WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (WHTM) – New Trail Brewing in Williamsport has released a new Penn State-themed tailgating beer, State Light, just in time for football season.

“There’s really not a professional football team that’s got a real foothold in Williamsport,” said Don Rieck, the New Trail marketing director. “On a Sunday, there’s not a lot of people out watching football. But on a Saturday, almost everybody up and goes to State College for home games.”

New Trail first mingled with the Penn State fan base when they released “White Out” around the time they started in 2018. However, that wasn’t their intention when they brewed the Double IPA.

“White Out” was intended to be a nod to white out blizzard conditions, sticking with New Trail’s focus on the outdoor lifestyle. However, Penn State fans started adopting the beer as a nod to the program’s infamous White Out tradition.

 “We changed up the label from a white out blizzard to a white and blue, kind of Nittany Lion-themed label and started putting it out in August and September,” Rieck said. “That kind of moved and shifted [it] to being a football beer.”

The new Penn State-inspired “White Out” label has been in production for three years now.

There was one problem with the beer being championed as a game-day staple. “White Out” is an 8.5% hazy double IPA, meaning it has a high alcohol content, which could be problematic for tailgating. New Trail decided to make a lighter, lower percentage beer for “easy drinking” that would lend itself more to the tailgating scene.

“[State Light] is really good for pacing yourself all day when you’re down there in the parking lots,” Rieck said.

State Light is a 4.2% American light lager with a 0 IBU, meaning the beer has a low alcohol content with none of the hoppy taste that is usually associated with India Pale Ale (IPA) beers. It is considered a light beer not only because of its lower alcohol content but because it is only 105 calories with 2.6 grams of carbohydrates.

It is brewed with a pilsner malt from Canada and American Noble cascade hops from Yakima Chief Hops in Yakima, Washington.

“State Light is not a hoppy beer by any stretch of the imagination,” LaRosa said. “State light is not bitter, it does have bitterness because beer by its nature is a little bitter. I believe that that hop was the best way to provide that flavor, that bitterness, that balance.”

New Trail began working towards producing a light lager for a while. The brewery is known for its IPA brews, but they wanted to create something different. They started with their Lazy River Pilsner then created an American lager, Crisp Lager.

“Developing State Light is sort of a riff off of a lot of the things that had been culminating as New Trails brewery,” LaRosa said. “State Light is sort of just the next step in the tree of beer,”

The first batch of what would become State Light was debuted in New Trail’s tasting room as New Trail Light. It was exclusive to the facility, meaning it wasn’t distributed, and featured a red, white and blue label. It was a success, so they tweaked the recipe a little and created what State Light is today.

It only took about six batches to create the final State Light.

New Trail new they wanted the beer to be used for tailgating and wanted it to have a sports label. They ended up in conversation with the concessions team at Beaver Stadium who decided to come and tour the brewery and taste New Trails beer. The Penn State representatives decided they would sell the beer in Beaver Stadium.

“They fell in love with it,” Rieck said. “They committed day of while they were standing there with us, they committed to bringing it into the stadium.”

The New Trail founders have a lot of ties to State College. They previously owned a nightclub there, The Cell Block, and spend a lot of time still in State College. The entire team at the brewery has some sort of connection with Penn State from being alumni to huge fans of Nittany Lions sports.

New Trail has had its beer in minor league baseball stadiums and at the Philadelphia Union, but Rieck said this experience is really special.

“Beaver Stadium is just a whole other animal,” Rieck said. “There’s 107,000 fans in there. You can’t even hear yourself think when they’re in the middle of a game. To be in there with that many people having a common goal and then looking around and seeing your can, you hard work in people’s hands as they’re doing the thing that they love the most is a whole other world.”

Beaver Stadium had 100 cases of State Light for the first home game against West Virginia on Sept. 2. They sold out during the game and are brought in another 100 cases for last Saturday’s game against Delaware. State Light is also being distributed at wholesalers across Pennsylvania.

New Trail has packaged over 8,000 cases of State Light in the past two weeks, but the lager has been selling out quickly at distributers.