The Prank that Pranked Back

Sometime in 2014, while having a few beers and discussing projects to increase Berkshire Brewing’s social media presence, the idea was floated to do an April Fool’s Day video about a Helium beer.  As it wasn’t an entirely new concept, we knew that we would have to take our video higher to make it our own and get people on board.  Many months of hilarious conversations took place, and sure enough, it evolved from simply being a bunch of hot air into something we thought could really take off.  Berkshire Brewing is populated with a great crew of creative and intelligent folks who enjoy having a good time, and everyone wanted a chance to see if they could get this thing off the ground.  Talk of noble gasses, squeaky voices, inflating balloons, and Willy Wonka drifted around the brewery.  As spring approached, we settled into the very serious work of filming something very funny.  Friends were enlisted, locations were selected and shot, and some seriously great improv was filmed — we scripted nothing.  Digital vocal effects were deftly applied, so the voice-changing effects of Helium would rise at just the right moments.  We watched, laughed, laughed some more, and thought that no one could take it seriously.  And then we thought of Brewer Jared, who is so gullible as to buy anything… so we added an “April Fool’s!” quote at the end for good measure.

You can see the video here:

April 1, 2015 finally came and the Helium I.P.A. video was launched on Facebook!  We watched in amazement as the views, likes, and shares climbed.  By noon, it was far and away the most viewed post we had ever put up.  Success!  And then, the phones started to ring and the email started pouring in… people wanted to know where they could buy it and stores wanted to know when they could order it.  At first, we simply replied, “Watch the video all the way to the end.”  Finally, we just resorted to telling people straight up that it was a spoof.  And things quieted down — for a while. It is now mid-summer, and the Helium IPA video has risen up once again.  Inquiries started coming again.  From the Midwest and the South.  From Canada, and Sweden, and other European countries.  From Australia.  A steady stream of very serious inquiries were coming in about our very silly concept.

And then we realized…we’d really pranked ourselves.  So, what do we do now?  Maybe a Helium IPA isn’t that crazy after all.  Hmmmmmm….