Boulevard Brewing plans to expand nationwide, into Europe

Monday, April 7, 2014 | 4:31 p.m. CDT

CITY — Boulevard Brewing Co., which was founded in Kansas City but was recently sold, plans to expand sales across the U.S. and into Europe.

"We want Kansas City to know that Boulevard is still their brewery," said Simon Thorpe, chief operating officer of Belgium-based Duvel Moortgat USA, which recently bought Boulevard Brewing for an undisclosed amount. "The potential to develop across the ocean is greater than we thought."

Boulevard founder John McDonald said Duvel has a long history of making a "very well-regarded, high-quality beer."

"We think our beer is as good as any in the world, and we should have a seat at that table," McDonald said.

Boulevard, founded in Kansas City in 1989, is sold in 25 states, and in two to five years, its beers could be sold in every state, as well as in Europe, The Kansas City Star reported. While 35 percent of its sales are within a 50-mile radius of its Kansas City headquarters, Boulevard's Bully Porter and its Single-Wide I.P.A. are already sold in Scandinavia, and 80 percent of its sales are in the Midwest region.

Duvel Moortgat also recently acquired Brewery Ommegang, based in Cooperston, N.Y. The three breweries have formed a new U.S. entity to oversee Boulevard and Ommegang, as well as the import business of Belgian family brands.

Daniel Krug, who has been with Duvel Moortgat for 14 years, will lead the new entity. Thorpe is heading the sales and marketing team, as well as human resources. McDonald also remains involved.

"I've reinvested in the new company so I am obviously very interested in how things turn out," said McDonald, who will remain part of senior management and serve on the board of Duvel Moortgat.

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