One of the most interesting Canadian craft beers last year was the result of a collaboration by two well-known and well-loved Vancouver companies: Stanley Park Brewery and Lulu Lemon clothing. Their shared creation, Curiosity Lager, featured a light taste… and a brand profile like no other craft beer on the market.
Active People Like Beer, Too
In an interview about the collaboration that led to Curiosity Lager, one of the brewers pointed out that it was designed to be “the kind of beer you’d want to drink after a long, sweaty run.” I think it’s fair to say that sounds pretty great to most of us, regardless of whether we shave our faces or our legs.
Is it really so surprising that the kind of people who would push themselves through a gruelling 13 mile run would enjoy a nice frosty beer afterward? And knowing that, why aren’t more brewers targeting them – especially the women – or at least inviting them to be a part of the brewing and marketing process?
Craft brewing is routinely thought of as a very masculine, hot deck, after work, hobby or interest. This is reinforced at almost every turn, even down to the artwork you find on craft beer labels (how many different beers can you name that feature pirates, skulls, wolves, and other masculine beer-drinkers-are-real-men style images?)
For me, Curiosity Lager stood out largely because it was packaged and presented differently. It had a touch of the feminine without being non-masculine. I think the design team really hit the nail on the head, in giving active people something that reflected their style and nature. That’s probably not surprising, since the branding was handled by the designers of popular women’s athletic wear, but it’s still a noteworthy victory within the growing craft beer industry.
While this wasn’t the first attempt to market a craft beer to women and runners in particular, it makes me wonder if there isn’t a huge market out there that’s being underserved. And for that matter, it also makes me wonder how many would-be craft brewers there are out there who just haven’t found their passion yet because they feel left out of the party.
We Need More Exciting Craft Beer Collaborations
The other takeaway from the Curiosity Lager experiment, in my mind, is that great things happen when brewers partner with local businesses, fans, and even each other. Some of the best creative projects are unique collaborations, and make no mistake: brewing craft beer is a creative endeavour.
Lulu Lemon and Stanley Park Brewery were brought together by a half marathon in the summer. I’d love to see further partnerships grow around festivals, seasonal ingredients, or even charitable causes. For instance, a portion of the sales from Curiosity Lager went towards preservation of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Why couldn’t a craft beer be the focal point of a fundraiser, or even some sort of live event?
From all accounts, these two companies came together for the right reasons. Each had access to a group of fun-loving fans and customers, and they worked together to produce a product that was valuable to both audiences. We need more exciting craft beer collaborations that combine good times, personal passions, and a love of community.
Share Your Favourite Craft Beer Partnerships With Us
Curiosity Lager was one of my favourite craft beer stories of last summer, but I’m sure it wasn’t the only one. Have you come across an interesting collaboration or seasonal brew? Or do you know of an event that launching this summer? Share your stories with us in social or in the comments below!