SABMiller has been granted global distribution rights to Van Steenberge’s flagship Augustijn beer under a new brand name, St. Stefanus. St. Stefanus is brewed using a high-fermentation process in which the beer ages in cellars for at least three months. Available only in bottle format, St. Stefanus will offer several variants, including a lower-alcohol Blonde, matured for the minimum time, and a Grand Cru that’s matured for nine months. Both will be distributed in select U.S. markets and retail outlets that focus on specialty and craft beers.
Actor Adrian Grenier and partner Justin Hawkins have launched the Churchkey Can Co., a new craft beer company specializing in vintage-style packaging. Currently selling its brews in Seattle and Portland, the company is expanding into the San Francisco market this month. Subsequent rollouts in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin are slated for August. Produced in partnership with home brewers Lucas Jones and Sean Burke, head brewer Joel VandenBrink and beer can supplier Ball Corporation, Churchkey’s single offering is a handcrafted Pilsner-style beer (4.9%-abv) packaged in 12-ounce, flat top steel cans. The flat top cans—which were first introduced in 1935, but replaced by pull-tab cans in the mid-1960s—can only be opened with a “churchkey” opener. The Churchkey Can Co. Pilsner is priced at $9.99 a six-pack, and around $3-$5 a can at bars and restaurants.
St. Helena, California-based C. Mondavi & Sons has officially launched The Divining Rod, its first new brand in more than 60 years. The Divining Rod is named for C. Mondavi co-proprietor and winemaker Marc Mondavi’s knack for finding underground sources of water beneath vineyard land. The range is currently comprised of a 2010 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay and a 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, both available nationwide at around $17 a 750-ml.
Beam Inc. has launched two new flavor extensions to its Pucker vodka line—Lemonade Lust and Raspberry Rave. Priced at $16.99 a 750-ml., the two join a flavor range that includes Sour Apple Sass, Grape Gone Wild, Cherry Tease and Citrus Squeeze. In time for the release, Pucker has partnered with deejay Steve Aoki to launch a new TV ad campaign featuring an exclusive remix of one of his songs.