Boulevard Brewing, one of the ten largest craft brewing operations in the United States, is expanding its presence further on the East coast.
Boulevard, the Kansas City, Missouri brewing operation with distribution presently in about 22 U.S. states, is adding to its ubiquity through the states of Georgia and North Carolina. Georgia residents will see Boulevard products first as the company introduces its Unfiltered Wheat and Smokestack series to the Peach state in early August, 2012. North Carolina residents will see the same products on the store shelves in October, 2012.
Bob Sullivan, Boulevard VP of sales, says when other states are added to the Boulvevard family in the future, a similar sales strategy will be used. Just recently, the company expanded into Massachusetts with its popular Smokestack Series, but nothing else. The Smokestack series is highly acclaimed by beer critics, but their alcoholic strength and fuller body makes these products impractical for daily consumption.
“If we had to do Massachusetts over again, we would include our Unfiltered Wheat Beer so consumers who wanted to drink our beer daily but didn’t want only drink an 8-percent (or above) ABV beer could,” Sullivan said. “Our new east coast strategy would be to offer both the Smokestack Series and Unfiltered Wheat. We know that whatever market we enter, Unfiltered Wheat Beer is always most requested by transplant Midwesterners.”
Boulevard has already signed with United Distributers in Georgia, but no contract is in place for North Carolina. “We haven’t finished our due-diligence quite yet,” Sullivan said. “But we are talking with a number of distributors throughout the state. No contracts have been signed at this point.”
If things go as planned, Boulevard plans to move into California soon. The Golden State, however, presents a different challenge due to its extensive craft beer market. Here, Boulevard plans to introduce only the Smokestack series and then possibly follow it with Unfilitered Wheat and other Boulevard products at a later time.