Some levity may just be needed after recent beer news. Is that acceptable for a first sentence? Being that I control this script, I say it is. Remember the day when brewery owners were exclaiming, "There is no money in craft beer" was commonplace? Yeah, that's like saying we fully expect a stalemate of capitalism and Wall Street is generally "happy" with the current status of the market. We are frantically searching for a freedom from the establishment while implementing the establishment's rules. You know why? IT WORKS. Things like marketing campaigns, management structures, corporate values, asset management, large lines of credit are there because, well, they create stability. Better yet, when you are consistent with them, they create opportunity. Look, do I like breweries selling out? Honestly, I've become apathetic to even caring to reach for an answer. Coming from a society who pours billions into sports, entertainment and well-being I am not blown away another brewery was cannibalized by the company with the bigger teeth. The fucking Kardashians have a SUCCESSFUL TV show for shit's sake, showing me how gutless we are on our own ethics. I believe people are actually excited by the drama of these sellouts. We all know it's just about dollar bills at the end of the day. And it was that way whether they sold out or not. Now some other corporate shmuck will manage it. But, is it "just" beer? Did sellouts like Wicked Weed establish a foothold for the future in their region using Their beer as the catalyst? Or were they so ingenious they took this liquid to new heights? In my humble opinion, no. There crafted beers truly are wonderful. But in the dawn of the we're-all-doing-the-same-thing-era, it's becoming inevitable to sell something that a short time ago was worth nothing. They were doing what is instilled in us all: to fight the good fight to create more opportunity. They learned an old pastime, became experts at it and created a growth opportunity attractive to a larger company. I'd like to call that ideal special, and I SO desire to be overcome with sadness because we can't survive without those companies. Ehe, I'm not. We're fine. I just liked drinking with Walt (now drinks are on him). Life goes on, and remember: No one will remember you in 200 years (sorry to the millennials who believe otherwise. But, don't worry you're still special and get a medal)
I'll admit I grew exceedingly tired of my own hamster wheel story. I bet Wicked Weed was too. The fact is: I got off of it. We finally learned that when we as a company said , "We know what's going on", or, "We know what were doing", with zero credibility, we were falsely reporting our own abilities. I quickly realized to find those true experts and allow them to create a mainframe of nuts and bolts to build strength from within. In lieu of those hires, Patrick and I can lead this company based on a vision driven from our passions. We would rather be experts in loving the great state of Arizona, than be able to shit out a PNL statement. We also knew that we didn't create a brewery to sit at the bar to drink our own beer. We want to experience all the things that motivate us. We want ideas and positive momentum to propel us .Moving forward: We greatly believe that investing in experiences and telling the story is very important to our company. We want to see our core staff on a grand stage, creating an experience undeniably beautiful. Things like: Supporting Arizona farms, make ethical business decisions based on the environment, invest in employees well-being and destroy cultural barriers that Arizona has succumbed to. We wish to not "drop tanks all over the place", nor implore tactics as if we were obsessed with domination.
I am writing this en route to an epic journey. We will be riding bicycles through Belgium stopping at breweries who historically specialize in making Lambic and Saisons. Then we head to Copenhagen for the Mikkeller Beer Celebration where we have 2 collaborations and 3 events around the city. Finally, we end in Amman, Jordan to embark on a life changing collaboration with the country's only craft brewery, Carakle. Yazan, the owner, and I struck a bond last year and forged this epic tail. We will be brewing with dead sea salts, after floating of course, and traveling the diverse country. Stay tuned for that and, yes, we hired a documentary filmmaker to highlight the trip.
Sell out for massive money on one hand and live passionately through your product and ideals on the other. In the end, the only thing that is truly proprietary is the decisions we make.