A Much-Needed Date Night at Worlds of Fun's BBQ and Brew Fest!

It has been a little too long since my husband and I have been on a date. When we were sponsored* to come down to Kansas City to experience the 3rd annual BBQ and Brew Festival at Worlds of Fun this weekend, I couldn't say "NO!" While my hubby is not so much a beer drinker, he does love BBQ, so we got a sitter and made the trip down the KC for a day away together.

This event was designed to feature the best craft beers from the region and paired some pretty tasty Barbecue tasting plates to go with. The event started the weekend of April 28th, but with all the rain that weekend, we were glad to be enjoying a beautiful, sunny Saturday for this celebration. We headed down with empty tummies and high expectations for what I hoped would be some pretty yummy beer flavors.

They had thoughtfully put all of the food stands in one area in the Americana part of the park. It was set up like a little alleyway, with stands on both sides. Some offered food, and others offered the beer on tap.

Your badge (which was thoughtfully clipped onto a lanyard) would get a punch at each location you visited. (There was also the option to purchase a tasting plate and beer samples at each stand for $5.) Gold and Platinum park passholders could get the tastings from ONE station of their choice for free, as well. (Simply check with guest services for this perk!)

How as the grub? Fantastic.

We enjoyed ribs, bbq donuts, sandwiches, grilled corn on the cob (hubby's favorite), smoked sausages, and a chicken and waffle cone.

The donuts were classically fried and piping hot upon delivery.

While I didn't think I would enjoy the chicken and waffle cone, I LOVED it. This dish was a savory and sweet waffle cone stuffed with baked beans, shredded BBQ chicken, and topped with coleslaw. I couldn't believe how tasty it was.

As we walked around and enjoyed our cones, we overheard many other people commenting with things like "I can't believe this works!" "Wow! It's really, really good!"

Glad we gave that creation a chance!

My husband stalked the rib stand. It had the longest line, but took just a minute or two to get through. Slabs and slabs of ribs were dished out that day! I was in heaven dining on these perfectly charred beauties.

The other favored crowd-pleaser was the corn. It had a salty, spicy rub and was still in the husks. It made for awkward eating, but I think we decided that greasy fingers were going to be the outfit of the day here. (People were walking around with big BBQ drips on the front of their clothes, but they also wore huge grins -- so there's that.)

Farmer Sam (my husband) may never be happier.
Now, on to the beer selection. What didn't they have? With some of the yummiest creations from Cinder Block, Tallgrass, KC Bier, COOP Ale Works, Piney River, and Nebraska brewing company (from our nearby Papillion, NE), I knew that this was going to be a fun tasting. A total of 12 tasting glasses were made available, with so many options to choose from.

What were my faves? I really, really really loved the Dunkel from KC Bier. It was an authentic German dark profile that went with everything. Beer enthusiasts and first-timers will find this medium-bodied brew to have a perfect malt flavor. This was one of the few beers my husband (who doesn't quite enjoy beer) found delightful. It's like it was designed to go with BBQ, but I would probably drink it with ice cream, too! (This has ABV of 5%, so as you would expect from a craft beer.) And my favorite part was how "fuzzy" it was. (My girl term for beer "head" has always been "fuzz.") This was one fuzzy and delightful glass!

Nebraska Brewing Company had a tidy and tasty IPA that served its purpose well. I'm a fan of IPA's, especially if they aren't overpowering with the citrus notes. It's slightly flowery, but has a great bitter kick that reminds you that this is a beer. This beer has a 6% ABV, and is a popular seller in my homestate -- from what I understand.

People around me were buzzing about 8-Bit, a "throw-back" IPA that kicked me in the teeth a bit upon my first sip. This is very sour, citrus pale ale, but I loved it. Grapefruity, medium fizz, and very dry finish. I'm a dry white wine gal, and this could take it's place any evening with Netflix. (ABV 5.2%)

The most daring variety of the day had to be DNR from Coop Ale Works. I'd have to try this on a different day, perhaps, but after the BBQ coma and all of the other beers in contention, I found it a bit too sweet for me. "Fruitcake in a glass" is how I'd best describe it (and I actually love fruitcake!) This has very low foam, and I really like my beers fizzier. With an ABV of 10%, I might have this at home in place of a dessert wine -- or even rum. If you head down to the vent, start with this one -- don't tack it on at the end.

We met so many great folks at this event. Some were singles, others came with spouses, and a few had a kid sleeping soundly in a stroller while they snuck in some grown-up time. Everyone was friendly, chatting enthusiastically about their faves and marveling that we had so many punches left (we are slooooow drinkers.)

As with any tasting, responsibility is key. I love beer for its craft; it's an art to be enjoyed. Just be sure that you decide in advance who is driving home, or plan on spending the entire day at the park riding rides or listening to the many marching bands who happened to be there on our preferred date. You will get your money's worth in tastings, but since there was so much to choose from, I didn't feel that I needed to finish a whole glass if it wasn't my thing.

The crew at Worlds of Fun did a smashing job of making even the novice beer drinkers feel loved and welcome. Food and drink are an amazing things to bond over. We chatted for a long time from people from all over the Midwest who made the trek down to support local businesses and get a taste of what was on tap. This event was truly representative of why I love living in this region of the country!

You still have time to take advantage of this annual celebration. Today (Sunday) they are serving from 1pm - 6pm. They will also have tastings on the following days next week:

  • May 12th (6pm - 10pm)
  • May 13th (1pm - 9pm)
  • May 14th (1pm - 6pm)

Admission is not included in the price of the event badge (currently $25, or $20 for season pass holders.) If you need to buy an admission ticket to get in to the park (and ride the rides), you can get a bundle pass for the event and the park for $59.99. Buy your pass in advance and save time at the park!

If you love this event, be on the lookout for upcoming news from us. Events include Halloween Haunt, The Great Pumpkin Fest, and the new WinterFest attractions! Or see their full calendar here.

*This visit was sponsored by a partnership between us, Blog Meets Brand, and Cedar Fair. Opinions are our own. 

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  1. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun and got to taste some yummy things! Congrats on your date night--those things are rare when you have kids :)


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