One of Texas' most well-known breweries, Karbach Brewing, has teamed up with the Houston Astros to create a beer going toward a good cause — the Crawford Bock.
Fans of the Major League Baseball team might recognize part of that name. The Crawford Boxes are an iconic section of seats at Minute Maid Park behind left field where home run balls are often lobbed. This beer's a real homer, too: Karbach crafted it to be a malt-forward, easy-drinking lager that you can pair with ballpark food, from nachos to hot dogs.
Available across Texas as of this week, the Crawford Bock launches with a philanthropic purpose. A portion of sales from every keg and case benefits the Astros Foundation and the programs it supports, including childhood cancer awareness and youth baseball and softball, according to a news release. The beer arrives to market less than a month before opening day of the new baseball season on March 28.
And it's a true collaboration for Karbach and the Astros, which had a say throughout the process of creating the beer — helping to come up with the name, formulate the recipe and design the cans. The two Houston brands put their heads together in meetings at both the brewery and the ballpark, a dream come true for Karbach.
"A lot of us here at the brewery are lifelong Houstonians and Astros fans, so for us, it was an awesome opportunity to work with a team that we’ve admired for so long," David Graham, Karbach's brand manager, said via email. "This partnership was a whole new level of fun for us as brewers because we were able to peek behind the curtain of a major organization that we all love and collaborate to make this great beer."
Even if you don't recognize the significance of the word 'Crawford' on the face of each brightly colored can, you'll certainly know it's a beer made in tribute to the baseball team. The Astros' star logo is on the front, and behind it, "we incorporated the tequila sunrise stripes reminiscent of the old Astros uniforms," Graham said.
There's an Austin tie to the canned beer, too: Guerilla Suit, in charge of design and branding for Karbach, brought the brewery and the team's vision of the can to life.
"As Karbach's creative partner, Guerilla Suit is incredibly proud of being an integral part of this," according to the company.
So far, Graham said, reception to the beer has been overwhelmingly positive. Astros fans will be able to get it at Minute Maid Park or at their local grocery store to watch the games at home. The bock style was chosen for its versatility.
"We arrived at a bock when we started thinking about what the drinker is looking for," Graham said. "The Astros wanted something that was lower ABV so folks could enjoy them throughout the game. They also noted that baseball is a family sport and America's favorite pastime, so it was important for them to create a product that you could drink with your buddies and share with your grandpa interchangeably."
The Crawford Bock will be available year-round. For more information, visit karbachbrewing.com/beer/crawford-bock.