Earlier this month, Boulevard Brewing released Hold the Pancakes, the brewery’s first beer in its new First Fridays Collection. Nearly 30 years ago, Boulevard founder John McDonald began sharing kegs of beer with the local arts community at Friday gallery openings. These celebrations of creativity sprouted spontaneously throughout the country to become First Fridays, a convergence of arts, culture and activism that continues to this day.
Boulevard’s First Fridays Collection is a series of unique beers that meet at the intersection of experimental art and established science, a curation of cutting edge, artisanal, barrel-fermented and wood-aged ales. The beers commemorate the Boulevard’s history and a peek into its future.
Hold the Pancakes is a beer that took 18 months to create. It’s a boozy, big beer that’s been barrel-aged in former whiskey barrels and then blended by the brewers at Boulevard. The final blend contains multiple vintages of imperial brown ales and imperial stouts. Aged from 15 to 24 months in bourbon, rye and maple syrup-filled whiskey casks.
“First Fridays offerings are rooted in tradition, but reveal a definite wild streak, an innovative and independent spirit,” said Brewmaster Steven Pauwels in a statement. “These beers will be limited only by our imagination.”
Boulevard is taking a new and different approach to labels for the limited-edition beers, creating a vehicle for artistic expression. “This collection is a tribute to the resourceful culture within the brewery and the arts community,” said Frank Norton, graphic designer in a statement. “This first release is pretty fun and eccentric, so we wanted to create a label that’s equally vibrant and off-beat. We plan to enlist local and regional artists to collaborate on future offerings.”
Hold the Pankcakes Stats: Aging
Templeton Rye barrels, Canadian Rye whisky barrels, maple syrup/whiskey casks
Aroma – Rich, boozy whiskey, vanilla, maple syrup
Malt – Caramel/toffee, slight chocolate/espresso
Hops –Minimal, supporting balance
Balance – Malt, barrel, maple syrup
Body – Full
Alcohol by Volume – 13.9%
IBUs – 13
Color – 105 EBC
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.