Denver’s Stem Ciders just announced that it will be venturing further into the craft beer realm by acquiring the Howdy Beer brand from The Post Brewing Co., which will still remain involved as a strategic partner. Brewed as a “Western Pilsner”, Howdy Beer was first launched in 2014 by The Post Brewing, which is operated by Big Red F Restaurant Group in Boulder, Colo. A crisp, biscuit-y American-style Pilsner featuring a beautiful light bouquet of Western hops, Howdy has gained its share of national acclaim at the Great American Beer Festival, earning a bronze medal in 2018 in the American-Style Pilsener category and a silver medal in 2014 in the American-Style or International-Style Pilsener category.
Now, Stem Ciders hopes to bring Howdy a national platform through broader distribution starting with campaign launches in Colorado, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma slated to begin this summer.
“We have always believed that Howdy Beer is an incredible beer with awesome potential,” said Dave Query, founder of Big Red F Restaurant Group. “The partnership with Stem will allow Howdy to reach its brand and distribution potential. They have a skilled sales team and a strong knowledge of the industry needed to launch a brand across several regions.”
Stem Ciders first started wading into the beer space in February 2020 by forming a strategic partnership with Sleeping Giant Brewing to help manage marketing and sales efforts on behalf of Boulder Beer Co. This brand acquisition of Howdy Beer serves as an extension of Stem Ciders’ diversified beverage portfolio while also furthering its alignment with Sleeping Giant, who will continue to handle production of the beer on Stem’s behalf. The addition of the Howdy brand also allows Stem Ciders to continue to grow their wholesale business strategy of creating a platform of Colorado-based beverage brands that exist in mutually exclusive consumer spaces.
“Our vision is to create solutions for our distributor partners by offering a high margin portfolio of brands that can capture multiple channel and beverage type opportunities, all with fully aligned production, shared logistics, and front-of-house sales and marketing support,” explained Dave Duffy, CCO of Stem Ciders.
Long time friends and collaborators through the Boulder restaurant and beverage scene, Query and Foster first began talking about the opportunity to give Howdy a larger platform as early as two years ago.
“We’ve been huge admirers of the Howdy Beer brand, and the beer itself, for such a long time,” said Foster. “But what’s more exciting is that Howdy also presents an opportunity for us to explore the unique middle ground between the premium and craft beer categories.”
The Post Brewing will continue to retain and brew the rest of its beer portfolio in-house under Brewmaster Nick Tedeschi but will also continue to feature Howdy beer at all of its Big Red F locations. However, as Query notes, the alignment with Stem gives Howdy Beer the opportunity to grow nationally.
“Every great product, be it a beer or a wristwatch or a medical device or whatever, has to be stewarded by the best possible leader to take it to its full potential,” said Query. “I am a chef and restaurant guy and while making a ton of beer is now something we do, it doesn’t mean that I/we know how to market and distribute and assure its best success. We launched six beers into cans and bombers and sold them in liquor stores and restaurants across Colorado. What a pain in the ass it was. In this tough Colorado Craft Beer climate, taking a beer to market ain’t for beginners.”