After launching the popular Smokestack Series in Massachusetts last September, Boulevard Brewing Co. VP of Sales, Bob Sullivan, told Brewbound.com today that the Kansas City, Missouri-based craft brewer is adjusting its sell-in strategy for some of its new markets.
“If we had to do Massachusetts over again, we would include our Unfiltered Wheat Beer so consumers who wanted to drink our beer daily but didn’t want only drink an 8-percent (or above) ABV beer could,” he said. “Our new east coast strategy would be to offer both the Smokestack Series and Unfiltered Wheat.”
And that is exactly what Boulevard did when it entered Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland in June.
“We know that whatever market we enter, Unfiltered Wheat Beer is always most requested by transplant Midwesterners,” Sullivan said.
The company is currently launching both the Smokestack Series and Unfiltered Wheat Beer in Georgia through United Distributors Inc. Sullivan said he also plans to launch in North Carolina by “mid-October” with the same sell-in strategy.
“We haven’t finished our due-diligence quite yet,” he said. “But we are talking with a number of distributors throughout the state. No contracts have been signed at this point.”
And Sullivan is still eyeing California but said because of an abundance of chain driven business in the state, he would most likely initially launch with only the Smokestack Series, just like Massachusetts nearly one year ago.
“My sense is that if we do enter California, it would be the Smokestack Series only to start,” he said. “We definitely put our best foot forward with the Smokestack Series in Massachusetts and I think that formula would translate well to California, especially considering all of the chain business.”
Massachusetts is the latest market to receive part of Boulevard’s “heritage” portfolio. Unfiltered Wheat Beer and Single-Wide I.P.A. began arriving last week.