I MUST ADMIT THAT prior to my recent tour of the August Schell Brewing Company, I had never really thought about the deer image that brands this New Ulm beer.
But, as our tour guide explained, company founder August Schell loved the white-tail buck.
Indeed he did. Everywhere I turned and walked and looked, I saw deer on the Schell’s company grounds. Only the real deer, which typically are visible to the public, were not around because of health issues, or something like that.
All of these deer got me thinking. Maybe the brewery could add a deer “hunt” to its tours as an activity for children and teens. I bet most kids don’t find the tour all that interesting because it’s geared primarily for adults. A deer scavenger-type hunt would provide an entertaining diversion for the younger generation, or for all ages. I saw grandparents with their grandchildren and I’m certain the elders would welcome a cross-generational activity like this.
So here’s my idea: Create a printed sheet of historical facts that lead to various deer on the grounds. For example, one clue might be “Welcome to the Black Forest, a re-creation of August Schell’s homeland.”
Or: Only the Schell’s company president can live here.
Or: Land a bass when you find this deer.
Game participants would search for the deer, all the while learning about Schell’s and its history. And the brewery would be imprinting the deer brand upon the unsuspecting guests.
Of course, to reward the deer hunters, Schell’s could offer some little deer-stamped trinket to be claimed in the gift shop after the hunt. (That would increase gift shop traffic, which could also increase sales.) The kids would be happy. The parents and grandparents would be happy.
What do you think? Should Schell’s give my idea a shot?
FYI: MANY DEER, a whole herd actually, also can be found in the Schell’s hospitality room. But because that room, where beer is served, remains closed except during the tour or for special occasions, none of those deer are included in my proposed hunt. But if they were, here’s one of the more interesting bucks:
AS A SIDE NOTE, in the book Land of Amber Waters: The History of Brewing in Minnesota by Doug Hoverson, you’ll find a photo of the original Schell’s family home, today the company office. Look closely at that image on page 35 and you’ll see deer antlers stuck on the front of the brick house, between the front first and second floor windows.
© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling