by Drew Jackson, The News & Observer Staff Writer

Trophy Brewing, one of the Triangle’s largest breweries, is perhaps best known for its beer called Trophy Wife.

It also has a beer called Trophy Husband.

But something was missing.

“It came to our attention that we’re missing another group of people to complete the total vision of people in our circle,” said Chris Powers, Trophy co-owner, in a phone interview.

Meet Trophy Partner, a beer brewed just in time for LGBT Pride Month.

“The idea actually came from a friend who said, ‘You’re involved in all these progressive politics, you have Trophy Wife and Trophy Husband; you’re missing Trophy Partner,’” Powers said. “We talk about a message of inclusivity. We wanted to do something to show that.”

Powers said Trophy Partner has been in the works for several months and was done in collaboration with the LGBT Center of Raleigh and Raleigh Pride Month. This is the first year for Raleigh Pride Month, which begins June 1 and features events celebrating the city’s LGBTQ community.

While Trophy Wife and Trophy Husband are kind of gag names for a beer, Trophy Partner strikes a different tone, said Lara Oliver, marketing director at the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

“I think it’s great in terms of normalizing the term ‘partner,’” Oliver told The News & Observer. “It’s a phrase we’ve used for so long. Putting it alongside husband and wife gives it a bigger consciousness. It puts it on the same level, which is what we’re always striving for in our community.”

The beer is a West Coast-style IPA with a citrus and piney profile and will be released June 1 at the Run for Love 5k, which starts at Dix Park and benefits the LGBT Center of Raleigh.

“If you like IPAs, you’re going to like this beer,” Powers said.

Trophy Wife, a session IPA, is the company’s most popular beer. Trophy Husband, a saison, also is aimed at wide appeal.

The beer will be released in 16-ounce cans and in kegs. The can design features a heart in rainbow colors against a white background. It was created by Brent Francese, co-owner of Runologie, which is organizing Saturday’s 5k.

“We wanted to include the pride flag for sure, and there’s text along the side that says ‘Love the one you love,’” Powers said. “Ultimately, that’s the most important message, that people are free to love whoever they want. That’s what the can is doing. It’s attention grabbing, it’s stark white and kind of shimmery; it centers in on the heart.”

Brands have used pride designs in marketing in the past. This month, beer giant Bud Light announced it would sell rainbow aluminum bottles of the beer, which is cited in industry data as America’s highest selling beer.

Trophy Brewing has three locations in Raleigh: Trophy Brewing & Pizza on West Morgan Street; Trophy Brewing Tap and Table on South Wilmington Street; and a taproom on Maywood Avenue.

This story first appeared online at The (Raleigh) News & Observer on May 31 and is reprinted with permission.