Living in Kansas City has it’s perks…for one, the craft beer scene is huge and more highly organized than it was when I lived in Toledo, and two, the city boasts the 16th largest craft brewery in the US:  Boulevard Brewing Company.  Last night (Tuesday, January 19th) the two melded for a fun night.

The ever hospitable and gracious Boulevard opened up their taproom and their taps to host a group of guys (the KC Gents).  Not only did Boulevard let us swig on their brew probono, they also provided some very amiable staff members to pour the beer, and they paid for our dinner:  Pizza from Waldo Pizza.  The gents all brought some awesome brews…there were samplings from Stone, to Dogfish Head, to 3 Floyds.  Boulevard even pulled out a couple of their Collaboration No. 1…one of my favorite beers of all time.  I could drink this beer every day and not tire of it.

I brought a limited release by Meantime…a Scotch Ale and home brew.  Unfortunately, I thought the Scotch Ale was thin and boring.  Fortunately, my homebrewed Sour Pale Ale seemed to be enjoyed by all.  One of the KC Gents, Adam, hooked us all up with these great looking engraved tasting glasses.

We were privileged to taste Boulevard’s Latest collaboration:  A chocolate ale Steven Pauwels brewed with Christopher Elbow, a local chocolate savant.  Not only did we get to try the yet unreleased beer from the bottle, we were allowed to taste some right out of the fermenter.   The beer is incredible…unlike the bombastic chocolate imperial stouts we are all used to, this reddish ale is is bursting with chocolate flavor.  To be honest, it reminded me of a chocolate covered cherry.  Steven Pauwels, Boulevard’s head brewer, actually spent the evening with us and hinted that the beer should be out just in times for Valentine’s day to help us guys…ughh…you catch my drift.  For more about the beer, check out KC Beer Blog.  Steven also gave me some invaluable advice for getting my obnoxiously stuck fermentation unstuck, and even sad if I wanted, the brewery would give me what I need to get the job done.

Honestly, this was one of the most fun I’ve ever had drinking brew with some like minded individuals, and my admiration and respect for Boulevard, their hospitality, and their great brews grows.