The founders of a music-focused production company that has worked with clients from Converse to Kanye West are getting into the craft beer business.
Brent Nichols, Daron Hollowell and Kelcie Jadkowski of Ring the Alarm — which composes and licenses music for TV, movies and advertising campaigns — have launched 24 Hour Beer, a session-strength beer company aiming to become the “the anti-craft, craft beer.”
“We felt like it was time to do something that scratched the itch for a lot of people,” Nichols told Brewbound.
Nichols, who has co-produced songs with stars such as Kanye West and MIA, and worked with companies like Adidas and Ford Motors, said he wanted to create a “lighter, crushable” craft beer version of the German-style lagers and Mexican imports that he likes to drink.
“Being out there [on LA’s music and arts scenes] and drinking beer, we felt like this was missing,” Hollowell added.
The trio’s first product, Day Beer, is an “easy-drinking” and “approachable” lager that claims to be “LA’s only 24 hour beer.” It checks in at 4.5 percent ABV.
To get the product made, 24 Hour Beer tapped industry veteran Will Shelton, who helped launch the popular Massachusetts-based Shelton Brothers importing company and is currently overseeing the recently launched Concrete Jungle Brewing Project.
“We’re trying to make a beer that would not appeal to a fairly noisy segment of the market,” Shelton said.
An official beer launch is scheduled for Thursday, at the soon-to-open Concrete Jungle tasting room in downtown LA.
Shelton opened Concrete Jungle this past June, after acquiring the former Surf Brewery production facility in Ventura, California. Surf will also continue to brew out of that location, which is home to a 15-barrel brewhouse.
It is Shelton’s third brewing project since he left the family import business and headed west in 2013. Shelton helped found two now-defunct breweries — High & Mighty in Massachusetts, which was best known for a 4.5 percent ABV “Beer of the Gods” blonde ale, and Mavericks Brewing in the Bay Area of Northern California, which also focused on session beers at the advice of Pete Slosberg (of Pete’s Wicked Ale fame).
Shelton told Brewbound that Day Beer, although a lager, is similar to High & Mighty’s Beer of the Gods blonde ale. He said he perfected the recipe after contract brewing about 35 batches of the beer at companies along the East Coast. He added that he was able to apply that knowledge and “adapt” the concept to Day Beer.
“There are definitely some similarities there,” he said. “People who know what I was doing before might describe it [Day Beer] as a Will Shelton-like concoction.”
Shelton said he plans to brew “as much as these guys want, unless they tell me they need 3,000 barrels.”
That’s not likely be a concern, at least initially, as 24 Hour Beer plans to begin self-distributing its first 15-barrel batch of Day Beer in kegs and cans this week. A 6-pack will cost about $9.99, according to Hollowell.
“The goal right now is to take over Los Angeles,” Hollowell said. “We really wanted to build it the same way we built a lot of things we did in the music world — do-it-yourself, grassroots.”
“If it goes beyond Los Angeles to all of California, great,” Nichols added. “But for now, we really want to stay local.”
Hollowell, Nichols and Jadkowski say they will begin selling to accounts themselves by leveraging their contacts in the music industry. Their hope is to get placements in music clubs and festivals as well as bars and restaurants, Hollowell said.
To begin with, Day Beer will be brewed about every three-to-five weeks, Hollowell said.
Nichols told Brewbound that Ring the Alarm’s experience working with beer companies such as Constellation Brands (via the Pacifico and Corona brands), and Anheuser-Busch (via Bud Light), helped them understand how marketing plays a role in the distribution of beer.
“Discovering a cool new band is like discovering a great new beer, people love to dig for exciting new things and have the same sort of excitement and loyalty to these artists who make music or brewers who make great beer,” Hollowell said.
As for future releases, Nichols said 24 Hour Beer plans to release Night Beer, a German-style pilsner, in about eight months. Nevertheless, the company’s initial focus will remain on building the Day Beer brand.
“We wanted to make this beer also something that feels really inclusive,” Nichols said.