This past weekend my wife and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by making a date to visit our local running shoe store. We’d just started training for our next half marathon and were in need of some new kicks. (Do the kids still use the term kicks to describe footwear?)
We tried on multiple brands and styles, and took a few laps around the store before we each settled on a pair of Asics, a tried and true brand for both of us. I believe at our advanced age this is referred to as “brand loyalty.”
The folks at the store were great, as always, and we thoroughly enjoyed dropping $200+ on sneakers and other running accouterments. But there was something missing. Something that would’ve taken this afternoon shopping excursion to the next level. That something was beer.
Beer and running shoes… together? Crazy talk. But what if it wasn’t? What if you could drink beer and try on the latest in aggressively fluorescent athletic footwear… at the same establishment? The good news is you can. The bad news is you have to live in Colorado to visit this Shangri La.
In the March issue of Runner’s World, I read a short profile on a revolutionary new business called Shoes & Brews. This bar/store, located in Longmont, CO, has twenty beers on tap, and is apparently getting ready to craft its own later this year. Oh, and they also have running shoes.
This concept is so brilliant I’m incredibly jealous I didn’t think of it first. I wouldn’t have been able to execute the concept since opening a small business requires determination, hard work, and capital, but it would’ve been nice to have at least thought of it first.
There are few things in the world I enjoy more than when people decide to infuse booze into a business or product where its presence is counter intuitive. When I lived in Los Angeles, there was a bar/laundromat in Manhattan Beach called Harvey Washbangers. At the time, I considered Washbangers to be a human achievement as remarkable as the construction of the pyramids or putting a man on the moon. I mean, a place where you can wash your clothes AND get drunk? Mind. Blown.
So it goes without saying that I’m a fan of the Shoes & Brews philosophy, which presumably is something along the lines of “you can pretty much sell beer anywhere.” And I would personally like to see it applied to more businesses forthwith.
For instance, the U.S. Post Office is one of the greatest financial failures of all-time. If the federal government ever decided it was serious about fixing this giant cash suck, it should consider adding a tasting room. Thanks to the long lines, my average postal visit clocks in at about 15-20 minutes, more than enough time for me to enjoy a finely crafted adult beverage.
The addition of beer to Post Offices nationwide would certainly make customers happier, though to be fair that bar (pun intended) is not set very high (again, very much intended). And just think… the holiday season would be a jolly, non-stop party. Rather than trying to avoid the Post Office in December, we’d be making arrangements to meet friends there. Profits would skyrocket and, for once, this lackluster institution would finish in the black.
Amazing how an enterprising small business in Colorado has basiaclly laid the groundwork for saving taxpayers around a billion dollars a year.
This, my friends, is why America is the greatest country in the world.