In January, the Kansas City brewery Boulevard Brewing Co. made its way to retail shelves and bars in Ohio. To be completely honest, my head is beginning to spin when I think about all the new breweries popping up locally and those outside Columbus coming in to sell their wares.
While Boulevard couldíve gotten lost in the crowd, its reputation ó especially for producing some excellent Belgian beers ó kept the brewery on my radar. Since the aforementioned Belgians were the most acclaimed, I settled in with the Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale (although I was very tempted to sample Boulevardís The Sixth Glass Quadrupel). Given how pleased I was with the Tank 7, Iíll make sure to get a bottle of The Sixth Glass, too.
Itís a bit odd to be drinking farmhouse ale in the bitter-y-est of winter times, but the beerís origin story intrigued me. Tank 7 refers to the fermenter at Boulevard thatís ďpersnickety.Ē So of course when the brewers were experimenting with making their farmhouse ale in olí tank 7, it came out perfect (according to the brewery).
Kudos to those brewers for attempting something unpredictable, and even more kudos for churning out one of the better farmhouse ales/saisons Iíve had in a while. It immediately hits with citrusy aromas, and has crisp bite while maintaining a hint of creaminess in the body.
Initially thereís a combination of orange and grapefruit sweetness that quickly dissipates into a warm spiciness (and some subtle hops). The aftertaste continues with the spice ó and a peppery note ó but itís all very delicate. My lone quibble was the citrus flavors skewed more towards a lemon note after half a pint.
Tank 7 is part of Boulevardís Smokestack Series, where the brewery experiments with traditional styles. If the other Smokestack-ers are like the Tank 7, theyíre not amazingly crazy approaches, but are still a good representation of how to subtly tweak a style. Iíve seen Boulevardís Long Strange Tripel and Sixth Glass on shelves, and will be sampling them soon. Now if I can just get my hands on the Bourbon Barrel Quad Ö