Chow Town

Bou Lou taste test: We tried Tech N9ne and Boulevard's new pineapple and coconut beer

Last month, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Tech N9ne announced they were collaborating on Bou Lou, a beer inspired by the Kansas City rapper's song "Caribou Lou."

Ever since, the rapper has been teasing the release on social media. Recently he tweeted a video of him rapping "How I'm Feelin'" in front of barrels at the Kansas City brewery.

Bou Lou is an unfiltered wheat beer spiked with coconut and pineapple flavor — a nod to the recipe for Tech's go-to cocktail, made with Malibu coconut rum and pineapple juice.

Boulevard's Bou Lou tastes like Tech N9ne's '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.

The beer doesn't officially debut until Friday at Boulevardia, but we got our hands on a sample pack Thursday and huddled in the newsroom for a taste test.

The golden beer doesn't smell a whole lot different than a regular wheat, but upon first sip, it explodes with creamy coconut flavor. Tart, sweet pineapple punch up the tropical vibe even more.

The beer was a hit with those of us who don't usually like beer.

"Because of the pineapple, it's easy to drink," said video intern Luke Harbur.

"Hops haters will love this," added investigative reporter Kelsey Ryan. "It sort of tastes like a dessert."

Editor Kathy Lu said the sweet beer reminded her of a sour. Video producer Jason Boatright said "it tastes like flowers," and visuals editor Chris Ochsner called it "punch bowl beer."

Bou Lou was a little too sweet for some others in the newsroom.

"It's candy beer," said community engagement editor Derek Donovan. "Beer for people who don't like beer."

But cocktail lovers appreciated Bou Lou's complexity.

"I like it," said digital editor Leah Becerra. "It would be so good in a margarita."

Everyone applauded Bou Lou's striking packaging — tall 16-ounce black cans adorned with the Strange Music logo, prickly pineapples and slithering snakes. The words "Made in Kansas City" are also prominent. And most agreed that the beer would be refreshing on a hot summer day.

It's like Tech says: "If I'm heated, I'm off to get a Caribou Lou to cool me."

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.

At 5.5 percent alcohol by volume, Bou Lou will probably not make you "see triple" and "wake up like, 'What happened?'" as Tech says in "Caribou Lou," which has more than 23 million views on YouTube. But that's probably a good thing.

Want a taste? Bou Lou will be available this weekend at Boulevardia, a two-day street festival in the Stockyards District featuring live music, food trucks, a makers market and — of course — beer.

Tech N9ne headlines Friday; the lineup also includes Manchester Orchestra, Bleachers and Guster. General admission tickets cost $30 at the door.

Bou Lou merch — like this shirt modeled by Tech on Twitter — will also be for sale at the festival.

Bou Lou will also be in stores starting Monday, June 18. Look for the limited release in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at stores in Kansas City, Lawrence, Wichita, Denver and Springfield, Mo. Prices will vary by location.

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