The sale of Boulevard Brewing is very disappointing. There goes another homegrown company, sold to an outsider. And not just any outsider, but someone from out of the country.
It’s unfortunate that ownerJohn McDonald couldn’t find someone local
to take on the task of leading Boulevard into its next path of growth.
And, to state the obvious, Boulevard will not be the same without its local ownership.
McDonald can talk all he wants about how this is going to be a partnership with the new owner, Duvel Moortgat.
But as he conceded, they will have control of the company after the sale.
McDonald tells The Star that all of this makes sense from a beer-selling perspective. The Belgian brewer will have more money, more contacts, more ability to grow the Boulevard brand.
Well, that’s practical for McDonald —who wanted to make the sale
— and it’s pragmatic for the company itself, which might grow incrementally beyond its 125 or so current employees in the future.
But let’s face it: Much of the cache around Boulevard Brewing was built on the fact that it was Kansas City’s own brand, something that had made it locally as well as on the regional, even national, levels.
Kansas Citians know about Boulevard because of its advertising. They drink Boulevard’s products because of their high quality.
Kansas Citians know people who work for the hometown brewery. They care about Boulevard and what it does.
And Kansas Citians, in a small way, at least once cared about its hopes for growing into a bigger local institution in the future.
Question is, will Kansas Citians really care that much about Boulevard when it’s yet another company owned and controlled by someone from out of town?