Thursday, January 19, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale | Boulevard Brewing | Kansas City, MO

KC may smoke second-rate BBQ, but they can sure make a great Saison.
Since the weather here in Austin has been so patio-tacular lately, I decided to break open the coffers the other day and enjoy a Saison -- which in the language of the Frogs, literally means "seasonal" -- as in, check it the fuck out!  Its a damn fine day out for drinking Farmhouse Ales while harvesting these Belgian Chocolates and Dijon Mustards.

This is exactly how Austin currently feels, very harvesty -- sunny and jaunty like an autumn day. 

When I talk about loving Belgians, Saisons are definitively my favorite, and Tank 7 from Boulevard's Smokestack Series is one of my selective choices in this style (BTW, the entire catalog of Blvd Smokestacks have been fucking phenomenal).

The history of Tank 7 goes that a wily fermenter produced this ale on accident, and Boulevard just ran with it; that wily fermenter being Tank 7.  While typical Saisons range in ABV from 2% (see: Jester King for a true farmhouse) to 7%, Tank 7 wallops with a heavy 8% ABV.  Remember, these beers had to allow for farmworkers to make it through the long workday without maiming themselves with sickles and other cool old-timey farm gear -- so Tank 7 probably would have been left off of the beer menu on most 1800s-era Chocolate and Dijon Mustard farms.  And where would be be today if not for those staples?

Tank 7 is extremely carbonated; bottle conditioning being a typical characteristic of a Saison, as they were traditionally brewed in the winter for next-autumn consumption and had to preserve during that duration of time before other preservation methods.   Tank 7 hits right up front with over-ripened grapefruit, barley and a bit of lemon grass.  Hops come near the very end to make Tank 7 one of the most-balanced beer I've yet to taste.

Combined with its venerable bottle shape and vintage labeling, I think Boulevard really nailed the spirit of a true Belgian Saison.  I'm hoping that despite being part of a "series", it is not just a temporary brew.

ABV: 9.o%
Acquired: Spec's 

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