Boulevard Is Pulling Out Of Tennessee

Yes folks. Boulevard is pulling their entire portfolio out of Tennessee due to lack of sales. That's too bad because their Smokestack Series were excellent, and the lower gravity selection were a decent budget beers (especially the Single Wide IPA). Tennessee still has a long way to go before we have a "beer culture," as in states like PA, IL, OR, and CA. Retailers and distributors (Lipman and DET listen up), craft beer can't sell itself. If you want a product line to catch on, PROMOTE IT! We have lost good beers because of non existent promotion and marketing, such as Great Divide, St Bernardus, and now Boulevard. I really wish this distributors would hire reps that are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about craft beer, not bean counter types who think Blue Moon and Gennessee Cream Ale are top notch beers.

On the up side, I hear Goose Island ( from my home state of IL) will be here soon. As to what beers, I have no idea. Hopefully the high gravity beers, as well as the standard session beers. Let's hope the distributor does not F this one up.




Anonymous said...

It sucks for any craft brewery to pull out of the state, since we would love to be able to support them all. But maybe you should view this as TN finally having enough great beers available that Boulevard wasn't doing enough to break through the crowd of beers we now have available.

Anonymous said...

Hi Smitty,

Your "taste of home" has sort of been around for a while. A lot of the contracted Trader Joe's brand beers are from Goose Island, I do believe. One of my favorites is Stockyard Oatmeal Stout from Stockyard Brewing Co., Chicago, IL 60612. Same city and zip as Goose Island. :)

I agree with you about the wholesalers and retailers. I think that everyone is used to selling the Bud, Miller Coors, which sell itself. Ask them about hops, malt, IBU, etc. you get huh..., what? Hopefully the larger craft breweries are changing that by training the wholesalers and the retailer.

Anyone heading to the Music City Brewer's Festival next weekend? I'm going during the HOT early session. Hopefully it won't be as hot as it has been in the past two years. Whew!!

Smitty said...

I have tried several of the Trader Joes contract brewed beers, including the ones from Goose Island. I suspect they are not quite the same, but I plan to bring some back to do a side by side comparison.

As far as TN having enough beers that we could not support Boulevard, I don't quite agree. As far as I am concerned, we need MORE selection. Compared to other states, we are about average when it comes to craft beer. Heck, Kentucky and Texas can do it, why can't we.

I think we have two problems. The first is having high gravity beers in liquor stores. Let's face it, the majority of the liquors do not care about craft beer. The second is that we are flooded with inferior beers (like all that Lithuanian stuff). This goes back to the distributor not knowing beer. If ALL beer was able to be sold under one roof, and distributors would turn away that crappy beer- I think Boulevard, Great Divide, and others would have done much better. Beer shopping in TN is not fun. But I will admit, selection is WAY better than it was 10 years ago

Anonymous said...

Shame for sure. The best beers they had were the Smokestack series, which were off the radar for most people. However, the two mainstream beers I tried(Lunar and Boulevard Wheat) were average at best. I do agree more promotion needs to be happening, but I think part of their problem is that their competition is making beer beers...

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