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Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week": Boulevard Brewing's Smokestack Saison

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Feb 27, 2009 10:00PM

2009_02_27_botw.jpg Obviously the high point of our week (besides clocking out for the weekend in an hour) was the Hot Chocolate anniversary beer dinner. One of the participating breweries at the dinner was Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company, currently unavailable in the market. That might change in upcoming months.

We had the fortune of being seated next to Jason Bense, who represents Boulevard accounts downstate. Bense caught us up on current happenings at Boulevard, including the beginning stages of its $5 million brewhouse overhaul and starting to court distributors for the Chicago market. Once Boulevard decides on a distributor, the next move will be to enter the market with a bang. Because of the brewhouse overhaul, Bense indicated that Boulevard won't be shipping their core brands to Chicago. Instead, they'll be debuting the Smokestack line of small batch brews to an eager and educated beer market.

For the dinner, Boulevard paired its Smokestack saison ale with the Monterey Bay grilled squid dish from Publican chef Brian Huston. Not only was this a perfect pair, but at 6.2% ABV, this golden ale brewed with Amarillo, Simcoe and Magnum hops is a wonderfully accessible saison on its own. The black pepper notes we picked up were a perfect complement to the grilling of the squid. Bright citrus and tropical fruit also were dominant on the palate. It was a perfect way to kick off the dinner.

The Smokestack line is one of our favorites from Boulevard, and we're glad that we managed to get some of their saison, Chicagoist's "Beer of the Week."

Image via Grill and Barrel.