Inviting beer fans with curiosity to Kill the Cat

A new craft beer shop has opened on London’s Brick Lane claiming a “unique way of ranging its beers”.

Kill the Cat has the strapline For the Beer Curious and is “all about encouraging people to explore beer”, according to co- founder Phil Curl.

He told OLN: “Basically we have a unique way of ranging our beers to make it easier for people to navigate. Traditional bottle shops tend to range by provenance or geography, but we felt that was fairly arbitrary to the consumer. If you like one beer from the US or from one particular brewer, it doesn’t mean you will like others from these places. So ours is based on a system of adventurousness.

“We have three categories – Cat 1, Cat 2 and Cat 3. Cat 1 is about introductory beers. They are interesting and are still from small breweries, but they are not too much of a shock to the system for people who are maybe moving over from lager, for example. Cat 2 represents beers, which are a bit different. They might be stronger or have a slight twist to them. And then Cat 3 is the really out-there stuff, ones which are really pushing the boundaries of what beer actually is.”

The shop currently has 106 beers, with breweries and locations mixed up on shelf and in fridges. Staff are encouraged to engage with shoppers to help find out what sorts of beers might be of interest to them.

“At our opening weekend the Cat 3 beers were arguably the most popular. I thought they would be a harder sell but they do bring out the adventurous side of people,” said Curl.

Examples of Cat 3 beers include Marshmallow Porter by Tiny Rebel and Red Rum by Danish brewer To Øl. Another in this category is Yeastie Boys Rex Attitude.

“It’s a peat-smoked dark beer that is pushing 10% abv and it has a rich peatiness that you would get from a malt whisky,” said Curl, who will continue to add beers in all three categories.

“We have three main criteria: does it taste great?; is it unique in what it is trying to do?; does it have rarity value – for example, is it something others might also stock?”

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