This year I took an AK to the Answers leaderboard at 37signals, mostly answering Highrise questions. The Answers board is the best place to learn how to use Highrise because if you have a question there’s a good chance someone else has already asked it. I scoured it during our implementation in April, 2010 and continued to read it in case anything new came up. In that time I started helping people out and answering questions myself and this week I cracked #3 on their leaderboard.
On Wednesday a packaged was delivered to my office. I wasn’t expecting anything, but it’s not unusual for me to get random samples for us to test run from customers. I opened it up to find 6 beer glasses from 37signals.
The genius move of this is not the free gift for a good customer who gives back the company he’s already paying $150/month for business software. Any company can write a algorithmic trigger for x number of questions answered gets a t-shirt, if then else, etc. and come out a winner. The best part was the note that let me know they researched enough about me to know that I brew beer and would appreciate good beer glasses.
I love great customer appreciation stories and for once I got to be in one. Thanks!
Yesterday I sampled beers with names like Chocrilla, Blood Orange Berliner, and the Bee Sting Ale along with the spiciest shrimp I have ever eaten. I poured my own homebrewed Amber Ale called Yakima Sax to a few hundred beer geeks and watched the legend of Beercamp Philly Camp grow.
The weather was amazing all day (we spent the morning selling our crap at the town wide Collingswood yard sale) and perfect for outdoor drinking. Getting all my equipment to the event was a little bit of a challenge. I dropped off the keg, CO2 tank, and some other beer brewing related stuff to educate others on homebrewing and then drove over to the hotel in Philly I booked on points. While I was there, Jeanne texted me and said she felt a few rain drops so I lugged two packed up party tents with me in the cab back to the “camp site,” the Jamaican Jerk Hut on South Street. I didn’t need the tents in the end since it didn’t rain. We lucked out big time with the weather.
Once the event got going I iced my beer down and went to hook it up, only to find I was missing the tap connector for my keg! Disastrous!!! Having to go back home to get this would have easily taken me 30 – 60 minutes. Luckily, a fellow brewer saved the day and had a spare. I declared him my new best friend and started pouring.
The beers I tried were fantastic, but what was even more fun was just meeting and interacting with beer geeks from all over the Philadelphia area. One fellow brewer stopped by and declared to my wife that the best thing about Papazian’s Joy of Homebrewing I had on display was “the chick” in the HOWTO pictures of the first few chapters. Another guy stopped by and gave me some tips on getting rid of some after tastes I occasionally find in my beer. I was also thrilled to meet up with many, many people I have only talked to on twitter.
Here’s a list of all the beers and the ones I voted for in bold. Brunch Stout
Transcontinental – California Common
American Pale Ale
Baltic Porter Bee Sting Ale
Wobbly Bass Brown Mmmm Creamy Milk Stout
Blood Orange Berliner
Ryeghteous Brown Ale
Golden Pale Ale
Northwestern Pale Ale
Yakima Sax (Amber)
The winners were:
1st B WeeRd Brew D – Chorilla
2nd Saint Benjamin – Transcontinental (I didn’t get a chance to try this, but I loved his other beer)
3rd Melloproto – Blood Orange Berliner
The beers and food were great and the plan so far is to have BeerCampPhilly 3 in October 2011, which would be awesome. I’d definitely do it again. Congrats to Kelani, Two Guys on Beer, and Indyhall for putting everything together.
Ouch. I just looked up my goals for 2010 and I am NOT doing well. Here’s my progress so far.
1. Read 12 Books – Easily completed this already. A few I listened to using Audible.com and I read the Purple Cow on my iPhone with the Kindle app.
So far I’ve read
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Ed Tufte
Priceless by William Poundstone
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
Daemon by Daniel Suarez
The Purple Cow by Seth Godin
Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Start with No by Jim Camp
Born to Run by Chris McDougall
The Road by Corman McCarthy
The Long Tail by Chris Anderson
The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
I’m still working on Under the Dome by Stephen King and Envisioning Information by Ed Tufte. Under the Dome is so big I can’t bring it with me when traveling. I’m about halfway through Ghost War, but I don’t know if I’ll finish it. It’s great, but it will take me forever.
2. Run a sub 23 minute 5K – There is no way this is happening this year. I ran one last month and my time was 25:14. I think I can get down to 24:30 in a month and I’m ok with that.
3. Write 5 Songs – Total failure. I really thought I’d be able to do this, but song writing has escaped me this year. I haven’t written a single new song. In fact, I’ve probably only written 2 in the last three years. Sad. I’ve been getting the bug to start playing more, though.
5. Finish my House – Well, I sold it so does that count? It sold in two days, which was awesome.
6. 6 batches of beer – Fail. I have a batch brewing now, but it’s my only 2010 batch.
So I’ve completed 2/6, but really failed at 4. Better luck next year!,
It was a blast. Congrats to @howdiz and @SymbiotDesign for their award winning brews. Howie brewed a Smoked Maple Porter (which I dubbed the Bacon Beer) and Symbiot’s was a Pumpkin Spice. The beers were paired with ridiculously good sandwiches from Paesano’s by Unbreaded.
I ran out of beer in an hour and twenty minutes pouring 4 oz at a time. 128 oz in a gallon * 4.5 gallon batch / 4 oz sample = about 144 people who were able to try my beer. I think I had a few repeat customers. The highlight of the night for me was when a girl walked up, held out her glass, and said, “I heard you’re the good beer dude.”
I brewed an ApeRicot Ale, of which I’ll post the recipe down below. I was totally happy with how it came out. Getting feedback from the crowd was spotty, since they were all afraid we’d be offended. Next time I want a sign or a shirt that says, “It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t like my beer.”