Tell Your Story

Brewers are storytellers. A well-told narrative about the life of a brewery gives consumers insight into the vision of their beers on offering. There's a local brewery here in NYC called Singlecut Beersmiths. Their founder and many of his employees are musicians. Singlecut is a type of guitar and as such their tap handles are the necks of that guitar style. They have live music in their tap room and they name many of their beers after personal favorite musicians. They tell the story of how they came to be and why they brew their beers as an overall narrative of who they are. That narrative allows us as consumers to feel connected to them through their storyline. I think Singlecut has been excellent in telling the story of not just the ingredients in each beer, but also how those beers fit in the overall story that they are actively telling. Articulating your story to the public is crucial to the success of your business.

Beer can also be a deeply personal journey. A lot of brewers are equal parts brain and heart.  There is a brewery in Texas called Adelbert's Brewery.  Adelbart's is named after the owner's brother, who lost his battle with cancer some years ago. In his social circle, he was famous for telling the best stories. The brewery names all of their beers after his crazy adventures in his short time on this planet. In doing so, they're able to keep his stories alive while actively honoring his memory.

Similarly, a great story or inspiration for a beer can be a great part of selling that beer. Cuzett Libations' newest release Revenge Of The Emu was inspired by a recent trip co-brewer Chris Cuzme took to Australia. While researching the culture of his trip, he came across an odd story called the Great Emu War.

Revenge of the Emu (label designed by Daniel Birch)

Revenge of the Emu (label designed by Daniel Birch)

In 1932, following the end of World War I, many returning soldiers settled down in Western Australia and began to farm the land. The Emus native to the land became an immediate nuisance by remaining and foraging the newly planted crops. The Australian government authorized the army to shoot emus on sight. With machine guns. Thousands of emus were killed. But it was an expensive undertaking in that it took about 10 bullets per emu. Eventually the government gave up, owing in large part to the cost. So, in a sense, the Great Emu War was won by the emus.

Now, I've seen many a person walk up to a bar that has Revenge of the Emu on tap, look at the list, chuckle at the name, and then subsequently order it just because they liked the name. And there's a lesson there on naming your beer coming from a guy who has brewed hundreds of different commercial batches. I will say though once those chucklers hear that origin story, they get a better appreciation for Cuzett's interpretation of an Australian Sparkling Ale, which is hopped exclusively with Australian Galaxy hops, and almost always order another one. It does help that the beer is fantastic, but the story provides an opportunity to open up a conversation about why and how the beer came about. Storytelling is something that we have been doing since the caveman first starting writing on walls. Stories bring people together, and that's what beer is all about.

I'm thrilled that Cuzme is this week's guest on the podcast version of Brew To Share. I'm really proud of this episode. Give it a listen and  please subscribe, rate and review in iTunes, if that's a thing you do. The podcast is also archived on Stitcher. 

Cuzme and I have an event coming up that we're both participating in. He organized the event with Josh Bernstein and Tyson Ho, at Tyson's place called Arrogant Swine, a South Carolina-style BBQ spot in Bushwick, Brooklyn.


The event is called Solstice Session and will feature a ton of great session beers, both professional and homebrew and will be served with a whole roasted pig. If you don't know anything about Josh's events, they are not to be missed. A beer author with deep roots in the NYC scene, he gathers the best of the best for his events. Tickets are still available for the event on June 20th, so get them while you can here.  I'm serving a watermelon kölsch on behalf of the Brewminaries. 

The following week, I'm organizing the event the NYC Brewers Pro-Am.


Now in its second year, Bitter & Esters and I have paired homebrewers with local professional breweries who have collaborated and brewed a beer together that will be served alongside a beer from the homebrewer and one from the professionals. This year's professional breweries are Finback, Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co., Other Half, Rockaway, and Sixpoint. There are 2 sessions at Covenhoven on June 27th. Advance tickets can be purchased here.

Chris Cuzme (3rd from right) with last year's participants of the NYC Brewers Pro-Am.

Chris Cuzme (3rd from right) with last year's participants of the NYC Brewers Pro-Am.

It's a great time for beer and storytelling not just in NYC, but across the country. These are just a few of the things going on locally that are bringing communities together.  Cheers!