brewery emperial in crossroads arts district is eclectic with blue walls and artsy decor
Brewery Emperial

So Many Kansas City Breweries, So Little Time

Kansas City has become one of the fastest-growing craft beer destinations in the country.

There’s just so many breweries, and so little time to see them all. Fortunately, we have the top five must-visit breweries in KCMO.

As Kansas City locals living in midtown for over a decade, we’ve done the work of visiting all 30+ of the breweries Kansas City has to offer, from Crossroad’s Brewer’s Alley down to those a little further south.

In this guide, we share our top five based on quality of beer, variety of offerings, ambiance, and location – because if you’re in town for a short visit, you want to be around the best that Kansas City has to offer. 

kansas city craft breweries by neighborhood
Casual Animal Brewery

5 Must Visit Breweries in Kansas City, Missouri

1. Brewery Emperial

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Walking into Brewery Emperial, you first notice the large gravel patio with barrel firepits, usually filled with fellow beer lovers – but don’t miss the eclectic interior bar!

Brewery Emperial is unique in that they offer cocktails along with their excellent beer selection.

Another reason to visit it that it is located in Brewer’s Alley, so there are several additional options within walking distance.

brewery emperial in crossroads arts district is ecelxtic with blue walls and artsy decor
Brewery Emperial

If you’re looking for a brewery that serves food, this is a great option. Their locally sourced, gastro-pub food offerings are worth a visit on their own.

They offer seasonally and locally sourced dishes that pair perfectly with their beer selection. Popular items include bavarian pretzel, fried pickles, craft burgers and sandwiches, and garlic parmesan fries.

KC locals favor The Biscuit ale. If you’re visiting in the evening, you may want to consider making a reservation.

brewery emperial dog friendly kansas city
Brewery Emperial

2. Casual Animal

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

Casual Animal focuses on quality over quantity.

They have arguably the best atmosphere – a trendy converted warehouse vibe with plants, natural light from a skylight, finished concrete floors, and bright colors as well as board games, darts, and shuffleboard.

They have a good range of small-batch brews, from stouts to lagers, making them approachable for any level of beer drinker.

The evenings get crowded and sometimes include live music. 

We love that part of their revenue gets donated to local nonprofits.

casual animal brewery kansas city crossroads
Casual Animal

3. Border Brewing Company

Neighborhood: Crossroads Arts District

The local love for Border Brewing forced them to move down the block to a larger space several years after first opening, and while the original tasting room was great, the new space is even better.

Featuring exposed brick, a mulched backyard-style patio, and garage doors that open up to the neighborhood in warmer months, the atmosphere is inviting.

They have approachable offerings such as the beloved Strawberry Blonde as well as more complex styles like the Shiftie IPA. Sidenote: IPA enthusiast? We have breweries for that.

Plan your visit on Thursdays between 4p – 9p when they tap a new small batch and be the first to test it out.

craft breweries kansas city missouri
Border Brewing Company

4. Strange Days Brewing Company

Neighborhood: River Market

After your mind adjusts to the bright colors and eclectic artwork and decor, you’ll be greeted by friendly bartenders at Strange Days.

Their beer selection is great, and if you order it by the can, you’ll momentarily get lost in the trippy beer can designs.

And we can’t forget to mention the bar snacks – always a great addition to a tasting room! They offer a variety of options, such as pretzels, goldfish, pub mix, and popcorn.

Everyone is welcome here, and soccer and rugby fans will especially feel at home with international matches frequently displayed.

5. Boulevard Brewing Company

Neighborhood: Westside

To some, Boulevard might not count as a craft brewery – at this point, it is one of the largest specialty breweries in the heartland.

While it is more commercialized than Kansas City’s other craft breweries, the Beer Hall experience is worth a visit.

Even if you are familiar with Boulevards offerings – notably the Unfiltered Wheat and Tank 7 – when visiting the Beer Hall, you can sample exclusive test beers.

The ambiance is also great – exposed brick and an industrial-style vibe, plus a patio with views of the downtown skyline. 

Of note is that Boulevard’s Beer Hall has more than great views, they also offer a kitchen menu. Popular items include the cheddarwurst, seasonal charcuterie board, variety of chips and dip options, and pretzel bites.


We hope you love Kansas City’s breweries as much as we do.

It’s challenging to visit them all in one trip – especially with all of the other aspects of Kansas City’s local culture! That’s why we wanted to share our top five must-visit breweries in KCMO.