A Toast to Beer-Branded Foods

Hard liquor labels tend to get most of the attention when it comes to the extension of alcohol trademarks into food categories. Examples include brands of cognac (Courvoisier licensed into truffles), bourbon (Jim Beam into potato chips), and liqueur (Bailey’s into bakery goods). But some of the big names in beer have also been increasingly active in this space over the past three years or so.

A few notable examples:

  • The rights to Pabst Blue Ribbon were granted to Distinctive Foods earlier this year for a line of mini-pretzel beer brats under the Chicago Deli brand. The line is going national this fall, according to an announcement last month, with distribution at Sam’s Club stores. Licensing Haus represents Pabst Brewing.
  • The Budweiser brand was extended into the frozen seafood category in a deal with SeaPak. The licensee’s line, which hit the market in early 2019, includes sustainable shrimp, cod, and crab poppers, all beer-battered. All three SKUs were packaged with a complementary sauce.
  • Corona Extra was licensed to Earth Source, a premium fresh produce grower representative, for branded limes. The first products debuted in spring 2018. Corona is a Constellation Brands IP represented by The Joester Loria Group.

While the incidence of beer brand extension into foods has gradually been on the rise in recent years, the concept is not new. Miller partnered with Hillshire Farm, then a division of Sara Lee, back in 2009 for Miller High Life beer brats and Italian-style smoked sausage. And Guinness’ licensed products over the years in the U.K. and U.S. have ranged from barbeque-glazed salmon from High Liner Foods, to meat pies from Holland’s Pies, to potato chips from Burt’s, to beer-brined brisket produced by Stampede Meats, among other products. Beanstalk is the current licensing agency for the brand.

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