In an unconventional partnership, Ohio University has selected the Anheuser-Busch brand, Natural Ice, as its sole beer product to sell during home games starting Sept. 7, giving “Bobcat Blackout,” a whole new meaning.
It’s a bold attempt to keep students happy in the stands for “the entire duration of the Bobcats home football games,” said university spokesperson Carly Leatherwood.
The decision to sell solely Natural Ice, or Natty Ice, was based on an informal observational study that took place last year near the Athens campus, Leatherwood said.
The university completed field research at various off-campus parties throughout the 2016-17 academic year. The goal was to observe which types of beer produced the most happy, enthusiastic and spirited students.
“We found that when there was Natural Ice available, which there normally was, students tended to gravitate toward it and stick around at the party longer,” Leatherwood said. “We think we’ll observe this same phenomenon at football games this year.”
Natty Ice, known for its high-alcohol percentage at 5.9% that results in faster, more efficient and possibly more intense inebriation, was such a good fit that it was selected as the only beer available for purchase at home football games this year, said OU Athletics Director Jim Schaus.
“We think the Natural Ice beer will increase fan turnout, keep fans happy during the game, and possibly keep students from leaving at halftime,” Schaus said. “We’re very excited about it.”
Each 16 oz. can will cost $11.95 with a valid or “particularly-good fake” ID, Schaus said.
Natural Ice is a pale lager with a robust taste, sweet accents and smooth finish. It’s famously brewed using Anheuser-Busch’s exclusive “ice-brewing” process, which involves freezing the beer to produce crystals and mask taste.
As the news of the beer menu breaks, students have responded with mixed reviews ranging from mild to extreme confusion.
Senior computer science major Taylor Baker told The Black Sheep she didn’t know how to feel about the limited menu.
“I mean, I like Natty Ice enough,” Baker said. “It’s just, why? Why only Natty Ice? Do they want us to get trashed before we even head to the bars after the halftime show?”
Junior journalism major Brandon Jones was excited about the decision.
“I don’t care what kind of beer they’re selling,” Jones said. “I’m just excited to finally shotgun a beer while I watch the 110!”
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