Wawa cracks open its store brand beer for Florida market

Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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Pennsylvania-based Wawa has a new private label craft beer going to Florida for the winter.

The convenience store and fuel retailer who has previously teamed with 2SP Brewing, also of the Quaker State, to develop an exclusive craft beer that uses Wawa’s private brand Winter Reserve Coffee as the star ingredient and sold at Wawa locations, is teaming with 2SP and Tampa, Fla.-based Coppertail Brewing to release Snow Bird Reserve Vanilla Porter in Florida Wawa stores this week.

The name of the beer hearkens the term for people in cold East Coast and Midwest regions who travel to Florida for the winter. The beer was developed by brewmasters at both 2SP and Coppertail and Michael McLaughlin, Wawa’s concept development manager and “world-traveling coffee guru.” Snow Bird Reserve also leverages Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee, which is a small batch, limited-run of specialty coffee put out by the c-store.

Wawa recently opened its 200th location in Florida; the retailer operates 860 stores in total in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., too. 

2SP and Wawa first launched the Winter Reserve Coffee Stout craft beer and then last November brought the beer back to stores along with new craft beers with Hardywood Brewery, Richmond, Va., including one called Coffee Cake Reserve.

The new Snow Bird Reserve is a robust porter with sweetness derived from malted barley, and is intensified by the Wawa Winter Reserve Coffee and also has a hint of vanilla in it.

“With recently celebrating Wawa’s 200th store opening in the state of Florida, we’re grateful for 2SP Brewing’s introduction to longtime friends at Coppertail Brewing to collaborate on this innovative product that brings excitement to our Florida friends and neighbors,” said Mike Sherlock, chief product marketing officer, Wawa.