MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Country Roads Trust, West Virginia University’s Name, Image, and Likeness collective, officially unveiled its latest big project on Wednesday.

Partnered with Big Timber Brewing out of Elkins, West Virginia, Country Roads Trust now has its name on an adult beverage, the profits of which will benefit WVU student-athletes.

The Country Roads Trust Lager will hit the shelves in parts of the Mountain State on Thursday and spread throughout the state in the coming days and weeks. It was unveiled to a select group of WVU fans and CRT contributors Wednesday at Mountaineer Taphouse in Morgantown.

The West Virginia-brewed lager beer, which checks in at 4.0% ABV, will be available inside WVU arenas and stadiums starting with the WVU football home-opener against Duquesne next month.

Fifteen percent of all lager sales will go towards the Mountaineer NIL collective, and those profits will then be distributed to Country Roads Trust athletes at WVU. According to Country Roads Trust general manager and COO Stephen Ford, that includes any sale of the beer — in a WVU athletics facility, a restaurant, a convenience store, or anywhere else.

“We were already in talks with Big Timber once we started seeing all of these other collectives (form partnerships with local breweries). Now, we knew that we couldn’t do the deals with the athletes, so we had to think outside the box,” said Ford. “Well, we can do a licensing deal, which is what we did. So, we did a 15 percent royalty fee for every beer sold.”

NIL organizations at Cincinnati and the University of Iowa have previously struck deals with local breweries. According to Ford, what separates the Country Roads Trust Lager from similar NIL deals is distribution, both around the entire state of West Virginia and inside WVU’s stadiums and arenas.

Of course, countless hours of leg work and numerous conversations went into creating an adult beverage that will not only benefit student-athletes at WVU, but will also be sold inside West Virginia facilities.

“One of the coolest things about this is we’re going to be able to see our brand in the Blue Lot tailgating, and then once you walk into Milan Puskar Stadium, you’re going to be able to see Country Roads Trust Lager in everybody’s hands,” said Ford. “It’s not easy. Before we launched, we wanted to make sure we had all of our ducks in a row; make sure we had the distribution right, make sure we were in the stadium. Obviously, it’s a team effort from everybody. We all had to make sure we were all in a comfortable spot.”

Ford described the taste of the Country Roads Trust Lager as similar to a Michelob Ultra and a blonde ale. The Country Roads Trust COO said it was important to both CRT and Big Timber to make a product that passed any Mountaineer fan’s taste test.

“The biggest worry was, is everyone going to like it? We’re 30 minutes in, and everybody’s raving about it,” said Ford. “I think fans are really going to like it.”

Big Timber Brewing is based in Elkins, West Virginia. It was started by WVU alumni Matt and Ashley Kwasniewski in 2014. Matt was at Mountaineer Taphouse for the unveiling.

“This is an awesome opportunity,” he said.