Marketing, ​Succeeding With Craft Lagers​

From the beginning, ​being a ​craft Lager​ brewery​ was the plan for Bauhaus Brew Labs after seeing an absence in the Minnesota market.

Bauhaus isn’t just trying to capture a segment of the population that is ​sometimes considered outside the ethos of craft beer. With a slogan this year of “Heck Yeah it’s a Shandy!” the brewery wants to show it’s OK to be a craft beer nerd​, or be a consumer that may buy both craft and macro products. Instead, all sides ​can still enjoy a well-made Shandy.

“There’s a little bit of a stigma around shandies in craft beer,” said COO Matt Schwandt. “Let’s not apologize for it. This is an awesome beer, and people from the craft community and people from the broader beer-drinking community will like it just as well.”

About three years ago the idea of making an all-natural Shandy was formulating, and the Minnesota State Fair’s Ballpark Cafe wanted to add another craft tap to its lineup. The creation, called Short Pants, is now in its second year in cans for the brewery.

The brewery began a campaign in March and will run it through August with videos showing “Shandy Randy” enjoying the Minnesota spring and summer with the beer. The brewery will also pour beers locally with tap handles that feature a lemon on the top.

“I think the way that it’s really manifested in the marketing is pushing how fun craft beer is and should be,” ​said Sales Manager Drew Hurst​ during the 2019 Craft Brewers Conference in Denver​. “It’s meant to be enjoyed in the small window of nice outdoor months we have in Minnesota.

“What we really saw last year when it was in cans the first time was this idea of winning over a lot of people who might otherwise be skeptical of what a shandy is or what that might represent stylistically to them.”

​The brewery’s focus was to legitimize Lagers in craft beer, Schwandt​ noted.

“We just wanted to update them through our own filter​,” he said.​

Other than going from a Helles Lager base to using a German Ale yeast to help speed up production, ​Bauhaus​ has ​looked to ​​create a ​lemon-flavored ​option that didn’t taste like it has synthetic lemons in it.

To achieve an authentic flavor, ​the brew team at Bauhaus uses half a pound of fresh lemon zest per barrel in the whirlpool for aromatics. Then it uses a combination of lemon juice and lemon puree in the brite tank along with a small volume of dexterous solution to add some back sweetness to it.

“It’s not just like some fruit bomb,” Hurst​ said​. “It’s a really nicely balanced Shandy that I think most people are really pleasantly surprised by when they try it.”

Jon Sicotte is Editor at Brewer Magazine. You can reach him at [email protected].

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.