Food & Drink

Something new at Carolina Hurricanes home games this season: an official team beer

How do you top a Carolina Hurricanes season that included an unofficial rally pig? Apparently with an official rally beer.

On Monday, the team unveiled Storm Brew, a new light lager brewed by Raleigh’s R&D Brewing. The beer will be sold at PNC Arena during home games and appear on grocery shelves in 12 ounce cans and 16 ounce tallboys.

“Several pilot batches and blind sensory tests were conducted between the R&D and Hurricanes teams to develop Storm Brew,” said Ian VanGundy, brewmaster at R&D Brewing, in a new release Monday. “A light lager recipe was selected to make it the perfect beer for any occasion. R&D focuses its attention towards quality ingredients and hand crafted brewing processes, creating a beer more fresh and fulfilling than the average light lager.”

The beer clocks in at 4.2 percent ABV, which should keep fans upright even when games end in shootouts.

The pun-tastic name was picked by fans through online voting earlier this year, with Storm Brew collecting 75% of the support, according to the team.

“Storm Brew is a perfect representation of who the Carolina Hurricanes are as an organization,” said Mike Forman, vice president of marketing and brand strategy for the Carolina Hurricanes. “We’ve built our brand identity on being bold, regionally focused and fun — this partnership encompasses each of those core pillars for us. We couldn’t be happier to be partnering with R&D for this momentous release.”

The Hurricanes’ beer comes on the heels of NC State’s Old Tuffy, a lager brewed by New Belgium. That beer is now sold at Wolfpack home games, part of a national trend of team beers.

Forbes published a story this month on the rise of the team spirit brews, noting New York hockey teams the Islanders and the Sabres already have beers, as do the Yankees baseball team — the Pinstripe Pils.

Back in North Carolina, Boone’s Appalachian State University has the Yosef Golden Ale, brewed by local brewery Appalachian Mountain Brewery.

Beer has long been a beloved partner of professional sports, but in the past couple of years has started to creep into college stadiums. North Carolina passed a new law earlier this year allowing public universities to offer wine and beer at home games, with NC State, UNC and ECU among those green-lighting alcohol sales ahead of this fall’s football season.

The Storm Brew beer official launch party will be Saturday, Oct. 5, at Carolina Ale House on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh, as the Hurricanes play their first road game of the year at the Washington Capitals.

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Drew Jackson writes about restaurants and dining for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun, covering the food scene in the Triangle and North Carolina.
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