Published May 8th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Kansas City-based artist Tech N9ne’s influence has expanded beyond hip-hop to inspire Boulevard Brewing’s upcoming limited-release, Bou Lou. Set to debut at Boulevardia June 15 and 16, Boulevard’s Bou Lou is a tropical variation of the brewery’s Unfiltered Wheat with additional flavors of pineapple and coconut. The beer is inspired by Caribou Lou, a potent drink prepared with pineapple juice, rum and coconut rum.
Along with the release of Bou Lou, Tech N9ne will top the bill with a performance at Boulevardia on Friday, June 15. Starting Monday, June 18, Bou Lou will be available as a limited-release in four-packs of 16-ounce cans in select markets including Kansas City; Lawrence, Kansas; Wichita, Kansas; Springfield, Missouri; and Denver.
Strange Music CEO and president Travis Guin, who co-founded the independent music label with Tech N9ne, explained the cocktail’s origins and pop culture significance.
“Tech came up with this drink in the ’90s,” Guin said. “He concocted Caribou Lou while hanging with friends.”
Tech N9ne popularized the drink in the song “Caribou Lou” from the artist’s 2006 release “Everready (The Religion).” Sales of Tech N9ne’s song earned a platinum record in June 2017 after selling more than a million units.
Pat Mullin, Boulevard’s digital marketing manager, initially contacted Strange Music about a Caribou Lou-inspired beer.
“Boulevard toured our facility and saw how we conduct business,” Guin said. “This is only the third partnership we’ve done in 19 years.”
Once Boulevard created a test batch, Strange Days’ co-founders and crew visited the brewery for a tasting.
“They nailed it the first time,” Guin said. “There wasn’t a single change. The coolest part of this was that the brewery took the collaboration seriously. They took time and energy to get the taste right.”
Kansas City Bier Company Wins Silver at World Beer Cup
The Brewers Association announced the results of the prestigious 2018 World Beer Cup awards on May 3. Kansas City Bier Co. (310 W. 79th St.) won a silver medal for its Winterbock lager, a winter seasonal (8.25-percent ABV) in the German-style Doppelbock category.
The awards were presented at the conclusion of the Craft Brewers Conference & BrewExpo America at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. A panel of 295 judges from 33 countries evaluated more than 8,200 beers in 101 style categories from 2,515 participating breweries.
“Our mission has always been to brew authentic-tasting German-style beer and deliver it with the same character, flavor and freshness as beer brewed and consumed in Germany,” KC Bier Co. managing owner Steve Holle said. “We went to great lengths to brew Winterbock in the traditional way, double decoction, natural carbonation and eight weeks of cold lagering. We’re honored that the judges recognized the flavor contributions of these time-honored brewing methods that helped Winterbock stand out among the 79 entries in this category.”
Two other regional breweries also won awards. In Kansas, Wichita Brewing Co. scored a silver medal for Shaven Yak in the English-Style Brown Ale category. Missouri’s Springfield Brewing Co. took home silver for Mayhem Maerzen, a seasonal Oktoberfest beer, in the German-style Maerzen category.
As of Saturday, May 5, Brew Lab (7925 Marty St.,Overland Park, Kansas) met its goal of having 12 beers on tap, a first since opening last summer, founder Kevin Combs said.
The current tap list includes Tinta Davila Mexican Stout, Transmutation Golden Summer Stout (new), Sternewirth Principle Maibock (new), Spring Root Gruit Ale (new), Enigma Machine ESB, Cerasus Cherry Blonde, Encore Coffee Collaboration (Cream Ale with Coffee), Eclipse Totality Dark Wheat, Offaly Clever Dry Stout, Belgique Scientifique Belgian Dubbel, Lupulin Refraction NE IPA (new), and Current Flow Kettle Sour Dry Hopped with Citra.
Border Brewing Company (406 E. 18 St.) has released a sour variant of its best-selling Strawberry Blonde. The taproom also has brand new wooden tap handles bearing the names of its beers.
Rock and Run Brewery and Pub (110 E. Kansas St., Liberty, Missouri) brought back Witish Invasion, a witbier with notes of bitter orange, coriander and Hoppy Sake, a light, sessionable beer fermented entirely on sake yeast for a smooth, fruity finish.
Wakarusa Brewery (710 Main St., Eudora, Kansas) has a cocoa vanilla variant of its Oatmeal Stout on tap.
East Forty Brewing (1201 W. Main St., Blue Springs, Missouri) received its brewhouse equipment and is gearing up to begin brewing soon. More details to come. Co-founder David Mann said they look to open around the second or third week of June.
Double Shift Brewing Company (412 E. 18th St.) has Bonk! IPA (6.3-percent ABV) on tap. A collaboration beer with Velo Garage and Tap House, the beer was designed for drinking after a robust bike ride. Citrusy and juicy, the IPA was made with Citra, Azacca and Mosaic hops, plus added tangerine peel for extra bite.
Strange Days Brewing (316 Oak St.) will release a Mexican IPA, created with jalapeños and lime peel, on Thursday, May 10, at the taproom.
Callsign Brewing (1447 Gentry St., North Kansas City, Missouri) pushed its grand opening date to June 7.
On Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16, at the fifth annual Boulevardia festival, Boulevard Brewing will release Boulevardia Sour Grisette on tap. The collaboration beer was made with 2nd Shift Brewing, Central Standard Brewing and Mikkeller Baghaven.
“We brewed the base beer last June with select ingredients from our collaborating partners when they were in town for the 2017 Taps & Tastes,” Boulevard brewmaster Steven Pauwels said. “After nearly a year aging in oak with native cultures selected by our lead brewer Ryan McNeive, Boulevardia Sour Grisette pours a honey-golden color and features flavors and aromas of lemon peel, honeydew melon and bright lactic acidity. Accented by notes of vanilla and oak contributed by aging, this rustic, sessionable sour beer is light and airy with a crisp, quenching finish.”
– Pete Dulin writes about food trends for Flatland and is the author of The KC Ale Trail. Follow @FlatlandKC and #TapList on Twitter for more food news and trends.