Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Smokestack Seasonals

Happy days. Owen is reporting that Boulevard is coming out with 3 new beers over the next year. But, they're actually coming out with 4 Boulevard Smokestack seasonals.

First up is a Saison that Boulevard says is going to be the first Smokestack Series beer to be on tap. This formulation of the Saison will replace the current Saison Smokestack and will have a different name and label. I look forward to drinking some over at Harry's sometime soon.
Servers came by carrying glasses of a new saison based on the Saison-Brett. "You are drinking what will be our first Smokestack series on draft," Pauwels said.

Currently nicknamed "Tank 7," the beer is heading to bars in April. With the hops and yeast and slight fruit hints, it had something for everyone. And at the end of the night, when Pauwels had people vote on their favorite, Tank 7 won easily.

The second beer on tap (get it?) is a witbier, dubbed Two Jokers Double-Wit. I like witbiers quite a bit as well, but only in the summer or an unseasonably warm day. Boulevard is reading my mind by releasing this as a seasonal Smokestack around the same time frame as Zon.

Not mentioned in Owen's story, is another seasonal Smokestack, a dopplebock, to be released around the same time as Bob's 47. I think Oktoberfest is going to be just a little better this year.

To continue the seasonal Smokestacks, Boulevard will be releasing a wheat wine (which is supposedly similar to a barleywine) at around the same time as Nutcracker. Similar to barleywine = Bull no likey. But, for those who like barleywines have at it. The wheat wine will be a limited release similar to the BBQ and will be priced similarly.

Then one other great piece of news is that they are working on a rye beer, which I'm assuming would be the last seasonal Smokestack to be paired with the Irish Ale. I have volunteered my tasting services to the Boulevard brewers. I love rye beers and they are severely underutilized by breweries. I'm glad Boulevard is throwing their hat in the rye ring.

When the first Smokestack beers came out in the fall of 2007 I said that those were their first salvo in becoming the best craft brewer in the U.S.. I think this salvo of seasonal Smokestack brews will put them in the conversation now, assuming they live up to my Boulevard standards. It looks to be another good year in Boulevard country.

Owen has his tasting notes out on the Saison and wheat wine.


  1. Additionally, at the tasting last night, Pauwels also said that they will re-release the BBQ again, but this time from one batch and not two. The "Tank 7" was mighty tasty last night - I am by no means a beer expert but it was my favorite and I would buy that beer over and over. It's the Saison with a hint of orange.

  2. That's good to know about the dopplebock, I don't know why he didn't mention it.

    I also offered my services for the rye beer but Pauwels laughed and said it was only barreled a couple weeks ago and still has a long time to age. More like a long time to taste test to me.

  3. I hope the "tank 7" delivers. I loved the Saison Brett -- maybe my favorite beer I've ever tasted. So I hope it delivers.

    I can't imagine anyone is going to continue buying Zon with a better seasonal option available. Zon = not my favorite.

  4. I am actually really looking forward to the wheat wine. It's one of my favorite styles, though one that hasn't been really explored.

  5. Add to your list the possibility of a Boulevard pilsener, too. I have a few bottles from a test batch, one of which I reviewed recently on my blog:

    I could be wrong, but I'm almost willing to bet they were serving "Tank 7" at KC Beerfest this year (at least the one that was @ KCP&L.

    How was the double wit? They tend to be so dang overspiced that it ruins it a little, to me at least. Kind of like sucking on coriander.

    Doppelbock should be interesting. I don't know much about the style but picked up a couple from Paulaner in addition to the Shiner Commemorator I recently reviewed.

    The rye sounds interesting. If it's anything close to the league of Goose Island's Mild Winter then it will be a huge winner in my book.

  6. LD, I think the pilsner may be their next year round six pack beer, but I have not confirmed that fact yet. I'm a little upset my guys at Boulevard didn't give me any, but not too upset, I'm just not that much of a pilsner guy.

    I didn't like the Shiner Commemorator, but I didn't have anything interesting to say about it. I'm excited about the dopplebock, for some reason I like it when Boulevard goes German.

    I hope the rye is a little more in the mold of the Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye but if it's as good as the Goose Island Mild Winter I'll be a happy camper.

    I think they've had Tank 7 at the brewhouse for most of the past year and probably did have it at the brewfests.

    Brent, we're in agreement about the Zon, but the Saison isn't going to sell better than sixers of Zon.

    Owen, I had to do a little legwork on finding out about the dopplebock. I don't think it was a secret, but I believe the KC Beer Blog is the first to confirm it's coming out as part of the Smokestack Series.

  7. The latest Pilsner test batch I had (which was about 2 weeks ago on a tour) was MUCH better than any of the other tests I had tried. At least it seems they've put more flavor into it.

    Also, last night we saw the whiskey barrels that they're supposedly aging the Rye Beer in. Very exciting...

  8. Bull, I think Hop Rod Rye is good beer, but to me it's just another IPA. I don't know why I liked Mild Winter so much, but I did. It just was good every single time I had it!

    Don't feel slighted about the pils... I got it from someone who used to do some entertaining work with them. I'd like to get into the inner circle somehow and be in the know with their beers, but as of yet I am not. Oh well! ;-)

  9. I had the Pilsner twice in January I think and was underwhelmed. It was substantially underhopped compared to Czech and German Pilsners and selling light colored lightly hopped beer as "Pilsner" is what has given Pilsner a bad name in the US.

    Sounds like their latest effort is better. I would like to try it again. Done well, Pilsner is a great style.