Chow Town

Tech N9ne's new beer with Boulevard Brewing draws inspiration from 'Caribou Lou'

We've got big news for fans of Tech N9ne and beer.

Kansas City's most famous rapper is collaborating with Boulevard Brewing Co. on a strange brew inspired by his platinum hit song "Caribou Lou."

Boulevard Bou Lou is an unfiltered wheat beer with coconut and pineapple flavors. Unlike Tech N9ne's go-to cocktail, "Caribou Lou," it does not contain rum. Boulevard Brewing Co.

Bou Lou is an unfiltered wheat beer brewed with pineapple and coconut. The limited release will be flowing June 15 and 16 at Boulevardia, an annual Kansas City street festival in the Stockyards District founded by Boulevard. Tech is headlining Boulevardia on June 15; the festival lineup also includes Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers and Guster.

Starting June 18, Bou Lou will be available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at stores in Kansas City, Lawrence, Wichita, Denver and Springfield, Mo.

If the beer sells well, Boulevard might consider a larger, wider release, says president Jeff Krum.

The thirst is already real for fans who bubbled over with excitement last week after Boulevard teased the collaboration by posting videos of Tech N9ne's brewery visit on social media.

"Tank N9ne?" Rob Grondahl posted on Facebook.

"I want it," Ryan Walker tweeted. "Don't care what."

Natalie Gershon, vice president of Boulevard's marketing, says the idea for the collaboration came from Technicians — you know, Tech N9ne fans — who work for the brewery. The rapper's team didn't take much convincing.

"We thought it was a great idea," says Travis O'Guin, Tech's business partner and Strange Music CEO. O'Guin adds that Strange Music is picky about partnerships.

"We do everything ourselves, top to bottom," he says, explaining that in 19 years, Strange Music has collaborated with only two other companies: Monster Energy and Beats by Dre.

Boulevard and Strange have a lot in common. The brewery was founded in 1989. Tech's music career started two years later, and the label debuted in 1999. Boulevard is now the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, and Tech put Kansas City on the rap map.

The musician is currently in California on his Planet Tour, which stops in more than 60 cities.

O'Guin, Tech and the Strange Music team recently toured Boulevard and tasted a test batch of Bou Lou.

"It's perfect," the rapper says in a promotional video. "People who are familiar with Caribou Lou will identify with it immediately."

"They nailed it," O'Guin says. "We were blown away by it. We went through the entire mini keg."

The two companies are also collaborating on Bou Lou's packaging and promotion. The beer comes in tall black cans decorated with the Strange Music logo, prickly pineapples and a slithering snake.

Boulevard will brew a full batch of Bou Lou this month. At 5.5 percent alcohol by volume, the beer won't be as potent as a Caribou Lou cocktail, which calls for 151 rum, Malibu coconut rum and pineapple juice.

In the song, which has more than 22 million views on YouTube, Tech says his "ultimate party favor" makes him "see triple," "party 'til the cops come," and "wake up like, 'What happened?'"

"If I'm heated," he raps, "I'm off to get a Caribou Lou to cool me."

Bou Lou should make an enticing, tropical refreshment at Boulevardia, especially if it's as hot as it was last year.

If you don't live in a market that's getting the beer, fear not: O'Guin says Strange Music is working on its own bottled Caribou Lou drink. Look for it in early 2019.

The Lee's Summit-based company is also working on bottled KC Tea — a cocktail Tech makes with cognac, Sprite and a twist of lemon.

Just a thought: Maybe it's time for the rapper to open a bar in Kansas City?

Tech N9ne and Boulevard collaborate on Bou Lou
Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne teamed up with Boulevard Brewing Co. to brew Bou Lou, a wheat beer with pineapple and coconut flavors that was inspired by Tech's song "Caribou Lou." Boulevard Brewing Co.