New 'energy Beer' Produced In S.c.

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In 1858, German mathematician August Ferdinand Moebius discovered a three-dimensional geometrical form that has only one surface. Starting today, you can toast his discovery with a beer that's named after him.

But not just any beer. This one is brewed in Greenville by a company based on Sullivan's Island, and it's fortified with ginseng, caffeine, taurine (an amino acid) and thiamine (a B vitamin) to keep you mentally alert enough to appreciate the finer points of topology through round after round.

That's the idea, anyway, behind Mobius Infused Lager, which makes its debut in bars and restaurants across South Carolina today. Within the next several weeks, its maker, Beverage Mobius Ltd., plans to distribute it throughout the Southeast and eventually across the nation.

As the company explains in its promotional literature, "Not only does the product tap into the popular energy drink trend, but its other added ingredients make it the perfect drink for happy hours and late nights out ... it will keep you going on and on all night long."

Competition of a sort is already looming, as Anheuser Busch, the nation's biggest brewer, has introduced its own energy drink. But Anheuser Busch's "B to the E" is aimed more at drinkers of Zima or other fruit-flavored beverages than at beer drinkers.

That's why company president Robert Spencer insists that Mobius "will be the first beer of its kind."

A native of Danville, Va., and a graduate of Washington and Lee University, Spencer previously founded a printing company, Pinnacle Imaging, that eventually grew to four offices, located from Richmond, Va. to Minneapolis, before he sold it.

Spencer came up with the idea of an "energy beer" a couple of years ago and has been working hard at making it a reality. Originally, he was inspired by some nutritionally fortified food bars.

"I was living in California, in Berkeley, and I had this idea because I was living right beside where Power Bars and Cliff Bars were made," he recalled. "I thought, 'What can I do that I enjoy but would be a similar thing?' And then I thought, 'Beer?' But I didn't think anyone would buy it."

Spencer later moved to the Charleston area, where he became a co-owner, with Steve O'Connor, of Madra Rua Irish pub in North Charleston. At the pub, Spencer said, "I saw these guys drinking Red Bull with vodka and Red Bull with everything else."

The popularity of that energy drink as an accompaniment to alcoholic beverages convinced Spencer that there was, indeed, a market for his idea, and he began working on it in earnest.

Once he had the formula sorted out, Spencer began looking for a brewer. He knew he wanted to make and launch the beer in the Southeast ("I feel like everything hot is coming out of the Southeast now"), so he concentrated his search in the region.

"I wanted a Pilsner, and I found a brewer in Greenville (Tom Davis of Thomas Creek Brewery) who was very enthusiastic about the project," Spencer said. Working with Davis, he said, "We did endless test batches until we got the flavor profile right where we wanted it."

Under the arrangement with Thomas Creek, a microbrewery that produces a well-regarded Pilsner and also offers custom brewing, Thomas Creek actually brews Mobius beer, but Spencer's Mobius Brewing employees bottle it.

They've been busy recently preparing for the product launch, which will proceed in stages, Spencer said. "We're initially rolling it out in South Carolina. Then in two weeks, we'll do Atlanta and Georgia and the next two weeks Florida." Mobius has a distribution deal already signed with Henry J. Lee Distributing. But don't look for Mobius in stores anytime soon, he said.

"What we're trying to do is drive demand through bars and restaurants," he explained. "We'll do an exclusive with Piggly Wiggly in December, but we won't be in stores until then. In January, you'll be able to find it everywhere."

From here
johnno said:
... which makes its debut in bars and restaurants across South Carolina today ...

... Then in two weeks, we'll do Georgia ... and the next two weeks Florida...
At least he's researched his demographic well...

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