We are privy to a lot of weirdo partnerships in the alcohol market, but here’s one that potentially is knocking it out of the park: Lyft is partnering with a Chicago craft brewery to introduce its own beer brand in the city. And get this—when you purchase cans of the beer at Chicago bars, you save on Lyft rides! How obvious an idea is that, in hindsight? We’re amazed that they haven’t already done it before.
The country’s second biggest ride sharing company (after Uber, of course) is working in conjunction with Chicago’s Baderbrau Brewing to create and distribute a beer called Five Star Lager—in reality a rebranded version of Baderbrau’s South Side Pride helles lager, according to Josh Noel at the Chicago Tribune. One wishes that they might have put some more thought into designing a unique beer for this concept, but what the hey, Baderbrau makes some solid lagers. The companies reportedly hope that the lager will function as something of a “palate-cleansing nightcap,” a final beer that customers will order before getting their Lyft in order to go home or head to their next destination.
The incentive to do so is monetary in nature, as each 12 ounce can of Five Star Lager (sold only in Chicago bars) will be printed with a discount code for as much as $5 off a single Lyft ride. Factoring in the fact that the lager will likely cost around the same amount, one might say that it practically pays for itself if you’re already intending to use the ride sharing service after hitting the bar.
“We know through data that nightlife is one of our largest business segments, especially going out on a Friday or Saturday night,” said David Katcher, general manager for Lyft in the Midwest to the Tribune. “Harder (to understand) is the psychology of how they decide to get home and when they decide to make that happen. That’s a little more art than science.”
Five Star Lager will be launched at a Jan. 18 party at Baderbrau, and will then expand to around 30 or 40 Chicago bars in the coming months for a small trial run. But if this goes well, who knows? We could see local Lyft beer partnerships in all kinds of major cities, and even more exciting than that, an actual variety of beer styles. Who doesn’t want to see a great Lyft NE-IPA in Richmond, VA, or a Lyft doppelbock in Madison, WI, and then get a discount on their ride home? Hell, I’d buy it.