As most of you know especially, my friends and co-workers here in Texas, I am a total homer when it comes Kansas City and Missouri. This is especially true in regards to the Royals, Chiefs, MU Tigers and Boulevard Beer.
The Show-Me state, home of Harry S. Truman and “The Buck Stops Here”. The mighty Mo! The BBQ Capital of the World! People from Missouri take great pride in their state and I am chief among them. Boulevard Brewing Company shares the same hometown pride — from supporting the home teams to embracing the cult following of its loyal fans, Boulevard is becoming as synonymous with Kansas City as fountains and jazz.
Founded in 1989, just a few short years before I was able to legally drink. Boulevard was well before the time of all the “craft breweries” that have joined the scene in the last five years or so. Boulevard started simple enough with the first keg being Pale Ale — and it was delivered by the owner to a restaurant down the street. Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat soon followed. With its cloudy and golden appearance, this beer is one of the most refreshing with a lemon squeezed in on a hot summer day.
As I think back to my early days of managing restaurants in the 90s, the Pale Ale and UFW (Unfiltered Wheat) almost sold at the same rate of Budweiser, Miller Lite and Coors Light. Keep in mind this was long before the craft boom. Only a few others were available such as Fat Tire and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale at the time. Boulevard was also ahead of their time with seasonal beers, some of which are still available today. Nutcracker Ale during the holidays, Irish Ale in the late winter up to St Patrick’s Day, and Boss Tom’s Bock in the spring, a throwback to Tom Pendergast and the Mafia ties in the 1930s.
Boulevard has undergone two major expansions since those early days and continued to add more beers to the line-up. When I moved to Texas, Boulevard was not available here. Every trip home required an immediate stop at a local restaurant soon after touchdown and getting off the plane. The return trip would always include at least six pack of Boulevard as well.