When Kansas City’s BOULEVARD BREWING first came out with their limited edition “Smokestack Series” in 2008, there was a lot of deserved hullabaloo about the whole thing. These bottles had beautiful labels & were big and bountiful – but far more important, the beers themselves were fantastic. Nothing so amazingly off the charts that entirely new brewing paradigms were created, but still – this brewer does a great job with just about everything they touch, even their more pedestrian stuff, so it’d make sense that when they allow themselves to go off the rails a little, it’s gonna get interesting.
Last year they added a new jumbo beer to the stable, and I’d been waiting to get back to KC to hunt one down. As luck would have it, I was sent there for work last month, and came back with a big 22-oz. bottle of BOULEVARD SAISON-BRETT. It’s about as collector-fetish as a beer can come without putting it in a sealed box & making you line up in the morning to buy it with the great unwashed. It’s individually numbered, just like all those old 45s I used to buy. I got #4497 out of a total run of 13,400. SAISON-BRETT is a “wild saison”, made with ample amounts of uncaged yeasts. Picture if you will a very sweet farmhouse ale with a big thin head, dosed with a huge amount of tart, grapefruit-like taste from the various bacteria floating around. You’re thinking that won’t drink easy? OK, now picture it drinking really easy. Yessss…..this one’s surprising you, because YOU thought it was going to be a little more wild than it is, but it’s just a little funky, that’s all. It compares very favorably to RUSSIAN RIVER TEMPTATION, and that’s saying something. There are at most 13,399 of these left in the world (likely far less), so you might wanna get going. 7.5/10.