I’m Kyle and I love beer. I love the way it smells, I love the way it looks, I love the way it tastes, and I love the way it makes me feel. To make sure my love for beer never goes flat, I’ve embarked on a great beer-drinking endeavor, exploring new styles, as many different breweries as possible, and attempting to understand the methods brewers use to make the world of beer so diverse. Let’s get to it:
Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, MO
Availability: Releases in May. Boulevard beers are distributed in 25 states.
Tasting notes: There is a definite citrus character to this beer that comes from the Amarillo dry hopping, but the brettanomyces steal the show. Earthy, funky notes are well balanced by a strong malty backbone.
Food pairing ideas: Literally everything, but Boulevard recommends pairing with mussels, crab cakes, mushroom dishes, and washed rind cheeses.
I work full time as a high school English teacher, but spend some of my weekends and all of my summer giving tours at one of the finest breweries in all the land, the Boulevard Brewing Company. I was raised on Boulevard, and they make some of my favorite beers on the planet. As an employee, I thought it would be somewhat conflict-of-interesty to talk up their beers in this column, but I thought it might make sense to introduce you to (in my opinion) their best beer as so you can understand my beer sensibilities as I introduce this column.
The “brett” gives this an otherworldly ability to complement foods.
Saison-Brett, a limited release member of Boulevard’s illustrious Smokestack Series, is a close relative to one of Boulevard’s rock star beers, Tank 7. Like Tank 7, Saison-Brett is a farmhouse-style beer that gets a healthy dose of dry-hopping before fermentation, but what sets this beer apart is the addition of brettanomyces — a wild yeast strain that adds an element of earthiness and funkiness. That “brett” in the bottle gives it an otherworldly ability to complement foods. It also gives it the ability to sit in the cellar for a little while and only get better. I actually prefer this beer after it sits for 6 to 8 months, but I try to get a few bottles when it comes out so I can taste it every few months and see how it is progressing. The citrus aroma, the funky flavor, and the high ABV all combine to make this a close-to-perfect beer.