I’ve Got Your Back Starbucks, Opposites Attract

View from inside of test market store. Field trip to Seattle anyone?

Starbucks offering a new type of brew… hahahah oh wow, get it? coffee and beer!

As my roommate Tyler (Steve(his blog)) and I chatted over some pumpkin spice lattes at a Starbucks last night, we discussed the possibility of this brewing giant moving into the service of quite another type of brewed beverage, beer (or just fermented, wine). In between quips about foreign policy, green technology, the state of our generation, and indie rock and roll, we commented on the proposed impact on profitability and brand image of such a development in the retail cafe space.

Ok, we were actually just watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall as we microwaved our dinners and I drank a Leffe, but regardless… we concur that this seems like a wonderful opportunity for Starbucks.

Our lovely female marketing analyst in the interview (you really must watch), boldly states, and I (mis)quote “what’s the opposite of coffee? ALCOHOL!!!! Why would you ever put these together!?!?” AHHH ohhh noooo!!! As my friend Vizzini the Sicilian would say, “Inconceivable!” This begs the question, what’s the opposite of water? Air! AHH we shall not mix them! And the opposite of food? Drinks! I request all restaurants never serve me my meal until I am finished with my incompatible beverage first, lest face my wraith.

Another place where opposites do well together (Horsetooth Resovoir), did I meantion Fort Collins is pretty?

Truth is, places have been mixing alcohol and caffeine since… well… the day the first person mixed alcohol and caffeine, and it works. Ask Red-Bull vodka, Four Loko, and Irish coffee fans, or the cast of the Jersey Shore.

Perhaps with even more success and rationality at different times of the day, the morning coffee and the evening drink have always been a societal norm, and now you can enjoy your favorite atmosphere for either or both. Cafes in Europe follow this model, moving from coffee in the morning hours, to wine in the evening. Starbucks can now claim to be the home of the lunch/coffee meeting during the day, and the casual drink after work as well.

The one area of concern I can imagine is how this will effect the droves of teenagers who flock to Starbucks as a late evening, before bedtime, hangout after attending the latest Jonas Bros concert or what have you. You can imagine the menacing hipster Starbucks bouncer checking IDs and turning them away in caffeine deprived prepubescent masses. Upon further evaluation however, what was your customer value level as a preteen at Starbucks? a $2.50 venti coffee among three friends and about 300 sugar packets, a net loss of about 10 cents and your dignity.

In conclusion, roll this baby out in the right places (specifically in locations where the demographic is already mainly over 21) and where there is a suitable substitute Starbucks nearby (I know of multiple street corners at which at least two can be spotted).

My Old Stomping Grounds

Somehow, someway, Starbucks has managed to avoid the plague that, well, plagues some of the big corporations of today. If not immune, they are at least resistant to the struggles Wal-Mart and McDonald’s have had, holding onto that consumer that is morally opposed to their “big business” actions, and has the wherewithal to act on these emotions. These same people that boycott good ol’ Sam Walton’s corner stores and would never be caught dead with a McCafe Latte still patronize the corner Starbucks like it’s an OAR concert.

My advice, keep doing what you’re doing. And what you’ve been doing is evolving, so keep doing what you’ve been doing by not doing what you’ve been doing I suppose? Look at BlockBuster, think they would like to hop into a Coke Zero Do Over and transition into online content before Netflix, Hulu and the like pushed them into bankruptcy? Of course, there’s something to be said about the philosophy of “doing what you do, and doing it right”, but coffee isn’t what Starbucks does best. Ask any java aficionado and they’ll tell you that. What they’ve mastered is the experience of the cafe, the casual drink, the hangout spot, and they’ve been innovative enough to stay ahead of the curve of consumers’ fickleness. So ride that wave straight into it, and next time I walk into a Starbucks on a cool December evening, you better have some Winter’s Bourbon Cask Ale on tap.

Boom, Roasted (beans).

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(Un)natural Art

Before I commence this blog’s 11 arbitrarily timed post, I wanted to point out a rather intriguing trend in the development of said blog. A little background first; you must realize I am a bit of a nerd, which I have stated in previous posts, but a lot of my self proclaimed nerditude stems from an obsession with statistics (as well as making up words) (and linking topast blog posts). Regardless, WordPress conveniently satiates my healthy addiction with a section titled “Site Stats” which conveniently compiles data regarding YOUR behavior. Creepy huh? So I have a few interesting facts to share with you, about you.

1. Too many people read my blog. Especially on weekdays. Mondays are by far the most popular days, even though most of my posts roll out on Thursday or Friday, with weekends dipping a few standard deviations below the mean. So in other words, get back to work.

2. My most overrated post, by far:
That’s it. I’ve had it with this dump! We’ve got no food, we got no jobs,… our pets’ HEADS ARE FALLIN’ OFF!!!
2a. This is my currently my third most popular post. You do realize it centers around quotes from a Jim Carey/Jeff Daniels movie right?
2b. This is easily my most searched for post. BTW, these are searches conducted through WordPress.com

3. Monday, August 9, 2010 was a sad day for all. 99 views to my blog, a record high.

Ok, back on track. I wanted to share some incredible art, and point out the dichotomy of the two types of which I’ve been able to witness during my time in Fort Collins so far.

Natural
This past weekend, mom and pops came into town, which allowed for an opportunity to do the touristy things I had been putting off for a few weeks. Our trip to Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park was pretty awesome, with some incredible views.

Horsetooth Resovoir


Just some elk, chillin

Emerald Lake

Unnatural
Working this week in the warehouse has been pretty interesting, and aside from the copious amounts of beer, everywhere, the most eye catching thing is the graffiti on our rail-cars (we ship a few loads by rail per week on our “choo-choos”). Pretty impressive stuff.

Pink and Green, someone studied their color wheel

Pink and Green, someone studied their color wheel

What's with all the skulls? Relax angry teens

Van Gogh-esque

Benedict? Someone needs to go to church

Benedict? Someone needs to go to church

So CRAY!

So CRAY!

Do Epic Stuff

All in all, pretty cool stuff. Some people have some apparent angst toward rail transportation; nothing that can’t be cured with a little spray paint and creativity.

Until next time, drink Budweiser and read my blog. According to my statistical analysis, most of you have been doing a lot of both at the same time.

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Those Who Procrastinate, Master… The Art Of Catching Up On Weeks Of Events Via Obnoxiously Long Blog Posts/Blog Post Titles

As a general note, if you haven’t already, a good place to start are my older posts (scroll down) which don’t all appear on the blogroll to the side, they’re funnier

To make this easier for you, my 4 loyal readers, I will provide a handy “Table O’ Contents” to which one should refer in order to navigate this post more efficiently. It will not be organized in any logical order whatsoever, but more reminiscent of a stream of consciousness, with roman numerals thrown in providing some guise of structure.

I. FoCo (Fort Fun)

  1. Orientation
  2. Logistics
  3. Ride-Along

II. Recruiting

  1. Unrelated
  2. Related
  3. Relatively Unrelated

III. Looking Forward

Sign on the side of Fort Collins Brewery


I. FoCo (Fort Fun)

So working at a brewery is incredible. Sure, the days can start early, and end late, but at least when those days do feel more like nights, there’s a nice bright reminder that you’re working for the best beer company in the world. Ok, cheesy, but a bit inspiring in person.


  1. Orientation

The first few days in FoCo were busy and informative. We went through the brewery tour, which would impress anyone who is as OCD-ishly obsessed with efficiency as myself. Since the brewery is so new, every piece of machinery is placed precisely in a way that the process is streamlined and product flows from raw materials to the warehouse in the most systematic and economical possible manner. I love it. I’m also a nerd.

My fellow trainees and I also got the chance to go through a condensed taste training, only not just beer this time. We refined our taste buds and olfactory bulbs in an attempt to isolate different characteristics of taste and smell in certain food products. We tasted the difference between Skippy and Wal-Mart peanut butter (legit), and guessed the flavors of Brach’s Spice Drops which I strongly suggest you add to your things to do before kicking the “Bucket List”, right after watching all three Lord of the Rings movies back to back marathon style.

Here’s a nice representation of a typical 3:30 PM for anyone who decides to participate in the official tasting for the day. My manager (who used to work in brewing) likes to frequent the quality control taste panel we conduct every afternoon and invited me along. Looks like fun, and it is, but it’s also work. During each session, employees who are certified to do so taste beer throughout the brewing process to ensure its quality and consistency. Different brands, different temperatures, every variable you can think of. Again, I love it. Again, huge nerd.

2. Logistics

But alas, orientation ends, and real(ish) work began in my department (Warehouse/Logistics). My first few weeks have been almost non-stop action. Information overload at it’s most extreme, but absolutely the way I like it. So far it’s been the perfect mix of directed training with my peer mentor (a group manager in the Warehouse), and project work assigned by the warehouse Area Manager, and the overall business operations manager for the brewery.

From the first week, they’ve explained some of the challenges and opportunities we are facing in this department, and let me dive right into some projects. It’s been incredible how much responsibility and autonomy I’ve been afforded from the very beginning (designed and ran my own experiment testing the accuracy of our scales during my second week here), and how much I’ve already learned from my own independent project work (delivered a report on truck traffic coming in and out of the brewery to management). There is so much data out there, which can at times be information heaven, and other times be hell on analyst earth, but has really opened my eyes to how to work out problems in the real world. Also helps when at the end of your second week, you get to drive home with these babies.

3. Ride-Along

Last week I had the opportunity to get out of the brewery for a day for the annual Anheuser-Busch-wide “day in the trade” in which managers in supply get the chance to ride with employees in the commercial functions, and witness first hand how their precious product is sold to consumers. For some people at our breweries around the country, this is a unique chance to interface with retail accounts, but for the GMT’s, this was a great preview of some of the work we will be doing when we segway into our commercial rotations in about two months.

I’m pleased to report, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I rode with a sales manager out of our Denver distributorship as we delivered some promotional products (including some perks for the owners of our all-star accounts in the form of Broncos tickets), signs for their promotions, and had great interaction for the people who represent our brands at on-premise accounts (where you buy AND drink the beer). By far our most interesting stop had to be at the Clear Channel studio, which houses dozens of radio stations broadcasting out of Denver. We were given a quasi tour, in which we met all the morning personalities (including KBPI‘s “Willie B”), saw the recording studio (apparently a day after Jack Johnson had rolled through), and toured the “Bud Light Lounge” which we were actually there to refill its keg (yes, in the studio) and adorn its stripper pole (yes, same place) with Bud Light branding. All in all, a pretty crazy place, and a fun and non-stop day which really peaked my excitement for my commercial rotation.

II. Recruiting

As all four thousand loyal subscribers to my blog realize, I was asked to return to my alma mater to speak to the Fighting Quakers (really) of the University of Pennsylvania about this job. I replied by forwarding my blog to my fraternity list serve and considered it a job well done, but our talent recruitment department had other ideas. So I flew back to the city of “Brotherly Love”, Cheesesteaks, former dog fighters/convicted felons/quarterbacks, “Always Sunny” weather, food trucks, “Fresh Princes”, world series wins resulting in flipped police car riots, and Ivy League University (singular), to visit the latter, and a few of the former. But first, an unrelated rant about a different kind of recruiting.

  1. Unrelated

I am an admittedly ashamed Notre Dame football fan. A famous politically incorrect quote a few years back referenced ND not being able to recruit a certain type of athlete. That quote was misguided and simply false. We can’t recruit ANY type of athlete. The high academic standards of the University (sorry Tebow, even mom couldn’t give you enough A’s to get in here with your sub 1000 SAT), the archaic student life guidelines (parietals?), and the school’s location of South Bend (ironic misnomer, “South” being a relative term, which Father Edward Sorin apparently traveled to over the one nice August afternoon while deciding to found a University in that area) are among some of the limits to entry to getting the athletes ND needs to compete on the gridiron. We are doomed to a fate of mediocrity and disappointment, until the program finally gives in to the cries of the media to join a conference, the Ivy League, only to be perpetually shut out by the Philly Mafia, Penn.

Ok, maybe I don’t exactly feel this way, just incredibly disenchanted by lackluster efforts and results against BOTH teams from Michigan. I’ll still be an ND fan until death do me and football part, even if I eventually revert to watching old films from those teams from ’76-’79 to watch some real talent sport the blue and gold.

2. Related

On a lighter note, recruiting for ABI seems much better off. Planning on landing some 5 stars from Penn. We had an incredible turnout at both of the career fairs, and at the info session where I presented on the GMTP position. We have had an incredible outpouring of interest from all the Universities we recruit at for this position around the country, and Penn was no different. I still welcome any and all questions (jd.whittington4@gmail) and would be glad to talk at length about anything, including rant about college football, recount dumb movie quotes, or talk beer. Also, be sure to submit those applications by Monday!

3. Relatively Unrelated


Kappa Sigma Brothers enjoying their Great American Lager

I also like to think my recruiting effort extended beyond the walls of the Inn at Penn and our formal presentations. Forewarning to the Philly wholesaler, the weekend’s bump in Budweiser sales may not have been completely organic. What a wonderful candid shot of a “Band of Buds“. Shameless promotion.

III. Looking Forward

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my supply rotation. Next week I’ll be working with my peer mentor on afternoon shifts, gaining a deeper appreciation of the day-to-day and minute-by-minute operations of the warehouse. Looking forward to seeing how off-shifts function (and sleeping in a bit).

For now, I will leave you with this. You’re welcome…

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Serious(ish) Business

OK, I’ve had my fun with my previous posts, but I think it’s about time we take a break from unsubstantiated rumors, poetic imagery, mistaken identity, interesting anecdotes, zythology montages, fabricated verbage , and movie quote metaphor… and just beer you the cold hard facts about the Global Management Training Program.

Especially now that at my Alma Mater, The University of Pennsylvania, my former fellow students are about to wind down from a thoroughly educational week of “NSO” (New Student Orientation) , and the new seniors are about to experience the arrival of “OCR” (On Campus Recruitment) give them an “ORC” (Overt Reality Check)

This will be you, sooner than you think

to the fact that they will indeed be graduating in two short semesters, and better have some sort of employment lined up or face the wraith of parents with a rapidly decreasing “ROI” (Return on Investment[Tuition, Room, Board, Bar-Tabs]).

Sorry to kill the proverbial buzz, but the good news is, you are not doomed to a life of DCF’s, spreadsheets, derivatives, and sleep deprivation (unless you’re into that, which I have a lot of friends who are, so if you’re reading this, I love you, and I’ll be staying at your place when I visit NYC, thanks!) after your undergraduate years.

So with that I return to my main point, why the AB-InBev GMTP is the greatest job in the world, and why anyone with any analytical background of any type should consider applying. Yes, this is a bold statement, and some of you who know me may suspect that my “salesman” side is rearing its oddly persuasive head, but as I’ve claimed before, it’s much easier to sell something that one truly believes in, and this is the case in point. Now I’ll outline three main areas of this program which converge to vastly differentiate it from any I have encountered in the past.

1. Subject Matter Relevance:

What I mean by this; how many people in the world get to work in a career in which they are producing or selling a product which they genuinely love, and in which so many people around the world share that emotion? Not many, but 14 people come to mind right now.

I get up every weekday and go into work thinking about how to deliver a product that makes people happy. I love talking to people about what I do, who I work for, what we make, how we make it, and why they should drink it. I don’t know if I could ever get so excited about talking about why someone should purchase shares of my hedge fund (although I might be able to fake it).

Remember this? I work for these guys. Let’s chat about it, I’ll talk your friggin ear off.

2. Direct Access to Senior Leadership:

I remember last year during the Info Session at UPenn, hearing this thrown around a lot, and frankly, I thought it was mostly lip service. Of course we’ll meet some of these leaders, but how much will they even care about what we are doing, I thought as I was sure they had more important things to tend to. That viewpoint turned a 180 early in the interview process. During the last round of four (yes four), and the second time candidates were flown out to St. Louis, we sat in front of a panel of ManCom members (think President and his VP’s) as they evaluated our fit with the company. That was the first time I met Luiz Edmond, the president of the North American Zone of A-B InBev, and witnessed first hand his stake in the success of this program. In every interaction with him since them I’ve been impressed by his passion and involvement, for both ABI and the GMTP.

ManCom and GMTs after lunch in January

In January, all the new GMT’s flew into St. Louis once again to have lunch with not only ManCom, but with Carlos Brito, the CEO himself. We all spoke informally for hours, and they were incredibly open to our opinions and ideas. When I was in NYC this summer, I was able to meet with the Global head of People for ABI, all 14 of us have had lunch with the President of AB in the US, and the other opportunities for informal networking (happy hours, meals, conversations in passing) are impossible to quantify. We were even all assigned a senior leader in the company to mentor us, which has proved invaluable. My mentor is the VP of Logistics in the North American Zone, and I’m sure I’ll be reaching out to him a few times while I’m stationed here in Fort Collins working in that department.

The exposure we are getting in this program is unparalleled, which directly reflects the company’s buy-in to our success, as well as our opportunities to leverage these connections in the future.

3. Universal Perspective:

I could write about this for pages, but in the interest of keeping yours, I’ll be brief. After studying business exclusively for 4 years, I was discouraged by the idea that I’d be working in only one facet of it for the rest of my life.

Global Trainees from all 6 zones

This program is the antithesis of that notion. Our exposure to “the beer business” is unbridled as we are offered on the job experience in all areas of supply and commercial, and everything in-between. We also enjoy international exposure on a first hand basis, working with other trainees from around the world during international induction week, and stretching our personal networks to unimaginable levels. Throughout the program we have experienced that these opportunities will constantly be present, but reliant on our flexibility. So much of the movement through this company is not straight up, but diagonal (across regions, or departments), which strongly favors the open-minded. So if sitting in one department, in one region, in one continent for the rest of your life satisfies you, then this might not be an appropriate program, but if you prefer the excitement of a global and holistic perspective to business, the GMTP is an incredible opportunity.

If you’ve made it this far, I applaud you. With any additional questions, or just to express your interest, feel free to reach out to me via e-mail as a few people have already done: jd.whittington4(at)gmail

If you are a student at UPenn of whatever area of study, I encourage your attendance at some events coming up. I’ll be at the Information Session on Thursday, the 16th of September, along with some other ABI employees (including fellow UPenn alumnus and current CFO)

UPenn Business Career Fair
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Place: Sheraton University City

UPenn Engineering Career Fair
Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010
Time: 8:30am-3:00pm
Place: Sheraton University City

UPenn Info Session
Date: Thursday, Sept 16, 2010
Time: 5pm-6pm
Place: Hilton Inn at Penn, Regent Ballroom

Also, check out the following websites:
US Trainee profiles and blog links
Global GMTP Information Page

Until then, enjoy the last night of NSO fellow Quakers, and hit up Squirrels after Millcreek (and grab a few Budweisers to go with your wings, sorry I’m not sorry)

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That’s it. I’ve had it with this dump! We’ve got no food, we got no jobs,… our pets’ HEADS ARE FALLIN’ OFF!!!

I admit, my train of thought completely derailed while developing a title for this blog. Since I wrote most of it while approx. 30,000 feet in the air (9144 meters for our Canadian friends), leaving St. Louis and flying into Denver for my first field training position at the Fort Collins Brewery. As I approached the land of opposite of anything I’ve ever lived in (hot, humid, flat, city, east-coast, beach), I couldn’t help but continue to draw on my most extensive experience of “the West”, which mostly includes hours of playing Oregon Trail and watching “Dumb and Dumber” repeatedly.

If you haven’t seen this work of art, I advise immediate action. Here’s the theatrical trailer:

So naturally, I chose to theme this blog post on the latter (although a post about all the members of my trailblazing OT party dying of typhoid fever or having 90% of the meat I hunted become “spoilage” after insisting on shooting 15 buffalo would have been interesting). So I’ll be running through a few of the more memorable quotes from this critically acclaimed* Oscar winning* tale of two best friends on an epic tale of triumph and tribulation, and (loosely) relating them to my current status, with a few edits to make them more applicable. Here goes nothing

First, the quote from the title…

That’s it. I’ve had it with this dump (St. Louis)! We’ve got no food, we got no jobs,… our pets’ HEADS ARE FALLIN’ OFF!!!

So that’s not exactly the way it went. I loved St. Louis. The people were great, the city was new and interesting with a surprising amount of culture, but I think we were all ready to transition to a new city. I was definitely excited to move into the apartments ABI set us up with in Fort Collins, especially to take advantage of the kitchen and prepare some beer tasting dinners (reservations needed).

Quote #2:

I’ll tell ya where we’ll go. Someplace warm. A place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. I’m talkin’ bout a little place called… Fort Collins.

It’s not Aspen, but the city of Fort Collins is awesome. It’s a decent sized college town (Colorado State University) with scenery that looks like someone blew up a postcard and stuck it in the ground a few miles away, always.

And as far as beer flowing like wine, I have been practicing what I preach and created quite the beer pairing dinner over the weekend. Here’s one of the courses…

All about the presentation, Gorgonzola and grapes with Wild Blue

Quote #3:

Harry: I can’t feel my fi-fingers anymore, Lloyd. T-th-they’re numb!
Lloyd: Ooh. Maybe you should wear these extra gloves… my hands are starting to get sweaty.
Harry: Extra gloves? You’ve had…this pair…of extra gloves…this whole time??
Lloyd: Yeah! We’re in the Rockies.

Transitioning from furnace/sauna we call St. Louis in the summer to the cool mountain air of Fort Collins was a welcome change. The air is crisp and cool, chilly in the morning, but perfect and sunny during the day. From what I’m told, it’ll start to snow in the mountains within a few weeks. The only less than perfect weather produced this over the Denver airport, not a bad sign…

Quote #4:

Harry: Huh! I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.
Lloyd: I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver’s full of shit, man.

Contrary to unpopular belief, the Rocky Mountains are actually quite rocky. It’s also not a terrible thing to look at when the sun sets over them… True story, I missed my exit looking at this instead of paying attention to signs…

Quote #5:

Lloyd: WOW! Two lucky guys are gonna be driving around with those girls for the next couple of months!
Harry: Yeah, don’t worry we’ll catch our break too we just got to keep our eyes open.

Just being here for a couple days, I’m definitely the lucky guy. For instance, I’m currently working in the Logistics department, centered around Warehouse operations, so here’s my office…

I’m already in full swing, learning a lot every day about the functionality of the brewery, and really taking to it. I can’t wait to dive into the projects I’ll be working on. Keep checking in for next weeks post, in which I’ll be outlining the various ways in which I’ve single-handedly disrupted production (twice [truth]) and my adventures learning how to drive a forktruck, among other interesting topics. Don’t forget to subscribe for e-mail updates; check out the sweet button I spent half an hour figuring out how to add at the top right corner of the blog.

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Jawesomeness

I have always had difficulty when participating in group activities in which participants are asked to come up with an alliterative attributed adjective (wow irony) to pair with one’s name. My issue, my name starts with a “J”. Had my parents only known what a struggle this would amount to for me. Regardless, I am pegged a “J” and my options are limited. I can fake being “joyful” or “jubilant”, resent being “jaded” or “juvenile”, or cop out and use a verb, and no one wants to be that guy.

So during a recent exercise in which the 21 other North American trainees and myself participated in to assess our personalities, and we were charged with this all too familiar exercise as part of an ice-breaker, pure inspiration struck me. As if Leo DiCaprio and Joseph Godon-Levitt battled their way through multiple dream levels ruthlessly killing my self conscious’ self defense in order to directly plant the seed into my unaware consciousness, I had it, “Jawesome”.

Ok, it’s not that great but I figured I’d at least beer those poor James, John and Joes another option when playing this heinously biased game (and yet another fabricated word to use at will (if confused, refer to post #1)).

That being said, did that top fall over or what? Feel free to explain any theories via comment below, but I digress…

I did say I’d write at length about the new love of my life… Zythology. I will attempt to shed some knowledge on this topic via a smattering of interesting facts, with supporting evidence, so pay attention.

1. Beer is better with food. Fact. Boom. Roasted.

And beer-food pairings go above the obvious Natty and Pizza.

Evidenced by the frequent beer pairing dinners we have enjoyed over the past few weeks, it’s absurd how much properly drinking beer while eating food can contribute to the taste of both of my two favorite things in the world. Everyone should know the proper protocol for eating with beer. Smell-Sip-Bite-Sip. Every time. Trust me, it works. Check out my last post for some possible menu selections.

So instead of wine at your next make dinner for your girlfriend date… think spinach, Gorgonzola, candied walnut, apple salad, blueberry vinaigrette dressing, and Wild Blue Lager. Trust me.

You can even cook with beer to help infuse the flavor. Next time you’re making pasta, boil it in Budweiser, no joke.

2. Speaking of Budweiser… The Great American Lager deserves more credit.

After talking with George Reisch, whose father made a life out of brewing beer, along with his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father, it’s clear he knows quite a bit about the stuff. Fact is, Budweiser is the hardest beer in the world to brew. It uses fresh, expensive ingredients, the same ones used since the beginning (Water, Barley, Yeast, Rice, Beechwood Chips) and actually uses the same exact yeast strain as the first brewed Budweiser.

The consistency is unmatched, with taste panels of experts evaluating Budweisers brewed at all of our breweries around the country every week and evaluating different qualities of taste, aroma, appearance, and mouth-feel. (So maybe these people have the actual “dream job”)

It’s delicious, it’s a classic, it’s the best beer in the world, and it’s neglected. If you don’t believe me, I will buy you a Budweiser next time I see you. No joke, come up to me at any point where this fine beer is available, I will buy us a round of Buds, and drink them with you. If you still don’t appreciate it, by all means, go grab a Bud Light.

3. Beer is a complex and beautiful creature. Treat her with care.

Beer was actually one of the very first human produced food products on earth. Most beers have more complex taste profiles than wines, with so many factors and ingredients contributing to the minutia that hits your palette with every sip. The bubbles in beer are actually the finest bubbles of any beverage (smaller and more precise than champagne). Pouring rituals are not only rich and historic, but actually help add to the taste of beer.

There’s more to share, but back to work for now. Currently, all the trainees are working on “Innovation Projects” in which we are presenting a new and innovative idea to members of upper management at AB tomorrow. Topics range from Interactive Product, Innovative Packaging, Social Media (ours), and others as well. These ideas began in the development stage on our first Wednesday in the program when we attended a workshop, written about in my first post. So wish me luck as I talk social media, twitter, facebook, foursquare, yelp, and beer with some executives tomorrow.

This is also our last week in St. Louis. As I said before, I’ll be moving to Colorado this weekend, and working at our Fort Collins Brewery (just outside Denver) for 9 weeks, before some more moving around. It’ll be a nice change of atmosphere, and maybe I’ll get to watch one of my least favorite college football players of all time take his last snaps at QB of his career with the Broncos during preseason!

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Zythologic Imagery

I’ve been far too occupied at work to construct a worthwhile blog post, but have been accumulating pictures, so figured I’d share some of those and get around to writing about them later. My next post will be explaining the phenomenon of zythology (details and definition to come) a fledgling idea on the precipice of Gladwell’s proposed “tipping point”. For anyone who even marginally enjoys beer, this will turn your world upside down. Peruse eye candy pertaining to my zythological journey these past few weeks in the meantime:

Beer pairing dinner during Global Induction Week, presented by George Reisch, a 3rd generation brewer and enthusiast

Beer pairing dinner at Sage restaurant where the head chef prepared some of his specialties, most of which using an AB beer as an ingredient in the dish

Beer Pairing Dinner Menu, hanger steak was incredible with Budweiser American Ale

Style Presentations, beers from around the world

Beer Tasting- All Styles, from American light wheat to Lambic

Beer Tasting- ABI Brands, Boddington's wins the competition for best beer mustache

A selection of brands/styles tasted

The goods, all the ingredients used to brew beer, barley malt, hops, corn, wheat, rice, beechwood (Budweiser lagering)

Stella Artois pouring ritual training, incredible stuff

After a beer tasting panel where we ranked specific experiential attributes of different beers, in deep contemplation about the taste profile of the freshest Budweiser ever (bottled just minutes before tasting

No better way to end to a day of work than having to take a breathalyzer

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