Beer, enjoyed in moderation as part of a regime of regular exercise and sensible eating, what could be better? That magical transformation of barley, hops and sugar, fermented then consumed with sometimes ill-advised enthusiasm all over the world.
We’re talking beer because today, the first Friday of August, is International Beer Day. Now, we’re aware that some may use a celebration of beer as an excuse for some extreme intemperance and questionable behaviour and we’d just like to park that issue for now and talk about why here at The Organic Agency we are celebrating this day dedicated to fermented grain.
As most people will know it’s easy when you’re working to get tunnel vision, to focus on your workload then walk away from the office each day hardly sharing a word with the people around you. So we established, the admittedly unimaginatively named, ‘Beer Friday’ as an antidote to office isolation, a chance to peel the eyes away from our screens, pop the top off a bottle and say ‘cheers’ to the end of the week.
Tools are downed at about 4.30, we grab a beer from the fridge and take some time to relax with each other and talk about what we’ve been getting up to, sometimes catch up with what’s been going on at home or chat about a project at work. It just gives us all some much needed time for thought and reflection on the past week and a chance to prepare for the weekend.
The beer isn’t compulsory mind you – the important bit is to unwind together, to step away from our laptops and to provide a space in the week to find out about our colleagues: the closet musicians, artists, runners, cyclists and skiers that busy up the room around us. It’s surprising what a difference it makes, not only do we get to know our colleagues a bit better but new ideas crop up all the time, just changing the dynamic seems to open up fresh thoughts, a different angle on a problem and suddenly new solutions emerge.
Another reason for us to celebrate International Beer Day is that the beer industry is responsible for some of the most iconic marketing campaigns. Perhaps Budweiser’s ‘waaaaaasssssuppp’, Carlsberg’s evergreen ‘probably the best’ tag-line or one of the many sumptuous Guinness adverts stick in your memory. But recently there’s been some innovative social media campaigns too. Heineken produced a Bluetooth bottle opener that sent party invites to Facebook friends when it was used and American lager Corona put the faces of people who liked their page onto a 40ft high digital billboard in Times Square New York, their ‘likes’ went from 3,000 before the campaign to 200,000 afterwards.
So while beer Friday adds significantly to our glass recycling load we’ll carry on winding down early to catch up with our colleagues. And today, on International Beer Day we’ll be raising a glass to the brewers, bottlers and bar staff of the world to say thanks for all the memories …and periodic lack thereof.