The Beach Bar Blog
By Doug Hall
Inventor, Research Author, Educator, Whiskey Maker
Founder of Eureka! Ranch International & Co-Founder of Brain Brew Custom Whiskey
The Beach Bar Blog is a collection of conversations – like those at our Beach Bars in Newtown, Ohio & PEI, Canada. The conversations are an informal mix of insight, wisdom and just plain foolishness. Enjoy!
Highlighted Conversations / Blog Posts
Beach Bar Blog Posts
We are really proud to introduce our new Dexter Straight Bourbon. It’s the best bourbon we’ve ever made - named one of only 12 bourbons on the Ultimate Spirits list of the top 100 spirits. It’s named after Edmund Dexter one of the most famous pre-prohibition whiskey makers in America. It is most often drank neat or over ice. However, it also makes for luxurious cocktails each with a great story… PRINCE OF WALES COCKTAIL In 1860 the Prince of Wales (Future King Edward...
We are really proud to introduce our new Dexter Straight Bourbon. It’s the best bourbon we’ve ever made - named one of only 12 bourbons on the Ultimate Spirits list of the Top 100 Spirits. It’s named after Edmund Dexter one of the most famous pre-prohibition whiskey makers in America. It is most often drank neat or over ice. However, it also makes for luxurious cocktails each with a great story… CHARLES DICKENS BOURBON SMASH In 1842, Charles Dickens stayed with world famous Whiskey...
Here’s my three favorite cocktails for summer 2021. Each with a “Craft” twist. BOURBON SMASH our #1 Requested Cocktail Ingredients 1/2 oz of Simple Syrup5 to 8 Mint Leaves - depending on size of leaves1/4 of a large lemon cut into wedges or 1/2 a small lemon2 oz of Paddle Wheel Bourbon Directions First, combine and muddle the simple syrup, mint leaves and lemon in a shaker. Next, add Paddle Wheel and shake with a lot of ice for 12 seconds. Strain into a glass with fresh ice. Garnish with...
When my wife asked Brian McKenzie, co-founder of Finger Lakes Distilling,“Why did you start the distillery?” His answer was simple, “Because I LOVE whiskey!” To many his answer doesn’t make sense. There are a lot of things that people like - but that doesn’t cause them to leave a job in banking as Kevin did, put all his time, energy and money into helping change New York State distillery laws (he’s NY farm distillery #2) - and against all odds build his own supply chain, distillery and...
A visit to Ketchum, Idaho in Sun Valley, final resting place of writer Ernest Hemingway, sparked conversations at the Brain Brew Beach Bar. Papa as he was known - was a larger than life figure - writer - adventurer - drinker and a husband three times over. His dedication to the craft of writing - with his precision and never ending improvement - inspires me when writing AND inspires how we craft our WHISKeY at Brain Brew. We’ve not won the Noble Prize or Pulitzer as Papa...
One morning recently as I sipped on a fine cup of our Brain Brew Coffee, I was flipping through music and clicked on the song, BE THE CHANGE, by Lennie Gallant from his album If We Had a Fire. Lennie’s lyrics capture my mindset these days… “Nothing can be done, nothing can be doneThatʼs what they were sayingMaybe youʼre the one, maybe youʼre the oneChange has just begunChange it, change it, change itBe the change, be the change.”- BE THE CHANGE by Lennie Gallant So what are you waiting...
Hemingway’s quote spoke to me today. “Live the FULL LIFE of the mind, exhilarated by new IDEAS, intoxicated by the ROMANCE of the UNUSUAL.” I live my life intoxicated by the romance of the unusual. I believe I may well be genetically wired to reject the same old same old. That’s why instead of simply creating our bourbon to our taste preferences that we then sell others to like - we have reversed the process. Instead of us “selling” we “enable.” We enable bourbon...
As an author, I’ve found that when I do something worth writing, I end up with a book that is worth reading. As we journey together through the rebirth of the season - of Spring - of Easter - of the hope that comes with vaccines - lets focus on doing something worth writing. And frankly - in todays world - after you’ve done it, write it. Write it in a social media post - write it in a self published book - write it in a word processor - “write it” by recording a video or...
For over 20 years, the daffodils on our front lawn have signaled a new beginning. This year the conversation at the Beach Bar is about how this spring is special. After a year of Covid winter, today is a spring rebirth - a rebirth that is not to be wasted. This spring has given us energy for a deep spring cleaning. We’ve filled one and a half dumpsters of “stuff” that was cluttering our house, the Eureka! Ranch and the Brain Brew Distillery. We are also cleaning our mindset. ...
When STRESS hits you, your mind goes through a chain reaction….handled properly it’s a bit like what happens in the following computer program: PRINT “STRESS”PRINT “ACKNOWLEDGE STRESS”END & MOVE ON If you ran the above BASIC program, the word STRESS would appear on the screen once – and nothing more would happen. Frequently, what occurs is more like this next program: PRINT “STRESS”PRINT “Thoughts that confirm why I should be stressed.”GO TO 1END In this example, the STRESS is...
I SHALL FIND A WAY OR MAKE ONE - Admiral Peary of Maine - the first to successfully reach the North Pole - wrote this in Latin on the wall of his shelter in Greenland as he recovered from a broken leg. It’s also carved on his tombstone at Arlington Cemetery in Washington. The Admiral was one of the most tenacious and innovative explorers in history. His inventions on relays, cooking systems, team management, base camps, etc. are used today by virtually all...
This past week I got very frustrated with people living in yesterday! Throughout the week it seemed every other phone call or zoom was rooted in reliving the good old days. OR it was focused on where people are going. Interestingly - it didn’t seem age related. Young people were just as guilty of focusing on the past as older people were to be focused on living in the now and tomorrow. When sitting at the Brain Brew Beach Bar - I’m ok with a few...
“Have Fun Playing in the Snow” was on my mind this week. It was written by my daughter Tori (Victoria) on a piece of scrap paper and hidden inside my backpack when I participated in the Aspirations Expedition to the North Pole years ago. It was one of a number of notes my wife Debbie and our kids had left me to find. I opened one note every other day or so. “Have Fun Playing in the Snow” was opened the morning after a horrible day. We’d been traveling in a white out… stumbling on our skis...
This week the Brain Brew Crew spent some time crafting romance cocktails. Said another way - it was an excuse to put ourselves under the constraint of creating drinks that are red in color :). I Bring the Party Mocktail (left) This is mocktail with attitude. It’s a ton of fun with just enough bubble and just enough depth to ignite the mood! Add the following to a mixing glass: 1/2 Oz Pineapple Juice2 oz Cranberry Juice1 oz Club SodaSqueeze of Lime Next, stir...
26 years ago in my first book, I wrote about our Eureka! Research findings on the exponential power of diversity to ignite smarter and more innovative ideas. Patrick Aylward’s new book, THE COLLABORATIVE PATH, is a must read for anyone who is interested in making diversity and collaboration work. The book’s wisdom comes from his deep expertise igniting collaboration during years of work as a lawyer, arbitrator, mediator and conflict management consultant. The book is filled...
Sitting beside the fireplace at the Brain Brew Beach Bar I concluded that I should commit myself to learning something new… so that I don’t “waste” the last months of the pandemic. Before we know it, we will all be busier than ever, leaving no time for learning something new. As adults - we tend to live a life of optimizing what we already know. Learning something new - starting as a raw beginner - failing more than succeeding - on a new learning journey is something we...
At the Brain Brew Beach Bar we’ve been talking about the differences between Did, Done and Doing. We’ve concluded that the only one that matters is Doing! DID - is the past. It’s nice to reflect on, but it’s no longer alive. DONE - can be more recent as in “I got it done” but it’s still the past. DOING - is the future. It’s the “juice” of life. DOING is about believing in tomorrow. DOING gets us up in the morning. DID and DONE are about living in the past. Bruce...
Every year as we approach Ben Franklin’s birthday on Sunday, January 17th, I read the Papers of Benjamin Franklin - published by Yale University Press - for what he wrote 253 years ago. I go back this number of years as it is the year that he was the same age as I am. I do it early in the year as January 17th is Dr. Franklin’s birthday. It’s also my 62nd birthday and the birthday of my grandmother Hazel and my step sister Janet. Note the capitalization in his quotes...
I’m stopping my WHINING and just going to find a way or make one. This week I came to the realization that despite my naturally optimistic mindset - deep inside a part of me was “whining” about what I can’t do during this holiday season. This week - as we got a dusting of snow and brisk weather, I was transported to the high arctic where years ago I participated in the Aspiration Expedition. Our journey recreated the last 200 miles of Admiral Peary’s famous trek. Peary with his...
The Beach Bar Blog is about giving people hope in these challenging times. Usually it’s with a smile, a story or an optimistic perspective. This week is different, it’s more on the real and tangible hope side.... Online Brainstorming Beats In Person I am now convinced that online brainstorming is how brainstorming should always be done - even after COVID. I can’t believe I’m saying this because for over 40 years we ran Eureka! Inventing in person. Changing it, as the graph shows, when...
Doug’s Innovation News Blog
Yesterday I did a webinar for the P&G Alumni...
2020 has me thinking on how things have changed in the 34 years since I founded the Eureka! Ranch.
In 1986 Consumer Products were the thought leaders of innovation and the focus was on creating line extensions, category segmentations and gurus.
In 2020 the thought leaders are more varied with industrial, medical, CBD/THC, services, internet, artificial intelligence, and banking all focused on innovation.
TODAY there is a focus on BIGGER, BOLDER, PATENTABLE WOW Innovations.
Leaders are looking for meaningfully unique innovations that enable them to change the profitability of their industry and or their business model. It’s the time of Capital “I” Inventing instead of small “i” incremental changes.
TODAY there is an urgency for Systems for ACCELERATING Ideas to Market
Having focused on the “front end” of innovation – executives are frustrated with how long it takes to get ideas to market.
TODAY there is a NEW TREND TOWARDS ENABLING EMPLOYEE Innovation.
Leaders are tired of renting an “Innovation Guru.” They are asking for coaching, education and tools to enable their people to think faster, smarter and more innovatively. To support this we’ve rebuilt our curriculum and tools to work for all levels of employees through independent Apps or the companies existing LMS Platform.
Real life event last Thursday. It started with an early morning call with a client in Europe. She had an emergency need for ideas and Market Research Data Today.
Completed inventing session with another client at 1:00 pm.
During the drive to the Airport organized experts and testing resources.
2- 4:pm: Wrote Six Concepts with ideas and advice from Experts
4pm: Designed questionnaire using advanced Innovation Engineering Rapid Test System
4:15pm: Uploaded concepts for Testing
4:30pm: Test in the field and headed to gate to get on plane back to Cincinnati
7:30pm: Plane landed. Test is complete. Opened computer in car (someone else was driving) and reviewed test results from 400 base equivalent test. Outstanding scores. Started draft of report
8:15pm: Home. Hugged wife and enjoyed a Cocktail with her – mine was an Embassy made with our Old Dexter Whiskey 🙂
9:15pm: Finished final report
9:45pm: Emailed final report to client in Europe to review when she wakes up
6:00 am email from client – “WOW this is so helpful.” Client does meeting to present findings
This my friends in what we mean when we say increased innovation speed and decreased risk
If you have an innovation, marketing, product concept and or testing emergency give us a call. 24/7 we can get it resolved.
IMPORTANTLY – this is not a random event – YOU CAN AQUIRE the SKILLS AND TOOLS to work at this speed all the time.
This morning as I exercised my mind wandered to a dear friend Scott Macaulay – who passed away from cancer way to soon. In his last year of life he spent time really noticing smells, tastes, sights and sounds. I remember him commenting on the aroma and flavor of a cocktail sauce we were putting on some fresh Prince Edward Island Oysters.
The past few days I’ve had the honor of speaking at the Singularity University event in Greece. Greece’s role in the creation of democracy is well known. It gave power to the people.
After one of my talks a young lady came up to me and said “I’m seeing a difference in your approach versus others. Most business people believe that company success comes when the workers engage. Your approach is to enable the workers to be successful with innovation and because the workers are successful the company is successful. The end purpose is the same but your method is the reverse.”
Her words were simple but so insightful. I suddenly made the connection to what Dr. Deming taught my father back in 1979 “94% of the problem is the system – 6% is the worker”.
Dr. Deming knew that the foundation of success lay in enabling the works. Today the Innovation Engineering movement enables workers with the training, tools and methods they need to think smarter, faster and more innovatively.
Dr. Deming and Innovation Engineering are about Democratizing thinking. Countries don’t invent. Companies don’t invent. Only the people can invent the kinds of smarter work systems, products and services that are needed to transform the success trajectory of companies.
This was especially top of mind for me as we are about to announce a transformational change in how we teach and enable employees to think smarter, faster and more innovatively. To learn more sign up for our 7th annual Global Innovation Engineering conference by clicking here
Nothing beats - seeing, feeling and experiencing...
“It’s important that everyone have something important to do.”
Paul Schurke said this as we embarked on an adventure to recreate Admiral Peary’s Last Dash to the North Pole. As the expedition leader Paul explained that he didn’t want people on the trip who would take unreasonable risks because they had nothing to look forward to.
As is common with Paul there was also a deeper second meaning. Paul was speaking about the importance of having great aspirations. Paul dreams big and takes action on those dreams. Others feel exhausted by his energy – he fuels his soul with his adventures. My trip with him was in 1999 – if you CLICK HERE you can see how he never stops.
I was reminded of Paul today as I visited Bob Morrison and team at our new Brain Brew Custom WHISKeY distillery at the Windsor & Eton Brewery in Windsor just outside of London UK. (That’s Bob and I in our small but mighty first packaging facility at our new distillery) During 2019, the year I turned 60 – my team and I have opened a distillery at the Eureka! Ranch and soon in the UK. Today we make products that are in 40 of the 50 US states and we’ve won Double Gold Medals and 95 ratings for our WoodCraft whiskey spirits.
Paul Schurke – changes the world by changing people’s perceptions of themselves and the planet.
Our Brain Brew Crew changes the world by enabling whiskey to be of the people, by the people and for the people. Because frankly, everyone deserves their own WHISKeY! And just wait till you see what important things we have planned for 2020!
So what are you waiting for – as we say with Innovation Engineering – get up, get out and do Cool S#it that Matters!
Imagine a world where across your 10K person organization you had 1K people innovating in their sphere of influence. They were consciously thinking smarter, faster and more innovatively about their daily tasks.
Research is finding that if you ignite just 10% of your people – you set off unstoppable momentum towards culture change.
If you try to change the culture without first igniting the people – you will fail.
This approach was inspired by conversations with Kevin Cahill – Executive Director of the The W. Edwards Deming Institute. He spoke of the need for enabling everyone. He said, “I believe that every single person, in every single organization, has some sphere of influence they can impact.
Quite simply when you light up the innovators and early adopters across your organization with training, tools and support you set off a chain reaction of growth.
Dr. Deming famously would push executives with his famous challenge, “By What Method” will you accomplish this.
In our case we’re finding 3 things are key to the method of transformation:
Academically sound, reliable and reproducible education,
Tools that enable the TEACHING to be made real,
Activation & Reactivation of the training & tools till they become a cultural habit.
I’ll be talking more about this as we prepare to release a dramatic upgrade to our system for enabling leaders of teams, divisions, or companies to ignite a sustainable culture of innovation at the 7th Annual Digital Innovation Engineering conference being held on Friday, November 22, 2019 – MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
I’m tried of incremental steps.
This past weekend I learned the importance of SELLING INNOVATIONS on profitability.
The scene was the Artisan Market at the Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Festival. Our Brain Brew Custom WHISKeY team had a booth where we introduced our new Riverboat Collection of Craft Whiskies.
We faced three solid competitors. And it was a challenge as our drink price was $10 – versus $6 for our competitors.
In the OLD WORLD focus on simple product innovation – we would have pitched why our double gold medal, patent pending products were preferred versus others.
In the NEW WORLD view of innovations in product, production sales and marketing – we told about our product AND we offered consumers the opportunity to sample a “flight” of our 4 whiskies (1/2 ounce pours of each) using our patent pending Flight Trays.
What would you rather be asked to do?
Option A: Be asked to sell 4 Great Whiskies
Option B: Be asked to sell 4 Great Whiskies WITH THE HELP of an Innovative FLIGHT TRAY Merchandising system.
BOTTOM LINE: Based on visual observation we sold more than our three competitors combined AND at a higher price! It transformed everyone working our booth into great sales people.
So what are you waiting for? Innovate on HOW YOU SELL to help accelerate the success of your innovative service or product.