night sometime and see if they shine at the smaller batch stuff.