The company behind the iconic Mr. Peanut character and popular peanut brand has stepped out of their category with a new alcoholic product. Planters, in partnership with Noon Whistle Brewery, has introduced the company’s first ever beer product, Mr. IPA-Nut, which is set to be released on Friday.
According to the company, 64 percent of men agree that nuts are the best salty snack to pair with beer. This is why Planters is confident that their unique peanut-based beer formulation will find success in the beer market. According to Ashley Tople, marketing director for Planters, the beer also incorporates the salty peanut taste of their original salted peanut products.
“Mr. Peanut doesn’t want beer drinkers to be without the perfect salty snack, which is why he brought the iconic taste of Planters to an IPA,” said Tople. “Mr. IPA-Nut has a unique citrus aroma with a hint of honey-roasted peanuts followed by a slightly salty finish.”
Considering the fact that Planters is already a well-known brand, it’s surprising that the company decided to partner with a smaller-sized brewery. Even the owner of Noon Whistle Brewing, Mike Condon, was surprised when he received an email from Planters regarding the partnership. The three-year-old brewery sells its products in the Chicago region only and made less than 2,000 barrels of beer last year.
“I said to them, ‘You guys know this is the kind of beer we brew, and this is where we distribute?’” said Condon in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “And they were like, ‘We’re good with that! That’s what we want!’”
According to Tople, Kraft Heinz, which owns the Planters brand, wanted to partner with a local brewery so that they can take part in the manufacturing process. So, Noon Whistle’s co-founder Paul Kreiner went to work and came up with a variety of peanut-infused beer recipes. The options included a sort of peanut brittle brown ale or stout and more difficult recipes like peanut hefeweizen. However, Kraft Heinz wanted to push the envelope with a peanut IPA, which is unique because IPAs are usually more fruity than salty and nutty.
“It would have been easy to make a great Stout or Porter with nuts, but Planters wanted to prove that nuts go great with any style beer,” said Michael Condon, Owner at Noon Whistle Brewing. “Therefore, we took their honey roasted peanuts and made a great IPA that highlights both hops and peanuts.”
Kreiner liked the idea of formulating a peanut-based IPA because of the challenge but he knew that a strong and sharp peanut flavor might not please the palette. This is why the brewer decided to use honey-roasted Planters peanuts in the mash and peanut powder in the boil. Kreiner also incorporated Citra hops, which are a fruity staple in IPAs, and Wakatu hops which provide a lime-citrus character to the drink. This fruity, lime-citrus flavor balances the peanut flavor in the beer which results in a smooth and refreshing beverage.
Mr. IPA-Nut will be available in four packs of 16oz. cans for $9.99 in select stores in Illinois as well as in Noon Whistle Brewery. The beverage can features the Mr. Peanut mascot and will be available for purchase on October 27.
Planters plans on marketing their first ever beer product through a digital campaign which will span Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. However, the company plans on making their ad for their new beer just as unique as the product itself. This is why they are reaching out to their social media followers to help them create a “nutty” commercial. This interactive marketing campaign can be followed by using the hashtag #BeerGoesNuts.
According to the Brewers Association, traditional beer sales were down by one percent in 2017, whereas craft brewer sales continued to grow at a rate of five percent. This is why microbreweries have been investing in producing more craft beer products. This also means that consumers are starting to appreciate unique beer products that stand out from traditional norms. Considering Mr. IPA-Nut’s formulation and taste, it looks like it has a lot of potential in the beer market.