The Calling is een rockband uit Los Angeles (Californië). De groep bestaat sinds 1996, nadat de zanger Alex Band besloot samen te gaan spelen met gitarist Aaron Kamin, de date van Alex' zus. De groep kende succes met de single "Wherever You Will Go" in 2002 (https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Calling_(band)). Zelf dacht ik bij deze naam aan een single die ging van ohwowho I've been waiting all the time... of zoiets.
Ik ken de lyrics niet exact, maar hoor dat deuntje wel. Ik dacht dat het The Calling heet, maar dat kan ik niet vinden op youtube, jammer.
Maar goed terug naar het bier. The Calling is een IPA. Een DIPA: Double India Pale Ale Bier van 8,5% van Boulevard Brewing (AB/InBev).
Het rook bij het openen duidelijk naar hop. De kleur is donkerblond met wit geur. Het smaakt wat moutiger dan verwacht, maar in de afdronk zit zeker hopbitterheid. Die komt wat floraal over, maar doet denken aan de kleur lichtgroen (is dat logisch om een smaak te proberen te verbinden aan ene kleur?). Het is geen zware hopbitterheid.
Wat zeggen ze er zelf over?
December 22, 2014
We recently shared our 2015 release calendar and we’re very excited to remind you that the next year will see us introduce at least twelve new Boulevard beers. Since the inception of the Smokestack Series in 2007, we’ve stressed the importance of experimentation and play when it comes to our approach to brewing. In this spirit, we’re proud to introduce a new year-round Smokestack Series IPA, The Calling (https://boulevard.com/the-calling/):
The Calling, ... is the result of several months of hard (delicious) work by our brewing team who sought to create an IPA with a juicy, tropical fruit aroma that leaps from the glass. A simple malt base composed solely of our two row base malt serves as a platform for giant, punchy hop flavor and aroma provided by a blend of Simcoe, Bravo, Topaz, Cascade, Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy, and Amarillo hops. Read that sentence again. We are not messing around here, folks. The Calling also receives an addition of lemon peel during the last five minutes of the boil to add an extra citrusy punch. At 8.5 ABV and 75 IBU, The Calling is the IPA we knew we had to brew.
– Jeremy Danner, Ambassador Brewer (https://boulevard.com/the-calling/)
Style: Imperial India Pale Ale
Availability: Year-round, Draught and 4-Pack Bottles
The Calling is an undeniable IPA we were driven to make. It's our tribute to like-minded dreamers, adventurous spirits, and glass half-full optimists. It's also our most heavily hopped beer ever, bursting forth with unmistakable tropical fruit and pine hop aromas and flavor supported with a slightly sweet malt character, tapering to a crisp, dry finish. Heed your call and enjoy.
Color (EBC) 12
Bitterness (IBUs) 75
Original Gravity (Plato) 19.2
Terminal Gravity (Plato) 2.6
Alcohol (ABV) 8.5
Aroma Fruity hops with significant tropical notes
Hops A blend of eight varieties, primarily featuring Mosaic, Equinox, Galaxy and Amarillo
Body Medium (https://boulevard.com/BoulevardBeers/the-calling)
Ze noemen het dus een IIPA (Imperial India Pale Ale) met veel hop, meer dan ooit. Het bier stamt uit 2014.
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Our mission is simple: to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques (https://boulevard.com/brewery/our-story/).
Boulevard Brewing Company is a regional brewery located in Kansas City, Missouri. The Brewers Association currently ranks the American arm of Boulevard's parent company, Duvel Moortgat USA, as the 12th largest craft brewery, and the 18th largest active brewery in the United States based on 2014 sales volume. After the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev in 2008, Boulevard was the largest independent American brewery in the state of Missouri. Boulevard's beers are available in select markets across the country. ((https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulevard_Brewing_Company))
John McDonald was never one to avoid the heavy lifting. A full keg of Boulevard beer weighs more than 150 pounds, and McDonald personally delivered the first one from his brewery to a restaurant, right out of the back of his pickup truck.
Since then, he’s elevated the brewery he founded in 1989 from start-up to the largest craft brewer in the Midwest. Boulevard products, the equivalent of 1.2 million kegs’ worth each year, are now available in 19 states, from the Gulf shores to the Pacific Northwest.
These days, he has nearly 90 employees to help with the lifting, including the recent addition of the company’s first chief operations officer. His key to success? “I think it’s keeping focused on what you need to do,” says McDonald. “Every business is constantly changing, but one of the things that helps us a lot is that we’re in a business that actually produces something.”
His own industry is front-and-center in the globalization of commerce. Five years ago, he notes, 85 percent of the beer consumed in the United States was made by American-owned companies. Today, that figure is just 5 percent. And yet, McDonald believes, within that globalization is a significant niche for local and regional products. That’s where he makes his living (http://ingrams.com/archive/Nov_2010/Images%20and%20Articles/Small%20Business%20Success/Small%20Business1.php).
Steve Mills, Chief Operating Officer;
Jeff Krum, Chief Financial Officer;
John McDonald, President;
Bob Sullivan, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer (http://ingrams.com/archive/Nov_2010/Images%20and%
Almost from inception, Boulevard has consistently been among the region’s fastest-growing companies. Revenues for 2009, at $26.3 million, were up nearly 12-fold from 1994, when Boulevard was first recognized on Ingram’s Corporate Report 100 list. With about 35 percent of his sales in the Kansas City market and 90 percent within a five-state area, McDonald is willing to sell beer in Seattle, but his focus must remain on the consumption tastes of folks closer to home.
Two decades into it, McDonald acknowledges that “I didn’t have any idea we’d get this big.” His experience shapes this advice to others seeking a similar path: “The brewery is bigger than any one person here; it’s become its own identity. So it’s important to get good, talented people and let them do their jobs, because you can’t do it all yourself. That’s a really important aspect—make sure you’ve got the right people.”
Boulevard began in 1988 when founder John McDonald started construction of the brewery in a turn-of-the-century brick building on Kansas City’s historic Southwest Boulevard. A vintage Bavarian brewhouse was installed with used equipment from a closed brewery in Bavaria, Germany, and the first batches of beer were produced in the fall of 1989. Based on the historic example set by the local and regional breweries that were once common throughout the United States prior to Prohibition, the brewery has a focus on providing locally-brewed beer for the Kansas City region. The brewery's first half-barrel of Boulevard Pale Ale was delivered personally by McDonald in his pickup truck to Ponak's Mexican Kitchen, located nearby. In 1990, Boulevard Wheat was added to the product line. Wheat and Pale Ale remain the company’s strongest sellers.
Boulevard underwent expansions in 1999 and 2003. In March 2006, Boulevard broke ground on a $20 million expansion project that increases brewing production capacity by an estimated 60,000 barrels/year. The new brewing and packaging building was constructed adjacent to the existing plant.
In 2013, Boulevard was acquired by Duvel Moortgat Brewery. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but industry publication Beer Business Daily estimated the sale price exceeds $100 million. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulevard_Brewing_Company)
Matthew "Heff" Heffernan: John McDonald made it public to employees, at a plant meeting over the summer, that he was looking for a way to secure the brewery's future. Even though it was a little vague, most people were confident that he would find a way to do it that would be good for the company and everyone involved. If you know anything about John, or especially if you've ever met him, you know that he would never do anything to hurt Boulevard. Not only is it his life's work, but he has a knack for looking at things through the lens of "What is the RIGHT thing to do?" (www.dcbeer.com/news/local-duvel-moortgat-and-boulevard-reps-weigh-brewery-merger)
October 17, 2013
Almost 30 years ago, I was fortunate to spend time traveling around Europe with my wife, Anne Blumer. In each city I visited, one of my favorite adventures was trying different beers. I sipped bitter ales in England, spent my days in Munich drinking pilsners and wheat beers, but it was in Paris, in a Belgian beer bar, that I truly fell in love.
I will never forget the day I walked into the pub, ordered a Belgian ale, and experienced what I can only describe as an epiphany. The beer was brilliant in color, with intensely floral aromas and a flavor bursting with joyous complexity. I went back day after day, sampling a wide array of amazing beers, and was hooked for life.
Last winter my wife and I returned to that same Parisian pub, and the memory of that long-ago experience flooded my senses. It has been many years since that fateful encounter started me on the path to brewing my own beer and founding Boulevard Brewing Company. At the outset, my goal was to make a beer as extraordinary as the Belgian ales I had so fortuitously discovered. With the help of my parents Bill and Mary and my wife Anne, and brewery colleagues, Boulevard has grown into one of the largest craft breweries in the country, and my dream has become a reality. While I always say I don’t have a favorite Boulevard beer, I must admit that some of the Belgian ales in our lineup are as exciting to me as those beers I first tasted in Paris all those years ago.
I have long felt as though I have three children: Boulevard, born in 1989, Jake, in 1990, and Piper, in 1992. I’m not getting any younger, and the long-term future of the brewery has weighed on my mind for the past several years. After long discussions with my family, we determined that we wanted to find a way to take Boulevard to the next level while retaining its essence, its people, its personality – all the characteristics that make our beer and our brewery so important to Kansas City and the Midwest.
I am honored and humbled to announce that I have chosen Duvel Moortgat as the long-term partner for Boulevard. An independent, family-owned craft brewer spanning four generations, Duvel Moortgat produces world-class beers at several breweries in Belgium, and owns and operates Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. They bring to us an unparalleled depth of experience, strong resources, and an unwavering devotion to quality. Duvel Moortgat is committed to our people, to the expansion of our Kansas City brewery, and to growing Boulevard brands throughout the US and abroad. After spending a lot of time getting to know the company and its people, I am confident this is the right decision. We share the same values, respect each other’s achievements, and have the same obsession for exceptional beers.
Be assured that this is not goodbye. Although Boulevard is combining with Duvel Moortgat, I will remain closely involved, with a continuing stake in the business and a seat on the board. My commitment to sustainability initiatives will continue, as will Boulevard’s support of Ripple Glass, the glass recycling company I co-founded. (https://boulevard.com/a-letter-from-our-founder/)
n November, Boulevard founder John McDonald (right)
sold a majority stake in the company…
AUTUMN MORNINGSKY | KCBJ
Duvel Moortgat has officially acquired Boulevard Brewing Company of Kansas City, Missouri.
Boulevard Brewing is ranked 12th among craft brewers in 2012. Their production is close to 185,000 barrels annually. The founder of the brewery John McDonald is now 60 years old, and this is purportedly part of his exit strategy (http://beerstreetjournal.com/breaking-duvel-acquires-boulevard-brewing/).
Ommegang CEO sees huge growth in Boulevard's future
Nov 20, 2013
If there is anyone who truly understands the strategy behind Duvel Moortgat Brewery's recent agreement to buy Boulevard Brewing Co., it's Simon Thorpe.
Thorpe is CEO of Duvel Moortgat USA subsidiary Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. He is a highly experienced brewing industry executive, who was CEO of InBev USA before its mega-merger with Anheuser Busch.
Today, he's helping close the acquisition of Boulevard and do everything possible to ensure that it continues running smoothly after the deal closes sometime before the end of the year.
"There is a structural difference between a business that happens to be in brewing and a brewer that happens to be in business," Thorpe said. "That's the dividing line between my experience at InBev, which was all about building business. Coming to Duvel Moortgat, a family-owned business, they tend to not just look at what they're doing for this generation or the next, but for the one after that. So the time frame is a very long one that is more about the legacy that he would create."
Kansas City-based Boulevard will play a huge role in creating the legacy of current Duvel Moortgat CEO Michel Moortgat, who spent the past 15 years establishing a strong beachhead in the United States.
Duvel Moortgat had been exporting beer to the United States for decades. But it wasn't until it bought a minority stake to found Brewery Ommegang in 1997 that it started making substantial investments in the United States. By 2000, Moortgat decided to buy a majority stake in the business and invest in equipment. The company increased production to about 25,600 barrels between 2000 and 2009, but even with imports of Duvel Moortgat brands, the company never made any money in the States. That's when Thorpe entered the picture.
Thorpe said he spent the first few months on debt restructuring and working on the financial health of the company. By 2010, Brewery Ommegang became profitable, and he started looking at the distribution network (www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/11/20/ommegang-ceo-sees-huge-growth-in.html).
Boulevard Brewing responds to Anheuser-Busch controversy
KC brewer says law requires careful monitoring of alcohol content
Updated: 5:00 PM CST Mar 5, 2013
In a response to a class-action lawsuit claiming Anheuser-Busch waters down its beer, the company said it does its own alcohol testing at its facilities and is confident it will win the case in court.
The lawsuit, which was filed in several states, accuses the brewer of cheating customers out of the advertised alcohol content by adding water just before bottling.
Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Company, the 10th largest craft-brewing company in the country, said it takes steps to make sure the alcohol content advertised on the bottle is accurate.
"The more sugar you have for the yeast to eat, the more alcohol you're going to have in the beer," said Jeremy Danner of Boulevard Brewing Company.
The company said it tests the alcohol levels at several stages during the operation. Danner said the brewery is required by law to make sure its labels are accurate. There can be a .03 margin of error, but larger samples need to average out to what the bottle says.
"You can make whatever alcohol percentage you want, and they don't regulate that," he said. "But once you decide to put that on the label, you are held to a pretty strict tolerance of alcohol by volume."
"For all of our beers, we have a target alcohol percentage we are trying to hit," said senior chemist Joe Palauski.
Fellow brewers said they think the trouble for Anheuser-Busch is probably more of a misunderstanding than a scandal.
"If you were to dilute any product, obviously you could sell more of it for a lower cost," Danner said. "A company that big, there really is no potential upside because they are a gigantic multinational corporation. They are being watched and are highly visible." (www.kmbc.com/article/garth-brooks-others-join-national-christmas-tree-lineup/8301030)
Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing is sold to Belgian firm
It’s the end of an era for the enterprising brewery founded in 1989 on Southwest Boulevard. In its short history it has become part of the cultural identity of Kansas City
Boulevard Brewing, a popular Kansas City company that’s grown to be one of America’s largest craft brewers since its founding in 1989, is being sold to a Belgian brewer, Duvel Moortgat.
John McDonald, who started the iconic brewery in a warehouse at 25th Street and Southwest Boulevard with used equipment, said that at age 60 it was time to find a buyer.
“My kids are too young to take over, and I don’t want to be 70 coming down here arguing with people,” he said.
So he sold it to Duvel — which means devil in Flemish. It’s pronounced doo-vel.
The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Boulevard said the sale gives it an opportunity to expand more rapidly to keep up with demand for its products. Duvel, a family-owned Belgian company founded in 1871, said the purchase will allow it to expand in the United States.
“I’ve done the right thing for the brewery, for me, for our employees and Kansas City,” McDonald said. “We’ll make more beer and keep employing people.”
From the days Boulevard hauled its first products around town in an Isuzu panel truck, the company has grown to become the 12th ranked craft brewer in the nation with 125 employees.
Not long ago the scrappy brewery bragged it was Missouri’s largest, after beer giant Anheuser-Busch of St. Louis was sold to InBev, another Belgian company. Now, that title will return to St. Louis and craft brewer Schlafly Beer.
Boulevard, with its familiar red and green diamond-shaped logo, quirky retro-style marketing materials and beer labels, and its sponsorship of events from church carnivals to major league baseball, has woven its flavor deep into the fabric of the community.
Krum acknowledged that the sale of Boulevard would be a disappointment to many people who’ve taken hometown pride in it.
But, he said, “We’re still Kansas City’s hometown brewery. We’re not going anywhere, and we’ll do what we’ve always done.
“Kansas City is the foundation of our business. We’ll continue to give back to the community.”
Soon after the news of the Boulevard sale hit social media, the reaction was mostly negative.
“Ugh,” wrote one poster on Twitter. “Literally a deal with the ‘devil.’”
McDonald said he reached out to Duvel three months ago and struck a deal that’s expected to close by the end of the year. Duvel brewed 700,000 barrels of beer last year and employs 900 people.
“We went to them and they were very interested,” McDonald said. “They’re seven times bigger than us and they have a global vision, but working through local breweries.
“This is not what happened in St. Louis (with Anheuser-Busch and InBev); it’s totally different. We will add jobs and investment and not cut two-thirds of our work force. They are very collaborative.
“We’re going to be partners going forward, but they will have control.”
Boulevard’s most popular beers remain its mainstay Boulevard Pale Ale and Unfiltered Wheat, but its brews have expanded to a wide selection of year-round and seasonal offerings as well as its artisanal Smokestack Series sold in 750 ml bottles and four packs.
It also has teamed with chocolatier Christopher Elbow to brew up a chocolate-flavored ale.
McDonald said the sale to Duvel should allow it to accelerate a $20 million expansion of its fermentation operation at the plant campus on Southwest Boulevard.
“I think this is a good thing for the brewery,” he said. “We could do it on our own, but we can do it faster with them.”
Peter DeSilva, president of UMB Bank, which financed the growth of Boulevard, said he hopes that relationship will continue with the new ownership.
“We helped put Boulevard in business many years ago, and it’s been so fun to watch them grow and their great brand,” he said.
“I think Boulevard has been part of the fabric of Kansas City, and it’s not going anywhere. It’s headquartered here and I plan to still enjoy a brew from time to time.”
Duvel has a toe-hold in the U.S., selling about 60,000 barrels of its “strong golden ale” in this country. But it wants to expand and recently also bought a small brewery, Brewery Ommegang, based in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“Our companies share the same values. We have great mutual respect for each other’s achievements and maintain a deeply held belief in exceptional quality as the platform for long-term success.”
Though Duvel sees its purchase of Boulevard as an opportunity to grow in the U.S., there are no plans to brew its products here or Boulevard products in Belgium (www.kansascity.com/news/local/article329751/Kansas-City%E2%80%99s-Boulevard-Brewing-is-sold-to-Belgian-firm.html).
Boulevard Brewing is one of the top dozen American craft breweries in terms of sales – the only Missouri brewery that produces more beer is Anheuser-Busch. Boulevard has an excellent reputation for quality, and it's "Smokestack Series" of Belgian-style beers is especially noteworthy.
Boulevard was recently acquired by Duvel, a well-known Belgian brewer for an estimated $100 million plus. That sounds like a lot, but the Belgium-based InBev paid $52 billion to acquire Anheuser-Busch in 2008.
I visited the Boulevard brewery, tasting room, and gift shop – which was chock full of Boulevard-branded T-shirts, ball caps, bike jerseys, glasses, bottle openers, keychains, and postcards –(http://2or3lines.blogspot.nl/2015/05/psychostick-beer-2003.html).
Boulevard Expands Distribution to Florida
David Eisenberg Sep. 11, 2014 at 11:53 AM
Boulevard Brewing has announced plans to expand distribution throughout Florida per an agreement with Brown Distributing, an Anheuser-Busch wholesaler....The move comes a few weeks after the brewery, which was acquired by Belgian-based Duvel Moortgat last October, announced it would expand distribution throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia with MillerCoors outfits Peerless Beverage Co. and Muller Inc. respectively (www.brewbound.com/news/boulevard-expands-distribution-to-florida).
Boulevard Brewing expands distribution to Florida
Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing Co. is one of the most sought-after craft breweries among Florida beer enthusiasts.
Jose Mallea, co-founder of Biscayne Bay Brewing Co., said he loved Boulevard Brewing Co.'s Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. But he wished the Kansas City brewery would distribute Tank 7 and its other award-winning beers to Florida.
Wish no longer, Jose. Boulevard Brewing has inked a statewide distribution deal with Brown Distributing out of West Palm Beach.
Expect to see Boulevard's lineup of craft beers, including Unfiltered Wheat, Pop-Up I.P.A., 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat and Single-Wide I.P.A., in bottle shops, bars and restaurants in Miami and throughout Florida by month's end. Its limited-release and large-format offerings, like Tank 7 and the super-hoppy Double-Wide I.P.A., will follow soon.
The clamor for beers from Boulevard, a respected craft brewery founded in 1989, is hardly limited to Mallea. Julian Siegel, co-owner of craft-brew mecca Riverside Market in Fort Lauderdale, tells me that his customers ask him "all the time" when they can get their hands on cold bottles and pints of Boulevard's beers.
"As we expand our distribution, it’s been great watching beer drinkers in some of the best beer cities around the country react so positively to our beer,” says Jeremy Danner, Boulevard's ambassador-brewer... The Florida distribution news comes less than a month after Boulevard's expansion to the Philadelphia and northern New Jersey markets. Florida will be the brewery's 28th distribution state, in addition to Washington, D.C. An acquisition of Boulevard last year by Duvel Moortgat, a family-owned Belgian brewery, has allowed it to extend its reach.
“We’ve been looking at Florida for quite a while,” says Steve Mills, Boulevard’s vice president of sales. “We’ve found the ideal partner in Brown Distributing, and look forward to sharing our beers with the rising tide of Florida craft beer enthusiasts." (www.miami.com/beer-here-boulevard-brewing-expands-distribution-florida-article).
Duvel Moortgat USA Does American Craft With A European Approach
With roots in Belgium, Duvel Moortgat USA spurs growth through acquisitions.
JUNE 2ND, 2015
John McDonald has always been a craftsman. So perhaps it’s no wonder that the former carpenter put down his tools some 25 years ago and began brewing beer professionally. Indeed, the same dedication to quality in woodworking for which McDonald was once known has become the hallmark of Boulevard Brewing Co., the brewery he founded in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1989, that’s now one of the largest craft producers in the country. And even though the Kansas-born McDonald sold off control of his company last year to Duvel Moortgat USA, the subsidiary of the family-owned Belgian brewery, he continues to act as an ambassador for his beers, particularly as Boulevard strives toward national distribution. “I’ve always liked the idea of small, local production,” he says.
Inspired by visits to boutique European breweries, McDonald ventured into home brewing in the mid-’80s. Boulevard was the first craft brewery to open in Missouri; in fact, the company is listed as the state’s No.-2 brewery on its license, second only to St. Louis’ Anheuser-Busch. Housed in an early 19th-century brick building, Boulevard features a vintage Bavarian brewhouse that’s still in operation today. An old smokestack, originally used by the Santa Fe Railway Co., sits on Boulevard’s grounds and serves as an icon for the company, replicated in packaging and p-o-s materials. The original brewery has been expanded over the years and today boasts capacity to brew up to 600,000 barrels annually.
While well established in the Midwest for some time, Boulevard has branched out in recent years to such western and eastern markets as Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and California. In March, the company unveiled its brews in New York, bringing total distribution to 31 states and Washington, D.C. Boulevard’s volume in 2014 was 188,000 barrels, up from 184,000 barrels in the previous year.
Parent company Duvel Moortgat also considers itself a boutique operator. Despite its collection of breweries around the world, combined production for the family-owned Puurs, Belgium–based company is less than that of Fort Collins, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing Co. Duvel Moortgat USA was established in 2003, following the Belgian firm’s acquisition of Cooperstown, New York–based Brewery Ommegang, in which the parent company invested as a founding partner in 1997. In addition to the brews produced by Boulevard and Ommegang, Duvel Moortgat USA also represents Belgian imports Duvel, Chouffe and Liefmans. The company’s combined volume, including Boulevard brands, totaled 253,222 barrels in 2014. Boulevard and Ommegang together represent the 12th-largest craft brewing company in the country, according to the Brewers Assocation. Duvel Moortgat USA currently employs 250 workers.
Simon Thorpe, president of Duvel Moortgat USA, notes that 67 of the company’s beers have earned ratings higher than 9.5 out of 10 from Beer Advocate. “That reputation is important for us,” he says. “Our vision has always been to be at the top of the pyramid in quality.”
While Duvel Moortgat USA’s acquisition of Boulevard came as a surprise to many in the beer industry, it wasn’t met with the same backlash that other recent brewery mergers have provoked. McDonald approached the Belgian brewer about the deal. “It was a terrifying and crazy experience,” he says, noting that he felt as though he had reached the “top end of managing what Boulevard had become. I was looking for expertise from people who were bigger and had more experience.” McDonald adds that he was attracted to Duvel Moortgat’s long tradition as a boutique brewery operator and to CEO Michel Moortgat’s hands-on approach. More than a year later, with the integration complete, he calls the partnership a success. “There’s still a lot of opportunity and upside,” he says.
The merger has allowed Boulevard and Ommegang to consult on best-practice strategies and shared services, says Bill Wetmore, marketing director at Duvel Moortgat USA. To date, they have shared efficiencies on brewing and marketing matters. “We’re finding that one plus one equals three,” Wetmore says (http://marketwatchmag.com/duvel-moortgat-usa-june-2015/).
Boulevard owner brews up new management structure
Apr 3, 2014, 12:35pm CDT
Now 100 days into operating Boulevard Brewing Co., the company's new owner Duvel Moortgat announced the management structure of the business.
Sold to Belgium-based Duvel Moortgat on Jan. 1, the management structure of Boulevard Brewing Co. has been in flux as the new ownership decided how to organize all of its assets in the United States to move forward as a combined operation.
Prior to the acquisition of Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Co., Duvel Moortgat's 142-year-old brewery in Belgium combined with its Brewery Ommegang subsidiary in Cooperstown, N.Y., sold about 63,000 barrels of beer in the United States. Adding in Boulevard, the combined entity reaches sales equivalent to 220,000 barrels.
The newly combined entity is now led by Daniel Krug, who has been COO of the Duvel Moortgat parent company in Belgium for 14 years.
McDonald said the company plans to make significant investments to expand capacity at Boulevard in the next couple of months. Specifically, the company plans to expand its fermentation capacity with a project called "Cellar Five," that Boulevard has wanted to do for awhile. The increased capacity will give Boulevard the capacity to expand its market area throughout the United States and around the globe (www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/04/03/boulevard-brewing-company-new-management-structure.html).
Mike Magoulas and Boulevard founder John McDonald
Mike Magoulas, the former MillerCoors executive who was appointed Boulevard Brewing’s CEO in September 2012, has resigned after less than 15 months with the company.
Magoulas’ last official day with Boulevard was December 31, the same day Duvel Moortgat closed on its acquisition of the Kansas City-based company.
Julie Weeks, a spokeswoman for Boulevard, told Brewbound that Magoulas left the company to return to Joplin, Mo., where he and his wife own a packaging business. Magoulas will continue to serve as an advisor for Boulevard as well as other local craft breweries, Weeks said.
Duvel Moortgat, which purchased Boulevard for an estimated $100 million last October, is currently in the process of redefining the roles and responsibilities of its executive leadership. When asked if any positions will be eliminated, Weeks said “absolutely not.”
“There will not be any downsizing,” she told Brewbound. “We are still trying to find all of our synergies and that includes everyone keeping their current position or moving slightly within the sales organization.”
Boulevard has yet to name a new CEO. In the interim, Duvel executives Daniel Krug (COO) and Koen Van Der Taelen (Strategy & Integration) will be “spending more time in Kansas City,” Week said.
Simon Thorpe, the current president and CEO of Duvel USA will continue to “oversee the new sales organization,” but his official title could change this year, Weeks said.
Boulevard CFO Jeff Krum will reportedly be named the CFO of Duvel USA, but Weeks told Brewbound that he has not officially been appointed yet (www.brewbound.com/news/boulevard-ceo-steps-down).
February 2014 / Global Access a Goal for Boulevard Beer’s New Owners
Global Access a Goal for Boulevard Beer’s New Owners BY JAN DUMAY
Imagine walking into a bar in Japan or China, seeing a Boulevard beer and feeling pride in knowing that it came from Kansas City.
Having that kind of global outreach is one of Simon Thorpe’s goals for Boulevard Brewing Co., a hometown success story recently purchased by Belgium’s 142-year-old family-owned Duvel Moortgat brewery. Thorpe is the chief executive officer of Duvel Moortgat USA subsidiary Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y.
“The idea is simply to go from Kansas City to the whole Midwest, and (then) not to just the Midwest but to the whole country, and (then) not only the U.S. but to Europe and beyond,” Thorpe says.
Boulevard, celebrating its 25th anniversary this fall, was founded by John McDonald and markets itself as “Kansas City’s Hometown Beer.”
Through the years it has grown from a small Midwestern craft brewery into one of the region’s largest.
With its flavorful beers, retro-style labels and support for hundreds of local and regional groups, organizations and charities with in-kind product donations, the popular company is deeply embedded in the community.
Boulevard produces about 185,000 barrels of beer annually and sells in 25 states, mainly in the Midwest, and in the District of Columbia. It also sells in Scandinavia. It produces seven year-round and five seasonal brews. Its Smokestack Series of artisanal beers has multiple year-round, seasonal and limited-release flavors.
It is Missouri’s second largest brewery, the 19th largest brewery in the United States and the 12th largest craft brewery in the country. It has 126 employees.
Founded in 1871, Duvel Moortgat is an independent producer of specialty beers and premium brands and is considered to be among the world’s foremost brewers of specialty craft beer. Selling at least 700,000 barrels of beer annually, its best-selling product, Duvel, is available in more than 40 countries. In 2003, it expanded to the United States by purchasing the Cooperstown brewery.
When McDonald announced in October that he would sell a majority stake in the brewery to the foreign entity for an undisclosed amount, many in the community were quick to voice disappointment and concern that the deal would somehow diminish the area’s emotional attachment to the iconic, hometown brand.
Not to worry, Thorpe says.
“I think over the course of the next year, two, three, five, 10 years, people will judge us on what we do with John McDonald’s legacy and not what we say now,” he says. “So we’re very carefully trying to make sure that we do the right things now and do what we say, we make our covenants, and we earn the respect of the people of Kansas City that John has done for the last 25 years.”
McDonald, a minority owner under the deal that industry sources estimate to be worth at least $100 million, says he plans to come to work every day, and he will sit on the board. He says he was an admirer of Duvel Moortgat long before he rolled out the first keg of Boulevard beer in 1989.
“They have a great plan,” McDonald says. “We like them, and they like us. It’s a good thing. Our employees are excited about the possibilities, and we’ll even have more great beers to sell.”
Industry insiders say foreign acquisition of an American company can sometimes lead to friction from the brewery floor up to the board room.
However, Thorpe says Duvel Moortgat spent a long time looking at the culture of the two companies to make sure the fit would work.
“In that sense, we have a very closely shared set of values both in Europe and here in the U.S.,” he says. “We have a very similar way of operating and making decisions and a similar way of taking care of our people and of respecting the communities in which we live. It’s the lifeblood of what has made us more successful.”
In fact, Thorpe believes the fit is almost “pitch perfect” between Boulevard and Duvel Moortgat (www.435mag.com/February-2014/Global-Access-a-Goal-for-Boulevard-Beers-New-Owners/).
Boulevard Brewing Co. founder John McDonald (left)
and Simon Thorpe, CEO of Duvel Moortgat USA,
enjoy a beer at the Boulevard facility in Kansas City.
ANDREW GRUMKE | KCBJ
One year later: Boulevard finds its rhythm within a larger entity
Oct 14, 2014
Nearly one year after John McDonald sold a majority stake in Boulevard Brewing Co. to Belgian brewers Duvel Moortgat, the merged entity set itself up on solid ground and is growing faster than either party expected.
John McDonald remains heavily involved, serving on the board for Duvel Moortgat USA. His former executive duties have been transferred to Simon Thorpe, CEO of Duvel Moortgat USA. The two talked to the Kansas City Business Journal about how the two companies were merged together.
Thorpe said the first move, even before the deal was officially closed, was to ensure that the sales network was organized and that each part of the merged entity could keep its momentum rolling. So the company merged the sales force for Boulevard, Duvel Moortgat USA and Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y. They didn't lose any people and actually added five more positions.
"We got a much better coverage of the U.S. as a result of that," Thorpe said. "So getting that done by the first of January was the goal. The thought was if we get that done, everything else will follow. What that meant is that on Jan. 1, we were selling products from all of the breweries straight out of the gate."
The merged entity also had the coverage throughout the U.S. to make it much easier to make sales to chain grocery stores and liquor stores, which previously proved difficult for the individual entities.
Thorpe said he moved Boulevard into four new markets this past year, plans to move into four more in 2015 and will start exporting beer to Europe. To do all that, Boulevard needs more capacity, and its current bottleneck is in fermentation capacity. So the multimillion-dollar Cellar Five project is moving forward to add that capacity. Demolition is already done. It took a bit longer to get rolling than anticipated, but that's only because the company sought input from experts in all of its various breweries. (www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/10/14/one-year-later-boulevard-finds-its-rhythm-within-a.html).
Boulevard owner drops a few spots in volume rankings
Mar 31, 2015, 1:55pm CDT
Duvel Moortgat USA, the owner of Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, is the 12th largest craft brewer in the United States by beer sales volume according to a list released by the Brewers Association.
Duvel was ranked No. 8 last year. It was passed by Brooklyn Brewery, Stone Brewing Co. and list newcomers D.G. Yuengling and Son Inc. and Minhas Craft Brewery.
D.G. Yuengling and Son topped the list. Boston Beer Co., the brewer of Sam Adams, was second. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. placed third.
Duvel ought to be able to move up the list a bit next year, since it has a few irons in the fire that should give it a sizable production boost. For one, it just started offering canned beer, which is brewed through a partnership with Cold Spring Brewing in Minnesota, so it boosts sales without eating into Boulevard's brewing capacity.
Boulevard is also in the midst of a $12 million expansion project that will add more fermentation tanks and boost the capacity of its operation by about 40 percent. That will enable Duvel to continue bringing Boulevard beer to new markets around the United States and the globe.
James reports about banking, financial services and law.