The Beer: Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale
The Stats: 8.5 percent ABV | 38 IBU
The Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company, Kansas City, Missouri
Boulevard Brewing Company was founded in 1989 and has long been known for making quality beers. The problem for Arizona residents was that these delicious beers were not distributed in the state until very recently. Boulevard is a regional craft brewery that is now owned by Duvel-Moortgat of Belgium. Duvel also owns Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown, New York and has a significant interest in Firestone Walker Brewing of Paso Robles, California.
The Style: Tank 7 is known as a Farmhouse Ale and is part of Boulevard Brewing's Smokestack Series of beers. According to Boulevard's website, the Smokestack Series of beers tend to be bigger, bolder, more complex brews with higher alcohol content. Despite the name, there's nothing smoky about this delicious ale whatsoever – this beer is complex, balanced, and eminently drinkable. The 8.5% ABV creeps up on an unsuspecting consumer due to the effervescence of this beer. The higher alcohol content is likely why Boulevard calls this a Farmhouse Ale, but the beer drinks like an amped up Saison. Tank 7 pours yellow-orange in color, somewhat cloudy with a slightly off-white everlasting foam stand that sits in the glass like ice cream in a float.
Aroma: Tangerine citrus notes lead, followed by black pepper spice and sweet hay-like malt character. There's a low level floral hop aroma, some orange peel and pleasant alcohol sweetness. There's a lot going on in this beer, but everything works harmoniously and in unison.
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Flavor: Black pepper and orange zest are set on a backbone of cracker and Italian bread crust malt flavors. Citrus and fruit notes are also present both from the yeast as well as the hops. This beer is fully attenuated, meaning there are very few remaining sugars, and this allows the beer to finish very dry and clean.
Tank 7 delivers a carbonic bite from the high level of carbonation yet still flows creamy throughout the palate due to the intense foam stand and wheat content of the beer. There is a pleasant alcohol warmth toward the end and no astringency. The spicy, pepper-like phenolics derived from the yeast give the beer its character. This is an example of a world class beer with absolutely no flaws of any kind. The beer is complex yet all components work brilliantly with each other to create a liquid masterpiece.
Food Pairing: Due to the high level of carbonation, the moderate hopping and the dry finish, this beer is the epitome of a palate cleanser and can be paired with many different styles of food. Try Tank 7 with spicy Italian sausage, with pork pibil, or even with barbecue.
Now that Boulevard Brewing is distributing in Arizona, you can find the beers in any fine craft beer shop. This one was purchased at Top's Liquors in Tempe. For more information on Boulevard Brewing, please check out the Boulevard Brewing website.