Beginning in 2016, I began consulting with breweries to help them understand and tell their own story and turn it into effective messaging. In the scrum of daily activities, it's not always obvious to a brewery what their story is or how it connects to the things they do. Breweries that succeed over time have a deep sense of their identity. The story is understood equally as well by the owner and keg-washer, and the company speaks with the same voice. Most importantly, the most successful breweries are those that cut through the din of chaos with a consistent, engaging message. Beer is not a widget; it’s something personal. People relate to a brewery with emotion and passion—it’s why they’re so distraught when a company sells out to ABI. As a brewery, your message connects your customers to your story and builds that passion.
Because I also write about the breweries I've consulted with, it's important for you to know where there's a financial relationship. Being paid by breweries creates an unavoidable conflict of interest. My relationships with breweries exists entirely in the contract to write these stories. These breweries understand that there is no ongoing relationship, and I will continue to cover them independently. (They also understand that I may be doing similar work for their competitors.) As always, you as the reader will render the final judgment.
Finally, the Widmer Brothers Brewery has hired me to write a book-length biography of Kurt and Rob Widmer. I completed the book at the end of 2017 and Portland State University's Ooligan Press will publish it as The Widmer Way in 2019. During the course of this contract, I will post occasionally when I find out something fascinating in their story, but I will always post a disclaimer about my relationship with the brewery.