Thursday, November 14, 2013

End Of Days For Boulevard Dry Stout



"I didn't think it would start this soon." -Random Internet Commenter

The Kansas City Star has reported that Boulevard is discontinuing their Dry Stout officially - the last kegs have been shipped out. Once the restaurants and bars run dry, that'll be it. Tap handles that originally held Dry Stout will likely find themselves dispensing other nitro stouts such as Old Rasputin, Deschutes' Obsidian, Left Hand Milk Stout, but more often you'll probably see Guinness where you used to see Dry Stout. That's because Guinness was one of the main reasons Dry Stout had such difficulty gaining traction outside of KC.

I want to clear this up though, the discontinuation of Dry Stout has absolutely nothing to do with the Duvel-Moortgat buyout of Boulevard. So the lamentations can stop right there - the last kegs went out in September, long before the buyout. Dry Stout was simply not doing well - and so the product has been pulled.

There wasn't enough demand for Dry Stout, so it went the way of Amber Ale and Lunar Ale and has been retired. "The Belgians" did not make this call, I promise that decisions like this don't happen in the first four weeks of buying a brewery - this was something that was a long time coming. So if you're still trying to vilify Duvel-Moortgat, you're going to need to find something else to do it with.

It's not surprising really - it was a fine beer, but it's not the kind that people go crazy for, especially when there is a very well known and well made alternative like Guinness. I asked a handful of people before writing this - typical Boulevard drinkers but not necessarily craft beer fans -  and most of them didn't even know about Boulevard's Dry Stout since it was a draft-only beer.

The good news is that if you can't bare the idea of Dry Stout disappearing forever, you won't have to. It'll return every year for the Kansas City Irish Festival.

Long story short, you didn't love Dry Stout, if you had, you would have bought more of it. The Belgians didn't come and take it out of your hand, it was never in your hand.

17 comments:

  1. Boulevard's stout was mediocre compared to American craft stouts I've drank in Oregon and Colorado. We need more of the great Smokestack stuff rotating on tap.

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  2. I liked Dry Stout. If I went to a place that had it on tap, I usually ordered at least one. Oh well.

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  3. And how do you know that Kyle??? You don't...unless you have some sort of bias or ties that promotes you to write this article.. Man this blog can be really frustrating at times!!! You can't write a fact based article if you don't know the Facts!!

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  4. See, well there you have it. I didn't even know Amber had been pulled and if they had pulled Dry Stout, and not announced it, I wouldn't have noticed.

    Sometimes not everything is the best offering (especially given how long Dry Stout has been around) and sometimes some styles aren't the highest demand.

    I still miss Lunar though

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  5. Snarky Anonymous - Yes, let's look at facts.

    Here are the facts:

    The Boulevard-Duvel deal was announced on 10/17. It was noted that it was merely an agreement at that point, and the transaction will not actually close until the end of the year.

    On 10/29, Jeremy Danner posted a tweet noting 'RIP Dry Stout'.

    Do you really think that Duvel DEMANDED, within two weeks of an announced deal that has not legally closed yet, that Dry Stout immediately stop being produced and sold? You think that, of every first move they could choose to make, eliminating a draft-only stout was at the top of their list?

    If you do, you probably should have been drinking more Dry Stout and less conspiracy theory Kool-Aid.

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  6. Anonymous,

    I confirmed that this was not a Duvel-Moortgat move with Jeremy Danner.

    https://twitter.com/Jeremy_Danner/status/400784126258606081

    If you can find me proof that says otherwise, lets talk. And as pat said, the dates are proof enough.

    Nothing on this blog is done as promotion, we are not paid. Everything is up to our choosing to pass along - I personally wanted to clear the air about the Dry Stout matter because I believe DM wants the best for Boulevard and there is nothing yet to prove otherwise - so I'll do my part to get rid of misinformation and hearsay.

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  7. THE BELGIUMS ARE RUINING OUR HOMETOWN BREWERY!!!

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  8. You're all going to feel silly when you find out that Duvel-Moortgat is the name of a Satanic demon/goat abomination that has a relationship with Danner like Vigo the Carpathian had with Janosz Poha.

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  9. There's only one way to get rid of the conspiracy theories. Monthly, Andy Rooney-ish pieces penned by Chris Gilmore.

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  10. In response, my only complaint is that this article is made to sound like a fact, that Duvel did not make this move, yet indeed, it was made on Duvel's watch. And a Jeremy tweet does nothing...do you think he would state a different opinion while being the proud face of the brewery?? And the Duvel takeover was months in the works before it was announced...probably 4 to 6 months, and you better believe they had an action plan ready for day 1.. Again, I just don't see how this article can be written so strongly with the fact based orientation without any actual facts. It should be solely an opinion..but thats my opinion. You guys do a great job for Kansas City Craft Beer awareness, and I love to read most of the stuff!

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  11. I really liked Dry Stout, but I'm usually only in the mood for stout during cold weather. Bringing it out it a seasonal release makes me happy. Question is: will they only be serving it at Irish fest or will it be available on tap locally in restaurants at that time?

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  12. Once they discontinued it in bottles, especially their variety pack, the writing was on the wall. No beer survives with bottles in the store.

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  13. Is Jeremy Danner running this blog now?

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  14. I never liked Dry Stout much. It was a fine example of what it was, but it's just not a style I particularly enjoy. And Boulevard's version didn't do anything to stand out. I empathize with people who did really enjoy it though and share in their pain.

    But Boulevard is a business. And the cold hard reality is that Dry Stout just wasn't a good seller. It was headed down this road long before this 'announcement.' The bottled version was discontinued a while ago, and accounts that carried the draft version dwindled more and more over time. This article describes exactly the issue that it had with getting the coveted and limited nitro tap space.

    I won't shed any tears over Dry Stout. If you are one to shed a tear over this, I'm sorry for you. But you can't deny the financial reality of that beer. It was an underperformer both critically and financially. If this allows Boulevard to open up a slot for something else new like 80 Acre and Pop-Up, then hell yeah, I'm all for it.

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  15. I still miss lunar, and when I see se signs of it around town it makes me miss that sweet dark wheat beer, a seasonal offering would be nice.

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  16. Amber Ale is still on the BVLD website, and this article is the first I heard of it being stopped. Is it's production really being stopped?

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  17. I thought it was a great dry stout and I will miss it. I also want to know what availability will be like around the Irish Fest. Can you only get it there, or will they bottle/keg it and distribute for a while?

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