Beverage News / Beer

Duvel Moortgat acquires Boulevard Brewing Co.

Craft brewery acquires resources to grow in the United States and Europe

Kansas City, Mo.-based Boulevard Brewing Co. announced that Belgium-based Duvel Moortgat has acquired the craft brewery.

“I'm not getting any younger, and the long-term future of the brewery has weighed on my mind for the past several years,” wrote John McDonald, Boulevard Brewing’s founder, in a letter posted on the brewery’s homepage. “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.”

McDonald wrote that he selected the independent, family-owned craft brewer, which also operates Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, N.Y., to be the new owners because it brings to the table “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 U.S. and abroad,” McDonald wrote. “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.”

The Moortgat family will maintain their existing ownership structure in Europe, while McDonald will be an important partner in the new U.S.-based operations. By uniting with Duvel Moortgat, Boulevard secures the resources to expand its Kansas City facilities as well as the experience of the 142-year-old firm to help extend its strong regional presence throughout the United States and Europe.

“Our path for growth became abundantly clear as I got to know John and Boulevard,” said Michel Moortgat, chief executive officer of Duvel Moortgat, in a statement. “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. Even as recently as this week I was happy to learn that both Boulevard and Brewery Ommegang won three medals at the prestigious Great American Beer Fest. Together, with our combined strengths and our mutual obsession for outstanding beers, I’m convinced that one plus one equals three.”

McDonald intends to remain closely involved with Boulevard in Kansas City, where the base of operations will remain. He will be intimately involved in Duvel Moortgat’s activities in the United States through his remaining stake in the combined company and his seat on its board. Boulevard also will maintain its role in sustainability initiatives, including support for Ripple Glass, the glass recycling company founded by McDonald and other brewery principals in 2009.

The transaction between the two privately held companies is expected to close by the end of the year; no financial details will be disclosed.
 

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