Just when you think you’ve seen everything, Against the Grain announces a beer release that will pay tribute to WCW Hall-of-Famer Randy “Macho Man” Savage and the legendary wrestling Poffo family. The brewery will launch the beer Saturday, Nov. 21, with a night of wrestling entertainment in the Slugger Field concourse.
The collaboration between Against the Grain, Ohio Valley Wrestling and Dauntless Distributing will unveil Poffo Pilsner in honor the family, which turned out a trio of legendary wrestlers in Savage (whose real last name is Poffo), Lanny Poffo and Angelo Poffo.
The event, dubbed “Brews and Bruises,” came about a bit by accident, according to Sam Cruz of Against the Grain. The brewery was set to release a pilsner-style beer anyway, but needed a name for it. Cruz and brewer Jerry Gnagy were joking about the number of pilsners on the craft market that start with the letter P — Prima Pils, Polestar Pilsner, Pivo Hoppy Pils — and started coming up with names that started with “P” to carry on the traditional alliterative naming style.
Enter the halfway serious suggestion of “Poffo.” Yes, it seemed an odd way to name a beer, but since both Gnagy and Cruz are wrestling fans, they decided to go with it. As it turns out, they have friends in the wrestling business, and when these friends got wind of the name and the inspiration, they suggested a cross-promotion between the brewery and the sport.
“It was like, ‘Sure, whatever, we’ll talk,’” Cruz said. “The next thing you know, it’s, ‘Holy shit, we’re going to launch a beer at a wrestling match. A pro wrestling match.’”
Cruz said it has already been fun learning how a professional wrestling event is planned, adding the Ohio Valley Wrestling has been great to work with in that regard. He said attendees should expect classic American wrestling tradition to pair with their new German pilsner.
Of course, professional wrestling brings with it a certain amount of theatricality and drama. Asked if that aspect of the sport will enter into the event, or potentially even spill over into the brewery, Cruz was mum. He did, however, say, “Crazier things have happened.”
This could get interesting.
Wrestling stars from across the country will come to Louisville to take part in “Brews and Bruises.” The night’s card features the Danny Davis Invitational, which is a one-night, tag-team tournament including internationally known tag champions The Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, as well as former World Wrestling Entertainment and Ring of Honor tag champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. OVW will also crown a new women’s champion at “Brews and Bruises” with a ladies’ battle royal.
To say the least, it will be an interesting cross-promotion.
“We kind of feel like there’s a place in market for a good, classic, German pilsner,” Cruz said. But to launch it at a pro wrestling match?
“It’s out there. It’s not something you see, normally, for a beer release,” he said. “It gives us the opportunity to connect with a different audience, also. It’s a neat opportunity. It should be interesting.”
A special ticketed meet-and-greet kicks off the evening at 5:30 p.m., with the event beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online. Tickets for the meet-and-greet are $15, while tickets for the wrestling event range from $25 to $50.