Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You're Kidding, Right?

From the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Stevens Point Brewery's newly released Nude Beach beer attracts nation's nudist organizations
Posted: May 5, 2008

Stevens Point Brewery's newest beer leaves little to the imagination, and that's drawing admiring glances from an unlikely group of beer drinkers: those who imbibe sans clothes.
Nude Beach Summer Wheat

It's a whole subculture that I didn't know existed.
- Joe Martino,Stevens Point Brewery operating partner

Nude Beach Summer Wheat is the latest seasonal beer launched by Stevens Point Brewery, which has launched three other seasonal craft brews over the past year. The ale's name popped up during a brain-storming session, said the brewery's operating partner, Joe Martino.

"We decided to have a fanciful name," Martino said. That's a common marketing gimmick used in the brewing industry, where you don't even have to leave Wisconsin to find colorfully named beers such as Louie's Demise, Spotted Cow and Bitter Woman.

The beer's label features a nude beach scene - although the beachgoers have their naughty bits covered by such objects as a surfboard, towel and volleyball. The full monty would have not amused the federal regulators who approve beer labels, Martino said.

Nude Beach's recent launch quickly drew attention from the nation's nudists, said Carolyn Hawkins, spokeswoman for the American Association for Nude Recreation, a group that claims 47,000 members who enjoy sunbathing, swimming and other activities au naturel. The Kissimmee, Fla.-based group bills itself as "a trusted source for nudist information on such topics as what to expect at a nudist club, a nudist resort, or even from a skinny dipping experience."
"Our members have bombarded us with messages" about Nude Beach, Hawkins said.

And that led Hawkins to contact Stevens Point Brewery about providing some free beer for the association's annual convention. The event, which usually draws around 1,000 people, will be held this year at Turtle Lake Resort in Union City, Mich., which is south of Battle Creek, from Aug. 11-17.

Stevens Point, based in the central Wisconsin city of that same name, will provide 25 cases of Nude Beach in return for some ads in the group's newspaper, and in the convention bulletin.
"We're glad to get the help," Hawkins said. Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Co. couldn't supply its Skinny Dip Beer to this year's convention because New Belgium doesn't distribute its brands in Michigan, she said.

Nude Beach will probably see a spike in sales thanks to the buzz among nudists, Hawkins predicted.

"The nudist organizations all stick together," she said.

Martino welcomes the fans of his nude, uh, new beer.

"It's a whole subculture that I didn't know existed," said Martino, whose company is probably best known for brewing Point Special Lager.

However, Martino doesn't plan to attend the August event.

"I might have attended 20 years ago, when my body was in better shape," he said


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