Here’s one way to cut through the political divide on climate change: Tie it to the price of beer.
With a campaign debuting today, Fat Tire argues that without environmental action, beer drinkers could one day pay as much as $100 for a six-pack due to rising agriculture costs and broken supply chains. Talk about a buzzkill.
To prove its point, the New Belgium Brewing-owned brand will charge $100 for six-packs for one day only (today) at select retailers. Fat Tire is spreading the message via paid marketing, including a full-page ad in The New York Times, as well as buys with NPR, The Guardian, Facebook and Twitter.
The campaign comes as public opinion on climate change remains a split along political party lines, with 78 percent of Democrats calling it a top priority, compared with 21 percent of Republicans, according to Pew Research Center polling data published in February.
Fat Tire’s ads, which are handled by Portland-based Red & Co., aim to cast the issue in economic terms that resonate with both tree huggers and beer chuggers. One ad is headlined “$100 for a six-pack? Get used to it.” In finer print the ad references COVID-19, stating that “in the midst of one crisis, we are hurtling towards another: A future in which beer, along with all kinds of staple foods, will become dramatically more expensive, as global agriculture is disrupted by climate change.” Fat Tire is also plugging itself as the “first nationally distributed beer to earn carbon neutral certification in the United States.”
The brand’s road to carbon neutrality includes a wind-powered brewery, solar panels and biogas technology. It also uses so-called carbon offsets, like donating money to preserve forest land in Alaska, according to New Belgium VP of Marketing Shaun Belongie.
“A lot of times when people hear climate change or carbon neutrality, if you are not part of a small group of really committed progressive people, you kind of turn it off ... it’s like, ‘oh yeah that is the stuff hippies talk about,’” says Belongie. But with the campaign, Fat Tire is saying, “if you like beer, you should care about this,” he says.