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Coffee Stout Display in Wawa store

2SP and Wawa Team Up Again for the Love of Beer and Coffee

by Bryan Kolesar,

Last year’s wildly successful release of the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout collaboration between 2SP Brewing Company (Aston, PA) and their coffee/gas/convenience store neighbors, Wawa, sent both teams back to devise an even bigger campaign for 2019.

The official kickoff and release of this year’s version was held Dec. 6 in Chadds Ford, at the Naamans Creek Road location of the southeastern PA-based Wawa. And quite the Friday night party it was. Fans in what has turned into a cult-like following lined up – some for more than two hours – to be amongst the first to sample and purchase the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout. Added to the lineup in 2019 is Reserve Reserve, a barrel-aged version of the stout that spent nearly 10 months in Weller Bourbon barrels.

Customers were greeted to a raucous party atmosphere, each being welcomed and cheered through the doors by Wawa employees dancing to pulsing music from a DJ station. Matching the small army of Wawa employees led by their “Coffee Guru”, Mike McLaughlin, and Chief Product Marketing Officer, Mike Sherlock, the 2SP team of 10 people was headed up by Bob Barrar (Co-Founder, Head Brewer, and award-winner many times over) and Mike Contreras (Director of Sales & Marketing). Samples were poured, a firkin was breached, TV news cameras showed up, and everyone appeared happy leaving with their coffee stouts in tow.

2sp Team inside a wawa store

The 2SP Brewing team at the Chadd’s Ford, PA Wawa location.

After a weekend release back at the brewery, both beers were released at select retail locations across PA, NJ, and DE on Monday, Dec. 9. While the inventory is expected to be quickly depleted, careful observers should notice a bit more availability than last year. The Winter Reserve Coffee Stout was made as a 320-bbl batch and the Reserve Reserve batch filled 22 Bourbon barrels.

The bigger campaign that I spoke of above is actually dubbed a Brew Tour as the collaboration release party rolls on. The unveiling of Wawa’s second location to sell beer (Naamans Creek Road was the first) is due to open Dec. 12 in Middletown Township and feature the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout as part of the grand opening festivities. The Brew Tour next heads south to Richmond, VA where 2SP collaborated with Hardywood Park Craft Brewery to brew a different version of the coffee beer – Coffee Cake Reserve Stout. Finally, the Brew Tour ends in Tampa, FL on Feb. 20 when Casey Hughes (Brewmaster) and the Coppertail Brewing team releases the Wawa and 2SP collaboration beer – Snowbird Reserve Vanilla Porter – for the Florida market.

That, now, has me thinking of joining them in the dead of the northern winter for the beer’s release, Spring Training baseball, and some warmer weather.