Beer you can bet on

Poker Beer has four cards on label, one under bottlecap

Nov 5, 2002 - The makers of Jolt Cola this month roll out Poker Beer, which comes in bottles featuring poker hands. Every bottle carries a label with four different playing cards of a five-card poker hand. The final card is hidden under the bottlecap. About 1.7 million hands are available, thanks to variable printing.


"We have a genuine desire to bring innovation into all segments of the beverage industry," said C.J. Rapp, president of New York-based Wet Planet, which sells Jolt Cola, DNA and Pirate's Keg sodas.

Wet Planet expects people to play games with the beer -- such as the loser buying the next round. Rapp said he's aware of the potential for criticism, but Wet Planet is not encouraging drunkenness. "There are laws out there that deter people from drinking too much alcohol."

The beer, a lager, is being brewed on contract by Utica-based Matt Brewing Co., which produces its own line of Saranac beers and also contract brews several other brands. The variable printing process was designed by Hammer Lithograph of Rochester.

Rapp said the beer will have more flavor than mainstream beers such as Budweiser, but will be lighter than microbrewed beer. "You have to have a high quality product in the bottle," he said. "It's not good enough to have just a clever idea."