A Kansas City brewery took silver in one of the biggest beer competitions in the world

Martin Cizmar

Cans of Clouds hazy IPA/Courtesy of BKS Artisan Ales

When it comes to KC breweries, BKS Artisan Ales is at the top of the heap—if you’ve been following our beer coverage, this information is not new to you.

It’s also among the nation’s elite, winning a silver medal for Clouds, its double hazy IPA, in the annual Great American Beer Festival awards.

This was the first time BKS had entered the competition, the nation’s largest, which is usually timed to a massive beer festival in Denver. (Kansas took two medals this year, both for breweries outside the KC area, while Missouri had four, the other three also outside KC.)

Clouds was the first Double IPA that BKS brewed when it opened back in 2017. It’s a beer that brewer-owner Brian Rooney had been working on since 2015, when he started making trial batches as he eyed leaving his family’s longtime profession, accounting, to open his own brewery. BKS makes different beers pretty much every week, but it’s part of the steady rotation.

“We named it Clouds because the beer drinks pillowy soft like a cloud and it has a cloudy hazy appearance,” says co-owner Mary Rooney, Brian’s wife. “Clouds was an obvious choice for us to enter in the ‘Juicy or Hazy Imperial India Pale Ale’ category. We have brewed it numerous times over the years and have dialed in the recipe to what we believe it should be stylistically.”

The batch that won was sent to judges and tasters long ago, but if you want to taste the recipe there will be a fresh batch of Clouds in cans and on tap the weekend of September 24 and 25.

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