Beer Up

Brands outside the alcohol space introduce their own beer

Brand extensions can be a risky move, but when thoughtfully executed in a way that accurately reflects a company’s ethos, they can generate much excitement and attract new consumers. By taking this approach, brands can operate outside their typical product category and better represent a lifestyle. Lately, numerous brands specializing in traditionally limited product sectors are expanding their offerings by entering the beer market.


Alcohol and exercise may seem like a strange pair, but young consumers see no reason why the two shouldn’t go hand-in-hand. As they seek to find balance in their wellness efforts, they embrace healthy hedonism, such as fitness studios offering booze post-workout. This summer, Lululemon took a similar approach with Curiosity Lager, a limited-edition beer created in partnership with Stanley Park Brewing. The beverage, which was flavored with Chinook and lemon drop hops, was available at select liquor stores in Canada and at Lululemon's SeaWheeze half marathon and afterparty. While Lululemon is best known for women’s yoga-inspired apparel, the drink is part of its efforts to broaden its image.


This summer, breakfast of champions took on a new meaning when Wheaties teamed up with Minneapolis craft brewer Fulton Beer on a branded hop packaged in a retro-inspired can. While the creation, called HefeWheaties, isn’t actually made with the cereal, it has a similar makeup; the drink is a Hefeweizen, a German-style beer that relies on wheat for its base. The beer was only available for a limited time at stores and events in the Twin Cities, but General Mills expressed willingness to create a similar product in the future on a bigger and more widely distributed scale.


To meet consumer interest for unique, flavorful beers, Ben & Jerry’s has collaborated with a different kind of pint maker, Colorado’s New Belgium Brewing, on Salted Caramel Brownie Brown Ale. The beverage boasts dark roasted malts, chocolate tones, and hints of vanilla and coffee, creating a creamy concoction with a bittersweet dry finish. For those who prefer to eat sweets rather than drink them, the partnership has also led to the creation of Salted Caramel Brownie Ale ice cream. Both products benefit the organization Protect Our Winters, which helps fight the effects of climate change on mountains.