The drinks version of Team America is uniting in 2018. Jim Beam and Budweiser are collaborating on a new beer called Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager that’ll be released in the fall, uniting the King of Beers and the world’s best-selling bourbon.
Reserve Copper Lager will be a two-row barley beer that’s aged on Jim Beam barrel staves. The staves, which are pieces of the barrels that once held bourbon, will impart a toasty, nutty, caramel-vanilla flavor on the light beer. Aging on staves is a common way to give a beer bourbon barrel flavors without having to deal with transporting and refilling the used barrels. It’s also a faster method, which means Reserve Copper Lager will be released this year, right around the 85th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.
“This partnership feels especially natural given our brands’ common values and the pivotal roles they’ve both played in American history,” Rob Mason, Jim Beam’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement.
The marketing is leaning heavy on the Americana, even though both brands are owned by foreign companies. Budweiser is owned by Belgian-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Jim Beam is owned by Beam Suntory, a Japanese company with headquarters in Chicago. But Budweiser and Beam’s history in America stretches back to long before Prohibition.
“Our family distillers have produced ‘America’s Native Spirit’ since 1795, using traditions and techniques passed down through the generations,” Mason said.
Jim Beam has a history of collaborating with beer brands. Booker Noe, who was previously the master distiller of Jim Beam, started a partnership with Goose Island—also owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev—to create their highly regarded Bourbon County Stout series.
You don’t have to wait until the fall to combine Budweiser and Jim Beam bourbon. The companies are teaming up to promote their alcohol side by side in bars as a beer and a shot. The Boilermaker doesn’t currently have a distinct name (Beam and Bud Boilermakers, anyone?), but expect to see a lot more of the two in bars this spring.