I’ve been thinking a lot about some pretty serious things lately, and many of them revolve around beer and the business of it – even though I’m not currently employed in it. It’s strange when you care so much about something that you watch international news and notice headlines that will probably have an impact on the hobby I currently enjoy 5 days a week. Even when I’m up in Tillamook State Forest, which has been often, I still find a way to get beer or think about it…but I haven’t really written anything about it in the last few months.
If you’re here, it’s likely you’ve met me in person, and I tried to talk your ear off about something beer-related (although you probably noticed I have an opinion on just about everything). I had to delete an old post because it was the only way to delete something like 36,000 spam comments without spending hours getting rid of them some other way. I would really welcome comments on my writing, but it will have to be directly to my email address (jeff@) because of the spambots. I’ve met some really cool people in the last few months, handed them my card, and then immediately told them (you, maybe) that I haven’t written anything in 5 months or more, and for that I apologise. I hope you’ve enjoyed some of my older posts, though, because I do put work into the more recent articles I’ve put together.
I am in a different place now than I was when I last posted. Not physically, strangely enough, because I’m back at Nebulous Taproom in Beaverton with a pint of Sunriver’s newest west-coast IPA. I barely resisted Boneyard’s quad IPA for my starting drink but thought better of it. I’ve been on a lager kick lately, exploring the world of lighter beers via John’s Marketplace and the new Beaverton location over the last few months, taking full advantage of the corkage fee of just $1 and the HUGE selection of cold cans. It is absolutely my favorite place in the world right now, as long as I’ve got a few dollars in my pocket. Feel free to buy me a pint if you should happen to run into me at my favorite place in the world – or anywhere else, for that matter.
I was talking about my mental location – it’s been a long, rough year. Last July I wrecked my trailer and everything since then has been a bit of a rough ride. Depression and anxiety had left me almost unable to function in a very real sense, and things weren’t going to get any better if I didn’t do something. So, once again, I forced myself to get help, which meant dealing with a glacially slow and overloaded mental healthcare system, even in a place where they’ve recognized the need for a mentally healthy community. It has taken months, but I’m finally feeling like a person that deserves…things…and someone who can enjoy life a little bit. You’ve probably seen me having a little fun, most likely, and I hope I wasn’t too much to deal with. I’m always afraid that people are just being polite, quietly hoping I’ll go away so they can enjoy their beer or food in peace. At least you’re here willingly, and since I’ve got your attention, I’d like to talk about….MARKETING!
Yeah, branding is the most important product a brewery makes, above even their beer. It’s true, we all know of beer that was marketed heavily and the label was the best part of the entire package, because of the work of an artist slaving away in a darkened closet somewhere, hunched in front of a massive monitor. His only sustenance is the free beer they leave at the door, and he never wears anything but beer swag he cops from the sales reps and vendors he talks to every day. I use words, but I could definitely be that guy if I’d had the graphic skills. Instead, I get to enjoy their work while I suck on a flagship IPA at johns. Untapped should allow at least two photos for every check-in, because some of the can art wraps around and it’s hard to frame a good photo of it. So I’ve looked for other things to hold onto, since I can’t hoard a bunch of empty beer cans, and the next best thing isn’t even t-shirts of koozies – the best marketing is…STICKERS!
there it is
I am a self-described sticker slut, because I love a cool sticker design, and I’ve been collecting them more since my beloved pint glass collection got smashed to pieces last summer. Stickers are the perfect mode of practically free advertising of a beer or brewery, brand, whatever. The smarter places charge a dollar or two for theirs, managing to make a profit off of something that will hopefully spread brand awareness somewhere you might not otherwise get it – for free. I’m not saying I’ll go and immediately grab a beer from a brewery I’ve never seen before if I see their sticker in the bathroom, but it doesn’t hurt if I haven’t tried it before.
I’ve got a nice stash of stickers, and I’m trying to get everything together to take some photos, but I wanted to get something posted because I’ve been feeling so much better. The stickers and swag I’ve gotten over the last few weeks hasn’t hurt, either – I got a very nice Goodlife hat the other day and some pint glasses just for hanging out and chatting the reps up while they try to give away beer samples. It’s tough work. If you’re one of those folks out there, I thank you for the conversation and the swag, the stickers and the samples. I hope I can get your interest and return visit, this post will initially just be a text update but I urge you to read some of my other recent posts. I will return to this topic again soon, with a nice spread of stickers and my thoughts on the designs and intent. I wish I’d taken photos of my delivery clipboard from my last job, as I’d taken some effort at decorating it with ‘protective’ stickers that I didn’t have copies of. And my locker door. sigh.
This is my thing
Most of my writing lately has been on or about my emotional state and the progress I’ve made with the help of actual doctors. It has been intensely personal, but it has helped me progress from a depressed, spiraling piece of shit into…well, I’m Jeff now. I really don’t know this guy but I’m stuck with him. I hope I’m not too much for my audience, or that my voice changes much. This update will probably be the last time I really mention these things, but I don’t mind talking about it with anyone who is interested. Email me or tweet at me @ rightaboutbeer or find me at one of my favorite places and buy me a pint. I’ll listen, and talk, about almost anything. Try me.