I had a break in schedule so I decided to fly up to KC and visit Matt G and his good people at the Saucer. I planned my trip around the tapping of a seasonal favorite from Bell’s Brewery out of Kalamazoo, MI. The beer is called Hopslam Ale and it has somewhat of a cult following. It is a tasty IPA that will sneak up on you……….10% abv but hardly noticeable. The draught version is on the wall right now @FlyingSaucerKC (twitter) but Monday’s tapping was a firkin of this nectar. Our friend from Bell’s, Jim O’Connor was on hand to tap the bung. And that, my friends is Matt Gardner pouring beers as fast as a man can go. He drained that 10.8 gallon firkin in around 15 minutes (minus a few for us later…..)
This KC visit turned into a double header………….. Yesterday, we unleashed some Boulevard Chocolate Ale. Boulevard Brewing Company is just a few miles from us and they are great friends of ours. Everyone loves a local beer, but this seasonal release certainly has amassed a cult following. We hardly opened the doors for LUNCH and sold our first keg of this jewel of a brew. Surprisingly, it doesn’t look like any chocolate ale I’ve ever seen before, but take one whiff and you will know that is going to taste chocolatey. Neil Witte – the Quality Manager for Boulevard told us it was an Amber Ale that is brewed with Cocoa Nibs – 10% abv.
A few facts about Boulevard: launched by John McDonald in 1989 and is the largest specialty brewery in the Midwest and 10th largest craft brewery in the US. A transplant from Belgium, Brewmaster Steven Pauwels is at the helm and he couldn’t be a nicer guy. Try his beer and you’ll see why there is such a buzz about Boulevard, especially their limited editions….