KBC closed 2023 with a message from co-founder Ben . The intent being to reflect on everything that was. With the rollover to a new calendar, KBC is back again to take stock of where we are and what we can look forward to in 2024 and beyond. This is a message from co-founder Paul.
In July of last year, we had inked a new contract between KBC and who we thought was going to be Chris’ replacement (for those just tuning in, refer to this) . Up until that point, for the better part of 8 months, we had been moving full steam ahead on procuring lots of equipment and undergoing lots of construction while we could still take advantage of Chris’ presence at KBC. Unfortunately, the deal with the new hire fell through. For a brief moment, it felt like a mental punch to the gut. Despite that, the more immediate thought that coursed through my mind was that there would now no longer be any overlap time to ensure the head brewer baton could be passed to whom we manage to eventually hire.
Thankfully, what was once dread and anxiety has given way to excitement (albeit mixed-in with just a tinge of apprehension).
Specifically, it means that in the void of Chris’ departure from KBC, existing KBC’ers had to step in to fill the gap. The great thing is that not only the brewing team, but people across different areas of the company, have risen to the occasion. In short, Chris’ baton was broken up and passed to many KBC’ers. As strange as this sounds, shared pain (both in Chris’ departure and in having to take on more tasks) has brought us closer together.
With the recent experience of attempting to hire a head brewer and now knowing that any overlap between Chris and the eventual successor was flat out impossible, Ben and I were afforded the chance to reevaluate what it was we were looking for in a head brewer. Not for the KBC of now. But for the KBC we see on the horizon. In the end, we pulled the trigger on someone with lots of knowledge and tons of industry experience. For a variety of reasons (superstition among them), we dare not play our hand just yet. However, expect to hear more from us on this topic come spring <knock on wood>.
On the topic of spring, expect to see a website refresh roughly around the same time. Covid was the monster that just wouldn’t quickly die. During that chaotic period our direct-to-consumer website was created (it seems strange now but prior to Covid, only bars and restaurants could order beer from our website). With us looking to embark on KBC’s next chapter, we wanted to do more than a cosmetic and content facelift. The whole thing is being overhauled. Suffice to say, in spring, we’ll largely be focused on ensuring a smooth transition for those looking to get their KBC beer fix. However, in the subsequent months, we’ll be rolling out new features with the ultimate goal of trying to better connect to the people who actually drink our beer (not just the stockists and servers).
Lastly, let me provide a few outlines (+short context) for a few other things happening at KBC:
- Between the period of Chris leaving and the new head brewer joining, our brew team is being called upon to rise to the occasion - as such, we wanted to create a new 2024 series that gives each member a chance to individually shine.
- So many people in the industry have reached out to us over the past year to offer support and encouragement. With the arrival of the head brewer, we hope to kick off a series of collabs with old and new friends alike.
- We bought a lot of new equipment this past year. And not just tanks. We’re eagerly awaiting to start using those items; not only to improve quality to our existing products but to roll out new beers and techniques as well.
- With the arrival of the new brewer, KBC will be looking to tap into his knowledge and experience. It’ll be interesting to see what that means to the evolution of KBC’s beer line-up.
2024 is shaping up to be another crazy year for us. I just want to thank everyone who has supported us along the way.
Thank you! - Paul