When many people think of the relationship between Boulevard Brewing Company and The Roasterie, they immediately think of the coffee ale that was put on Kansas City shelves early in 2013. But did you know that our relationship with Boulevard has been 20 years in the making? That’s right—one of our first customers was Boulevard. For two decades the local beer company has been slinging more than just delicious beers—they’ve been drinking Roasterie coffee too!
When Bean Baron Danny O’Neill first approached John McDonald, founder of Boulevard, he was looking for more than just a partnership—he was looking for guidance. Boulevard had already established itself as a successful independent beverage company in Kansas City. Could The Roasterie do the same thing?
“Danny came in with a notebook and took notes throughout our entire meeting,” explains McDonald. “The only thing I could think of was “man, he’s tall!’”
It wasn’t long before Danny and John realized that good beer and good coffee make a great combination. Soon enough, Boulevard was providing Roasterie brews in its event space, serving it up for Boulevard employees and bringing it in by the bag.
“I am a coffee drinker,” says McDonald. “I drink whatever’s in the Roasterie pot that morning. We drink them all, especially the Guatemala blend.”
It wasn’t until 2012, however, that Boulevard and Roasterie came out with the coffee ale. The ale was a huge success in the Kansas City market and sold out rather quickly.
“I trusted our brewing staff and The Roasterie to come up with the ale,” explains McDonald. “We took an interesting approach. The coffee ale isn’t overly coffee-ish. It’s an amber color; not dark like most other coffee ales.”
But The Roasterie and Boulevard Brewing Company are more than just customers and collaborators—we are also neighbors! Boulevard’s factory as well as our own are located right on Southwest Boulevard. As a matter of fact, we still have Boulevard’s first ever forklift that they let us borrow (yes, we have borrowed a little more than a cup of sugar from our friendly neighbor)!
“We share similarities that we are both in the beverage industry, we both are close to the Boulevard and we are both supporters of downtown Kansas City,” explains John McDonald. “We both do our part of the city and love to give back.”
When asked why Boulevard continues to purchase coffee from The Roasterie, there seemed to be no hesitation.
“The quality of coffee is fantastic,” said John. “Plus, the great coffee is right down the street! Why not buy it?”
A huge thanks to Boulevard Brewing Company for being fantastic collaborators, customers and neighbors to The Roasterie! It’s because of our first customers that we are experiencing the successes that we are today.