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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.
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.
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 had 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, and John delivered it in the back of his pickup truck to a restaurant down the street. Local lore says the keg was finished in one night - in that spirit Boulevard has been moving onward and upward ever since.
Shop Rally House collection of Boulevard Brewing vintage beer t-shirts. Shop Charlie Hustle, Original Retro Brand and RALLY Brand Boulevard Beer t-shirts right here on Rally House or check them out at our local stores in KC from Rally House on the Plaza, Boardwalk, Power & Light District, Overland Park. We have all the shirts you'll love for Boulevard Brewing Company.