HELENA — Carroll College’s mascot is coming to a brewery near you.
Halo, the famous Saint Bernard mascot of the Fighting Saints, will be prominently featured on Lewis & Clark Brewing Company’s new Halo Huckleberry Hefeweizen this summer. The brewing company and college announced the partnership on Thursday morning.
“I think the exciting thing for us is, having grown up across the street from Carroll College for so many years before we expanded and moved down the street, we’ve both grown and evolved together. For the first time to really, officially partner together is really exciting for us. It’s also very exciting for us to launch our very first fruit beer,” said Lewis & Clark Brewing Company president and owner Max Pigman. “We’ll take Miner’s Gold and use huckleberries, which are known as being a great berry from Montana, so we’re using a somewhat local berry along with supporting a local institution is really, really gratifying. They’ve been so connected in our community and we feel we’re connected in our community, so it’s a perfect partnership.”
“As we’re trying to grow our brand, you can look at Lewis & Clark Brewery and look at what they’ve done, as they are not just a Helena local brewery, they’re regional and really have good awareness. As we re-branded a year ago and created a secondary mark with Halo, it’s exciting to be able to use that mark and partner to create a lot more awareness with Carroll College,” said Carroll athletic director Charlie Gross.
The partnership is a unique opportunity for Carroll and Lewis & Clark, allowing each to reach a broader audience with their individual brands. The Saints join the Montana Grizzlies’ Griz Lager from Big Sky Brewing Company and the Golden Bobcat Pale Ale, a Great Falls-brewed beer representing Montana State.
Gross says those partnerships seemed like a great fit for Carroll.
“I think you have to be a sponge and look at what other people are doing,” he said. “I don’t know if you have to reinvent the wheel, you just have to take a look and see which wheel works for you and take advantage of opportunities other people are doing to make it work for your setting and your own institution. You fit that into the relationships you have.”
Pigman and Lewis & Clark Brewing are waiting for the proper huckleberry flavoring to be delivered before perfecting the recipe, which will consist of their highly requested Miner’s Gold. He has hopes Halo Huckleberry Hefe creates a high demand across Montana, maybe beyond, but sees the Capital City as the initial taste tester.
“I think initially we’re just looking at Helena. We’ll do the draught in the summer, it will have its own special tap handle with our friend Halo. If we get demand outside of Montana, I mean, I know there are different Carroll bars in different towns around Montana, we’ll certainly be open to that, but really we’re focusing on Helena,” Pigman said. “The package itself, the cans when they come out during football season will focus on Helena. If there’s a little demand from outside markets we can certainly satisfy that. But it will be a fairly small batch of beer, so it will be a fairly exclusive thing for Carroll College. The draught should be available all over Helena starting in June, and then the cans will just be one shot, so when you see them on the shelves at the beginning of football season, there probably isn’t going to be a re-supply so I would pick up whatever you want. We’re really looking forward to an exciting football season.”
Halo Huckleberry Hefe will be officially introduced at the Saints Athletic Association banquet and auction on Friday, April 27 inside the P.E. Center. For more information on the 36th Carroll SAA Auction, click here.