How These 2 Different Beverage Brands Found a Way to Promote Each Other

Harland Brewing’s Cody Morris had never brewed an Aussie XPA before and that he was excited to try it out in a collaboration of sorts with kombucha maker, Mate Maker. 

What came from it was a project that the two San Diego companies hooked up on a way to showcase small farmers and sustainability while uniquely bridging two beverage manufacturers.

Inspired by locally sourced citrus from Old Grove Farms, Harland created the Aussie XPA, Channel Orange-Mango, while Mate Maker developed Secret Citrus. 

Old Grove consists of more than 25 California Inland Empire farmers that trace back five generations. Old Grove Orange is committed to making small farming sustainable, with all fruit picked to order, and through partnerships with local schools, and like-minded lovers of fresh fruit, like Mate Maker and Harland. 

Morris, who is the Director of Brewing Operations at Harland, selected his favorite Australian hop varietal, Vic Secret, and built the recipe around that.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s true-to-style because we used Navel Orange and Mango in the beer, but it was a fun beer to design and brew anyway,” Morris said.

Being able to pick the adjuncts for this was a cool experience for Morris because he said they wanted to make a product that had similar characteristics to what Harland makes for beer and Mate Maker’s kombucha.

READ MORE: Alternative Fermentation: The Tale of Two Kombuchas

“So we did a beer with some fruit and hops and they made a kombucha with the same hops and fruits,” he said. “It was fun to bounce these ideas off one another and even go to a farm to pick the oranges and process them ourselves.” 

Having two brands that can reach two different audiences was also an aspect worth delving into, said Josh Makler, the Brewmaster for Mate Maker.

“We have already set up multiple cross-branded event opportunities across our Southern California distribution markets,” he said. “We are focusing these events more on the on-premise but the collaboration here should help us both break into off-premise markets that we can share with each other.” 

Neither brand thinks of the other as competitors so each sales team can help sell both sides of the collab and provide a unique experience for accounts to sell both products, he added.

“Our team has been pushing the product hard because it turned out to be better than expected,” Morris said of the Channel Orange-Mango release. “It was an instant hit in our tasting rooms and our sales team in LA, Orange County, and San Diego all had massive success with it so quickly that we have already sold out of the product.”

“Mate Maker was a fun choice to collaborate with because we have very similar brand values of working with unique ingredients, but their whole team was a blast to work with as well,” Morris said. “We like to collaborate with companies that we get along with and see potential opportunities for making exciting products and I think we achieved both of those for sure.”

Makler echoed Morris saying Harland has a passion for making local craft products using unique and innovative ingredients while also supporting local ingredient sources. 

“We thought our partnership would be a very moving opportunity to provide support for a local farm and also share our stories on making craft products to new consumers on both sides of our businesses,” he said.

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