It’s not yet Easter, but the Boulevard Brewing Company is pulling out all the hops. The latest release, Heavy Lifting India Pale Ale, will start appearing on shelves around Kansas City today.
Last Thursday morning, Boulevard brewer Jeremy Danner told the 610 Sports team essentially that Heavy Lifting is the beer you’d never expect Boulevard to make. And he’s right. The first sip [Boulevard gave us a pre-release six-pack] was a trumpet blast of hops — clean, crisp and piney. It’s a beer that challenges two decades of expectations when it comes to Boulevard because it’s not just hop-forward, it’s hop fast-forward.
This one beer signals a shift for the Kansas City brewery in two very distinct ways. The first is that Boulevard has officially hopped on board the hops train — the craft beer movement that is a flavor race wherein the winner packs a bottle or can full of pine and citrus notes. Heavy Lifting IPA comes fresh on the heels of The Calling — a hoppy IPA in its own right (in four-packs right now — and in, some ways, paved the way for that brew. Those familiar with Mid-Coast IPA, a Tasting Room series brew that was in the sample 12-pack last year, will find familiar flavors in Heaving Lifting. [The newest Tasting Room series beers are a Red IPA and Blonde Ale]
The second major shift for Boulevard is that this is the first of four canned beer releases slated for 2015. Ginger Lemon Radler, Unfiltered Wheat and Pop-Up IPA will all be available in cans, as well. The Radler and Heavy Lifting will only be available in cans, while the wheat and Pop-Up IPA will still be sold in bottles. The beers will be canned at Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring, Minnesota.
As much as Heavy Lifting comes out swinging, the finish is dry enough that you can settle in with a can or two. Add in some Thai or Vietnamese food spiked with chiles or Sriracha and you’ve got yourself some enviable dinner plans.