So...finally have these things going...hopefully I'm using them correctly
Bomber of the Week: Grainstorm Black Rye IPA by Boulevard Brewing
May 4, 2014
In all honesty, I have been reluctant to try a bomber from Boulevard of late, primarily due to the recent acquisition of the brewery by Duvel Moortgat out of Belgium. This is not to say that I have any particular apprehensions about Duvel (their flagship beer is actually pretty swell). My reservations are the result of seeing the quality of good brewers decline significantly once brewing policy is dictated by a larger owner. Nonetheless, the fact that Duvel has shown restraint in altering the brews of the other American brewery now under its umbrella (I’m going to make you look up who that is on them interwebs so I don’t get too far off topic here) made me hopeful that the Grainstorm bomber staring me in the face would be of the caliber expected from other Boulevard brews.
I was happy to find that this bomber re-affirmed my opinion of the general high quality of Boulevard’s Smokestack Series and provided a good opportunity to explore one of the limited releases offered in this line. As black IPA’s go, this one is significantly more balanced between hops and grain than many of its counterparts. This is due in part to the rye used to brew this beer, which provides a noticeable influence that counters the more bitter notes of the hops (I do tend to have a favorable bias towards most beers brewed with rye, because rye is awesome. It's just science). There is also a distinct lack of the nutty and toasty characteristics that are often found in black IPA’s, which allows the more bitter tastes of the hops to have their moment.
While most of the beers in the Smokestack Series are known for their potency, both in flavor and in alcohol content, Grainstorm represents a significantly more subtle approach and yet still maintains a significant experience for your pallet. This is a good entry level bomber for those of you looking for a limited release beer that won’t break the bank and offering a unique take on a style of beer that has become increasingly popular. It is also a reassurance that Boulevard is still the same brewery they always have been, and continue to put out beers worth drinking.