On a recent trip to Kansas City, I decided to stay out on the far northeast side of town in Liberty. I wanted to get a quick start of the city the next day to get back home and I knew that I could knock off 45 minutes of my drive time if I stayed in Liberty rather than on the far south side where I normally like to stay. I took a look at what was available for restaurants in the area and I came across a brew pub that had been opened for a little over two years in downtown Liberty by the name of Rock and Run. I went there for dinner that evening.
Like a lot of microbreweries, Rock and Run got its start with a couple of friends who had a passion for craft brews. Gene DeClue is somewhat famous around the Kansas City area as a member of the local rock group Cherry Bomb. They've played around the area for nearly 14 years with DeClue on the bass guitar.
DeClue started to brew his own beer at home a few years ago and met up with a guy with similar interests in home brewing. Dan Hatcher was in the construction business and oversaw a number of construction-related businesses over a 25 year period. In addition to loving craft brews, Hatcher was also an avid participant of trail and ultra-marathon races held around the country. It was during many of his travels to compete that he found many great craft brews.
Hoping to turn a hobby into a full time venture, DeClue and Hatcher got together and found a couple of old buildings just off the main square in Liberty. One side of the building was once a garage, while the other one was formerly a bar. They knocked out a wall between the two and renovated the two spaces into one brew pub. They gave their place the name Rock and Run - "Rock" for DeClue's rock and roll career, and the "Run" for Hatcher's interest in extreme running.
I drove to historic downtown Liberty and found a parking spot on the street just a block east of Rock and Run Brew Pub. (see map) Entering the brew pub, I found a nice bar with a couple of dining rooms in front of and behind the bar. Large brewing kettles were in a room off the bar area. The building still had the old time feeling with brick walls and corrugated tin accents.
I ended up sitting at the bar and got a menu from one of the bartenders. I took a quick look at the beers that Gene DeClue brewed up at Rock and Run and I got the 5K India Pale Ale. In addition to their own beers, the brew pub also features a number of beers from craft and micro-breweries that DeClue changes on a regular basis to allow patrons to try different beers from around the country.
The bar, itself, was sort of interesting. It looked like it was made out of a floor - and it was. It turned out that they salvaged old lanes from a bowling alley in Harrisonville, MO and made the bar top and many of the table tops out of the lanes. The tops were heavy and solid.
I really didn't know what to get for dinner that evening. They had a number of sandwiches on the menu, as well as pasta dishes and even pizza. A couple seated at the bar down from me got the pizza and it looked pretty good. But I wasn't that hungry this particular evening and I thought about doing something light that evening.
A salad didn't sound appealing, so I ended up getting the reuben - a traditional corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing on dark rye sandwich. A side of hand-cut garlic parmesan fries came with the sandwich. The sandwich was good - the corned beef was tender and full of flavor. The dark rye bread was also tasty and held together very well. And the garlic parmesan fries were also very good - and very rich.
The 5K IPA - well... I had a problem with the beer. First of all, it had sort of a fruity taste to it and I don't like any type of fruit beers. And the back end of it had sort of a soapy taste to it - like they had forgotten to rinse out the glass after they had washed it in soapy water. I know, it's crazy, but that's sort of what it tasted like. I wanted to try another beer and the El Dorado Gold - an American-style pale ale that was very smooth. I liked the El Dorado Gold much better than the 5K IPA. It was very smooth and refreshing. I liked it so much that I ended up that I got a second one after I finished my meal.
My reuben sandwich at Rock and Run Brew Pub was fine - I probably would have rather liked the pizza better, but I was happy enough with the sandwich. While I didn't care for the 5K IPA beer, the El Dorado Gold was a solid choice. I can't complain about the service and the decor and atmosphere of the brew pub was quaint, tasteful and comfortable. Rock and Run is a fine little brew pub and one that should be checked out if your in the far northern reaches of Kansas City.