Founders Adding KBS To Year-Round Lineup In February 2020

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by basaywhat, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. basaywhat

    basaywhat Poo-Bah (2,012) May 20, 2013 Illinois
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  2. RaulMondesi

    RaulMondesi Poo-Bah (3,759) Dec 11, 2006 California
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    KBS is like a Kardashian. Eventually everyone is going to get a try.
  3. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (8,685) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
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    This is what happens when the corporate overlords demand moar.
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  4. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,802) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Great beer, just probably no longer special.
  5. Sandis

    Sandis Aspirant (264) Jun 18, 2018 Minnesota

    It sort of felt like it was already in the year round lineup since i find it on shelves in Wisconsin, Michigan all the time.
  6. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,171) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    Founders had to make some drastic changes after having increased production too fast and killing the cult status. I figured they'd either come out with variants or give it a year or two break like they did with Imperial or are planning for CBS. Well, they are doing variants - but surprised me by making KBS year-round. That might work if they drop the price to around $16 to $17 to at least compete with other BA Stouts. It is still a great beer, just not cult.
  7. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (13,171) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    Makes you wonder if they just said that to save face; "yeah, that's the's still on shelves because..........hey we made it year-round, just forgot to announce it. Yeah, that's the ticket......" (Jon Lovitz SNL perpetual liar flashback)
  8. Angerhaus

    Angerhaus Crusader (736) Oct 1, 2015 Rhode Island

    It’s year round out here in New England already as well, but that seems to be the case with a lot of limited releases. Beer nerds out here often gravitate toward brewery visits instead of bottle shops.
    ChicagoJ and meanmutt like this.
  9. Longhorn08

    Longhorn08 Aspirant (263) Feb 4, 2014 Texas

    I look forward to it if the price is right.
  10. BeardedWalrus

    BeardedWalrus Devotee (442) Jun 5, 2018 North Carolina

    If they don't insist on pricing it at $25 a 4 pack this could work out.
  11. Eddiehop

    Eddiehop Defender (636) Jun 28, 2014 Texas

    They still have 4 packs on the shelf at my local grocery store, a major chain here in DFW. I guess it was already 'year round' before they even announced it :grin:
    #11 Eddiehop, Sep 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  12. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,939) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This is meaningless where I live. There's still plenty of kbs bottles all over town from the last release, so this isn't going to change the current status quo.

    Maybe the beer will sell better if there's a price reduction, but I just don't see that happening.
  13. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,385) May 13, 2011 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Well if this beer isn't already "not as good as it used to be" then this oughta seal the deal
  14. rightcoast7

    rightcoast7 Disciple (358) Apr 2, 2011 Maine

    If they dropped the price point in this range I would probably pick it up regularly to have on hand and would drink it often. As it is priced around 25 it is already widely available in many parts of the country, so the technical change to making it a “year round” offering is fairly meaningless in practice.
    bbtkd and Junior like this.
  15. 98green

    98green Meyvn (1,061) Jun 13, 2014 Michigan

    There are 4-packs in the "craft beer" cooler at my corner gas station (metro Detroit suburb).

    As others said, it already is "year round" shelf turding last year's seasonal release.

    Plenty of CBS still on shelves around town too
    drunkenmess likes this.
  16. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Zealot (504) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    Let me be the first to mention that this beer already seems like a year round offering since there’s still so much of it on shelves around here collecting dust.

    Maybe it’s different in other places though
  17. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,376) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I still think it's pretty damn good. I always have some on hand, but at the current price I'm not drinking it all the time.
    eldoctorador likes this.
  18. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,238) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    They made Backwoods year round and it’s been fine for me. No different for KBS IMO. If you like the beer, buy it. If you like to show off or trade your rare/scarce beers to’ve probably been out of luck with KBS for several years now.
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  19. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,115) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Let me find my Way Back Machine! :grin:
  20. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,238) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    IMO Founders is doing good business in this current market, migrating shelf beers that hold up fine to year round production, while doing the hoppy IPAs (All day aside) more as a seasonal (for freshness). More regional and National brewers should take note.
  21. RVAcraft

    RVAcraft Initiate (0) Aug 6, 2014 Virginia

    Meh, unless you're living in a beer desert, this is just another stout sitting on the shelf with a bigger price tag than the rest. It's a good stout, let's be clear, but locals are kicking out equal and way better regularly if you live in a thriving beer scene, such as Richmond for example, where I live. Even if they go year round on purpose, that price needs to go down. It's just the way the beer market is. 4pks of Black Note sat almost a year here at 26 per 4 because it came way to late to our market and when it did, we were on to "better" things.
  22. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Champion (800) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    What face needs to be saved? What is the problem that the beer is already available year-round? (I thought that would be better since I can pick it up anytime I wanted to). I've never understood these opinions.
  23. eldoctorador

    eldoctorador Champion (800) Dec 12, 2014 Chile

    This thread makes me sad. I guess the beer nerd stereotype is correct after all..
  24. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,115) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Me, either. Its weird.
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  25. MistaRyte

    MistaRyte Zealot (589) Jan 14, 2008 Virginia

    Its not turding; it's year round!
  26. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,939) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don't think anyone is suggesting this move is necessarily a bad one, but for a lot of parts of the country it seems kind of pointless or meaningless. In many parts of the country, KBS is already available year round.

    As a seasonal specialty beer (which is how I would characterize it), there already seems to be a glut in the marketplace. So if they start brewing it year round, I'm not sure I see how that benefits Founder's or most of their customer base. I doubt this will increase demand for the beer, unless they also drop the price (which I honestly don't see them doing).

    I assume there are still some parts of the country where KBS is fairly difficult to obtain, and I assume those parts of the country will benefit from this change. That being said, once KBS sees year round availability, I suspect demand in those remaining areas will drop as well. This just doesn't strike me as a very good business model, and I would be interested to know what prompted Founders to make this change.

    At least where I live, this change will likely have zero impact on current KBS availability.
    BBThunderbolt likes this.
  27. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (0) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    If this makes the prices go down in PA and NJ I'd be pleasantly surprised...... but I'm not holding my breath
    ChicagoJ likes this.
  28. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Suppose that from sources such as IRI the Founder's team has a fairly good sense of how much is still out there from the last release unsold to customers and are now switching the use of their production facilities to a lower level steady-state rather than using the model of single big push with its impact on supplies, production, distribution, etc. This gives them more flexibility to match a smaller steady supply to places where it is selling and making those adjustments throughout the year and doing a better job of fine-tuning to match supply with demand.

    This also would allow them to schedule other one-offs or seasonal releases in place of the KBS and thereby identify still other additional beers that could/might become flagship beers.
  29. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    For the past year now I have considered this a year round beer. Its been on shelf for that period or longer. I stopped considering it a special release and just see this as another one of their beers you can get anytime. Glad it is year round like breakfast stout, its a solid beer and its nice to have available anytime. I would hope to see cost drop to maybe $16 bucks a pack but that is high hopes :stuck_out_tongue:
  30. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,939) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    If that's the plan (and it certainly could be), I think that would make a lot of sense. I would like to see Founders do a better job controlling supply and demand for this beer, as I think the last couple of years they've done a very poor job in that regard.

    I don't think it does Founder's any good to have bottles of KBS sitting around month after month, just gathering dust on the shelf (which is exactly what's taking place here in PDX). From what I can tell, sales of KBS (and CBS as well) have come to a virtual stand still (based on anecdotal evidence).

    That being said (let me play devil's advocate for a change), if this is the plan then why hasn't Founder's done this before now? This seems like a very obvious approach for them to take, and I've suggested previously that I didn't understand why Founder's didn't take a more incremental approach to distribution of KBS in the past. Isn't that what most companies do? Test the market a bit to ascertain the extent of demand before going in whole hog and saturating the market? Here in PDX, we've now had 3 straight years where Founders literally flooded the market with KBS. The local market absorbed that amount of KBS the first year (though I thought it took longer than expected to sell out), but not the last two vintages. Right now, there's so much KBS languishing on shelves in town it's mindboggling. At this point, even if Founders does switch gears to the distribution approach you're suggesting, I'm not sure how many retail accounts are going to want to try to absorb any more KBS... even if it's just a few cases every couple of months.
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  31. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The limitation of your Devils Advocate position is that it is based on observations in the local market place. Not safe to make that generalization. It will be the case in some areas but it isn't the case in other areas.

    As for the past, they were taking an incremental approach for years during their period of growth/expansion. Then along comes a big cash infusion....

    If the switch to the more spot related distribution rather than a blanket coverage, they don't need the PNW folks to buy any more. But it isn't like KBS is some easily wilted flower... It will eventually sell (or not) Also if their production decreases and their distro coverage rotates throughout places in their footprint where there is demand, your wholesalers and retailers who overbought will eventually run out... :slight_smile: With a steady-state limited production run they don't need to cover all possible spots or satisfy all possible demand, they just need to sell what they produce.....
    unlikelyspiderperson likes this.
  32. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,939) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    Of course that's very true (I'm assuming it's not the same everywhere), and I didn't mean to imply that my model was applicable nationwide. However, I just assumed that Founders was a savvy enough company to make business decisions based on regional markets and not just a national one. In this particular market, distribution of KBS has not gone well, and I think it's reasonable to lay some of the blame on founders marketing research for that. At least in this part of the country, I think it's going to take a while for the market to recover.

    The rest of your post I agree with, and I really hope that's the thinking at Founders. Again, IMHO, this is something they should have done long before now, even back when they were doing a once a year massive batch release. They easily could have been more circumspect about the manner in which they distributed KBS, so that there wouldn't be so many parts of the country where the beer is sitting around collecting dust.
    drtth likes this.
  33. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,725) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    I think one or two people might have beat you to it. :wink:

    That's how it is in Boston too.

    I'm sure there's some areas of the country hungry for KBS, but based on the posts I quoted above, it sure seems like there are plenty of states that are loaded with old KBS already...

    ...Wisconsin, Michigan, Rhode Island, Mass., Colorado, Texas, Oregon...
    drtth likes this.
  34. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Well, the one thing about marketing research is that one can learn from their mistakes. But on the other hand, Founders didn't force anyone in the PNW (or anywhere else there's still an oversupply into buying their product in the last release.... (And it's Kinda hard to tell customers they're not getting as much as they want to buy because we, the sellers, don't think they need it...:grin:)
    John_M likes this.
  35. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I'd suggest that based on the posts you quoted above there are several BAs who report seeing it still on shelves but that doesn't tell us the whole state is like that, only those few stores that those few BAs happen to frequent. While I'm sure if I looked hard enough I could find a place with some still in stock, I can think of only one of the 5 different places I regularly visit around here that may have some left in stock. Indeed, 3 of them never even stocked any in the first place....
    #35 drtth, Sep 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  36. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,939) Oct 25, 2003 Oregon
    Moderator Society Trader

    This is quite true, but in my experience, retailers are seldom willing to take the blame for these kinds of mistakes. I've spoken to several retailers who told me that the wholesaler assured them this was a very rare, highly sought after beer that they would have no difficulty selling. While I wouldn't call that a complete lie (disingenuous might be more accurate), it was a tad misleading. In any event, a number of places bought large quantities of KBS based on these assurances, and now have a considerable amount of capital tied up in this beer. A number of places unloaded KBS at a pretty steep discount just so they wouldn't have so much cash tied up in all the KBS they bought (CBS has been available for $18.97 a bottle for months at one of my locals).

    Arguably, none of this is entirely Founder's fault, but my guess is that it's led to considerable resentment and possibly even distrust of Founder's. I like your thinking on their new distribution format (and hope it's accurate), but just wish Founder's had done something like this a bit sooner.
    #36 John_M, Sep 18, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
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  37. drtth

    drtth Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    It may be that it's the type of problem created by wholesale distributors that played a role in the Founder's decision to take this step. Pretty sure you're right that Founders will suffer some fall out from those retailers and so it may be it KBS will eventually return to being in short supply for a while.
    John_M likes this.
  38. hoagzzz

    hoagzzz Initiate (0) Feb 28, 2014 Pennsylvania

    They should still make it annual, but have a rotating group of variants. Vanilla, peppers, cinnamon, etc. Sorry if that sounds like every other brewery that does BA stouts but I’d be interested. KBS all year is a bad idea imo. I’ll never find it fresh again, will be an expensive shelf turd!
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  39. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (345) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Too late. Unless the price drops this will collect dust with the rest. BB and some of the other more expensive Founders beers do not sell well near me but at least retailers don't seem to over order them anymore.
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  40. Tilley4

    Tilley4 Poo-Bah (2,342) Nov 13, 2007 Tennessee
    Society Trader

    Another vote for them having to drop the price or this one might as well go away. Still cases of this sitting on the floor at the local bottle shop. I pick up some every now and then and it's still a great beer but not at $25 a 4 pack. If they would drop this to about 15 or 16 bucks I don't know that I would buy it all the time but I would buy it enough that I always had some in the fridge...