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.

Back at Florida Supercon 2022

My first time attending Florida Supercon (or any Con) was back in 2013. My friends, Worms and Isis, invited me since we’re into a lot of the same nerdy stuff (mostly things they got me into), so I decided to go and I brought my camera along — we also ran into another buddy who’s into the nerd stuff, Rudy (who made a comeback during Supercon 2022).

Back then, Florida Supercon was a much smaller event. It took place in the Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC). Since then, I’ve seen the show continue to grow to the larger CON that it is today, thanks to ReedPop taking over. In 2014, Florida Supercon moved to the Miami Beach Convention Center, a few years later to Fort Lauderdale (due to construction). For the past few years, (minus a canceled 2020 Supercon) it has taken place in the newly reconstructed Miami Beach Convention Center.

There was a period of time when the whole thing took place over the 4th of July weekend —- which was a terrible time to be on Miami Beach. Luckily, this year it took place the weekend after, which was good enough for me.

What to do?

There’s a few things I like to do at a CON (I have also attended MegaCon in Orlando once). (1) I bring comics to get signed by artists and writers. I also buy prints and artwork from some of those artists. (2) I like to spend money on nerdy/geeky fan art and other stuff too. This year I bought some posters, stickers, a shirt and my first set of metal dice. (3) I also try to attend some panels. And (4) I like to meet the guests. Guests come from all places: movies, TV, anime, YouTube, Twitch, even Wrestling.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a fun way to meet these guests that makes it exciting and sometimes memorable for both of us. I like to make them drawings of characters they’ve played, usually in animation. This also helps me get back to drawing, which is something I used to do when bored in school.

Super Guests

Guest tables are where you go to meet the “famous” people. At each guest table you may pay for an autograph, photo, sometimes a voice recording or whatever else that guest feels like selling. You can also just meet them. I never pay for any of the extras because I’m just excited to meet and have an interaction with these people.

*Side Quest: I understand why they charge so much for each thing, if they didn’t they’d be signing things, taking photos and not really “meeting” anyone. It also helps keep the lines under control. Sure, certain lines get extra super long, but for the most part you can always come back and find a better time to visit. If a guest table is empty at the moment, you can always ask any of the “guest handlers” when they plan to return. Handlers have access to the full guest schedule, although sometimes they just go out for a snack or bathroom break.

What I’ve learned over the years is that many of the guests are very kind and thankful when you bring them a gift. They especially like homemade gifts. Some may even waive the fee of an autograph or picture as a trade off.

It’s also a good ice breaker to give them a drawing of a character that you’re a fan of. From there they may go into some fun stories about working on that project. When I brought Jason Isaacs (aka Lucius Malfoy) a drawing of his character from Star Wars: Rebels (the Grand Inquisitor) and he said, “Oh wow, I’ve never seen the show. Did I do a good job?”

When I met John DiMaggio he started speaking in his Bender voice and other character voices. He also gifted me a signed picture of King Zog.

This year’s Supercon was full of The Walking Dead actors. I had the chance to meet Cooper Andrews (Jerry), Ross Marquand (Aaron), Seth Gilliam (Gabriel) and to chat with each of them for a bit. I talked to Cooper about acting and creativity, and Ross and Seth both took pictures with me for giving them drawings. Ross also did some of his spot on Michael Caine impression.

When Kate Flannery was at Supercon two years in a row, I brought her a different animated character drawing each year. The second time she said, “I remember you! Let’s take a photo.”

A few years ago, I was excited to meet Bret Iwan (the current  voice of Mickey Mouse). I ended up attending a panel with him and two other voice actors I wasn’t too familiar with, Adam Croasdell (Ignis Scientia from Final Fantasy XV) and Steve J Palmer (Bill from Red Dead Redemption 2). After the panel I went on to their tables just to tell them I really enjoyed the panel. Adam was a super cool dude and we talked for about twenty minutes.

I stopped by Steve’s table on my way out. No one was in line behind me. I told him I just wanted to say hello and that I really enjoyed the panel. We ended up talking for about an hour about his start, acting, improv, food, and so much more. After that I decided I should try to meet as many of the guests as I can, even if I’m not so interested in their main projects.

This year, when I returned on Sunday (after attending on Friday) I ended up meeting a few anime guests that I wasn’t too familiar with. I made them drawings of some of their work, but not the main anime shows people were mainly excited about. I ended up having some really cool conversations with these people too. And since then, I started watching a little more anime to see their work.

Two anime people I met were Todd Haberkorn and Amanda C. Miller (both from Boruto: Naruto Next Generations). I gave them each a non-Boruto drawing, and had good conversations with each of them. Todd was Mr. Knickerbocker on Barney and Amanda was Princess Quasar Caterpillar on Star vs the Forces of Evil.

Fun Times

I have definitely seen a few guests who are only there to make some extra cash off of fans, but for the most part everyone I’ve met has been excited to be there and talk to some people who admire their work. The same can be said for most comic artists and booths. They are mostly there to show off their work and meet people. On a few occasions I did see some of the artists walking the floor, which is cool to see.

Florida Supercon weekend is a super fun and awesome weekend. I do hope to visit some more CONs around the country. I will also be sharing some of my favorite artists, booths and other posts about the event on myVGBC.com. So keep an eye out for those.

For now, here’s some of the cool stuff I picked up while at Florida Supercon:

Also, as promised here is Rudy’s comeback to Florida Supercon 2022:


*I was able to attend Florida Supercon 2022 last weekend with a Press Pass thanks to my other site myVGBC.com, although I do plan to post about it on both of my sites (this one being the other one).

Why so many Apples?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. That’s what people used to say. But will any apple do? Is there a specific one with doctor-repelling powers?

Why are there so many different types of apples? Back in middle school, I remember learning about the three main apples: Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Apple computers (just kidding, Golden Delicious was the third one — I think). Just by hearing their names I knew the differences in look and taste.

Now I go to Fresh Market and see more than ten varieties of apples in one day: Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala, Lucy Rose, Lucy Gal, Ruby Frost, Envy, Honeycrisp and new varieties popping up each season. I usually go for Fuji or Gala, but I don’t know if I’m making the right choice with those — they’re just the safe decision sinceI already know I like them.

I actually started writing this post because after I arrived at my newly redesigned Fresh Market (Coconut Grove). They had recently changed up the aisles, the fruit stands and a bunch of other areas in the store. The Fresh Market is my favorite market to go to. When I got there I saw how beautiful the apple display looked so I took some pictures with my iPhone and wanted to find a reason to share them. So, I wrote this whole thing about apples, but now I actually thought of a pretty good idea.

Over the next few weeks (possibly months), I will try a different variety of apple each week. I will give each one a small review on the Ferdi’s Learnings Twitter account, using the hashtag #ApplesInReview (Make sure to follow @ferdislearnings on Twitter for these). When I run out of apples I will create an #ApplesInReview mega-post right here on the Ferdi’s Learnings site, ranking all of the apples. Stay tuned for that.

Here are some more delicious iPhone pictures of apples for you to enjoy while you wait for my first review…