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Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale, the first Nascar-branded beer

on 16/10/13 at 10:55 am


MW-BM931_pfdale_20131010172903_MGDale’s is hardly a newcomer to the craft beer world—the beer, produced by the Colorado-based Oskar Blues Brewery, has been around since 2002. But it’s been in the news of late for two reasons: First, it’s the brew most associated with the craft beer-in-cans movement, a trend that reached new heights earlier this year when Samuel Adams, America’s best-selling craft beer, started offering its signature lager in the aluminum containers for the first time. (Dale’s, on the other hand, has been in cans since its inception.) But perhaps even more significant is the fact that the Dale’s logo will now be affixed to a Nascar car (driven by Landon Cassill), marking the first time a craft brewery has signed on for such a sponsorship. Granted, it’s just for one race — the Dollar General 300 set for Oct. 11 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina. But it’s seen as proof that craft beer is starting to truly break through to the mainstream, given that other beer brands long associated with Nascar include such familiar names as Budweiser, Coors Light and Miller Lite. As fans of the movie “Talladega Nights” know, Nascar is all about those logo-covered cars and the great American tradition of hyping big brands (oh, and auto racing, too).

Not that any of this comes cheaply for a relatively small brand: With the car logo and the broader push into Nascar — Dale’s has other sponsorship arrangements with the Charlotte Speedway — Oskar Blues founder and owner Dale Katechis (the Dale in Dale’s Pale Ale) says the brewery’s commitment is close to six figures. (The brand’s sales in 2012 were $32 million, according to BeerPulse.com. By contrast, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the company behind Budweiser, generated revenues of $39.8 billion that same year.) But Katechis notes that Nascar represents a key demographic to his burgeoning brand: “grassroots, all-American, good ol’ boys,” as he says.