Sporting events and activities have long been toasted, celebrated and sponsored by beer. The Super Bowl commercials are a testament to this popular relationship, as are the many articles written about beer and baseball. Now it seems that brewers are climbing onto the golf cart as golf has become a sport more accessible to all.
Three breweries have been associated with golf courses: McMenamins Edgefield Pub Course in Troutdale, OR; Brewpub on the Green in Fremont, CA; and Pinehurst Village Brewery in Aberdeen, NC, which produced three different beers under the Double Eagle name. Of these, the McMenamins complex is the only one open today, operating as part of a 38-acre historic estate offering lodging, dining, an 18-hole par 3 golf course, as well as a brewery, distillery, and winery.
Two breweries in Ohio are part of gated “members only” clubs. The Private Lodge at Hide-A-Way Hills features a restaurant, lounge and a microbrewery, which brews their private label, Rushcreek Ale. The other is The Medallion Club in Westerville, which features a 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.
The opportunities for brand name placements in golfing are almost endless, and golf advertising is within reach financially for many of smaller breweries. I must have over 100 different golf balls advertising beer, and I have a beer bottle filled with golf tees. The label uses a fake brand name, Strokes Beer, and says the bottle contains 12 “fluid bounces.” Scorecards, ball markers, divot tools, pencils without erasers, putters, tees, golf bags, golf towels, visors, and many other items remind us of what to drink when the game is over. Coasters and tap handles sporting a golf theme are also abundant. Some great-looking golf-themed steins have been made, and I have a number of beer glasses that have a golf ball embossed into the base. The Widmer Brothers Brewery even offers an electronic golf game on their website.
As for beer itself, Royal Duffer Golf Society Lager was a contract-brewed brand by Joseph Huber Brewing Co. of Monroe, WI. The beer was promoted as the “Best Round of Your Life.”
The national brands that probably sponsor golf the most are Michelob and O’Doul’s from Anheuser-Busch, although Coors and Miller have also spent millions advertising to golfers. The big brewers have sponsored some of the major tournaments and have been officially aligned with the PGA. Well over 100 Michelob beer cans commemorate the great holes in golf, and O’Doul’s has issued golf-themed bottle and can packages. On a smaller scale, Grant’s Brewery in Yakima, WA, is promoting its new Mandarin Hefeweizen by sponsoring broadcasts of PGA tournaments locally.
Internationally, Belhaven in Scotland brews a brand known as Saint Andrews and promotes the fact that it is from the home of golf. Heineken, Beck’s, Newcastle, Fuller’s, Amstel, and Bass also have in numerous ways capitalized on the world’s love of golf.
Maybe the emotions we share when shooting a round of golf is what makes the beer taste so good when we’ve finished the 19th hole. What ever the reason, beer and golf are a “parfect” fit as far as I am concerned.
“Beer Dave” Gausepohl has collected breweriana since 1974 and has a personal collection of half a million items. He has visited over 1,500 breweries.