KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The famed Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City has announced an agreement to merge with Duvel Moortgat, a Belgian-based brewing company.
Duvel Moortgat is a family-owned business spanning four generations that produces premium beers including Duvel, Chouffe, and Liefmans at several breweries in Belgium.
The Moortgat family will maintain their existing ownership structure in Europe, while John McDonald, founder of Boulevard Brewing Company, will be an important partner in the new US-based company.
Michel Moortgat, one of the three owners of Duvel Moortgat, said European consumers are growing more and more interested in American craft beer. By combining with Boulevard, Moortgat said he hopes to capitalize on the growing interest of beer in Europe and expand American craft beers into countries like Japan and China.
By uniting with Duvel Moortgat, Boulevard Brewing Company, which is the 12th-largest craft brewer in America, the merge will allow them to expand into an international market. McDonald said he has been looking for an opportunity to partner with another brewery for years.
“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,” he said in an interview with the NY Times. His new partnership with Duvel is one he's pleased with. In a statement released to the public on Thursday, McDonald said:
"Since I started Boulevard in 1989, the company’s long-term future has always been top of mind,” he 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.”