Buffalo Wild Wings To Launch Its Own Craft Beer

Source: Buffalo Wild Wings

Beer has always been a big part of the Buffalo Wild Wings playbook. Now the company is looking to take things one step further by launching a craft beer called Game Changer in collaboration with Redhook Brewing.

The new brew will be part of a drinks menu being introduced at the chain this summer, and was announced by Buffalo Wild Wings CEO Sally Smith on the company's first-quarter earnings call. Smith described Game Changer as a "premium craft beer," which will pair well with the company's famous wings.

The launch of Game Changer comes at a time when the company is facing increased pressure on its beer profit margins, which Smith described to analysts as "difficult in the last couple of years with continued price increases from manufacturers and distributors."

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The beer is expected to stake out a middle ground between the cheaper domestic brands and more expensive craft and import brands offered at the chain. Smith explained, while she expects the Buffalo Wild Wings/Red Hook collaboration to have similar margins to the restaurant's lower-priced domestic draft beer offerings, it will be be priced "between" the two categories on the price spectrum.

With more than 900 locations in North America, the Buffalo Wild Wings chain serves more draft beer than any other restaurant in the country and serves as the No. 1 account for more than 50 different beer brands.

UPDATE: According to a Redhook spokesperson, Game Changer will be a Pale Ale with an abv of 4.6%.

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-By CNBC's Tom Rotunno; Follow him on Twitter @TomRotunno

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