- Facebook: Boulevard
- KC Pils is the newest addition to the Boulevard lineup.
KC Pils officially replaces Boulevard Brewing Co.'s Pilsner on shelves this week. (Ten percent of the rebranded brew's sales go to three local charities, selected on a rotating quarterly basis by popular Web vote.) Boulevard introduced its all-malt Pilsner in 2009 as a way into the yard-beer market. But it became apparent that the people drinking it were the same folks buying the brewery's flagship beers. So two years ago, Boulevard began plotting a new direction for Pilsner, one that focused on Kansas City's history rather than the regional tradition of brewing pale lagers.
"I think it's high time to wear the badge and be proud of Kansas City," says Payton Kelly, Boulevard's creative director. "We want someone to have a pleasant drinking experience and think of their hometown."
In addition to sharing a name with the city where it's made, KC Pils was chosen for its "call-ability": the idea that a bartender can easily hear someone asking for one in a crowded bar.
As the brewery's resident artist, Kelly designed the first labels for Boulevard, and he has been a full-time employee since being hired away from Hallmark in 1995. He swung by The Pitch last week to talk about the new look for the first KC-branded beer.
Kelly likes to say he creates the "clothing that the beer wears." And like fashion apparel, each brew has its own spot on the color wheel, with KC Pils sharing bright red with its predecessor.
"I just entice you to try the beer," Kelly says. "After that, the beer is good enough to carry itself on its own."