• 11.-13. October 2021
  • Exhibition Centre Berlin

25th of August 2021, by Peter Eichhorn

Magnificent partnerships – five extraordinary beverage collaborations

Beer brewers and music groups, spirits brands and festivals, and distillers with bartenders: there is often a lot more behind these extraordinary partnerships than simple marketing objectives. 


Joining forces to achieve something together. The meaning of such statements has once again been made clear with images of the devastating floods. In particular – and in the same way as in more normal times – a special connection and a collaborative effort to create something new play a major role. Whether they are the result of long-term planning or improvised on the spot, the inspiring stories behind these projects deserve to be told. Sometimes collaborations even end up uniting protagonists with surprises to offer.


Whisky and Wagner


“It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.” This proverb is frequently quoted when referring to the outcome of a sporting event whose outcome hangs in the balance. While one of the earliest recorded incidents of this usage involved a professional basketball game in the 1970s, the ‘fat lady’ in question is actually the Valkyrie Brünnhilde in Richard Wagner’s Götterdämmerung. It is her singing that marks the conclusion of his entire Ring des Nibelungen opera cycle.


While we do not know what Brünnhilde was actually drinking at the time, today it would have to be whiskey from the Orkney Islands, because the Highland Park brand has entered into a three-year partnership with the Bayreuth Wagner Festival. Every year, they will create a special bottling of Highland Park Whisky to mark this renowned musical event. This year there are two special editions: the first, christened ‘Erda – Earth Mother’, has a rich, sweet and spicy character and is limited to just 341 bottles, while the ‘Erda – Sleeping Prophet’ edition – limited to only 273 highly coveted bottles – is notable for its floral complexity.


It is Nordic mythology that brought these two disparate concepts together, and festival visitors are now able to sip whisky at the Ring Bar.



Beer and brewers


Particularly in the world of brewing, partnerships are frequent and well-loved phenomenon. Brewers love to get together to design their own original brews. Sometimes their creations are dedicated to friendship, while other times they are the result of something else.


Brewers recently undertook quite a journey to collaborate on a new beer. Master brewers from the Bitburger Brewery in Rhineland-Palatinate got together with their colleagues from the Sierra Nevada Brewery in California, and they each contributed a little piece of home to the beer that was created. The result: the ‘Triple Hop’d Lager’ brewed with hops from the USA and Germany. While the initial impression is lean, the brew has an intense hop aroma.

A love of beer is also evident in the world of music. Iron Maiden, Boss Hoss, AC/DC and Status Quo have all created their own beers, while in Berlin, the Brlo brand has already joined forces with the hip-hop artists from ‘Run the Jewels’ to brew a special beer on two different occasions.


Purity vs. naturalness


Beer can also be provocative. When the Deutsche Kreativbrauer e.V. association (literally ‘creative German brewers’) https://deutschekreativbrauer.de) was established on the 500th anniversary of the ‘Reinheitsgebot’ beer purity law, they created a collaborative brew to celebrate. This brew was also a form of protest against the very same beer purity law. These creative brewers believe that it is an obsolete law that restricts their freedom to create – and would prefer that it be replaced by a law requiring natural ingredients.

The beer in question is a bottom-fermented wheat beer, something that is inexplicably forbidden under the terms of the beer purity law.

Distillers and bartenders


One concept that has been enriching the bar world and has its roots in Berlin has since gone on to inspire the entire country. Freimeisterkollektiv brings together distillers, bartenders and drinks experts to develop exciting new products. Cocktail ideas inspire distillers to create new products for use in bars. New ideas and proven techniques inject a breath of fresh air at the bar – and in the glass.


Isn't it good that bartenders can share their wishes – and yours – with a distiller who can turn around and make them a reality? ‘Speckbirne’ organic fortified pear wine, a variety of shrubs, and outstanding coffee spirits are but a few of the creations that came into being in this way.



Drinking and driving?


It goes without saying that we do not promote drinking and driving simultaneously. Even so, there are times when brands and moments come together in a way that goes beyond conventional sponsorship in the world of motorsport by alcohol brands.


It is in this vein that two brands are joining together to look back at the year 1964, which was a milestone in the history of each of these companies. For carmaker Aston Martin, this was in the year in which its DB5 became an automotive legend thanks to the James Bond film ‘Goldfinger’. At the same time, on Isle of Islay in Scotland, the Bowmore Distillery switched from charcoal to steam, launching a new age in its whisky production.


This is how a whisky distilled in 1964 recently ended up being poured into a striking bottle reminiscent of an engine cylinder. Only 27 bottles of Black Bowmore DB5 1964 were produced, and only 25 of these ever made it to market. The price: a whopping 50,000 British Pounds. Both brands are planning to undertake more joint projects in future.


The best collaborations are those that also manage to do good. Anyone who remembers the images from the catastrophic floods with which this piece began are certain to agree. That is why winemakers from throughout the country are doing all they can to help their hard-hit colleagues in the Ahr Valley. This includes not only help on site to save the harvest, but also money with which they can rebuild.

The VDP.Eagle is an association uniting Germany’s finest wineries, and it is leading the way in collecting money to help Ahr wineries – all in keeping with the mantra: ‘The Eagle helps’.




Everyone can help. And there is nothing better than working together.

© cover picture: Marko Crawford