How Harley-Davidson Came to Make Beer

by Elena Gorgan from https://www.autoevolution.com/ Throughout its 117-year history, Harley-Davidson often turned to merchandising to boost sales, expand its reach and draw in new segments of the public. Some novelty items were hits and misses, while others fared decently – but not a single one was as successful as the Harley-Davidson Beer. We’ve already discussed some of the most surprising items Harley sold that you (probably) didn’t know about, and mentioned beer as well. Indeed, one of the most iconic motorcycle makers in the world once sold beers by the four- or six-pack as an official product. In fact, it did so for many years, between 1984 and 2000, and then again in 2018, as a limited-edition for the 5-year anniversary known as the Ride Home. The association between bikes and beer isn’t surprising. After all, it’s a known fact that bikers prefer beer over wine or even hard liquor, and a can of beer seems more at home in the hand of a biker than anywhere else. As for how Harley itself came up with the idea of stamping the HD name on it, it turns out it went beyond the desire to make some extra cash. Sure, when it was first launched in 1984, at the Daytona Bike Week, it was a novelty item meant to draw on the Harley name for a boost in profit. The cans were made to resemble oil cans, painted in the colors of a chopper (silver and black), but the beer inside was of the generic type. It was a pure marketing move: take a bland, generic beverage and repackage it in order to sell it as a novelty for more money. By 1987, though, Harley bosses had understood that, even if their beer would sell either way, it would sell even […]

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