« Back
How Booze Built America
Wednesday at 10, only on The Discovery Channel
Historically, I’ve drunk more beer than wine, a simple truth that those closest to me might call “self-evident.” Over the last decade though, I can say with confidence that wine has come on very, very strong. That’s not to imply I no longer drink beer. The entire lower shelf of my antediluvian Frigidaire is packed with Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, a supply that should – with rationing and forbearance – get me into early October. But here in San Francisco, these big, bold Cabernets have insinuated themselves into the routine of my daily life, and I am not one to mess with physics, or ignore the geography of my current address.
Of course, there are times when wine and beer must assume a subordinate position to something a bit more robust. Gin in particular, now occupies prime real estate in the cabinet where I store my liquor, (though not technically a “liquor cabinet,”) along with some preternaturally ancient Scotch, Bourbon, and Irish whiskey. Point is, I like to remain open-minded to all of the possibilities in the Wide World of Booze, and while I take conscious steps to keep those many options from assaulting my liver in a contemporaneous fashion, there are occasions where all attempts at segregation and parsimony fly out the window. Yesterday was such an occasion, and I’ll leave it to you to evaluate the fallout.
Posted below for your perusal, are some promos for a new show on The Discovery Channel called How Booze Built America. The program is excellent, according to me. The promos on the other hand, are unfit for actual broadcast, according to people who are paid to know such things. They were filmed yesterday with a camera that costs less than a case of Schlitz, and vomited into virtual space with naïve optimism by a longtime friend and supporter of Dirty Jobs, whose name I will respectfully withhold. We call them “Poor Man Promos,’ (PiMPS, if you will,) and I felt upon their completion a strong conviction that they would not only pull thousands of viewers to Discovery this Wednesday at 10 pm, but quite possibly change the promo business for all time. That’s right. That’s what I thought.

This morning however, in the clear light of a new day, I must confess to a new thought. Upon closer inspection, I can see now that these promos reflect something more than a unique mix of guerilla marketing and spontaneous story telling. They reflect I think, a unique mix of Stags Leap, Sierra Nevada, and some very dry Plymouth Gin. However- while clearly not up to broadcast standards, I’m confident that viewing these promos will in no way discourage you from watching How Booze Built America, (this Wednesday at 10 on The Discovery Channel.) Perhaps that’s a rather low standard for advertising efficacy, but since I genuinely believe this show is worth 44 minutes of your time, I have taken it upon myself to help spread the word in whatever ways are at my disposal.
I’d love to hear your take on the effectiveness of The Poor Man’s Promo. Are they a bold move in a more authentic direction of marketing and advertising? Or are they a tragic and non-persuasive attempt at shameless self-promotion? Frankly, I can’t decide. Regardless, what I’d really like, is the warm glow that can only come with the absolute certainty that you’ll be home this Wednesday evening, beverage in hand, watching How Booze Built America. That would be awesome.
That’s 10 pm. This Wednesday (tonight). Only on The Discovery Channel.
Chin don,
   Leave a comment | Bookmark and Share


    1. Hi, Mike,

      Always enjoy “Dirty Jobs,” and I especially enjoyed “Dirty Jobs Down Under.” “How Booze Built America” is a very entertaining and enlightening series. For example, I was always taught in school that the reason the Pilgrims landed in Massachusetts instead of Virginia (their intended destination), was because the Mayflower got caught in a storm and was blown off course; not because their beer rations were running low. However, I admit to liking the beer story much better. Much more interesting, but I guess the storm story is just a safer one to tell young, impressionable children.

      Linda Andrews | 09/25/12 | 5:51 am
    2. Enjoyed the show on Wednesday night, imbibing much information while enjoying a German Wheat Beer. Always preferred the videos that are more of the home grown feel to the commercial variety. So for me the “Poor Man’s” are more effective.

      pilgrim101 | 09/22/12 | 8:07 am
    3. You’ll get no boos from me! (ha!)(sorry..)

      No, I liked the PiMPs on the street—and some more than others, but all of them were interesting and captured my attention. The first episode was entertaining, so I’m looking forward to the other two!

      Lisa | 09/20/12 | 9:43 pm
    4. Mike I want to say this you did a good job. Funny and educational. I only wished I knew sooner that you were coming to Boston I would have tried and find you in the city. Keep up the good job. I can’t wait for the next episode.

      Thomas | 09/19/12 | 10:31 pm
    5. I liked the first couple , then I bored with them. One at a time is all I can take or maybe 2. But having them all at once I became addled. Still I want to see what I can stay awake for.

      cherryrn | 09/19/12 | 3:09 pm
    6. “You’ll see blurring and some instances that should have been blurred – but weren’t!”

      I think you may have oversold it. I’m tuning in tonight despite my severe aversion to scheduling my activities around a TV show…. You are welcome. There better be blurry parts!

      Laura B | 09/19/12 | 2:50 pm
    7. Watching your Promos brought a tear to my eye as booze is a subject near and dear to my heart. Yes, I will be home this Wednesday evening (as well as the next two Wednesday evenings) watching, drinking, and perhaps learning a few things. I am thinking an ale may set the mood for this evening’s episode, no? What do you suggest as an accompaniment to the upcoming episodes?
      There is nothing wrong with a little shameless self-promotion. I think you have found a balance between shameless and authentic that has resulted in effective. Well, you earned 132 minutes of my time anyway… for what that’s worth.

      Mar | 09/19/12 | 2:15 pm
    8. I know that there is no booze ever made in the history of man that will make me miss the airing of your special tonight. Just you on the TV and me, side by side. If for nothing more than hope, you’ve filled my wishing well. Thank you Mike. All my best to you.

      Shannon Marie Conley | 09/19/12 | 12:13 pm