Smokes and Suds

In KC, BBQ and Beer Belong Together


It’s no secret that beer and barbecue are best buds. But it’s still surprising just how entwined the two scenes have gotten since Tyler Harp started popping up at Crane Brewing in Raytown back in October 2019. “It didn’t take Einstein to predict this,” Harp says. “I saw a bunch of breweries with no food in a competition BBQ town.”

Jousting Pigs started as a competition team. Co-owner John Atwell planned a standalone restaurant before ending up inside 3Halves Brewing in Liberty, before opening a second spot in the Legends. “Craft barbecue and craft beer folks are cut from the same cloth,” Atwell says.

At Callsign in North KC (see right), you’ll find Wolfepack BBQ, which cooks prime Creekstone brisket and heritage-breed pork on a live-fire of oak and hickory, with no gas assist. It’s fast establishing itself as some of the best ’cue in the city.

Out in Lee’s Summit, Burn Theory Fire Kitchen operates from a trailer outside Diametric Brewing Co. “It’s a vibe,” says owner-pitmaster Taylor Jones. “It’s an atmosphere, it’s an attitude, it’s a mindset. Two groups of people crafting things with their hands for you.”