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.