Monday, July 11, 2011

boulevard brewery

Thank goodness plans can change. During our sojourn to Kansas City last week, my travel companions and I did not always plan ahead. We really wanted to go on the Boulevard Brewing Co.'s brewery tour, but we didn't realize until the day of that we needed reservations! We figured that we would wing it and see if we could finagle our way onto the tour. When we got to the brewery, it didn't look good. The tour was booked up (months in advance, apparently) but they took our name and asked us to wait around.  Luckily, there were some last minute no-shows, and on we were! The part that got me the most excited? The way they keep track of the free samples is by using bottle caps as tokens. Guess who pocketed the extra bottle caps? Yours truly. And luckily, since I was traveling with a large group, we were each able to taste each other's beers, so we didn't have to use all of the bottle caps for the samples. So thank you, Boulevard, for fitting us into your tour, and also providing some free bottle caps for my blog! Bonus points for you!!

Once we realized how good the brewery was, we started seeing the beer on tap and in bottles in restaurants across across the city (including in Oklahoma Joe's -- possibly the best BBQ in town. And it's housed in a gas station, no less) as well as in St. Louis when we returned to home base.

Currently, Boulevard has three types of bottle caps.

If I had to pick a favorite, I think the smokestack (with image) bottle cap would be the top.  It looks (vaguely) like the brewery, it has the name Boulevard on it, and it also mentions Kansas City -- and for a microbrew, that's key. You want to know where your microbrew comes from!

My favorite of all of the ones we tasted was definitely The Sixth Glass. We actually tried this brew the night before our travels to the brewery when we were eating BBQ (can you sense a theme) at Jack Stack (it was right across the street from our hotel -- there was no driving around looking for pulled pork on the first evening in town). The Sixth Glass has about twice the alcohol rate of a normal beer (more than 10 percent) and is also richer in flavor. You can sense figs and dates in the brew and there's very little bitter aftertaste. Even one of my travel companions, who hates the bitter taste of most beer, found The Sixth Glass to be surprisingly palatable. Actually, it seems that most of the beers that Boulevard brews are rich in flavor: we tried a stout at the brewery that was amazingly light and had the unmistakable taste of coffee.

Boulevard -- and downtown Kansas City.

They make beer in those pipes! 

Just a few of our many taste-tested beers...and a few bottle caps to boot.

P.S. To all you traders out there: if you need any Boulevard crowns, I have some extras.  Email me at laurenwalles (at) gmail (dot) com if you want to trade.

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