Chopbiscuit Geargetry - Truss Minimalist Bottle Opener

If you like minimalistic approaches to design, bottles and bottle openers - we have the perfect present. From Truss comes the Minimalist Bottle Opener. It will last forever, it’s pretty cool looking on a key chain and it opens your beer bottles. Hipsters at the backyard barbecue will be extremely jealous when you open their favorite IPA with this sleek, sexy bottle opener.

Truss Minimalist Bottle Opener

$8 USD

Americans Starting To Realize That “Light” Beer Is Pretty Shitty

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After fifty plus years of dominating the American beer landscape, the legacy manufacturers of the flooded Premium Light Beer categories are loosing some serious market share. Beer Bohemoths such as Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors have had to deal with a growing trend of people moving out of the tired category into bigger flavors and leaving beer altogether and switching to wine.

According to a survey by Consumer Edge Insight, beer consumers appear to be shifting away from the premium light segment. That’s more bad news for the beer industry, given the dominance of light beer in the marketplace. The top two best-selling beer brands, Bud Light and Coors Light, together have about a 27 percent share of the market. I’m not sure if cute frogs, teary Clydesdale ads or beers with 64 calories will make the cut anymore. It’s about flavor and lets face it, Light Beer doesn’t have any. It’s a commodity and synthetic flavor that has dominated the landscape for too many years and people are now calling it out. The way poor, destitute families are drawn to fast food, they are also pushed down the aisle to purchase the cheapest six-pack  in the cooler - which is Light Beer.

The biggest takeaway from the survey states the main reason for the shift?

Twenty-seven percent of the respondents said they are “getting tired of the taste.”

Boom goes the dynamite. Taste. Light Beer tastes like muddy water with a sprinkle of malt sediment. The flavor has been gutted out by the process to mass produce commodity beer to all that partake. Do I still think all these Light Beers have a place in society? Sure, in college it was all about quantity and there’s a stage to host it with Light Beer.

Take a look at some other facts from the survey:

  • Age: Among younger drinkers, aged 21-27 years old, 40 percent say they are getting tired of the taste of premium lights.
  • Demographics: In the fast growing Hispanic demographic, 39 percent say they are tired of the taste.
  • Brand: 28 percent named a premium light brand as their favorite, down from 32 percent in June 2012.
  • Perception: 37 percent are more likely to describe the premium light segment as “watery” in 2013 vs. 34 percent last year.

As we currently sit, Light Beer still dominates the market. Craft beer only represents 6% of the total volume of beer sold in America. Good news is that it’s had double digit growth rates for the last 5 years.

Finally, Craft beer is REAL beer. It’s what beer tasted like prior to being massed produced and mishandled by big corporations. It followed the same trek as the shitty bread options we had during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. A company figures out how to make it with crappy ingredients, ramp up production and throw millions of marketing dollars at it.

If you’re a beer drinker, just don’t drink shitty beer - unless shitty beer is your bag…..baby.

Chopbiscuit Geargetry - {The American Craft Beer Cookbook}

This is one of those books you just click BUY, right when you read the title. From slow-cooked Dopplebock BBQ meatballs, to Crawfish Bordelaise and Stouty chocolate Cupcakes - this book is for all of you diehard craft beer enthusiasts. What a great opportunity to show up all your foodie friends with some craft beer flava.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook

$15.21 USD

There’s many reasons why I drink Peeper Ale on Sunday’s.

Here’s a few:

1. It helps me throw a looser knuckleball.

2. I know the terrorists dislike the American Hops.

3. The ladies.

4. The last time I drank it I beat my old high score for Ikari Warriors.

There’s many reasons why I drink Peeper Ale on Sunday’s.

Here’s a few:

1. It helps me throw a looser knuckleball.

2. I know the terrorists dislike the American Hops.

3. The ladies.

4. The last time I drank it I beat my old high score for Ikari Warriors.

The Restaurant Technology Conondrum

A restaurant, by definition, has a very simple cadence.

1. Prepare quality and satisfying food and beverage

2. Serve it in a warm and inviting surrounding

Anything outside of these two points can be seen as ancillary from the guests standpoint. One issue many restaurants are going through right now is the introduction of right “guest facing” technology and how it actually adds value, versus a disadvantage for customers. In the world of corporate food retail, many concepts are positioning themselves with technology platforms looking to create less friction, add new customers and ultimately pump-up transactions. Companies often become first adapters and wiling to try to any tech platform that can reduce line or wait times, only suffering from the unseen variables that technology brings to the table, literally. We’ve all seen and most likely experienced the downside and disadvantage of early tech adaption, i.e. trying to self check-out at a Home Depot or Lowes.

Right now there’s a Space Race for restaurants to introduce digital gadgetry into restaurants as a way to connect with younger customers. Much has been written over the last year about how the battle for customers has moved online. Everyday there’s old men and women in khakis and power suits talking to young tech gurus on how to integrate technology into their concepts in a way that their guests will embrace it. Don’t get a me wrong, I’m a tech geek and thoroughly enjoy the experiences that technology brings me from a user standpoint. Also, it’s very valuable from a back end experience for increased effeciency, I’m all for having platforms that optimize mundane tasks and traditional restaurant tasks. The problem with the tech assumption is that there’s a breaking point in the near future where all people will all want to control their experience, in all environments. I don’t believe that’s true. Many people dine out because it’s one of the few experiences that have the point of interaction in a traditional manner. More and more I see coffee shops, restaurants and bakeries that have started to reverse course and pull the guest facing technology out in order to create a more traditional experience.

Many restaurant concepts look at companies such as Amazon and ebay as a way to change the dynamic in their business. Eventually, you’re going to have to ask yourself something. Is the quality of your guests experience really better because of the gadgetry? Smart phones are bringing connectivity to your concept anywhere and everywhere, but is the experience heightened?  When’s the last time you connected with — oh I don’t know — your guests? The restaurant industry is first and foremost a people industry. It will most likely stay that way, unless computers develop digestion tracts.

Technology, for its own sake, has created the unquestioned workplace edict and soup de jour. Unfortunately, there’s always a constant learning curve that could only be fully ascended by those whose first love was technology - the fringe guest. Companies in the restaurant have forgotten about the main focus in this business and assumed that everyone will become this fringe participant. People, not machines, should be your passion. Once you cut the chord on that interaction and put that experience in the hands of a screen, you better make sure that App or software platform knows how to be courtly and kind to your most valued customers.

The key to the integration of technology in the future will be the opportunity for the guests to make that decision. The standard will be to have the mobile/online experience secluded for those who choose to adapt and offer the traditional experience for those who embrace the opportunity to be analog.

Five Things That Really Don’t Matter

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As you age like a fine French wine, or your favorite Riunite on ice, you start to realize what really matters in life. Everything you thought that mattered ultimately doesn’t. Things you based your existence on, eventually fade into obscureness like a New Wave British Pop Band in the early 80’s, i.e. Bronski Beat.

I believe there’s a growing demographic of people that just want to do “Cool Stuff”. No strings attached, isolated independence from having a reason for everything you do.

5. You’re Adoption Rate To Technology

For the record, I’m pretty much a first adopter to new technology that makes my life easier. I’m pretty much a tech geek at heart. Modern conveniences can be wonderful things and have made Billionaires and helped thousands of businesses flourish. Mobile phones provide a new level of safety and convenience by never being out of touch with your loved ones and co-workers. While technology can have a positive influence in our lives, remember the significance of conversing and enjoying an entire dinner without texting. 

Nothing is more important than our personal relationships. Nothing.

*(Well, maybe Chicago Hot Dogs)

4. Extreme Passion For Everything

I’m pretty tired of everyone and everything telling me that I must show this frenzied passion for all activities that I participate in. Honestly, I’m not sure if I have extreme passion for anything outside of my family and friends. My passion is more the pursuit of partaking in REALLY COOL THINGS. Whether that’s work, play or self time - I just try to do cool things.

On the contrary, I wouldn’t want to hold back the passion that a young scientist has for curing cancer, or solving Alzheimer’s. For the most of us, it’s just an overused term to share with your friends on Facebook and to nail a job interview.

3. Wealth

For many people, the love of money is the root of all evil.  Having money in and of itself is not evil; the love of money is. Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a shit ton of money, or I’ve never been driven to define myself by it?

I really loved the idea of not worrying about money. Day-to-day, I don’t think of money - I think of doing something cool and sometimes I will have to buy that hamburger for a certain price.

2. Defining Yourself Through Work

Like wealth, many of us define ourselves by our job. Most people often ask “what do you do for a living?”, when they’re first introduced to someone. I recently sat with a gentleman from Germany who found it cheeky that Americans often introduce themselves by what type of work they do. I found it cheeky that he was in town to see a David Hasselhof  concert. I really enjoy my job, but I’m not defined by it in any sense. I choose to work where I do because it’s a cool job and I enjoy everyone I work with.

1. Success (The Moving Target)

How do most of us define success? Many would define this by the size of our house, car or how many followers we have on Twitter. What matters to you may not matter to me. We all want our lives to count, which puts a bit of pressure on us to get our only chance right – if we truly want it to count. We always want to extend ourselves to be the biggest and best, I just want to be in the conversation and holding a beer in the other hand.

Meet Larry Hustle - Sr. Manager (Episode II - Larry’s Got Game)

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Meet Larry Hustle. He’s a Senior Manager for a large public company. He enjoys a good breakfast at Shoney’s, spending time with his cat Ronny and watching UFC. He also enjoys watching Everybody Loves Raymond and loves the ladies. Larry has a good heart and a finely crafted goatee, which he covets. He shops at Kohl’s and is suspicious about the government.

In this episode, Larry’s company decides to have a ‘Drink at Work’ day to promote social interaction between employees. Larry immediately jumped into action to win over one of his colleagues, Lisa from finance. Outside of having a morning Mimosa during the weekly recap meeting, Larry was excited to introduce Lisa to one of his favorite beers - 5 Barrel Pale Ale from Odell Brewing Company.

Unfortunately, Larry was soon to find out that Lisa doesn’t drink and she’s a born again Christian. Bummed out, Larry preceded to walk down to the break room and tell his co-worker Gary that his plans were foiled. Later that day Larry fell of his ten speed and suffered minor injuries. He’s now doing fine and just wrapped up Season II of Battlestar Galactica.

All’s well that ends well.