Pucker up, Kansas City, because Boulevard Brewing Co.’s Love Child No. 4 will start hitting store shelves next Tuesday. The barrel-aged sour beer checks in at 9.5% ABV and 13 IBUs.
“It’s a little more sour than the previous Love Child,” Boulevard brewer Jeremy Danner says. “It’s not out-of-balance. It’s a little more acidic with that lemony, tart character that hangs on your lips a bit. Acidity-wise I’d put it between Love Child No. 3 and Foeder Projekt [No. 1].”
Love Child is made by blending batches of beer, aged for between 11 months and five years in whiskey barrels (50 percent), wine foeders (15 percent), and stainless steel tanks (35 percent). The beer gets it funk from Lactobaccillus and Brettanomyces (the Brett in Boulevard’s Saison-Brett) yeast.
“The stainless is impervious to oxygen meaning we can get a little more consistency. Stainless lets [the beer] be closer to what your intentions were,” Danner says. “As much as you can control sour beer, that’s what we’re going to do.”
The tasting notes suggest “red fruit and underripe strawberries,” on the nose and a brew that “marries dark fruit flavors with sublte earthy notes of leather and mushroom with a lingering, acid finish that closes crispy and dry.”[Full disclosure: Boulevard gave The Recommended Daily a bottle for review.]
Danner would serve the beer at cellar temperature (around 50 to 55 degrees) — if it’s colder, the acid profile could prove overbearing. While he might have a few bites with Love Child No. 4, he suggests that you consider the beer your main course.
“You don’t want a real meal with it. You don’t want to get distracted from the beer. I want fancy snacks and fancy cheese — the kind that oozes on the plate a bit,” Danner says.
This Smokestack Series beer is a limited release and it will change as it ages because of the yeast cultures.
“This is unfiltered and unpasteurized. It’s a little bit more rustic and I dig it,” Danner says.