The affordable Aussie wine brand 19 Crimes is taking a note from its inspirational old-world criminals (the wine labels are mugshots which you can interact with through an app) and breaking out of their vinicultural shackles to take on the craft beer market. Having served five years exclusively in the wine category, 19 Crimes will add an Indian Pale Ale, a Pilsner, and a Lager to its hit-list starting March 1.
The inside job will take place in the U.S., with the beers first being tested in Ohio before expanding to more states during 2019.
Ohio? Believe it or not, The Buckeye State has the 11th most craft breweries in the country at 225 and produces the fifth most barrels each year. So yeah, it’s safe to say Ohioians will give 19 Crimes new beer a heavy and honest taste. The state is also home to the first craft brewery hotel. (In-room taps: check.)
“We know that our 19 Crimes wine lovers also highly index as consumers of craft beer,” says Michelle Terry, CMO of Treasury Wine Estates, a global winemaking business with nearly 50 vineyards under its umbrella, including 19 Crimes. “Our retailers and customers have been asking us to expand into other alcohol beverages.”
The new Pilsner is brewed with an approachable medium-dry finish, while the India Pale Ale is more of a modern IPA with more complexity. The Lager is traditionally clean and crisp, “balancing bready malts with Old World and New World hop flavor,” says 19 Crimes.
“We know that our 19 Crimes wine lovers also highly index as consumers of craft beer.”
Sounds boozable, but there’s also something purely fun about having vintage mug shots on your liquor. 19 Crimes beers will rock kindred faces to the 19 Crimes wine convicts who were transported to Australia to serve hard time when the island wasn’t known for kangaroos and Bondi Beach but used as a jail for exiles.
19 Crimes beer drinkers will meet John Boyle O’Reilly, an Irish-American poet and journalist charged for treason who later escaped Australia for America, Michael Harrington, notorious for orchestrating one of the most daring escapes from Australia that involved a massive typhoon and a rowboat, and Cornelius Dwyer Kane, a law clerk from Ireland who ended up digging the land down under despite being forbidden to return to Ireland, even after pardoned.
These interesting folk are half the reason for drinking 19 Crimes. The augmented reality (AR) play used for the wine labels will also be available for the beer cans via the 19 Crimes’ Living Wine Label app. Basically, start drinking, open the app, set the camera to your beer label, and watch the mug shots come to life to tell their story.
A six-pack is about the price of a bottle of wine, so pick your poison and prisoner.
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