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Boulevard Brewing Company: Brewing Up Greatness

Our Journey

Boulevard Brewing Company, located in Kansas City, Missouri, has all the ingredients that make a brewing company truly great.  From their outstanding staff, forward-thinking production ideas, and amazing community values, these folks have really set the bar high for all the other craft brewing companies in the United States.  With over 4,000 craft breweries in the United States alone, that says quite a lot.  We’ve tried several of their brews, visited their facility, spoken to their staff, and been highly impressed with their dedication and innovation.

Who is Boulevard Brewing Company connected to in local business?

Before we go into a deeper look at Boulevard Brewing Company’s outstanding craft beers and more, let’s take a moment to examine their connection to area businesses.  The list may not be extensive, but it is highly relevant in showing their community awareness and concern.  We’ll start with the bigger names and move on to the community names that really show how they affect those around them.

  • Sprint
  • KC Royals
  • KC Sporting
  • Quixotic
  • UMB
  • Ripple Glass
  • KCOI Boulevard Racing Team
  • Charlotte Street
  • Mammoth
  • Pipeline Radio
  • FS Kansas City
  • Sports Radio 810 WHB
  • Kansas City Gaelic Athletic Club
  • Kansas City Rugby Football Club
  • Kansas City Zoo

While this list may not seem like much at first, if you take a deeper look, you’ll see that without supporting some of these organizations, they would not be affecting the future of their community in such large ways.  For example, look at their connection to the Athletic Clubs.  Our youth need a future that includes sports and the arts.  Without these things we lose a lot of our creativity and drive to succeed.  By supporting such organizations, Boulevard Brewing Company ensures that our youth have a happy and healthy future to look forward to, and plenty of icons to look up and whose footsteps they are going to want to follow towards success.

By supporting the Kansas City Zoo, they ensure that we are able to learn more about the creatures in the world around us and around the world itself.  Not everyone has the chance to fly to China to see a panda, or to the Amazon to see some of the amazing birds and reptiles from that region.  When we take in information and knowledge about our world, we have a better chance to make it a more enjoyable place to live.  We certainly would not have cared about the effects of mass deforestation if we had never been taught about how it affects our air quality.  Nor would we think about endangered species if we had not learned how different ecosystems work and why every piece of that environment is important to the survival of the rest.

These great business connections show not only their respect and consideration for our future, but also their willingness to work together with other businesses to achieve greater goals.  Community is about working together, and seeing a business that takes the time to make these connections is great.  We hope to see this list grow exponentially over time.

Environmental Awareness is something Boulevard prides themselves on

We mentioned how Boulevard Brewing Company really seems to care about the future of the world around them.  This is no more clear than it is when you consider their connection to Ripple Glass, a recycling company created by the brewing company itself.  The issue goes back to 2009, when Boulevard discovered that over 10 million empty glass bottles from their own labels had been thrown into landfills.  This upset the folks at Boulevard, as the glass was entirely recyclable and they wanted to know why this was happening.  As it turned out, there was no glass recycling center locally due to no local recycling regulations.

The staff at Boulevard realized that this had to change, as they did not like being part of a landfill epidemic that was quickly growing into a large issue.  As a result of the problem, they contacted several local companies and arranged a meeting with company leaders to discuss the issue and come up with a solution.  This meeting resulted in several companies teaming up with Boulevard to create Ripple Glass, a glass recycling center that would support the local community and aide in the reuse of the recycled glass itself.  The effect was amazing.  By 2011, Ripple Glass had taken in and processed enough used glass to produce over 90 million bottles!  That impact in just two years’ time is a shining example of how one company can take the initiative and make a huge difference.

By choosing to take responsibility for their part in the problem, and finding the courage to discuss the problem with other businesses, Boulevard made an impact on their local community that goes far beyond a simple fix.  When you are looking at hundreds of thousands of pounds of glass being kept out of local landfills, you’re looking at something much larger.  This initiative ensures a better chance for the local water table, land, air, and more, which means a healthier lifestyle for the community overall.

Small numbers creating huge improvements

Boulevard Brewing may only employ a sum of approximately 100 people, but the changes these folks have made on their local economy, community, and environment are testament to the fact that every person makes a difference in the future of our world.  The company is proud of the efforts its employees participate in, and gives them kudos whenever possible, something many companies could do well to mimic in their own facilities.  This team spirit has created a company full of individuals who really feel like a family and work together extremely well.  The results of that teamwork show their dedication and passion for the craft, as well as for their communities.

One company leading the way for others is all that is needed to create a chain reaction across the industry.  This has been proven many times over as craft brewing companies are turning towards recycling initiatives, green energy, sustainable farming practices, and locally sourced ingredients.  This is something Boulevard has been striving for since their inception and the result has been a range of labels that are delicious, high quality brews, that are bottle conditioned as in the days of old.  The small (in comparison to larger brewing companies) staff has perfected the art and made it a standard in all of their brews.

Just as with their dedication to quality brewing practices and outstanding results, they all push for local events to support their community.  Each employee takes a hand in arranging support wherever they can, be it by suggesting an event, pointing out a way a system can be improved to minimize the carbon footprint of the company, or simply putting in 120% every day.

Boulevard Brewing Company has an outstanding range of brews to choose from

Every craft beer this brewery creates is one that shows their strong resolve to produce only the best craft beer possible.  Their bottle conditioning process, used for centuries by brewers around the world, gives each bottle an extra dose of flavor, highly improved shelf life, and an aroma profile that is really hard to beat.  Two weeks in a temperature-controlled conditioning storage unit allow the remaining oxygen to dissipate, which improves the brews greatly, as oxygen is the number one enemy of craft brewers all over.

Besides their serious drive to create craft brews that outlive some of the best beers on the market, Boulevard is devoted to bringing forth brews of amazing quality.  After all, what good is a longer shelf life and more flavor if the brew itself isn’t top-notch?  We’ve put together a laundry list of some of the outstanding craft beers Boulevard offers, both as year-round and seasonal offerings, as well as a few of their SmokeStack Label brews that are sure to knock your socks off with their delicious aromas and mouth-watering flavors.

Heavy Lifting IPA from Boulevard Brewing Company is great!Year-Round Craft Beers from Boulevard Brewing Company

KC Pils is an outstanding Premium American Lager that you’ll find available all year long from the folks at Boulevard.  This brew is made in the classic style of the old small-town breweries.  At a mere 4.8% ABV, it mimics those long-gone, easy-drinking brews while bringing forth an amazing malty aroma, backed by a slightly bitter hop bite.  The brew itself is pretty light in body and the aroma profile features the classic floral hops of old.  Named for their own Kansas City, it is a worthy dedication to the many breweries that have left us in the past.

For those interested in Sessionable IPAs, you really should check out their Frequent Flier Session IPA.  Although there will always be a debate as to whether an IPA can be considered Sessionable, the staff at Boulevard have certainly done a great job in creating a solid cross-over brew to highlight the qualities of both styles in one bottle of delicious golden craft beer.  With an ABV of merely 4.3%, the session quality of this beer is obvious.  This, paired with the triple malt blend and Crystal hops, blends perfectly with the rolled oat additions.  The result is a brew that you can enjoy all-day-long without giving up any of the hops aroma or bitterness.

Moving on through their year-round brews, we come to Heavy Lifting IPA, which shows their ability to really hop to it when they want to.  While their more Sessionable brews are great, this brew really kicks it up a few notches with a blend of five amazing hops varieties including:

  • Centennial
  • Citra
  • Amarillo
  • Topaz
  • Cascade

Heavy Lifting offers a huge hoppy aroma that is full of nuances from each variety from citrus bite to earthy tones of pine.  This, coupled with a flavor profile that you really have to sip slowly to appreciate, makes this brew a huge favorite among the Hop Generation that has come out of the woodwork with demands for more hops, more bite, and more aromas.  This brew does feature a pretty hefty bitterness, so if you’re not into heavy hops, you may want to try another brew more like the next brew we’re going to look at.  In the meantime, this brew has been rated, loved, and applauded by panels of testers and will continue to be a year-round favorite for many.

As we mentioned, if you’re not quite into the Hop Generation range of brews, with their bitter bite and hopped up flavor, we have found that Boulevard’s American Kolsch is a great alternative to try.  This lovely European-style brew features a gorgeous golden color, malt and mint hop aroma profile, moderate mouthfeel, and a honeyesque malt sweetness that really pairs well with the deliciously crisp and clean finish of the brew.  A late addition of Tradition, Saaz, and Saphir give this brew a bit of a kick, and the Magnum hops used to infuse a bit of bitterness blends perfectly into the herbal and spicy notes of the brew.  Overall the brew is a fast favorite of ours and looking forward to more like it from Boulevard in the future.

As you can see, Boulevard Brewing Company offers a pretty great range of brews in their year-round craft beer offerings.  For a deeper look into what they offer in this area, you can check out their Year-Round brew list by heading on over to their website.

Boulevard's Seasonal Brews are great too!Seasonal Craft Brews from Boulevard Brewing Company

We all love seasonal craft beers.  Whether we prefer a smooth, yet bitter stout, or a luscious and fruit-infused IPA, we all have those brews that we look forward to the release of each year.  This is part of why Boulevard has become so very popular, as their seasonal brews are sought after by enthusiasts of all tastes.  We’ve gathered a few of seasonal craft beers offered by Boulevard and listed them below, however, if you’d like, you’re welcome to check out their full list yourself by visiting their offerings page at their website.

Starting out the Seasonal Brews, we have Boulevard’s delicious Irish Ale, their tribute to the outstanding red ales brewed in Ireland for centuries.  We think they did an amazing job with this project, as the flavor is great and something about the toasted malt profile really makes us think of that lovely country.  The fact that they use a whopping total of six malts, both roasted and pale, really impressed us, as they went all-out to obtain the perfect flavor and aroma profile to exemplify the brew style.  The ABV of 5.8% offers the chance to sip the brew with friends and not worry about an over-abundance of alcohol-induced shenanigans, though we’re not quite sure how that follows the typical Irish tradition of beer and shenanigans.  We’re sure Boulevard simply wanted to provide a great rendition of the flavors and aromas though, rather than the sore heads that typically follow a high ABV night on the town.

Next up we have their Ginger Lemon Radler, which is an outstanding take on the old-fashioned brew and soda mix.  The citrusy brew offers a respectable ABV of 4.1%, a refreshing flavor profile that is well-suited to sipping over time, and an aroma that reminds us of summer.  This suits the brew quite well, considering it is available from March through September and gives us the chance to enjoy it nearly any time of the year.  We’ve chosen to include this brew for other reasons as well.  If you really enjoy pairing your brews with great meals, we can assure you that this is a brew that pairs well with nearly any meal you can come up with.  While we wouldn’t necessarily pair it with heavily spicy foods, we certainly suggest it for many of your spring and summer meals, as well as many of the barbecued meats you will be enjoying throughout the fall.

The Smokestack Series by Boulevard Brewing Company

We’ve recently had the chance to check out Boulevard’s Smokestack Series and we simply had to include them in this article.  This series features some of the best brews that Boulevard offers and we really encourage everyone to try them if they get the chance.  We’re immensely glad that we took the time to look into these brews, as the flavor, aroma, and finish on them is well beyond the norm.  The quality of these brews is way past top-notch and we hope to produce brews of this caliber after our own opening later this year.

Check out the great brews we’ve listed below and make sure to search them out.  We’re sure you won’t regret it, as we certainly don’t regret doing so ourselves!

Tell-Tale Tart is the first brew we want to pass on to you from this series, and possibly the best in our view.  Obviously, the brew is named after the Edgar Allen Poe tale, and their interesting twist on a sour brew is great in more than just the name.  The acidity of the brew is well-matched by the malt additions, making it a very easy to drink American Sour.  They have chosen to label it as “Slightly Sour” and we really do have to agree.  The acidity of the brew is very subtle thanks to the malt, and while it might bite your taste buds a bit on the start, it smooths out into a very mellow palate that ends with a great finish.  Hops is used for bittering only, which makes this a sour malt, which is such a conundrum in a bottle that we can’t stop wondering how they made it work out so very well.  This is a brew you’ll want to share with friends, so make sure to pick up a couple of 4-packs.

We’re not sure whether you’ll want to share the next entry or not, as our resident Portaholic took one sip of her glass and ran off with the entire 750ml bottle before we could even get a sniff of the aroma.  We had to leave it to her to give a comment on what was apparently an amazing glass of The Sixth Glass, the delicious Quadrupel from Boulevard Brewing.  We plan to hunt down another bottle in the future for ourselves, but until then, we’ve included her take on the brew below.

“The Sixth is definitely a worthy brew from Boulevard.  It opens with a great aroma that included just the slightest hints of hops and some seriously bold malty goodness.  Caramel, Belgian yeast, some kind of fruit, and this just plain sweet scent assault you in a really great way.  Upon tasting, I noted more caramel that created a really sweet and smooth mouthfeel.  The color of the brew is delicious in itself.  Dark, but not black, the color itself reminded me of luscious velvet.  The finish on the brew held a bit of bitterness, but not overpowering.  Overall, the brew was pretty heavy in body.  It’s not one you’re sharing.  I didn’t and I don’t typically care for anything other than my porters.”

We hold little hope that she will share the next bottle, so we’re already planning on obtaining one while she is out of the office.  We have to admit though, for a brew with an ABV of 10.5%, we weren’t quite expecting such a glowing review from her.  That makes us even more curious, and you should be curious, too.

Boulevard Brewing Company is worth checking out

We hope you enjoyed reading about this outstanding craft brewery just as much as we enjoyed the time spent to learn about them ourselves.  We suggest grabbing a tour if you get a chance, as their staff are friendly and knowledgeable and the tour rules are pretty easy to follow.  Unless, of course, you’ve permanently attaches flip-flops to your feet.  Closed-toe shoes only folks.  After all, this company cares about safety as much as they care about their community and you’re not getting in with anything less.

We’ll be posting several follow-up articles in the future on Boulevard Brewing, as we would love to cover each of their brew styles, their upcoming events, and of course, the many interesting things they’ve becoming involved in.  For example, in February of this year they were listed as the Official Craft Beer of the Kansas City Royals!  Way to go guys!

Check back regularly to see what else we’ve discovered about this amazing company and their outstanding team of employees.  Don’t be afraid to leave us a comment about any great Boulevard brews you’ve come across and what you thought of them.  You never know, it just might become our next feature!

 

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Mar 27, 2017