Wawa taps its sig­na­ture beer with As­ton brewer

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - BUSINESS - By Kevin Tustin [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com

CHADDS FORD >> Af­ter lock­ing down the mar­ket on hoa­gies, cof­fee and gaso­line, Wawa has en­tered a new fron­tier with the sale of its first sig­na­ture beer Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

Lead­ers of the con­ve­nience store gi­ant and As­ton-based 2SP Brew­ing Com­pany tapped the first keg of Wawa’s own Win­ter Re­serve Cof­fee Stout at its Chadds Ford store to kick off the first busi­ness ven­ture in sell­ing their own spe­cialty brews.

“For Wawa, it’s all about com­mu­nity, build­ing re­la­tion­ships up with our cus­tomers and that’s what to­day’s all about. We’re de­lighted to have this launch to­day with our partners, 2SP,” said Wawa Chief Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing Of­fi­cer Mike Sher­lock.

The prod­uct de­vel­oped when Wawa was try­ing to come up with a win­ter cof­fee blend and 2SP stepped in at the same time to talk about a beer op­por­tu­nity with the com­pany.

“It seemed like a nat­u­ral fit for us and to be able to build some­thing for our brands to­gether, and re­ally partner two brands from Delco and sell our brew and stout in Delaware County and Philadel­phia area for a lim­ited time,” said Sher­lock.

2SP’s Di­rec­tor of Sales and Mar­ket­ing Michael Con­tr­eras said it was “a shot in the dark” chance to form the part­ner­ship.

“Bob (Bar­rar, 2SP head brewer) and I were ar­gu­ing over what we were go­ing to brew for the next quar­ter,” said Con­tr­eras. “The only thing we could agree on was our taste in cof­fee that day. I said, ‘let’s stop talk­ing, let’s hit up Wawa and see if we can brew a nice win­ter re­serve stout us­ing some of their beans.’”

Ac­cord­ing to 2SP representatives, the brew is cre­ated with four dif­fer­ent types of cof­fee beans from four dif­fer­ent con­ti­nents that Wawa was us­ing for their win­ter blend. Wawa Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment Man­ager Michael McLaugh­lin said the key fla­vors from the beans in­clude dark cho­co­late, gra­ham cracker, some spice and fruit.

Bar­rar used an oat­meal stout as the base for the beer which adds a nice “creami­ness and sweet­ness” to the beer.

“We wanted the sweet­ness in the beer to bal­ance out the cof­fee char­ac­ter,” said Bar­rar.

Hun­dreds lined up around the store lead­ing up to the first pub­lic taste test­ing at 4:30. Wawa was of­fer­ing 300 tast­ing tick­ets for cus­tomers to get one of the first sam­ples and to grab their own four-pack of cans on the go.

BEER >> PAGE 7

Joseph Higgins of Glen­moore holds his four pack of Wawa Win­ter Re­serve Stout.

Hun­dreds stood in line to get their lim­ited edi­tion Wawa Win­ter Re­serve Cof­fee Stout.

Wawa Prod­uct De­vel­op­ment Man­ager Michael McLaugh­lin pours the first glass of Wawa Win­ter Re­serve Cof­fee Stout.

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