IPA Inspired by Lucky Charms Cereal Sparks Serious Sales Frenzy

It sold out in a snap and now people are bidding hundreds just for empty ‘collectible’ beer cans.

Ah, nostalgia – such a good sales tool.

When Smartmouth Brewery announced late last month that it would commence sales of its new Lucky Charms-evocative beer, a cereal-marshmallow-infused IPA it’s calling Saturday Morning, on Saturday, March 2, it probably had some sense that it had a potential hit on its hands. But it may not have grasped just how big a hit.

“Brewed with house-toasted marshmallows and cereal marshmallows in the mash, hopped with Galaxy and Calypso, and dry hopped a whole lot more, this IPA is sure to set you back with nostalgia, on the couch, turning on the best cartoons for a Saturday morning,” the brewery posted on its Instagram page ahead of the beer’s release.

The debut of the new brew – with its evocative colorful label featuring a familiar yellow font, red background, rainbow and moons, stars, hearts, clovers (along with other shapes) -- would be marked with a day of events at the brewery’s Norfolk, Virginia, location.

And while the promise of games, costumes and contests may have held some appeal for the beer-buying public, the frenzy that followed the announcement was probably more attributable to a sentimental longing for the simple pleasures of childhood plus the uneasy sense that an opportunity to try a limited-edition, marshmallow-harkening beer might slip away like the years since we were kids padding down the stairs in our PJs to turn on the tube on a quiet weekend morning.

That and the fact that news of a breakfast-cereal-inspired brewsky – sales of which would be strictly limited to two 4-packs of 16-ounce cans per purchaser – spread far and wide.

“So Saturday morning IPA has just really gone viral,” Smartmouth President Porter Hardy said via video in follow-up Instagram message, still ahead of the launch. “It’s been crazy. It’s been a fun ride … we’ve never really experienced anything like it.”

Cut to … the morning of the release: People began showing up early -- at 7 a.m. -- and soon the line of hundreds … er, thousands … of eager customers, some of whom had come from as far away as California, stretched for blocks. The beer, which Hardy describes as “really pillowy and soft,” sold out in an hour and a half, according to Norfolk, Va., station WVLT.

Talk about “magically ridiculous” (the beer’s tagline).

But not quite as ridiculous as what the beer is now selling for on eBay: Following reports that someone paid $450 for a four-pack on Monday (presumably full?), people are now putting empty four-packs and even single cans up for auction. One empty four-pack is currently bidding over $100, a set of two full cans is also bidding at $100, and this single empty can has a current bid of $112.50, with 32 bidders, 25 watchers and more than three days yet to go. Another four-pack is currently up to $200, with 23 bids, 26 watchers and four days still to go.

These collectible cans – as they are being called – are definitely lucky charms for the sellers. And Smartmouth has said it’s on the fence about whether or not it will make more of the popular brew.

However, Smartmouth’s Hardy said on social media, “Had we known it would have gone viral, we certainly would have made a lot more!”

After all, they’re always after me lucky charms …

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