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Meet the Beer Elves 2020

Posted November 3, 2020

Category: General

Meet the Beer Elves 2020

As we’ve done in years past, over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to those who work behind the scenes to ensure that your Boulevard experience is top-notch! Just as the clocks get to fall back, you’ll find our beloved Nutcracker Winter Warmer on shelves with a little beer elf’s name on the neck of the bottle. Each week we’ll feature a Boulevardian that keeps our brewery, well, brewing along!

 

Gregg Young - Equipment Maintenance Technician  Gregg Young BLVD Maintenance Technician

If you’ve been to our campus or scrolled through images online, you’ll notice that we have a lot of tubes, pipes, vessels, switches, valves...you get the point. Keeping our brewery running takes a lot of care and knowledge; that’s where Gregg Young, SEVENTEEN Year Boulevard veteran, comes in. He’s our, “Hey Gregg, this thing came apart, can you fix it?” Yep, he can. 

Gregg describes his job as wearing several different hats on our campus, with one of the trickiest parts of his job being our behemoth of an HVAC system. From the packaging lines to the offices and breakrooms around the campus, and throwing in wild midwest weather, it takes a lot to keep the temperatures balanced and the system running smoothly. 

When you’ve been here for 17 years you’ve gotta have some good memories, and for Gregg his fondest memory date came pretty quickly after he started. “ I would have to say the 2nd week after I started at Boulevard Brewing Company, I realized what I had done. I got a job, to work for Boulevard Brewing. It was huge, and it’s still unbelievable to me to be part of something like this today. I feel I was blessed to be part of Boulevard Brewing Company History.” Cheers to that, Gregg! 

In those moments when Gregg isn’t on our campus fixing all the things, you’ll find him tinkering in his garage and enjoying time with his family and his grandson Gabriel. It’s safe to say we’re so lucky to have you, Gregg, with us and to keep us running! If you open a bottle of Nutcracker this season and find one with Gregg’s name on it, know you’re toasting a Boulevardian that can fix it all.

 

Brent Cox Production Brewer    Brent Cox - Production & Barrel Wrangling

The Love Child series, Saison Brett, Foeder Saison, and Vintage Stock are just a few beers that can take your palate to the next level with their complexity in flavor, aroma, and brewing process. If you’ve loved one of our limited releases in a 750ml bottle that’s just a little more “wild”, you can thank nine-year Boulevardian, Brent Cox!

Before Brent joined Boulevard Brewing Co., he was one with nature working at the Discovery Center for the Missouri Department of Conservation. His love of nature is the perfect companion for his keen love of barrel-aged and wild beers. Brent describes his daily job as a little bit of a mixed bag; spending part of his time wrangling our large collection of barrels and prepping them for our barrel-aged beers, while also working with Ryan McNeive managing our sour beer program. Brent spends most of his days at our 3030 Roanoake facility aka funkhouse where we process our wild ales and sours. Within that building is our 750ml bottling line; keeping that classic (and somewhat finicky) line running is a labor of love and we have Brent to thank for that!

When you work around wild yeast, barrels, and sour beers all day, you’ve gotta love them, and Brent certainly does. We’ll let him describe his passion: “There is a whole other landscape of flavor when you’re dealing with wild yeast explorations and I find the subtleties and complexities an exciting endeavor both in drinking “sour” beers and making them. Boulevard’s own Saison Brett was a glorious moment for me realizing what the expression of Brettanomyces can do. I fell into the process of making Love Child in my early years here and got seduced by those little microbes and mini-ecosystems each barrel had to offer. We get to relate to the beer a lot different than regular brewing when aging and blending, as we taste the vessels.” Anyone else thirsty now? Because we could certainly…*pop* opens Saison Brett.

When Brent isn’t blending away, you’ll find him out in nature with his significant other hiking, and enjoying the beautiful plants around them. Brent, we’re thankful for your passion of the funk and raise a Nutcracker Winter Warmer along with something a little wilder to you! Cheers!

 

Logan Baba - Gatekeeper Logan Baba - Boulevard Gate Keeper

Got a question? Logan will have the answer (and if she doesn’t know it right away, she’ll do the digging to find out). If you’ve visited, called, or emailed the brewery in the past year and a half,  there is a good chance that Logan either greeted you or answered your inquiry.

When Logan first joined the Boulevard family she was part of our Welcoming Committee at the Tours & Rec Center and quickly her expertise in getting guests what they need made her the perfect brewery gatekeeper. What’s a gatekeeper? We like how Logan explained it, “ Making sure everyone from co-workers to customers feel heard and truly helping them connect to their requests. I think my job is to make everyone’s day better and I strive to do that every single day!” We know A LOT of emails and phone calls can come in and Logan definitely keeps communication running.

A brewery that’s thirty-one years old definitely can have some fun history and Logan gets to hear lots of fun stories of how Boulevard Brewing Co. has been part of so many people’s lives over the years. Something that she truly relishes is hearing about our beer through the customers’ voices. But hearing customer stories isn’t Logan’s only fond memory in her year and half of being a Boulevardian. It was also the day she was interviewed and hired to be part of the Tours and Rec team; from that point, she, “stepped on to this wild fun ride and never looked back.” Thanks for jumping aboard, Logan!

While Logan enjoys answering all the questions the world may have for her, when she’s not at work (and of course, pre-Covid), Logan could be found volunteering for various art and music non-profits or just enjoying the pleasure of live music. The next time we can all safely stop by the brewery, be sure to say hi to Logan and thank her for all the hard work she does, and maybe...drop her off a nice cup of coffee. It takes a lot of focus to answer all those questions.

 

Andy Gregory - Production  Andy Gregory - Production - Packaging Operator

This is Andy, Kansas native and five-year Boulevard veteran. His main jam is bringing you aluminum packaged beverages slid seamlessly into their appropriate boxes. Sounds simple, right? Not always. Our state of the art of canning line keeps things literally FLYING down the line. When asked what might be one of the more challenging aspects in Andy’s job, he kept it simple, “The most challenging part of my job is keeping track of all the new beers we are making and trying not to tell all my friends.”

We can’t disagree, sometimes we’re all so excited to share the good beverage news we have to hold ourselves back!  So, the next time you’re enjoying one of our many offerings in that 12, 16, or even 19.2 ounce can, go ahead and give Andy cheers for being one of the amazing humans who got it to you.

Like many of us in the beer world, Andy digs beer. So much so that you can find him drinking and sharing delicious beers on his @KCBeerAuthority Instagram page. He loves exploring the flavors, aromas, and complexities of big beauties like Vintage Stock, but also kicking back with an old favorite like Pale Ale or KC Pils. All around, he’s a great guy to share a beer with.

We wanted to find out one of Andy’s favorite memories of being a Boulevardian and he made us nostalgic for beer festivals, music, and funnel cakes. Here’s what Andy shared, “My most memorable moment working at BLVD is probably working at Taps and Tastes at Boulevardia. Seeing hundreds of beer nerds come together and share their excitement was a truly amazing experience and made me even more proud to be a part of the craft beer community and a proud Boulevardian!” We’re lucky to have you with us, Andy!

When Andy isn’t keeping those cans inline you’ll find him hanging out with his wife and dogs, reading, listening to podcasts, riding bikes, and of course trying new beers.

Laurie Williams - Logistics Analyst - Supply Chain/Warehouse Laurie Williams Boulevard Logistics Analyst

Do you live in the Southwest, West, Central, or Southeast part of the United States? Then thank Logistic Analyst and 20-year Boulevardian Laurie Williams for helping get that beer in your fridge. Logistic Analyst...what is that exactly? Laurie explains, “ I handle all of the logistics for our distributors from assisting with the placement of their orders to arranging the transportation of the loads. One of my primary responsibilities includes processing all distributor monthly orders, ensuring that we have the necessary inventory to cover each order and that all the beer is available to ship on the requested date. My position requires direct interaction with all departments within the company as well as working closely with our distributors and sales team.” Phew! That makes our heads spin just thinking about it.

It’s safe to assume things get tricky in a role like that one, but we’ll again let the St. Louis native speak to the nuts and bolts of it. “There are many moving pieces to handling the logistics of all of our customers’ orders. There are so many different SKU’s and releases of new beers, that it can be a little challenging at times trying to stay on top of everything, especially as things are constantly changing. It is extremely important that I communicate effectively with everyone to provide the best customer service I can to our customers, both internally and externally.” If we’ve got a “Where is this beer?” question, we can guarantee Laurie has the answer every time.

When you’ve been somewhere 20 years, you’ve definitely got some memories and Laurie has certainly seen a lot. “As I walk down the hall and see all the employee photos displayed, it is a constant reminder of how truly amazing it is for me to have been a part of all the growth Boulevard has had over the years. When I started with the company, there were only 40 employees, which included the sales team, and we only had about 35 total distributors, which only covered the central region of the US. Now we have over 150 employees and provide our awesome beers in all but one state as well as internationally. Not to mention that we only had four core brands and one seasonal beer at a time.” Four year-rounds and a seasonal? We’d say the beer shelf looks just a little different these days.

For Laurie, taking time to unplug is so important. When she isn’t getting beer to all the places, you’ll find her and her husband loading up the RV, hitting the road, taking time to fish, and traveling the world. But family time with her daughters and grandchildren is definitely number one. Thank you, Laurie, for all you do! We literally don’t know where our beer would be without you!

Nicole Rapp - Hospitality - Hospitality General Manager 

Nicole Rapp - Hospitality General Manager

Our four award-winning brewery event spaces arguably have some of the best views in Kansas City and 10-year Boulevardian Nicole Rapp knows each space like the back of her hand. If you’ve attended an event at the brewery or planned one, there is a good chance Nicole helped you take your celebration to the finish line! 

As Hospitality General Manager Nicole wears a lot of hats from managing each space, coordinating with guests and staff as well as overseeing that each event is successful. That stresses us out just thinking about it! To have the perfect event, Nicole describes communication as the key point to make sure everything hits perfectly. 

Favorite memory from Nicole’s ten years here? Well, it’s one of love, “ I have worked for the company for over a decade now and I think it’s safe to say that there have been too many memories to count. However, my most cherished experience is meeting and marrying my husband, Mick Whisler, in 2012, who was working in the Tour department at the time.” Cheers to you two!

When Nicole isn’t making sure every event is flawless you’ll find her painting, camping, traveling reading, enjoying the outdoors, and taking time to stargaze.  Nicole, we appreciate your keen eye and amazing organizational skills that make each event simply the best!