December 19, 2018
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Olympic medalist from NH plans foray into craft beer

Rich Beauchesne | Portsmouth Herald
Rich Beauchesne | Portsmouth Herald
Olympic medalist and New Hampshire native Scotty Lago, seen here on his Harley Davidson Softail Rocker-C, is collaborating with Shane Pine, owner of Hampton’s Community Oven, Shane’s Texas Pit and Four Pines Brewing Company, and brew master Jason Bourassa to bring a new craft beer to market.

Olympic medalist, professional snowboarder and four-time X Games winner, Scotty Lago is getting into the beer business.

Lago spent “a good and long” winter snowboarding with the Sam Adams 3D Air & Apres Show, a special-effects laden performance, staged at 10 ski resorts, that drew audiences in the thousands.

“We were like a traveling circus,” he said. “I love it. It’s obviously a passion and something I’ve been doing my whole life.”

Now back home in North Hampton, New Hampshire, Lago’s summer ride is a Harley Davidson Rocker-C, he’s planning turkey-hunting trips and is getting ready to launch a German-style black lager beer, with 10 percent of sales proceeds going to charities.

He’s collaborating with Shane Pine, owner of Hampton’s Community Oven, Shane’s Texas Pit and Four Pines Brewing Company, and brew master Jason Bourassa to bring the new beer to market. Lago described it as a dark beer, with hints of chocolate and cherry, and a “slightly roasted hint.” He said it’s “absolutely delicious” and after trying it declared, “If I could put my name on this, I’d be thrilled.”

“I might get a keg at my house,” he said.

Pine said he’s been friends with Lago for years and Lago has been a celebrity bartender at his restaurant, signed autographs there and has been a “big supporter of mine and me of him.”

“So we’re coming together and creating a beer for charity,” Pine said. “It’s modeled after a traditional lager, but black. It’s a real crisp, flavorful beer.”

Lago is toying with the idea of naming the new beer “Lago Lager,” or maybe “Logger’s Lager.” His father Michael cut and sold firewood for decades, Lago said, so the logger name would be a nod to that family woodsman tradition.

He said he’s leaning toward the logger name because he could “promote it and not feel cheesy about” about marketing a beer “with my name all over it.” If he goes with Logger’s Lager, he’s thinking tap handles could be designed in the shape of an ax.

The beer branding won’t be the first time something tasty has been named after Lago. His family owns the Lago’s Ice Cream stand on Lafayette Road in Rye, where there’s a “Scotty Lago’s Bronzer” flavor — Lago won a bronze medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Lago called it “super good,” but said his favorite is a mint chocolate chip.

Lago also has his own snowboard line, Lago Snowboards, which he sells online and ships from his home. He said his wife, Bridget Brunet, keeps the business going while he’s traveling and she’s “the brains behind the operation.”

Pine said the beer now in development has been tested and “it’s great, we love it.” He said the first batch is brewed and he hopes to have it available in the next couple of weeks. He does some bottling at Four Pines and contracts for canning beer. Lago said he has no personal preference about bottles versus cans.

Lago, who has 200,000 followers on Instagram and 53,500 Twitter followers, put out a call on social media last week to solicit label designs for the new beer.

“There are a lot of super creative people out there,” he said. “I could pay you in beer, I could also pay you in snowboard product, or I could just pay you, pay you. I’m not going to settle until I find something super rad. I’d be stoked to work with someone locally.”

Lago said he hasn’t yet decided on a charity to benefit from the charitable portion of his brew plan and may choose to donate to different charities every quarter. He said his grandmother died of Alzheimer’s disease, so “that would be an important thing to me.” He said he also loves the outdoors and programs that promote outdoor activities for children, so he may donate to a program that gets kids hunting or fishing.

Now that his snowboard trips are done for the season, Lago said he has more time to focus on the beer.

“I hope people like it, I do,” he said. “I’m pretty pumped.”

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