Tuesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from the early 1960s, part of their “Go First Class” series. The ad seems to be saying that pizza and beer are the path to being high class. Now, I’m a great lover of pizza, and there are few pairings so obviously perfect together than beer and pizza. I could eat pizza almost every meal if you let me, and there are amazing gourmet pies all over the place these days. But in the 1960s? I certainly don’t remember pizza being thought of as “high class” until very recently. Also, I have to say. That is not the most appetizing pizza I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Today is the 44th birthday of Rich Norgrove, the owner and brewer at Bear Republic Brewing Co. in Healdsburg, California. Rich won big a few years ago at GABF, winning the award for Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year, amounting to validation that he’s been making some great beer for many years. Red Rocket and Racer 5 were some of my first favorite hoppy beers back in the 1990s, when few brewers were making the big, hoppy beers that are nearly ubiquitous nowadays. Did I mention that Rich is also one of the coolest, nicest people in the beer business? Join me in wishing Rich a very happy birthday.
Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River and Rich at Drake’s Summit Hop Festival several summers ago.
Jeremy Cowan (He’Brew) and Rich at Falling Rock in Denver.
My buddy Ben Love, who last year opened his own brewery in Portland, Gigantic Brewing, just sent me this cool video featuring his “master brewer,” Van Havig, who joined him at Gigantic, after many years at the Rock Bottom in Portland. The short film, entitled Victory, was created by Jerry Makare as a project for the University of Oregon Multi-Media Journalism Program Foundations class (J610) in Fall 2012. Havig makes some great points. Portland is an amazing place to drink beer, and what he’s saying, I think, holds true for a few other pockets of the country, but as far as I know, the market penetration of specialty beer there is second to none. It’s certainly one of my favorite places to enjoy a beer.
I know next to nothing about Farmville, the popular farm simulation game played on Facebook, apart from the fact that it appears to be a time suck of epic proportions, with something on the order of 76 million active users every month. I know the company that created the game, Zynga, is in San Francisco. I remember passing by their offices with a huge screen outside the building on the way to the annual Christmas party at Anchor Brewing last month.
So maybe this is old hat, but here’s something I didn’t now. Searching for a graphic of hops yesterday, I discovered that in 2011, FarmVille added hop farming to their English Countryside Farm module, and it’s apparently available beginning with level 20, whatever that means. According to the wonderfully geeky FarmViller:
The Hops is a seed on the English Countryside Farm, available from level 20. It became available with the introduction of the English Countryside Farm beginning March 22, 2011.
It is available from the Market for 150 coins after reaching level 20. When bought and placed on the farm, the player receives 2 XP. It can be harvested every ten hours for 220 coins. The seed itself can be sold for 8 coins.
Here are the stages of growing hops in FarmVille:
Freshly Planted Hops
Hops at 33% Growth
Hops at 66% Growth
Hops Ready to Be Harvested
Hops Treated with Crop Fertilizer
Hops After Having Withered
A quick search reveals that you can also grow barley, but there appears to be no way to malt it or put all the ingredients together to brew beer. Oh, well, just when it was starting to look interesting. Perhaps I dodged a bullet there, after all.
The Geeks of the Industry blog, under his “Creative Strategist” tag, lists Craft Beer and the Thank You Economy as number 16. Here’s what the University of Oregon advertising student blogger had to say, presumably interpreted through his burgeoning education.
The craft brew industry is a prime example of a 21st century customer-brand dynamic. As you may know if you’ve been reading my blog, I am a bit obsessed with the philosophy of Gary Vaynerchuk and his views on what social media means to the present and future of branding. Microbrews and their cult-like support from many walks of life is a perfect example of the power of word of mouth in the 21st century. The village ecosystem of commerce is returning with the powerful viral capability of the passionate few.
Those sentiments are illustrated nicely with this clever infographic, created by Column Five Media for Visual.ly, under the title How Indie Brewers Are Outpacing Beer Industry Growth. I just love the proliferation of infographics, they are my Kryptonite. I am powerless to resist them. Enjoy.