OHPA is sold in sixpacks at Heinenrsquos for 899

OH-PA is sold in six-packs at Heinen’s for $8.99.

Craft breweries unite for joint brews

Collaborative beers are created through the partnership of two or more breweries. Thanks to an innovative move by Heinen’s Fine Foods [4], retailers can also be part of the team.

Heinen’s spurred a joint venture between Rivertowne Brewing, Export, Pa., and Buckeye Brewing Co., Cleveland.

The result: OH-PA, a 4.8% alcohol by volume session pale ale. The brew was named to pay homage to the Ohio/Pennsylvania connection, and as a play on the term IPA.

The beer launched exclusively in cans at Heinen’s last month. It is sells in six-packs for $8.99. It’s also available on draft at both breweries, as well as at several local restaurants.

In the first week of sales, about 80% of the 170 cases Heinen’s bought were sold, according to Ed Thompkins, wine and beer buyer at Heinen’s, Warrensville Heights, Ohio.

“It’s doing very well,” Thompkins told SN.

Rivertowne was in charge of brewing and canning, while Buckeye handled recipe creation and packaging design. A total of 180 barrels were brewed.


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The release of OH-PA comes at a time when an increasing number of craft breweries are partnering for joint brews.

Typically sold for a limited time, collaboration brews are appealing because they let brewers test new flavors and styles.

“Collaborative beers are dynamic, and allow you to explore new grounds,” Thompkins said.

Retailers benefit because collaboration brews can add incremental sales to the beer category.

Thompkins played a big role in the launch of OH-PA by scheduling a meeting between both breweries. Thompkins felt the two companies would work well together, in part, because they share similar brewing philosophies and the same beer distributor.

“It was a very easy process,” said Garin Wright, Buckeye’s head brewer and part owner. “There were no egos involved.”

Over the last decade, a growing number of craft brewers have teamed for collaboration brews.

Among them:

• Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, for instance, partnered with Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. for several collaborations, including a 2009 collaboration called Life & Limb and an East-meets-West Imperial IPA called Rhizing Bines.

• Sierra Nevada Brewing partnered with a dozen U.S. craft breweries on a variety 12-pack scheduled to be released this summer.

• Stone Brewing Co., Escondido, Calif., started releasing collaboration beers in 2008 to “have some fun with no regard for boundaries,” according to promotional materials.

“As the localization of the beer movement continues to evolve, so does collaboration brewing,” said Julia Herz, craft beer program director at The Brewers Association, Boulder, Colo.

While many collaboration brews are sold for a limited time, some get year-round distribution, Herz said.

Collaborations benefit breweries because each gets to co-produce a product that leverages each brewery’s strong suits, said Herz.

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