Kansas City- based brewer Boulevard, the 12th largest craft brewery in the United States with production exceeding 180,000 barrels, is about to be acquired by a European beer maker, according to a story published by the New York Times on October 17, 2013.
Belgian brewer Duvel Moortgat has announced a deal to acquire Boulevard, thereby gaining access to a large portfolio of craft beers as well as opening up more markets for its own brands in the United States, and vice- versa. Duvel, which already owns New York's award- winning Ommegang Brewery, is fully aware of the growth of the craft beer industry in the United States and felt the time was right to make another move.
“I see here in Europe that consumers are getting more and more interested in American craft beers,” said Michel Moortgat, one of three brothers who own Duvel, in an interview with the New York Times. “In the future, with this partnership, we will be able to develop the taste for those beers more substantially here and in other countries like Japan and China.”
The sale of Boulevard Brewing to a foreign company is certainly a shock to its millions of American fans, but Boulevard founder/owner John McDonald has, in fact, been looking for a way out of the business for some time and felt that Duvel was a good business with which to strike a deal.
“I talked to several other breweries and different types of financial institutions that might be interested in partnering with us, and about three months ago, I decided to go talk to Duvel,” said McDonald. “I was looking to give up control of my brewery, and to do that, I had to feel really good about the people I would be giving control to,” Mr. McDonald said.
The deal to acquire Boulevard will likely be finalized before the end of the year. No one is sure what it will be worth, but some industry analysts predict Boulevard will sell for at least $100 million.
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