Steel Bender, Teddy Roe's and M'tucci's debut hefeweizen-style beer collaboration - Albuquerque Journal

Steel Bender, Teddy Roe’s and M’tucci’s debut hefeweizen-style beer collaboration

Policy Wheat
POLICY Wheat cans are available for consumption at Teddy Roe’s. The collaboration beer is also on tap at all M’tucci’s locations. (Courtesy of Steel Bender Brewyard)

POLICY Wheat is a nod to a local speakeasy’s namesake and its concept.

The collaboration beer between Steel Bender Brewyard, Teddy Roe’s speakeasy, and the M’tucci’s restaurant chain is a hefeweizen-style beer. It was created with German hops, yeast and unfiltered wheat.

“We started really looking into the style of beer that was drunk back in the 1920s to ’40s since that’s kind of the era of what our bar is based off of,” said Arcy Law, partner and operator of Teddy Roe’s. “Honestly, wheat beer is still very approachable for most Albuquerque palates and that was the one that we all kind of collectively said we’re going to run with. Besides, a good majority of us are pretty decent beer drinkers I guess you could say. When we all came to the conclusion that a wheat beer was the idea, then it was just a home run after that.”

POLICY Wheat is available on tap at M’tucci’s locations and in 16-ounce cans at Teddy Roe’s, 3222 Central Ave. SE. The can labels were designed by Jamie Gros of Field Theory Lab and Shelby Chant, co-owner and marketing director of Steel Bender Brewyard. The labels feature a brief bio of who Teddy Roe was. He was one of the only Black mob bosses working the lottery in Chicago. People in his line of work were known as “policy kings,” which POLICY Wheat is named after. Roe also was known as “Black Robin Hood” for handing out $50 bills in poor neighborhoods.

“In the 20 plus years that I’ve been doing marketing, this has been one of the most enjoyable, creative, fun projects I’ve ever worked on in terms of branding and marketing,” Chant said. “It’s been a blast. Those guys actually came up with the name … I talked to Arcy and he said we came up with a name and he said ‘Policy Wheat.’ I just zoomed in on so many great visuals and an atmosphere and space because (Roe) was a policy king. So it just seemed like such a perfect fit.”

The label also has an illustration of an early Teddy Roe’s bar logo idea.

“I thought (it) was really cool because it was only a discussion at first and then we actually saw it on the can,” Law said. “It was like (wow) that’s what we were actually talking about. It essentially being one of our logos. So yeah, it was a very unique experience and something that we had not really planned on, but when we saw it, it was like (wow), that looks super familiar.”

M’tucci’s wanted in on the collaboration.

“Kind of the way it all came together, our operating partners at Teddy Roe’s, Jessica O’Brien and Arcy Law, had been talking to Steel Bender about maybe working on a beer,” said John Haas, president of M’tucci’s restaurants. “M’tucci’s has had a long relationship with Steel Bender. A lot of people don’t know it but we were the very first account to pour their beer in a restaurant or bar or anything like that outside of Steel Bender. We always wanted to collaborate with them any way that we can. I was quick to tell them hey, we’ll put it on tap at all the restaurants because it’s a great opportunity for us to crossmarket our brand, you know the speakeasy brand into our restaurants, and really expose it to a crowd that maybe isn’t familiar with it. So it just checked all the boxes.”

M’tucci’s and Teddy Roe’s were involved in every aspect of the creation of POLICY Wheat with the exception of brewing the beer.

“That’s the kind of stuff that’s really fun, when you get to be a part of that and it creates more of a connection of the product in the process,” Haas said. “I think everyone is really passionate and excited about it. It’s just really fun to see it finally getting served and getting that speakeasy a chance to really show its name a little bit. That’s fun for us.”

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