We're drinking the flagship craft beer from every state in the Union, counting down from 50-1, to find which is home to the President of Beers.
#36: Boulevard Pilsner: Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, Missouri
State: Missouri is famous for beer. Actually, make that infamous. On the east side of the state, St. Louis was once home to America’s mightiest brewery. It’s now just “American Corona,” from the same multinational corporation that makes Stella, Beck’s and a bunch of other crisp and clean generic lagers.
Brewery: Founded in 1989, Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company is now the largest independent brewery in the state of Missouri.
Beer: Boulevard Pilsner, billed as a “full flavored but easy drinking American lager.” None of our tasters had much to say about it, besides identifying the style.
Difficulty of Obtaining in Oregon: Fairly easy. It’s distributed here, though this beer falls into the gap between grocery stores, which have a limited selecting from craft labels and plenty of big Pilsners to push, and craft beer stores, which don’t carry many traditional American lagers. This bottle came from John’s Market in Multnomah Village.
PHOTO: Cameron Browne
See what they did there? Boulevard Pilsner is little wink across the state of Missouri. Take a look at that label, which looks a lot like the European Budweiser, and which explains that “our town was once home to a number of regional breweries.”
What happened to all those regional breweries? Oh, yes, Prohibition followed by decades of conglomeration, led by the folks on the east side of Interstate 70. By the 1980s, only a few independent breweries stood—America was Budville. It was a dark time for drinkers.
Boulevard’s Pilsner, to me, seems like a parody beer. A very standard unpasteurized Pilsner, it’s basically Bud—clean with very little bitterness and a maltiness that registers more like copper than sweetness. Oh, and no rice adjunct. It’s not a great beer—I suspect it would not rank among Oregon’s best Pilsners—but it’s true to its style.
Boulevard makes some really great beers—including a mighty fine Saison Brett—but given Missouri’s long history pushing fizzy yellow piss water on the rest of America, this seemed like a more approriate candidate to represent the state.
Now we just need some frogs and Clydesdales to sell this stuff. Some guy hosting a barbecue ain’t gonna move those cases, fellas.
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