One of the better beers brewed in the Midwest is Boulevard Brewing Company out of Kansas City. Started in 1988 by John McDonald, Boulevard delivered their first beer in the fall of 1989 and has been going strong ever since.
Boulevard beer is only available in the Midwest and wants to keep it that way. They're able to have a better handle on production and distribution that way.
Boulevard is also a little more expensive than other micro or regional brewed beers. This is due to using more expensive crops for their beer such as two-row malted barley, high grade rice and corn. Their hops are introduced directly from the vine into the brewing process. Finally, Boulevard beers go through a full brewing and fermentation period that allows them to be naturally carbonated. The result is some of the finest tasting beer any where.
One of my all-time favorite beers is the Boulevard Pale Ale. Their pale ale is a robust and tasty beer that has a sharp, yet smooth aftertaste. I rate the Boulevard Pale Ale as my most favorite of all the pale ales I've tried over the years.
Another Boulevard beer that I just discovered last spring is Boulevard's Irish Ale. A full bodied reddish-brown beer with kind of a smoked or toasted taste to it, Irish Ale is only brewed from January to April in conjunction with St. Patrick's Day. I discovered it one evening in early May last year when I was out with the guys from Stereo One in Springfield, MO. In fact, we drank the place we were at out of the beer that night, it was so good. I can't wait to find some on the shelves now that it should be available again.
Boulevard got their start making a wheat beer, but I don't like wheat beers so I can't say if theirs is good or not. They also make a Bully Porter that's OK, but a little too heavy for my taste. Same with their stout.
I have a friend whose brother works for a local distributor for Boulevard in Kansas City. He keeps telling me to go to the brewery on Southwest Blvd. in Kansas City and check out the tasting room and the gift shop. On one of my future trips to KC, I'm just gonna have to take the time to do it.