I picked up a number of good Oktoberfest beers this fall once again this year. While I was in Kansas City a few weeks ago, I stopped at a number of liquor stores in the area. These are ones that I've been going to for a number of years and I just happened to hit them while I was in town for two or three days earlier this fall.
Gomer's has been around for over 30 years on the Missouri side of Kansas City. I was first turned on to Gomer's when I would travel to Kansas City to see an old girlfriend in the late 70's, then again after I began to work for a company in the KC area in the mid-80's. Gomer's was nothing like I'd ever seen before in regard to a liquor store that had such a great variety of beer, wine and liquor.
There are four locations of Gomer's in Kansas City. I first went to the Midtown location (see map) years ago and I went to the south location (see map) on my most recent visit. While others in the area have passed Gomer's by in terms of beer selection, I still like to go in and take a quick look around to see if there's anything that I can't live without.
Metcalf Discount Liquor in Overland Park (see map) is in the same shopping complex as one of my large dealers in the KC area. This location is one of three in the company, which is basically a small family owned business. They have a pretty good selection of eclectic beers and often at a very good price.
Metcalf Discount Liquor has a single bottle "mix and match" program with an ever expanding selection of different brands of beer. They had a great price on a case of the Boulevard Brewing Company's Bob's 47 Oktoberfest beer. I couldn't resist the price - about $27 bucks for the case. And I love Bob's 47 Oktoberfest beer.
Lukas Liquor in Shawnee Mission (see map) is an 18,000 sq. ft. superstore that features the best selection of beer and wine of any store in the Kansas City area. Founded in 1981, Lukas Liquor moved to its present location in 1995. They also have three other locations, including one in suburban St. Louis that I've visited a couple times in the past.
I never knew the one on in Shawnee Mission existed until a buddy of mine was telling me about it a couple three years ago. When I found it (it's actually back off the street a ways in a strip mall), I was astounded at the selection of beers they had in the place. I think I spent well over $50 bucks on my first visit and it's always a $20 bill or more each time I go into Lukas Liquor. l was able to find a couple six packs of the Paulaner Oktoberfest and the Warsteiner Premium Oktoberfest beers
Berbiglia (pronounced Ber-BIL-ya) Wine and Spirits has the Missouri side of Kansas City covered with 11 locations. Berbiglia is arguably the oldest liquor store in the area as it started as a grocery store in 1917. Through the years, it morphed from an upscale grocery store during its day to more of a wine and liquor store that sold eclectic foods, as well.
I visited two of the locations while I was in Kansas City - the main location on W. 103rd St. just east of State Line Road (see map), and the location at 79th and Wornall (see map), just down the street from a dealer I'm trying to land. While the Berbiglia locations I've been to seem to cater more toward wine connoisseurs than beer guys. I didn't really find anything that I absolutely really needed from Berbiglia's.
Royal Liquors is probably my favorite place to go looking for beer in Kansas City. They rival Lukas Liquor in selection and price, but they seem to have more helpful and knowledgeable people who like to tell you about their favorites. I stopped at the downtown location off of I-35 on Southwest Boulevard when I was in town recently (see map). They categorize their beers in two levels - domestic and imports. Actually, all the domestically brewed specialty and craft beers - including Boulevard, which is located just down the street from Royal Liquors - are classified as imports. I have to say that Royal Liquors has the largest variety of EACH beer to choose from. You can buy the different beer by the cases to kegs to 6-packs, 12-packs, singles, whatever.
They had a large selection of the Bell's Oktoberfest beer - one of my all-time favorite marzen style beers. I had to get a couple sixers of that while I was there. Plus, I was told to try the Ayinger Oktoberfest beer. Ayinger is a German brewer and their Oktoberfest beer - although a little expensive - was very good. I got a six pack of the beer and it was gone within days of getting it home. I should have gotten another.
Any one of the above places is very good to visit when you're on the hunt for beer in Kansas City. Royal Liquors and Lukas Liquor are probably the best in terms of variety and price. But you don't want to pass up the other places as you'll never know what you find.