Posted July 22, 2013
For three decades craft brewers have constantly been pushing the envelope when it comes to the process, ingredients, and flavors that constitute beer. The American motto of “bigger is better” is evident when you take a look at the RateBeer Top 50 Beers in the World. The top ten beers are all above 10.2% ABV with three of the ten coming in at 14% or above. Seven of the brews are imperial stouts. While these and other “big beers” seem to have a strangle hold on the attention of the beer world, a new family of brews is starting to make waves. The so called “session beer” category is here to save our palates and livers from fatigue.
There are several factions attempting to define what exactly a session beer is, but as is typical with beer and brewers, rules are tough to follow. For our purposes, we’ll say that our target at Boulevard is below 5% ABV. Also, session beers can’t really be relegated to one style of beer, so I’ll refer to them as a “family of beers” to include pale ales, saisons, stouts, porters, brown ales, and IPAs. The new breed of session beers defies the perception that lower alcohol percentage means lower flavor. Brewers want to create ales and lagers with big, bold flavor, but something you’d want to enjoy several of over the course of one sitting, thus the designation of session beer.
Pop-Up I.P.A. was created with these goals in mind. As a brewing team, we sought to make an India Pale Ale that showcased assertive hop flavor and aroma while maintaining a thirst-quenching drinkability by balancing the bitterness with a slight caramel malt character. A blend of our base pale, Marris Otter, and amber malts creates a simple, yet adequate malt backbone that allows Mosaic, Cascade, Amarillo, Citra, and Centennial hops to shine with bright, fruity, citrus notes. At 4.2% ABV and 41 IBUs, Pop-Up I.P.A. is a full flavored beer that’s suitable for all-day drinking.
The name joins the I.P.A. with its big brothers Single-Wide and Double-Wide in our trailer park of hop-centric beers. The year-round brew will be available in six-packs, 1/2 barrels and 1/6 barrels. Kansas City launches kegs today and bottles on August 5th. Other markets will follow soon after.
-by Jeremy Danner, Boulevard Brewer