Mighty Squirrel contains 5g of protein (4g for Mighty Squirrel Light) per 12 fl oz; which compares to around 1g for other beers on the market. It also distinguishes itself by including Nutrition Facts on the tap handle.
The beer's target market is active, nutrition-conscious beer drinkers. As it expands, it is continuing to build the brand around ‘mighty moments’ - valuing an active lifestyle and community.
Late nights and volcanic beer eruptions
The idea of the beer was conceived in 2011, when founders Naveen Pawar and Henry Manice decided there was a need for a ‘brew that fit the finish line’ at the end of their tennis matches.
With no background in beer making, they bought a home brewing system and begun experimenting. After “many late nights, volcanic beer eruptions and thousands of prototypes” the duo finally found the beer they wanted.
“For 12,000 years, brewers have removed barley protein during the brewing process because generally, because of beer's unique chemistry, protein isn’t stable in beer,” the duo told BeverageDaily.
“We spent three and half years brewing in the kitchen and scaling up with pilot batches to come up with a special recipe and process that allows us to brew a great tasting, stable beer with five grams of protein.”
The first commercial batches were brewed in March and then launched in Boston in June. As to the taste, Mighty Squirrel Original is ‘complex with bready, caramel and citrus notes, plus a hint of honey.’ The Light version is ‘clean and crisp with citrus and honey notes.’
New York and beyond
Mighty Squirrel is currently available in 150 locations in and around its hometown of Boston: including superstores, liquor stores, bars and restaurants. But it is expanding distribution this month, looking to eventually reach shelves nationwide.
“For the last three months, we have been focused only in the Boston area,” said Pawar and Manice.
“We’ve received very positive feedback, so we’re going statewide this month. Once we’re able to obtain our desired market response from the Massachusetts market, we’ll be hitting the New York market, likely in early 2016.
“We’ll spend all of our time and resources to make Mighty Squirrel a success in New York state, and once we achieve that, we’ll expand nationwide.”
The brand is prioritizing involvement with local sporting groups, hoping to become the choice of beer for active individuals. It even launched its own ‘Squirrel Run’ in July.
“We’re actively engaged with local running, swimming, biking, and rock-climbing groups (definitely sporty and active community members who are often nutrition-conscious beer drinkers as well) to spread the word about the Mighty Squirrel brand,” said the duo.
But they emphasize that taste has to be the most important thing about the beer.
“First and foremost, Mighty Squirrel is a great-tasting beer. It can be enjoyed on all kinds of occasions – after a run to unwind, or just during a weekend BBQ.
"Our customers choose our beer for a variety of reasons – sometimes it’s because of the great flavor – sometimes it’s because they appreciate the protein content, and sometimes it’s because they connect with our philosophy to always celebrate 'Mighty Moments'."