Boulevard Brewing today announced it would add Michigan to a growing national footprint that now includes 35 states. The company has signed with Imperial Beverage for statewide coverage and expects to begin shipping beer next month.
In a press statement, Boulevard also said it would enter Kentucky with Beer House Distributors, part of the Sheehan Family Companies, a move that was announced alongside a handful of planned market entries at the end of last year.
“With more fermentation capacity at the brewery, we have the ability to enter markets that have long been on our wish list,” Bobby Dykstra, vice president of sales said in a press statement. “We’re pleased to bring our family of beers to craft lovers in these areas.”
Boulevard also added wholesalers in Alabama — Allstate Beverage Co. in Montgomery and Gulf Distributing Co. in Mobile — and its beers are now available throughout the entire statewide, the company also said in the release.
Today’s announcement comes after 18 months of expansion into markets where the company feels there is “strong market potential” for the Boulevard brand — it has entered New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, New York, California, Rhode Island and Arizona since August 2014.
Last October, the company said it also planned to enter Connecticut and Delaware in 2016 and Boulevard executives have already assessed expansion opportunities in places like Wisconsin, Louisiana, Tennessee and New Mexico, Dykstra told Brewbound.
“They were all reviewed as opportunities for this year, but it’s a bit of a puzzle that you have to solve,” he said. “The capacity, the personnel, the resources to maximize our potential — as we put all of that together, these were the states that made the most sense for 2016.”
The moves are part of a broader push to become a nationally distributed brand, said Simon Thorpe, the president of Duvel Moortgat USA, which owns Boulevard.
“There are markets where we think the brand can resonate particularly well, but we have great confidence that Boulevard can be one of the few successful, truly national craft brands,” he told Brewbound. “There are a number of markets that we see as offering very strong potential, but all markets are important to us as we build our national footprint.”