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October 24, 2013

Ommegang parent buys Mo. brewery

Move will boost local production

(Continued)

One significant way the deal will help both Boulevard and Ommegang is that the sales teams of both companies will be combined. The goal is to make Boulevard’s beers, now largely consumed in the Midwest, popular with beer drinkers on the East and West coasts, and to allow Ommegang to find new customers in the interior states, Thorpe said. The combined sales team will have more than 50 people.

“This is almost a perfect match made in heaven,” Thorpe said of the deal.

In a joint press release from Duvel Moortgat and Boulevard Brewing, McDonald stated: “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.”

McDonald, according to the announcement, will remain involved with Boulevard in Kansas City, and 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.”

McDonald, in an interview with the Kansas City Star, drew a distinction between his company’s acquisition by Duvel and the purchase of Anheuser Busch by InBev, a transaction that was controversial in the U.S. because it involved the takeover of the nation’s largest brewer by a foreign firm. Like Duvel, InBev is also a Belgian company.

“This is not what happened in St. Louis, it’s totally different,” the Kansas City paper quoted McDonald as saying. “We will add jobs and investment and not cut two-thirds of our work force. They (Duvel) are very collaborative.”

Boulevard Brewery’s best-selling beers are its Boulevard Pale Ale and Unfiltered Wheat. It is also known for its Smokestack Series in both 750 ml bottles and four packs.

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