Shock Top & WuShock: like beer & pretzels

This sign at R&J Discount Liquor near College Hill is an example of how Shock Top and WuShock have joined to promote both their brands.

This sign at R&J Discount Liquor near College Hill is an example of how Shock Top and WuShock have joined to promote both their brands.

WICHITA – Shock Top and WuShock are like beer and pretzels: They’re not an official combination, but they go awfully well together.

When Anheuser-Busch’s Shock Top wheat beer debuted in 2007, House of Schwan’s Pam Irish called it “the very unofficial beer of WSU Shockers.”

While it’s still not the school’s official beer – most colleges, of course, don’t have one – WuShock is now used in Shock Top promotions here and elsewhere.

“We are fortunate enough to be one of the ambassadors for Wichita State athletics,” Irish says of the wholesale company, where she’s special events director.

“It’s been the most rewarding partnership I’ve ever been involved with. They’re just great partners.”

Before the Shock Top name debuted, Anheuser-Busch had a specialty beer called Spring Heat Spiced Wheat that was so popular the company decided to rename it and keep it year round.

Shock Top was one of about five possibilities Anheuser-Busch sent to wholesalers to see what they thought. House of Schwan lobbied hard for Shock Top, and it won.

Businesswoman and WSU alum Sheryl Wohlford noted the beer’s mascot looked like a relaxed Wu.

“This little guy looks like Wu on vacation,” she said at the time.

Now you’ll see Wu helping to promote Shock Top, and vice versa.

An Anheuser-Busch wholesaler in Saint Louis asked to sponsor a Shocker pep rally for this weekend.

“That kind of stuff just doesn’t happen every day,” Irish says.

The school has told her there have been requests from other wholesalers to use Wu in their March Madness promotions.

“I can’t tell you how much fun it’s been,” Irish says.

The fact that the Shockers – men and women – are doing well, she says, “just makes it even that much more fun.”