Boulevard Heavy Lifting IPA
This west coast style IPA comes to us from Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, Missouri. Founded in 1989, they have been brewing beer for a quarter of a century. Heavy Lifting is their newest year-round beer, inspired by a popular taproom-only IPA. This is why you visit breweries, people. I probably won’t ever get to try the original, though I think I’m okay with that because this beer is so damned good.
West Coast IPAs are extremely popular these days. The style is denoted by large quantities and complex combinations of hops with a simple malt profile and dry finish. They correlate with the uprising of hop enthusiasts in the region, of which I definitely am one.
Filtered clear enough to see columns of bubbles rising to the surface. Light gold in color. Thick, white head of about a centimeter on the pour which remains present throughout the journey due to the moderately high carbonation in this brew.
The vessel is a light green can depicting an elephant being lifted by a balloon. Pretty neat.
Hops! Clean, pungent aroma of citrusy hops. When cold, any malt on the nose is overpowered by the five types of hops used for dry-hopping. For the curious, they are Centennial, Amarillo, Topaz, Cascade and Citra. It’s hard to determine which hop produces individual aroma characteristics, but these are all ones I’ve known to please my senses in the past.
Oh that’s good. That’s really good.
Pale and Munich malts contribute a clean body with moderate sweetness. Hops of 5 varieties (Chinook, Topaz, Bravo, Cascade, and Centennial) are on the forefront with maltiness rolling in alongside and fully developing during the finish.
Fantastic balance. As it warms, subtle flavors of sourdough and caramel from the malt start to work their way forward. Malt aroma is also present on the nose now. Strong, but not overwhelming carbonation helps bring out some of these subtleties.
The climax of flavor comes after swallow, as always. Malt and hop notes brighten and tantalize the senses. Coming in waves, they seem to battle each other for my attention. It’s a battle I encourage. I can’t help but picture the brewers trying many different combinations until arriving at this recipe and thinking “fuck yeah”.
Aftertaste is mostly the bitterness of those oh-so-dear-to-us hops with just a hint of malt on the backburner. I think the Munich malt goes really well with this beer.
Hoppy. Malty. Delicious.
This beer is making me happy. 6.2% ABV puts it right in the range of a standard IPA, which is nice. Sometimes I don’t want to fight through high alcohol content to get to flavor. This is a very likable beer.
I’ll be drinking this again in the future. Mark my words.
$12 per six pack is a bargain. Buy it.