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Harley-Davidson Unleashes Special Beer for Its 115th Anniversary

Food & Wine logo Food & Wine 8/20/2018 Mike Pomranz
a man standing next to a bicycle: Walter Davidson, the first president of the Harley Davidson Motor Company, poses with his bike. (1908) © Bettmann / Getty Images Walter Davidson, the first president of the Harley Davidson Motor Company, poses with his bike. (1908)

From August 29 to September 2, Harley-Davidson will be celebrating its 115th anniversary in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of the company’s headquarters. And this year, motorcycle fans looking to toast the legendary brand will have a dedicated beer to do it: a new limited-edition brew called Harley-Davidson 115th Anniversary Milwaukee Lager.

a close up of a can © Provided by TIME Inc.

Though Harley-Davidson recently created a bit of a stir when the brand announced plans to move some of its production overseas, this new Harley-Davidson beer, at least, is pretty hardcore Milwaukee. According to the local Journal Sentinel, the lager is a collaboration between not two, but three different Milwaukee breweries: Good City Brewing, Third Space Brewing and Milwaukee Brewing Company. Additionally, it features a blend of all-Wisconsin malts that were roasted in Milwaukee (albeit by the global malt company Malteurop).

As for the beer itself, the goal was to produce a drinkable beer with cross-generational appeal. The hope is that this slightly fruity lager will appeal both to old-school Harley riders who might be more steadfast in their love of traditional mainstream lagers, but will also appeal to younger craft beer drinkers who are used to a bit more character in the beers they drink.

“We knew we wanted something that was super balanced, drinkable. The brew team here put together a great beer,” Andy Gehl, co-founder of Third Space Brewing, said in a promotional video. “I think one of the most exciting things about this whole project and this beer is that it’s just about Milwaukee and the heritage and the history.”

a group of people standing in a parking lot © Provided by TIME Inc.

The limited-run craft beer should be available at most of the events associated with the Harley-Davidson anniversary celebration—which has been held every five years since the company’s 85th anniversary back in 1988. But lager fans should also be able to find the 115th Anniversary beer in bars and restaurants, as well as in 16-ounce cans at some retail locations, around the Milwaukee area starting this Thursday.

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