Craft Brewers Join Forces On Collaborative OfferingsJune 8, 2011
Who says the beer business is hyper-competitive? One look at an emerging trend among craft brewers and any observer would think the business is a giant love fest. Increasingly, craft brewers are collaborating to jointly produce special edition beers, and consumers are lapping them up. “With craft beer being the only growth segment in the beer industry—and the most profitable—retailers are embracing collaborative beers,” says Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewing.
Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing, says consumer response to beers like Life & Limb—produced with Dogfish Head—has been strong. The latest edition, Life & Limb #2, is rolling out this summer. “Fans of both brewers are anxious to see what the collaboration will be,” Grossman says. Volumes are small: About 1,000 barrels of Life & Limb #2 are slated for release, priced between $8 and $9 for a 750-ml. bottle.
Natalie Cilurzo, co-owner of Russian River Brewing, says, “Collaborative beers are a great way for breweries to try different styles. It’s a fun way to expand your name into new markets.” Santa Rosa, California-based Russian River has been joining forces with Colorado’s Avery Brewing since 2004 on Collaboration Not Litigation Ale. It’s a blending of Russian River’s Salvation with Avery’s Salvation, both Belgian-style ales coincidently sharing the same name, and the reason the two brewers joined together in the first place.
Russian River has partnered with other brewers, including Dogfish Head, and next year it will team up with Sierra Nevada. Dogfish Head has collaborated with several brewers, including Stone and Victory Brewing companies, as well as Boston Beer Co., Three Floyds and Sierra Nevada for the second release of Life & Limb. In Colorado, nine Fort Collins craft brewers joined forces in May on a beer to celebrate American Craft Beer Week. Craft brewers are also teaming up with overseas players. Encino, California-based Stone Brewing, for example, has worked with Scotland’s BrewDog and Norway’s Nogne-O, while Russian River has collaborated with Italy’s Birrificio Italiano and Boston Beer with Germany’s famed Weihenstephan Brewery.
“These beers are great—the only downside is that there aren’t enough of them,” says Dave Brodrick, founder of the Blind Tiger ale house in New York. Brodrick says his customers don’t mind spending $7 to $8 for 12-ounce draft pours of collaborative beers because they know they’re limited releases. The New York bar pours at least two collaboration brews a month, with new arrivals promoted via e-mail blasts and Facebook.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.
Tagged : Boston Beer, craft beer, Dogfish Head, Sierra Nevada
GET YOUR FIRST LOOK AT 2021 DATA AND 2022 PROJECTIONS FOR THE WINE AND SPIRITS INDUSTRIES. ORDER YOUR 2022 IMPACT DATABANK REPORTS. CLICK HERE.