Florida Man Beer (& Ciders)

Back a few years ago, I worked as a copywriter at an ad agency in Orlando. I was only there for about a year, but I still made a couple of life-long friends, worked on some cool projects (others, not so cool), and I even learned a few valuable lessons.

I’m not going to talk about any of the projects I worked on while at the company. Instead, I will talk about the “homework” project that got me hired. I was recently reminded of this project when my girlfriend picked up some “Hurricane Beers” for Hurricane Ian***.

This particular beer (Florida Man Double IPA from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, FL) reminded me of that “homework” project, because I had to create a new line of ciders for another Florida brewery. One of my pitches was the “Florida Man” line of ciders, where each cider had its own name based on a specific “Florida Man” story.

*Side Quest: For those of you who don’t live in Florida, “Florida Man” is a made-up, infamous superhero (or villain) depending how you look at it.
Most of the outrageous news stories out of this “great” state begin with “Florida Man…” as in “Florida Man takes off his clothes and [does
something crazy].” I will add that most of these tales come
from middle of nowhere cities, not Miami.

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s check out this silly project I worked on to get hired at that ad agency:

Here’s the sketch I made to give a rough idea of each cider being showcased in a mugshot.

Each cider’s name came from an official “Googled” Florida Man news story:

  • Naked Trucker – Florida Man caught driving tractor naked through town.
  • Desktop Lover – Florida Man attempts to marry his computer.
  • Statue Executioner – Florida Man beheads statue.
  • Forgetful Nudist – Florida Man arrested for running naked outdoors.
    Forgot he wasn’t wearing any clothes.

*Side Quest: I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to share this project because I never signed any NDAs. Also, now that Cigar City has created something
so similar, I think that kills this project from ever getting made.
Lastly, I think the statute of limitations has passed.

I’m not sharing this to accuse Cigar City Brewing of any foul play. It was only a matter of time before some local Florida brewery came up with a Florida Man beer. In fact, I’m pretty sure I may have even seen something like it before, I just happened to try this one and it’s pretty delicious.

I decided to post about this for a few reasons, (1) this was a spec project that got me a job. So, I’m pretty sure that no one (including the client) saw this, except for my bosses. (2) I think it’s important to showcase the caliber of work I can help Cigar City Brewing and other cool clients and companies create. And (3) it’s been a while since I last posted here, and this is what I was able to come up with last night.

Wow, look how beautiful and delicious this beer looks right now. I took this with my iPhone, quickly before enjoying this tasty IPA. Imagine what I can do with my DSLR camera and it’s expensive lenses.

So, if you’re reading this (@CigarCityBeer) and you need help with some copywriting, design, photography, or any other creative endeavors feel free to reach out to me.

For now, stay away from the Florida Man. He’s coming for us all…
Also, is there a Florida Woman?


***Here in South Florida, we got lucky this week when Hurricane Ian decided not to hit us directly. Others in our state were not so lucky, so although this is a silly, stupid post I still wanted to share some way that we can help those who were not so lucky this time around.

Here’s an article from the Tampa Bay Times featuring ways to donate and help victims of Hurricane Ian’s terrible wrath.

BEER MAKES ME FAT

homer bender beerFL title

From January 6th to February 20th I drank zero beers. I did have some glasses of wine and a few whiskeys on certain occasions, but I definitely had zero beers in that time. This wasn’t a challenge I put on myself, there was just a period where I felt like I was starting to get sick, and I didn’t want to be sick, so I decided not to drink alcohol. I even went to a wedding in this time period and had about 17 glasses of water with zero alcohol in them.

What I learned from not drinking beer is that beer is the main thing that makes me gain weight. And I now know this because in this one month +14 days of not drinking beer I dropped a few pounds and finally made it under 200 (like right under, like 199.9, but it still counts).

Since this one month +14 days of no beers, I had a few beers last weekend and I’m now back over 200 (like 201-204 depending on the morning). And yes, I weigh myself in the morning before I put anything into my body. That’s how you know you’re getting your lowest weight. It’s not cheating if you only weigh yourself in the morning (if you weigh yourself one night then a few days later in the morning and brag about all the pounds you lost, that is cheating. Who are you cheating? Yourself!).

Everyone’s body is different and what works for one person may not work for someone else. And for me not drinking beer seems to be working. I’m not forever quitting beer though, just maybe have it every once in a while (also, going out to dinner and not having a beer can take about 30-50% off of your bill). Next, I just need to work on eating a bit better.

Lately, I haven’t been eating the healthiest of meals, but I somehow still ended up losing weight, so I keep eating not so great. It also doesn’t help when people tell you, “You look like you’ve lost some pounds.” Whenever someone tells me that it makes my brain say, Great! Now we’ve earned some pizza/taco bell/burger king or all of the above. That’s why I rarely tell people they look skinnier, I don’t want to trigger that voice in their brain.

You don’t have to tell me I lost some weight. I know I’m a bit skinnier, and not just because the scale told me so. I know I actually lost some weight because I can now fit into my skinnier jeans.

In my closet, I have my three or four pairs of regular jeans for when I’m feeling a bit hefty. I also wear these when I’m going out to eat a whole bunch of junk. I also have a few pairs of thinner jeans. The ones that are just one size too small. I don’t fit into all of these pairs right now, but I do fit well into at least one of them and that’s a major improvement. When I can fit into all three of my thin jeans, then it will be time to turn those into my “heavier” jeans and buy a pair in the next size down (but let’s not get ahead of ourselves).

Since learning that beer is my Kryptonite, I haven’t had too many. But, I still have been stuffing my gob with some not so healthy food, as you’ve all seen (on Instagram and Facebook). I’m still making delicious burgers, tacos, pizzas and cookies and all kinds of stuff. There’s also all of those late night eats after shows and rehearsals (bagel bites, dino nuggets, pizza rolls and more) which aren’t very shareable and no one sees, but me.

My next test will be to continue not drinking beer, but also to eat a little better and see what that does to my body. John Mayer once said, “Your body is a wonderland,” but that’s not true. All of our bodies are not Wonderlands. In fact, all of our bodies are just little science experiments that we get to borrow while we’re here on Earth. And the best way to find out what works for you is trial and error.

FIRST BASE IS HARD (That’s what she said…)

62-06-StraS-A-02FL title

[SPORTS FAN EDITION]

Last night, my co-ed adult softball team had their 3rd game, my 2nd (I missed the first one because I was too busy eating Pringles and drinking beers on the sandy beaches of Siesta Key).

We won our first game, the one I wasn’t a part of. I think it’s because I wasn’t there that we won. I am definitely the Bambino of this team. I can make some good plays, but I’m the cursed player that won’t allow us to win as long as I’m around. That’s ok with me though, I’m not there to win, and neither is about 80% of my team. We’re just there to have a good time and go drink beer and eat bar food at Sandbar afterwards.

Last week, during my first game the whole team was there, so I was able to sit on the bench for a few innings which was nice and relaxing. When I did go in I mostly played the outfield and even caught a fly ball that I definitely thought I was going to drop. I’m pretty sure everyone thought that. In the end we lost, pretty badly. We celebrated the game at Sandbar though and I won in pool and the hook on the wall game, so I went 2 for 3. Not bad for my first week of softball.

Last night, I had to play first base, because our other possible first basemen or women were not there, or don’t exist. I think I did an OK job, except for the time I ran into a girl’s face (more on that later). It wasn’t my fault, but it kind of was. There’s too many things you have to think about when playing first base.

[1]
It all starts with the batter. You have to watch them at all times, and make sure that if they do make contact it doesn’t come your way. If the ball starts flying in your direction it’s panic mode, which is how I ran into this poor girl’s face with my face.

The girl was a righty, so I thought, she won’t hit it to me. I was wrong, she must have hit the ball at a weird angle because it rolled right at me. I had to move away from the bag to get it, so I then ran full speed at the base to tag it and make the out. When I started towards the base I was looking straight down to make sure to get my foot on it. I didn’t look up again until it was too late.

When I picked my head up I noticed that I was about to run straight into this woman, who was running at full speed at me. We collided on the base and I’m pretty sure she did a Willie Beamon “Any Given Sunday” flip before landing on the ground. I helped her up and told her I was sorry about 23 times. She was out, so I guess something good came out of that. I made the play.

[2]
On to the next one, once the ball has been hit you have to make a decision. (a) Do I go after the ball, or (b) do I run to the base and wait for someone to throw it at me? It all goes by very quickly, there’s no time to think. Then, if you run for the ball you have to remember to run back to tag the base, and also try not to crash into the runner, as I did in the first step.

[3]
If you ran to the base you just wait. Wait, and hope someone makes a good throw to you. About 61% of the throws to first are ok, but those other 39% are tricky and can really hurt someone, especially me. Playing first base is like playing paintball, except instead of small balls filled with fake paint someone is throwing a large softball at you, which isn’t very soft at all.

[4]
If you successfully make the catch someone is out, unless they are really fast and already made it to the base, but that’s not where it ends. Now you have to look around and make sure other runners aren’t pulling any shenanigans. Check home. See if anyone is running there. Look at the rest of the bases. Look back to the guy on first, if that person is there.

All good, throw it to the pitcher and start all over again. Overall, I think I was an alright first baseman and I would do it again if they needed me to. I may need some practice for racing to the base without smashing into the runner.

I think next week we will get the W! Or we won’t and we’ll still go to sandbar and catch Pokemon after the game.

I basically just explained how baseball works, but I do have a lot of foreigner friends who may not know. I hope you enjoyed this, and I’ll be back next week with more learnings and stuff.


Smell ya later…

 

ST PADDY’S DAY IN AMERICA

FL title

green-dog-st-patricks-day

I know many fools love St Patrick’s Day. They love wearing green, drinking green beer, swimming in green fountains and screaming out stupid things like, “Kiss me, I’m Irish.” That trick only works if you’re Irish, and it probably doesn’t really work too often, because about 90% of Irish people are Gingers. And who wants to kiss a Ginger? (I’m sorry, that was rude. I’m not here to attack the Gingers, I’m here to attack the fake Irish people. Also, I love Gingers, especially the lady kind).

So, yesterday was a big day for the drinking (or Alcoholics, as I like to call them). Back in Tallahassee (and probably every college town in America) the bars would open at 6am and stay open well into the evening. Who was there at 6 am? Probably the bros, who never attended class and lived in their FRAT houses, “No time for legs today, broseph. Gotta get to the Pub bright and early!”

In Miami, St. Patrick’s day is awful. It’s the one night of the year when the Irish bars and pubs actually charge a cover to get in (I’m talking about you Jonathan Martin’s). I would rather celebrate Irish heritage any other day and not pay extra money to eat some Fish n’ Chiops and drink a Guiness.

And since I’m on the subject of St. Patrick’s Day, why was St. Patrick such a drunk? And why did Jesus allow this drunk ginger to become a saint? Was he a sort of drunken Robin Hood, who would get drunk and help out the poor or others in need? What’s your story St. Patrick? And why is everyone drinking to celebrate it?

 

[this is the part where I ‘Googled’ St. Patty’s Day. I didn’t read much, just the first paragraph I found]

 

Apparently, St. Patrick was the Patron Saint of Ireland. He was a Christian missionary who brought Christianity to Ireland, and he wasn’t even Irish. But now there are so many Irish Patricks that it doesn’t really matter. I guess we celebrate his day with barrels of alcohol because he tricked the Irish people into Christianity, with the promise of free booze.

Think of all the parties or events you’ve been to just because they told you there would be “FREE beer and snacks.” Now imagine if they said “There won’t just be any beer, no. This beer will be green.” Of course you’re going to that party. And when you’re well and drunk you’ll sign whatever form or waiver they hand you. Congratulations, now you’re a Christian, enjoy your green beer and your green hangover fools!

 

The one thing I would like to see one St. Patrick’s Day…

“The Lord of the Dance”