Editorial note: This is hopefully the first of many from Steve Brisendine and Brian Davis. If you do not know Steve, he is the former Sporting Kansas City beat writer for MLS. He’s been a journalist for years but he’s also an artist and a foodie and seemingly always in search of another creative outlet. My name only appears because I posted it. - Thad
Author note: Sorry, this is late. Sorting some format/theme issues. But it’s out before the next away day, so it’s not overly late by our rules. - Steve
First, let’s explain the ground rules for All Three Pints: or, The Brew Testament.
B and I will explore local/regional breweries on away league match days to assess three things:
1. The match-day environment and overall socceriness of the venue.
2. The availability of beers which meet the All Three Pints criteria: Under 6 percent ABV and served in pour sizes of 14 oz and up. (“Pint” is a bit flexible here as a measure.) B prefers flights, to try as many beers as possible, and will usually get those when he can, so together we can cover a range of brews. I will stick with the same beer for All Three Pints (pregame, first half, second half) unless Sporting are trailing at the half, the score is tied at half after Sporting lost a lead, or the brewery runs out of the chosen beer.
3. The good-luck properties of said beers, especially my pints, in securing 3 points for Sporting. Oh, and we’ll also make some notes on the match, but if you really want timely, in-depth takes on that, you’re probably better off elsewhere on this site. That said, you can follow me on Twitter (@SteveBrisendine) if you want in-match commentary on the games and the beers.
For the season opener against Vancouver, we hit up Strange Days Brewing Co. in KCMO, near the River Market. Sporting won 3-1 on goals from Alain Pulido (sweet header combo), Gadi Kinda (gorgeous curler under the bar) and Erik Hurtado (sizzling late dagger). This and good beers made us happy.
Here are your pertinent stats:
Match-Day Environment: Outstanding. Strange Days stayed open late for the 9:30 p.m. kick, and the place was jammed with Sporting supporters. Overall socceriness is high, with around four dozen scarves of various clubs hanging over the bar. (Strange Days is a Spurs bar on Prem weekends, but we won’t hold that against them. There are six TVs in the taproom, all turned to the match and with the sound turned up.
Availability of A3P beers: Also outstanding. There were ten eligible beers in the match-day lineup, in a whole lot of styles and colors, from light to dark.
I started with the El Jefe Mexican lager in homage to Pulido, and it didn’t disappoint: clean (without being wimpy – some nice malt notes in this one) and sessionable at 5.9% ABV. It ran out sometime in the first half, forcing an emergency substitution for the third pint. I stayed on the lager train with 316 Oak, a Pre-Prohibition Swiss lager – also malty with a clean finish worthy of Hurtado’s dagger in the closing minutes, and at 5.2% ABV, it’s right in the A3P wheelhouse.
Flights weren’t on tap because of the crowd, which is understandable, so B went with the Dark Days spiced black IPA (6.2%). B’s take: Borderline Christmas tree – not that that’s a bad thing at all. Verdict: Thumbs-up, and his favorite of the night.
His second beer was the S-Bahn, a Dunkelweizen which, at 4.8%, would have made a fine A3P choice in its own right. B’s take: Caramel. Lots of caramel. Verdict: Thumbs-up.
Good-luck properties of A3P beers: Also outstanding, with a 1/1 ratio of goals to pints. I was a little nervous about having to switch at the half when the El Jefe ran out, but 316 Oak carried the second 45 nicely with Hurtado’s late strike and no goals conceded after the break.
Three non-beer-related takes on the night:
1. Pulido and Kinda looked like great offseason additions to the SKC attack.
2. We still love Vancouver manager Marc Dos Santos from his time with Swope Park Rangers (RIP).
3. It made me especially happy to see a Whitecaps fan in a San Francisco Giants baseball cap looking especially unhappy with the results. Yes, that’s petty. I don’t care.
Overall recommendation: We both give Strange Days high marks across the board. They’re closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but you can’t go wrong here for a weekend away watch.
Strange Days Brewing Co.
316 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO