As soon new ownership arrived earlier this year, Sprecher stepped up its innovation and has already launched an energy version of its beloved root beer and the new easy-drinking, sessionable ReFresh Button IPA, which you can read about here.
Another new brew has arrived and this one is an unusual collaboration between the brewer, the Milwaukee County Parks – with which Sprecher partners on the Traveling Beer Gardens program – and the brewery’s distributor, Beer Capitol Distributing.
ParkLife Honey Lager is the first in a planned Inspired by Parks series that is part of a larger parks funding initiative called Love Your Parks, which you can read about here.
Packaged in a can design that’s inspired by Grant Park, where there one of the the traveling beer gardens is planted through July 12, the honey lager is brewed with the same Wisconsin honey that sweetens Sprecher Root Beer.
That honey is sourced from Indian Summer Honey Farm, in nearby Germantown and it adds a hint of sweetness, a touch of honey earthiness and a nice hefty body you might not expect form a 5 percent ABV beer.
"It was actually an idea that came from discussions that came about with Beer Capitol, our distributor, as well as County Parks," says Sprecher’s Chief Commercial Officer Jim Kanter.
"It’s a totally new brew, made with one of the ingredients we know best: Wisconsin honey, which of course we use in our root beer. It just made sense."
Kanter says all three partners were involved in both the development of the beer itself, as well as the packaging and design.
"(It was) great teamwork, and a lot of fun too," he said.
The beer is available in four-pack 16-ounce cans at retail outlets around the state and a portion of the proceeds will help fund parks via the County Parks Foundation.
"This is an extension of the Traveling Beer Garden we do, which has given back things over time like bike racks, bathroom improvements and concession area improvements," says Kanter, who adds that beer lovers should expect to see more new products in the coming months.
"We are looking at additional opportunities to keep new things coming for our consumers with great partners such as Beer Capitol and Milwaukee County Parks and others," he says.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.