Drink This Now: the Pre-Shift at Blvd Tavern
I have always equated the boilermaker — or the shot-and-a-beer serving — with a cheap pour of whiskey and an even cheaper draft. (In my experience, Jameson and PBR usually do the trick.) There is always a time and a place for this classic combination. For me, it was usually after a long shift of schlepping plates at a restaurant. For some people, it’s simply an everyday bar order. For a few, it’s breakfast. Hey, I’m not judging.
As Kansas City’s craft-cocktail scene has exploded, I find it comforting that the shot-and-a-beer union has not been forgone. It remains a service-industry calling card — a sacred post-shift tradition that, even at the fanciest of fancy bars, is respected.
Blvd Tavern understands this rite and even devotes a portion of its extensive cocktail menu to the combination. Under “Beer & a Back,” you’ll find five boilermaker options, each somewhat more creative than the usual fare.
I ordered the Pre-Shift on a recent stop at Blvd Tavern. My server promptly placed in front of me three items: one bottle of Founders Porter (dressed curiously in a golf coozy), a shot of Oddly Correct Hop Toddy and a shot of Fernet Branca. I loved the idea of those flavors together: the chocolate of the porter, the roasted notes of the toddy, the bite of anise and mint in the fernet — each liquid bitter in its own way. And they worked together brilliantly.
But do the tasting notes and elevated pairings diminish the casual, humble appeal of the shot-and-a-beer platform? Eh. Will a few boilermaker purists decry this fun menu as snobbery? Maybe, probably. Haters gonna hate.
On that note: Another round, please.
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