Former Bears QB Jay Cutler’s Role in the inaugural Chicago Street Race is by contributor Brian Eberly sharing his experience this weekend.
When the field takes the green flag on Saturday for the NASCAR Xfinity Series The Loop 121 on the streets of downtown Chicago, a very familiar name to Chicago sports fans will have a role in the inaugural event. After a playing career in which No. 6 set Bear’s franchise records in passing yards, passing touchdowns, attempts, and completions, Jay Cutler has found a new passion… craft beer.
Former Bears QB Jay Cutler’s Role in the Inaugural Chicago Street Race
Cutler is the founder of Gratis, known for its empowering motto “Be Bold, Live Free,” and is the primary sponsor of the No. 02 Chevrolet with Blaine Perkins as their driver.
“We are delighted to have Blaine Perkins representing us on the streets of Chicago because that’s the way he drives, bold and free,” Cutler said.
It’s a historic weekend for NASCAR, as the sanctioning body will compete on a street course at the national series level for the first time in its 75-year history. The 12-turn, 2.2-mile circuit encompasses several iconic Chicago streets, including Columbus Drive, Michigan Avenue, and Lake Shore Drive.
Jay Cutler Highly Involved in the Creation of Gratis
Gratis is brewed and canned in Nashville, where Cutler went to college at Vanderbilt University and currently resides. Gratis currently has two varieties in its lineup, an American ale (6% ABV ) and a lager (4.6% ABV ). Both beers are brewed using the “reinheitsgebot” method made popular in Germany. The procedure is one of the oldest brewing processes in existence. Created by Bavarian noblemen in 1516, this centuries-old law states that only water, barley, and hops are allowed to create a beer. When scientists discovered yeast was a fermenting agent a few centuries later, it was added as a fourth ingredient.
Cutler’s vision was to bring an exceptionally smooth and sessionable drinking experience to his college stomping grounds and current hometown and thus, Gratis was born.
“Jay has been instrumental in all aspects of developing the beer. This is his baby—from creating the look of the can to what goes in it,” says Jason Sheer, Gratis Brewing’s strategic advisor and go-to guy for local distribution.
“This isn’t some ex-athlete putting his name on a product. Jay has spent countless hours with our brewmaster to get the recipe just right. He has been in on all decisions big and small.
“When developing Gratis, Jay set out to create something better. He wanted a clean beer made with only four simple ingredients — yeast, hops, grain, and water. He wanted a beer that wasn’t too hoppy and didn’t taste bitter. To put it simply, you can crush a bunch of Gratis beers. They are smooth.”
Cuter is Proud that Gratis Beer is a High-Quality Beer
This brewing method ensures that Gratis is free from additives and impurities. The creators hope that will guarantee a consistently high-quality beer for enjoyment year-round.
“We are aiming for Gratis to disrupt the beer industry as it’s a beer brewed with all-day drinkability at 6% alcohol,” says Sheer.
“The beer was developed to drink at tailgates, at bonfires, on the lake, on a date, at family dinners, to sip at the end of a long weekday, and to cheer the weekend. It’s for anywhere you raise a glass freely.”
Jay Cutler Partners with Blaine Perkins for the Chicago Street Race
If the No. 02 Our Motorsports team has a strong run at Chicago, they may just all raise a glass freely to celebrate a strong run in a historic race for NASCAR on the Fourth of July weekend.
Driver Blaine Perkins hails from Bakersfield, California, and does have some experience turning left and right in a stock car, having made three Xfinity Series starts on road courses.
“I am excited for this weekend’s race on the streets of downtown Chicago,” Perkins said. “It’s an honor to represent a company like Gratis, especially with its founder, Jay Cutler, who had a notable career in the NFL. I look forward to a strong performance.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Loop 121 will go green on Saturday, July 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET, and fans can tune in to catch the action on the USA Network, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.