Siren song, followed by burp

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Lakemaid Beer from August Schell Brewing company

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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Lakemaid Beer is a limited-edition lager featuring comely she-creatures who look like women above the waist and fish below. We baited up our hook and asked adman Jack Supple, the Lakemaid campaign's creator, to throw us a line or two on this gimmick brew.

Q Who is the target market for this joint endeavor between August Schell Brewing Co. of New Ulm and Rapala [the fishing lure manufacturer]?

A It started out as a way to feed fishermen's need to tell stories. A freshwater version of the mermaid. It's tongue-in-cheek. It's not your father's fishing beer.

Q Do beer drinkers choose their brand based on its irony content?

A If it was just about the story, it would be a one-time joke beer. It's actually a great lager with a real nice, smooth, malt finish.

Q What's the appeal of blending women and fish? I get the male desire to chase something with a tail. But are fins and scales sexy?

A Mariners have talked about mermaids forever, so we thought we'd add the freshwater game fish to the equation.

Q Is Schell worried about a possible backlash from people who aren't feeling so wink-wink retro about the idea of bikini babes on beer bottles?

A There have been no complaints I'm aware of. Actually, women have kind of embraced the idea that it's cute. Gander Mountain has T-shirts and hats that sold well for Father's Day. The beer keeps selling out as fast as they can make it. It's big in Brainerd, St. Cloud and Mille Lacs.

Q I know how to tie a Rapala knot, too. Is there any chance they'll come out with a spinoff featuring Jason Lewis from "Sex and the City" as Mr. Bullhead?

A We might be able to help you there. So far we're talking about doing it with an ice-fishing theme for winter.

Q Where did the models come from?

A Some from stock photos. Miss Walleye is a local woman. The personalities of the different lakemaids are in keeping with those associated with the fish. Miss Muskie is sullen and brooding. Miss Bluegill would probably be the most peppy. Miss Walleye is very hard to please.

Q Is there an opening for Miss Barracuda?

A Yes, possibly. We're talking about expanding to saltwater.

Kristin Tillotson • 612-673-7046

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