Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing sold to Belgian brewer - KCTV5

Kansas City's Boulevard Brewing sold to Belgian brewer

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Kansas City's own Boulevard Brewing Company has announced Thursday that it is being sold to Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat.

Boulevard, one of the largest craft brewers in the Midwest, and Duvel Moortgat, an independent craft brewer based in Belgium, said they will join forces to better promote the continued growth and success of their brands.

In a news release, the Moortgat family said they will maintain their existing ownership structure in Europe, while John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Company, will be an important partner in the new United States-based company.

It will still be known as Boulevard Brewing, but they'll just be one of three companies in the U.S. owned by Duvel Moortgat.

By uniting with the Belgian company, Boulevard secures the resources for an expansion of its Kansas City facilities.

"That's the next big thing after today, is sitting down and working on expansion plans. We had those going anyway so we need to move forward with those. I think they'll move faster with those than we would have on our own," McDonald said.

Boulevard also said they will gain the depth and experience of the 142-year-old firm to help extend their strong regional presence throughout the U.S. and Europe.

"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. Duvel Moortgat's commitment to quality and independence, and their proven record helping breweries fulfill their potential, made this a perfect fit and an easy decision."

McDonald said the deal took months to put together, but said the sale won't affect the reputation Boulevard has built in Kansas City.

McDonald intends to remain closely involved with Boulevard in Kansas City, where the base of operations will remain.

"I just live a few blocks from here, I plan on coming down here every day and doing the same things I've been doing for 25 years," he said.

McDonald said he had interest from several other beer companies, but the culture and values of Duvel Moortgat most closely fit with Boulevard.

He will be intimately involved in Duvel Moortgat's activities in the U.S., with a stake in the combined company and a seat on its board.

"What we've realized is what made the U.S. the greatest brewing country in the world is this idea of sharing information and brewing ideas, collaborating. Now we'll be doing it with a 140-year-old company that was iconic 50 years before Boulevard even existed," McDonald said.

Boulevard will maintain its leading role on 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. Boulevard said no financial details will be disclosed.

A family-owned business spanning four generations, Duvel Moortgat produces premium beers including Duvel, Chouffe and Liefmans at several breweries in Belgium.

McDonald said he plans on celebrating by having dinner and a beer or two with Duvel Moortgat's CEO.

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