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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Google and the Great American Beer Festival - URKontinent

     Shortly after last year's GABF, I was commissioned by a good friend over at to write a few blogs for them.  Native Rank is far and away the best Search Engine Optimization company out there, so if you're looking, give them a call. Tell them Microbrewmaps sent you.  Please.  We need the referral fee.

     I am re-posting this honor of Dogfish Head's release of URKontinent to the public.  I am particularly excited to finally try this brew, and if anyone out there has already tried it, let us know what you think.  So alas, from October-ish of 2011:

Google and the Great American Beer Festival

Last week I came across a large volume of articles commenting on URKontinent, the new collaborative beer effort from Dogfish Head in Delaware, and everyone’s favorite innovator, Google.  It’s amazing!  It sucks!  Now Google will dominate all things beer! Nooo! The variety of takes on such a simple subject as “Google makes a beer” was simply astounding. 

People gushed over the fact it was a Google User based production, with suggestions taken on ingredients from different Google forums from across the globe.  (From

“Wattleseed from Australia imparts a chocolate, coffee, and hazelnut taste to the beer. Toasted Amaranth from South America gives it an earthy, grainy flavor and a little additional roast flavor. Green Rooibos from Africa contributes a floral aroma and slight astringency. Myrica Gale from Europe supplements the bitterness from minimal hopping. Hive Plex Honey from California adds a subtle sweetness while maintaining the dry finish”

Delicious Wattleseed.  Can’t wait.  Hive Plex Honey from the Google campus sounds like a 1950’s Maoist endeavor meets Resident Evil.  Awesome.

So, I’m walking around the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Co., hoping to run into these guys.  I had heard internet whisperings that they might tap this beer at the festival, and naturally I would be one of the chosen few to get a taste.  I find the Dogfish Head booth (quite crowded) and…

…stupid internet rumors are stupid.  No URKontinent.  Not sure if they ever did tap it privately, or on another night, but I’m still too upset to even bother doing the research.  Such is Life, I suppose.

      Anyhow, here’s a side thought that hit me while I was wading through the throngs of inebriated folk at the festival:  The Great American Beer Festival is an interesting hyper-representation of what Google is trying to do with its local search listings (only live).  Seriously, it is.  50,000 “users” over 3 days trying to navigate 500 breweries and over 3,000 beers.  A single individual just can’t drink 3,000 beers in a night, so how do you choose?  Here’s what I noticed about decision-making:

·         Look for what’s popular, i.e. crowded.  (Read: High SERP)
·         Ask others what they think (User Review)
·         Ask vendors what they think, who they are and what they’re about (Place Page)
·         Follow the Festival map (Duh!)

Interesting…Google might be on to something after all!

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