Two years after the owner of Old Town Pizza began to build a mini-empire of pie shops by purchasing Baby Doll, the brands are about to release their first collaboration brew.
The new beer is called “Old Baby,” an obvious mashup of the business’s names with somewhat creepy can art to match: a drawing of a towel-clad baby with cherubic cheeks and a lumberjack beard with his tattooed dukes up. The lager has a crushable ABV of 4.2%, making it a strong contender for your next lawnmower or shower beverage.
Unusual names and labels are not out of the ordinary in an industry where every brewery wants to stand out in the beer aisle or bottle shop. But the origins of Old Baby may help drinkers better understand how the businesses arrived on that moniker.
“The idea was born over beers at the Great American Beer Festival with some of the Old Town and Baby Doll crew,” Adam Milne tells WW. “In Denver, we were talking about what the collaboration brew should be. Someone came up with the name ‘Old Baby’ and we started running with it.”
Anyone who has been to the Great American Beer Festival, one of the biggest of its kind with tens of thousands of attendees and some 2,300 breweries, knows that things can get a little…loopy. The three-day event includes what feels like miles of beer booths inside the cavernous Colorado Convention Center where drinkers get their pours, but also a beer-soaked awards ceremony and special events for brewers across the city. Past years have seen everything from a Deschutes-sponsored burlesque show at a downtown restaurant to a party at a ping-pong bar where someone dressed as Denver’s Great Divide Brewing yeti showed up for photo ops.
Even if Old Town-Baby Doll team was slightly buzzed when they came up with the name, the sentiment behind Old Baby is sincere. The beer is a salute to the service industry: all of the “cooks, bartenders, bakers, baristas, servers and dishwashers who create our unique Portland experience,” according to the label.
As to why they chose that particular beer style—it all has to do with a post-shift tradition for many Baby Doll employees, who enjoy a lager and a shot after they clock off.
Milne acquired Baby Doll on Southeast Stark Street in 2021 after meeting the owner, who was about to have his first child. The two hit it off immediately, which ultimately led to discussions about a potential sale. Milne planned to add more Old Town handles to the property, but never planned on tinkering with the pies.
Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy a slice with a glass of Old Baby, which is scheduled to be canned on March 9.