April Fools: Kernel Rebranding
As you probably know by now, there’s a storm brewing on the London beer scene. As of next week Kernel will be rebranding. This comes as a result of them being bought up by a so-far unnamed private investment firm, who by all accounts look like they’re thirsty for some of that craft beer coin. The last time we went down to their Bermondsey brewery we met the new manager, Roger Adlington, who showed us their new branding.
Roger told us that Kernel would sit comfortably in their portfolio of brands as they already own a vodka brand and a “low-alcohol soda based” product. Their first task, when they officially take over next week, is to launch the new branding. Their aim is to re-brand Kernel to appeal to a younger audience. Roger told us “Ewan has grown Kernel to a fairly reasonable size, without any branding or proper production experience. Now we start the next chapter in this amazing company’s history. One where we launch it to a more savvy and much bigger youth market.”
The new branding also comes with a new core range. Gone are the days of freshly produced beers based on the freshest hops available. Roger just can’t see the wider market being that interested in hops he tells us. “It’s like people drinking milk being obsessed by cows. It’s just not a viable strategy for growing this segment.” With a focus on a younger market comes a branding that Roger describes as “grimy” and “cool”. Their new core range will consist of the ‘craft’ lager “God’s Gift”, a pale ale called “The Player” and their new “Grime Street IPA”. They’re also thinking of keeping a stout, but Roger is worried that it’ll only appeal to older people. “We’re product testing all the new beers in focus groups, so we’ll see what comes out of that.” He tells us that for them it’s all about what people want, and not about focusing too much on the more hardcore beer fans, but still keeping the spirit of what Evin O’Riordain started.
This whole rebrand and new management doesn’t sit right with us, although we shall refrain from passing judgment until we’re proven right – that the good old days of pouring amazing Kernel beer into our happy faces will soon be history. We hope we’re wrong, only time will tell.