How Brainstorming Led to Beer



My current endeavor all started with a bacon, egg, and cheese croissant and a diet coke from Amelie’s in NoDa. Our magazine team (two other editors, myself, our art director) decided to take a retreat day. Instead of going into the office we all met at Amelie’s in the morning and went through a few TED Talks my executive editor picked out that were pertinent to our careers. We talked about how these particular principles discussed – like how meetings disrupt workflow and how sometimes an office just isn’t conducive to creativity – relate to what we do on a daily basis. Overall the morning was highly productive and inspiring.

From there we transitioned to lunch, and then a massive brainstorming session. When you think of a brainstorming session, you typically get flashbacks to middle school where teachers forced you to brainstorm ideas for a paper. Most of us took that time to basically write down random things that would in no way impact the final product. It was a waste. This was not your typical brainstorm session. We talked about ideas for revenue generation, marketing, and big picture goals for all of our products. It was during this session that our art director said, “Why don’t you do a brewery collab?”

I immediately jumped at the chance to be involved. This year, LNM will have an October beer and wine issue, and ultimately the idea of a brewery collaboration works great with the LNM audience. The Lake Norman area has five breweries total, with two new ones popping up in the last year alone. The note I took this entire session was “Find a brewer.”

With the idea seen as a great one by those involved, I set out to narrow down my list of potential brewery partners. With the help of my colleagues, I decided to approach Ass Clown Brewing Company (look it up) to see if they wanted to do a special release brew with us.



I reached out to the owner over Facebook message, because anyone in media knows that the quickest way to hear back from a business is through social media. I set up a meeting with the brew team for that Thursday. I outlined an actual proposal with contracts and everything, but I found out that wasn’t necessary. It took all of maybe five minutes to get them to agree to work with us. That day we picked out a flavor, and that night I secured my photography team who would document the whole process for the magazine.



After some scheduling hiccups along the way, today was my first day brewing our special release. I found out the brewing is a bit of a slow process. But I get to work with some talented and entertaining people on this project, which makes it all worth it. Oh, and beer. Beer is great, too.

I’ll be brewing again on Monday, this time with my lovely photographers. I’ll be posting updates on this special project as it comes along. It just goes to show that thinking big sometimes pays off if you just go for it.


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