Boulevard Breaks Ground on $12 Million Expansion

boulevard cellar fiveBoulevard Brewing held a ceremonial groundbreaking this morning for its $12 million expansion project. As Brewbound first reported in April, the project, dubbed “Cellar Five,” will ultimately boost the company’s fermentation capacity by 40 percent to more than 300,000 barrels.

Cellar Five will enable the company to stay ahead of growing demand and increased sales, according to a news release. The company added four new markets in the span of two months earlier this fall. Prior to that spree of market launches, Boulevard, which was acquired by Belgian brewery Duvel Moortgat last October, hadn’t added any new territories to its distribution footprint since May of last year.

The build out will include a 3,600 sq. ft. single story fermentation structure in support of six 1,000-barrel fermenters, as well as an 8,400 sq. ft. two-story utility and process building, according to a company statement. Boulevard is investing an additional $2.5 million in an effluent equalization system and filtration centrifuge.

“We’ve been planning Cellar Five for the better part of two years,” said Mike Utz, Boulevard’s director of engineering, in the news release. “It’s an exciting and challenging project, as it will house our largest fermentation tanks to date. The new structures will complement the appearance of the adjacent Cellar Three, with design elements from our Brewhouse Two building.”

Both build outs, which are being internally financed, are expected to be up and running in the brewery’s hometown of Kansas City, Mo. by next summer, according to Boulevard founder John McDonald.

As a result of the expansion, the company would be able to implement a more rapid growth strategy than has been employed over the past year or so, said McDonald.

“I think as we have capacity and have the right partners in markets, we’ll look pretty much throughout the U.S., and I think there’s a few markets in Europe we’re look at also, primarily for our Smokestack brands,” said McDonald. “I think the infrastructure’s there and Duvel, obviously, I think they sell beer in 40 countries, so there’s a lot of understanding of foreign markets there already where it makes sense for us.”

Boulevard plans to launch a few new markets in the first quarter of 2015, though McDonald would not disclose where the company is looking specifically.

Boulevard is on pace to brew about 200,000 barrels this year, up from around 185,000 in 2013.