Ride-sharing company Lyft is partnering with Chicago’s Baderbräu Brewing Company to create a beer that will appeal to Chicagoans and increase Lyft usership. The concept is starting in Chicago next week, but has the potential to expand to other cities should it be a rousing success.
The beer, called Five Star Lager, was named for Lyft’s rating system. The 12-ounce cans will only be sold in bars and will feature a Lyft discount code for $5 off a ride. The companies have agreed to produce 24,000 cans of lager before assessing the initiative or considering expansion into other cities.
Baderbräu co-founder Rob Sama told the Chicago Tribune that his hope is that beer drinkers will end their evenings with Five Star, a rebranded version of Baderbräu’s South Side Pride helles lager. Ideally while drinking the beer, customers will enter the discount code into their Lyft app as they get ready to go to their next stop.
So why did Lyft select a smaller brewery like Baderbräu instead of Revolution or Goose Island? David Katcher, the general manager for Lyft in the Midwest, felt that the brewery was “a brand that has more impact with locals,” and he may be right. Last year Baderbräu partnered with Chicago’s iconic Billy Goat restaurants for a Billy Goat Pilsner and a Billy Goat IPA.
To kick off Five Star, the brewery will be throwing a launch party on January 18. The next night, the brew will make its way to 10 more Chicago bars (locations have not yet been disclosed) along with Lyft posters, glassware, and coasters — keep your eyes peeled for the brand’s distinctive pink! Five Star will then make its way to another 20 to 30 bars in the coming months.
Sama pictures Five Star Lager succeeding at sports bars where craft beer tends to be less popular. “For the guy drinking a Miller Lite or PBR, the shift isn’t that dramatic,” Sama said — so picture less Logan Square and more Wrigleyville and Old Town. Whatever you choose to drink, Chicago is still one of the 25 best cities for beer lovers in America.