Boulevard’s Dry Stout is just about tapped out.
By Sarah Gish
After 17 years of brewing the jet-black beer — which has a smooth, almost coffee-like flavor — the Kansas City-based brewery is calling it quits on Dry Stout.
It wasn’t an easy decision, says Boulevard marketing director Jeremy Ragonese.
“It's especially painful with a brand like Dry Stout,” Ragonese says, because it’s been “a part of our family for years.”
But consumer demand for the year-round beer is very seasonal, Ragonese says. And Dry Stout has “a very large competitor in the world” — that would be Guinness — vying for the same tap handles at local bars.
That’s partly why expanding the Dry Stout brand outside the Kansas City region has been “an uphill battle,” Ragonese says.
Boulevard Dry Stout was first introduced in April 1996. The beer, which gets its creamy texture from an infusion of nitrogen bubbles, is only available on tap at bars and restaurants.
Ragonese says Boulevard’s last shipment of Dry Stout went out in September, so local restaurants and bars that serve the beer are down to their final kegs. (I had a pint of Dry Stout at Lawrence’s Star Bar last weekend).
This isn’t the first beer that Boulevard has discontinued. Tenpenny Ale, Lunar Ale and Amber Ale all belong to the great beer mug in the sky. Amber Ale, the most recent retiree of those three, was phased out over the summer.
But not all retired beer stays retired: Last month, Boulevard announced it was bringing back two popular Smokestack Series beers, Chocolate Ale and Two Jokers Double-Wit, in 2014.
Ragonese says Dry Stout will return once every year — Boulevard will brew the beer exclusively for the Kansas City Irish Fest on Labor Day weekend.
In other words, that final toast can wait a few months.
Have you spotted Dry Stout at a local bar or restaurant? Comment here or tweet us @chowtownkc.
Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes bar and dining guides for Ink magazine. Ink’s fall/winter dining guide, which features some of the most beautiful food in Kansas City, is out now. Contact Gish at email@example.com or tweet @sarah_gish.