The other day I wrote about the US Beer Hall of Fame proposed for Cincinnati and asked for anyone who could give me an answer why this was necessary. Well I got an answer - direct from the man behind the initiative, Dennis Buettner, President of Leisure Technician LLC. His company which presents itself to the public under the banner of the U.S. Beer Drinking Team, which could give you an idea about the content that I would like to partially dispel. The USBDT has a website, beer radio, beer television and a Hall of Fame to build - it even has a logo which plays upon the one for Major League Baseball. Unlike the few episodes of Beer TV as seen over and over recently in Canada during the graveyard hours of lesser networks, which was really nothing more than an attractive info-mercial for the then mega-corp Interbrew (now InBev due apparently to the need to have names with fewer and fewer letters in them) and its line of products, Dennis's group of initiatives do not appear to select one brewer or even sector over another. There is discussion of macros, regionals, micros and homebrewers. This is good as it adds credibility and also creates an expectation that the content might still be fresh a year from now.
I will look at the other media Dennis and his company uses later but today I will focus on Beer Radio. He was kind enough to share a link to an archived broadcast of Beer Radio [30 MB, streaming] which I listened to the other day. If you are aware of US local AM radio these days, you will know about syndication. It is a means by which stations can buy programming prepared by independent producers. Beer Radio is a three hour example of this. Its tone is rather enthusiastic, a little bombastic, which is a little different for your average CBC, BBC or NPR listener, but its content makes a real effort to be comprehensive and that puts the tone in context. You get stories on the upside of beer and health encouraging you to be active, information about the industry as a whole, as well as interviews with people involved with larger US micros - people apparently without a direct financial stake in Leisure Technician LLC. As a result, the program presents itself as an advocate and resource for the person who wants to know more about beer and wants to get behind the ads - sometimes a difficult thing in an area of the economy with often does not receive the critical analysis its size would otherwise attract. Did you know beer is a bigger part of the economoy than movies, video games and other forms of entertainment? I do now and the numbers appear to add up. Nothing like the industrial role brewing played a couple of hundred years ago as the first large-scale manufactured product but still big.
Dennis has sent me a toll-free phone number and an invite to call - which I will take up when I have enough information to ask some intelligent questions - but for now it is great that he is insterested enough to take the time and get in touch with others who are interested. Bodes very well.