“Give a man a beer, waste an hour. Teach a man to brew, waste a lifetime”.
The work of WJ King’s Head Brewer Ian Burgess certainly hasn’t gone to waste, as King’s prepare to take things to a brand new level. At the back of a small industrial estate, in the old market town of Horsham, West Sussex, there’s a beer evolution happening.
Horsham has a rich brewing heritage (it’s currently home to Hepworth & Co and Weltons as well as WJ King’s) and is formerly the home of the big boys- King and Barnes. They disappeared from the scene back in 2000 but their 200 year old heritage lives on in the Mash Tun and Copper of WJ King, now owned by Niki and Justin Deighton.
The micro-brewery has been successfully brewing traditional real ales with Ian at the helm for the past 3 years, supplying real ale fans with the likes of Brighton Blonde, Horsham Best, Kings Old and Festive (to name but a few), but the market for real ale is changing and evolving and as Sussex leads the way by being home to some of the best breweries in the country, King’s are evolving too, determined to be at the forefront of the scene.
This will involve dropping a few of their existing beers, but the most popular will stay under their new ‘Kings Heritage’ branding. Then there’s ‘Kings Evolution’, a second branding for what will be their future, more innovative and edgier beers- craft brewing with a nod to the likes of Brewdog. King’s will be one brewery with two distinct directions.
The new branding has involved swapping the white background for black and updating their font and logo for a cleaner, bolder and more modern design, yet still retaining a classic feel. Plus, now two ‘stamps’ exist: one for ‘Kings Heritage’ to include the crown logo surrounded by hop motifs and one for ‘Kings Evolution’, still with the crown logo, but this one replaces the hops with molecular strands.
Kings aren’t new to innovative techniques, they were the first to include QR codes on their beer clips, (with links to videos about the beer) but this bold new move is another beast entirely, a very exciting one at that, and with talk of cherry, hibiscus and absinthe flavours, I can’t wait to ‘waste’ some more time with them.