LIBERTY — On a warm and muggy Saturday, Aug. 17, hundreds cooled off by drinking beer samples and took in the sights of downtown Liberty during Historic Downtown Liberty, Inc.’s annual Dog Days of Summer Beer Crawl.
“The turnout has been great,” said Michele Grotenhuis, event manager at Restoration 1894, an event space located at 1 E. Kansas St. “It happened that we were open this year and so we joined the tour. ... It’s been great because we’ve had people say the knew we were here but that they’ve never been up here and seen the space. We are happy to be part of it and happy to let people see it. We want people to see the space.”
Dubious Claims Brewing Company, based in Excelsior Springs, set up a bike and tap rig in front of the HDLI office on Main Street complete with multiple options of tap beer from kegs. The stop was popular with eventgoers.
“It’s been good,” said Christy Wilkerson, whose husband, Neil Wilkerson founded the brewery. “... We live in Liberty so it’s our hometown too. We wanted to come out in our hometown and be part of it and also wanted to get the word out about our brewery.”
Brandy Atwell of new Liberty restaurant Jousting Pigs, which is taking over part of the old Rock & Rock space, said they’ve received “good, positive feedback.”
Husband and wife Savannah and Spencer Autem of Liberty said they participated in the event because they’re beer connoisseurs who heard about the event via social media.
“I like all of the fruity, wheat beers,” said Savannah, adding the event was a good chance for them and others to check out the Liberty Square. “It’s a great event to bring people to the downtown businesses. We like it because we get to see businesses that are not normally open when we get the chance to come down here.”
Jacob Burton, who attended the event with his father, Brian Burton; and Jim Clevenger, a family friend, said he enjoyed visiting various businesses like Not Your Gran’s Vintage, which is located in a hall of upstairs business suites at 2 N. Main St. because he didn’t know they existed. He added that while many businesses that were one of the 20 stops on the beer crawl were open, others were not.
“I wish more of the local shops were open,” he said, adding the foot traffic from the event was a great opportunity for businesses.
His father, Brian, said after six or seven stops, his group liked the Liberty event. Brian said has frequented other crawls and thought Liberty’s was a good time and cheaper than others.
Clevenger, who recently moved above Whiteside Jewelry Store on the Square, said he learned of the event from businesses on the Square.
“I thought it’d be a good way to check out the area,” he said.
Tiffany Talpes, who works at Corner Bar, located at 200 E. Kansas St., said the event is great for businesses like the bar that have been around a long time.
“We’ve been since 1946. ... We have a steady group of regulars, but this is nice because you get younger traffic in,” she said, adding several men on tours with family opted to stay in the air conditioned bar during the crawl.
“It’s kind of funny because all of the husbands are sticking around while the wives are on the crawl,” Talpes chuckled.