Back in 2011, Radio Survivor’s Paul Riismandel asked the question, “Does Your Radio Station Have Its Own Beer?” After discovering a vintage co-branded beer can, he wondered why a community station today didn’t team up with a local craft brewery. Flash forward to 2014 and Minnesota Public Radio station “The Current” has announced that it is partnering with a brewing company to launch a co-branded beer later this month.
A posting on the Current website states that Schell’s The Current Beer is a “limited edition…seasonal offering…in Minnesota.” The station will be doing a number of events to promote this new beer and it’s even created a special music compilation in honor of the partnership. A press release states that, “In addition to increasing brand awareness of The Current, the station is using the new product to introduce beer lovers to local bands.” As part of this goal, the affiliated Current Beer EP includes songs recorded at the station, including Har Mar Superstar’s appropriately-titled track “Tall Boy.”
According to Current’s press release, “Any profit generated from the sales of Schell’s The Current beer will go back to The Current and the work it does to support local music.” (Note: after the story published, I was told that “only a portion of the proceeds from the beer sales will go back to The Current”).
The alcohol industry is highly regulated in the United States, so I’m sure that the Current and Schell’s are being extraordinarily careful about how they market this collaboration. In addition to taking care to not break rules that regulate the way that alcohol is advertised (which also work to ensure that alcohol isn’t being marketed to anyone under the age of 21), they need to be mindful of the FCC’s rules about enhanced underwriting since the Current is a non-commercial radio station.
To follow up on Paul’s post from 2011, I’d be curious to hear if there are other non-commercial radio stations that are making or co-branding a beer. Let us know in the comments.
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