Posted November 3, 2021
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!
Rey Gutierrez - Production Dept. | Packaging Operator
Are you enjoying a nice Boulevard beverage on draft right now? Then go ahead and toast our first Nutcracker Beer Elf of the 2021 season, Rey Gutierrez! Rey works in our Production Dept. as a Packaging Operator primarily on our Keg line, so he helped take that beverage from tank to keg, to truck, and then to you!
Let’s dive in to learn a little more about Rey!
Before Rey joined us in 2010 he worked at Guitar Center for 11 years, rock on! When asked what one of his biggest challenges is at the brewery, it fit Rey quite well. If you’ve ever stopped by our BLVD Tours & Rec Center mid-afternoon or during Happy Hour there's a chance you’ve seen Rey hanging out, likely with a few friends and grabbing beers on him, so when his challenge is making his employee beer card last all month, that fits, as he’s always up for sharing some BLVD love. We also wanted to know one of his favorite memories and he was quick to share, as an avid KC sports fan, that it was the time KC Chief great Tony Gonzalez stopped by the brewery.
When Rey isn’t slinging kegs, whipping around on a fork truck, or toasting friends in the Beer Hall, you’ll likely find him at Arrowhead, Kauffman Stadium or tossing discs at an area disc golf course, enjoying a Single Wide IPA, and happily sharing a beer with other golfers that pass through!
Next time you’re enjoying a BLVD beverage in a bar, restaurant, or on your kegerator, go ahead and toast Rey real quick! We’re lucky to have such a great Boulevardian on our team.
Tammy Woehl - Administrative Dept. | Senior Account Manager
When you read the word “accounting” does your anxiety about math instantly go through the roof? No? Just us? Well, luckily we’ve got Tammy Woehl - Senior Accounting Manager, to crunch numbers, balance books, and keep us on the up & up. While we know she’s an arithmetic wizard we wanted to be able to share a little more about Tammy with a few questions.
Before she started her now 13 ½ year-long career at Boulevard and in Kansas City, she lived in a little town in South Dakota called Platte doing office management and accounting at a law firm.
When it is one’s job to juggle payroll, receipts, and credit cards for a business, things can get overwhelming. But, we were always able to hang out and decompress after a long day in the office, which was put on hold during the pandemic. When asked what the most challenging part of her career has been so far, Tammy said what she missed most was the social aspect; getting to see and engage with her coworkers every day in one of our brewery bars or over in the Tours & Rec Center. We’re glad to have some of that coming back!
Just as Tammy mentioned that she enjoys talking and engaging with coworkers at work, it fits perfectly that one of Tammy’s favorite memories of the brewery is our annual holiday parties where everyone gets together outside of work, gets a little fancy, and enjoys each other’s company.
When Tammy isn’t hitting the calculator, you’ll likely find her and her husband Randy out and about visiting her kids and grandkids that are along both coasts. And if you’re lucky, you may just catch her at Boulevard Tours & Rec playing a little Sunday Bingo, too!
The next time you have to balance a budget and almost throw your computer against the wall, just remember that we need number-loving humans like Tammy to keep it all adding up! Cheers to you, Tammy, we’re thankful to have you here.
Dali Grabar - Production Dept. | Director of Engineering
Canning line, bottling line, keg line, boilers, brewing equipment, water mains, electricity, solar panels, green roof, and literal miles of piping to keep our campus running at tip-top shape is no easy feat, and we’ll be honest, a little overwhelming when we sit back and think about it. But we’ve got a talented group of Boulevardians that make it all happen and we certainly couldn’t do it without Dali Grabar - Director of Engineering. Not only is Dali one of the smartest people we’ve ever met, but he’s one of the nicest too! Dali also has a pretty fascinating story to share so let’s get to it.
Originally from Yugoslavia (which is now part of Croatia), Dali grew up in Germany but returned to Yugoslavia for school. Before joining us at Boulevard in the spring of 2008, Dali worked as project manager for Steinecker, part of the Krones group. Both companies are known for making some of the best brewing and packaging equipment in the world -- and we just happen to have both here at Boulevard. Which is actually what brought Dali here for the very first time back in 2005 when he helped install Brewhouse Two! Was it fate? Sure seems like it!
We know we can always go to Dali with just about any technical question at the brewery, and he’ll either have the answer instantly or he’ll research it and get us every bit of info we could ever ask for. So when we asked how he’d describe his job, the answer had to include a little bit of everything. If it’s brewing, packaging, facilities inside or out, Dali is helping find solutions to keep it all running. With such a large campus, the challenges of the job are fairly typical in the fact that every day is a new day and likely full of new challenges. While Dali is figuring out why a hydraulic pump isn’t working, we’re just over here trying to figure out how to change our car clock after daylight saving time.
As a 13-year Boulevardian, Dali has seen a lot over the years. His favorite memory is one that continues every day, and that is pulling into the parking lot each morning and seeing how much the brewery has grown over the years. When Dali isn’t making it all work, he’s volunteering at local animal shelters, enjoying a good book on world history, and taking some time to enjoy the great outdoors.
As you open a Nutcracker this season, raise a glass to Dali, for help making it all happen. Cheers to you, Dali!
Allayne Thornton - Tours & Rec - Reservation Coordinator
If you’ve been to our Tours & Rec Center, or perhaps reserved space there via email, it’s more than likely that Allayne has greeted you, booked your brewery tour, helped you find your friends, or assisted you in making your party and visitor experience absolutely perfect. Without further adieu, meet our next Beer Elf Allayne Thornton - Tours & Rec - Reservation Coordinator - AKA Keeps our T&R building moving forward with kindness, organization, and lots of laughter.
Alright, let’s meet Allayne. She is originally from Warrensburg, MO, home to the University of Central Missouri and closely located to Whiteman Air Force Base. Growing up to the sounds and views of B-2 Stealth Bombers flying overhead was a common occurrence, same for everybody right? “The Burg” as she referred to it is also home to the radical hatchet-wielding member of the women’s temperance movement, Carrie Nations, who not only resided in Warrensburg but is an alumnus of what is now UCM. History is Allayne's jam, so she's always full of fun facts and stories abound.
Before Allayne joined us 5 1/2 years ago she held bartending jobs at a few spots in Warrensburg including Fitter’s Pub and Old Barney’s on the square. She credits her manager Scot Michael (we think she’s messing with us), who hired her and introduced her to craft beer! Cheers to you, Scot Michael! If that is your real name.
We briefly lined out what Allayne does for us at Tours & Rec, but when asked, well, she mapped it out perfectly - just about anything and everything anyone needs. A nice hello? She’s got it. Conversation? Got that too. Reservations? Lost purse? Tour tickets? Find your friends? Snag a rideshare? Yep. She’ll help you with all of that too. So, when we asked her what the most difficult part of her job was, it was perfectly Allayne. She just wants to make sure everyone has what they need, feels heard, and leaves happy. Allayne, we promise, you crush it every time.
Allayne has seen a lot walk through our doors, but one of her coolest memories was when Jason Sudeikis’ family briefly stopped by, and as she described, “They were just lovely!” Ted, we mean, Jason, Allayne would like you to know that she’d love to have a beer with you, your choice, but FYI we’re joining, too.
When Allayne isn’t doing it all, she’s still trying to take it all in during her free time. Allayne enjoys furthering her education, taking photos, watching standup comedy, TikTok binging, reading, and enjoying life. Allayne now calls Lawrence, Kansas home with her partner Jordan and pup, Brewer. If you find yourself in Lawrence, you’ll likely find Allayne at Free State Brewing enjoying good beers and good conversation. Bonus: her other half Jordan (a former Boulevardian) is a brewer there, so friends abound!
The next time you walk through the doors of the Tours & Rec Center and are greeted with the biggest smile of your life, you’ll know you’ve met Allayne. Share a hearty hello with her and tell her cheers, we couldn’t do it without her!
Robert Moreno - Shipping and Receiving Lead - Supply Chain
Have you driven southbound on 71, noticed a large building with a Boulevard logo peeking out over the trees, and wondered what the heck it was?! Well, that’s our main warehouse! After the beer is brewed and packaged at the brewery it travels to our Three Trails warehouse, where it then waits to get loaded on trucks driven all across the country and onto shelves near you. It’s also home to our barrel program, where over 4,000 barrels are stored in large temperature-controlled rooms. When you step into that building you’ll find a whirlwind of forklifts seamlessly moving alongside towering pallets of beer, kegs, and barrels, filling trucks with absolute precision. It's a truly mesmerizing thing to watch.
Unfortunately, all of this isn’t magic, and it takes an incredible team with great attention to detail to make it all go off without a hitch. One of those amazing teammates is Robert Moreno - our Supply Chain Shipping and Receiving Lead. Robert is a 10-year veteran of Boulevard Brewing Co. and a KC native (Roeland Park, KS to be exact). When walking around the Boulevard campus or out at Three Trails, you’ll find Robert multitasking his job duties with a smile on his face and likely a wave, hello, and conversation for diving right back in. He cited his great team and their commitment to quality when describing his job. Robert is truly a team player through and through, both at the brewery and when we take time to walk through the warehouse on a busy morning. We absolutely couldn’t appreciate it more.
When asked about his biggest challenges, his response was simple, care-free, and kind, “Life’s a challenge - I’m just riding the wave.” Sounds like a pretty good mantra to us.
We wanted to know one of Robert’s favorite Boulevard memories, and it was a blast from the past and really dang cool, too. “A friend of mine’s Aunt used to work for Boulevard back in the early days, [and] I got invited to the 10 year anniversary. I was given two wooden tokens and fell in love with Pale Ale. I had a great time!” He threw in a bonus memory that surrounds him every day -- getting to work with friends he’s known since his school days.
When Robert isn’t walking through a tornado of beer orders, he enjoys time in nature with his family along with cooking, traveling, and going to concerts with his kids. He's also known to break out the bongos or congas late at night (or after a few Pale Ales).
The next time you see a truck unloading Boulevard beer, or see one of our trucks heading down the road, know that it took a team of amazing individuals (including Robert) to make it happen! With them, the beer just wouldn’t get from here to there. Cheers to you, Robert, thank you for everything you do.
Corrine Georges - Brewer - Production
What do bird watching and brewing have in common? Corrine Georges! For our last Beer Elf highlight of the year, we wanted to introduce you to a very special part of our brewing and innovation team.
After graduating from Metropolitan State University in Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Brewery Operations, she held a job at a contract brewery in Denver. She learned how to brew on a 50 bbl brewhouse, then moved to Left Hand Brewing with a 60 bbl brewhouse, and is now on a 150 bbl brewhouse creating the Boulevard brands we all know and love! At Boulevard, she works in both brewhouse and filtration operations. She’s always spinning a million plates at once, but she said that keeps every day exciting. Our brewhouses are split into two, Brewhouse One and Brewhouse Two. Operating countless pieces of brewing equipment while running around the brewery to make sure every sparge, filtration, malt, hop, and adjunct hit at precisely the right time and temperature takes a lot of attention to detail.
But with the intensity of it all, there are still moments of creativity, too! A recent “Corrine Creation” - (we just made that up) was Test - Carrot Saison, a bright orange and almost opaque beer that was bursting with bright notes of clove, pepper, and had a delightful citrusy sweet finish. It made its initial debut in our Tours & Rec Center Beer Hall and was quite the hit with employees and guests! We are so happy to have Corrine’s knowledge, experimentation, and palate on our team at Boulevard.
One of her most memorable experiences since joining us in Fall of 2020 has been to participate in hop selection this year in Yakima Valley, WA. Corrine, along with a few other Boulevardians, visited Yakima Chief Ranches, Hopsteiner, and Haas hop suppliers, and she thought it was super fun to see the innovation and new products being produced.
Outside of work she enjoys bird watching, baking, and traveling. One of the kindest people with the most contagious smile, if you see Corrine out in the wild give her a high five for all the good work she’s doing for beer. You can also look forward to her Carrot Saison going into our Spring Adventure Pack!