Boulevard Brewing Company
No broken dreams here!
From Kansas City MO, Boulevard calls themselves:
the Midwest’s home for fine ales and lagers since 1989. Boulevard’s mission is simple: to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques
One thing I noticed from their website is that they emphasize sustainability, making themselves a “zero landfill” company, and even starting a glass recycling company, Ripple Glass, in response to a lack of local recycling. “We’re proud to report that in 2011, Ripple Glass recycled enough glass to produce nearly 100 million Boulevard beer bottles.”
To recycle bottles you must first empty them, so I set out to do my duty. I picked up one of their Sample 12 packs, three each of two of their standards, and three each of two “Tasting Room” offerings. I must say that I was hoping to try their Tasting Room Red IPA, but the Mid-Coast was a fine alternate, presumably from an older Sample 12.
This was a GABF® Gold Medal winner, and it’s gold in the glass as well, a bit cloudy, with a brief foamy white head, then a yeasty nose with bready malt and a hint of sourdough. It’s a malty mouthful with light stone fruit blending straight into the finish with a drying hop touch at the end. 4.4% ABV, 14 IBU
Pours golden straw a with persistent foamy white head. As soon as the cap comes off a wave of citrus & pine rushes out. The nose stays with strong hops and maybe a hint of malt underneath, a hint becoming more pronounced as the liquid warms a little. Malt comes in on the flavor with restrained hops or at least restrained relative to the nose. It’s refreshingly effervescent with a bright clean profile. The hops turn resiny on the finish though citrus and pine persist. Initially bitter, the finish smooths out and lingers quite a while. 5.6% ABV, 104 IBUs, so moderate alcohol and immoderate hops!
This is a hazy light amber beer with a foamy ivory head. As with the Mid-Coast, a bright citrus aroma hits as soon as the cap comes off, then an estery shot like cantaloupe with bready malt emerging. Stone fruit and malt flavor follow with hops nibbling at the edges. The fruitiness persists well into the finish with simmering hops, still mostly citrus. 5.5% ABV, 20 IBUs. That IBU number is a big surprise to me, a very hoppy beer with very low bitterness. Clearly they emphasized aroma hops and flavor hops, not bittering hops.
Fills the glass with opaque darkest brown and a generous tight foam head, mocha foam. The aroma is roasty roasty with dark chocolate notes. The flavor is refreshing and malty, reflecting a very complex malt bill, still roasty and almost woody like a barrel aged beer, again with chocolate notes. The medium-length finish is quite smooth and once again roasty, continuing all the flavor notes. Some folks think that all stouts are harsh, this would prove them wrong. 5.5% ABV, 35 IBUs.
Four varieties were not enough, so I then picked up a six pack:
Hazy light amber with a very generous, ragged, light yellow head. Earthy herbal hops fill the nose with spice notes and lots of malt and yeast. There’s a toffee flavor like some sort of hoppy sweet roll. The finish continues the toffee but is thoroughly dried and bittered by the hops. The hops were stronger on the nose and finish than on the palette. Their website says that this beer is based on the Tasting Room Mid-Coast; of the two I preferred the bright clean Mid-Coast, but that’s a choice between two good options. 6.2% ABV, 80 IBU
As you see, the Heavy Lifting comes in cans. That makes Heavy Lifting less heavy to lift, and less heavy to ship, further reducing their environmental impact. I’m pleased to have tried Boulevard, and my compliments to my friend Kent @nyrugby1 who pointed them out to me.