SxSW is upon us! That great boondoggle of a tech / film / music conference in Texas is back and we’re already on our way. For the last couple of years, one of the ubiquitous topics to around SXSWi is “Gamification“. Web programmers, manufacturers and marketers ask themselves, “How can we engage everyone in a fun way that will keep them coming back for more?” “How do we incentivize the experience of being a consumer so people get excited?” Insert some question about “millennials” and the “internet” and “demographics”, and you can call it a day.
Here at Brooklyn Brewery, we respond to such questions by returning to one of our core competencies: throwing parties, year after year.
This year, we ask you to take a break from all your data crunching and outside-the-box tech brainstorming. Take off your wearable tech and come enjoy “Countryfication”, a strategic mix of barnyard animals, rural cookout games, beer, and Texas. We’ll be providing free beer from 2pm – 3pm. Food 52, a community of home cooks that hang out online and in real life, will be on hand for a homemade cornbread swap. The Tiny Tails To You team are bringing a petting zoo and some “gamified” animal attractions so there will be plenty of opportunities for behavioral research that you can take back to your office recap meetings after the festival.
Here’s the skinny, y’all:
~One free hour of beer (2pm-3pm)
~Tiny Tails To You Petting Zoo (2pm-5pm)
~Chicken Shit Bingo
~Tortoise Vs. Hare Race (this is an actual animal race and not the name of a band from Bushwick)
~Live music from Leo Rondeau and Silas Lowe
~Food 52 Cornbread Swap
~ Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will be scooping up the good stuff—with Honey Cornbread Gravel on top.
~After Party with DJ Jester the Filipino Fist, 6pm – 10pm
Come hang out with us, and this guy, March 9th. RSVP here.
Friday night I had the honor to speak on the Beer and Comics Panel at New York Comic Con. The panel was created and moderated by Matthew Waite, and joined by Ben Abernathy of Madefire, and C.B. Cebulski of some small publisher no one’s ever heard of. We illuminated many of the interesting parallels between our two worlds so for those who couldn’t join us I wanted to write a brief recap. It will probably be too long. I love these things.
Both comics and beer have long storied histories. We here at the Brooklyn Brewery always bring up how the Ancient Egyptians had passages on drinking beer, and those passages of hieroglyphics were some of the first sequential art. The act of creating something for a consumer to experience is an art regardless if it’s something to taste or something to read. Art and beer have gone together for as long as time can remember but the modern incarnations correlations are almost creepily similar.
Both industries have their “Big Two” which came from decades of consolidating other brands, until the 80’s when young upstarts started showing up with more adult and experimental fare. The ’90’s exploded with new breweries and publishers, leading up to the ’00’s where it’s not surprising anymore to see multiple publishers fighting for shelf space with the Captain Americas and Wonder Womans; your local beer aisle probably looks just as diverse. Breweries and comics are getting hyper local with a comic shop producing their own comics for the local markets, or a couple of homebrewers only creating one batch to sell out of their apartment. The experimentation has gotten so popular that one of the big two has started emulating the independent and craft styles, while the other is slowly trying to compensate by rebooting their message to a fresher more contemporary look, in both industries. Both industries are in the middle of a renaissance.
Few industries have the three tier distribution system or specific locations to browse and purchase that week’s latest shipments. Comic book shops and bars are staffed with a cultish elite that are uber-informed and are more excited about the rare limited releases than the standard brands that they constantly have to stock. The public can name most of the big players in the industry but there are worlds of info we could still teach them. Hopefully, Brooklyn Brewery will be the first brewery to open a movie studio because that seems to be going pretty well for the comic book industry.
We talk a lot about how a good beer should be a story with a beginning, middle and an end. You’d better hope a comic does. We’re both products that go through multiple phases and people; you do the best work you can to your part of the process and then send it on, hoping for an amazing outcome. Whether you’re brewing a beer or producing a comic you have the lowest bar of entry in almost any creative industry. With under a hundred dollars of equipment you have the capability to make a product as well crafted as the best stuff on the shelves. The collaboration and checks and balances at the larger scale producers is an equally beautiful ballet. The variety and subtlety that can be executed in either are innumerable.
In every Con or Beer Festival panel there’s always one thing I hear over and over: There is nothing stopping you from creating either. Do it. Stopping thinking about it or dreaming about it or saying you don’t have enough time. Just start doing, making, creating. If you’re no good, with practice you will get better. Take your passion and make it your life. You and the marketplace will be better for it.
Check out all of our pictures from NYCC on Instagram under #defendbeer, and check out our store for Defend Beer Pints, shirts and screenprints signed by Cliff Chiang himself.
Well it’s finally here, our favorite show about a meth chemist’s last season. But who knew through all of this that the true artisan would be Hank Schrader?
The man is bottling his own beer, (in episode “Breakage” S02E05) even though it turns out to be overcarbonated,
and even offering up his own homebrew as a prize in local fundraisers (in episode “ABQ” S02E13).
Sure Gabe could brew his own coffee but our man Hank has a two tap system!
What could the Scraderbrau be? A Munich Helles? A Czech Pilsner? Maybe an American IPA? There have been plenty of tribute beers to Breaking Bad. Hank himself even had a slogan contest, that it seems people are still entering four years later. We know it’s “brewed to silky perfection” but it would seem to me the Schraderbrau needs a better description. So comment below and the best recipe or beer style befitting our anti-anti-hero will get a gift package courtesy of us here at Brooklyn Bloggery.
Along with a delectable team of events inspired by food, film, books & beer, the Soul Clap & Dance-Off drops in the cities below. Break out those special shoes, start stretching it up, and we just may see you in Brooklyn.
[*must be 21 years of age to win]
TWIN CITIES, MN: June 17 – 23 BOSTON, MA: July 9 – 14 WASHINGTON, D.C.: September 19 – 22 CHICAGO, IL: October 1 – 6 PITTSBURGH, PA: October 22 – 27 PHILADELPHIA, PA: November 5 – 10 MIAMI, FL: December 10 – 15
The last 2012 LOCAL x LOCAL show goes down at Brooklyn Bowl this Thu, December 6 featuring Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Tickets are $20 right here, OR… you could win them. How’s that? We’re giving away 20 FREE TICKETS. To enter to win, comment on this Facebook post and tell us what you’d like a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah collaboration beer to be called. Winners will be picked Thursday. Get to it!
Neighborhood party at The Brooklyn Brewery on Tue, Oct 23 Celebrate our shirts with a Ten-Tap open bar from 7:30-8:30pm
Ten years after Brooklyn Brewery began, and just two years after the opening our own Williamsburg facility, a husband-and-wife duo put brick and mortar to another “Brooklyn” establishment, Brooklyn Industries. “I was happy to see the Brooklyn Industries sign go up on Bedford Ave in 1998,” recalls Steve Hindy. “Here was a second company staking a claim in Brooklyn, and their water tank logo looked a lot like the water tank atop our warehouse on North 11th Street. Vahap Avsar and his wife Lexy Funk soon started selling Brooklyn Brewery shirts for us. They since have expanded in New York and beyond — with 12 locations in NYC, and one each in Chicago and Portland, OR – and they now are designing very cool shirts for the brewery.”
What very cool shirts are those Steve speaks of? We introduce to you the Neighborhood Pint and the Beer Tower, (pictured below) two brand new limited-edition graphic tees (pictured below) available for sale online and in stores as of right now. And to celebrate this melding of neighborly minds we’re throwing a party. Oct 23 here at The Brooklyn Brewery, join us at 7:30pm to celebrate Brooklyn with an open bar from 7:30-8:30pm, food trucks parked outside our big red doors, music compliments of DJ G.R.N.Y., and the new shirts on display for your scrutiny and enjoyment. RSVP to PR@BrooklynIndustries.com, and help us welcome this Brooklyn collaboration.
UPDATE // AUG 2 And the winner of the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Song Contest is… Teen Commandments with the song “No Burning Headlight”! They’ll be flying to Sweden for the first all-Brooklyn music festival. On August 28th, right before the big show, Teen Commandments will play the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Send Off show at the Rock Shop right here in Brooklyn.
A big, huge bear hug goes out to all the contestants and their amazing songs and vision, and to all the thousands of fans and friends who voted.
This morning we had the pleasure of informing Teen Commandments, aka Brett Moses and Nick LaGrasta of their success. Guess what? They’re psyched! Here’s a brief and badly transcribed interview with the pair of Williamsburg songwriters:
Brooklyn Brewery: Congratulations. Where do you live? Brett Moses: Nick and I live in Williamsburg near Kent and North 5th. We’re at one of the few remaining artist’s lofts in the area. BB: We took to your song right when it came in. How’d you hear about the contest? BM: We saw a poster at Manhattan Inn (across from the Nassau G stop, naturally). Nick LaGrasta: It was the first thing I saw when we went into the bar and we immediately started talking about the contest. BM: We hadn’t even ordered a drink yet. NL: Yeah, and we stood there for a while talking about whether or not we should do the contest. BB: So you could say that the contest actually prevented you from buying a Brooklyn beer. This promotional contest actually hurt our sales. BM: Well Brooklyn beer fueled much of the song writing process so I’d wager that your sales actually rose, slightly. BB: Oh, good. So speaking of your song writing process, how did you come to write “No Burning Headlight”? BM: Nick and I co-wrote the song– I am singing and Nick produced much of the track. BB: Most of the songs we received were all about the G but your lyrics treaded a little lighter on the subject. BM: Right, it’s not as on-the-nose as some. We wanted to capture a feeling and a moment that feels true about our lives and the area. You know, we went to some party in Greenpoint and we’re waiting to go home. Met someone at the party who’s along for the ride. Burning headlight is the train. Anyway, we recorded the song using Ableton Live and mixed it in Logic Pro. There’s also some cabasa, clave, and shaker just for fun. BB: So you’ve won a trip to Stockholm to take in our very first all-Brooklyn music festival at Debaser. Have you ever been to Sweden before? Both: No. BB: What’s your favorite Swedish band? NL: I’ve always liked Jens Lekman. BM: Is Meshuggah Swedish? They’re good. BB: Don’t know. BM: What about that electronic band, The Knife? Are they Swedish? BB: Yes, they are. BM: That’s my answer, The Knife. BB: What bands on the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN lineup are you most excited for? NL: We were psyched to see who was playing. I’ve been listening to the new Twin Sister album a lot over the last two weeks and just realized they were on the bill so that’ll be cool. BM: I’ve always been a fan of The Hold Steady. And I’ve really been into the new DIIV album. BB: Well thanks again for your effort. We were blown away by all the submissions and are excited that you guys took home the prize. BM: We could not be more grateful to our friends and families and really want to make the most of this. We hope people will keep an ear out for Teen Commandments. We’ll be playing shows in Brooklyn. This is a new project for us and we really thank Brooklyn Brewery for allowing us to reach so many people right off the bat.
If ever the sluggish G gets you down, or you find yourself inspired by the tenacity of that “green-eyed girl”… or you just want to listen to some good songs, here is the entire Top 10 for your listening pleasure:
UPDATE // JULY 25 At the end of August we’re exporting over a dozen of Brooklyn’s top bands to Sweden, as well as one lucky unsigned New York songwriter who’ll be flown to Stockholm and put up at the Story Hotel to enjoy the festival, on us. To ensure this mammoth prize is well rewarded, we asked you to write a song about Brooklyn’s storied G train. And boy, did you deliver. So much so that we couldn’t just decide on 5 entries as was originally intended, and had to double it to 10. But only one songwriter can get on that plane, and we need your help to choose the winner. So whatever it is you’re doing and get yourself over to Facebook (you’re probably already there) and vote for your favorite song*. And tell your friends, family, coworkers and general acquaintances to vote, too. And maybe drink a Brooklyn Lager while you’re at it.
In addition to going to Sweden to enjoy the show, the winning songwriter will perform alongside a handful of the bands on the festival roster at the BROOKLYN, SWEDEN Send Off at the Rock Shop on August 28.
On May 24, we’re celebrating the release of our new East India Pale Ale can — the third member of our newly assembled Brooklyn Can Triumvirate – with a series of CANibalization parties in almost a dozen states. Join us at any one of the acclaimed venues below to enjoy specials on cans of Brooklyn EIPA, Lager and Summer, and the relinquishing of free swag (while supplies last).
The time has come once again to partake in the preeminent beer festival in these states united: the Great American Beer Festival. Oh yes, we’ll be there. And oh yes, we’ve got a challenge for you:
+ Take a photo of an Oxford Companion to Beer contributor (list of those in attendance at GABF 2011 below).
+ Tag the photo @BrooklynBrewery on Twitter.
+ Collect the most contributor photos and be contacted via Twitter on Monday to win your very own Brooklyn Box Set:
This deluxe edition of the most comprehensive book on beer ever written comes lovingly packaged with a one-time only bottling of The Companion Ale. Like the book The Oxford Companion To Beer itself, The Companion is a true collaboration. It was designed and brewed by the book’s Editor-In-Chief Garrett Oliver, Associate Editor Horst Dornbusch and contributor Thomas Weyermann.
Oxford Companion GABF 2011 Contributor List (after the break)