Saturday, March 20, 2010

Wishful Thinking Collaborations

Collaborations are all the rage with craft brewers these days. Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada made headlines late last year with their Life & Limb maple flavored Strong Ale. Stone Brewing in San Diego teams up annually with Jolly Pumpkin (Michigan) and Nøgne-Ø (Norway) to brew a Christmas seasonal collaboration ale. More locally however, Schlafly teamed up with O'Fallon and New Albanian to brew an unfortunate Frankenstein ale that the brewers described as an "oak aged dry hopped smoked rye pale ale," or as Chimpotle put it, "a gang bang in a glass."

Boulevard's Imperial Pilsner was a big deal earlier this year. I really liked the Imperial Pilsner and it got me thinking about what other collaborations I'd like to see for our hometown brewer. Recently, local Twitter personality Rod Leviathan asked damn good question, "Why hasn't Boulevard teamed up with The Roasterie for a coffee stout?" TheReaper16 had another good idea, saying Boulevard and Shatto should put out a milk stout. Running with the idea, I said Boulevard could use applewood from the Woodyard to make a smoked porter.

Plenty of local restaurants use Boulevard beers as ingredients in recipes. Take Blanc's delicious Pale Ale Onion Rings for example. I think it'd only be fair (and delicious) if Boulevard would return the favor and use some of the more unique local ingredients in their beers. Seriously, a Shatto Milk Stout would be amazing.

I thought of a few others I'd like to see:

Christopher Elbow Chocolate Stout - Boulevard was pairing Dark Truth with Elbow chocolates when they sent out promotional bottles so why not take the logical next step and put Elbow chocolates IN a stout? How delicious does a caramel infused apple and chocolate stout sound... What about a Strawberry Balsamic Chocolate Porter...

Honey Mead Wheat - Pirtle is a small winery in Weston about thirty minutes north of the city. Most of their wines are sweeter, fruit based meads. My favorite has to be the blackberry mead but I couldn't think of a Boulevard beer I'd pair it with (maybe Sixth Glass but it's already got a lot going on) so I'd try mixing a little honey mead and Boulevard Wheat and see what happens. You'd probably end up with something like Harvest Dance but way less carbonated.

Cornbread Pale Ale - C Withers makes the best cornbread I've ever had. Cornbread isn't something I get excited about often so they must be doing something right. I think putting the sweet and grainy flavor of cornbread in a pale ale would be awesome... almost as awesome as using spent grain for cornbread. Someone should get on that.

Caramel Lamar's Bar Porter - The ultimate breakfast beer. Take a generous amount of caramel icing and sweeten up a Bully! Porter. Done. Also sounding good in the morning, a Bavarian Cream Filled Stout.

Have any suggestions on local mash ups with Boulevard beers that would make for a delicious combination?


  1. A BLVD/Elbow collaboration is in the planning stages - per the man who would know. We did not discuss they specific style of beer (not sure that it's been decided) but one would presume that it would be a stout of some sort. Per the conversation, there is going to be a break in new beers from BLVD for awhile after the release of Boss Tom's (they've released something like 13 beers in 18 months, which is prolific), but this collaboration beer is likely to be the next "new" beer from BLVD, whenever it arrives.

  2. Ummm...milk stouts don't have milk in them. They have lactose, A sugar that is unfermentable for brewer's yeast. It leaves a sweet, higher final gravity beer.

  3. The Honey Mead Wheat idea sounds like a beer that Terrapin did in their Monster Beer Tour series called Gamma Ray. It was a wheat wine that used a lot of local (to Georgians) honey from Savannah Bee Company.

    @Andy -- I knew when I tweeted it that milk stouts were made from lactose and not actual milk. But they can derive the lactose from Shatto and its the kind of cross-promotion that serves the common good.

    @Anonymous -- *swoons*

  4. Can you imagine how disgusting a stout with actual milk in it would taste...

    Anyway, I'd like to see an Egg Nog Stout collaboration between BLVD and Shatto. Shatto makes an amazing egg nog so take their ratio of lactose, nutmeg and cinnamon and tweak it to blend in with your stout base.

    I always wondered why no one ever tried a Goat's Milk Bock... I'm not an expert on milks across species but surely the sugars in goat milk are similar enough to cow milk to provide a similar sweetness to a bock or doppelbock. Plus you'd be able to put two or three pictures of goats on your label.

  5. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I thought the Elbow collaboration was going to be a chocolate porter. I'd definitely like to see another porter from Boulevard and since they have 3 different stouts, another porter would make sense.

    The Roasterrie seems like a no brainer collaboration partner. It's only a couple of blocks away. They're both so identifiable to Kansas Citians, I'd love to see them share a label.

    Most of all though, a little cross border collaboration with Free State would be wonderful.

  6. Another porter from the brewers of my favorite porter ever? Yes, please.

    Free State & Boulevard could make one Hell of a collaboration beer. That needs to happen.

    Roasterie + BLVD needs to happen too. I mean, they share that huge mural on Main St. They should share a product as well.

  7. Not sure I would call using a particular product in a beer a collaboration. It happens all the time and nobody does.

    Pauwels has said that they are looking for large breweries in other parts of the country which I interpreted as not freestate

  8. An Espresso Stout made with The Roasteries Super Tuscan Espresso sounds amazing.

  9. 75th Street makes a winter seasonal in collab with the roasterie...