Making Tripel Julep

Posted May 2, 2013

Category: General

You’ll notice a common theme when it comes to inspiration for new beers: drinking. There comes a point, after a few beers, where that little man in the back of your brain that limits creativity calls it a night and the real deep thinking begins. Steven Pauwels, our brewmaster, found himself in this situation a couple of years ago after a session at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver. You see, after drinking beer all night, sometimes a drink that’s not beer sounds good. In this case, not beer ended up being a mint julep. Steven has been in the United States for well over ten years, but every now and then a real piece of Americana comes along and really surprises him (you should see him eat buffalo wings with a fork and knife). Back to the mint julep though, Pauwels was immediately taken by the sweetness of the drink, the character of the mint, and how amazingly drinkable this cocktail was. As is often the case, he immediately thought of how he could recreate these flavors in a beer.

Flash forward to a couple weeks after GABF when we gathered in our sensory room for our daily tasting to release beers from our warehouse. All of the beers for the day had been tasted and Pauwels tells us about his idea to make a mint julep beer. We love our brewmaster and trust his brilliant brewing instincts, but this one was a bit of a tough sell. He told us that he wanted to age Long Strange Tripel from our Smokestack Series in a fresh whiskey barrel for a few months and then infuse it with fresh mint leaves. When brainstorming new beers, there really are no stupid ideas, but you have to admit, this one was a bit wacky. Thankfully for you, he’s very convincing—we went through with it and were all amazed by how tasty this beer cocktail hybrid was. It was so good that we blew through all of the kegs in our tasting room in a short period of time.

When something turns out so nicely like this, we’re tempted to keep the resulting beer for ourselves, but we knew this was something special that should be shared with Kansas City. For that reason, we’ve produced a very limited amount of five-gallon kegs that are pouring now exclusively in the Greater Kansas City Area during the next few weeks. We hope you enjoy it!

By: Jeremy Danner,
Boulevard Brewer