Busy Boulevard

While the Kansas City release of Hopslam may have been the biggest buzz in town (pun kind of intended?) this past week, Boulevard had a flurry of activity going on that may have slipped under the radar for some. Three notable items were all in the news, so in case you missed any of them, here's a quick recap of what our hometown brewery has been up to recently.

Tour Updates

As anyone who has booked a Boulevard tour in the past knows, it's simply not as easy as hopping in the car and driving down to the brewery on a whim. Generally something that would require a couple months of advanced planning, Boulevard has made some changes to their touring process in the hopes of making it easier for beer drinkers to explore their facility. Here's the quick and dirty of the changes:

- Tours will now be available on Mondays and Tuesdays
- Sunday-Friday tours will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis (no reservations needed)
- Saturday tours will still require a reservation, spots for these tours will open up eight days in advance.
- More private large group tours on Monday and Tuesday
- Unfiltered Tours on Sundays

They expect to implement these changes in late February, resulting in an increase of available tours from 19 to 31. As they note, one downside of these changes is that they will be letting go of their group of volunteer tour guides, though they don't say exactly why that was necessary. So, to any of those tour guides who may read this, thank you for putting in the time that you did, and representing our hometown brewery well!

New VP of Sales

Steve Mills, who previously held the title of COO at Boulevard, was named the brewery's new VP of Sales. This comes on the heels of the departure of Bob Sullivan, Jr., who announced earlier in January that he would be leaving Boulevard to become VP of Speciality and Craft Beer at Andrews Distributing in Dallas.  Additionally, the sales team that will work with Mills was reorganized, with two newly appointed regional directors and two recent hires to represent Boulevard in the Chicago/Indiana and Colorado markets. Interestingly, Boulevard CEO Mike Magoulas notes in the announcement that the brewery will be "doing a major increase in our marketing and our sales efforts." I'm curious to find out what exactly that will entail, but obviously the executive leadership at Boulevard has an eye on continuing growth as competition rapidly increases.

Inside Coffee Ale

Two days ago, local news station KCTV5 did a quick, fun look at the new Boulevard/The Roasterie collaborative Coffee Ale, which is due to hit store shelves in March. While the piece doesn't reveal anything groundbreaking about the beer, other than the fact that it is not a stout or porter (which I believe is fairly common knowledge at this point), it's a nice look at the Chocolate Ale replacement. And speaking of Chocolate Ale, if for some reason there are some of you eagerly awaiting it's return, don't get your hopes up too soon:

"Boulevard says they still may bring back the Chocolate Ale down the road, but they need to make some more changes first to be sure that it comes out just right.."

There is certainly plenty going on under the smokestack downtown (and this list doesn't even include the release of Grainstorm, which should be coming in early February), looking forward to seeing what else they have in store as 2013 progresses.

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