Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 Leaderboard

Guinness Open Gate Brewery Personalizes a Brew for NFL Star J.J. Watt

by Ryan Hudak on Feb 17, 2016 in Beer
Guinness Open Gate Brewery Personalizes a Brew for NFL Star J.J. Watt

Houston Texan J.J. Watt—three-time NFL defensive player of the year—has made no secret, either through Twitter Q&As or on various talk shows, that Guinness is his favorite beer. So this year, when he went on an annual friend’s trip to Dublin and swung by, the brewery had his own beer brewed up and ready for him. If all the headlines are to be believed.
 
The problem is, the headlines are written mostly by sports websites who really seem to have no idea how beer works. The actual Guinness brewery didn’t do anything for him—he was actually at Guinness’s Open Gate Brewery, where they do test batches and experimental beers. And unless they knew Watt was coming months ahead of time, it stands to reason that they picked a batch they were already working on, bottled it up, and gave it over. A more accurate headline would be “Guinness Makes JJ Watt His Own Beer Label.”

In addition to probably not having enough time, Watt tweeted out a picture of a row of a dozen beer bottles with his personalized label. Even assuming that wasn’t the entire batch (he said he got a “decent amount” to take home), there’s no way the brewery—even the smaller Open Gate Brewery—made him an entire batch of beer to take out. There was probably a good portion on tap at the brewery that day, just under its original name.

This isn’t to say it’s not kind of a big deal—I’ve certainly never had a brewery print me up my own beer label, even if they did slap it on something else. For an Irish brand to honor an American sports star in a sport they probably generally care very little about has got to be a good feeling. It would be akin to Sam Adams making labels in their brewpub for some English soccer player coming in for a visit. So drink up, JJ Watt, and be happy—but everyone else, stop saying he had his own beer brewed for him.


Photo via JJ Watt

Tags: Beer, Sports
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