People seem excited about Modern Times. I get lots of emails from eager strangers, and we’ve amassed an impressive number of Likes, Twitter followers, & email newsletter subscribers. Embarrassingly, I even get recognized at some local beer bars now. All without having beer to sell!

During tours of the Lomaland Fermentorium and at our pilot tastings, folks have told me that they like the transparency, honesty, and self-deprecating humor with which I’ve talked about the ups-and-downs of starting the brewery. So I’m going to keep doing it.

But here’s something I will never, ever do: hire an ad agency or marketing firm. This is not totally unique to Modern Times, of course; I was eager to work at Stone in part due to Greg’s longstanding and noble disdain for beer advertising.

I could explain my carefully considered reasons for making this choice, or I could just include a link to this article, which inadvertently—but very effectively—communicates why the entire advertising industry should be sold for scrap.

Let’s make a list of the obnoxious and suicide-inducing elements of this article, which are plainly indicative of the ad industry’s odious fetishization of communication.

  1. Fundamentally worthless product? Check
  2. Attempt to differentiate said product with groan-inducing clichés? Check
  3. Trade journalism that treats a morally bankrupt attempt to differentiate a fundamentally worthless product using groan-inducing clichés as a noteworthy event? Check
  4. Nauseating and profoundly far-fetched use of buzzwords “upcycle” & “disrupt” (pukes in hat, jumps off bridge)? Check

Rereading that article one more time will be too much for me, so I’ll stop the list at 4.

Anyway, we’re never going to advertise.


Matt S

Sat, 03/16/2013 - 09:32

Just wondering how your no advertising stance played out with your investors?

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Tue, 03/12/2013 - 01:56

Great stuff, Jacob. I'm really enjoying the progressive narrative.

Just out of curiosity, does this mean that you wouldn't put an ad in the Reader / West Coaster / on a website somewhere / at all, ever? Are you counting on 100% word-of-mouth to make the company successful (profitable)?


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Tue, 03/12/2013 - 08:48

Any time I see advertising for beer I wonder why they didn't put the extra money into doing a one off.

Sean M

Tue, 03/12/2013 - 09:05

Yep, I'd go with sponsorships. that aricle was about an upstart, bottled water company. The ultimate parity product

Modern Times

Fri, 03/15/2013 - 09:38

Thanks Clay, glad it's working for you. Correct, we won't be paying for advertising. I'd like to be able to support things like alternative local weeklies, beer publications, cool websites, but I'm just not a fan of the advertising model. I find ads annoying and intrusive--regardless of their content--and I don't want to be a part of it. Obviously we're in a period of upheaval in the media business and people are experimenting with a lot of really interesting alternatives to ad-driven revenue. I'm happy to support with cash and social media, say, a Kickstarter campaign for a super rad new magazine. I just won't buy an ad in it.

So yes, I'm relying 100% on word of mouth/my own social media output. My goal has always been to make beer that people can't shut-up about and to offer as much info about the beer and process of making it as people want. That's the whole plan.

Modern Times

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 07:33

I had my track record at Stone to point to, so there wasn't any push back. Stone hasn't paid to advertise its beer ever, so it's hard to argue with the results.


Sat, 04/13/2013 - 07:35

Fuck u and your blog. .........don't even know why u created another stupid beer blog. There's no use for it...........get a life


Sat, 04/13/2013 - 07:37

Anyway u doing good in your blog just put a little more effort

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