In the collectible car world, the term “restomod” is used to describe a vintage car that has been updated or modernized. Unless the classic car is highly desirable or very rare, it seems logical to modernize the vehicle by updating the brake system, frame, suspension, interior, air conditioner, stereo, etc., in order to create a vintage car for everyday usage. Today, there are many types of restomods in the world.
The beer industries term for restomod is “retro brand.” In today’s beer industry there are a number of retro brands that have become restomods.
Narragansett is an example of a beer restomod. In the late 1960s, Narragansett was the largest selling beer in the New England area. Like many other regional brands of that ear, Narragansett sold out and quickly fell to the onslaught of AB, Miller, Schlitz, and Coors.
The brand was re-purchased from Falstaff in 2005 and became a restomod beer. In addition to their longtime Lager beer, Narragansett also offers an IPA, a Light, a Shandy, and a Coffee Milk Stout along with other brands. The Lager, a true retro beer, is for those who remember the beer from the 1970s, while the restomod brands are for younger drinkers. The restomod has proven successful and today Narragansett has returned.
Another retro beer, Shiner, has also become a restomod beer. Shiner Bock, the flavor that saved the Shiner brewery and the Shiner name, is a longtime leader in the Texas crafts industry. For decades Shiner has offered multiple line extensions including a Blonde, a Light, and a Black Lager. Moving into the restomod version of the beer world, Shiner announced a new hazy and unfiltered IPA and another sessional ale. Shiner is keeping up with the competition.
Voters in California legalized recreational cannabis by 57% and as a result, the hospitality industry is now embracing legal weed. The Desert Hot Springs Inn in the Coachella Valley is advertising itself as “cannabis friendly.” The hotel permits weed smoking by the pool or guests can heat up a vaporizer in the rooms. Surprisingly, the hotel’s business has increased by 50%, with guests predominantly composed of pot-smoking upper-income baby boomers. This seems logical given that most boomers have disposable income, are retired or will most likely not be drug tested at their place of employment.
Look for the next generation of restomod beers to be cannabis-infused. Will breweries use established brands or resurrect a long-failed name? Perhaps Zima Cannabis or Tequiza Cannabis will emerge? Or even a Bud Light Golden Wheat Cannabis? If consumers are moving toward cannabis, the breweries are going pursue them. This is simply the next restomod evolution in the industry.
Reincarnation occurs because we decided that we have not learned the lesson…