Saint Arnold Brewing Co., the oldest microbrewery in Texas, has put “naming rights” to one of two new fermenters up for bid on eBay.
Selling naming rights to buildings has become part of doing business, football bowl games all carry corporate tags, and even NASCAR teams are named after sponsors these days – but a fermenter?
“This could be the perfect Christmas gift for that person who loves Saint Arnold’s full-flavored beer,” said Brock Wagner, founder and CEO of Saint Arnold. “It’s not a money-making venture so much as it is a new and interesting way to enable our grassroots supporters to really be a part of the brewery.”
The brewery’s faithful laid the foundation for this in 2003. When the brewery asked for help in funding a $15,000 reverse osmosis system to purify its water, supporters pledged nearly to $7,500 to offset the cost. Those who donated to the cause have their names displayed on the water tank.
Saint Arnold – named for the patron saint of beer – has a tradition of naming its fermentation tanks after various Saints who have connections with beer through the ages, including St. Adrian, St. Brigid, St. Columbanus, St. Dorothy, St. Edmond, St. Florian, St. Gall, St. Hildegard, St. Idesbald, St. Jacobus, St. Lawrence, and St. Matthew.
Wagner said he would only accept bids for naming the tank after a person (although a pet could be deemed acceptable). No bids for naming the tank after a company will be accepted.
Bidding on the naming rights started at $50 and had reached $560 this morning. It has a ways to go to reach the heights of bidding to name Houston’s baseball stadium. In 1999, Houston-based Enron Corporation agreed to pay more than $100 million over 30 years to name the stadium Enron Field. When Enron became the largest corporation in history to declare bankruptcy, the Astros bought back the naming rights. In, the Minute Maid Company, a locally-based subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company, agreed to pay an estimated $170 million for a 28-year naming rights deal.