Posted November 3, 2022
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 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!
Beau Wurtz - Production Dept. | Warehouse Administrator
While there is a large tech component to beer, it’s not usually the first thing you think of when envisioning the beer industry. The truth is that, just like many other businesses, a lot of what we do is conducted through computer programming. People like Beau here are behind the scenes every day working in data and coding to make sure that logistically, things get to where they’re going. Which in turn, means you get the freshest beer we’re able to supply. Beau has his hands in sales, logistics, finance, and production. After 8 years at Boulevard, he’s seen a lot of change and growth, and we sure don’t know what we’d do without him and our warehouse team. Beau came to us from the military (he’s full-time here but still a reservist in the military), where he works on the P-3 Orion and now the P-8 Poseidon for the Navy. In his free time, he likes to shoot his bow, fish, cook, and spend time with his family.
Next time you’re enjoying a BLVD beverage in a bar, restaurant, or on your kegerator, go ahead and toast Beau for getting it to you! We’re lucky to have such a great Boulevardian on our team.
Megan Stanley - Supply Chain | Logistics Analyst
Megan is known around here for her big smile, dedication, and self-motivation. She has been with Boulevard for six years, getting her start giving tours in our original tasting room before Tours & Rec became a reality, and helping us transfer over to that building. Last year she made the move up to our Logistics team, supporting both the West and Midwest divisions in getting beer where it needs to go, which is not as easy as it sounds. But it did give her the chance to learn some new party tricks – like knowing exactly how much a pallet of beer weighs. In 2017 back when she was doing tours 5 days a week, 4 times a day, one of her favorite memories is the solar eclipse tour. That day it had been raining and called for rain all day, but luckily it cleared up for the amount of time that the group needed to climb up on the roof and watch the one-and-a-half minutes of near totality. If she wasn’t in beer she’d be an astronaut. She does a lot of hiking and camping where she practices eating freeze-dried fruits for space.
Megan has lived her whole life in Kansas City, minus four years getting her biology degree at Mizzou. She was interested at working at Boulevard because 1) beer, 2) science, and 3) people. Working here gave her the knowledge of the science behind beer, but what kept her going was the art and craft a brewer is able to express with tools like yeast, hops, and adjuncts. And what comes from all that is connection, friendship, and community. Thank you Megan, for being one of our favorite Boulevardians! If you see her around, give her a high five for filling your local watering holes.
Kyle Clizer - Sales | Kansas City Market Manager
Our people on the front lines: the sales team. They stretch across the country, but our biggest team is right here in Kansas City, led by none other than Kyle Clizer - KC Market Manager. Sales is much more than just punching numbers and distributing new sales sheets, it’s building displays, coordinating events, and forming a community. Kyle keeps a strong connection with our local distributor Central States Beverage (CSB) and works closely with retail accounts to make sure they have the tools and education they need to sell Boulevard beers and beverages to the best of their ability. Kyle has spent four years with us but a total of nearly 15 years in the business – from driving trucks to working in distribution, selling for other breweries, and finally home to Boulevard. He has many great memories from working here, but his favorite story to tell is meeting his wife in a distributor meeting at Boulevard when they both worked for CSB. It took him a year to ask her out but they’ve been together ever since and have three wonderful boys together.
Kyle’s community-minded and friendly personality is what makes him a great asset to our team and a leader for our Kansas City crew. Thank you for keeping KC stocked and looking good, Kyle!
Cassie Howard - Finance | Staff Accountant
Crunching numbers isn’t necessarily the most glamorous thing you might envision about working at a brewery, but as finance team member Cassie says, she works for beer thirty. Cassie has been with Boulevard for six years, and has a lot of great memories and close friends from the day-to-day banter and shared beers after hours. Her favorite memory is when the Tours & Recreation building opened and she got to feel the excitement and support from our community. Being behind the computer for most of the time, it can be difficult to step back and remind yourself how beer brings people together.
She’s an important part of that process because even when we don’t want to think about it, everything we do costs money. Bottles, labels, malt, hops, water, electricity, safety glasses, caustic. When she’s not balancing spreadsheets, paying bills, or creeping on the bottling line running behind her desk, Cassie enjoys watching football and spending time with her family and fur kids. She’s a beer elf that deserves all the thanks this year, so if you see her around greet her with a cheer!
David Hartman - Production | Assistant Brewer
It’s never too late to change your career – which is just what brewer/filtration specialist David Hartman did. After 24 years in the United States Air Force, he went back to school at St. Louis University for his certificate in Brewing Science & Operations. He retired from the Air Force while living in South Dakota and even started his brewing career at Zymurcracy Beer Company. A long-time friend convinced him and his wife to consider Kansas City for relocation, but he was concerned it’d be too large after growing up in small town Illinois and then spending so much time in South Dakota. Since making the move, however, he’s changed his tune. He says Kansas City has been incredible and feels like a great community.
When he was going through his sensory class for his brewing science degree, they used Tank 7 as a standard for the American Saison. Now he’s getting to brew that beer, and is excited to be part of the team making this world-class beer. The Hartman family is new to the area, so let’s give them a great KC welcome!
Alyssa Broadus - Tours & Recreation | Merchandising Manager
You may know Alyssa from her bright smiling face in the Gift Shop, or from the many businesses around town that she has helped with her freelance photography. From highlighting local businesses to ordering merch in mass quantity, she has rooted herself deeply in the Kansas City community. She attended school for Product Development & Textiles at FIDM in Los Angeles and afterward spent time interning in New York City at Allure Magazine. Her heart led her back to the Midwest, and she joined us starting part-time 9 years ago at the Dry Goods Store on the Plaza. Many local businesses that she admired from afar are now close working relationships. She takes considerable care to highlight the great things Kansas City has to offer right here at Boulevard. One of her most treasured memories from her years here is when Paul Rudd walked into the shop with his mother for some holiday shopping. A coworker asked for his identification, but all he was able to produce was his Screen Actors Guild card. A quintessential moment that she’ll never forget.
Being a nerd for all things garments, cuts, and colorways, her path led her to the role she’s in now – Merchandising Manager. She orders all the many Boulevard items you can find here, but also keeps up with the hefty backorders we stock for our sales team. Whatever fixations Alyssa sets her mind to, big or small, she keeps herself busy juggling a full creative life. When not shopping the latest brewery-wearable trends, she can be found sipping a Pale Ale, editing photos, or spending time with her dog Nelson. Stop by the shop and let her know how much she’s appreciated this holiday season!
Alex Rodriguez - Production | Quality Laboratory Technician
The year: 2000. The man: Alex Rodriguez.
Starting way back in 1980’s Wichita, KS, Alex remembers his sister’s boyfriend talking about how his brother was going to start a brewery and how he thought that was a silly idea. Flash forward to him driving around Kansas City in the late 90’s and seeing a sign for Boulevard and wondering, “Is that it?”
It sure was. Alex and John McDonald have been connected for a long time, but when their paths crossed again it would be a lifelong friendship and career. Alex started on the packaging line but shortly moved to brewing. He remembers the days when all we had was Brewhouse One and they were brewing 24/7. They literally couldn’t make the beer fast enough. He’s seen a lot of growth over the years, and has either brewed or helped formulate almost every beer that we enjoy here today. He recently moved into the laboratory to pursue his interests in quality control, but he’s always willing to lend his experience in brewing to help solve problems. He learned brewing from the ground up – never going to school for science or chemistry, but soaking up all the information as he went. The knowledge he has about beer is irreplaceable and he has a can-do attitude that influences everyone around him. A thank you isn’t enough, but we’ll say it anyway. Try his Belgian Abbey-Style Single in our Fall Adventure Pack!
Ali Bush - Marketing | Brand Director
Ali Bush, our Brand Director, started at Boulevard nearly ten years ago, leading tours and tastings part-time while freelance writing and working at a local craft beer bar. Boulevard provided her formal beer industry education after moving to Kansas City from California (big IPA fan), supporting her in earning Certified Cicerone® certification and working in a variety of roles at the brewery. She’s been part of teams that have accomplished big projects over the years, like opening the Tours & Rec Center and developing Quirk Hard Seltzer. After managing special events for the Tours & Rec Center as Assistant Director, she moved to the marketing team to focus on Fling Craft Cocktails and Quirk. She now gets to work on her first Boulevard love - our beer! - again in addition to those new innovations. She leads a team that helps manage our release calendar planning each year, special partnerships, and events.
At Boulevard we often plan new releases 7-9 months in advance of bringing them to your favorite restaurant or store, which has many steps throughout innovation, development, and launch. Ali’s favorite part of her job is working closely with people across the brewery to bring these ideas to life – from our brewing and lab teams, to our designers and other marketing team members, to our warehouse and sales teams. She loves being part of the Kansas City community, which shows in our work with many local businesses, non-profit organizations, and sports teams.
Boulevard has also been a big part of her personal life – her husband Tim is our Supply Warehouse Operator, they had their baby shower for their twin daughters in our Brewhouse Bar, and she’s made incredible friendships in the last ten years! She loves that she gets to work with so many talented and dedicated people that you still want to have a beer with at the end of the day. Her attention to detail and hard work show in everything she does, and she gets to enjoy the end result by sharing delicious beers and beverages with friends and loved ones.
Cory Hardman - Barrel Program | Cellar Technician
Cory has been at Boulevard for a total of five years, spending three in the Tours & Rec building behind the bar and two in the cellar working specifically with our barrel program. We have one of the largest barrel-aging programs in the country. With 3 year-round barrel-aged beers and several special releases throughout the year, we usually end up with close to 6,000 barrels passing through our warehouse in South Kansas City. Cory is one of a team of four that receive, process, fill, sample, and develop what those barrels will do, and in turn what we end up sending out into the world under the Smokestack label. These beers are carefully developed, planned, and sourced because they take so long to mature.
Cory was a homebrewer before starting in our barrel program, making mostly lighter beers. But barrel-aged beers are what he really likes to drink, and where he says most of the complexity of a beer can be stretched and changed, leaving a lot of room for creativity. That’s what he desires most in a job: the ability to be creative. He’s found that at Boulevard, and we’re so happy to have such a kind and talented person on our team.