Thursday, May 14, 2009

Boulevard Pilsner

Boulevard Pilsner is coming out later this summer. Is a pilsner really an American lager? I guess it's turned into one but what makes a German pilsner different? Regardless, I look forward to tasting the hoppy, light beer.

I wrote a comment on beernews and figured I'd post my thoughts on my blog as well. I'd be interested in what others have to say about this idea. Craft brewers basically put out the good stuff. They put out the beers using pure, quality ingredients. Why don't I see craft brewers battling the "light" beer market? I always support local brewers when I can but there are lots of events where I can't drink too many craft brews. If I was at a game and there was a choice between $6 Bud Light, a $6.50 Boulevard Light and a $7.00 Boulevard Wheat I'm going to pick the $6.50. Sure it's a little more but hey I'm not have a dinner beer because I'd like a few more after this one. On a side note, sorry if those were your kids sitting next to me at the game. I don't know, what do you think?


Tim said...

I am not a brewer so I remain painfully ignorant in the science of beer making, but from experience, so called Light beers usually have noticably less flavor. Presumably, this is because they have sacrificed some of the components of beer that contain calories for something that does not (namely, water) to make a beer that is lower in both calories and taste. It could be that many micro breweries are not willing to sacrifice the quality of their beers for the sake of marketing.

This also brings up the topic of what makes a beer a "light beer". Is there a certain calorie threshold that it must be under to qualify as such, or is it a specific style, or is it purely a marketing gimic? We associate light beers as essentially being relatively weak lagers, but Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat only has around 30 more calories than Samuel Adams Light. Where is the line?

KC Hop Head said...

Good points. Sam Adams is a good example. Although their light is barely a light they are the top selling craft brewer and they have pushed into the light beer market. Not that Boulevard's trying to become the richest company, but the idea is to support local breweries in situations where it's hard to drink high calorie beers.

Chris said...

I wonder why the smaller guys haven't tried to get into this style much. Maybe they don't think they can compete. If that's the only reason, then Boulevard will do well, at least in KC.

Or maybe this style just isn't the best for the small guys to set themselves apart and it will turn out being ordinary...

I've always guessed that its possible to have a really good light beer (not pastuerized, mass produced, or sitting in a warehouse for a long time). Guess we'll get to find out.

Jared said...


Light beer usually is a watered down version of a more flavorful beer, but that doesn't mean a light beer is flavorless. I just brewed my own light beer that came in somwhere between 100 and 130 calories per a bottle. Is it a malty overhopped IPA? Of course not. But that doesn't mean it doesn't taste good. It's refreshing, slightly hoppy, and has much more flavor then a Bud Light.

I love the idea of a lighter beer, but am not a pilsner fan. If you guys get Anchor in KC you need to try Anchor Small Beer. It's essentially a extremely watered down barleywine. In fact I sense a potential beer trade :)

I'm not sure why craft brewers haven't really explored this market. In fact off the top of my head I can think of a handfull of breweries that even make lighter beers, and most are pilsners, and even then they're not that light. Brewers have an oppurtunity to try and bridge the gap between them and domestic/non beer drinkers, and they just won't take it. Talk about dissapointing.

Anonymous said...

I've had this beer before... my friend previously worked with Boulevard and gave me a few bottles of the test batches, one of which I reviewed here: .

I liked it. I've been into pilseners and other summery styles lately, so I'm due to have another one, maybe tonight. I found it to be very good and, at least my memory of it, puts it right up there with other pilseners I've been trying lately.

Eric said...

After trying this, I can see why Boulevard has packaged it in such a way as to not be immediately identifiable as a Boulevard Beer. And they should be ashamed it (and themselves), as it in no way resembles a pils, and is rather too much a light weight to even be called a lager. Okay, it's an "American Lager", but so are Busch, Coors Light, Natural Light, and all the other watery, flavorless draughts deigning to call themselves 'beer'. Quite simply put, this latest offering from Boulevard should be canned (pun intended); they ought to stop producing this swill before it ruins their reputation.

Iggy said...

The label lists it as inspired by vintage American beers and names Kansas City's Muehlebach specifically; the label is obviously a near-copy of the Muehlebach Pilsener design used on ca. 1940s conetop cans. I enjoy imports and small brewery beers but also love seeking out once-common US brands like Grain Belt and Old Style. I've gone through a case of the 'reissue' Schlitz since it came out. It seems too few people can enjoy both; I'm glad to see this beer, we're drowning in IPAs and Hefeweizens, let's appreciate the beers Dad drank too!