Talking Brands: Marmite and Catan have launched beer collaborations… Which other brands should take a swig?

Triclops Studio’s Rob Ames and Luc Hudson, Beams International’s Emma Coote and Tomato Source’s Emma Beeson share their suggestions as to what brands are ripe for a beer partnership.

This year has seen a flurry of brands launch beer collaborations.

Back in March, the Cadbury Crème Egg celebrated its 50th anniversary with a limited-edition beer courtesy of Goose Island Beer Company.

The Golden Goo-Beer-Lee Creme Stout was a blend of malted barley, oats, wheat and milk sugar, as well as cacao nibs and vanilla beans, and it sold out in minutes.

“The flavours of a stout are already quite complementary to the Creme Egg, but I wanted to make sure when you crack open the beer you knew immediately what the inspiration was and really big up the chocolate and creaminess of the beer – while keeping it super drinkable,” said Goose Island Master Brewer, Andrew Walton.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

It seems authenticity is key when bringing brands into beer, and especially when dealing with food brands. A good example is Marmite’s recent foray into booze with Camden Town Brewery.

To create the limited-edition Camden Marmite Ale, Camden started with a combination of pilsner, Munich, Perle hops and smoked Rauch malt. The brewers then added Marmite, resulting in a smoky, Marmite-infused ale.

“We worked really closely with the Marmite team throughout the brewing process,” Ashleigh Amos, Head of Brand Experience and Partnerships at Camden Town Brewery, told us.

“The last thing we wanted to do was create a Marmite beer that didn’t even taste of Marmite! So, we added real Marmite to make sure that yeasty flavour was punchy enough for all our Marmite – and beer – lovers!”

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

Away from food brands, the iconic board game Catan recently launched a range of beers with Champion Brewing Company.

Without a flavour to tie into beer, instead each launch reflects a different terrain within the game, like the Field Harvest Wheat Ale.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

Following all this boozy activity, we asked Triclops Studio’s Rob Ames and Luc Hudson, Beams International’s Emma Coote and Tomato Source’s Emma Beeson for their suggestions as to what other brands are perfect for a beer collab.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer Rob Ames & Luc Hudson, Co-Founders, Triclops Studio

It feels like it’s been a while since we’ve sat in a pub so we had to cast our minds back a little for this one!

Our original idea was to mash bar snack flavours with beer (Scampi Fries Stout anyone?) however, we saw that KP have already launched a Peanut-flavoured beer with a London brewery.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

The last thing you’d want to do is drink a beer that is absolutely revolting (that hasn’t stopped us in the past) but we’re hoping that our ideas would actually taste quite nice….

Rob: Being a biscuit connoisseur, the idea of mixing Fox’s Biscuits flavours with beer seems a good blend. For example, Fox’s Ginger Crunch Cream beer or Bourbon, Custard Cream… It feels like the butteriness of biscuits is there in beer anyway.

It’s such a tradition at Christmas to get a Fox’s selection box, you could just mirror that and get a Christmas beer party-pack where you get all the favourite flavours. You could get a sample biscuit with every can – maybe something like those teacups with a biscuit shelf… Perhaps you pull the ring pull and the whole top of the can peels away so you can dunk your biscuit.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

Luc: I’m a big fan of Kriek, the Belgian fruit beer, and was thinking about fruity products which could compliment the beer flavour. Muller Fruit Corner would be an interesting cross over, especially if the fruit puree element was a shot of liqueur which you could either choose to sink as a ‘bomb’ into the creamy beer or mix it in – echoing the various ways that people enjoy their Fruit Corner yogurt experience.

Alternatively, the bottle could be one of those old school pop bottles with a marble separating the two segments so you can see the fruit flavoured ‘shot’ in the top and swirl to mix the two components together (they still use them in Japan for soda).

Fox’s and/or Muller can just drop us a line to discuss the royalty deals!

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer Emma Coote, Group Brands & Licensing Director, Beams International

There’s some great character-led licensed beer in market and I know some of it sells exceptionally well, but I also think food and beverage licensing is strongest where there’s a genuine ‘reason to believe’ in the product. So that’s why I would lean towards a brand where, like Marmite, the proposition includes a flavour collaboration that genuinely works – and ideally adds a new dimension to the category.

As one of those people who spends half the day wondering if it’s too late for coffee and the other half wondering if it’s too early for alcohol, I’ve always been a big fan of those products that combine the two. You won’t see me much happier than when I’ve got an espresso martini in my hand!

Several coffee beers have emerged over the last few years but have by all accounts been a little ‘hit and miss’, and from what I’ve seen have been almost exclusively led by the beer brand.

I love the concept of ‘craft beer meets craft coffee’, so it would be great to see a coffee brand enter the beer space with a really authentic product; one that’s more about the coffee than the beer.

As certain pockets of the beer industry have had a pretty bad rap this year on matters such as workers’ welfare (and the coffee industry also has its own set of major issues in this regard), it would be amazing to see this product developed by a brand that puts ethics first. I think Pact Coffee would be a great candidate.

So my proposal would be a Pact Coffee Cold Brew IPA – and you can sign me up to be on the tasting panel!

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer Emma Beeson, Co-Founder, Tomato Source
So we all like a Friday night beer, and if you throw in a good film to boot, it’s a classic combination, isn’t it?

With the return of big films to the cinema screens I asked our team what they were looking forward to most – and with a resounding, emphatic yay (apart from James Bond) it’s Jurassic World: Dominion.

It just wouldn’t be right to see our 007 throwing a Martini out of the window, but we could have some fun with a Jurassic Park-inspired Barbasol Beer on a Friday night.

Remember the modified shaving cream can that Dennis Nedry used to smuggle the dinosaur embryos? Bring back the nostalgia with an awesome shaped Barbasol Beer Cryo-Can can with a see-through strip showing off a thirst quenching, amber beer.

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

And what else do we associate with Jurassic Park and an amber colour – yup, you guessed it – a mosquito! Atop the cane used by John Hammond.

Throw a widget into the can, shaped in a mosquito and there you have it – (probably) the most dangerous beer in the world to take a swig of. Now that would be a close shave! (and a great collector or instant win campaign!)

Cadbury Crème Egg, Marmite, Catan, Beer

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