The New Deschutes Video Is Genius, Its Weird, Its Over the Top, Its……
I love Deschutes. There is no debating their consistent grasp on NW beer consumers’ hearts. There is no debating my love for all they do, from their incredibly adventurous beer, to their NW-esque graphics, to their amazing pubs in PDX and Bend. Well now they are making short films to promote their beer – and its kicking up the beer nerd chatter.
Alan McLeod is an excellent beer blogger. If you don’t already follow his “A Good Beer Blog” – do it. His blog is a worthwhile read, written by someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. While I disagree with him, a lot of the time, I still appreciate his willingness to not pander to brewers and outwardly like everything, as most beer bloggers do. We try our best, but unfortunately Timperial’s iron-clad pallet finds something to like in almost everything. Damn you, Tim.
So today, Alan posted some comments on a new short film/commercial that Deschutes decided to launch about, um, well, I guess their beer? From the objective point of view, you might think it’s a love story, a road trip adventure or a think-piece of self-exploration. What we know is that they gratuitously toss in some sideboob around the mid-point, so beware those of you watching at work.
Alan seems disappointed in this rugged NW brewery – one that he very much enjoys. His comments find the video over the top, “creepy” and even “uncomfortable.” What ensues is a long back and forth between Alan and a number of other beer bloggers from around the country, trying to decide if this was a good idea.
I get it. It’s weird and a bit too emotional to try and capture a love story to promote a NW beer. But I like it. I also think it’s a good decision for Deschutes.
Why not be unconventional and why not show something passionate about your beer? I too believe that beer is more powerful than a mere intoxicant. It brings people together and it creates careers and life passions. If the thing represents more than a buzz, why not celebrate that through a representative video? I think that Deschutes shot from the hip, and hit a winner. But this is only a minor part of what I like.
The coolest part of this video is the story behind the beer. The great minds at Deschutes don’t name their beer something clever, they celebrate the great, almost surreal, world around Bend, Oregon. Black Butte, Green Lakes, Mirror Pond, the twilight at Smith Rock, the inversion at South Sisters and the obsidian stone found at Newberry Crater. Having recently visited Bend, I can vouch for its uncanny incomparable character. The world around this small town is otherwordly, and certainly invoking of an existential experience.
I’m not the most touchy-feely guy out there, but I appreciate the Deschutes naming trend. In a beer world where Arrogant Bastard, Hopslam, Dark Lord, Pliny the Elder and a bunch of other creative and clever names do the marketing, Deschutes finds its inspiration organically. And its hard to promote that. Faced with being captured by a beer named after a small pond in downtown Bend or the czar of the underworld, you probably steer clear of subtlety. But Deschutes has not wavered, and in fact it put some considerable time and effort into creating a video that shows you the inspiring world that crafted their message. I dig that. I bet you do as well.
So, take a gander and let me know. I’m all ears about this approach. Who knows, it could be some good research for the Blotter’s future brewing operation (its happening).
Video is below. NOTE: if you don’t see it right away, wait a few minutes. If you wait and nothing – click link below it.