Finally 21

Posted August 25, 2010

Category: General

This past weekend, we started celebrating the brewery’s upcoming 21st birthday by brewing a very special, one-of-a-kind batch. Why? Well, we are in the beer business, after all.

Boulevard 21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale is brewed in loving tribute to our flagship Pale Ale. When Boulevard founder John McDonald first brewed Pale Ale back in 1989, it was considered edgy, even over-the-top, and consumed by only the most dedicated craft beer loyalists. Today, pale ales literally pale in comparison to the latest trend of “imperialized” beers that are bigger, bolder, and even more flavorful. Our brewmaster, Steven Pauwels, says he hopes that Boulevard’s 21st Anniversary offering will have the same effect on beer lovers that our original Pale Ale had two decades ago.

On Friday, August 20th, our brewers prepared for the special batch by loading into the hopper more than 130 bags of specialty malt. Because it’s a Pale Ale, they determined that the malt should hail from the homeland of that style, Great Britain, so they employed England’s Maris Otter Pale Malt to give the beer a rich, nutty malt flavor. With Munich and Caramel malts added for color and body, the brewers ensured a strong malty backbone.

The mashing began Saturday morning, followed by lautering of the wort. The kettle was then filled, and a magnificent blend of Cascade, Hallertau, Magnum, Styrian Golding and Centennial hops created an incredible, intoxicating aroma throughout the brewery. Other employees gathered ‘round the brewhouse, sharing favorite Boulevard stories and memories. The brewers even opened a few other beers for all to sample (imagine that!), providing even more inspiration and ideas for future brews.

The beer is now happily fermenting. When finished, our brewers and cellarmen will wet-hop the 125-barrel tank with 500 pounds of fresh-from-the-vine Cascade hops. We’ll try to post some photos. Too bad we can’t post aromas…

Boulevard 21st Anniversary Fresh Hop Pale Ale won’t be released until closer to our actual birthday, November 17th. It was on that date in 1989 that John loaded the first keg of Pale Ale into his pickup, drove it down the street, and tapped it at a local Mexican restaurant. We hope you will join us in celebration on that day, perhaps with a bottle of our 21st Anniversary brew, and raise a glass to craft beer.