Off Color Brewing to Offer Retail, Tours for First Time
Chicago’s Off Color Brewing, known for its whimsical beer labels and unique style offerings, will finally start letting drinkers into the brewery, according to the company’s website.
The three-year old brewery — which has relied on something of a mile-wide and inch-deep distribution philosophy, selling core brands like Troublesome Gose and Apex Predator Farmhouse Ale across 38 states — has never offered public tours or sold beer directly to consumers.
All that will change with the opening of a new 300 sq. ft. bottle shop this month, where core offerings and brewery-only releases will be sold. Off Color will also begin offering Saturday brewery tours for $10, which includes the cost of a branded tulip glass.
Reached by phone, Off Color Brewing founder John Laffler said the new retail space, which is attached to the brewery at 3925 W. Dickens Ave., will allow the brewery to more effectively manage sales of its specialty releases, in particular.
“If we made 100 cases of something, it wasn’t enough to satisfy every retailer,” he told Brewbound.
Off Color will kick off its special release events next Saturday, selling 750 mL bottles of “Whiskers,” a wild ale brewed in collaboration with Central State Brewing, for $20.
Regular bottle shop hours will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 17 and tours will begin in late February, the company said.
Sierra Nevada Unveils Beer Camp Across America Variety Pack
The Sierra Nevada Beer Camp Across America variety pack will make its return this May, featuring six new beers made in collaboration with 30 different U.S. craft breweries.
“The idea of getting 30 breweries together, and making six unique beers — nothing has been done like this before,” Ryan Sentz, the co-founder of Florida’s Funky Buddha Brewery said in a promotional video for the new pack.
Featured beers in the 2016 pack include:
- Sweet Sunny South, a Southern table beer
- Moxee-Moron, an imperial session IPA
- Family Values, an imperial brown ale with cocoa
- West Latitude, a session rye with hibiscus
- Pat-Rye-Ot, a “revolutionary” pale ale
- Stout of the Union, a robust stout
In conjunction with the release of the new multi-pack, Sierra is also hosting six beer festivals in June, in Tampa, Seattle, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles.
“We recently sent invitation to every single craft brewer in the U.S., encouraging them to come out and pour their beer at one or more festivals,” the company said on its website.
Big Beer’s Latest Advertising Efforts
A string of ads promoting the world’s largest beer brands hit the digital airwaves this week, including Budweiser’s follow-up to last year’s Super Bowl ad, “Brewed the Hard Way.”
Anheuser-Busch InBev’s latest commercial effort to claw back share for its declining Budwesier label, “Not Backing Down,” is a slightly less overt attack on craft. Produced by creative agency Anomaly, which also engineered last year’s campaign, “Not Backing Down” does take a couple of easy jabs at small producers, with messages like “not small,” “not a hobby” and “not sipped” flashing across the screen over a trap music beat.
As expected, A-B’s Bud Light brand took a more comedic approach, deploying the likes of Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer for a political-themed Super Bowl campaign that attempts to rally consumer support for the “Bud Light Party.” There are a few cheap jokes too — “just wait till you see our caucus” and, “we’ve got the biggest caucus in the country.”
Meanwhile, for one of its fastest-growing beer brands, Michelob Ultra, A-B created “Breathe,” a commercial aimed at a target demographic of fitness buffs. The 30-second spot features winded athletes lifting weights, shadowboxing, running hills and even performing yoga. It concludes with a simple message: Brewed for those who go the extra mile.
Elsewhere, at MillerCoors, the latest Coors Light ad hopes to appeal more broadly to female consumers. In a note to distributors and obtained by AdAge, CMO David Kroll called his company’s latest spot, “What Your Mountain,” a “dual-gender campaign.” The hope is that it will encourage both men and women to “celebrate the mountains they climb with a cold, refreshing Coors Light.”
All of the ads are included below.