Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Show Me State Brews
Tonight I will make a quick tasting post from St. Louis, Missouri. I was only supposed to be here for the day, well now I will be here at least tomorrow and maybe Friday. So I decided to see if I could find a MO brew to try. I went to the store and bought a bottle of Boulevard Double-Wide IPA, No. 2 in their Smokestack series, from Kansas City, MO. I planned on coming back to the room, drinking it, and retiring early. It didn't work out that way so tonight will be a short post.
Well, my uncle called me and said he wanted to take me to a St. Louis brewery for dinner. I couldn't say no, so I met him at Schlafly Bottleworks. It was awesome to see family that I haven't seen in years, and even more awesome that it was at a MO-brewery. I tried the Pale Ale, listed as their signature year-round beer. It was a British style pale ale with a subdued earthy hop aroma and flavor. It drank smoothly with a slight bitter aftertaste.
I will recommend a few links:
Schlafly Beer Style
Schlafly Facebook Fan Page
My photos of the Bottleworks
So once I got back to the hotel room I went ahead and prepared to open my Double-Wide IPA. However, I noticed that this hotel room only had plastic cups. I should have bought a souvenir glass as Schlafly!
Anyway, it poured very heady and angry, foaming up almost the entire glass. This was probably partially the type of glass (plastic) that I poured it in. But the aroma blasting me with American hops told the rest of the story. The head retention is aided by the hop content of a beer, this beer had a solid wall of hops to get through.
My first taste was what I expected for a Double IPA style, extremely hoppy (like I like it) with a nice balance of caramel malt sweetness and a nice citrusy bite. The Smokestack Series website lists their hop varieties as Zeus and Magnum for bittering and aroma, Ahtamun for aroma only, and dry hopped twice with Ahtamun, Centennial, and Chinook varieties.
My only warning would be that this beer is not for the faint of heart or tastebud. As the name "Double-Wide" would suggest, this is a F4 Hop Storm which shows no restraint (not my description, it's from their website). Don't buy the bottle expecting a light easy drinker.
The Bottom Line: If you can make it to the St. Louis area, visit Schlafly. They also run a taproom in the downtown area that is more like a pub versus the restaurant-like Bottleworks. It is a brewery rich with history for the city and state. I know I didn't get into it in this article, but their website is worth a read for sure.
As for Boulevard, I have tried No. 1 and now No. 2 in their Smokestack Series. I'll keep an eye out for the rest of the series in South Texas. I was not disappointed and since I enjoy extremely hoppy brews I extremely enjoyed imbibing this beverage. Try it if you have a strong tongue!
Edit: Try it with a friend, it was hard to get through the bottle by myself!
Schlafly Pale Ale:
OG: 11.5 Plato
CAL (12 oz.): 155
OG: 19 Plato
FG: 4 Plato
First Release: 11/12/2007