wooden front porch of kc craft brewery casual animal
Casual Animal Brewery

Kansas City has established itself as a burgeoning beer town in recent decades.

As locals, we have seen this first hand over the past decade.

The increase in local craft brews is partly because of innovative brewmasters.

Undoubtedly, it doesn’t hurt that the local community enjoys a good pint.

In this guide, we’ll be sharing our city’s top breweries categorized by neighborhood, making it easy for you to decide which one(s) to visit!

We have lived in midtown Kansas City for over a decade and are all about supporting local.

So, we make a point to sip on Kansas City’s best craft beers often.

You can trust our judgment; we have visited them all for you, some multiple times.

It’s been hard work.

You’re welcome.

vine street brewing taproom with leather couch and plant
Vine Street Brewing

Kansas City’s Best Craft Breweries by Neighborhood

With over 30 craft breweries in Kansas City, you’re sure to find one to fit your taste. Below we break down the best breweries by neighborhood.

Crossroads Arts District

Crossroads Arts District is home to “Brewer’s Alley” – an area with a high density of craft breweries all within walking distance. It is located in the southern section of downtown.

Below are our top recommendations.

This one is a trendy and spacious warehouse-style brewery filled with plants, board games, darts and billiards, cozy couches, and rustic wooden tables.

They take pride in their small-batch, local approach that prioritizes quality over quantity.

The atmosphere at Casual Animal Brewery is welcoming, complete with occasional live music.

casual animal brewery in KC with concrete floors, wooden tables, brick walls, and murals.
Casual Animal Brewery

This brewery features an expansive gravel beer garden with the addition of firepits during the cooler months.

They serve craft ales and lagers in a rustic-industrial setting. Brewery Emperial maintains an eclectic yet approachable vibe.

Also, if you’re wanting a brewery with a kitchen menu, choose Brewery Emperial for their locally sourced, inventive gastro-pub fare.

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

Border Brewing Company, established in 2015, recently upgraded to a larger location in Crossroads with exposed brick and a homey atmosphere.

They have complex brews like their Shiftie IPA and more approachable ones, like the Strawberry Blonde. There is a beer here for everyone.

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

border brewing with pink facade and roll up windows
Border Brewing Company

Double Shift stands out for its experimental and ever-changing beer list. This 5-barrel brewhouse features small-batch offerings that are approachable and popular amongst locals.

It’s a great choice for those who like unique flavors like the “Chai it Out” and “Coffee Blonde Ale”.

The decor is inspired by firehouses – a nod to the founder, a former firefighter himself. 

With two spaces under one roof, visitors can choose between Torn Label‘s original brewery taproom with its cozy wooden accents, or the public house, much the opposite with an open, airy atmosphere.

All about local culture and community, they have featured several brews in collaboration with other local businesses, resulting in local flavors being infused in each glass.

More than a brewery, City Barrel is held in high esteem as a local restaurant dishing out regionally sourced and seasonal cuisine.

While they have many brew offerings, wild sour ales are a focus and point of pride for their brewmaster.

There’s plenty of space between the airy taproom, which offers views of the brewing process, and the second-level barrel deck. 

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

River Market

The River Market neighborhood is located in the northern section of downtown, along the river.

As the name suggests, you’ll find an eclectic vibe paired with trippy beer can designs at Strange Days.

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

Don’t let the laidback atmosphere fool you – River Bluff has won several medals from the Great American Beer Fest.

West Bottoms + West Side

These neighborhoods run along the western edge of downtown.

Boulevard, started in 1989, has grown to become one of the heartland’s largest specialty breweries, with distribution in over 40 states.

Compared to the other craft breweries on this list, Boulevard is more of a commercial operation.

Even though Boulevard operates on a larger scale than other craft breweries, it retains a strong local following.

Stop by for a brewery tour and to visit the trendy Beer Hall where you can sample exclusive test beers.

Travel back in time to this historic Livestock Exchange building that showcases Kansas City’s western heritage.

The cowboy decor inside Stockyards Brewing Company harks back to the building’s days as a famous steakhouse.

You’ll sip on good brews amongst mahogany-paneled walls and a stained-glass drop ceiling.

Situated on Southwest Boulevard with a warehouse vibe, Alma Mader focuses on freshness, brewing beers that shine and are approachable.

They specialize in hop-forward ales and lagers – locals love them for their barrel aged beers as well.

Unique to them, you can join their membership club, which means you’ll have access to their most exclusive barrel-aged offerings.

18th & Vine Historic District

18th & Vine is so much more than jazz music – it’s home to one of the newest breweries.

Vine Street is Missouri’s first black-owned brewery located in the city’s historic jazz district.

The trendy atmosphere at Vine Street Brewing Company, complete with beautiful artwork and a great outdoor patio, has won much affection.

Although a relatively new brewery, Vine Street is beginning to earn regional accolades for their excellent beers.

We love visiting on the weekends when they occasionally have live music.

The brewery also serves craft cocktails.

dark beer at vine street brewing
Vine Street Brewing


As the only true biergarten – an outdoor space with gravel walkways, picnic tables, and plenty of shade – Bier Co. specializes in authentic, German-style lagers and ales.

The outdoor space is fantastic, as is their beer.

There’s something particularly enjoyable about being served a beer in a large glass stein.

Don’t pass up the German pretzels!


With an excellent IPA and stout selection and a sub-brand called “Pivo” with options on the lighter side, BKS combines traditional brewing methods with innovation and creativity.

Although they do not have a kitchen, you can get a delectable $10 carryout pizza from Plate across the street.

kansas city craft brewery IPA
BKS Artisan Ales

North Kansas City

Just across the river, the North Kansas City neighborhood has a great collection of craft breweries.

A true pioneer in the North KC brewery scene, Cinder Block offers a cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Their flagship brew, “Block IPA,” is a hit, but don’t miss their seasonal and experimental brews.

Big Rip is quirky and fun, with a touch of sci-fi and horror movie charm. The “Delta 88” IPA is a crowd favorite. Also, their stouts are the ideal brew during the winter months.

Callsign honors military service members and veterans, adding a meaningful touch to your beer tasting experience.

Their “Fighter Pale Ale” is a solid choice. Each beer is named after military aircraft, which is neat.

How Many Breweries Are In Kansas City?

Beer lovers will feel at home in Kansas City, one of the country’s fastest-growing craft beer destinations.

There are over 30 craft breweries in and around Kansas City with more opening each season.

And this appreciation for a frothy brew isn’t new to the heartland, beer brewing in Kansas City has a rich and storied history.

What are Kansas City’s New Breweries?

The newest breweries in Kansas City in 2023 are Vine Street Brewing in 18th & Vine Historic District and River Bluff Brewing in River Market.

There is a Hispanic-owned brewery, Rizoma that is starting to get attention. They do not have a space – yet – but collaborate with other breweries and local bars for pop-ups.

What Is The Most Popular Beer In Kansas City?

This one is tricky to answer – many of Kansas City’s craft breweries offer rotating seasonal brews, and so the popularity of beers comes and goes.

Undoubtedly, Boulevard Brewing Company sells the most beer by volume.

Their most popular ones that can be found at many venues across the city are Boulevard Wheat and the Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale.

From the smaller breweries, City Barrel’s Rad AF IPA is very popular – and actually, there are quite a few breweries known for their IPAs.

Additionally, KC Bier Company’s Dunkel, a Munich-style lager, often tops local favorites lists.

In 2023, Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine named two Kansas City breweries in their list of The Best 20 Beers in 2023.

  • BKS Artisan Ale, Pivo Project Bohemian-Style Pilsner
    This is a Bohemian-style pils with “malty heft in the sip that’s crucial to supporting the strong hop loads inherent to the style.”
  • KC Bier Co., Light
    This is a German-style pilsner with “notes of honey on bread dough, and a low sweetness that binds the whole frame.”

While there are certainly favorites, you should decide for yourself – visit our local breweries and decide which one you think is best!

kansas city microbrewery
Torn Label Brewing

Map of Kansas City’s Best Craft Breweries


We’ll end by saying Kansas City’s craft brewery scene is thriving and diverse, with each neighborhood offering its own unique flavor and charm.

Whether you’re a local or just visiting, exploring the city’s craft breweries by neighborhood is an excellent way to experience the rich offerings of Kansas City’s beer culture.