Parenting and Beer Pairings


About once a week or so, sometimes more if times are dire, I indulge in a little retail therapy. While the mommy blogger world might have you thinking I head straight to the Target Dollar Spot, she would be wrong. Nope. I head directly toward the bright cooler lights and shiny colorful labels of the craft beer section at my local liquor store.

Navigating today’s craft beer options can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at times – much like parenting. Dissecting the various IPA styles available can be as baffling as trying to figure out which swaddle method keeps your infant Houdini asleep the longest. Fruity or hoppy beers, breast or formula, the debates on both fronts seem endless. In the end though, I think we can all agree on one thing; a cold beer is a welcome reprieve from the parenting trenches.

As I’ve come to navigate this motherhood thing, I’ve found certain scenarios call for certain beers. Luckily for us, Kansas City has several good options to chose from, and I’ve come up with a few suggested pairings for the next time you find yourself in one of these all too common parenting situations.


Easy(ish) Summer Day 

{ Beer Pairing: Boulevard Wheat, Boulevard Ginger Lemon Radler }

It’s a beautiful summer day in KC and your little offspring are running joyfully through the sprinkler in the backyard. You’ve somehow made it through the majority of the day last hour without having to put anyone in time out, clean up someone else’s bodily fluids, or break up a sibling fight. In fact, you’re actually enjoying yourself and want to savor this moment not only on Instagram, but also in real life. The easy drinkability and refreshing citrus flavor of Boulevard Wheat make it a great compliment to the little backyard oasis you’ve got going.

Sleep Training

{ Beer Pairing: Free State Copperhead Pale (via Lawrence), Boulevard Pale Ale  }

You’ve decided it’s time to get some sleep. You’ve made the commitment to Dr. Ferber and have your video monitor and timer in place. There’s no telling how long the battle will go and who will cry more, but one thing is for sure, a little liquid backup is needed. Something with a little more hops to distract you from the screaming, but not too complex because chances are it will be going down fast. The medium body and fruity essence of Boulevard’s original Pale Ale are the perfect companion for what may be a long night ahead.

When You’re Counting Down Till Bedtime

{ Beer Pairing: Martin City Hard Way IPA, Free State Cloud Hopper (via Lawrence), Boulevard Tank 7 }

It’s been one of those days. All parties were up before the sun and things just went downhill from there:  tantrums, throwing of ALL the things, whining, time-outs, yelling (by all involved), demands, no naps, store meltdowns, poop everywhere BUT the toilet.  You’ve given up and are shoving all the screens and games and apps in front of your children in hopes of a few sacred minutes of quiet before the final battle of the day begins…bedtime.

What you need is something with a higher alcohol content and a bitterness to match your feelings. Martin City’s Hard Way IPA and Free State’s Cloud Hopper IPA are excellent choices to aid your sweet surrender and prep you for what lies ahead.  If IPA’s aren’t your thing, then Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse will get you the ABV boost with less bitterness. Before you know it the little monsters you’ve been dealing with all day will be in bed and you’ll be relaxing… and scrolling adoringly through pics of them on your phone.

Baby’s First Birthday

{ Beer Pairing: Limited Release from Crane Brewing, Torn Label, or Boulevard }

You made it! You survived 365 days with that little bundle of joy. Together you conquered cluster feedings, growth spurts, development milestones, teething, and too many hours of lost sleep. This is truly a time to celebrate and calls for a special, limited release beer. Whether it’s Torn Label’s latest release of Hang Em’ High, or a unique brew the boys over at Crane have come up with, grab something that stands out to you. The 750ml bottle size will allow you to share this one with your partner in this parenting journey as you reflect on the past year of your life.

In the end, what you’re doing every day as a parent deserves to be celebrated. Whether that means enjoying one of the beers above, reaching for your favorite box bottle of wine, dipping into that pint of ice cream, drinking another hot cup of coffee, or just a good laugh with a friend. You’re making it through the hardest of times and the best of times all jumbled together. As great as these pairings are, there’s one that rivals all others:  you and your kids.

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4 Responses to Parenting and Beer Pairings

  1. Jillia August 12, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    I love this Stephanie! You are an amazing person, mother, and friend and you have so much kindness and thoughfulness in everything you do. This makes so much sense on the pairing of the kiddos and brews.

  2. Shea
    Shea August 15, 2016 at 2:54 pm #

    Oh my goodness, this is genius! I’m only wishing I could have a beer now… somehow the pregnancy-approved NA beers just don’t sound as appealing… 🙂


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