The Nationally Televised Glass of Cardboard Shavings
In our very first year of operation we got what we thought was our big break: an invitation to feature our beer on the Marylin Denis show.
For those who might not know this show, it is a nationally televised talk show catered towards 58 year old women. With craft beer just becoming a thing in Ontario, they wanted to feature a brewery on their Christmas Giveaway episode to show they were with the times (think Oprah’s 12 Days of Christmas but way more Canadian). A brother of a friend happened to work for the show at the time and, knowing that Refined Fool had just started, he pitched us as an option. Somehow, after only 6 months in existence and a brew system smaller than a spaghetti pot, they accepted.
The problem was, we needed to bring gift baskets for the entire audience... we could barely produce enough beer for ourselves at that point. But we knew the importance of this moment—if we could feature our beer on a moderately popular daytime television talk show, it wouldn’t take long before we would overtake Molson. So we made it happen. We assembled 150 baskets just in time and drove up to the Toronto studio ready for fame.
The MD team unloaded all the baskets and chose one that would be featured live on air. The problem was, they didn’t like how our basket looked, so they said they would be taking the products out and re-assembling it to better show on camera. Sounds great! You’re the experts.
We watched from backstage as the show began. The host talked about each product and gave glowing reviews as the camera zoomed in—a blender, a collection of tea, some scarves. And then it was our turn. Our moment to capture the hearts and minds of every stay-at-home Grandma across the country.
There was just one problem: whoever was in charge of setup for our products was on hallucinogens that day. They had taken out the two branded glasses from the gift basket and placed them right smack in front of our beautiful bottles. And, for a reason unbeknownst to us, they also decided to pack the glasses full of the cardboard shards that were sitting at the bottom of the basket...
So here we are, listening to Marylin say "Oh isn’t this awesome. Some beer, ohh ahhhh", while the camera zoomed in on a bunch of cardboard shards in a glass (see picture above that shows actual televised finished product). The colourful labels and logos were completely blocked and instead viewers were confusingly treated to a couple handfuls of brown confetti.
So now you know why Molson is still slightly ahead of us.