The Year of Beer

After attending the Real Art Ways event in late 2018, I decided that 2019 would be the Year of Beer for EB. Note, that EB is me. I did the RI brewery passport in 2018 coupled with a year membership to the Newport Preservation Society. I would make the trip from Hartford Ct once a month to tour a Newport Mansion and then go to a brewery. I have a pint glass and one can of Revival Brewery’s Pinky Swear left in my fridge to prove it. I think there is also a limited edition hot chocolate stout down in my basement on the wine rack too, but that is beside the point. I enjoyed my mingling of tourism and beer drinking so when I went to Real Art Ways to watch the Brewmaster movie there was no twisting of my arm to embark on a new adventure. There was an event with half a dozen local Ct breweries giving out little samples of beers and talking up the Ct Brewery guild and the beer passport. As I had finished Rhode Island and aside from 2 breweries there that I LOVED (one of which sadly has closed and the Revival brewery which I will probably make an effort to visit when I’m in the state again on other business) I didn’t have much incentive to loyalty to the Ocean State.

I decided that night that 2019 would be the year of beer. I spoke with someone from the Ct Brewers guild who said they, like RI, had prize tiers for going to X# of breweries. I was, at first, very excited until I heard what they were.

  1. At 10 Breweries you get a bottle Opener. um ok… but like most craft breweries don’t actually sell bottles or cans. The big thing is growlers (I’ll have a whole post on my opinions about growlers later). So…. a bottle opener that I can’t really use for the products at all but the most commercial of CT breweries? hrm…
  2. At 15 breweries you get a hat and sticker. So, some people might really like this sticker craze that breweries seem to have, but what am I going to do with a sticker except to stick it in my junk drawer because I feel like I should have a use for it but don’t. Maybe I’d feel differently if I had some kind of use for it, but I frankly don’t. I suppose that a hat would be nice for the people who wear hats. Don’t wanna be sexist here but I feel strongly that the ct brewers guild hat appeals to a very gendered market. It clearly would serve me no purpose. I have 2+feet of hair that is meticulously coiffed on top of my diminutive head. I don’t wear hats because A of all they rarely fit my tiny little head. B of all they wouldn’t fit OVER my massive hair braids pinned to my tiny head. C of all it would smush down my frontal hair poof that my otherwise long hair would look “Little House on the Prairie” without. Gee Pa, I would wear this brewery sunbonnet to shade my face from getting freckles, but there are so many reasons why not.
  3. At 25 breweries you get a brewery guild T shirt. I’m hazarding a guess that this too is a men’s style t-shirt with a crew neck. If it were a baby doll style t-shirt with a V neck I might be interested, but men’s t-shirts are NOT flattering on my body type. Frankly they aren’t that flattering on most women’s body types. We gots curves… Even if they aren’t in the places we want them to be.

So, my curmudgeonly and sardonic view of these prizes aside, I’m sure someone would be thrilled by them. If you are one of these marketed at folks, then there is no shame! I speak forked tongued not to dissuade you from finding joy in your trinkets. More that I feel the marketing strategy is not particularly creative… not particularly useful, and definitely not marketed to me.. It seems to be very decidedly marketed to 20-30 something hipsters, bros, and young male professions who still haven’t gotten over the college thrill of a free booze related t-shirt. No judgement if you too thrill at the free booze related t-shirt marketing gimmick. There are internet algorithms that market to me in ways that I find both fascinating and disturbing… Yes internet I DO in fact really want that book on graveyard symbolism but find it intensely odd that you choose to show it to me as I search for toddler swim trunks! Rambling on aside… I’m not judgy or finger pointy at those who want their trucker hat, bottle opener, and college booze advertisement shirt. I’m more mildly annoyed that the Ct brewers guild had decidedly chosen that they don’t want to be more appealing to the lady folk. It’s a combination of “what is cheap and easy to get for prizes” and general uncreative thinking when it comes to marketing for a larger, more diverse audience than 20-30 something men. But EB if you wanna be so complainy… they what do you have to offer for a better idea? Well… I’m glad you asked! Things that would thrill me? hrm. well for starters offer the t-shirts in both men’s and women’s sizing Yes baby girl t-shirts do cost more, but so worth it. Pint glasses are fun! Beer drinkers often collect them. A Ct Brewers guild official growler (empty) would be fun. Having a BIG ASS poster at the Ct brew fest that lists off names of people who have completed certain tiers. People love to feel like they are special. Put their name on a giant ass poster that they can point at when they go to beer fest and then post on ALL of their social media. If that doesn’t sound like creative free symbiotic marketing and reward. I don’t know what does! Jewelry… a cheap necklace pendant that says something pithy like “I like my beer craft” or “I support local breweries”. Or post (if they agree) their achievement on FB at 10 breweries. Linking them. Again… they get the 10 seconds of fame and lots of likes and in return all of the friends on FB see the Ct brewers guild. Symbotic reward marketing again… those jelly bracelets can be fun! a free downloadable phone background… (again symbiotic marketing rewards) I could keep going all day. If you would like to hire me… feel free. Will some of them work? others not… of course, but the point is some creative thinking in your marketing strategy to reach and appeal a larger more diverse audience will only benefit the guild and the brewers of Ct.

5. Ah… but then… The grand prize! Get 50 brewery stamps and you get yourself a VIP ticket to the next year’s Ct Craft Beer Fest. *tire screech… tilt down sunglasses.* “Color me interested” Sitting at home, reading over the Ct Brewer’s guild website I chortle delightedly at the idea of an earned VIP ticket, and ever the completionist, I loudly said… to no one in particular, “BEER CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

My husband looked up from whatever he was doing and said “Say what?” My two year old son piped up, “Mama noisy.”

Indeed men of my household… indeed.

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