Craft beer drinkers are explorers. They’re always on the search for something new — brands, styles and destinations to visit. When beer adventurers go out on the town, perhaps to a bar or perhaps to a specific brewery, Lyft desperately would like to help you go to and fro safely. To help attract beer drinkers, the San Francisco-based ride share service company has been striking up interesting partnerships with brewers guilds, beer associations, Budweiser and even specific craft breweries.
Last week it was announced that Lyft was now partnered with Chicago’s Baderbrau Brewing Co. to market a beer (called Five Star Lager) that allows people to request discounted rides (as much as $5 off). Pretty cool idea, and a nice opportunity for Baderbrau to boost the profile of this brand. Five Star is actually a rebrand of Baderbrau’s, South Side Pride, a crisp helles lager that makes for a good, low ABV nightcap. Five Star Lager will debut on Jan. 18 and be available at 10 bars throughout Chicago before maybe a broader rollout throughout the year. From the Chicago Tribune:
The partnership achieves a longtime goal for Lyft of getting inside bars. Though centered initially in Chicago, the initiative could expand to other cities.
“We know through data that nightlife is one of our largest business segments, especially going out on a Friday or Saturday night,” said David Katcher, general manager for Lyft in the Midwest. “Harder (to understand) is the psychology of how they decide to get home and when they decide to make that happen. That’s a little more art than science.”
In August of last year, we noted that the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association was partnering with Lyft. Using the promo code “BNBA,” each user got four $5 credits toward rides and (much cooler) the brewers association got a $10 finder’s fee that would go toward the organization (so you’d be supporting craft like a boss). In October, Lyft teamed up with the Massachusetts Brewers Guild, offering promo codes and perks to more than 90 craft breweries across the state. And for the last two years, Lyft has teamed up with Budweiser to reduce drunk driving, providing up to 150,000 total round-trip rides ($20 credits) for use during weekends and holidays.
Now Lyft wants to bring that down to another, local regional level — a top tier city like Chicago — which is a clever move as many popular brands have a lot of regional sway in their homebases. They also wanted a beer that wasn’t too different from a traditional light lager category offering. Back to the Chicago Tribune:
Lyft has committed to a run of 1,000 cases — 24,000 cans — of Five Star Lager before evaluating the effort. Katcher declined to describe the financial details of the partnership. Sama said he envisions Five Star Lager penetrating the kinds of sports bars where craft is still fairly rare. That’s why they decided to use Baderbrau’s easiest-drinking beer for the project.
“For the guy drinking a Miller Lite or PBR the shift isn’t that dramatic,” Sama said.