Late last year, Wawa collaborated with Delaware County-based brewery 2SP Brewing Company to release an oatmeal stout infused with the beloved convenience store’s Winter Blend coffee. Now, rival chain Sheetz is getting in on the action with their own brew.
The Altoona-based convenience store this week announced the impending release of Project Coffee Hopz, Sheetz’s first-ever craft beer. A coffee-infused IPA, the beer was created in collaboration with Mifflinburg’s Rusty Rail Brewing Company using Sheetz Brothers Sumatra coffee beans, according to a release.
The brew will be available at 55 Sheetz locations throughout Pennsylvania starting May 21, when it will go on sale in four-packs of 16-ounce cans for $7.99. Philly locals who want to try the beer can grab some cans at Sheetz stores New Holland and Lancaster, the company’s closest area locations to stock Project Coffee Hopz.
However, those among us who are not Wawa loyalists may want to act quickly upon release. Like Wawa and 2SP’s Winter Reserve Coffee Stout, Sheetz’s brew is a limited one, and won’t be restocked after it sells out.
Wawa and 2SP’s Winter Reserve Coffee Stout, on the other hand, featured “flavors of sweet clove, dark chocolate, and graham crackers,” according to a description from the brewery, and it sold for $12.99 per four-pack. In a review, Billy Penn’s Danya Henninger compared the brew to “diner coffee” (in a good way), and noted that it was “especially good poured over vanilla ice cream.” Somehow, that mixture doesn’t sound as good with an IPA instead.
While Wawa’s beer was released first, the source of inspiration for Sheetz’s brew came from its customers, who asked for a beer from the company, Sheetz assistant vice-president of brand strategy Ryan Sheetz told the Tribune-Review.
“Any time you try a unique product like this, there are some reservations, but they are great beer experts, and that, combined with our culinary team, we feel it’s a win-win situation,” Sheetz said. “Craft beer is so hot right now.”
Though it may seem like Sheetz is once again encroaching on Wawa’s territory here, to be fair, the company has long worked to “free the beer in PA,” as Sheetz (the man, not the company) told The Incline. As he noted, the company has been working for more permissible beer laws in Pennsylvania “over the last 15 years,” seeing as “our state was stuck in these nonsensical Prohibition-era laws that disadvantaged” Pennsylvanians throughout the Commonwealth.
We’ll drink to that — just not with Sheetz beer. This is Wawa country, after all.