Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Philly Beer Week 2010: Contemplations, Conversations, Ruminations, and an occasional Diatribe: Part 2

(This is the second in a series of ten installments documenting both my time during Philly Beer Week 2010 and insights provided to me by customers, importers/distributors/representatives, brewers, brewery owners, publicans, et cetera. All of whom wanted their comments to be aired, but very few who wanted their name associated with them. Some of you may not appreciate the anonymity, but that's the way it needs to be if we're going to talk about these things around here. You'll need to trust in me that I've gathered up all of these notes and opinions during PBW '10 and am sharing them with you in order to continue the conversation about what will make a better Philly Beer Week 2011.)

Click back to see the first in the series. Click forward to see the third in the series.

Let's start off this series with a doozy. Apart from the number of PBW events conducted in June, perhaps no other conversation that I participated in was more passionate than that around the involvement of the Ladies of Delilah's Gentlemen's Club. While not many would begrudge their right to pay the PBW Membership Fee and list their events, almost everyone questioned the motives and the wisdom of allowing them to participate so significantly--particularly in the Hammer of Glory Tour and appearances around town--let alone the explicitly suggestive naming and describing of their events ("...hike up the pole...", "...work up our top...", "...nice cans..." for starters).

Perhaps one of my favorite quotes came from a customer of Philly Craft Brew scene.

"The Delilah girls? phelgh! If the PBW organization is so cot dam concerned about its reputation and being associated with St. Patty's Day, maybe it should consider the image it projects when associated with a strip club. Seems like craft beer is resorting to macro beer marketing tactics. Shame on Philly Beer Week."

and from another...

"I enjoy T&A as much as the next red-blooded male, but why it needs to be included in a marketing approach for craft beer is beyond me. Sounds like it's all about the money to me."

and yet another...

"Of course, we want our niche industry to be perceived as fun, relaxed, and not stuffy...but this takes it too far."

and from a long-time establishment participant in Philadelphia Craft Beer

"This is absolutely not the image of craft beer that we want to project. This is wrong in more than one way."

Interesting perspective and keen insights.

Your thoughts, if you will?

Coming tomorrow...we'll ratchet it down a bit with a light-hearted note about Sierra Nevada.


Chris Clair said...

You know, I don't have a problem with it. One of the great things about beer is that it typically has been very inclusive, the opposite of wine. Wine is formal, high society, while beer is for the masses, approachable and relaxed. The minute you start restricting the venues you step on to that slippery slope where you can start to exclude segments of the population because they don't measure up to "standards." I hate it when people think beer drinkers are just a bunch of drunks, but elitist snobs aren't much better.

Plus, it isn't like they hosted an anchor event and if no one went, they probably won't do it again.

Gateway Beers said...

I tend to agree with the comment from Chris Clair. Now, personally, I don't patronize those places. But if Delilah's actually SERVES craft beer on a regular basis (do they?), then fine. As the "premier" gentleman's club in the region, they SHOULD have top notch beers. For me, it's all about the beer and great people I meet during PBW. For those who enjoy the additional entertainment, so be it - it's their money... and we're all adults here. If no one shows, the venue will discontinue sponsoring PBW events in the future.

Jim L said...

I agree with Chris, too. I say let them take part as long as they don't step over the line of legal decency (and, like wise, Philly Beer Week events don't step over the line of serving minors (and I'm not intending to imply that)). I mean, for every person that says Delilah's has no place in PBW, there's at least one person somewhere that says that the blatant display and promotion of beer (or alcohol, or cigars, or pick-your-vice) is just as detrimental to society. And as Gateway says, vote with your $$.

Bryan Kolesar said...

Voting with your wallet has always been a big message of mine (applies to sports as well, but that's a bit of different story). Thanks for adding to the conversation, guys.