The Perfect Storm

Yeah, I probably over did it on the tags and categories, but this blog is going to touch a lot of different subjects. I’m not just throwing a bunch of crap out there to reach as many people as possible whether this blog pertains to them or not…maybe 😉

As far as I am concerned there has been a perfect storm of events happening lately that started back around the early 90’s. Breweries like Stone and Dogfish Head and other crafty connoisseurs of beer production created the craft beer market in the United States. They didn’t just make it popular. They birthed it and through blood sweat and tears turned it into an industry that now has a huge and ever increasing niche market.

The pioneers of the craft beer revolution are now very nearly regarded as rock stars. The most noticeable of these craft beer rock stars has to be Grek Koch. The man has become a legend. His speeches of the quality of strong flavorful beers over fizzy yellow mass produced beers have been taped and watched all around the world. In many countries American craft beer is probably placed in much higher regards than the country that it was produced in (but that is a blog for a different time.)

Fast forward to the past several years. People like Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, Nika Harper, the rest of the Geek and Sundry staff and the people at Nerdist have done the ground work and put the blood, sweat and tears in to make the geek culture prominent. The uprising of geek culture very nearly resembles that of the rise of the craft beer culture. It has really been interesting to be able to watch how both of them came to be and the parallels between the two.

The craft beer revolution made it possible for thousands of breweries to open up all over the country. There are still more breweries opening up every year. Even I helped turn an existing restaurant into a brewpub. That didn’t exactly work out the way we planned and there are some changes coming down the line with it, but that is a topic for a different blog as well. The point is that craft beer has created limitless opportunities for businesses to be created.

You can parallel the cross analysis between geek culture and craft beer culture by the amount of business opportunities that the, I like to call it Geek Renaissance, is creating. The most obvious is the geek culture inspired merchandise like shirts and light saber candy and so on and so forth. The really cool things, and where there is the most room for growth, are the people who are going outside of the box and really pushing the envelope (two cliches in the same sentence…I think I just killed all writing cred I might have had).

There are people making video game inspired jewelry. I saw a really cool Tetris inspired necklace on Twitter a couple days ago. @LyssaPearl of Frakker Lacquer is doing some really cool things with geek inspired nail polishes. She is making these nail polishes herself and gearing them all towards various different sub cultures. This really shows the endless possibilities of growth out there. Yeah, you have to be careful about not stepping on copyrights or likeness rights, but if you have a good head on your shoulder and don’t directly use any copyrighted terms then you should be fine. Check out frakkerlacquer.com and facebook.com/frakkerlacquer to really see some of the cool things that can be done based on current geek subcultures.

Then it happened. In one glorious moment we found out what it is truly like when worlds collide. The titans of the beer revolution and geek renaissance combined to make a creation that many thought would tear apart the very fabric of time and space. Wil Wheaton @wilw, Greg Koch @stonegreg and Drew Curtis @drewcurtis collaborated to make Stone Farking Wheaton Stout. (I have a bottle of it at my house waiting on me seductively…squee!)

This crossing of cultures, cultures whose paths have so nearly resembled each other, makes it possible for even more new businesses. You want to make a brewpub where the beer lines are modeled after different things in beer culture…hell yeah! Want to start a beer festival/comic convention…right on! I know I do! Want to have a draft to go and specialty bottle shop that also sells board games and has a place to sit down and play them…why not?

The only limitation on these two separate markets and the uber combined market are the limits of the minds of the people creating the businesses. People like Alyssa Vaughan @LyssaPearl of FrakkerLacquer are the people that are going out and making sure that this surge continues. I don’t foresee either market bubble bursting either time soon. So geeks and beer lovers around the world celebrate the times that you live in and support the businesses that are doing so much to make sure the cultures continue to thrive. Things still aren’t perfect, but I see this as a world that the characters of Revenge of the Nerds would have much rather lived in.

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