Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman announced on Tuesday, January 4, 2022 that he was getting into the beer business. He co-founded an Austin-based company that will launch Eight, a 90-calorie light beer, in Texas in early 2022.
Aikman had teased the partnership for months on Instagram, including in a September 2021 post that detailed his rigorous workout regimen and sleep schedule, ending with a beer emoji and a suggestion to “celebrate the wins of the life”.
The Fox broadcaster has long talked about good health – someone who probably wouldn’t drink beer without knowing the calorie count. “I drink one to two gallons of water a day,” he says. The Dallas Morning News. “I make sure to sleep. I eat really well. I train. But I also feel like life’s victories and special moments should be celebrated.
Aikman says he feels like he’s been in the beer business for years anyway. He worked for a Miller distributor in Oklahoma while in college – a job he got at the suggestion of his trainer, Barry Switzer. After Aikman retired from the Cowboys, he did some national campaigns for Miller Lite. When he opened his restaurant, Troy’s, in Arlington, his name was “Miller Lite guy”.
But more recently, Aikman said he “didn’t like the options” available for light beers.
“Being so meticulous and aware of what I put into my body, it would be great if there was better beer than what was available,” said the three-time Super Bowl champion.
Eight has been a project for several years and in at least three states. Aikman did research with members of Oregon State University’s Department of Food Science and Technology before partnering with Faubourg Brewing Co. in New Orleans to make the beer. The company’s headquarters are in Austin, a city Aikman considers “more authentic” to the brand than his hometown of Dallas.
Eight is made with organic grains and is a fully malted beer, which means it contains no corn or rice. Aikman joined brewmaster Phil Leinart and several other co-founders for all tastings during the brewing process.
He hopes it will intrigue health-conscious people. “Early risers,” Aikman calls them: “people who get up in the morning with a purpose and want to improve.”
It is named after Aikman’s jersey number as a college and professional athlete. Aikman is also inspired by the number eight, which represents strength and balance, he says.
Eight is the only beer in Aikman’s six pack so far.
“But,” he says, “we have at least made contingency plans for the future” if the team decides they want to brew more beers.
Eight is scheduled to go on sale in Texas bars and restaurants in February 2022. The company will then pause before considering expansion to other states, Aikman said.
Eight will be sold in six-, 12-, and 19.2-ounce cans at retail locations in Texas beginning in March 2022.