Published June 5th, 2018 at 6:00 AM
Boulevardia is about to take over the Stockyards District for a weekend. The fifth annual mashup of a music, food and beer festival, thrown by the Boulevard Brewing Company, is Friday, June 15, and Saturday, June 16.
“We want the food to compliment the beer and music, so it’s a three-headed monster of enjoyment,” said Chris Phelan, senior director with O’Neill Marketing & Event Management and a Boulevardia board member.
Before you attend, we’ve put together an eating and drinking to-do list.
Boulevardia Drinking Guide:
Are you headed to Boulevardia for the beer? I hope so. In the general festival universe, you can get Bou Lou, a wheat beer made with pineapple and coconut that is a collaboration with Tech N9ne. For the first time, you can get beer cocktails, like the Powell’s Cooler — a strawberry-lemon concoction featuring J. Rieger & Co. vodka and Boulevard’s KC Pils — and Amigoni wine. There’s also an official festival beer: Boulevard Sour Grisette, a collaboration brew with Second Shift and Mikkeller Baghaven.
The main beer draw is Taps & Tastes, a ticketed tasting on Saturday with 58 breweries and a host of local eateries. Danner is tasked with creating the beer lineup. He typically starts in October of the previous year and hopes to find breweries that are unavailable in Missouri or new to Boulevardia.
“It’s not enough to make great beer,” Danner said. “The brewers have to be awesome people. People want to interact with the people who make the beers, and I want them to have the opportunity to talk to the leaders of our industry.”
There will be a whole collection of wild ales. Whiner Beer, which is owned and operated by former Boulevard brewer Brian Taylor, will bring Ultraviolet, which the brewery describes as having “lots of berry and oak on the nose with a puckering sour finish.” Shelton Brothers will bring Mikkeller Baghaven’s Rubus of Rose, “a blended Danish wild ale fermented and aged in French oak foeders then aged on red raspberries.”
In the world of saisons, you can try Jester King Brewery’s Provenance Lemon Lime, a “fermented saison made with Texas limes and lemons,” and Side Project Brewing’s Abricot du Fermier, which has been aged in wine barrels with apricots. Danner also pointed to a stout, Blue Owl Brewing’s Professor Black, which the brewery describes as “a sumptuous sour cherry stout with a swanky finish.” It’s not the only cherry brew. Scratch Brewing Company will have a barrel-aged Black Cherry, brewed with wild cherry bark and aged in a red wine barrel.
“Scratch Brewing makes some really weird beers — beers made by walking or foraging,” Danner said. “They find ways other than hops [like Juniper branches] to provide balance and bitterness to their beers.”
Boulevardia Eating Guide:
You can treat Boulevardia like a progressive lunch or attend one of the more formal dining experiences (Father’s Day Brunch or a three-course Saturday beer dinner at Voltaire).
The food lineup for the festival is centered on food trucks. Mission Taco Truck, Magnolia’s on the Move (start with the red velvet waffles) and Urban Cafe’s food truck (three words: crispy pork belly) are new additions this year. A few restaurants in the West Bottoms will also have options for festival-goers. Rockstar Burgers will have burger bags to go, while the Golden Ox, which is slated to open this weekend, is planning on mini prime rib sandwiches.
In the Makers Market, you’ll also find Thou Mayest Coffee and the Seven Swans Creperie.
While Taps & Tastes has its share of rare beers, the ‘Tastes,” component shouldn’t be overlooked. Sailor Jacks (the seafood-centric, nautical-themed eatery in the former Foundry space), Andre’s (chocolate-covered almonds), and Lidia’s, will all be serving during the beer and food tasting event inside Boulevardia.
If you want to splurge, the Father’s Day Beer & BBQ Brunch ($65), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, is a spread featuring Jack Stack Barbecue, Hana’s Donuts, and a bloody mary bar. There are also still tickets available for the three-course beer dinner ($85), featuring Boulevard and Dogfish Head (brewer Brian Selders will be on hand), at 5 p.m. Saturday at Voltaire.
Rare Pairs | Beer Dinners
Port Fonda (4141 Pennsylvania Ave.) has a four-course dinner ($45) with Evil Twin Brewing beers. Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, June 5).
EJ’s Urban Eatery (1414 W. Ninth St.) is hosting a beer dinner at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, featuring Free State Brewing Co.’s beer. The four-course dinner ($50) begins with ahi tuna, fried green tomatoes and Free State’s Copperhead Pale Ale. It ends with a strawberry rhubarb tart paired with 2015 Old Backus Barleywine.
Happy Gillis Cafe & Hangout (549 Gillis St.) has a six-course dinner ($75) with The Bruery from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 13.
Colony Handcrafted Ales (312 Armour Road, North Kansas City, Missouri) released a pair of brews designed to be drunk together for its two year anniversary. The beer equivalent of an Arnold Palmer is a combination of Laura Palmer (an “iced tea ale” made with Hugo’s black tea) and Hey! Arnold (a sour brewed with lactose and lemonade).
Strange Days Brewing Co. (316 Oak St.) has its Japanese Black IPA, brewed with Szechuan peppercorns and ginger, back on tap.
Boulevard’s Linkin’ Up Hop Dust IPA, a collaboration with Zipline Brewing Co., is out in bottles and on taps this week.
Over at Boulevard’s Tours and Rec Center (2534 Madison Ave.), they’ve got a smoked bock; a whiskey-barrel aged coffee stout that uses Messenger Coffee, clocking in at 11.8% ABV and a Chocolate Chip Cookie Stout.
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This article has been updated to reflect that Shelton Brothers is bringing Mikkeller Baghaven’s brews to Boulevardia.