Sheetz has almost everything, so it was only a matter of time until it rolled out its own craft beer.
Altoona-based Sheetz is collaborating with Rusty Rail Brewing Company of Mifflinburg to unveil the convenience store’s first ever craft beer, Project Coffee Hopz, a limited edition coffee bean IPA.
The convenience store chain held a news conference on Monday at Jay Verno Studios on Pittsburgh’s South Side to make the announcement.
The brew is something customers have asked for, said Ryan Sheetz, assistant vice-president of brand strategy at Sheetz, whose uncle Bob started the company in 1952 that has become a third generation family business.
“We’ve got our customers’ backs,” he said. “We are customer focused. They inspire us. Anytime you try a unique product like this, there are some reservations, but they are great beer experts and that, combined with our culinary team, we feel it’s a win-win situation. Craft beer is so hot right now. And cold brew coffee is becoming more and more popular, so this was a natural progression.”
There will be a launch party from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on May 16 at the Sheetz at 4599 Library Road in Bethel Park.
Customers will have the opportunity to be the first to try and buy the limited-edition beer, according to a news release. In addition to beer tastings, customers attending the launch party will enjoy giveaways including limited-edition Sheetz and Rusty Rail Brewing Company swag such as pint glasses, koozies and more.
The drink will be available in 55 stores across Pennsylvania beginning May 21 in Bethel Park, Canonsburg, Moon, Natrona Heights, Ohio Township, and Sewickley.
Four-packs of 16-ounce cans will cost $7.99.
Sheetz said they have worked for years to make beer available in the convenience stores across Pennsylvania. It is now available in more than 140 stores across the state.
Brewed with Sheetz Brothers Sumatra coffee beans, the new IPA blend features “light and floral notes with a subtle coffee presence.”
Guy McCarty, brewer director at Rusty Rail, said he was nervous at first about the marriage, but the Sheetz people made him feel at home. It took a several test batches, he said. They began with their existing IPAs, which became the base of the beer. He describes it as flavor forward with a roasty and coffee finish.
“It’s been an amazing journey to see Sheetz embrace a local brewery,” said McCarty. “We worked hard to find the right flavor combination.”