Round Three of Brew. The Final Chapter?

Well then.

Somedays I wish I didn’t love my job, and also had a half million or so to spare.

For Sale By Owner. Asking Price is $575,000.00 Turn key. Including The Top Hop! You will be the only distributor for Bohemia Top Hop CZ, Czech Saaz and exclusive Saaz SPECIAL in North America. All office furniture, farm equipment, 2 John Deere Tractors. 1 is a 4210 and all implements ($20k) And much, much more! This is selling everything without a Realtor! If not sold by June 1st, it will be listed with a Realtor, and this will be listed property only. If you have ANY interest, please contact us before June 1st so we will put you on an exclusion list before listing it. If growing hops in not your thing, but sustainable agriculture is, or you are not interested in a “Turn Key” Hops operation, (Just interested in the house) we will be happy to negotiate something with you. CHEERS!

For those not familiar with the property, It is 4.5 acres with a 3,961 finished sq. ft home, Custom built by Terry Bergeron (This was HIS house) 5 bedroom, 3 – 1/2 bath, His & hers offices with private entrance, large wrap around deck looking over in-ground swimming pool, Hot tub, sauna, master bath has whirlpool bath, large kitchen w/ new ss appliances, Projection movie theater with Surround Sound on lower level. Exercise room with equipment, 23×24 finished attached garage, 40X50 detached with 25×40 heated section work shop / hops drying room. Unheated has 14′ ceiling with 12′ door. Home built in 1993. New roof in 2008.

Image courtesy of Top Hop Facebook page
Image courtesy of Top Hop Facebook page
Image courtesy of Top Hop Facebook page
Image courtesy of Top Hop Facebook page


Plus, a nice write up over at Growler Mag:

Wow. Now, I’d be happy just with the house and the land, but the fact that it’s set up for hops? Huge bonus.

Then again, I also know barely anything about growing hops. Our first rhizomes are going in the ground very shortly, and the more I read, the more I understand that I don’t understand.

But it isn’t just about the hops. To me, it’s an opportunity to build  my co-brew idea, with the added benefit of fresh hops and physical space. I’d want to spend more money on the property though. Build those outbuildings to be home brew spaces with temperature controlled storage. All rentable to those who want to brew there. It’d be a great place for events, workshops, and everything I wrote about two posts ago.

Downside? It’s far enough outside of the Twin Cities to be…well…outside of the Twin Cities. At somewhere between 30-45 minutes away, it isn’t far, but it’s still a trip. The whole idea behind the co-brew space was to make it a convenient place for folks to brew. But is the trade-off worth it?

Plus, there’s that whole “exclusive Saaz hops”. But, even at $25/lb for whole leaf hops, and producing 800lbs, that’s only $20,000 for a whole lot of work. Although, being local and close to my favorite home-brew shop of Northern Brewer, I’m sure there could be some nice business opportunities, custom recipes and exclusive hop offerings.

Now, if someone wants to give me $1,000,000 for a fun little experiment, I might think about it.

For now though, it’s time to Get Back to Work.

On Top: MIMA Summit a Success

Alright. I am very proud to say that I am no longer a MIMA Summit virgin.

Yesterday, I had the unbelievable luck to be one of several hundred to attend what must be one of the best conferences in the country. Yeah, you heard me. The big old United States.

What made it so great you ask? The Summit started with a stellar keynote by Avinash Kaushik (@avinash), one of the undeniable wise-guys from Google. Not only was it great content, but he understands the showmanship that is involved with presenting information. He talked about great experiences online leading to true ROI – and how to measure it. He also humbled some of our local big brands by telling them what they’re doing wrong. No joke, Best Buy, who had several TABLES of people right next to the stage, was one of his victims. 3M – whose products he loves, also was brought to it’s digital knees.

And rightfully so. One of the great things he pointed out was the age of the internet was also the most poignant example of what I call Digital Darwinism. Only good experiences survive. The rest perish. Many companies have lost their brand, profit, revenue and existence due to the web. And that isn’t a bad thing. The web provides accountability for success, and the ability to accurately test digital alternatives.

If I had payed the $450 just to see Avinash, it would have been worth it. But then, it kept getting better.

There are tremendously talented agencies in town – of which I’m proud to say many are our clients. But that’s not all. One of the greatest things was my brief encounter with Molly. Molly is a Senior at a liberal arts college currently. She came to the Summit (both days- the whole package). Why? She’s not a designer, or in UX. But because she wanted to see what it’s really like. What the world of Interactive and digital truly bring to the table. She was incredibly bright, and it made one thing clear: the future of the marketing world will be ok. She was hungry, smart, and someone out there better hire her right away. If you don’t, I will. Unfortunately, I’m stupid and didn’t get her last name.

SpyderTrap was also kind enough to build a great iOS App to keep me on track for the day. Not an easy task, in a short timeframe, and well executed.

Those little moments of greatness transpired throughout the day, and it made one thing for certain:

MIMA Summit 2012 will be amazing and I cannot wait for it.

Congrats to all who participated, presented, volunteered, and of course the committee members who helped make it so successful.


I’ve compiled some of the presentations from SlideShare below, plus the Minnov8 guys did an outstanding job of providing content throughout the day as well. Make sure you check it out.

Inbound Marketing is All Connected

View more presentations from Rand Fishkin

The Small Revolution, Part II

Timing is everything.

The day after my last post, Square had to go and one-up me. Not only are they as cool as I was talking about, but now they are even fancier. With the new software update to the App, they’re continuing the revolution of how we pay, and take payment. Check it out, it’s worth the click:

But that’s not what this post is about. Today’s bad timing comes on the heels of yet another announcement. Similarly spectacular, a new regime in the modern Office Space has sprawled itself across the river.

This is no ordinary Office Space. PC Load Letter Syndrome does not exist here. The purpose here is to ignite cognitive collaboration through a cooperative space.

This, is CoCo. And this, is the next generation of office spaces.

Like Square, and so many other things emerging, the exponential growth of entrepreneurialism is becoming more efficient. CoCo adds to that equation. The premise is you can become a member for as little as $50/month and find yourself in an inspiring environment amongst your new friends. Be sure to check out their newest location in the old Grain Exchange. It looks amazing.

I had the pleasure of meeting one of the organizations leaders, and as I wandered the space, I saw nothing but promise. When I heard they were announcing a new Minneapolis office, I was just short of giddy. Ok, maybe a little giddy.

One of the reasons I admire CoCo is that they are in the business of building businesses. Welcome to a new breed of creativity. Don’t take this the wrong way, but CoCo is the best cesspool to germinate ideas. It is about pushing ideas further through collaboration. It is about finding solutions as a group to help everyone.

As an independent contractor or freelancer, imagine if this was your office:

Now. Go sign up. But only if you want to be better, and help others be better too.

This isn’t about big business, it’s about big passion.

What’s yours?

Creating and Maintaining Self

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in some of the Student Advertising Summit that was put on by Ad2/AdFed.

One of these sessions, I was particularly interested in. “How to Stand Out In a Crowd of Many” with Craig Pladson and Kristen Evanoff from Colle+McVoy. As Craig was talking about how to maintain a brand image for yourself, I couldn’t help but notice the young woman to my right feverishly taking notes. In big bold letters, as if it were written over 15 times, was the phrase “Update website!” with a fancy squiggly underline below it.

A little click in my brain went off. They were listening.

Or were they?

The most important things to take a way from each of the presenters wasn’t necessarily the “how to” but the “why to”.

Think about it for a second. When you’re busy working on your campaigns for class, or as an intern, do you have some magical checklist that is the same for each client? Do you do the same thing for everyone? These aren’t math problems, they’re brand problems.

Thinking of it like math might help though. Say we want to get to 10. Easy. 5 + 5 = 10. That is a correct solution, and probably one of the more popular ones. It is average.

But do you want to be 5+5? Not particularly. Do you want to be a little different? Maybe 4+6. Or are you insanely passionate about it so it turns out you are 9.99999999 + .00000001. You still communicate who you are, but the path to who you are is the most important part. You can be different. You can use those equations, or methodologies to get to the same solution.

You do all this work to show how you can be creatively different for your projects (hopefully), so why not do it for yourself? Think about your favorite brands. How do they differentiate from everyone else? Now how do you? For me, I have a big advantage (and disadvantage). I’m a Woestehoff. No one knows how to say it, let alone spell it. I can’t run from it, nor do I want to. I want to be remembered. I have business cards that even prove it. My name is hard to spell, but it’s worth the effort, and that is pressed into everything I do.

So take those messages about how to be yourself, and then brand yourself.

Dig deeper than the “how”, and explore the “why”. Those are the questions to not only ask at events like SAS, but also of yourself. You might be surprised at what you find.

Another idea for you? Use that network you’ve built from the day and expand on it. The Twitter hashtag was #ad2sas, have you searched it yet? See what others are saying, and what they said. You might find even more people to help you grow into who you want to be.

/ via @mjwessty