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ON THE HOP(S)

Brands non-endemic to the alcohol industry launch beer

Lately, brands across a range of verticals, from transportation and retail to food and media, have been creating their own alcohol in order to connect with young consumers in new ways and become part of their social lives. As modern young adults have elevated food and beverages above other consumer categories, any brand can offer a dining or drinking component.

BLOCKBUSTER

Though Blockbuster closed most of its stores in 2014, one location remains in Bend, Oregon. To celebrate the last storefront, following the closing of locations in Alaska this summer, the video store created a craft beer in collaboration with AB InBev-owned 10 Barrel Brewing Co. The black ale, dubbed The Last Blockbuster, has hints of red licorice; the brewery notes that it pairs well with popcorn and chocolate, making it perfect for nostalgic movie lovers. The limited-time drink was released at a block party in Bend in September and is now available at all 10 Barrel pubs in Oregon, Idaho, California, and Colorado.

IHOPS

In yet another attempt to highlight that it sells more than pancakes, IHOP has released a pumpkin spice pancake stout aptly named IHOPS. The beer, inspired by the chain’s pumpkin pancakes, was created in partnership with Keegan Ales, a Hudson, New York-based brewery. Though the restaurant only has one stand-alone location that serves alcohol, the drink is available at select bars and events in the tri-state area during peak pumpkin season. This move allows IHOP to have a presence outside of its restaurants and become part of people’s day-drinking and nightlife activities.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON

In honor of its 115th anniversary, Harley-Davidson released a limited-edition beer for attendees of its celebrations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the brand is based. The Harley-Davidson 115thAnniversary Milwaukee Lager was created in collaboration with three breweries: Good City Brewing, Third Space Brewing, and Milwaukee Brewing Company. The fruity lager was created to appeal to younger craft beer drinkers, who represent the future of the brand, while still paying tribute to the brand’s heritage. Though mostly offered for official brand-sponsored parties, cans were also sold at select Milwaukee retail locations last month.