At the beginning of last year, we shared our decision to move away from simply calling our beers “Year-Round”, “Seasonal” and “Limited Release”. Those interested in revisiting this can read the blog here:
A key word has been cropping up within KBC, of course since our beginning, but especially over the past few months. We have been talking about “purpose”. One problem with these simple categories was that they fail to share what a beer or a collection of beers is doing in its being there at all. While we aren’t going to kid ourselves and pretend that a customer’s main priority is a beer’s branding and its series name is what they care about, it is important for us to get our message out and to share with the customer, both what to expect, and what its concept is.
Last year we had our year round, or “teiban” beers, our Kimagure seasonal IPA series, and then 6 other series that our other products were split into.
- Mari Family - our Belgian IPA Series
- Iridescence - our kettle sour series
- 6 Tastes - our exploration of 6 taste sensations through IPA
- Locality - our celebration of our city and collaboration with local partners
- Nakama - our collaboration series
- Kaiho - our embodiment of “brewing the beers we want to make”
At the end of last year, we assessed the success of the different series and decided that there were a number that we wished to keep, and a few that needed to be reviewed.
We decided that our Mari Family, Iridescence, Locality and Nakama series could largely remain unchanged. Our Six Tastes was always planned as a one year experiment and so is going to be replaced (information to follow in a later post!), and then this left our Kaiho series.
While “Brewing the Beers We Want to Drink” has been an important concept for us from day 1, we realised that this is a very tricky one for customers to connect with. Whereas Mari Family or Iridescence give customers a concept and a sense of what direction we were going in with the beers, we had here a series that could be a lager, a Belgian classic style, an IPA, something strong, something very light. Essentially anything. This isn’t really helping customers a lot when they are trying to decide what they want to get and so we decided this year to stop Kaiho and instead split this into a number of smaller series each with a clearer concept that would be easier to connect with.
Essentially, we decided to make it clear: every beer we make this year must have a purpose that we can understand, and that the customer can hopefully understand as well.
Tomorrow we look forward to introducing the first in our new series in our next blog post!