Turning the Kaleidoscope: A Double-Strength Celebration

Turning the Kaleidoscope: A Double-Strength Celebration


Words by Michael Wiper, Founder & CEO


We started the brewery over a decade ago with a series of ever-changing beers and no core range; no rebrews. The beers  we brewed were often strong IPAs, around the 7% mark. Each had its own concept, recipe, name, label and launch into the world. It was a lot of fun and we experimented endlessly, changing recipes, blending, trialling, and failing! I used to tell the team there was “no such thing as a perfect beer” and that we could just make great manifestations, all with their own unique stamp.

And then came Kaleidoscope. 

A Core Range Pale Ale? Around 4%? Groundbreaking. 

Our Sales and Marketing team at the time put forward the wild idea that our customers might like a 4%, approachable and maybe even consistent beer. Something they could return to without falling off their chair. I did not like this idea one bit. Ludicrous, I thought. Who’d go for that? Boring, surely?! But it was starting to get a bit ridiculous to reinvent the wheel each time we made a beer, and as the business grew , so too did the inefficiency and cost of starting from scratch each and every time we brewed. 

After much debate, the compromise to this conundrum emerged in Kaleidoscope: a 4.2% base beer, brewed with the same malt, yeast, water profile and processes, all packaged up with the same design and marketing spiel. The intrigue lay in the hops: with each batch brewed, Kaleidoscope would always showcase three hops, but we rotated them each time we made the beer to ensure we were still having fun. Like the three mirrors of a kaleidoscope being turned to create endless complex and beautiful patterns, we would draw together  three different hops in each batch to create a shifting blend of flavours that combined and refracted differently with each iteration of the beer. This approach gave us the ideal compromise between constantly evolving recipes, and a recognisable beer name for our drinkers to look out for and return to, time after time.  The other great positive for us as a brewery was that by utilising the same base beer each time we brewed, we unlocked a major step forward in productivity and efficiency. 

We launched Kaleidoscope and annoyingly for me the team were absolutely right. Within three months the demand for Kaleidoscope had soared,outstripping any other beer we were making. The delicious, approachable and consistent beer was rapidly building its own brand, and becoming our bestseller. Developing Kaleidoscope was the single biggest step we’ve ever made to grow the business, and to this day, that beerrepresents 50-60% of our sales each and every month. It’s the go-to beer for most of our customers, and our team. 

Onwards & Upwards

Several years later, I’ve finally caught up with the rest of the team, and now I really do think there is such a thing as a perfect beer. And, I want Kaleidoscope to be that beer. As the team grew, our love for endless change has evolved into a love of striving for perfection. For the last few years, our  brew team have worked continually to make Kaleidoscope better and better, finding new ways to tweak the recipe, develop the process, get more out of the flavours, improve the body… Investigation into all of he details that make the perfect beer is now the exciting part - and something we won’t ever stop exploring. 

Then Came Alcohol-Free

In January this year we launched one of our proudest achievements to date: - a 0.5% version of Kaleidoscope. We set out to make the best alcohol-free pale ale in the country; a journey you can read about here. 

11th Birthday Beer

This month Wiper and True celebrate our 11th business birthday. After the fun we had developing alcohol-free Kaleidoscope, we  thought… wouldn’t it be interesting to take it to the other extreme? What about a super-sized version that takes us back to our roots by exploring a higher ABV range than our usual beer releases? We love a challenge, so donned our party hats and set about making a beer that retains the same balanced, delicate and deeply satisfying qualities of the 4.2% Kaleidoscope we know and love, at double strengt. Double hops*, double trouble. A turbo-charged IPA version of our flagship beer - we proudly present:KaleiDIPA.  

The result is sublime. The flavours and aromas the brew team have layered into this beer are so captivating and satisfying that I have decided Kaleidoscope will now be 8.4% as a permanent move going forward. What do you reckon, team?


*Actually more than double, if you are counting