Yuengling Collaborates with Hershey on Chocolate Porter; Brooklyn Brewery to Release Non-Alc Beer in US

Yuengling, Hershey’s Team Up for Draft Only Chocolate Porter

Two of Pennsylvania’s most iconic businesses — D.G. Yuengling & Son and The Hershey Company — are linking up on a fall beer release.

Yuengling and Hershey’s announced today the release of Chocolate Porter, a draft only release available in 14 markets from mid-October to mid-February. The collaboration marks the first between the two companies.

Chocolate Porter, which checks in at 4.7% ABV, is a modified version of Yuengling’s Dark Brewed Porter, with the taste of Hershey’s chocolate.

“We saw a unique opportunity to partner with Hershey’s, a brand known worldwide for its iconic, delicious tasting chocolate, to deliver fans our first-ever beer collaboration,” Jennifer Yuengling, VP of Operations, said in a press release. “We spent nearly a year developing our Yuengling Hershey’s Chocolate Porter and are excited for the world to indulge in the classic taste of Yuengling Dark Brewed Porter blended with the unmistakable taste of Hershey’s chocolate.”

“Bringing together over 300 years of craft and experience is quite rare in 2019,” Ernie Savo, senior director global licensing and business development at The Hershey Company, added. “However, that’s exactly what we did bringing together the Yuengling brewing masters with the chocolate making expertise of Hershey.”

Chocolate Porter will be available in bars and restaurants throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.

Brooklyn Brewery Brings Non-Alc Offering to the US

Brooklyn Brewery is betting on non-alcoholic beer catching on in the U.S. The New York craft brewery, the 11th largest in the U.S., announced today that its non-alcoholic hoppy lager offering, Special Effects, will launch in select U.S. markets this fall, with distribution throughout its 30-state footprint starting in January 2020.

Special Effects was first launched last December in Sweden.

Brooklyn Brewery CEO Eric Ottaway discussed the increasing consumer interest and “enormous” opportunity for companies to capitalize on “better-for-you” products, including low- or no-alcohol beer during last December’s Brewbound Live business conference.

Ottaway also talked about the stigma attached to non-alcoholic beer and breaking the back-of-the-cooler mentality those products have faced in the past.

“If you’re drinking a non-alc, there was something wrong with you. It was kept in the back of the bar fridge and carefully poured into a glass and given to you so nobody would see that you’re drinking non-alcoholic beer,” he said at the time. “It was kind of an embarrassing thing. Whereas you go in Europe and it’s celebrated. It’s treated as the opposite in most countries. People would never sneer at you or look down at you like you have a problem.”

In a press release announcing Special Effect’s U.S. release, Brooklyn Brewery president Robin Ottaway said the way people view non-alc beverages is “shifting … as a whole.” Brooklyn, he added, prioritized creating a non-alc beer that met the company’s “brewing standards and didn’t compromise flavor.”

“It’s not just for people who are sober, pregnant, or driving, and we’re seeing consumers’ opinions and behaviors shift to support this,” he said. “Even for those who consume alcohol on a regular basis, there are countless moments throughout the week that call for a non-alcoholic option to fit a desired flavor profile.”

Brooklyn said Special Effects “creates more occasions for beer and removes a perceived barrier to enjoyment.” The company cited consumer trends for the release, noting that research showed that a little more than half of drinkers are making efforts to cut back their alcohol consumption, due to living “healthier lifestyles.”

According to market research firm IRI, dollar sales of non-alcoholic offerings are up 17.7%, to nearly $78.5 million, through August 11.

Special Effects will be available in 6- and 12-packs cans and limited draft in eight markets to start. The beer will also be poured at Brooklyn’s booth during this week’s Great American Beer Festival.

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