Food & Drink

The Weekly Sip: Leinenkugel gets into Johnsonville brats | Woody Harrelson’s spirit brand infuses superfoods

The Weekly Sip is Food Dive’s column focused on the latest news in the rapidly changing and growing beverage sector. From inaugural product lines to big investments and controversial topics, this column aims to quench the thirst for developments in the category.

Beer-flavored brats aim to sizzle

Few summer offerings go better together than beer and bratwurst. Now two Wisconsin staples are finding a new way to bring them even closer.

Leinenkugel’s and Johnsonville are releasing Summer Shandy Beer Brat — a Johnsonville grilling sausage infused with Leinenkugel’s iconic Summer Shandy beer. The new offering was conceived after Johnsonville owner Shelly Stayer met fifth-generation Leinenkugel and former brewery president Dick Leinenkugel last fall at a football game in Green Bay, according to the companies.

“Leinenkugel’s teaming up with Johnsonville for the ultimate beer and brat pairing was only a matter of time,” Tony Bugher, president of Leinenkugel’s, said in a statement.  “With our strong innovative history, the Summer Shandy Beer Brat encourages everyone to enjoy Summer Shandy in a whole new way.”

Johnsonville’s Summer Shandy Beer Brats are currently available online and will be available for purchase at select retailers in 19 states until late July. Leinenkugel was purchased by the predecessor of beer giant Molson Coors in 1988.

Molson Coors has touted the addition of its beers to other products before. The homepage for its Miller Lite brand, for example, has baby back ribs with beer and brown sugar glaze; and beer skewers and beer and fennel steamed mussels, among other recipes.

Christopher Doering


Optional Caption

Courtesy of The Holistic Spirits Company


Behind Woody Harrelson’s superfood-infused spirits brand

With celebrity-backed brands rampant in the spirits space, one, in particular, is aiming to bring cleaner label offerings to a wider audience and is co-founded by actor Woody Harrelson.

The Holistic Spirits Company, which infuses plants and botanicals into its vodka and gin products, announced this week it expanded retail distribution into Washington, D.C., following its launch last fall in select states. Harrelson owns the brand along with wellness entrepreneur Amy Holmwood.

Origen Specialty Vodka and Harmony Gin both contain a blend of artichoke leaves, elderberries, green tea leaves, and muscadine grapes. The gin also features juniper berries, coriander seed, hyssop, lemon peel, lime peel, angelica root and orris root on its ingredient list. The spirits contain no sugar or artificial flavors.

The brand’s products are available to ship via, with plans to scale nationwide later this year.

In a statement sent to Food Dive, Holmwood said she and Harrelson are “disruptors,” who want consumers to understand what’s in their alcoholic beverages before they consume them.

“We know no alcohol will ever be healthy, but that doesn’t mean you cannot be more conscious of what you are drinking,” Holmwood said.

Beyond his roles in movies like No Country For Old Men, Harrelson is known for being a vegan and for his environmental activism. The actor said in a statement that he has always waited for a brand to combine superfoods and alcohol.

“I think it’s a marvelous thing that Amy came up with, and I admire her sense of purpose. It was a no-brainer to get involved from the start,” Harrelson said.

Chris Casey

mingle mocktails

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Courtesy of Mingle Mocktails


Mingle Mocktails sips into summer with sparkling rosé

Warmer weather is approaching, and consumers looking to imbibe less have a new fruity option for their poolside beverages.

Mingle Mocktails has launched its latest ready-to-drink variety, Sparkling Raspberry Rosé. The drink is designed to be enjoyed on its own or as a mixer. The brand is touting the drink’s better-for-you attributes compared to other rosé items on the market, as it contains 35% less sugar than a traditional 4-ounce rosé, according to the brand.

The product is available at Total Wine & More locations and online. The brand’s other drinks are available more widely at Big Box retailers like Walmart, CVS and Safeway. Last month, the brand reached a national distribution partnership with RNDC, the largest beverage alcohol distributor in the U.S.

Mingle Mocktails was founded by Laura Taylor in 2017, capitalizing on the growth in consumers who are looking for options with less alcohol. Other flavors the brand sells include Cucumber Melon Mojito, Blackberry Hibiscus Bellini and Cranberry Cosmo. The drinks are sold in 12-ounce cans along with 750 milliliter bottles.

Forty percent of the lucrative 21 to 24 age group reported drinking less alcohol in Mintel data released last year, and companies in the beverage space are developing a slew of products to fit the desire for boozeless options, particularly in RTD canned mocktails. The mocktail market size is projected to reach $9.4 billion by 2028, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Canned wine items have also seen significant growth in recent years – with the number of people who consume the drinks on a weekly basis increased from 56% to 72% between 2019 and 2022 according to an IWSR analysis.

Chris Casey

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