Josh and Lanni Edwards are beer tourists. When they travel, they seek out the convivial environment of local brew pubs that feature great local beer and food, but that aren’t too formal to enjoy a meal with their three children, ages 5 through 9. Wanting to create a place in Lee’s Summit like those they enjoy during their travels helped inspire the contractor, a Lee’s Summit native, and his father, Jeff Edwards, to open Smoke Brewing Company’s gastropub in the city’s downtown in March 2017.
“We have a love for manufacturing, a love for beer,” Josh Edwards says of his homebuilding family, who worked for months to completely gut and then restore the 10-barrel brewhouse and restaurant at 209 SE Main St.
In January, they brought on chef Dan Patterson to lead in menu development for the gastropub. With stints at Kansas City’s The Sundry and Story restaurants and, most recently, The Rieger restaurant, Patterson honed his focus on meat production. He brings raved-about barbecue to downtown Lee’s Summit but also has an interest in getting locals to sample menu items that may be out of the box. Patterson will have the chance to express his creativity in the crafting of Smoke’s seasonal menu and the development of the gastropub’s beer dinners.
While Smoke’s barbecue has been well-received, Josh Edwards says his goal for Smoke is something bigger than another local taproom restaurant. Edwards plans for the barbecue and beer to remain in downtown Lee’s Summit but also to begin distribution within a year.
The Perfect Pair
Smoke debuted five house beers on tap at its opening. Brewers continue expanding their repertoire to feature seasonal specialties perfect for sipping during summer evenings on their patio. Edwards and Patterson offer beer pairing tips featuring house brews and menu items. Get creative and use their suggestions as a template for your own straight-from-the smoker backyard feasts.
Saison de Etre: This summery beer pulls floral and peppery and is dry on the finish. Pair it with brisket street tacos topped with chimichurri and cotija cheese.
Black Spring Double Black IPA: Chinook and Magnum hops lend a strong, bitter, hop-forward character to this prototypical West Coast IPA. The piney notes and slight spice character pair perfectly with smoky Louisiana hot wings.
Scottish Tattoo: This wee heavy-style beer is very strongly malt-forward and biscuity in character. The peat-smoked malts impart a hint of smokiness. Pair this heavier, high-ABV beer with a lighter-bodied dish that carries a stronger flavor punch. Try it with Smoke’s pan-roasted salmon with compound butter, corn risotto and grilled asparagus or a spinach salad with blue cheese and brisket.
Juice: This New England-style IPA has a pronounced grapefruit nose and a fruity, juicy hop-forward body with a crisp, bitter finish. Motueka hops impart a citrus lime character and Brambling Cross hops pull spice. Pair Juice with smoky sweet competition-style ribs or brisket street tacos.
Black Udder Milk Stout: With its roasted malt flavor and touch of sweetness, this smooth milk stout tastes like breakfast to Patterson. He suggests a creative take on the breakfast theme, pairing it with Smoke’s onion pancake and pork blade burnt ends.
Pilsner: This prototypical American pale lager pairs perfectly with Smoke’s briskwich, an amped-up brisket sandwich, or their house pit master burger.
Smoke Brewing Company, 209 SE Main St., Lee’s Summit, MO, is open 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Visit SmokeBrewingCompany.com for more information.