Wednesday, September 19, 2007


As fate would have it, my job took me to Kansas City, Missouri last week, and I frantically did the thing that all right-thinking beer drinkers do when confronted with an unfamiliar city: I looked up the town breweries & pubs, then Mapquested directions from the airport. The one that Beer Advocate’s “Beerfly” resource seemed to indicate would be my best bet was called the 75TH STREET BREWERY. Upon landing, armed with my sheet of directions, that’s just where I headed, only to get ensnared in a Mapquestian nightmare of wrong turns, one-way streets, and no-handed driving with the overhead rental car light on. Chastened and frustrated (and very hungry & thirsty), I pulled into a neighborhood I’d been in once before called Westport, and lo & behold, right in front of me was McCOY’S PUBLIC HOUSE, a name I recognized from my half-hearted research. When I realized they brewed their own beer, well, “dinner was served”, as they say.

After asking for a table for one, I was seated next to a table – I kid you not – packed with six burly, beefy, corn-fed Midwestern cops in full uniform, right out of central casting. No one else was seated in my section – just me & the cops. Would you fault me for therefore ordering the lowest-ABV beer on the menu before getting my bearings? Good thing I did, as McCOY’S THOMPSON’S DRY STOUT was a really refreshing, smoky-tasting stout that I found to be quite a bit above my expectations. A little thin, perhaps, but this was counterbalanced with some delicious roasted malts that, like I said, has a crisp “smoked” taste that worked well. Good on ya, McCOY’S! 7/10.

So those cops didn’t skedaddle anywhere, but they also weren’t actively checking my alcohol intake either, and were busy talkin’ about the Monday Night Football game then being projected on the big screens. Knowing that I’d get totally lost on my way to Overland Park, Kansas (my ultimate destination), I kept my tastings to a mere 10-oz. glass, and proceeded to order the NEWCOMB’S IPA. I declare with not a small amount of perverse pride that this is quite simply the single worst IPA I’ve ever tasted, and a beer that now sets a record for lowest-rated beer in the history of Hedonist Beer Jive. The “pride” I felt was probably more akin to relief, as it proved to me that not every beer I drink falls into the milquetoast “good to great” 6-to-9 range, and that there are still poorly-executed craft beers out there. They’re not all great – how about that? My taste buds still work! NEWCOMB’S IPA was bitter beyond belief, with no balance whatsoever. Like a stuffed mouthful of dry, hurtful hops, worse than any homebrew I’ve had. Ever. 2.5/10, and I couldn’t finish it. Should have had a “RED LIGHT RASBERRY” instead – seriously.

So as long as you stay away from that thing, McCOY’S is pretty all right. Service could have been better, but they were playing parts of “Exile On Main Street” while I dined on a very satisfying turkey burger & fries. A little THOMPSON’S DRY STOUT to go with that & you’re all set. When in Kansas City and totally, hopelessly lost, look ‘em up!

1 comment:

Beer Retard said...

What's really crazy is that Newcombs IPA won a bronze at the GABF in 2002. Either they changed the recipe substantially, the judges at GABF were on crack or you just got a particularly bad batch.