Boulevard Smokestack Collaboration #2 – White IPA

posted on September 21, 2011 at 10:55 am by Ken Valley in Beer Reviews,Craft Beer

Boulevard Collaboration #2

Boulevard Collaboration #2

I had a chance to sample the Boulevard Smokestack Collaboration #2 – White IPA, a collaboration with the Deschutes Brewery in Oregon, over the weekend and I found it to be a great beer.  Imagine a Belgian style wit beer with more hop bitterness.

At first sip, it definitely tasted like a witbier, with nice spicy fruitiness.  As the beer hits the back of your tongue, it goes into more of the piney, herbal, stronger American hop flavor.  The hop-forward flavor wasn’t overpowering, and balanced out nicely with the witbier spice and citrus notes.

Overall, I loved how the White IPA started like a wit but then finished with a nice and firm, but not overpowering, hop bitterness. It was a very good beer, and I hope this collaboration sticks around or happens again.  It’s great to see breweries pushing styles out of the way to make a great beer.

Did you try the Collaboration #2?  What did you think?

Festival of Iowa Beers 2011

posted on September 8, 2011 at 9:34 pm by Ken Valley in Craft Beer

Festival of Iowa Beers

Festival of Iowa Beers

Last Sunday was the 7th annual Festival of Iowa Beers, and each year it continues to grow. This year,all the Iowa breweries, including the newly-named Backpocket Brewing, and many of the Iowa homebrew clubs participated.

Overall, it was a great day, and a great day for beer, with interesting beers from the commercial breweries, including a new Extreme Series beer, a dark rye, from Millstream Brewing.

Just like the previous Festivals, the homebrew tent offered the most interesting beers, including several barrel-aged beers, including an imperial stout aged in a Templeton Rye barrel, along with several meads and ciders .  My favorites from the homebrew tent were the Templeton Rye barrel-aged stout, an Imperial Wit, a Duvel clone, and a Munich Helles.

As always, I look forward to next year’s festival.  Did you make it out to the festival?  What were your favorites?