Boulevard Brewing Co. is expanding and giving fans and visitors another way to experience the city’s most beloved libations. The new, highly anticipated Boulevard Brewing visitor’s center is scheduled to open late June and is expected to accommodate more visitors and allow for a more inclusive Boulevard experience.
Jeff Krum, Boulevard’s vice president of corporate affairs, said Boulevard’s rapidly growing popularity made the creation of new, expanded visitor’s center more of a necessity than a vanity.
“Our doors open for tours at 10 o’clock and there are always lines of people, sometimes 200 long, waiting to get in and get tickets for that day’s tour,” said Krum. “This is a blessing and a bit of a curse. I feel bad complaining about this, but we’ll do as many as a dozen tours per day with 40 people per tour and we are still turning away untold numbers of people, especially on weekends and summer, and this problem has been getting worse and worse to the point where we just had to do something about it,” he said.
Boulevard acquired a four-story building at 2534 Madison Ave., adjacent to the current brewery campus. Originally built for Skelly Oil Co. in 1929, the building was constructed as a manufacturing company, but following its purchase by DST in 1995, the building underwent a massive renovation and became an office space.
“The first thing we did when we came in and bought it was rip out everything and take it back to the original masonry service,” said Krum.
The first two levels of the four-story building will serve as a visitor’s center and a beer hall. The first floor will be the “experience area” which will include a variety of exhibits about the history of beer and the history of Boulevard. The area will also include an expansive gift shop and a tasting room.
“The reason we can’t accommodate more people on tours,” Krum explained,” is not because we can’t do more tours, it’s because we didn’t have place to accommodate people on the front end or the back end of the tour while they drink their free samples.”
Above the experience area, on the second floor, the exterior deck will be the perfect spot to drink an ice cold Tank 7 following a tour. Also included on the second floor will be a beer hall as well as a commercial kitchen, which will serve Boulevard beers as well as a limited food menu.
The space was designed by Helix Architecture + Design, while Crossland Construction will serve as general contractor.