Business heroes - The new series about BrauBeviale exhibitors with the necessary courage to be different. Part 1: Benedikt Kuhn from Bembel-With-Care in Birkenau (Odenwald).
We were celebrated for it from the beginning. I would have wished for a bit more headwind...
A business degree or a doctorate in marketing are nice at best. But you can't learn what makes a really good entrepreneur. First and foremost, you need the courage to make uncomfortable decisions. We introduce four such business heroes. Benedikt Kuhn from Bembel-With-Care in Birkenau (Odenwald) is one of them. He took a chance on an exceptionally traditional drink and repackaged it: cider in a can instead of in brown litre bottles. This may hurt the soul of the Frankfurt Äppelwoi drinker. A new, young target group is happy about it. And they buy 9.5 million cans a year from Kuhn.
"As a graduate designer and Odenwald native, I have always thought that cider is an excellent but totally poorly marketed product. Whenever I wanted to offer cider to non Odenwalders, they said: 'Ew, what are you drinking? That looks disgusting already!' And I had to agree with them: In the dark bottles with the stale labels featuring either watercoloured apples, Bembel or both, cider was not a product you'd want to pick up off the shelf. 250 press houses - and they all looked equally bad. If you wanted to improve something, you had to draw a line under it and start from scratch. And that's how I came up with the idea of being the first in Germany to fill cider in cans.
It took a little while to find a wine press and to convince them to join us. At first, they were like: 'This has never been done before, so it doesn't exist.' In 2007, we finally started with 5-liter party kegs, and in 2009, the cans came. And what can I say: We were celebrated for it from the beginning. I would have wished for a bit more headwind from the regular cider customers, because we deliberately broke with tradition and wanted to fight for it loudly, but even the old people liked us. Criticism really only came from Frankfurt - but they also live an obdurate cider dogma there."
More business heroes:
Part 2 of the series: Stephan Michel of Mahrs Bräu
Part 3 of the series: Dr. Martin Tesch from the Tesch winery
Part 4 of the series: Dr. Erlfried Baatz from Schilkin GmbH und Co. KG
Fotorecht: istockphoto / RichVintage