It’s the first Friday of August so it’s time for another round of The Session! The Session is a monthly group blogging project that anyone can participate in (you don’t even need to be a beer blogger! Though you should probably love beer…) where a given “host” for the month chooses a topic and we all write about it. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the minds of other beer folk with different points of view.
You walk into an elevator and hit the button for your destination level. Already in the elevator is someone holding a beer… and it’s a beer that annoys you because, in your view, it represents all that is bad with the current state of beer.
You can’t help but say something, so you confront your lift passenger with the reason why their beer choice is bad.
30 seconds is all you have to sell your pitch for better beer, before the lift reaches the destination floor. There’s no time, space or words to waste. You must capture and persuade the person’s attention as quickly as possible. When that person walks out of the elevator, you want them to be convinced that you have the right angle on how to make a better beer world.
He’s given us no more than 250 words to craft our elevator pitch (or 30 seconds of media if you’re an audio/visual person). That’s not a lot; I’ve already put down about 280 words right up to this point!
But I’m not even sure that’s the hardest challenge for me, frankly; honestly, I’m trying to imagine a beer that annoys me so much that it represents “all that is bad with the current state of beer.” I’m pretty open and easy-going when it comes to beer, even the cheap stuff—really I have nothing against industrial lagers though I do think “Lite” beers are awful. But if I have to be annoyed by industrial or cheap beers then I should confess I’m often equally annoyed by “stunt beers,” the push for more extreme boundary-pushing just for the sake of novelty and higher numbers (be they ABV or IBU).
So in the end I guess I move away from what annoys me and go for a more general pitch for beer—say that person in the elevator is holding… well, whatever they might be holding, perhaps it’s not a beer… and they pose the question: why beer?
My pitch would have to be something like this:
Why beer? Because it’s a drink with such an enormous variety of flavors, character and strength that it can truly appeal to everybody. It’s about moderation: I can savor a wider range of beers in one sitting without worrying about getting (too) drunk or breaking the bank because it’s accessible and easy to drink—even the stronger ones. When you drink a beer you partake in the history of a beverage that is nearly as old as civilization itself, but it’s unpretentious and amazingly accessible—you can even learn to brew good beer yourself at home! There is such a huge range of styles to choose from that not only can you find a beer for anybody (even someone who thinks they don’t like beer) but you can also spend a lifetime exploring its variety without getting bored. And really, there’s nothing quite like pouring a beer at the end of a long day and being able to just drink it, without having to let the bottle “breathe” or have it burn going down or require an elaborate alchemy of ingredients and mixing to get it “just right”… because it’s already just right. Why not beer?
There we go—196 words and it still seems a bit long for 30 seconds of elevator time. I guess I’d be talking fast!
So there’s my pitch—though I might be just as likely to forgo the actual pitch and just offer to buy the person on the elevator a beer instead…