Austin bar fights back against beer-canning rules

From today’s Austin Business Journal:

Mike McKim’s tweets in the past 24 hours seem playful, but the business owner is taking on a serious battle for beer lovers.

“Last night I had a bad dream that TABC came and took our Crowler machine and all the cans, including the ones that employees had purchased,” he tweeted Wednesday morning before 7 a.m.

t wasn’t a dream. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission had indeed seized illegal beer canning equipment from his Cuvee Coffee Bar the day before, which sells beer and coffee. The fight between his East Sixth Street bar in Austin and TABC regulators has been going on for more than a month.

The seizure of equipment — a small machine that presses lids permanently onto large cans — got attention from media outlets across town. But McKim isn’t giving up the fight.

He told local reporters that he’s unsure at this point whether he’ll bring in another machine to fill so-called crowlers, which are similar to “growlers.” McKim demonstrates the canning process in this YouTube video.

But what he apparently is sure of, is that social media may be able to help his cause — and ultimately change the Texas rules that prohibit such canning equipment to be used by businesses other than beer manufacturers.

McKim’s social media assault against TABC — which contains a heavy dose of humor — can be viewed here.

Aaron Franklin Creates New Austin Food Festival With Co-Founder of Feast

Of course there’ll be barbecue.

Brisket whisperer Aaron Franklin is launching his very own food festival next spring, along with co-founder of Portland’s Feast Mike Thelin, as reported by Austin360. The two are also partnering up with James Moody, owner of Mohawk and co-founder of Fun Fun Fun Fest.

The festival will be centered on what Franklin does best: fire. The unnamed small event will take place during a to-be-announced weekend, and participating chefs haven’t been named yet. He told Austin360:

If you want to make something cool in Austin, well gosh darn it, you can do it […] We’re going to keep it super real and invite people we’re friends with and respect in the food world.The city’s other springtime food festival, Austin Food and Wine Festival, is set for April 22 through 24 next year. Feast, Portland’s food and drink festival, is taking place this week. This includes the first ever celebration of all things fire with Smoked! Franklin is also hosting a sold-out cookout at Stumptown Coffee on Friday, September 18.

Aaron Franklin and partners to launch new food festival in Austin [Austin360]

Five Tips for Super Effective Posters

Music_PosterPosters are a magical blend. They mix the talents of marketing people, graphic artists, and production specialists. A good poster takes advantage of all three of these elements to persuade the audience to take action. A key poster design point that is emphasized by all of the tips below is that posters need to make their point quickly – within a second or two. With that in mind, here are five tips to make effective posters:

1) Start with a concept, not a sketch: The marketing person has to begin the poster-making process. This professional should define the target audience, the pitch to be made to that audience, and the desired result of that pitch. But then the graphic artist should take the reins and develop ideas for artistically bringing those elements to the audience. This order – concept first, art next – takes advantage of both professional’s skills.

2) Follow your priorities. Like any good piece of graphic art, a poster needs to draw the viewers’ attention to the core concept first, then the secondary items. So if your poster is aimed at persuading teens to attend a hip-hop show, the name of the artist and his or her photo/image should be the most visible items. Since posters must grab the attention of passers-by in the first second or two, if the main point is not immediately obvious, attention goes elsewhere. Secondary items – such as the time and location of the event and other details – also need to be clear, but the designer can assume that if the viewer is persuaded by the main pitch on the poster, he’ll take the time to find the details.

3) Keep it simple. Cluttered posters do not get attention, because the human eye tends to look past busy images. Simplicity in a poster means the number of fonts should be limited, and they probably should be sans serif so they are easy to read. It also means that text should be limited to the absolute key points – provide an URL if more details are required. And images should be simple and clean – remember, people walking by the poster are only going to give it a second or two, so the image needs to be quickly and easily perceived.

4) Use bold colors. Solid, strong colors — red, blue, green, yellow – are going to be noticed more quickly than pastels or other “soft” colors. If your poster’s color scheme makes it blend into the background, change it! The last thing a poster should do is camouflage itself. Use a basic color wheel – see – if you’re unsure about what colors are bold.

5) Choose your reproduction method carefully. There are many ways to print posters, and the most effective for your purpose depends on the number of posters you need, their intended location, how long they will be displayed, whether they need to be rolled or kept rigid, and other factors. Modern digital printing techniques can affordably create short runs in great quality, and finishing – such mounting, laminating, or UV coating – can make the finished poster durable and long-lasting.

Source: Ed Avis

Event Horizon: The Impact of Industry Events on Austin

As we rev up for the fall festival season, here’s how the industry impacts Austin all year long.

36_ALIST_EventHorizon-6d6694b3According to the latest figures from the Austin Center for Events (ACE), there were 818 festivals or special events hosted throughout the city in 2013. While many residents may resent the throngs of eager attendees, the financial boon for the local economy cannot be denied.

In the 2013-14 fiscal year, Circuit of The Americas—home to Formula 1 and the X Games—had an economic impact totaling $897 million. South by Southwest added $315 million to the economy, with nearly 14,000 hotel reservations booked. That’s almost double the financial impact that the event had in 2011. (The SX economic impact report traditionally comes out in September, and traditionally, the amount goes up each year.)

Music events have shown the most growth: Between 2005 and 2010, the impact went from $582 million to $856 million. And now the most-attended music event in the city, the Austin City Limits Music Festival, has a combined weekend attendance of 450,000 with an impact coming in at almost $200 million.


Keeping the festival machine churning is the staff at ACE. “There are just no free weekends anymore,” says William Manno, special events program manager. Currently, he and his staff are hard at work drafting a Special Events Ordinance that pulls together various parts of the city code and redefines event parameters. The ordinance is helping to meet the goal of a resolution passed by the city council in 2012, directing the city manager to establish a team that would help implement a streamlined permitting process, whereas before the resolution, event organizers had to put out multiple applications to different departments for approval.

The ordinance also introduces a tiered system for applications based on factors such as the duration of an event and attendance. (As for a festival’s theme, the agency remains unbiased. “We don’t necessarily judge,” says Manno.) Ultimately, the changes will help the city with event planning and scheduling while making the process for organizers more efficient. Manno expects to have the ordinance on the city council’s agenda by the end of this month.


Plumb Architecture Shows the Love

open_boxtonedToday Nik and Team at our North location (Metric) received a wonderful box of Tiff’s Treats cookies with a very sweet note from one of our longtime clients, Denise Shaw, of Plumb Architecture.  They loved them, and we’re so grateful for our terrific clients! Thanks Denise!

“Thanks so much for all of your help on my various print orders! I might be a “small fry” in the biz (for now!) – but you all always treat me like one of your best customers.”

– Denise Shaw, Plumb Architecture