(Tacoma, WA) – Sometimes those of us reporting the news have a heavy hand in creating it…
After fourteen years, Harmon Brewing is changing the branding of its annual Killer Brew fall seasonal according to General Manager, Bob Casey. The beer had previously been available only on draft but was going to be bottled for the first time this year. It will still be bottled, only with the label above, not the version shown below.
The project started out in the late 90s as little more than a play on words, combining the brewery’s name with that of Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. Casey, who coincidentally shares the same of the late longtime Twins announcer, said that the brewery had permission when it first started out but that the Harmon Killebrew Foundation recently reached out asking that it cease using the name.
As heavily publicized, Killebrew passed away last month after a long battle with cancer.
How did the label scuffle come about?
On May 13th, Major League Baseball issued a press release from Killebrew’s camp:
It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end. With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.
The following day, Harmon Brewing submitted an application requesting that the TTB approve the “Harmon Killer Brew” label for bottles. Casey said that the timing was just a coincidence.
Killebrew died a few days later.
A week after his death, the TTB green-lighted that label and I posted it up here on the 25th.
World Class Beverages District Manager, Mike Thilman, saw the post and sent it to CNBC Sports Reporter, Darren Rovell.
Rovell then sent out a pic of the label to his nearly 100,000 followers on Twitter with the caption, “Despite death, Harmon ‘Killer Brew’ coming out for 14th year. Killebrew didn’t endorse it.” The pic got nearly 2,000 views.
From there, it made its way to the Foundation and the rest is history.
Casey said that the Imperial Red Ale release will be coming up relatively soon.
Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch will play host to Killebrew’s 75th birthday bash at Target Field’s Budweiser Roof Deck this coming Wednesday. Tickets are going for $150 each.