MIFFLINBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Rusty Rail Brewing Company, which is about an hour from Harrisburg and Penn State, has released a Penn State-themed beer called “The Fans” ahead of the upcoming 2023 Penn State football season.
“We’ve had beer in other stadiums before, but not college football . . . and especially not our own hometown college football team,” said Rusty Rail president Rich Schrader. “Definitely a new, exciting experience for us.”
The creation of “The Fans” began when someone who works for food and beverage in Beaver Stadium tried one of Rusty Rail’s flagship beers, “Fog Monster.” The representative enjoyed the beer and reached out to Rusty Rail to start discussing a collaboration.
“I was lying in bed on a Saturday morning and saw his email come through and almost fell off my bed,” Schrader said. “I called him back right away.”
The representative came to Rusty Rail in February and Logan Powell, the head brewer at Rusty Rail, began working on the beer immediately.
After about 3-5 test batches Powell and the Rusty Rail crew created what is now “The Fans” towards the end of July. Since then, they have brewed over 5,000 gallons of the beer.
“The Fans” is a Hazy IPA with a 5.5% ABV. Powell noted it has hints of citrus and stoner fruit.
“The way we brewed it is that it really takes advantages of the really awesome essential oils that are on the hops,” Powell said. “It’s brewed to be very low bitterness but more juicy, easy to drink.” [It] has notes of citrus, stone fruit and more in that direction.”
The can was designed by Jeff McGreevy, who is the creative director at Rusty Rail. It features the paw of a lion, with claws extended, gripping a football in front of a stadium filled with cheering and shouting white hops dressed in blue attire.
Some of the hops have on blue “#1 Fan” hats and “Let’s Go!” shirts while others have their face painted blue. Each hop has a different expression and article of fan gear for the occasion.
A hop referee is on the sidelines overtop the “state” painted on the field blowing a whistle.
McGreevy noted he wanted to capture the excitement, wildness, and camaraderie that is always on display in Beaver Stadium.
“We did a bunch of more conservative ideas and then they asked me to do my style of artwork and this is what came out,” McGreevy said.
This is only the second year beer has been allowed in Beaver Stadium and “The Fans” will now be a part of the options at Penn State home games all season long. The beer will make its stadium debut for the Sept. 2 home opener for Penn State against West Virginia.
“The Fans” will also be in distribution so that 21+ Penn State fans can enjoy the drink at their own home tailgates.
Some of the brewery crew will be at the game for the release of the beer, but there will also be a tailgate at the brewery in celebration of its launch.
“Since not everyone, including some of our own staff, won’t be able to make it up to the game, we’re going to have a pretty traditional tailgate,” Schrader said.
“The Fans” is the newest beer to join the list of other Penn State-themed brews. Schrader and the rest of the crew at Rusty Rail are excited to watch people enjoy the new creation in the stadium throughout the season.
“It’s going to be a pretty cool moment for us as we see those first cans being cracked open at Beaver Stadium,” Schrader said.