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They may not have a normal graduation, but they'll have their own beer

Orono Brewing Company launches a 'Congratulations Class of 2021' IPA this week to honor UMaine seniors.

ORONO, Maine — College students and beer go hand in hand. So, for Orono Brewing Company (OBC), located in the heart of the University of Maine Orono community, it made sense to collaborate with students on a new beverage.

The "Congratulations Class of 2021" New England IPA went on sale this weekend at the brewery's flagship location in Orono. The can design was a team effort, according to tasting room general manager Justin Soderberg.

He said ownership, brewery staff, and UMaine students all had a hand in designing the can. OBC uses its signature logo for every beer, so he says the new can needed to have its own style and colors.

Obviously, the colors are the Black Bear blue and white with a big '2021' on the front.

Credit: NCM

"It's one of those things with the cans, you get to celebrate by drinking the can, but also have something to remember it by having the actual can too that says the year you graduated on it," Soderberg said.

The cans are now on sale at the OBC location in Orono and will be on the shelves at stores around the state this week. Co-owner Abe Furth said many OBC employees, including himself, are UMaine graduates, so they always want to give back to the community.

"This is something that celebrates all the students and all the work they've done. We wouldn't be here if the University of Maine wasn't here, so this is a 'thank you' to everyone who's made this town special," Furth added.

The local, college-town brewery wanted to give these loyal customers something to remember the area by, despite the unique ending to their college experience.

Credit: NCM

The outdoor seating at OBC was full Saturday and Soderberg said the Beer Hut will open for the season in a few weeks.