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US. Boulevard Brewing taps East Coast market

Follow this company next month is set to start filling Massachusetts glasses with its Smokestack Series line, its first foray into distribution on the East Coast.

The Kansas City-based brewer sells most of its beer in the Central Midwest — all but 9 percent of sales come from that area. Boulevard also has a presence in the Pacific Northwest. Now, it’s trying to balance that by taking its Smokestack Series to the Northeast.

“Adding an East Coast market to our distribution portfolio is a big step for the brewery,” Boulevard founder and President John McDonald said in a release. “The craft beer movement in New England continues to gain momentum, and we are eager to see how our brands will play in that part of the country.”

The Smokestack Series is a line of small-batch artisan beers sold in 750-milliliter bottles and 12-ounce bottles in four packs. Boulevard also will offer Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale in 5-gallon kegs, giving Massachusetts bars and restaurants the opportunity to offer the Belgian Saison-style beer on tap.

Boulevard entered into a distribution and marketing agreement with the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance.

“They are the first supplier to sign on with MBA, our recently formed distributor network, and we are fully committed to their success,” Bill Burke, president of Burke Distributing Corp. of Boston, said in the release. “Working with an organization like Boulevard, known for their integrity as well as their fine beer, is a real honor for us, and we look forward to a long relationship.”

As part of its plan to expand distribution of its Smokestack Series beers, Boulevard is about to launch a $3 million expansion project at its brewery in Kansas City. Boulevard will install eight new 300-barrel fermentation tanks, which will allow the brewery to produce an additional 35,000 barrels of beer a year — a roughly 20 percent increase in capacity.

23 Aug. 2011

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