Musings on the Internet
By Glenn DeLuca
Yahoo is my home page and they always start you out with tons of articles about
all kinds of events, useful and useless information. Many times I’ll scroll through
to see if something catches my eye. Recently a couple did, but let’s say I didn’t
get what I paid for…or since I didn’t pay, how about the lack of quality experience.
Well you be the judge…
Part 1- Did I just see what I saw??
There are usually lots of car articles and the other day, being a Ford guy who
loves the Mustang, saw an article on the 2015. This guy got to test drive a 2015
EcoBoost (which is a supercharged engine created by Ford to save gas) and he
had a bunch of pictures throughout the article. As I’m paging down, it’s clear that
some are not his pictures, but ads mixed in.
Got to one and had to stop. It’s a white porcelain figurine of Mary holding infant
Jesus, a plastic squeeze bottle appears in the upper left and pours syrup over
the baby’s head and then one at a time the words appear over the figurine;
Sweet Baby Jesus. I watched it quite a few times as 1, I was reading a car article
and this was clearly out of place and 2, am I seriously seeing what I think I’m
seeing. Now I’ve heard about the beer, never had it, but it seemed clear to me
this was an ad for the beer. After thinking about and deciding to write this I tried
to find it again the next day but couldn’t. I would guesstimate it was a 5-7 second
continuously running loop.
I’m not a religious fanatic, basically go to weddings and funerals; think I basically
understand what’s right and wrong, but I can see where some folks would think
this is going a little too far. When trying to find it again I did see one article where
the writer was not happy with the name in general; can’t imagine what he’d think if
he saw what I did.
So the new review team of Siskel, Ebert and the Big G are giving this three
thumbs down, three times!
First looking at the DuClaw (out of Abingdon, MD) website it’s clear they want to
be edgy, unconventional and some might even say have a religious overtone with
beers called Divine Retribution, Guilty Filthy Soul, Devil’s Milk, Mad Bishop and
HellRazer, but SBJ is pushing it. To be fair there are other brewers who have
interesting beers names; Victory Hop Devil and Wasatch Polygamy Porter come
to mind, but I wouldn’t say they’re pushing it.
Second thumbs down to the Ad agency or individual that came up with that spot
And third and last thumbs down to DuClaw for agreeing to air it. Since there were
no credits, yes, I am assuming they did see, approve and pay for the ad.
I understand this is their best selling beer and it tastes like a chocolate peanut
butter cup, not sure what that has to do with Jesus…let’s just say my experience
with their ad was in “pour” taste.
Part 2 – PLEASE, Don’t Waste My Time…
Ah a beer article, "10 States That Couldn’t Care About Beer" by Sebastian Silver
on TheStreet.com, sounds like it might be interesting. His opening line is “Some
states show their love for beer by proudly brewing their own. Other states show
their lack of love for beer by producing a paltry amount.” He then talks 200 million
barrels consumption with half owned by AB InBev, breweries have doubled in the
last 5 years and craft beer is taking a bigger slice at 7.8% of the market.
Okay all interesting so get back to the states. He looked at existing brewery
permits in 2013 on Bloomberg.com and came to the conclusion, “Uncapped and
untapped, here are 10 states that couldn't care less about beer as indicated by
their lack of existing brewery permits...” So I can’t imagine how he started with
brewery permit data and concluded that certain states do or don’t care about
beer. But I’ll bite, what are the 10 states; and since he included DC we have 51,
so #10 would be the 41st state with permits in descending order.
#10 – Hawaii with 17 permits. Well anytime there’s a Hawaiian beer with any
prominence it gets bought; I’m thinking Primo by Schlitz 50+ years ago and Kona
in 2010 by the Craft Brew Alliance (publically traded, primarily Redhook and
Widmer of which InBev AB own about a 1/3) because they want to brew it in the
states so as not to have to ship it. From a business perspective, Hawaii is
primarily 5 islands, slightly greater than 6M square miles (including volcanos) with
maybe 1.5M people and close to a 6 hour flight from the West Coast. 2010
population rank was 40th and land area 47th. So if you think this is a prime spot
to open a brewery I have some land for you in FL.
#9 – Oklahoma with 15 permits. This is interesting with a population rank of 28th
and land area 19th, OK is definitely lower than you might expect. They do not
have many large cities with not quite 5 at 100,000 or better and another 4
#8 – Louisiana with 13 permits. Population rank is 25 th and land area 33rd, so
guess there could be more, but who wants to make beer rather than be at Mardi
Gras? And one of those is Abita, the 15th ranked craft brewery, by the Brewer’s
#7 – Delaware with 12 permits. Population rank is 45th and land area 49th, so
looks like they’re right about where you’d expect them to be. And with Dogfish
Head they have one of the highly ranked (15th) craft breweries.
#6 – District of Columbia with 11 permits. Okay we won’t even start with the fact it’
s not a state; Population rank is 50th, beating out one state and it’s a whopping
61 square miles, so one brewery every 5.5 square miles. If I’m a betting man I lay
big odds you’ll be hard pressed to find a higher concentration of breweries.
Approximately 1/20th the size of Rhode Island, the smallest state, so finding open
real estate to setup a brewery shouldn’t be too expensiv.
#5 – South Dakota also with 11 permits. Population rank is 46th and land area
16th, so obviously a rural state and probably right about where you would expect
it to be. Basically they have two large metro areas: Sioux Falls <240K and Rapid
#4 – Rhode Island with 10 permits. Let’s pick on the smallest state, population
rank is 43rd and land area 50th, not to mention CT is its western border and MA it’
s northern and eastern borders; where there might be just a few breweries in the
#3 – North Dakota with 9 permits. Population rank is 48th and land area 17th,
again obviously a rural state and probably right about where you would expect it
to be. One city, Fargo >100K, Bismarck w/approx. 65K and Grand Forks
#2 – West Virginia also with 9 permits. Population rank of 37th and land area
41st. Two cities w/approx. 50K, Charleston and Huntington; 3 w/approx. 30K
Parkersburg, Morgantown and Wheeling. I’ll bet they rank high in the moonshine
lack of permit category.
#1 – Mississippi with 6 permits. Population rank of 31st and land area 31st. One
major city, Jackson w/approx. 175K, Gulfport w/approx. 70K and then five others
between 40-50K. Hey somebody has to be last.
I took a look at Mr. Silver’s bio and was shocked to see he’s worked as an editor
of financial news throughout the Americas, also as a teacher in New York City
and has been involved in various startup companies. I’d love a logics teacher to
take a look at his supposition to conclusion, as this wasn’t even close to a leap of
faith. I’m guessing I spent more time researching than he did. I did note the ability
to “Follow” Mr. Silver on TheStreet; I think not, in fact I will be certain to avoid any
future musings on his part, and I’m not interested in investing in any startup he is
involved with either.
One of the advantages to the Internet is the ease and openness of it, but that
can also be one of Its disadvantages when the lack of discipline gives you ads
and articles like the above.
Glenn DeLuca writes about beer and culture of drinking. He may
be reached by writing email@example.com.
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Outtakes from a life of beer.
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