This week, we’re kicking off our steel toe boots to head to Kansas City, MO for little bit of fun at Boulevardia. At this two day pop up party nation, Boulevard Brewing Co. treats guests to an action packed weekend full of live music, local food, beer, art and much more. It’s a little-known fact that our Brewery Founder/Brewmaster, Bill Cherry was the Head Brewer at Boulevard for five years before starting Switchback. Thanks to him, we’re thrilled to have been invited to pour at the festival’s “Taps & Tastes,” event which features a long list of incredible breweries from around the country. Knowing we’ll soon find ourselves in KC, the mecca of BBQ, we’ll be bringing several of our Flynn on Fire smoked beer series along with us.
To prepare ourselves for a weekend with our Boulevard buddies, we caught up with Bill to reminisce on his time there and our plans for the festival.
Bill Cherry (circled in blue) during his time at Boulevard. Photo Credit: Boulevard Brewing Co.
What's your fondest memory of working at Boulevard?
Being a part of the original staff that was figuring out how to run a brewery with no guidance other than our own wits. The night we tested our self-designed hop strainer for whole cone hops and Boulevard’s Founder, John McDonald called our friend Bob Werkowitch (the former Muehlebach Brewing Company master brewer) at the old folks home for advice. Bob’s suggestion worked so well it became our standard operating procedure for handling the whole hops. Oh yeah, I also have a second memory. My first trip to Europe was when Boulevard sent me to Brussels to attend the European Brewing Congress. After the event, John, myself, and Larry Bell, Founder of Bell’s Brewery, tooled around Belgium visiting Orval, Dupont, Westvleteren, La Chouffe and more on personal tours Larry had arranged. Experiencing and discussing these beers with Larry Bell and John McDonald has been a major influence on my approach to beer.
What was your favorite beer to brew at Boulevard?
Boulevard Dry Stout – We stretched the boundaries of what a small brewery could do with this nitrogenated beer that would float on top of our Pale Ale or Unfiltered Wheat Beer.
Is there anything that stuck with you from Boulevard that you applied when opening Switchback?
Quality, respect for employees, and stay true to your ideals.
Why Boulevardia now? Why FOF at Boulevardia?
When you are fomenting revolution you need a way to reach fellow revolutionaries. Boulevardia is the perfect event to reach like-minded craft drinkers who want to experience truly innovative beer made to the highest quality standards.