Series Intro: Gochiai 'Locality'

2020 was a tumultuous year for all of us, and as we have been posting on our blog, we have begun to make many changes for KBC in 2021. One of these changes will be putting a renewed focus on the city that we call home and that has supported us since our inception. While we always felt a strong connection with the city, upon personal reflection we felt that we have not until now done enough to outwardly show our appreciation or actively contribute to the city and its people. Thus, in 2021 we will be releasing several beers in a new Locality Series that puts the spotlight on people and organizations that value their location here as much as we do.


A Look Back

When we first started formulating plans for our brewery, we found ourselves struggling with what to name it. This was not for lack of ideas - from the beginning we knew that we wanted to call it Kyoto Brewing Co - but the struggle came more from not knowing how the local community would react to laying such a bold claim to the city’s name.

Anyone who has visited here has certainly noticed, the brand value of the city itself is immense, and there is no shortage of companies operating here that take full advantage of that. Images of maiko and the Kyoto skyline are slathered on pretty much any product you can imagine, almost to the extent that you would assume there are no other visual stimuli in the city.

What drew us to Kyoto though was something deeper, a commitment to quality, pride, and tradition, and that is what convinced us that starting a craft brewery here was the right choice. While there is always a risk that people will assume we are simply opportunistic, choosing the name that we did serves as a reminder of what we feel the city truly stands for and the need for us to operate with these ideals in mind.

About the Series

We feel confident that the products we have made over the last five years and how we have gone about selling them are in line with the ideals of the city. However, as we reassessed our company in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we began to think more about what it means to own and operate a business in Kyoto and whether we had done anything more than simply exist here. We started to think more about what being a member of the Kyoto community means, and whether we were truly making a positive contribution to the city outside of just supplying it with beer.

How are you going to achieve that goal?

The answer to these questions created a desire within us to put a renewed focus on our home city beginning in 2021. The first result of this is the establishment of a new Locality Series with the goal of making a positive impact on the local community by using our products to put a spotlight on the groups, organizations, and individuals that reside here. This will take many forms, from brewing beers with people that we feel embody the same ideals we see in Kyoto to donating proceeds of fundraising beers to groups that work hard to support local causes.

Overall Takeaway

We hope that in some way this new series and the products it produces can in some way give back to the city that has given us so much since our founding. The first of these beers is nearing completion and has been brewed with a group that is very special to us: our jyosetsu (permanent tap) customers in the city. We look forward to sharing more information about this and future instalments of the series in the coming months!