Too many people have asked about the author of Sprecher’s blog posts so I’ll take this opportunity to out myself before someone else does. Although this blog was never designed with the intention to be the exclusive property of one Sprecher employee, to date I, Anne Sprecher, have been the sole author. I was born in NYC and lived there for several years post-college before returning to Mke for grad school and again for a job. Mke has been a vortex in my life. But I guess I worked through any bad karma because soon after my 3rd move to Mke I met Randy Sprecher and we were married in 2002. Since 2004 I’ve done PR and marketing for the brewery. Among the other things, I design classes that are oriented toward women, classes that demystify craft beer and reveal its pleasures. Since attending unGeeked (#ungeeked), “The SxSW of the Midwest,” my work has gotten much more interesting because I’m now immersed in social media.
Before meeting Randy, I didn’t drink beer. Logic = why waste all those calories on something with no taste? Have tequila instead. Randy taught me that good beer (and soda) not only has flavor, it has a complex flavor profile much like wine. I quickly became a craft beer lover and perhaps evangelista. As a whole, craft beer drinkers are a pretty interesting group. True, some can be a bit persnickity; snobby even. Maybe they’re just insecure. Genuine craft beer lovers want to share their experiences and learn from others. And that’s what makes working in this industry FUN.
The craft beer industry has a great ethos. Rather than the Coke/Pepsi binary dynamic (you either like one or the other), people in the craft beer industry give props where props are due. If you like someone’s beer, you tell them; if you don’t like the beer, you may offer up a fair critique from your perspective, but you definitely don’t slam the product in public or otherwise. If you see an employee drinking another brewery’s beer in a bar, you don’t fire them for patronizing the competition (ahem, macrobrewer(s), you know who you are). You get the idea – there’s a lot of respect among competitors in the craft beer industry.
At the end of the day people in the craft beer industry are both producers and consumers, much like the folks generating social media. How so? We share passion for innovation with due respect to the audience. Our goal is not to dumb down so people “get” what we’re doing; nor do we want to toil in oblivion. We want to start and be part of many conversations.