Sunday, January 18, 2015

Short Pours: Boulevard Brewing Company Edition

If you’re anything like me, the beginning of a new year can provide a very rude awakening.  By now your tree has probably been taken down, decorations have been put away and the only leftovers still around the house are stale, broken cookies at the bottom of a ceramic snowman cookie jar.  With the holidays in the rearview mirror, the reality of enduring the next couple months of cold, harsh winter weather starts to set in.  The anticipation for Spring starts to build but only seems to make the days and weeks drag on more than usual.

                   I’m here to tell you to keep your chin up though.  Over the past few weeks our friends at Boulevard Brewing Company have released a plethora of news that should excite any craft beer fan and have them looking forward to what is on the horizon for 2015.

                  Let’s take a look at some of the recent announcements:

Boulevard Brewing Company 2015 Release Calendar
                  Boulevard has published their release calendar for 2015 which includes 12 new beers slated to debut throughout the year.  The calendar shows two new IPAs scheduled to join the rotation as Heavy Lifting IPA will become part of the Core Year-Round releases and The Calling IPA (more on this one in a bit) joins the Smokestack Year-Round offerings. 

Boulevard’s Core Seasonal lineup will see three new beers added which include Spring Belle Saison, Funky Pumpkin and Snow and Tell.  You’ll also notice that Hibiscus Gose will make its return this year as part of the Core Seasonal lineup. 

In addition to these, Boulevard’s Smokestack Specialty series will see a number of new releases this year.  Boulevard plans on releasing four variations of their Imperial Stout.  The first two variations have already been announced.  The first release will be infused with Ethiopian Sidamo coffee from the Roasterie and the second release will be aged in rum barrels.  These variants are scheduled for a February and June release respectively.  This year will also see the release of not one, but two new Love Child beers, No. 5 and 6, along with Collaboration No. 5.
Of course as more information regarding these becomes available we will be sure to pass it along.  

The Calling IPA

                  As mentioned above, Boulevard will introduce The Calling IPA as part of their Smokestack Year-Round lineup this year.  Jeremy Danner, Boulevard’s Ambassador Brewer, describes The Calling as “an IPA with a juicy, tropical fruit aroma that leaps from the glass.  A simple malt base composed solely of our two row base malt serves as a platform for giant, punchy hop flavor and aroma provided by a blend of Simcoe, Bravo, Topaz, Cascade, Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy and Amarillo hops.” Jeremy adds “The Calling also receives an addition of lemon peel during the last five minutes of the boil to add an extra citrusy punch.” 
                  The Calling is expected to be available on draft in mid-February with four packs of twelve ounce bottles to follow shortly there after.  The Calling has an 8.5% ABV and 75 IBU.

Boulevard Tasting Room – Blonde Ale

                  Another beer you will be able to get your hands on this year from Boulevard will be their Tasting Room Blonde Ale.  This beer will only be available as part of the Boulevard Sample Twelve variety packs though so you won’t find it on their release schedule above.  The Tasting Room series is a great chance to try some of Boulevard’s test production beers if you aren’t able to make it down to the brewery often.

New Bottle Codes

            To go along with all the new beer being released this year, you may also notice something different about the information on the actual bottle.  Boulevard has decided to start printing a more consumer friendly date on the bottle that will show when the beer was bottled along with a ‘best by’ date that is currently being used.
                  The format for the information will read as this:
                  LMMDDDYY HHMM BBT
                  BEST BY MM/DD/YYYY

                  The top line beginning with ‘L’, which stands for ‘lot’, will show the month, day and year along with time the beer was bottled.  The letters ‘BBT’ will be replaced with a letter A through F that will indicate which bright beer tank that beer was packaged.

                  So in the example below, L010515 822 A will let you know this beer was bottled on January 5th, 2015 at 8:22 AM from bright beer tank A.

                 As you can see, Boulevard obviously has some big plans in store for 2015.  After seeing this news and knowing what there is to look forward to this year, it makes these long, winter months a little easier to tolerate.

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