Colorado brewery launches Mike Sadler tribute beer, might spread to Michigan
A Colorado brewery has created a new craft beer as a tribute to former Spartan Mike Sadler. The beer, "Hey Diddle Diddle," debuted June 1 at an MSU alumni club event and will officially launch Friday at the brewery's release party.
"Hey Diddle Diddle," named for a trick play Sadler ran during MSU's Rose Bowl-winning season, was unveiled June 1 at the alumni club's Colorado Spartan Social event, held to bring MSU graduates together and to benefit the Michael Sadler Foundation.
The beer officially releases at the brewery's taproom in Denver June 2. For every bottle sold, $1 will be donated to the Michael Sadler Foundation, and Jagged Mountain Brewery will sell the beer out of its taproom until the batch is gone.
Sadler was a punter for MSU before a fatal car accident in July 2016. He was the first four-time academic All-American in MSU history and ranked second all-time in punts and punting yards as well as the sixth all-time leader for punting average.
The idea to create a tribute beer came from Mark Porteous, a board member of the MSU Rocky Mountain Alumni Club, in his discussions with Karen Sadler, Mike's mother.
"Mike was a big home brewer. It was one of his passions and one of his hobbies outside of football," Porteous said. "I said that's great, let's get Karen involved in the creative process."
Porteous worked directly with RJ Banat, co-owner of Jagged Mountain Brewery, and Sadler in the creative process. They decided to create a wheat ale with apricots and oranges — Mike's preferred craft beer.
Adam Glaser, the beer's brewer, came up with the idea of including rosebuds in the beer to connect it back to MSU's 2014 Rose Bowl victory.
"The initial plan was just to make a beer for this one-time event, and our initial thoughts were that we were just going to do a pilot batch," Banat said. "Fortunately, we decided to make a full-scale batch of it."
Since the initial announcement on Twitter, the buzz surrounding the beer has been incredible, Porteous said.
"We realize that it's a bigger deal in Michigan than it is in Colorado," Banat said. "We've gotten quite a few messages from people asking how they can get ahold of it."
The strong response to the beer has led to dozens of phone calls. Porteous said the brewery has a "commonly asked questions" sheet next to the phone for when people inquire about the beer.
For now, "Hey Diddle Diddle" is only available from Jagged Mountain Brewery's taproom. Bottles are limited to what's left of the batch. However, Banat said it would be a "fantastic idea" to start selling in Michigan if it could be done in a meaningful way.
"Our initial thought is to partner with a Michigan brewery and have it brewed in Michigan and have it available for people in East Lansing," Banat said. "It's still early, so we haven't talked about it at all, but that's kind of our initial thought."
Porteous credits the Spartan community for the enthusiasm surrounding the beer.
"It's just something really positive and really awesome, and just an outstanding tribute to a special person," Porteous said. "I think that the Spartan community is so tight-knit, everybody really cares for each other, that's why you're seeing this terrific support for it."