When Goose Island quietly introduced Blue Line Pilsner this spring, it appeared to be with limited ambition: a beer available only on draft, in Chicago and until the end of the summer. In reality, the brewery and its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, were making a weighty calculation about whether to join the ascendant world of craft Pilsner, which has taken the industry back to its roots by becoming one of its recent stars. The answer was an emphatic yes, which will lead Blue Line to be rechristened Four Star Pils and get a rare and massive commitment from the brewery: production at Anheuser-Busch plants and distribution in all 50 states by early next year. (Chicago Tribune)
At the same time MillerCoors is conducting an agency review for the key Coors Light ad account, the Chicago-based brewing behemoth is switching up agency assignments for its craft and import brews—all with the intent of boosting the momentum of these brands and their volume growth. Toward that end Venables Bell & Partners in San Francisco has been named "above-the-line" agency of record for the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co., which MillerCoors wants to establish as a true national brand. (Chicago Business Journal)
New Belgium Brewing has entered into an exclusive partnership agreement with Young’s Market Co. to start selling beer in Hawaii in February, 2016. New Belgium will launch with 6-pack bottles of Fat Tire, Ranger IPA, Rampant Imperial IPA and Seasonal Release as well 12-pk cans of Fat Tire and Ranger. Fat Tire bombers and draft Fat Tire, Ranger, Seasonal, and Lips of Faith will round out the initial portfolio offerings.
The recently reformulated Hard Rock Energy Drink will be making its debut in about 650 7-Eleven locations in select Texas cities starting September 1. Hard Rock Energy Drink is a natural energy drink developed by Enterprise Beverage Group LLC for Hard Rock International. Hard Rock Energy Drink will be available in 7-Eleven locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio and neighboring cities.
Essentia Water, the leading alkaline water brand in the United States, is the official water of Clif Bar CrossVegas, a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup event that takes place Sept. 16, 2015 in Las Vegas. The only UCI World Cup event in North America, CrossVegas is the largest annual cyclo-cross race in the U.S. and happens alongside the Interbike International Bike Expo, held annually in Las Vegas. Competitors include the world’s top-ranked cyclists and multiple national and UCI world champions.
Rob Miller cannot keep hard root beer in his store. It’s a good problem to have, he admits, but fans desperate for a sip of the alcoholic root beer–the hottest “malternative” drink since Zima–are calling the store all day and popping in at all hours to find out when he’ll be getting more. Hard root beer, which tastes almost just like the real thing but is 5.9 percent alcohol by volume, is a big deal in Wichita right now, Miller said. “It drinks like root beer, and you just don’t taste the alcohol in it,” he said. “I’ve got people ages 21 to 80 coming in looking for this stuff.” (The Wichita Eagle)