Hey Man, How'd You Do That?!

If you follow Oconee Brewing Company’s social media, you know that we collaborated with 92.9fm The Game’s Dukes & Bell to release Hey Man blonde ale.  And, if you’ve tried to find and buy a six pack, you know that this beer has been selling out in a day or two at almost every store since the can release on the 10th of September

You can picture us jumping up and down over the success of this opportunity, but you also may wonder, “How’d You Do That?”

This is that story.

Releasing a new craft beer into the market is kind of like that scene in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation when Clark gives his boss the gift that he and his wife selected.  “Put it over there with the others, Greaseball.”

Choose the most interesting ingredients, create the most amazing recipe.  You’re still adding your glass of beer to a table that’s already full of them.

Oconee Brewing Company had been open for two months when we released Bird in Barley, brewed with coffee from Milledgeville’s beloved Blackbird Coffee.  I worked then the same way that I work now—In our project developers’ McDonough office, which is a large room in a big old Southern house.  I have an armchair by a non-working fireplace, I have an upside-down plastic storage box that I call my ottoman, I have a laptop.  I sometimes tap my fingertips on my face as I’m conjuring creative.  I tip-tapped as I thought, ‘What’s an interesting audience for a coffee beer?....Coffee….morning…..fun….A morning radio show!’

I send a lot more emails that are ignored than answered.  I sent a lot more emails to Atlanta radio stations than the one that was answered.  But, the one was a big one with an even bigger opportunity.

A super nice lady called me.  The station passed on an on-air tasting, which was my original pitch, but they were interested in creating a beer for their morning show hosts.

This set-off a flurry of Team OBC group texts:

That would be ah-mazing.

We’ll see what happens….

This could be huge!

(Squinty eyed, tongue out emoji.)

So we began a series of conference calls with the decision makers at the radio station.  They visited the Brewery and sampled our beer.  While all this was happening, they merged with another media group, which included 92.9fm The Game.  The super nice lady’s first introduction to the sports radio’s manager was when he stopped her in the hallway to say, “We heard about the collaboration with Oconee Brewing Company.  We want to be a part of that.”

Team texts:

That would be ah-MAZING.

We’ll see what happens…

This would be HUGE!

(Squinty eyed, tongue out emoji.)

Here would probably be a good place within the story for an athletics analogy.  We took that ball and ran with it. 

On June 11, 2018, we announced that Oconee Brewing Company and Dukes & Bell would brew and release a beer together.  A little less than a year had passed since I hit send on a bunch of emails and crossed my fingers that at least one would reach someone’s attention.  A little over a year had passed since we had opened our doors and began sending our beer into the wide open market of distribution.  

The first location to receive Hey Man six packs sold out of ten cases in one day.  We recently brewed and canned triple the original batch, and we’re still hearing that stores are selling out.

That is AH-MAZING.

This is happening.

This is HUGE!

(Squinty eyed, tongue out emoji.)

Leslie Tillery