Boulevard's Tank 7: Make this summer saison your new go-to patio drink

Boulevard Brewing Company has crafted a perfect summer beer with its Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. This saison carries an 8.5% ABV and all the subtle spices one expects in a saison, making it an easy-drinking refreshment with complex notes that feel almost indulgent.

See also: Olvalde's Ode to a Russian Shipwright: A tart, sweet porter worth cellaring

Available in kegs and 12-ounce bottles, the beer pours a golden-tinged straw color with little head and a high carbonation level. It's light and refreshing, and the dominant flavor comes through as a grapefruity hoppiness. This flavor eventually gives way to dryness with a subtle spice that is noticeable but far from overpowering and yields a very clean finish. The aroma is a pleasing citrus with a few floral notes and hints of coriander.

As for the story behind the name, Jeremy Danner of the Kansas City, Missouri-based brewery admits a bit of superstition was involved.

I wouldn't say I'm a superstitious guy, but it seemed like fermenter number 7 was cursed. We probably apply more personality and sentience to inanimate brewery equipment than we should, but this particular tank was a tough one to keep happy. Every once in a while, the temperature control system would malfunction leading to a beer fermenting too warm or too cool. This tank had it out for us.

The origin of Tank 7 (the beer) wasn't really an accident, but rather a discovery. We brew a limited release beer called Saison-Brett that's inoculated with brettanomyces (a wild yeast strain) at bottling to create beautiful funky/earthy flavors in the beer. This yeast is notoriously hard to get rid of so we never introduce it at our main facility, only at an off-site bottling hall. We had this beer waiting to be transferred to that facility and as brewers often do, we were tasting beers out of the tanks to make sure we were happy with them. We came to FV (fermentation vessel) 7 and discovered this beer was really amazing on its own so we filled some kegs by hand and shared the beer at a local beer fest. Being that we were brewers, and not marketers, when someone asked what we were calling the beer, we sheepishly responded, "Tank 7."

It's a perfect summer patio drink, light and refreshing in the sun, but with enough going on to justify lounging in an Adirondack instead of actually doing anything. With the higher alcohol content, the patio is all the more perfect after enjoying more than one. As for food pairings, Danner recommends an unctuous cheese or spicy Thai dishes.

Tank 7 is on tap at Butcher & the Boar, Devil's Advocate, Republic, and Old Chicago and at stores such as Four Firkins, Total Wine & More, and Zipps Liquor.

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