Craft Brew Alliance Looks Beyond Beer

The pH Experiment will look to create new products and experiences for modern drinkers.

Craft Beer

(BUSINESS WIRE)  Craft Brew Alliance is launching a new standalone business unit, the pH Experiment, dedicated to creating, incubating and accelerating growth with new products and experiences that put drinkers’ needs first. The unit is the evolution of CBA’s Innovation team and their pH Experiment beverage initiative, which launched in 2018 as a litmus test to explore opportunities outside of beer. 

“What’s particularly exciting about the pH Experiment is that we’re mining a vast trove of recently acquired consumer insights and tapping into the strength of CBA’s infrastructure to anticipate and quickly deliver on emerging needs,” said Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA. The pH Experiment will expand on the Innovation team’s test-and-learn platform, tapping into CBA’s resources, distribution capability and deep consumer research insights to quickly develop, test, and evaluate a range of new products in select markets across the U.S. The first new products will launch in Spring, with additional tests planned this year. CBA will add new resources to support pH Experiment product testing and market launches.

“Our goal is to provide long-term, sustainable growth for CBA,” said Karmen Olson, General Manager of the pH Experiment. “We’ll do that by combining the spirit and agility of an innovation startup with the muscle of a large craft brewer, working side by side with drinkers, retailers and wholesalers to quickly get products to market, listen to feedback, iterate, and either expand or fail fast.”

Pre Aperitivo Spritz will be the first new product from the pH Experiment. Developed by CBA Innovation Brewmaster Thomas Bleigh, Pre Aperitivo Spritz is a 6.6 percent ABV dry, botanical bubbly positioned as a drink to serve before and/or after dinner to aid with digestion. According to the company, the drink provides "a herbaceous bitterness that stays unapologetically true to a classic Italian aperitivo." Available in 12-ounce six-pack cans and clear bottles, Pre is naturally gluten free with only one gram of sugar.

While craft beer will continue to be at the heart of what CBA brings to consumers, the pH Experiment will be focused on anticipating and identifying drinkers’ needs. As opportunities arise, the unit will also explore options to partner or access resources beyond current capabilities. The pH Experiment is targeting $25 million in revenue by 2025.

Craft Brew Alliance is an independent craft brewing company that brews American craft beers. The company combines the resources of Kona Brewing Company, a national craft beer brand, with strong regional breweries that include Appalachian Mountain Brewery, Cisco Brewers, Omission Brewing Co., Redhook Brewery, Square Mile Cider Co., Widmer Brothers Brewing, and Wynwood Brewing Co.

Formed in 2008, CBA is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and operates breweries and brewpubs across the U.S. CBA beers are available in all 50 U.S. states and 30 different countries around the world.