Toronto gets a golf-themed craft beer
Triple Bogey Brewing & Golf Company is the newest addition to Ontario's growing craft beer market and is coming to an LCBO and a golf course near you. Founded by Geoff Tait, the former head of a golf apparel company, Triple Bogey aims to be the first ever beer targeted directly at the one game for which beer is practically an official requirement.
Tait has an extensive background in golf: having attended Humber College for a golf management program, he worked at St. Thomas' Golf and Country Club and founded a surfwear company which evolved into a golf apparel company called Quagmire.
Designed as something like the edgy alternative to golf gear (slogan: "Not fit for the fairway"), Quagmire began as two guys selling apparel out of their trunk and eventually landed the duo a lucrative contract designing gear for Arnold Palmer's clothing line, Arnie.
The partnership that was Quagmire has now dissolved, but Tait maintains that Triple Bogey, which will not only be a brewing company but also a clothing company, is a natural evolution of his former company. "Quagmire is done," he tells me. "Triple Bogey is the new Quagmire, and it's bigger and better. The focus right now is on the beer, but I have also designed a very fun line of clothing for Spring 2014 that complements the beer well."
The brand will feature products all made here in Toronto, including the the appropriately named "Triple Bogey Lager." To make said beer, Tait has contracted space from Toronto's own Great Lakes Brewery. "I got really lucky and the whole team at GLB has welcomed me with open arms," he says. "They have all been great help and I've learned a ton from them all."
And while the involvement of one of Toronto's best microbreweries might get local beer nerds salivating, my sources tell me that, despite their hospitality, Great Lakes' involvement in the beer-making process doesn't actually extend much further than providing space to brew. So, while I'm yet to sample a Triple Bogey Lager, given Tait's description of it as "the perfect, crisp, easy-drinking beer for the course," it doesn't seem like Triple Bogey's target market is going to be craft beer aficionados.
Instead, Tait clearly has his sights set on the province's golfers. "They're who I know and who are my friends," Tait says. "It's a tight-knit group of people and they offer great support."
His seemingly ingenious marketing strategy to target a game that to me practically insists upon heavy drinking will begin with Triple Bogey sponsoring the 2013 Phil Kessel Golf Classic in Brampton. "Phil is a friend that loves golf and wore the Quagmire brand," Tait says. "And it's an honor to be a part of his event and to support Right To Play."
Aside from the province's golf courses, Tait intends to market the 5% ABV Triple Bogey Lager to sports bars, restaurants, patios, and presumably the couches of people watching golf at home, given his plans to list the beer in the LCBO.
As for plans to appeal to folks who might like a more complex beer, don't hold your breath. Asked about any future extensions to the roster of Triple Bogey beers, Tait tells me that if he brews another beer it will simply be a light version of the lager.
Ben Johnson also writes about beer over on Ben's Beer Blog.
Photos c/o Triple Bogey Brewing & Golf Co.
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