Crane Brewing Company in Raytown Missouri – Barrel Aged Craft Beers and Sours

Last updated on May 6th, 2023 at 05:07 am.

Great beer tradition is definitely evolving at the base of the Rock Island trail in Raytown Missouri! Here, in this quiet town, you will find a hidden gem of a microbrewery. Crane Brewing Company is home to American farmhouse-style ales and sours for all beer lovers.

I recently visited the brewery, did their Saturday tour, and had a tasting. Here is my review of Crane Brewing Company.

Crane Brewery glass of beer

In my opinion, Crane Brewery is one of Kansas City’s best microbreweries. They offer a perfect balance of Berliner Weisse style beers. They also focus on a wider variety of offerings, with traditional farmhouse-style ales, and sours with great flavor profiles and unique ingredients. 

Crane Brewing Company in Raytown Missouri Review

Crane Brewing Company

With a strong local presence and focus on sustainability in the community, Crane cares about the local people of the city. Always trying to give back to the community by supporting local businesses and charities.

Crane distributes throughout Missouri and most of the states that surround Missouri. There are, however, some beers in the tap room only available to customers who make the trip to the brewery. 

Crane Brewing Location & Vibe

crane beer

Launched in November 2015, Crane is one of the pioneering craft breweries in Kansas City. This taproom and brewery made its mark quickly and is the closest brewery to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium which has not gone unnoticed by Chiefs fans. They are also the closest brewery to the Kansas City Zoo. 

crane brewing co

I found Crane Brewing Company to have a warm, friendly vibe. There’s a coffee bar to the left of the entrance with a nice touch of donuts and coffee tea espresso and lattes. But the main draw is the bar and beer; it’s a good size space that allows for lots of friendly discussions and for people to get to know each other.

Crane Brewing company front order area

When I visited the brewery, I met with Chris Meyers, co-owner of Crane Brewing Company. On our visit, he had lots to talk about regarding the Brewery and its history in Raytown. Chris is sort of the Scientist at Crane and his background is in Veterinary medicine.

Chris meyers crane brewing co

Crane normally has 15 to 16 beers on tap at the Raytown brewery that change by the season. Crane Brewery has a cool home-style and rustic feel with some modern touches like origami fine art hung on the wall; sort of a coffee shop style. At first glance, you would never know it’s a 17,000-square-foot facility.

16 beers on tap creane brewing co

The tap room space has 26-foot beams of resourced local wood and the brewery worked with local artisan woodworkers and craftsmen to achieve the signage and style of the inside space. This place reminds me of the bold craft beers and breweries of Portland Oregon.

Crane Beer

Artwork & Origami

The artwork on the walls are the originals for the labels for the cans. They have a fixation on origami which is interesting and odd at the same time.

artwork Crane brewing

Origami as an icebreaker? It gets people talking and is a great meditative way to look at conversation, community, and making new friends.

origami crane brewing

They have a big selection of board games at Crane, just in case you need some extra fun and excitement. So pick your game from the wall of choices and have some fun.

Rock Island Trail Pitstop

When I visited the brewery it was bustling with locals and a group of bicycle riders from Lee’s Summit who make this a regular pit stop on their Saturday morning ride. 

The Rock Island trail, popular with bikers and hikers, is a stopping point right along the way to Arrowhead stadium. It runs right by the patio of Crane brewery so this is a “must stop” point for many. 

This trail will one day soon connect to the Katy trail believe it or not. This is why they already get a slew of bikers from all over, landing on their doorstep, to quench a big thirst daily.

About The Beer At Crane Brewing

Crane produces about 1200 barrels a year and if you are an IPA lover or Saison flavor fan, you are in luck, as they have the widest variety in town. They store their beer in wooden barrels for some batches, just to add that additional flavor and color. 

barrels of craft beer aging crane brewing company

That’s what makes their beer brewing fruity and the sour ales sour. It’s really a different experience. Traditional beer brewing with a modern style craft brewing approach.

Crane offers a wide variety of types of sours for small breweries with a distinctly American take on the rustic ales of Europe. 

barrel aged beer crane brewing

“Live cultures” is what they use for brewing their sour creations and this is what sets the flavor apart. They even have a temperature-controlled warehouse. 

The Beet Weiss is spectacularly pink and delicious. It’s an unlikely vegetable for a beer but it works. The flagship beers include the Tea Weiss and Farmhouse IPA.

Crane also offers one gluten-free option that is a lager. Odd Bird is a yummy lighter beer that has no wheat and is made from corn. 

Crane Brewing Co

They also feature local wine, cider, and spirits. For non-alcoholic options, they sell local sodas and locally-made lemonade.

Crane Brewing Process & Production 

At Crane, they do not filter their beers and this gives them full-body flavor. Their fermenting process takes 7 days to 2 weeks on average. They use a variety of different barrel types to make their beer and this gives each batch an added richness and flavor. 

Crane Brewing

This includes wine barrels, Whiskey barrels, Brandy and Bourbon barrels. It sort of looks like a winery in the back with some of the darker and higher alcohol beers in barrels and all stacked like they have been there for years.

crane beer raytown

Time and quantity of ingredients is a key factors in the beer production process, Chris explained. If you leave bread in a barrel for 3 weeks or 5 days you are going to get different results.

Crane is pushing the boundaries of beer making with their in-house modern equipment, unique ingredients, and spacious production and canning facility.

crane brewing beer tanks

Chris showed us the bottling and canning area in the production room, it was clean and nicely laid out. He explained in the production process, everything starts at the grinder, which is automated and sent grain up to the top and around pipes like Willy Wonka’s factory to the tops of the kettles. Where it then uses gravity to fall into the drums.

Crane keg filler

The bottling and canning area was clean and efficient looking, automation is key to fast small productions. Cans vs Bottles we discussed and he believes cans are better than bottles. Less oxygen leaks out of a can and it keeps the beer fresher. 

crane brewing production tanks

At Crane, they use a wild variety of ingredients in their beer. From Paw Paw fruit to berries to beets and coffee with peanut butter and notes of bitter chocolate. They even have a traditional English porter style to break up all the fruit and sours.

crane beer

It’s all being tried and tested at Crane and the people are loving it. It’s hard to keep up with the new flavors monthly but these seasonal Berliner-style Weise beers are making them famous.

My Favorite Three Crane Brewery Beers

I find this brewery unique because of the number of varieties of American farmhouse-style ale options, IPA’s and sours they offer, and the number of wild fruit and berry-flavored beers they brew. From my beer flight, below are my three favorite Crane Brewery beers.

There is a wide variety of drink options at Crane, I tried 5 of them. They have several light and darker ales and they also have IPAs are at a higher level of the bitterness scale, but taste great. Most interesting for me was the red beet sour, with a nice red color and beet salad flavors.  

#1 Unnatural Order

Style: Triple Hazy IPIA
Color: Golden Light
Body: Full
Bitterness: Low  
Abv: 10%

Characteristics: Good drinking beer, unfiltered,
Flavorful, hint of caramel sweetness

#2 Raven Paw

Style: Sour IPA
Color: Light Golden  
Body: Full
Bitterness:  Medium
Abv: 7.5%
Characteristics:  Paw Paw fruit cultures make a great sour IPA

#3 Levitation & Mystics

Style: Mixed Culture Saison w Cascara, black tea and grapefruit
Color: Golden Brown
Body: Full
Bitterness: Medium
Abv:  7%
Characteristics:  Fruity, sour, yummy
Notes:  Very flavorful, lots of Grapefruit coming through

Brewery Tours 

Crane Brewing wall of labels

Crane staff love to talk about the history and story of the brewer and how they make their unique beer. The tour shows you the entire process and there is a lot of great info, so be ready!

The tour shares the entire beer-making process, from fruits and berries, to water and grains to cans and kegs. It is all about learning, having a good time, and sharing their knowledge, passion and love for people and beer making.

Free tours are every Saturday at 2:00 PM.

Taproom club

Crane Origami beer cans

The Tap Room club is like their Growler club at Crane. Stop by with your own and get a refill or pick one up at the Bar. They also have 6 packs and Growlers available to-go!

Beer Garden & Outdoor Space

Enjoy a beer on the back patio area where there are picnic tables and a game area. It’s also a great option for a larger group gathering of friends or family. You can play games, hang out and get some sunshine.

Food Options

Rock Island Coffee

There is a coffee cart, chips and a few snacks, but no meals or food menu currently. But, great things come to those who wait.

Event Space

Behind the pub, in addition to the brewing area, there is a separate space where they store barrels and beer and where they have an area for special events. These types of events include comedy shows, weddings, graduation parties, kids parties, music and company events.

There is a giant video screen, chairs, tables, and large space I imagine would work for a dancing area. They even have a disco ball, so you know there have been some good times in this event space.

Awards & Accolades

In the beginning, there was a big focus on going after awards, beer festival visits and gaining recognition and accolades. Crane chooses to focus on local causes and support local businesses and farmers as a way to give back. If you learn about the number of lives they have touched over the years with support, sponsorships and donations, it’s a bigger accomplishment than any ribbon.

Crane Cares

Crane Cares

Beer for a good cause: Crane Brewery also supports Thundergong!

THUNDERGONG! is a night of unforgettable musical performances and entertainment. Crane and other sponsors come together to help uninsured and underinsured amputees get the prosthetic limbs they need – restoring mobility and restoring possibilities. The Steps of Faith Foundation reconnects amputees to their communities, families, and workforces by relieving the financial burden of prosthetic care.

This was a collaboration with Jason Sudeikis of Ted Lasso fame. Crane brewed a special WitBier with wheat and oats as well as orange peel and coriander creating a citrusy, refreshing and a special beer.

The Crane Team

The Brewmaster

Bryan Stewart is the Brewmaster, but he works with the whole team on new flavors and ideas for the mini-batches they produce. Bryan brings a boatload of experience to his position as head brewery. He is creative and passionate about brewing and he loves to keep Crane beers relevant and fresh with new ideas and flavors evolving monthly.

Chris Meyers; Vice President, Co Founder

A huge home brewer; Chris met Michael and Jason and together they shared the vision for what became Crane as it is today. Chris oversees operations at Crane including production, tap room, distribution sales and events. 

Chris’ favorite beer that Crane Brewery makes is Small Ball Saison. It is a Session Saison that is Dry-Hopped and Bottle Conditioned with Brettanomyces.

Michael Crane; President and Co-Founder

A home brewer, it all started with a beer-making kit in 2009. Michael met Chris Meyers through the homebrew community and Jason Louk was my CPA for many years.  

Jason Lou; CEO

Jason is the numbers guy, he is a partner with Marr and Company, PC, a public accounting firm in Kansas City, MO.

His job is taxes and business advisory services and his industry experience includes manufacturing, professional services, nonprofit organizations, and employee benefit plans. 

Meet the rest of Team at Crane Brewing Company.

Wrapping It Up!

crane brewing company

Crane Brewing Company has a great taproom, they have friendly staff and a good variety of beer and ales. If you like sours (Weiss, Gose, Berliner) this place is a “have-to-visit brewery”, in Raytown.  

Address and Information:

Crane Brewing Co.
6515 Railroad St.
Raytown, Missouri

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