Monday, July 6, 2009

Brews Made in Kansas City

It isn't often that an advertisement draws my eye and camera. But this ad was a rare exception, because I have watched these companies grow up and, more importantly, I appreciate the products that both companies offer to the Kansas City area and beyond.

Danny O'Neill, founder/owner of The Roasterie, caught the coffee bug while living in Costa Rica as a high school exchange student. Today, O'Neill's Kansas City, Mo. coffee roasting company imports coffee from more than 17 countries and serves customers in every state. And he is just as passionate about his brews as he was the day he began roasting coffee in his basement, in 1993.

John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Co. also opened his first brewing operation in a Kansas City neighborhood. Just like O'Neill, international travel had inspired McDonald to create a business fueled by passion. While in Europe, McDonald became entranced by the craft of brewing beer. He then created a Bavarian-style brewing operation when he opened the company in 1989. Boulevard Brewing Co. has since grown into the largest specialty beer brewer operating in the Midwest.

Want to learn more about this great coffee and beer? Consider touring either of these facilities. Free tours take place at Boulevard Brewing Co. on Wed./Thurs., 3 p.m.; Fri., 1 & 3 p.m.; and Sat., 10, noon, 2 & 4. Learn how coffee travels from field to cup at The Roasterie during free tours on Saturdays, at 9 (large groups also may tour at 11 a.m.). Just be sure that you make a reservation at either company.

You'll never look at your favorite brews the same way again!

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