White Castle Shows How Brands Can Do More Laid Back Beer Co-Brands
Sometimes a branded beer collaboration goes over the top. Two brands work together, and the promotion is equal parts of each. The flavor is influenced. The label changes.
Think about the Hormel beer in time for the Super Bowl, when people would supposedly love a beer that's reminiscent of chili cheese dip. Or, the most recent beer collaboration between an Italian ice chain and a Philadelphia brewery.
Those are fun, and certainly memorable, but they aren't the only way that companies can pull off a good branded collaboration.
Evil Genius Beer Company is working with famed burger chain White Castle for its second co-branded release. And get this — the beer isn't, like, steamed onion flavor or feature hints of ground beef.
It's a "hazy kiwi dragon fruit IPA" that's meant to pair with a burger, not taste like one.
Evil Genius Beer Company has joined forces with ... White Castle?
Yes indeed, and the result is an IPA with tropical notes called "Main Character Energy" — soooo, summertime sips for solipsists? https://t.co/BCOwNEVKvZ
— Billy Penn (@billy_penn) April 13, 2023
"Both Evil Genius and White Castle have long been innovators in their respective spaces," Evil Genius co-founder Trevor Hayward said in a press release. "With the success of the first beer, we knew we had to lean into our shared talent for creativity to up the ante and deliver a truly special product."
What this teaches distributors is that two brands can work together on a complementary promotion without borrowing too much from one another aside from logos. This makes sense here because beers pair well with burgers. It's definitely attention-grabbing to go that extra mile and make something that no one would otherwise think of, like a beer with nacho cheese flavor. But, sometimes, it's OK to go more normal with it, so to speak, and just share logo space and packaging.
White Castle knows when to go big with its promotion, like it just did for Valentine's Day. But, this is a more mellow promotion, and sometimes that's exactly what a campaign calls for.