Monday, May 11, 2009

Trip to Mo's Place

Well Marci Penner would be proud that I took a little side trip to a place off the beaten path last week. The fact I squeezed in a road trip during All Schools Day week is impressive in and of itself, but it was a dear friend's birthday, so I found the time.
My friend, Fr. Laird, is a real beer connoisseur and I enlisted the help of two mutual friends -- Scott and Kristi Fowler -- to surprise him with a trip to Mo's Place Brewpub in Beaver, KS (pop. 30). It wasn't much of a surprise because he suggested we go there anyway.
Mo is short for the brewpub's owners' last name, Len and Linda Moeder. They gave up the corporate life and moved to Beaver from California in 1999. They opened Mo's shortly thereafter but had to wait until 2004 to get a microbrewery license.
Len was nice enough to sit down and answer all Laird's brewing questions. (Laird makes homebrew in his basement.) He prefers beer from oats or barley over beer from wheat. (I personally liked the Harvest Moon Wheat the best.) Len has even put in a field to grow his own hops catty-cornered from the brewpub. Mo's has had visitors from all over the U.S. and even from as far away as Scotland.
Here's a list of Len's brews:
Lights Out Stout
A legendary and almost forgotten oatmeal stout, smooth, with medium bitterness, a chocolaty finish, a hint of roasted barley, and oatmeal for a silky texture. Drinking a glass of oatmeal stout gives one the feeling of nourishment.
Elm Street Porter
A dark, full-bodied, smooth beer, similar to the famous Anchor Porter of San Fransisco. Made with a blend of 5 different kinds of malted barley and both Perle hops and Cascade hops.
Beaver Creek Brown
A real crowd pleaser, with just the right blend of 2 row malted barley, crystal malt barley, and black patent barley makes a luscious, mildly sweet brown ale. We use Fuggle hops to complete the flavor profile of this ale.
Crazy Hawk" Red
A rich tasting "bitter ale" with excellent body and malt aroma from 2 row malted barley. The deep garnet color is contributed by the addition of roasted barley. The use of American Cascade hops and German Hallertauer hops brings this beer to its refreshing flavor.
"Purple Cat" Pale
An excellent and authentic "ordinary bitter" served in London & Southern England. Our beer is distinctly hopped using a blend of Cascade and Willamette hops. As an authentic "bitter ale", it is traditionally lightly carbonated.
Harvest Moon Wheat
Our fine golden wheat beer features 35% wheat malt and 65% 2 row malted barley. We've brought the flavor of the beer to completion by using German Hallertauer hops for authentic German character. A delightfully light beer!
We ordered the sampler which was a small glass of each beer for 50-cents each.
Len invites anyone interested in watching beer being made to drop in on Tuesdays (call first). Here's some info. on how he does it:
The whole operation is done by Len and Linda including cooking, brewing and waiting tables. Definitely worth the trip.
So if a brewpub can make a go of it in a little town like Beaver, why not in McPherson? Hays, Manhattan and Lawrence all have successful microbreweries. Any entrepreneurs out there?

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