Thursday 13th of October 2016 09:17:55 PM link
It all started as a home brew. How many brewers today with million-dollar enterprises can say the same thing? Then, friends started insisting, "this is really good beer. You should open a brewery."
So John MacDonald did...and now some 26 years later, it is the largest brewery in the mid-west shipping their product nation-wide.
This brewery is a monster, with separate production facilities and beer hall.
The other reviews here talk about the tour. If you haven't ever done a brewery tour, you should...but don't let that stop you from just sitting and sipping and watching the sun set over the Kansas City skyline. Enjoy the cheese or meat platter with a 6th Glass Quad (one of the very best made today!) or something special for the current season; a Funky pumpkin or Bob's 47 Oktoberfest...but come back to the Quad! Or the bourbon barrel aged Quad. Or the tripel.
Yes, yes...I know...I'm prejudiced about my dark and heavy beers but they just satisfy.
We were disappointed in the customer service. I stood & waited for quite some time as one of the bartenders looked my way several times and decided the conversation with her co-worker at the end of the bar was more important...as was the woman behind me whom she decided should be served first.
But it was the only "hiccup" in the evening.
Still not ready to go? Take a stroll downstairs to the bottle shop & load up on your favorite...or favorites.
Take the tour....stay 'til closing (7:00 pm? I don't know why.)...take a deep breath, relax and know that you'll be enjoying one of the best brews available year-round.
And then raise your glass and say "thanks"
I did. Several times.
Selection: 4.75 |
Atmosphere: 5 |
Service: 3.5 |
Monday 3rd of June 2013 01:14:17 PM link
They offer a special 1.5 hour tour but it sells out months in advance and I cursed my inability to get into it. They have a free tour a few times a day, with the ticket sales starting promptly at 10 AM. Driving up to the sprawling complex just before 10, there was already a queue of thirsty beer fans forming out front. We stood in line for a short time, with more people slowly adding to the snaking line behind us. The flood gates opened and we got our free tickets for the 12:30 tour. The gift shop was packed with lots of good brewery swag including Patagonia clothing, glassware, mustard, and of course beer! They offered a 10% discount with my AHA card, so I had to buy some brewerania for the home. In addition to the discount you actually get a free pint of beer at the tasting room with your membership! So at 10:30 AM we were allowed into the "closed" tasting room and got to bother Dane, a very pleasant guy who offered several suggestions of things to do in KC as well as letting us try several of the beers on tap.
In addition to their standards, they had four experimental beers available and all were very interesting. One was what they unofficially call Dillsner: a version of their pilsner with an experimental numbered hop that tastes like dill, cucumber and melon. They had a West Coast IPA and Session IPA that were both better than the Single and Double Wide versions. The stand-out was a beer made with Nelson Sauvin hops from New Zealand and muscat grape juice. That unnamed beer was brilliant, with a light refreshing wine-like flavor and aroma. I would buy a case of it if I could.
We headed out for some BBQ at the nearby Danny Edwards, and upon our return to Boulevard we had a very nice tour of the facilities given by Ted and Dane and ended up in the tasting room for more free samples. Between the morning ticket-getting excursion and splitting our afternoon samples we were able to sample pretty much all of the 12 beers they had on tap! Not a bad deal for free, but plan ahead and get there early for tickets...they were turning away people at the door since they had sold out when we were there earlier.
Selection: 4.75 |
Atmosphere: 4.75 |
Service: 5 |
Tuesday 25th of May 2010 10:10:27 PM link
Make your reservations well ahead of time. Both times I've gone we've reserved months ahead of time and barely got in anyway due to spots not being open. Each time we've seen disappointed people be turned away.
The tour is kinda boring as far as brewery tours go, but there are some cool things I've not seen at other places.
The tasting room is nice, but can get crowded. Also you may feel a bit rushed when they make last call.
Still, the employees are always friendly and it's still a fun experience.
Also, both times I've been there we got to try a new beer they hadn't released yet.
Selection: 5 |
Atmosphere: 4.5 |
Service: 5 |
Tuesday 30th of March 2010 03:44:04 PM link
This person needs 3 or more reviews on the site for their scores to start counting.
My friends and I plotted out an entire beer trip to several breweries, all revolving around our desire to visit Boulevard, but I ended up feeling a little disappointed. I've been to a few tours in recent months, and I expected a company like Boulevard to have a more fun and engaging one (like New Belgium). It was kind of crowded, but one employee told us that we were lucky we weren't there at a "crowded" time, so I can only imagine what a Saturday afternoon is like! Whatever you do, make a reservation! At the time of year when we went, reservations weren't required (or even allowed) for Fridays, they just told people to arrive half hour early. We got there an hour early and were told the tour was full, but they took pity on us, since we drove 4 hours. We then stood in the brewery store (memorabilia only, as far as I could tell, no beer for sale) for 45 minutes waiting for the tour. There was only one table with limited seating, so 30 of the 40 people there milled around trying not to trip over each other.
The tour itself didn't stand out. (BTW, the tour is free.) Their new facility is very nice as far as buildings go, but the guide wasn't very engaging, and three times we stopped to watch a movie... I guess that just felt too much like that one macro brewer in Missouri and not enough like a craft brewer. I like my tours chatty and energetic, not recorded and recited. The tasting room at the end of the tour was small and dark, and sadly, I wasn't enthusiastic about the selection: six of their year-rounds, one seasonal, and one smokestack. Would have been a great place to show off the special beers in addition to their top sellers.
That's all there is to the place. They're not a brewpub, so there's no food. There's a parking garage in the back. Children were in attendance. The staff were all friendly when we spoke to them (we were still in the tasting room at 5 when they all came in for what appeared to be employee happy hour), it just wasn't a very interesting tour. I guess I had higher hopes. And with no beer or food sales, there wasn't much to hang out for after our tastings. C'est la vie. I always appreciate the free tastes, though, and they do make a fine beer. I just recommend you buy it at a bar unless you're a huge fan of this company and feel obliged to visit the mothership. And *make a reservation!*
Selection: 2 |
Atmosphere: 4 |
Service: 4 |
Saturday 17th of January 2009 12:08:11 PM link
this was my first brewery tour. first off you need a reservation but the guy at the door was really nice and let the two of us go anyway. the tour guide was okay but could have been better. the tour let you get up close and see the factory more so than others i've been on. the tasting room was too small. they didn't have enough taps so you had to wait in line to get a sample each time. with too few tappers there was a poor selection. they were expanding when we went 4 years ago and i'm sure the tour is different now. i used to drink their pale and wheat all the time but haven't in years as i've moved on to more creative flavors than boulevard's. the tour and samples are free
Selection: 3 |
Atmosphere: 3.5 |
Service: 4.25 |