The production facility at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, Missouri

The production facility at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, Missouri

Boulevard Brewing Co.

Boulevard Brewing Co. is the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest, producing fresh, flavorful beers using traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. Known for their full flavor, exceptional balance and superior quality, Boulevard beers are available in 41 states and 11 countries.

History

It was the summer of 1984, and John McDonald was thirsty. On vacation in Europe, the future founder of Boulevard Brewing Company wandered into a bar specializing in Belgian beers. He tried one, then another and another, amazed by the variety, the aromas, and the flavors. He was hooked.

Back home, John couldn’t stop dreaming about those beers. But dreaming was all he could do, because American beers of the time were homogenous and unremarkable. Kansas City, once home to more than a dozen breweries producing a wide array of beers, had succumbed to the industrial onslaught. Nothing was left.

After art school John made his living as a carpenter, always fascinated by the creative process. He couldn’t shake the memory of those amazing beers, and he began to wonder, began to consider the possibilities. He started homebrewing. He visited breweries. He put together a business plan, sold his house to raise money, and set out to find the rest of the resources he would need to start a brewery.

As John talked to potential investors, he often heard the same question: “You want to do what? You want to compete with the biggest brewer in the world on the other side of the state?” “No,” he answered, “they do what they do really well. I want to do something different. I want to make big beers, a variety of beers, beers with color and flavor and aroma and body, beers for real beer lovers.”

He didn’t have to look far to get started. John lived and worked in an old brick building on Southwest Boulevard that had once housed the laundry for the Santa Fe Railroad. He moved his carpentry shop to a corner and began to build a brewery. It wasn’t ideal, but it was his.

It took more than a year and every bit of the money he’d raised to retrofit the building, find the equipment – including a vintage 35-barrel Bavarian brewhouse – and get everything up and running. Finally, in November 1989, the first keg of Boulevard Pale Ale was ready. John loaded it into the back of his pickup and delivered it to a restaurant just a few blocks away.

For the first year the brewery produced only draft beer. The small crew worked long hours brewing, kegging, cleaning, and then selling, convincing bar and restaurant owners to put Boulevard beers on tap. Still, John knew he needed bottles. But there was no money, and bottling lines weren’t cheap. Rejected by bank after bank, one institution finally saw promise in his vision and made a loan that enabled Boulevard to install a very small, very used bottling line.

Growth and Doubling Down

Tours & Recreation Center

We love hosting visitors, but as time went on our limited capacity meant we were turning away tens of thousands of people every year. So in 2016 we opened the Tours & Rec Center next door to the brewery. The fully restored 1929 building serves as a hub for tours, swag, sampling and entertainment, including an experience area with exhibits about beer and Boulevard, a gift shop, and a 10,000 square foot Beer Hall. In 2019, the Tours & Rec Center was further enhanced with the opening of the Rec Deck, a fourth floor gathering space featuring deck and tabletop shuffleboard (and of course, beer).

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Inside the taproom at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, Missouri

Inside the taproom at Boulevard Brewing Co. in Kansas City, Missouri

This brewery has multiple locations.

Brewery

  • 2501 Southwest Blvd
  • Kansas City, MO 64108-2345
  • United States
  • (816) 474-7095

Taproom Hours The schedule provided is based on the information available from the brewery at the time this page was published and is subject to change. Hours may also vary on holidays or for special events. Refer to the brewery website or check out their social media accounts for the latest information. Submit corrections via the form on this page.

  • Sunday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Monday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Friday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
  • Saturday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM

No Brewery Tour Info

Either a brewery tour is not available at this location, isn’t offered on a set schedule, or that information hasn’t been made available.

This brewery has multiple locations.

Tours & Recreation Center

  • 2534 Madison Ave
  • Kansas City, MO 64108
  • United States
  • (816) 701-7247

Taproom Hours The schedule provided is based on the information available from the brewery at the time this page was published and is subject to change. Hours may also vary on holidays or for special events. Refer to the brewery website or check out their social media accounts for the latest information. Submit corrections via the form on this page.

  • Sunday: 10 AM - 6 PM
  • Monday: 11 AM - 8 PM
  • Tuesday: 11 AM - 8 PM
  • Wednesday: 11 AM - 8 PM
  • Thursday: 11 AM - 9 PM
  • Friday: 10 AM - 9 PM
  • Saturday: 10 AM - 9 PM

No Brewery Tour Info

Either a brewery tour is not available at this location, isn’t offered on a set schedule, or that information hasn’t been made available.

This brewery has multiple locations.

Distribution Warehouse

  • 8700 Elmwood Ave
  • Kansas City, MO 64132
  • United States
  • (816) 474-7095

No Brewery Tour Info

Either a brewery tour is not available at this location, isn’t offered on a set schedule, or that information hasn’t been made available.

For More Information

Visit the Brewery Website

Beers

A selection of beers from Boulevard Brewing Co.

Beer NameStyleABVIBUsCal.Rating
American Kölsch Review Kölsch4.618138
Bourbon Barrel Quad Review Quadrupel11.226283
Early Riser Coffee Porter Review American Porter5.028150
Easy Sport Review American Blonde Ale4.1999
Flora Obscura Review American Porter5.850174
Space Camper Cosmic IPA Review American IPA5.9176
The Sixth Glass Review Quadrupel10.522315
Unfiltered Wheat Beer Review American Wheat Ale4.414132

News

Boulevard Brewing Co. in the News

Boulevard Brewing Launches “Unfiltered Wheat Mixed Pack”

Boulevard Brewing Co. added a couple of variants to their popular Unfiltered Wheat Beer in their new Unfiltered Wheat Mixed Pack, available in stores soon. Read More

Boulevard Brewing Partners with PlayStation

Boulevard Brewing Co. is partnering with PlayStation for an exclusive game, The Last of Us Part II, with a special-edition Space Camper Cosmic IPA. Read More

San Francisco and Kansas City Breweries Make Super Bowl LIV Bet

Kansas City-based Boulevard Brewing Co. challenged San Francisco-based 21st Amendment Brewery to a friendly wager benefiting a non-profit of the winner’s choice. Read More

Boulevard Brewing Parts Ways with Well-Known Brand Ambassador

Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company has parted ways with ambassador brewer and immensely popular Jeremy Danner after 11 years. Read More