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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

Twenty two times radio has made beer

Article originally entitled Eleven times radio stations have made a beer. Updated 12, 21 24 and 26 July 2017 to add more beers and make it…

"the world's most trusted guide on radio station branded beer" James Cridland, radio futurologist and beer enthusiast.

1. Radio X Amplified

Chris Moyles invited me along for a beer once. For reasons now lost in time the former East End gangster Mad Frankie Fraser was there too. Here’s a tip – when Mad Frankie Fraser asks you to get a round in you do as you’re told.

Now Chris has launched a branded beer for his station Radio X, just in time for the summer season of music festivals around the UK. Chris is a man who knows his beer and, as such, is a credible frontman for this new pale ale called Amplified.

Chris Moyles, Dominic Byrne and Sue Thomas-Taylor, Greene King Locals brand director. Photo: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Greene King

I have no idea what it’s like but if Sue Thomas-Taylor of Greene King would like to send a keg I’ll happily get some friends round for a piss up calibrated taste assessment.

Radio’s Chris Stevens spotted this promotional poster outside a pub in London. It includes the helpful call to action “Get your pint at the bar” for people who are unsure how pubs work.

Radio X Beer at a pub

Meanwhile, here are some other times radio stations have launched beers.

3FM Serious Request - Raise your can

2. Dutch courage

In 2012, Radio 3FM in the Netherlands ran a beer-related promotion to raise money for charity.

The campaign called “Serious Request” aimed to reduce the incidence of infant mortality.

A worthy cause and possibly the only time it’s been possible to save young lives by drinking beer.

The promotion was organised with Grolsch and consumers could also scan the print ads for the beer with an app to donate to the charity.

Other parts of the mechanic included making beer, and filming it…

Then raising money, and filming it…

Now to the USA…

3. Rockweiler: a beer with bite

Rockweiler Ale

Rockweiler rocks up in Akron, Ohio thanks to the Thirsty Dog Brewing Company and 97.5 WONE.

They made some beer and filmed it.

4. JACK fm – brewing what we want

The White Horse brewing company is a regional legend in English beer. Based in the sleepy Oxfordshire village of Stanford-in-the-Vale, their address alone exudes rustic English charm and their motto is “we brew beer to drink – what’s left we sell”.

Together with Oxfordshire’s JACK fm they created JACK’S BITTER BETTER. The name echoes the irreverent style expressed by JACK fm on air. Good tip here: if you create a brand extension, keep your brand voice consistent.

5. The Sam but different

Sam FM is a bit like JACK fm but with a smoother-sounding name for the softies of England’s South Coast. They have their own beer too.

Their beer cleverly doesn’t spill, even when tilted by several degrees.

6. Red Radio, Sydney

Sydney station FBI Radio celebrates local music and the arts. It made a beer with Young Henry’s brewery of Newtown. The label design by Sam Lee does a good job at reflecting the station’s artsy, non-corporate approach to radio.

7. C Water

When locals were advised to boil their water because of a health risk, Rock station C101 in Corpus Christi, Texas offered them a tasty alternative. C Water is “an English Brown Ale with a light brown almost copper colour and a sweet caramel, slightly chocolate malt forward flavour that is balanced by just the right amount of hop bitterness”.

It’s brewed by the Lazy Beach Brewing company.

8. Carnival FM, Hastings

Carnival FM is a special event station that broadcast from a pub in the English town of Hastings (1066 and all that) during its carnival.

The station developed a its own beer that’s said to be hoppy with tropical fruit notes. Apparently, it sells out every year.

Local journalist and beer enthusiast Kevin Hilton told Earshot:

“the Hastings Brewery no longer exists, although Franklins now brews some of its beers. Shame because the Carnival FM beer was a good promotional and fund-raising tool for the radio station. In reality it was one of Hastings Brewery’s IPAs rebadged for the event.”

9. Radio from Hell

Radio from Hell is the name of the morning show on Utah’s X96, KXRK in Salt Lake City and also a beer. X96 is a rock n roll format radio station. The brilliantly named Sky Bitzer designed the label and matching “gone to pee” coasters.

The brewery, Squatters, said “Red as Hell Ale has a staggeringly delicious flavor profile. Really interesting malt, alcohol and hop flavors and aromas in perfect balance, resulting in what might be described as a slightly fruity disposition – much like [morning show talent] Kerry, Bill and Gina.”

10. Radio Hauraki, New Zealand

To mark its fiftieth birthday, Radio Hauraki launched a beer and a cider with the Invercargill Brewery and put them in plastic bottles. Maybe that’s normal in NZ.

They also made a video of people drinking it…

Also, New Zealand’s Chris Nicoll got in touch to say that his former radio station, ZM once created a lager. Sadly, we have no photographic evidence of this mythical brew. If you find some, please send it over.

11. WFBG in the 70s

Where did this crazy trend start?

One of the oldest radio beers we can find comes from Altoona, Pennsylvania an area known locally as Keystone Country. I was curious to know why so I phoned the news desk at the Altoona Mirror newspaper. They had no idea either. Anyway, this is what a Premium Beer looked like in the 1970s.

WFBG Radio's Premium Beer

Thanks to Tavern Trove for the image.

This beer is now a collectors item with empty cans trading among enthusiasts on Ebay.

And, to prove its collectability, Radio’s Larry Gifford, the man behind the Radio Stuff podcast even found one in his father’s beer stash…

Gifford Senior’s beer can. Still shiny.

12. A Scilly idea

 

Megahertz by Ales of Scilly. Image © Mark Praeger and used with permission.

Friend of Earshot, Keri Jones tells us of Megahertz, a beer brewed by the Ales of Scilly Brewery to celebrate the launch of Radio Scilly in September 2007.

Keri says the name was decided by listeners through an on-air “name-that-beer” competition. Truly the stuff of good community-based local radio.

13. Academy Fermented

Folkestone’s 105.9 Academy FM created a golden ale with the town’s Hop Fuzz Brewery, says Earshot reader Kay Mcloughlin from the station.

The station didn’t just get a decent drink out of this exercise – they also generated 22 minutes of informative radio content. In this audio interview you’ll learn how the beer is made, including the importance of “Burtonisation”, with Daryl from Hop Fuzz Brewery.

14. Fox Rocker

“Fox Rocker is the newest core beer from Crystal Lake Brewing, brewed just for you, The Fox listener.” says 103.9 The Fox WFXF in Crystal Lake, Illinois, USA.

Their beer is an American Red Ale with a 5.5% ABV and their video shows you how it’s made from real untamed guitar chords…

Fox Rocker

15. Dan Patrick’s Audible Ale

Audible Ale is created by a radio show and its host, not a station but given that The Dan Patrick Show is syndicated widely across North America by Premiere Radio Networks that’s close enough.

“Listen to your thirst – it’s audible” says Dan Patrick. He launched the beer at the 2013 SuperBowl ‘s and, oh yes… made a video.

16. Olde Frothingslosh

Olde Frothingslosh

Here’s a beer that started as a fictional brand mentioned on air and later became a product, made real by a local brewery. To help you remember Olde Frothingslosh it’s “a Pale Stale Ale so light the foam is on the bottom.”

The commercial radio pioneer KDKA Pittsburg introduced the notion of Olde Frothingslosh in its Rege Cordic morning show in the 1950s. Pittsburg Brewing later took the name, the concept and over successive Christmas periods, produced the brew. Beer collector website rustycans.com reports:

“In 1954 Pittsburgh Brewing Company bought the rights to bottle it and packaged 500 cases to give to customers at Christmas. Inside the bottles… was the normal Pittsburgh Brewing Company beer. This proved so popular that Pittsburgh Brewing bottled more cases for Christmas 1955 and also issued a quarter million 8 oz cans of Sir Lady Frothingslosh (#242-16 in the USBC, the BCCA’s new guide to beer cans) containing Pittsburgh Brewing’s Tech brand beer.”

It’s a lovely example of life imitating art. Here’s a radio ad for Olde Frothingslosh dating from 1962, together with some of its novelty labels:

17. A pint of Shires

Fans of The Archers on BBC Radio 4 will know how refreshing a pint of Shires can be at the end of a tough week working the fields. Or gossiping.

You can enjoy “a pint of Shires please Jolene” at The Bull in Ambridge. According to Trip Advisor, it has good ale and interesting locals.

The Bull, Ambridge, England on TripAdvisor.

[Disclosure/spoiler: I used to make the sound effects for the Archers. The sound of a pint of Shires was on a NAB cart. We took just the left leg to avoid cue tone bleed. The sound of the glasses going down on the bar was performed alongside the cast as live spot effects. You had to keep the glasses close to the actors in the stereo image otherwise it would sound as if their characters had arms ten foot long.]

18. KISW The Mens Room

The Mens Room talent

The Mens Room talent

Elysian brewing logo

Seattle rock station KISW 99.9 FM and Elysian Brewing produced a range of craft beers to support its afternoon drive show The Mens Room. Proceeds from the sale of these beers goes to helping support “the families of military vets.” I assume that’s veterans, not pet doctors.

One of the brews, Mens Room Original Red, is described by the brewery as amber in color with a light hop aroma and toasty malt finish. It has a medium body from hops that were bittered with Chinook and finished with Cascade. It’s has an ABV of 5.6% and an IBU of 51. Enough info? Thought so.

Here’s how the fundraising stacked-up…

Mens Room fundraising with beer. See how it stacks up.

Mens Room fundraising with beer.

19. CFOX The Jeff O’Neil Show

The Jeff O’Neil show team in a brewery

It’s May 2014 and Vancouver’s CFOX with Central City Brewing has created “The Jeff O’Neil Show Red Racer Maple Bacon Breakfast Ale”. It’s a mouthful… of deliciousness, says the station. An easy-drinking amber with hints of maple and smokey bacon.

Did they make a video? Oh yes..

20. Radio Milwaukee’s 88 Nine Amplified

88 Nine Amplified pale ale

Over ten years this non-profit station has become known for playing new and Milwaukee music and its community engagement. Now it has a beer too. 88 Nine Amplified Pale Ale is crafted locally by the Lakefront Brewery, a business that knows how to make beer and write evocative copy:

“Huge citrus and floral aromas greet the nose from the stacks of Citra and Cascade hops added toward the end of the boil and in the whirlpool. The flavor is extremely citrus forward with just a touch of light caramel malt, giving way to a mild, hoppy finish, coaxing yet another sip.”

The beer was launched at a ‘release party’ hosted by popular Milwaukee Regano’s Roman Coin and the Nomad World pub.

88 Nine Amplified launch event

21. Primordial Süp

Primordial's beerBritain’s newest digital rock and metal station Primordial Radio created Primordial Süp with the Pig & Porter brewery in Kent, England.

Süp is pronounced Soup and Primordial Radio is raising funds. To help, Pig & Porter will donate £15 per keg sold, adding to the station’s crowdfunding total.

The beer expresses “elements of stone fruit and a whiff of citrus, from hop varieties Ahtanum, Eukanot and Zythos.”

Hey – surely they haven’t made a video of it all? Primordial’s entry wins the prize for most educational beer process video. Nice pipes.

22. JACK’s Hoppy Ending

JACK’s Hoppy Ending in a boardroom setting.

The White Horse Brewery and Oxfordshire’s JACK fm are onto their second round. Hoppy Ending is a follow-up beer to JACK’s Better which features at number 4 of this list.

Hoppy Ending is described as a light crisp traditional IPA bouncing full of flavour with bags of Galaxy and Chinook hops.

At the time of writing it’s on special offer in the JACKfm online shop.

JACK's Hoppy Ending shop offer

If you stumble upon any other radio related beers just let me know via this site or on Twitter @earshotcreative

Additional research by James Cridland and Larry Gifford.

Podcast

Get a deeper understanding of the relationship between radio and beer by listening to this edition of the Radio Stuff podcast with Larry Gifford.