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Unread 2013-10-17, 01:59 PM   #1
JDLM
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Default McDonald sells majority stake in Boulevard Brewing





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John McDonald, president of Boulevard Brewing Co.







After founding Boulevard Brewing Co. in 1989 and turning it into one of the nation's largest, most acclaimed craft breweries, John McDonald has sold his majority interest in the company to a Belgian brewery.
The new majority owner of the Kansas City-based craft brewer is Duvel Moortgat, a 142-year-old family-owned brewery based in Belgium. The brewery is most widely known in the United States for its namesake Duvel brand beer, which is a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.
Duvel sells about 750,000 barrels of beer annually, about 50 percent of which is sold in Belgium. By comparison, Boulevard sells about 200,000 barrels a year, 30 percent of which is sold in the Kansas City area.
Filled with emotion and looking like he just sent his daughter down the aisle to get married, McDonald explained why he made this move.
"I just turned 60 this year, and a couple years ago I woke up and started thinking that I needed to figure out what I was going to do with the brewery long term," McDonald said. "Sine then, we've been down a lot of different paths, talked to a lot of different people and looked at a lot of opportunities."


About three months ago, McDonald started talking to Duvel Moortgat, which he described as one of the world's most iconic brands.
"That type of beer is what got me into brewing back in the 1980s," McDonald said. "I've always had an admiration for that brewery in particular and Belgian brewers in general. I even brought my own Belgian brewmaster over 14 years ago, Steven Pauwels."
McDonald found the family ownership group at Duvel Moortgat receptive to acquiring the company. They agreed to acquire Boulevard Brewing for an undisclosed amount, and McDonald agreed to reinvest heavily in the newly merged company. McDonald will hold a minority stake and take a seat on the board. He'll remain involved with the operations in Kansas City. Management and employment at Boulevard will remain intact.


Duvel also has a small craft brewery in Cooperstown, N.Y., called Brewery Ommegang, which produces about 40,000 barrels a year. All the breweries will continue to operate normally. There will be no cross-pollinating of brands or shifting of brewing responsibilities.
The merger is expected to be completed by early December.
Boulevard CFO Jeff Krum said the transaction will lead to an injection of capital that will immediately lead to expansion.
"They looked very carefully at Boulevard Brewery and our brands and came to the conclusion that our beers are not only widely respected — many are critically acclaimed — but many of them have the ability to do well not just in the Midwest, but the balance of the United States and internationally," Krum said. "We have plans that we've been working on for some time to do additional expansion here. With the resources that they bring to the table, their financial strength and their depth of resources, they'll accelerate our expansion plans."
Boulevard has been planning a $15 million to $20 million expansion of its fermentation capacity about a year or two down the road, but now that could happen much sooner.
Merging with Duvel also will double the size of the U.S. sales force for the combined company, leading to immediate expansion opportunity into new markets for Boulevard, which is distributed in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
All those opportunities soften the blow a bit for McDonald when it comes to giving up control of the company he built from scratch into an iconic Kansas City brand.
"Sometimes it's tough to think about, but I really believe it's the right thing to do," McDonald said. "They're going to be good partners moving forward, and they get it. So I feel really good about it. I hope everybody in Kansas City can share my good feeling about it."
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Unread 2013-10-17, 02:25 PM   #2
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Whoah...
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Unread 2013-10-17, 02:56 PM   #3
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Here's another perspective. Interesting though, Boulevard could potentially distribute overseas.

http://www.realbeer.com/blog/?p=2906

Quote:
Duvel Moortgat buys Boulevard Brewing

October 17th, 2013 | Posted by Real Beer
Belgium’s Duvel Moortgat Brewery today announced a deal to buy Boulevard Brewing in Kansas City, the 12-largest craft brewery in the United States.
Michel Moorgat, whose family owns the Belgian company, indicated that it plans to expand distribution of Boulevard both in the United States and throughout the world. “I see here in Europe that consumers are getting more and more interested in American craft beers,” he told The New York Times.“In the future, with this partnership, we will be able to develop the taste for those beers more substantially here and in other countries like Japan and China.”
Boulevard founder John McDonald will remain a “substantial” shareholder and have a seat on the board in the combined company. Boulevard will sell about 180,000 barrels (a barrels contains 31 gallons of beer) this year, but ultimately, with the investment Moortgat will provide, could make more than 800,000 barrels. Its flagship Unfiltered Wheat accounts for well over half of production, but it is better known among beer fans for its Smokestack series. That includes regular offerings like Tank 7 as well as seasonal releases such as Saison Brett and Bourbon Barrel Quad.
“Since I started Boulevard in 1989, the company’s long-term future has always been top of mind,” McDonald said. “I wanted to find a way to take the business 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.”
“Our path for growth became abundantly clear as I got to know John and Boulevard,” Moortgat said. “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.”
The transaction between the two privately-held companies is expected to close by the end of the year; no financial details will be disclosed. First Beverage Group acted as advisor to Boulevard.
Moortgat was one of the original members of the partnership that started Brewery Ommegang in 1996, and eventually bought 100 percent control of that brewery. As well as brewing the iconic Duvel it owns several other brands in Europe, including La Chouffe and De Knoninck.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 02:58 PM   #4
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As long as they don't take away or change my single wide, i'm good. I love the tasting room ipa as well.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 02:59 PM   #5
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It's all over Facebook. I am not really worried, I wish he hadn't sold it, but I think it will be fine!
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Unread 2013-10-17, 02:59 PM   #6
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This could be really good for them to get out more and esp. overseas
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Unread 2013-10-17, 03:11 PM   #7
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switching beers now.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 03:26 PM   #8
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switching beers now.
To what?
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Unread 2013-10-17, 03:56 PM   #9
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switching beers now.
lol
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Unread 2013-10-17, 04:01 PM   #10
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Lol at all the haters on FB. It's not like they sold out to Inbev or anything. This will allow them to grow like initially planned and last for a long time. And give them more resources to make more awesome beers.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 04:21 PM   #11
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They sold to another larger family owned brewery that has more reach and will allow Boulevard to prosper and grow while seemingly keeping things as you've known them.

Please tell me how that's bad, no jobs lost etc.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 04:23 PM   #12
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To what?
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lol
I haven't decided yet. I am a fan of a lot of the local brews - the blind tiger being the favorite.

I will probably catch some flak on this, but I am on a kick to buy 100% American whenever possible. I have been dealing with a bunch of outsourcing assholes the last two months and it has been pissing me off beyond belief.

That said, I do not blame him and I don't think it will be a bad thing for the company as a whole if they keep moving things in a positive direction.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 05:03 PM   #13
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I haven't decided yet. I am a fan of a lot of the local brews - the blind tiger being the favorite.

I will probably catch some flak on this, but I am on a kick to buy 100% American whenever possible. I have been dealing with a bunch of outsourcing assholes the last two months and it has been pissing me off beyond belief.

That said, I do not blame him and I don't think it will be a bad thing for the company as a whole if they keep moving things in a positive direction.
Boulevard is still being brewed, bottled, packaged and distributed here in the United States. They just happen to be owned by an over seas company. Still American workers producing an American product.

So does this mean that you no longer go to movies at AMC? Seeing as they arnt American owned?
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Unread 2013-10-17, 05:11 PM   #14
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I haven't decided yet. I am a fan of a lot of the local brews - the blind tiger being the favorite.

I will probably catch some flak on this, but I am on a kick to buy 100% American whenever possible. I have been dealing with a bunch of outsourcing assholes the last two months and it has been pissing me off beyond belief.

That said, I do not blame him and I don't think it will be a bad thing for the company as a whole if they keep moving things in a positive direction.
It's still an american product. lol

So you wont buy american made, foreign owned?
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Unread 2013-10-17, 06:05 PM   #15
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And McDonald is getting a seat on the board of directors with Duvel.


But yeah, not an American company anymore, lol.

Gotta stick with Chevy and Ford...gotta be made in Canada/Mexico to get my money.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 06:08 PM   #16
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I haven't decided yet. I am a fan of a lot of the local brews - the blind tiger being the favorite.
The only thing good that blind tiger makes is their Maibach. The rest is meh when comparing to other local breweries.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 07:30 PM   #17
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hopefully the product and image stay the same.. best case is it allows boulevard to share its awesome beers with people in other states.. currently tough to find boulevard outside of mo,ks,neb,co,ia,ark (midwest triangle)..
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Unread 2013-10-17, 07:37 PM   #18
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I know it's in Georgia now and plenty of states west of the Mississippi.
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Unread 2013-10-17, 10:08 PM   #19
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http://www.kmbc.com/news/kansas-city...mbc%2B9%2Bnews
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Unread 2013-10-17, 10:55 PM   #20
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Ommegang makes great beer too.

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Unread 2013-10-18, 12:27 AM   #21
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hopefully the product and image stay the same.. best case is it allows boulevard to share its awesome beers with people in other states.. currently tough to find boulevard outside of mo,ks,neb,co,ia,ark (midwest triangle)..
Umm they currently distribute to like 27 states. Including Mass and parts of CA.
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Unread 2013-10-18, 06:59 PM   #22
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As long as they don't take away or change my single wide, i'm good. I love the tasting room ipa as well.
I agree.

I'm happy it's going to a Belgium company. At least they know how to make good beer. If it had gone to some company in Brazil or something I'd be upset.
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Unread 2015-07-16, 10:04 PM   #23
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Duvell buys another one

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Unread 2015-07-20, 05:35 PM   #24
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Hopefully this means we get more distribution of their limited releases!
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Unread 2015-07-20, 07:39 PM   #25
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Or FW in KS
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