After falling behind by eight points in a race that could determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate, Kelly Ayotte started hitting the bottle — but she’s certainly not drinking alone.

The Granite State Republican released a new video of a recent visit at the 8th Annual New Hampshire Brewfest, plugging her support for decreasing regulation and cutting taxes on the craft brew industry.

Ayotte’s hoping that by pulling beers for constituents, she can pull ahead of her also-well-regarded Democratic rival, Gov. Maggie Hassan. So far, that’s been a tall order for Republicans, given the unpopular presidential candidate at the top of their ticket.

Dogged by questions about Trump, Ayotte has had to walk a fine line, working diligently to distance herself from the reportedly teetotaling nominee. At first she offered tepid support of the controversial candidate. But when the “Access Hollywood” recording surfaced, which captured lewd remarks Trump made about women in 2005, Ayotte disavowed him completely. It’s no wonder she’s looking for something less controversial to talk about, like alcohol.

While Ayotte looks like she drinks chardonnay, her new video isn’t exactly a gimmick. She’s a member of the Senate’s Bipartisan Small Brew Caucus. In the long run, that move could actually pay off.

Craft beer is big business in the state. According to the Brewer’s Association, New Hampshire ranks ninth in the nation for breweries per capita with 4.5 per 100,000 citizens. Still, getting those voters upright and to the polls on Nov. 8 could be challenging.

But it’s not an out of the ordinary tactic for Ayotte during an unusual election cycle.

Before popping taps, the Ayotte campaign was giving out free condoms with her campaign slogan on the wrapper. The prophylactic push was part of Ayotte’s effort to make birth control available for purchase over-the-counter instead of at employers’ expense. The move worked, grabbing national headlines and drawing a contrast between the Pro-Life Ayotte and the Planned Parenthood backed Hassan.

On craft beer, the distinction between the two candidates is a bit more blurry.

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The governor, Hassan, did get into a bit of a brawl with the state legislature over alcohol labeling regulations in June 2015. But that was merely over allowing images of minors to appear on beer labels.

As the election draws to a close, Ayotte has been courting the millennial vote. She’s been going hard, hitting college campuses, touring Greek houses, and posing for selfies at tailgate parties.

The Ayotte campaign boasts about leaving the beaten path to chase after millennial voters. So far, booze and rubbers have offered a conduit to meaningful conversations about Ayotte’s policy proposals. It’s all part of a plan to draw a “stark contrast” between the candidates, said Ayotte spokeswoman Liz Johnson.

Whether that works in the end, Ayotte deserves a beer for trying.

Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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