Food and Drink

Bridger’s Bottle Shop Brings a New Beer Experience to KC

Westport patrons will have a new way to get a cold one when Bridger’s Bottle Shop opens on April 2.

The shop plans to sell more than 600 different bottled beers, offering one of the city’s best selections.

The owners discovered the bottle store concept in their travels and decided to bring it to KC, originally envisioning it as a market-style beer store with a little deli in the back serving simple snacks. But after polling people in Westport about what they liked to eat while drinking, co-owner Aaron Beatty says they had a new idea about the food component of their business and reached out to the people’s favorite, Alex Pope of Local Pig.

Pope, happy to be expanding into Westport, was given a blank slate and chose to open Preservation Market, a counter-service restaurant in Bridger’s Bottle Shop that offers hearty, chef-driven salads and sandwiches for the lunch crowd, “similar to Pigwich but a little smarter, a little more seasonal and a lot more vegetable and pickle-based,” Pope says.

Photo via the Bridger’s Bottle Shop Facebook page.

Dinner revolves around charcuterie boards featuring Local Pig meats and local, regional and imported cheeses as well as small plates and plenty of pickles made by executive chef Andrew Heimburger, formerly the executive chef at Pigwich.

“Andrew really wants to get creative on all the different ways of preserving food that we don’t necessarily practice anymore,” Pope says. “Beer was how we preserved barley before we had refrigeration and other ways to deal with it. That’s where the name came from, and we’re trying to make it fun.”

Visitors can get recommendations on which beers pair well with Preservation Market’s offerings and new beers they might like to try before sitting down to enjoy their drink in the shop or purchasing their bottled beer to go.

It’s a unique concept, only the second of its kind in KC, but one that Beatty thinks fits with KC’s evolving beer culture and Westport’s changing landscape.

“There’s a lot of new talent coming in, a lot of chef-based places,” Beatty says. “It’s not your ‘drop it in a fryer until it floats and put it on a plate’ Westport anymore.”

Get a taste when Bridger’s opens on Wednesday, April 2 at 5 p.m.