Friday, September 20, 2019

Does Royal Enfield need a craft beer of its own?

Two cans and one empty bottle of beer with labels showing.
Harley-Davidson beers of 1990 and 2018 and a proposal for Royal Enfield.
Earlier this year my brother- and sister-in-law brought me a special gift from Milwaukee: a four-pack of Harley-Davidson "115th Anniversary Milwaukee Lager."

Maybe Harley should get into the beer business: that stuff was good!

The beer was a "collaborative local craft beer," produced by Milwaukee Brewing Co., Third Space Brewing and Good City Brewing Co.

It was a special release for Harley's 115th anniversary during Labor Day weekend 2018, and was available in Wisconsin "while supplies last." They should have kept making it.

I'm no beverage expert but I found the 115th Anniversary brew light, slightly sweet, and with a nice suggestion of fruit flavor. This would please a lot of people — no bad thing.

It was worth drinking, not just something to drink. This was a pleasant surprise. You know that lots of people would just want to empty the can so they can add it to their collection of all things Harley. Yes, this was actually suggested in coverage of the event at the time.

I also liked that it came in full pint cans, not because it's a bigger bang, but because having a pint with a friend is usually enough. The design of the can was a little too subtle, I thought. It's hard to take a photograph of it. The eagle image on the can has been described as "tattoo style."

In 1990 I got hold of some cans of Harley-Davidson "Heavy Beer," a promotional item at the Daytona 500. It made a great souvenir of the race.

 According to one article, that beer was meant as an "anti-light beer." It was supposed to have more calories. At the time I didn't think it was special but back then I generally didn't care what beer tasted like. I just liked beer.

I won't ever have a beer and then go ride my motorcycle. But I do think a branded beer is a great way to promote a motorcycle company.

In fact, my daughter Anna even created a series of Royal Enfield themed labels and pasted them on bottles of beer as a Christmas gift for me in 2011.

Here were her suggestions for Royal Enfield:

Maj. Bunty Ale.

War Time Best Bitter ("Made Like a Gun").

Flying Flea IPA ("Brewed Like a Gun").

Royal Enfield Rocker Stout.

Pilot Light Pilsner.

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