Now more than ever, consumers are seeking beverages with ingredients that are all-natural and functional. Honey is the sweetener of choice in Sprecher’s Craft Sodas — Root Beer being the first variety — a distinction that’s both paved the way for a record number of honey-made drinks on store shelves and a Honey Saves Hives Partnership.
Russell Schleiden, vice president of marketing, says that honey is a very key element to the Sprecher brand.
“Honey makes us unique and different from everyone else in the craft soda industry. The quality of honey is so important to the process of our soda.” he says. “We believe the Honey Saves Hives program is a great partnership for us. Plus, bees are fascinating.”
Sprecher Brewing Co., Milwaukee’s original craft brewery, has been around for 38 years. It was the first craft brewery founded in Milwaukee after prohibition. Randy Sprecher, the founder of the brewery, brought his love for European craft-style beers to the States after spending time learning the craft in Germany as a brewing supervisor at Pabst. His love for the craft grew so much in fact that he began offering family tours at Sprecher Brewing.
“In Wisconsin, touring is a family-oriented activity, but the kids didn’t have anything to drink,” Sprecher says. “So, how could we use both quality craft ingredients and have something for kids to drink on the tour?”
The answer came when Sprecher headed to Germantown’s Indian Summer Farm, where vats of honey are now used to sweeten Sprecher craft sodas with honey. Sprecher’s famed Root Beer is a product that makes the customer take a gulp and say, ‘Oh it’s so good!” It’s so tasty, in fact, that the New York Times gave Sprecher Brewing’s Root Beer distinction of the Best Root Beer in America thanks to a taste that hits differently than mass-produced sodas.
Schleiden says that the local tie-in with Milwaukee and building partnerships with local businesses in Wisconsin helped ready Sprecher for the Honey Saves Hives program.
“I can say for sure that every person in this company talks about Honey Saves Hives and how honey is a unique ingredient, critical element and contributor to our brand,” he says. “We promote it with retailers, customers and distributors.”