Gahanna brewery toasts one year in business with plans to become more inviting and set itself apart from among many other craft brewers.
Statistics from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association will certainly ramp up with production to begin soon at Scottish craft brewer Brew Dog's 100,000-square-foot facility in Canal Winchester and the late February opening of Dog Tap, its onsite pub.
So how do craft brewers distinguish themselves in this crowded market?
One Gahanna brewer aims to stand out with a one-year birthday rebranding, a new CEO with a strong background in wine and spirits marketing, and a new philanthropic partner.
Celebrating a year in business on March 4, Kindred is losing the “Artisan Ales” part of its name and going with just Kindred Beer as it plays up what CEO Kevin Schmudde says is the brand's approachability.
At its Morrison Road tasting room in Gahanna, “we want to make sure there's no excuses to avoid coming. If your husband or wife doesn't necessarily drink beer or craft beer, there's signature cocktails and we have wine for them as well. We have food trucks that rotate and we just got our food trailer,” Schmudde says. That's where chef Ben Beardsley will create a daily menu.
With 170 local accounts, Kindred is also in other bars and restaurants and on retail shelves.
Kindred uses hops “thoughtfully,” Schmudde says. Its beer, in eight or so varieties, “has the hop character, and it has all the aroma and everything that those high-IBU (international bitterness unit) beers have but in a manner that you get to enjoy it through all your senses. The nose of the beer, the taste of the beer, the mouth feel and everything, so it's a little bit more on the smoother side and kind of an approachable beer where you can have more than one.”
In April, Kindred launches a new Camp Beer with proceeds benefitting Flying Horse Farms, a free camp in Mt. Gilead for children with serious illness. Wild and sour beers are coming in May, and a new Clintonville location opens in the fall.
Schmudde, who joined Kindred in September, says he witnessed market growth for spirits and wine “evolving, essentially exploding the way craft beer has exploded.” He says he is leveraging his experience to be “able to see the trends before they happen.”