Friday, April 17, 2009

Commodity vs. Artisanal - Starting a Conversation

Last night I had the great pleasure of seeing the simulcast World Premier of Beer Wars. The film was broadcast, via satellite, to 440 different theaters across America.

In America, size matters. The bigger you are, the more power you have, especially in the business world.

Director Anat Baron takes you on a no holds barred exploration of the U.S. beer industry that ultimately reveals the truth behind the label of your favorite beer. Told from an insider’s perspective, the film goes behind the scenes of the daily battles and all out wars that dominate one of America’s favorite industries.

Beer Wars begins as the corporate behemoths are being challenged by small, independent brewers who are shunning the status quo and creating innovative new beers. The story is told through 2 of these entrepreneurs - Sam and Rhonda - battling the might and tactics of Corporate America. We witness their struggle to achieve their American Dream in an industry dominated by powerful corporations unwilling to cede an inch.

This contemporary David and Goliath story is ultimately about keeping your integrity (and your family’s home) in the face of temptation. Beer Wars is a revealing and entertaining journey that provides unexpected and surprising turns and promises to change the world’s opinion on those infamous 99 bottles of beer on the wall.

So you might be asking, 'How does this relate to the mission of this blog?" Well, it's simple really...the preferences of consumers are changing. And changing for the better. For far too long the 'corporate behemoths' have been setting the bar (pretty low if you ask me) and using clever advertising to convince us that we want their product.

Consumers have started asking: where was this produced, what was used to produce it, who's behind the brand, how far did this travel to get to me, who's benefitting from the sale of this, who am I supporting if I purchase this, does this company's integrity align with mine, etc.

Choosing to partner with and patronize local businesses - from your local brewery (The Brew Kettle and Great Lakes Brewing Company), to our fabulous local restaurants (The Greenhouse Tavern and The Flying Fig), to your local bookstores (Loganberry Books and Blue Heron Bookstore) and your local marketing service provider, AGC - you're helping to create options in the marketplace, supporting the city we love and the people who live here, and assisting the next spirited entrepreneur get a little closer to their American Dream.

Supporting local, independently owned businesses leads to innovative, creative products, brought to you with care and enthusiasm. Next time you have the choice between a corporate behemoth or a small business, consider the questions above before making your purchase.