How Teaming with Band Mastodon Made Sense for Three Taverns

An opportunity to introduce their brand to a new group of drinkers and not just do a standard collaboration with another brewery was front-of-mind for Three Taverns in the recent release of Teardrinker, a Hazy IPA that the Atlanta-based brewery created with the popular metal band Mastodon.

Collaborations outside of the brewery-with-a-brewery model are really appealing and interesting to Three Taverns, explained PR & Brand Development Manager, Nathan Berrong.

“We’ve collaborated with bands, nonprofits, customers, and local farms,” he said. “And we’ll continue doing that — with more band collaborations — next year.”

Each collaboration for Three Taverns is a one-off experience and typically has a set date – like an album release, harvest of a crop, or a special event — of importance attached to it where future releases would not make sense.

“These collaborations are tons of fun and it’s awesome to see people get stoked on them and even pick up a few new drinkers of Three Taverns along the way,” Berrong said. “When thinking about a beer collaboration it’s important for us to be unique while also being authentic.”

Berrong, tongue-in-cheek, summed it up this way for the brand: “The model has always been super cool Brewery X collaborates with hot-shit Brewery Y to create Beer Z. And that’s uh…pretty cool and all, I guess? But it’s not unique and is more a badge of (meaningless) honor than anything else. We’re taking on a newer model of super cool Three Taverns Brewery collaborates with hot-shit band Mastodon to create a new beer, Teardrinker.”

READ MORE: Three Taverns to Open Second Location at Atlanta Dairies

Teardrinker is the second time working with a band on a beer. This Is Beer, was a Grouplove collaboration as well, and Berrong said it’s really important to the brewery for the band to have an imprint on the beer.

Brann Dailor — who is a drummer/vocalist for Mastodon, and an avid craft beer fan — wanted to make a hazy IPA that was really bold but also super drinkable. Three Taverns worked with him to create a 6.2% Double Dry Hopped Hazy IPA with Idaho 7, Mosaic, Citra, Enigma, and Motueka. Dailor suggested naming it “Teardrinker” after the single off the band’s latest album.

“It turned out fantastic and was just what we wanted,” Berrong said.

When it comes to creating a brand, making it sellable is a trait that is key, and since many fans of the band may have not had the brewery’s beer before, making it a welcoming addition that could net follow-up purchases is key.

“It’s no secret that a well-made Hazy IPA will move quickly so we knew we wouldn’t have to worry about sellability with this one,” Berrong said. “Brann was a part of the whole process from brainstorming sessions, label design to recipe creation, brew day, and release day.”

The label design for Teardrinker is from Portland, Oregon-based artist Alexander Reisfar, whom Mastodon selected to create a visual representation of the song. Reisfar’s art has graced the cover of numerous metal albums and his paintings have been featured in galleries all across the country. Reisfar’s creative process starts with hand painting the entire artwork.

Other band members helped on brainstorming and at brew day while the whole band showed up for the release at the brewery’s Imaginarium location which coincided with the release of its latest album, Hushed and Grim.

For promotion, it was understood Three Taverns would promote it a lot on their end while Mastodon would post about the release and where to find it.

“We typically do not throw beer release parties but for this one, since it coincided with the album release, we decided to have a joint beer release party and album listening party with the band,” Berrong said. “The band promoted it on their end and they had fans drive 6-plus hours to attend the release. It was pretty bonkers.”

When ​Three Taverns collaborate on something like this​,​ the driving force is working with people ​they respect and doing something fun and unique.

​”​Gaining new consumers out of it is an added bonus but never the focus​,” Berrong said​. ​”​We’ve had people reach out to us from all over the country asking how they can get Teardrinker so it definitely introduced some Mastodon fans to our beers/brewery.

​”I hope in turn some of our loyal fans were introduced to Mastodon and are now melting their faces off to the new album.​”​

Teardrinker was packaged in 16-ounce, 4-pack cans and available statewide in Georgia and in Southeast Tennessee.

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