Monday, February 28, 2011

Some good beers

As I originally promised, my blog also is about beer and traveling, I have been neglecting those but I plan on rectifying this.

World Wide Stout: This beer has a lot going for it, and it is all good.  In general I am not much of a stout man, but my good friend Ben brought a six pack back from P.A. (Ohio liquor laws are archaic so this cannot be sold in here due to its 18.0% ABV).  This was my Super Bowl beer; I opened it before the middle of the 2nd quarter and finished it near the 2 minute warning at the end of the game. To call this complex may be misleading; it would be more accurate to refer to it as taste confusion, but not in a bad way.  Each sip starts as one thing and morphs as it crosses your tongue.  The flavor also changes as the temperature does, ideally you should drink this bear after it has warmed up for 30 minutes, cool but not cold.

Conway's Irish Ale:  My roommate Ian (check out his podcast for movie reviews) loves this beer, as we feel that beer is communal, it means I have been drinking a decent amount of it.  This is a very good, yet simple beer, not a lot of complexity but a very smooth and balanced tasting red ale.  Of late I have been very disillusioned with Great Lakes Brewery, the normal run of beer that they make keep dropping in quality, I am not sure if this is because of yeast degradation or if it is due to the larger and larger quantities that they are producing. Either way the quality of their non-seasonal beers is falling which is sad, this company's beer started me on the path to better beers.  It is also worth noting that last year's Christmas Ale was a pale comparison to previous years, and had little hope of standing against Thirsty Dog's 12 Dogs of Christmas, but I digress.  For the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day, my fridge will be filled with Conways and of course Guinness.

Strawberry Harvest:  I will be the first to grab a pitchfork and torch against fruity beer, Abita's strawberry harvest, despite the name is not very fruity.  This company out of Louisiana also makes Andygator which I had when I was in New Orleans last year and loved it.  Their Strawberry ale has a very light taste, with a good, but light flavor followed by an afterthought of strawberry.  While this is not a heavy beer, I am looking forward to warmer days in Ohio to enjoy this outside.  I have been hounding my local beer store for more Abita products in hopes that they get more than just Purple Haze which I assume is only sold around here due to it being a liberal college town and the correlation with another common substance that is consumed liberally in college towns. It is a start however, with two beers from Abita; it is only a matter of time before I can write about enjoying Andygator in the state of Ohio.

If anyone has recommendations to what other beers I should try, please give me suggestions.  I am still a good beer novice, and I want to get better.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Groupon and the Superbowl

While I know I am a bit late to this train, the Ohio National Guard takes precedent over writing in my blog. 

I heard about Groupon about two months prior to Google's offer to buy them, while I have not bought anything from the company I am very interested in how they work and can be used by companies.  When I saw Groupon's Superbowl commercial I was a bit shocked, making fun of saving whales and the rain forest is one thing, but to poke light at the cultural genocide of an occupied people is completely different.  I am by no means the most politically correct person, but even I was a bit disturbed by this miscalculation in advertising.  I posted in my twitter a link to CNN/tech which was about Groupon ending its current advertising campaign, trying to explain that it was to generate awareness, it did not seem to be well received.  Lucky for Groupon, the general memory of people in this age is not far reaching, and I doubt that Groupon will take any hit from this PR issue.

I was disappointed with the Superbowl this year, there was very little social media tie ins.  Besides a few Facebook widgets and seeingone # in reference to twitter, this years commercials could have just as easily been from the 2000 Superbowl in reference to social media pressence.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

IMC, Television to Social Media

I tweeted about this article from AdAge earlier today, but it is worth mentioning with over 200 characters.  The article talks about only super bowl ads and how companies are using them to create buzz for their brand on various social media outlets.  It is a pretty solid idea to help get more value from those multi-million dollar super bowl ads to attach a social media campaign and allow for increased awareness to be generated.  I am looking forward to see how the different aspects play out, from Audi's adding an #Audi at the end to encourage twitter traffic, to Budweiser's pre-super bowl commercials and Facebook fan page to allow people to talk about the theme/plot of the ad.  This will be an interesting time on social media to see how well people respond to campaigns made on other media directing them to social media as a continuation. 

On Budweiser's Facebook page (which I am not a fan of, such a poor excuse for beer, I digress) they have created the ability to use it to invite friends to a party you are having, by doing this through their page, you become a fan and let everyone in the friend circle know that you are a fan of Budweiser.  It is a great idea, and there is also a decent amount of chatter on the page about the upcoming super bowl ad.  So far Budweiser has used social media to generate a large amount of buzz to aid its ad's message during the super bowl, but I will have to wait until after the big game before I can make a final call on how effective they were.  While this year I would like to pretend the super bowl was not happening, it should have been Bears v. Jets, as I grew up around Cleveland any can guess my disposition toward the Steelers, I will be watching it solely for the ads and then watching how social media and the online community respond.