New Boulevard Winter Seasonal Coming in November: Snow and Tell Oak Aged Scotch Ale

Snow&Tell_08.18.15What a year for Boulevard. Their expanded portfolio has been pretty impressive and this November comes another new offering called Snow and Tell. Snow and Tell is an oak-aged Scotch Ale that will check in at 6.3% ABV. Really looking forward to trying this one! Thanks to Bottlecaps80 for the pic! Here’s more on this brew:

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Type: Ale
Style: Specialty Beer
Availability: Winter
ABV: 6.30
IBU: 25

Beer Review #122: Boulevard Funky Pumpkin

bullyAhhh pumpkin beers…..Everyone’s favorite style…..well, maybe not. But, I can’t lie, I do enjoy a pumpkin brew everyone once in awhile, especially on a crisp Iowa fall day. I can understand the people who don’t like them either, I’ve found myself scoffing at a few pumpkin offerings trying to figure out what exactly the brewer was trying to do to make their pumpkin beer stand out from the others and I mostly realize that they aren’t. That’s what I liked about Boulevard’s Funky Pumpkin, it’s relatively unique twist on a pumpkin beer.

Maybe having this beer during the Iowa game last Saturday made it taste better but the cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger spices meshed well with a slight pumpkin flavor, the tartness, and the Brett to give it a little funk. Identified as a spiced sour, this could be the perfect mix for Brett-heads and pumpkin fans alike!

Here’s more on this brew:

Funky Pumpkin is our unique spin on a pumpkin beer. Spiced with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger, the final beer is a blend of brewhouse soured beer and beer aged in a stainless steel tank with brettanomyces. Tart and slightly earthy, Funky Pumpkin features a subtle toffee/caramel malt character that allows pumpkin pie spices to shine.

Boulevard’s ever-expanding portfolio continues to impress me and to me, this is a standout pumpkin beer that’s on Eastern Iowa shelves right along with Schlafly. Singles are available if you’re scared to commit to a sixer…give at least one bottle a try!

STYLE: Spiced/Pumpkin
ABV: 5.8%
PURCHASED AT: Hy-vee
POUR: Hazy apricot color, medium sized white head
AROMA: pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a bit of that sourness. 
TASTE:  start with the sour upfront and then you get cinnamon and a bit of sweetness to counteract the sour. 
RATEBEER.COM RATING: 78/100
BEERADVOCATE RATING: 87/100
OVERALL: B

My recommendation: One of the more unique pumpkin beers you will find and this one happens to be very drinkable. We don’t have Warlock, Pumpking, Punkin, and even if we did I’d still find myself sipping on one of these every fall. 

Coming to Shelves: Stone, Lagunitas, August Schell, new Boulevard Collab

big groveSome releases that will be hitting our market in the coming months…(to go along with Oktoberfest and Pumpkin Beers 🙂 have me pretty excited. The August Schell Noble Star Collection has been a huge success and I’m really looking forward to this next release. As for some local news, Big Grove Brewery will be holding their 2 year Anniversary party on August 29th. Below is their lineup for this can’t miss event:

Saturday, August 29 – The Anniversary Tailgate. Show up at 11am with your tailgating kit and spend the day with BGB. We’re serving up a hog roast, walk-chalking, and whatever else feels right. Don’t give that spot up, because live music from The Dawn starts at 6pm. It’s how we do it.

Here’s what we have for ANNIVERSARY BEER RELEASES:

Anniversary 2015 with JBC Coffee Roasters (DIPA with Harfusa Ethiopia organic coffee)

Batch 400 Collaboration with Third Base Brewery (super top secret, but it’s going to be super cool)

Richard the Whale (Heaven Hill bbl aged RIS)

Richard the Whale Sumatra with JBC Coffee Roasters (organic coffee variant)

Richard the Whale Super Secret Stout (wouldn’t you like to know?)

Oud Bruin (fermented for one year in Shorts Whiskey bbl with black chokeberries, name TBD)

Golden Brett Ale (fermented for 14 months in Opus One bbl, name TBD)

Onto some other news:

stoneStone Brewing – will be releasing another brew in the Stochasticity series titled Your Father Smelt of Elderberries. It’s going to be an amber ale with eldberberries added and come in at 8.8% and like all other Stochasticity releases be available in 22 oz bottles. Here’s more on this brew from Stone:

Stochasticity Project beers bravely explore lesser-trod territory. Imagine if you will emerging from the furthest depths of the dark, misty forest of time holding a chalice (perhaps one of catholically divine caliber) filled with an ale style dating back to medieval England. We find ourselves carried by the gait of hooves (which oddly sound like someone is clacking together two empty coconut halves) and happen upon a caste siege. Insults are being hurled from the walls above from …Frenchmen? Time to run away (after one last whack at the  mighty stone castle walls with a broadsword) to discuss strategy just beyond the reach of catapulted bovines. Beer brewed with elderberries is freely shared. What strategies come from this? Trojan Rabbit! A brilliant ruse they’re sure to…catapult. Word to the wise, Sir Bedivere.  Don’t strategize whilst drinking elderberry beer or the constables may show up at the end of your flick.

lagunitasLagunitas Brewing – according to mybeerbuzz.blogspot.com will be releasing a double alt called Doppel Sticky and will be part of their One-Hitter Series. This beer will be available in 12 oz bottles and come in 8.5%. No word on the drop date quite yet.

orbital driftAugust Schell Brewing – two new beers coming out in the popular Noble

apparent horizonStar Collection. The first is called Apparent Horizon and is a Rye Berlin-style wheat ale that will come in the 25.36 oz bottles. The 2nd release is called Orbital Drift and is a berlin-style wheat ale. Release details have yet to be determined so stay tuned for more.

collab 5Boulevard Brewing and Cigar City – Boulevard has released details on its Collaboration #5. This beer will be brewed with Cigar City brewing and will be a tropical pale ale and will be part of the smokestack series coming in at 7.3% but it will be available in 12 oz bottle 4 packs instead of the 750mL. Release date is tentatively schedule for September of this year so be on the look out for this one. The hop bill sounds very promising. Here’s more from Boulevard on this brew:

Combining CCB’s expertise with tropical fruit flavors and Boulevard’s love of pale ales, Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale begins with a base of soft pilsner malt layered with Maris Otter, Munich and caramel malts. Huge late hopping with a blend of Mosaic, Citra, Lemondrop and Azacca lends bright flavors of mango, pear, blueberry and citrus to a pale ale featuring slightly toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee notes. Infused with freshly sliced grapefruit at the conclusion of the boil, our tropical pale ale is briefly aged on passion fruit and grapefruit at the end of fermentation resulting in a refreshing acidity and tropical fruit flavor and aroma. At 7.3 ABV and 55 IBUs, Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale finishes slightly tart with bright citrus character from dry-hopping with Lemondrop, Azacca andPacific Jade hops.

Coming Soon: Next Boulevard Imperial X Stout, New Oskar Blues IPA, Founders, Great Divide, Alpine coming?

Quite a few tidbits on this Thursday to pass along. The next Big Grove double IPA gets released tomorrow and I’ll also be pouring some fine Big Grove brews tomorrow during ragbrai in Solon, so if you’re around stop by and say hi. Onto the news this week:

tart cherry**Boulevard Smokestack Series Imperial Stout X Cherry Tart – the next release in the series for Boulevard gets a little sour! They add tart cherries to fermentation. This brew will come in at 11% and will be available caged and corked in 750 mL bottles and be available in September.

**Oskar Blues Blue Dream IPA – the latest release from the brewery as it was oskar bluesrecently unveiled at the Brevard, NC facility. Little is known about this release right now except it will be another can offering and will check in at 6.4% abv. Stay tuned for more on this brew.

founders**Founders Spectra Trifecta – following Mosaic Promise and Black IPA comes Spectra Trifecta. A kolsch style beer, this will be coming in at 5.9% and be available in September. Here’s more from the brewery:

Brewed in the traditional kolsch style, which requires fermenting ale yeast at a colder temperature and give she beer a clean finish without fruity yeast esters. This bright, golden beer is brewed with a trifecta of natural ingredients: earthy, floral and slightly sweet chamomile; a touch of citrusy lemongrass; and a hint of spicy fresh ginger.

whitewater**Great Divide Whitewater Hoppy Wheat – the newest seasonal release which was originally a gold medal winner at GABF in 1994 is back in 6 packs of cans and bottles. It checks in at 6.1%.  Here’s more from the brewery:

WHITEWATER is an American wheat ale built for exploration. The bold hop profile adds complexity to this crisp, balanced ale, while hints of citrus, light floral notes, and a satisfying bitterness leave a perfect reminder of trails climbed and rapids subdued. Whitewater is the perfect complement to any adventure.

alpine**Alpine Brewing hitting the Iowa Market in August – the beeradvocate forum is bursting with news that Alpine Brewing, which was recently acquired by Green Flash, will start hitting the market (Des Moines specifically) in August. According to some folks from Doll Distribution it will start with kegs and then bottles will roll out in November. I hope this means the same for Eastern Iowa!

*Any news or new beers you want to talk about? Send me a line: benmed15@yahoo.com

Boulevard Collab #5 to be released in September

boulevardBoulevard Brewing Company will be releasing their Collab #5 this fall and it is set to be a tropical pale ale using citra, mosaic, lemondrop, azacca. Here’s more from Boulevard’s press release:

Our collaboration series of beers has allowed us to work (and drink) with some of our favorite people in the beer industry who brew fantastic beers. We’ve been lucky enough to brew with Jean-Marie Rock from Orval, Larry Sidor and Deschutes Brewing Company, Dann and Martha of Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project and our sister brewery, Phil Leinhart and Brewery Ommegang. During a new market rollout in Florida, a brewery we have tremendous respect for was kind enough to open their tasting room to us to host a Boulevard tap takeover to celebrate our entrance into the state. Not only did they put our beers on tap in their brewery, but they went above and beyond by showing Game 7 of the World Series on their tasting room televisions which had never displayed anything but their beer list and a live video feed of their brewhouse and fermentation cellars. We were so taken by the hospitality and kindness displayed by the great people of Cigar City Brewing, and the amazing quality of their beers, that we just knew we wanted to brew our next collaboration beer with them. Over plates of BBQ, a few rounds of beers and a couple of conference calls, it was decided that Boulevard Brewing Company and Cigar City Brewing would team up to bring you Collaboration No. 5.

Combining CCB’s expertise with tropical fruit flavors and Boulevard’s love of pale ales, Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale begins with a base of soft pilsner malt layered with Maris Otter, Munich and caramel malts. Huge late hopping with a blend of Mosaic, Citra, Lemondrop and Azacca lends bright flavors of mango, pear, blueberry and citrus to a pale ale featuring slightly toasted biscuit and caramel/toffee notes. Infused with freshly sliced grapefruit at the conclusion of the boil, our tropical pale ale is briefly aged on passion fruit and grapefruit at the end of fermentation resulting in a refreshing acidity and tropical fruit flavor and aroma. At 7.3 ABV and 55 IBUs, Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale finishes slightly tart with bright citrus character from dry-hopping with Lemondrop, Azacca and Pacific Jade hops.

As of this minute, we’re targeting a release date in September. Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale will be exclusively brewed and packaged at Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Missouri. For the first time in our collaboration series, we’ll package the beer in 4 packs of 12 ounce bottles moving away from our 750 ml bottle. As with past releases, we’ll also release 1/6 bbl kegs. Collaboration No. 5 – Tropical Pale Ale will distributed through the Boulevard distribution network and will be available throughout our footprint of 31 states and Washington DC.

Please stay tuned as we finalize more details.

Updated Boulevard Release Schedule: New Beers Listed

boulevardBoulevard Brewing just released their updated 2015 release schedule with some new beers added to their already busy new beer release schedule. The new beers of note are:

CORE SEASONAL

Funky Pumpkin – Sept. and Oct. release

Snow and Tell – Nov. and Dec. release

SMOKESTACK SPECIALTY

Imperial Stout X – Tart Cherry – Sept.

Imperial Stout X – Coconut – Dec. release

Here’s the full schedule:

boulevard

A Trip to KC and some BBQ at Q39

bbqA planned weekend in Kansas City for a beer festival turned into experiencing the best bbq I’ve ever eaten in my life. A group of family/friends and I had planned a weekend centered around the Parkville Micro Beer Festival in Parkville, MO which is about a 15 minute drive to KC. Luckily, having friends in the area who love them some BBQ, they were able to get us reservations at a newer bbq place called Q39. http://www.q39kc.com/ Upon looking at the menu online I was pretty excited to get to visit this establishment.

Kansas City is known for barbecue and I was kind of surprised to see a new restaurant attract so many people when they have quite a few BBQ landmarks in the Kansas City area. Luckily our table was ready promptly at 6:15 and the beginning of a massive pig out by the Beer Baron was about to commence.

photo 4The appetizers alone were worth going for. The smoked chicken wings were terrific. Good smoke flavor with sticky/sweet bbq sauce. Very meaty, they do not mess around with the size of your wings. We also ordered the white bean pork belly cassoulet which was outstanding as well.

At a bbq joint it can be so hard to choose what you want to eat. I love photo 5ribs, I love pulled pork, and I love brisket and sometimes choosing can be difficult, but luckily Q39 had the President’s Platter. Pick 3 of 4 smoked meats and 2 sides for $20. A bargain. My wife and I split and went with the 3 meats mentioned above, along with some green apple coleslaw and potato salad. The brisket was the GREATEST brisket I’ve ever had, hands down. Fork tender, juices running, smoke and just barely drizzled with house made sauce. The ribs fell right off the bone and actually tasted just as good the next day reheated. Between bites of those two and shoveling forkfuls of pulled pork into my mouth I was actually able to find room for a cold beer. When in KC, Boulevard is King. Went with one of my favorites, Tank 7, to wash down this masterpiece meal.

If ever in the Kansas City area, this place is must stop, especially if you are seeking BBQ. You will be put into the most wonderful food coma you’ve ever been in. Stay tuned for the Parkville Micro Beer Festival review!

Coming Soon: New Belgium Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale, Boulevard Hibiscus Gose, Bell’s Saturn, Green Flash Cellar 3, Destihl

new belgiumLots of tidbits this week with beers coming out very soon or announcements of future releases. Let’s start with the new stuff that will be seeing on the shelves:

*New Belgium Salted Caramel Brownie- I just saw this release on beerstreetjournal.com and at first glance I was pretty excited. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Belgium Salted Chocolate but I’m hoping this one satisfies my taste buds. A collab brew with Ben and Jerry’s ice cream sounds excellent. This will be available in 22 oz bottles and comes in at 6.5%. More from the brewery:

When two B Corps come together, delicious ideas are created. Our mutual dedication to using business as a force for good means you get to enjoy this brown ale laden with the chocolatey, salted-caramel, vanilla goodness while helping Protect Our Winters combat climate change. Dig in!

saturn*Bell’s Saturn – the latest from the planet series brings us the Bringer of Old Age, a barrel-aged barleywine that checks in a big 11.5%. The brewery says the shelf life is unlimited, so this might be one to snag a few of. We should be seeing this beer this month. Here’s more from the brewery:

The fifth release in the Bell’s Planets Series is strong, robust and complex. Saturn is a bourbon barrel aged barleywine loaded with notes of toffee, caramel, oak and vanilla that finishes with a warming touch. The first beer brewed for this series, Saturn has been aging in casks since July 2014. True to its name, this beer is well suited for vintage aging.

*Green Flash Cellar 3 Series – with the popularity of the Silva Stout release Green Flash not only has one more Silva Stout release this year but will also be release many more. Will we see these beers? Hard to say. I’m hoping so, but my guess is that they will be extremely limited. Here’s what Green Flash is up to courtesy of thefullpint.com:

The Cellar 3 lineup in 2015 will include the following outstanding rare ale releases:

Silva Stout (2 releases in 2015)

Green Flash Double Stout ages in oak bourbon barrels, and artfully emerges as Silva Stout. Thismidnight black ale features elegant notes of oak, vanilla, dark chocolate, coffee, roasted barley and ripe cherry. Round and delicately balanced in body, each sip envelops the palate with its impressively complex craft composition.

green flash 1Flanders Drive

Originally released in 2013 during beer week, this highly coveted rare ale was the first sour produced by Green Flash.  Flanders Drive is the result of intense Brewmaster contemplation. Built on a canvas of structured malts, the sourness develops during extended aging in wood barrels lending to the beer’s depth and complexity. Heady top notes of tart cherry and dark fruit mingle with rich, subtle malt in the background for a truly satisfying sour ale.

Plum, Natura Morta Series

The first release from Cellar 3’s Natura Morta Series of fruit green flash 2fermented beers, this extraordinary ale begins as a Belgian-style Saison fermented in foudres with Brettanomyces. It is then aged in red wine barrels with Italian plum puree. After six months, a pink hued ale emerges. Elegant and flavorful, it renders notes of tart plum, rosewater and almond, balanced by barrel-drawn tannins and a refined dry finish.

Le Freak Barrique

Our Belgian-Style Trippel and American Imperial IPA hybrid ale is inoculated with Brettanomyces to create Le Freak Barrique. Highly nuanced, the resinous hop characteristics are refined by barrel-drawn notes of vanilla and French oak tannins. Wild yeast imparts a barnyard funk with hints of apple orchard that linger in the finish.

Cherry, Natura Morta Series

The second release from the Natura Morta Series is a refined evolution of our Belgian-Style Saison is foudre-fermented with Brettanomyces, then aged in red wine barrels with dark sweet cherry puree. After six months, an effervescent crimson ale is released with flavors of ripe stone fruit and barrel-drawn tannins. Retaining hints of earthy wild yeast, Natura Morta Cherry finishes like a fine Beaujolais.

cerise*Destihl Brewing Cerise Stout Imperiale – another beer that I’m quite sure its availability or even its release date is Cerise Stout Imperiale. The original beer release had it come in at 9.5% but according to mybeerbuzz.com this version will be 11%. More from the brewery:

Cherries and chocolate are made for each other, and in this case, it’s sour cherries and chocolate & roasted malts combining in this imperial stout made with Belgian yeast and aged in oak barrels. Black in color and full bodied with subtle aroma, flavor and tartness perceived from the addition of sour cherries and Belgian yeast.

gose*Boulevard Hibiscus Gose – a beer we saw a little glimpse of last year is making its return and I for one, am very excited. I thought Boulevard did a wonderful job with this beer. 4.2% and perfect for a warm spring day. More from the brewery:

Our version of an unusual, yet resurgent, beer style. It pays tribute to the pleasantly sour, slightly salty wheat beers that originated in Goslar and became popular in Leipzig, Germany around the late 1800’s. A great introductory sour beer, Hibiscus Gose receives coriander and sea salt during boiling, then we steep dried hibiscus flowers at the end to create a vibrant pink hue (really, though, it’s pink!). The result is a tangy, sweet and sour ale with a refreshing citrus character.

Hitting Shelves: Boulevard Love Child + Brett, Green Flash Road Warrior, Founders

Brand_Love_Child_SeriesSome familiar beers will be hitting Eastern Iowa shelves in the coming weeks. Boulevard releasing two favorites in Love Child and Saison Brett. Here’s more on these two brews:

Love Child #5 – #5 will be and should be on shelves by the end of the week in Eastern Iowa and we should be seeing #6 sometime in the fall I believe. From Boulevard:

Boulevard’s Love Child Series of “wild” ales are barrel-aged with such boisterous cultures as Lactobaccillus and Brettanomyces. These wayward offspring can prove so complex that we employ gauges on the label to convey the intensity of three key personality traits, Funk, Sour, and Fruit, presenting a picture of the ale at the time it was released. It will change as it ages, but don’t we all?

saison brettSaison Brett – maybe one of my favorite beers, a list that is ever growing but a beer I make sure to stock up on for sure.

Saison-Brett, based on our very popular Tank 7, is assertively dry hopped, then bottle conditioned with various yeasts, including Brettanomyces, a wild strain that imparts a distinctive earthy quality. Though this farmhouse ale was given three months of bottle age prior to release, further cellaring will continue to enhance the “Brett” character, if that’s what you’re after.

road warriorGreen Flash Road Warrior

Hop on and enjoy the rye of your life! Our imperial rye IPA is brewed in the name of our road warriors – the sales team that tirelessly hit the streets, traveling from town to town and pub to pub sharing the Green Flash experience. Road Warrior charge full flavor forward. Columbus and Mosaic hops, rich crystal and spicy rye malts pave the way for Mosaic and Amarillo dry hopping to boldly shine through in the finish. Raise a glass to those who never settle!

old curmudgeoFounders Old Curmudgeon –  

This Old Ale conjures up thoughts of classic sea fairing ports, there local pubs and the weathered fisherman that frequent them. In traditional style Curmudgeon is brewed with an intense focus on the malt bill creating a very strong, rich, malty characteristic and a sweetness indicative of its cousin the barleywine. We are especially proud of the balance in this beer making it deceptively smooth and drinkable at 9.8% alcohol by volume.

If you see anything new feel free to drop me a message! Cheers!