Volume 91, Issue 28

Friday, October 17, 1997

pigskin pummel


Students' brew at WLU

By Sandra Dimitrakopoulos
Gazette Staff

An initiative by the Wilfred Laurier University's Students' Union to promote their own type of beer may prove to be tough competition for the big-name breweries.

"We are creating an identity," said Stewart Wong, president of the Students' Union. The "Hawkeye Gold" beer, named after the university's mascot the Golden Hawk, was part of a plan on behalf of the Students' Union to promote school spirit.

In keeping with the marketing of the product as a student-pub beer, it was officially unveiled in a ceremony during Homecoming at Wilf's, the on-campus pub, Wong said, adding they were sold out by the end of the night.

Wong said $0.10 from every litre sold will go towards a charity which has yet to be decided. Funding for this project comes out of the Students' Union operating budget and some of the money from sales will go back into it, he added.

Mike Arnold, general manger of Trafalgar Brewery, said the idea came from David Playfair, the manager of Wilf's, who approached the brewery with his idea.

Arnold said the next step was to contact the Students' Union who said they had previously approached the larger breweries with little success.

The expected demand by the university is approximately 10 to 15 cases per week which Arnold said is impossible for larger breweries. "We are geared perfectly to this type of project and because of our size, we can be a real niche marketer," he said.

"We are amazed at how quickly things came together and give the Students' Union full credit," Arnold added.

Although Bob Rosehart has only been president of Wilfred Laurier University for six weeks, he said the entrepreneurial spirit shown by the Students' Union and all Laurier students has really made an impression on him.

"I almost think it would be a better idea to have the crest of the university on the bottle rather than the university's mascot," he joked. Rosehart added he is not a exactly a connoisseur of beer yet enjoyed "Hawkeye Gold".

Ryan Parks, president of the University Students' Council at Western, said he thinks Laurier's initiative is a great idea as long as the promotion is accompanied by a message of responsible drinking.

As for this type of product heading to Western, Parks is skeptical as to the response by administration, yet still plans to look into the idea. "Heaven forbid our university should be associated with any non-educational recreational activity," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997