Boulevard Pilsner gets a charitable makeover

You might have noticed a bit of a kerfuffle (yeah, I just used kerfuffle) over the past week or two, as Boulevard announced that it was changing the name and packaging of their Boulevard Pilsner. Long gone are the longneck bottles and not-so-subtle artistic nod to the historic Muehlebach Pilsener, as we were introduced to a slick new label featuring the name 'KC Pils', attached to a new, shorter bottle that matches those used for other Boulevard year-round staples like Unfiltered Wheat, 80 Acre and Pale Ale.

At first, it seemed wholly obvious that the move was made for brand, marketing and cost purposes. There was a noticeable response from consumers that decried the new look and were worried that the packaging change was going to be accompanied by a change for the worse in terms of beer quality (Boulevard notes that other than subtle changes in the hop character, the recipe is largely unchanged). However, new details have emerged today regarding KC Pils that make the makeover a little bit more palatable.

The introduction of KC Pils comes in conjunction with the introduction of the '10% for KC' program, which will see 10% of the sales of KC Pils donated to local charities in the greater Kansas City area. But the distribution of the money isn't decided solely by Boulevard. It will be a crowdsourced effort that, each quarter, asks the general public to nominate deserving, local organizations. The public then votes on the nominated charities and the top three vote-getters receive 60%, 20% and 20% of the funds, respectively.

Over the next few weeks, look for the new KC Pils packaging and redesigned tap handle to start showing up in stores and bars around town. And if you'd like to get in on the charity nomination action, keep an eye on the new website that was developed for the program. Nomination information will be coming soon, and on June 1st, you'll be able to see the first three nominees:

What do you think about the packaging change?

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