Staci and I got our fingers all taped up last night and tied about 300 champagne knots as about 2.5″ of rain fell outside. This time around, we were utilizing Negra Modelo for hydration purposes. Yes, and lots of lime to fend off the scurvy (as well as my wife’s obsession with our annual Mexico vacation which has been put on hold by the brewery). We use a 20# all-natural hemp twine for this as opposed to the standard metal cage that accompanies most corked & carbonated alcoholic beverages for many reasons. The easiest ones to explain have to do with style & branding. It sets our bottle apart from all the others on the shelves and supports our Apothecary identity and our love of skills forgotten. The twine is relatively unprocessed when compared to the metal cage.
Shhh! But don’t give all our secrets away…yes, METAPHYSICAL MARKETING. If I was a businessman and not a brewer, I’d make a pretty penny off of this. However, I am a brewer that runs a business, so I am totally prepared to give it all away for almost next to nothing. Just buy a bottle sometime and we’ll call it even. I can’t help it. Sorry, Dad. Our over-arching (yet very general) concept is if you visit the brewery and see where the beer comes from, when you pop a bottle of your own, the beer will actually taste better because you will have established a prior positive experience in a place like no other. You will have a connection with the beer even before opening it. Combine that with an exceptional product and the customers’ overall experience shoots into the stratosphere. Everybody’s happy.
Wait. I said exceptional product. Hmmmm….well, how does one get that? Do we need an exceptional product? Can it just be exceptional on the surface? Does exceptional cost money??? Will people settle for less?????????
Exceptional means unusual. Rare. Special. Exceptional things deserve exceptional attention. They deserve love, because the sad truth is love, true love, is very exceptional indeed. This champagne knot that Staci and I labor over is very much an intentional way to connect with each bottle, but also a way to connect with that part of humanity that we align ourselves with in our personal beliefs. Without getting too preachy, I believe physical labor is important. It’s why we developed hands and fingers. It connects our body to our brain. It connects me with the millions (billions?) of people in this world that will never have a chance to choose their labor of love. It also connects me to the past where once all of our consumables (including their packaging) were made by human hands (John Henry, can you hear me??). This is not the case anymore; it has become very rare indeed to experience objects that are truly handmade. SO, as I saunter off of my pulpit, I want you to know that while our hands hurt a bit, we feel extremely honored to be performing such a service. It’s very much like a personal relationship, this conceptual brewery. Not easy, ridiculous at times, but rewarding in ways that you feel instead of think.
And, yes, drinking our beer will definitely heighten those feelings.
Happy holidays to you from us here at The Ale Apothecary! We love you.