Beer Chronicles – Boulevard Brewery Bob’s ’47 Oktoberfest

Bob's 47

Reviewing a brewery like Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company is difficult because it is really two breweries under one roof. On the one hand, the company is best known for their more popular line of beers such things as their Unfiltered Wheat, their Pale Ale, and their Single Wide I.P.A., and their Bully! Porter. On the other hand is Boulevard’s boutique imprint–their Smokestack Series of beers. The Smokestack Series usually sells at a higher price point and is often available only in a bomber size. The beer under consideration here is a part of Boulevard’s more popular line of beers, although I am certain I will review one or more of Boulevard’s Smokestack beers in the future.

My first exposure to the Octoberfest style of beer was similar to most–with the ever-popular Samuel Adams Octoberfest. That beer is a sentimental favorite and I still enjoy it to this day. However, I know now that there are better, more fully realized versions of the Octoberfest style on the market. The Boulevard Bob’s 47 is one such example.

Jargon alert: What makes a beer an “Octoberfest?” Octoberfest beers have traditionally been lower ABV lagers with a distinctive amber-red color. Octoberfest beers are also called Märzen, which is the German word for “March beer.” Märzens are traditionally brewed in March and allowed to ferment until late fall (around October), when they are released for drinking. As for the “fest” in Octoberfest, it is a German festival that dates back to the early Nineteenth Century.

Bob’s 47 is a fine Midwestern example of an Octoberfest. It is full of rich, malted flavor with just the right amount of Octoberfest spiciness. If you let the beer linger in your mouth long enough you’ll also get a taste of carmel. It is too bad that this is a fall seasonal beer as I can imagine enjoying this one year round.

Food pairing with this beer is not tricky at all. I can imagine this being a great late season burgers and brats beer. It would also make a fine beer to enjoy while tailgating at the stadium. I enjoyed mine with pizza and the beer paired beautifully with that. Too many people fuss over finding great local pizza and then skimp by pairing it with whatever awful beer happens to be around (usually Bud or Bud Light). C’mon, folks. Don’t settle for swill. Skip the beer doppelgänger and get something real to go with your ‘za.

What’s in a name?: According to the Boulevard web site, the name Bob’s 47 is a salute to Bob Werkowitch, Master Brewer and graduate of the U.S. Brewer’s Academy, 1947.

The Boulevard Brewing Company is one of the crown jewels of Kansas City. It has been brewing fantastic craft beer 1989. If you are ever in the Kansas City, Missouri, make it a point to tour factory or even splurge and take the Smokestack tour. You won’t be disappointed.

Beer prayer: Most gracious God, we give thanks for malty goodness of Boulevard Bob’s 47. Thank you for the changing of the seasons, how we as Christians mark time through the calendar of the church, and how good drink allows us to mark the passing of the seasons in such a tasty and glorious way. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen!

My Untappd rating for Boulevard Bob’s 47 Octoberfest: 4/5 stars.

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