ZŌN 4.4% ABV
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Here in Illinois we are deep into autumn. The leaves are changing colors and producing deep rich reds, bright exuberant yellows and the wonderful orange that is so commonly associated with fall. For a born and raised Texas boy the temperature already feels like winter, having already dropped below freezing a few times. Despite the cold weather and the beautiful sight of nature’s cycle, I’m reviewing a summer seasonal today. “Why?” you may ask. Well I’ve already reviewed a number of Pumpkin ales and Oktoberfest brews, and the true deciding factor was the price. I was able to grab a 6 pack of this beer for $3.99. If you are willing to drink beer a bit past the season you can find incredible deals. It’s a practice I learned from my father. When I was growing up, he would always buy candy the day after Easter or Halloween. It tasted just as good and usually cost less than half the price. Thanks to his tutelage, I always have my eyes peeled for a deal.
I am choosing to drink this one straight from the bottle, as I believe summer beers shouldn’t need to be poured into a glass. Summer isn’t meant for such pretentiousness. To alleviate any confusion the bottle cap states, “Use Opener Pry-Off Cap.” I like this helpful note as I have hurt myself plenty of times trying to twist off a cap that needs a bottle opener. I take my first swig and there is a lot going on with this beer. You immediately taste the orange peel and coriander which are the most prominent ingredients. I can see how this would be a refreshing beer on a hot day with the sun beating down; ZŌN is Flemish for sun, after all. The aftertaste lingers and it’s not an appealing lingering. This beer has little to non-existent hoppiness. The food-pairings recommended on the Boulevard website are light salads, mussels and pasta. As I’ve stated before I’m not much of a fan of pairing beers with salads. Mussels I am just shy of despising and I’d much rather have a glass of wine with pasta than this beer. It’s light and crisp, I’ll give it that much, but boy the after taste keeps getting to me. With each swig I’ll start to think it’s growing on me as the citrus and coriander meld well and then, BAM the aftertaste just destroys the progress of the front of the beer. It’s not a bad beer, and I want to say it does a good job of what it’s aiming at. I think I’m just not a fan of Belgian witbiers in general, or at least that’s what this brew leads me to believe. I will not be trying this beer again, but I won’t hold it against Boulevard. I have heard great things about their other offerings.
Boulevard Brewing Co. was founded in 1989 in Kansas City (GO CHIEFS!). They have grown to be the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. They produce 27 different distinct beers and have unique packaging for their 6 packs and 12 packs, that I haven’t seen any other brewery use.