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?