I've always believed the best stories are true. One of my best friends tells the best true stories you can buy, and they're always better than the untrue stories he tells. The following is absolutely a true story, but the lesson here is about how the story about yourself can make or break you:
I've had a crazy busy few weeks and needed some down time for a lot of reasons. I really needed some time to remember who Gary is and get my feet back on the ground. Nothing does that better than a bike trip. When I was stationed in England, I would get on the bike and go somewhere every week, and quite often it would be Scotland because, well, they have whisky (not whiskey) there!
Old habits die hard, and last weekend's weather was quite a bit like Scotland in the summer so I went to Kentucky because, well, they have whiskey (not whisky) there! In the course of putting 820 miles on the bike, I had lots of conversations with myself, God, and quite a few people on the road that didn't impress me as much as myself or God. Long story short, I DID get my feet back on the ground and intend to do it again as often as possible.
I visited two distilleries along the way. On the front side I didn't expect to come away with anything more than a couple of history lessons and a new Old Fashioned recipe or two. However, never not expect something because that's exactly what will happen.
I'm going to keep the names of the distilleries out of this story because, well, I don't want to speak with their attorneys. So I'll call them Distillery #1 and Distillery #2.
Distillery #1 is steeped in 200 years of straight up history. They've been getting water from the same spring for 200 years. They've modernized things a bit along the way, but they're rooted in old traditions. They know the history of every one of their warehouses. One of them even has a mill stone they found by the creek in one of its walls. They take pride in making incredibly good whiskey (not whisky) the old fashioned way. They have four good recipes they stick to religiously, and they put on a good tour, a good tasting and run a nice cocktail lounge. Their beer vats are made of cypress. Their pot stills are made of solid copper. Everything is beautifully traditional and yet they manage to meet the world's demands with their traditional setup. They have nice, unique bottles for their whiskey, but they don't make them. They make whiskey, and noted during the tour that there is a glass shortage in Kentucky.
Distillery #2 is also steeped in a 200 year story. However I'm sitting here 2 days later wondering how much of it counts as a true story, let alone history. Their founder was some guy who gave up in the early 1800's and some other guy saved his recipe, and some other guy attempted this or that before Prohibition, then another guy hired someone to design a really nice bottle and rescue a couple of production stills made in 1934 (?) that are copper plated so they could make whiskey. The tour guide mentioned 4-6 times about how their water comes from a retention pond, as we were ushered through a distillery that looks more like a nuclear power plant than something qualified for making anything better than bathtub gin. At the end of the distillery tour, there was a beautiful setup on a table, showing a mold and the process used to make their bottles, and there was a 10 minute speech about the history of the bottle idea, and how they'd made a special machine to put the labels on "just right." Then at the post-tour tasting, there was another speech about the special bottles and labels.
So this is where I learned about story telling: BOTH of these distilleries, at first glance, sell whiskey. If you never went to the distillery you probably would just say "Well, they're both whiskey." However, it's important to note the difference in their stories, and deduct what they REALLY do!
Distillery #1 makes the best whiskey they can, and puts it in bottles for everyone to enjoy.
Distillery #2 makes nice bottles, and puts some whiskey in them for everyone to enjoy.
Long story short, when you're shopping for a product, you should decide which is more important: The product, or the container?
At Amerivet Services, we work very hard to provide you with a great product and upstanding service to go with it. We'll even tell you a good true story if you want us to!
If you'd like a nice bottle, we can tell you where to get one.
For our parting shot, check out this generator enclosure that we turned into a storage unit!