Beer, Meet Wine. Wine, Meet Beer.
To be honest, there is a difference between beer aficionados and wine enthusiasts. Wine has had plenty of time to build a solid reputation and an elite following. Beer has only recently developed a seriousness and still faces the challenge of being a respected and collected nectar. Yet, it seems the two may share a more common path in the future.
Shipyard Brewing Company of Portland, Maine recently announced a marketing partnership with the California based Fess Parker winery. Shipyard, which already boasts a 40,000 case per year presence in California, hopes to increase sales by 25 percent by latching on to the marketing arm of a winery founded by the man who played Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone. (You can't make this stuff up!) Fess Parker Winery will introduce Shipyard to restaurants and stores in the highly competitive California market. The 700-acre winery is now linked with the 15th largest microbrewery in the United States.
Pairing wine with beer (or even the other way around) is no strange idea. Archaic laws limiting alcohol sales in Pennsylvania have actually helped local wineries form strong bonds between brewer and vintner. Kim Waltz, co-owner of the Waltz Vineyards in the beer heavy county of Lancaster, provides products to craft breweries and specialty pubs in the area.
“My wines provide an option to people who are with a partner or spouse who enjoys handcrafted beers by providing an upscale, hand-crafted, small batch option for the non-beer drinker who appreciates a little more freshness and boldness in their wine just like their partner appreciates in the beer,” said Waltz.
Pennsylvania has a separate license for wineries who would also like to sell beer. Things are not so rosy in Kentucky. Back in 2005, SB73 amended the state's law regarding wineries selling beer reading: “The retail malt beverage license ... shall limit the licensee to the sale of malt beverages for consumption on the premises only.” It seems some politicians objected to one winery's increased sales of cases to go. So, now wineries can only sell beer that must be consumed during a patrons visit.
It might be a while until beer aficionados and wine enthusiasts are truly married, but at least now some are holding hands.
Your Beer. Your Choice. Drink Up.
- Beer Universe