A new ale crafted in collaboration between one of Kansas City’s biggest brands and the city’s first Black-owned brewery is expected to commemorate “a true American treasure,” said Kemet Coleman — as well as send 100 percent of its proceeds to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
The Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison honors the late first baseman and manager of the Kansas City Monarchs, Buck O’Neil. The limited release beer is expected to be available on tap and in bottles beginning the first week of November — brewed in a partnership between Boulevard Brewing Co. and the soon-to-launch Vine Street Brewing.
“Buck’s incredible story and legacy continue to strengthen Kansas City’s heartbeat with his talents and ability to bring people together,” said Coleman, co-founder of Vine Street Brewing. “Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison offers us a sacred chance to inspire our city. We could not have asked for a better opportunity to pay homage to such an essential pillar of our community.”
The ale is a chardonnay barrel-aged saison with a crisp, light flavor featuring notes of fruit and accentuated by hops. It is a beer to be savored with an ABV of 9 percent, according to Boulevard.
The Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison is a one-time drop and once retailers are out, there will not be additional deliveries, the brewers said. It will be available for purchase throughout the Greater Kansas City Area, in retail stores where Boulevard is sold.
A Negro Leagues Baseball legend and National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Buck O’Neil was the first African American coach in Major League Baseball and an integral part of Kansas City history. Boulevard and Vine Street plan to donate 100 percent of all Buck O’Neil Ale proceeds to the Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City, the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America, which O’Neil helped establish.
“Donating the proceeds from Buck O’Neil Barrel-Aged Saison to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is one small way we can give back for everything they’ve done for our community,” said Bobby Dykstra, vice president of sales at Boulevard parent company Duvel Moortgat USA.
Click here to learn more about the Nov. 12 “Thanks A Million Buck” gala — set to celebrate O’Neil’s induction into the Hall of Fame as well as provide a sampling of the “Buck O’Neil Ale.”
“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is excited about this historic collaboration with Boulevard Brewing Company and Vine Street Brewing Company to honor Buck O’Neil and celebrate his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. “I know that Buck would be thrilled about this recognition and the support that it is generating for his museum. He would be equally excited about the opportunity to shine light on the Vine Street Brewing Company, a great new addition to Historic 18th & Vine.”
Opening soon, Vine Street Brewing is the first Black-owned brewery in Kansas City, focused on infusing the spirits of community, jazz and hip hop into its craft beer.
Click here to learn more about Vine Street Brewing’s planned home at 2000 Vine.
Watch a video interview below between Kemet Coleman, co-founder of Vine Street Brewing, and Matthew Gwin, Startland News reporter — discussing the brewery’s plans and cultural significance.
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.